We are continuing our journey through the world of seemingly small, but highly important words: Let's learn how to finetune our sentences with prepositions

Gudde Moien and welcome back to Language Basics, the series where we take a closer look at what makes the Luxembourgish language tick.

Over the last few lessons, we have learned about tenses, cases, and most recently pronouns. Today, we have another classic grammar point to cover: prepositions.

As always with these grammar terms, there is a good chance that you might not know what prepositions actually are. Generally speaking, they are short words used to express spatial or temporal relations and they usually combine with nouns or noun phrases. Below are some examples of prepositions as they are used in English:

These animals live under the local bridge.

The picture hangs on the wall.

I will meet him at the restaurant.

Your shoes are in the wardrobe.

As far as Luxembourgish is concerned, the basic idea of prepositions remains the same but with one important additional detail: they may require you to use a specific grammatical gender! Luxembourgish prepositions can be divided into three categories: prepositions that are always followed by the accusative, prepositions that are always followed by the dative, and prepositions that can be followed by both, depending on the context.

Prepositions that are always followed by the accusative

The following prepositions are always followed by the accusative case in Luxembourgish:

bis ("until")

duerch ("through")

ëm ("around, round")

fir ("for")

géint ("against")

ouni ("without")

ronderëm ("round, around")

Note that ëm and ronderëm are synonyms. To get a better idea of the meaning of these different prepositions, have a look at the following examples:

D'Ausstellung ass nach op bis nächste Méindeg ("The exhibition is still open until next      Monday")

Mir mussen duerch de Bësch goen ("We have to walk through the forest")

Hien huet mir een Aarm ëm d'Schëller geluecht ("He put an arm around my shoulder")

Hatt hat ee flotte Kaddo fir mech ("She had a wonderful gift for me")

Hien huet decisive géint säi Géigner gewonnen ("He won decisively against his opponent")

Si ginn ouni hire Mupp an d'Vakanz ("They go on holidays without their dog")

De 'Laf ronderëm de Séi' ass een traditionell Sportsevenement zu Iechternach ("The 'Run around the Lake' is a traditional sport event in Echternach")

Prepositions that are always followed by the dative

There are quite a few more prepostions that have to be used with a dative. They are:

aus ("out of, from")

ausser ("except for, apart from")

bannent ("within")

mat ("with")

no ("after")

säit ("since")

trotz ("despite, in spite of")

vun ("of, from, by, out of")

wéinst ("because of")

zanter / zënter ("for, since")

zu ("to, at, for, in")


The variations zanter / zënter and säit are synonyms. Once again, here are some example sentences to better illustrate the meaning:

Hatt klëmmt aus dem Bus ("She steps out of the bus")

Ausser him ass jiddereen invitéiert ("Except for him, everyone is invited")

Bannent just zwee Woche war de Projet fäerdeg ("Within just two weeks the project was                finished")

Ech ginn haut den Owend mat mengen Elteren iessen ("I'm having dinner with my parents              this evening")

No him kommen ech un d'Rei ("After him it's my turn")

Ech wunne lo säit engem Joer zu Waasserbëlleg ("I've been living in Wasserbillig for a year")

Hien huet sech trotz senger Erkältung gutt amuséiert ("He had fun in spite of having a cold")

Virun engem Mount ass mäi Monni gestuerwen ("One month ago, my uncle died")

D'Kaz spréngt vun der Mauer erof ("The cat jumps from the wall")

Wéinst dir si mir lo ze spéit ("Because of you we are running late")

Zanter dräi Deeg hunn ech den Houscht ("For the past three days, I've had a cough")

Zu dem Theema äusseren si sech net ("They don't comment on this topic")

'Changing' prepositions

There is a third category of prepoitions that are called Wiesselprepositiounen ("changing prepositions"). They often express spatial relations and can be followed by both the accusative and the dative. They are followed by the accusative if they express a movement. If they express a position, they are followed by the dative. The Wiesselprepositiounen are:

an ("in, inside, into")

baussent ("outside")

bei ("next to, by, to, at, among, with, during, in case of")

ënner(t) ("under, below, among, from")

hannert ("behind, after")

iwwert ("over, above, on top of, across, beyond")

niewent ("next to, beside, besides")

op ("on, in, to")

un ("on, to, against, at")

virun ("in front of, outside, ahead of, before, ago")

tëschent ("between")

widdert ("against")


Below are a few examples to show you the difference between movement (+ accusative) and position (+ dative):


Ech gi bei den Dokter("I'm going to the doctor")

De Ball rullt hannert de Gol("The ball rolls behind the goal")

De Mupp leeft an d'Haus("The dog runs into the house")


Ech si beim Dokter("I'm at the doctor's office")

De Ball ass hannert dem Gol("The ball is behind the goal")

De Mupp ass am Haus("The dog is in the house")


Note that it sounds more natural to say Ech si beim Dokter instead of Ech si bei dem Dokter. The same is also true for De Mupp ass am Haus. These "preposition + definite article" mergers are, however, only possible in the dative with a masculine singular or neuter singular noun (as always, there are some exceptions to this rule). These mergers are very easy to form ( mat dem becomes mam, vun dem becomes vum, no dem becomes nom…etc) except for one: op dem becomes um (D'Fläsch steet um Dësch -> The bottle is on the table).

Vocabulary list – Sports

Before you leave, don't forget to have a look at our extensive vocabulary list for the core lesson:

Various sports in Luxembourgish














Rugby (pronounced both in the English way and like "roogby")



Vëlossport / Cyclissem



schwammen / De Schwammsport


table tennis / ping-pong

Dëschtennis / Pingpong


track and field






Good to know: Physcial Education or P.E. is often referred to as Turnen in Luxembourgish: The students have P.E. every Tuesday à D'Schüler hunn all Dënschdes Turnen.

verbs related to sport


to play

spillen (I play football à Ech spille Fussball)


to jog / to go for a jog

lafen / lafe goen


to swim



to cycle

Vëlo fueren


to change (a player)

(Ee Spiller / Eng Spillerin) auswiesselen


to participate

deelhuelen (She participated in the tournament à Si huet um Tournoi deelgeholl)


to win



to lose



to draw