Go to the homepage of this German Course Chapter 12: Finding a flat University of Portsmouth
12.15 Miscellaneous grammar points

"zu" + infinitive
In a number of the accommodation advertisements in this chapter you will have noted the use of "zu" followed by the infinitive to indicate the passive. In other sentences "zu" and the infinitive are used in combination with the verb "sein" to translate "can be". These are constructions commonly found in advertisements and commercial German.

3-Zimmer-Wohnung an eine Frau zu vermieten!
("three room flat to let to a woman")
Einfamilienhaus zu verkaufen!
("detached house for sale")
die Wohnung ist sofort zu beziehen
("the flat can be occupied immediately")
ich bin unter 65 44 23 zu erreichen
("I can be reached at telephone number 65 44 23")

Prepositions with "sich freuen"
The meaning of the verb "sich freuen" depends upon the preposition with which it is used. If the verb is followed by "auf" and the accusative case, it means "to look forward to". But if "sich freuen" is followed by "über" and the accusative case, then it means "to be happy about":

"auf" + Accusative
Meine Kinder freuen sich schon auf das Wochenende.
("My children are already looking forward to the weekend.")
Ich freue mich auf eine schnelle Nachricht von euch.
("I look forward to a prompt response from you.")
"über" + Accusative
Ich freue mich über eine E-Mail oder einen Anruf!
("I'll be pleased to receive any e-mails or phone-calls.")
Jutta freut sich über das Geschenk.
("Jutta is pleased about the present.")

Note that "hoffen" the German verb meaning "to hope for something" also takes "auf" and the accusative case as this verb too implies "looking forward to something":

  • Ich hoffe auf baldige Antwort von Ihnen.
    (I look forward to receiving a prompt response from you.)
  • Sie hoffen auf eine schöne Zukunft.
    (We hope for a good future.)

The usage and omission of prepositions
Note the German prepositions used to the following key phrases:

Meldet euch unter 2 14 65 39
("Call me on the number 2 14 65 39.")
Bitte meldet euch bei mir!
("Please get in contact with me!")
Nebenkosten 121 Euro bei 2 Personen.
("Additional costs: 121 euros if there are two people.")
Das Studentenwerk ist gleich um die Ecke.
("The student administration is just round the corner.")
Besichtigung nach Vereinbarung.
("Viewing by arrangement.")
Die Wohnfläche besteht aus...
("The living area consists of...")
Anfragen bitte per E-Mail.
("Enquiries please by e-mail.")
Was studierst du an der Uni?
("What are you studying at university?")
dank dem Wasserboiler
("thanks to the water boiler")

In the following time-phrases however, note how German omits both the prepositions and the articles that are present in the English version.

Anfang Januar
("At the beginning of January")
Mitte September
("In the middle of September")
Ende Februar
("At the end of February")

Weiter!Chapter 12.16: Accommodation vocabulary (1)

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