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Suppose I want to say

I took this math course last spring.

Can I say

(a) Ich habe letzten Frühling diesen Mathe-Kurs belegt.

or

(b) Ich habe im letzten Frühling diesen Mathe-Kurs belegt.

or

(c) Ich habe in dem letzten Frühling diesen Mathe-Kurs belegt.

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1  
(a) and (b), whereas (c) is not wrong but not what a native German would say. –  Em1 Sep 22 '13 at 18:06
    
Statt "Ich habe ... belegt" empfehle ich "Ich belegte". –  user unknown Sep 23 '13 at 12:38

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

You can say either of a) and b). c) is not used, because in dem is merged to im.

a) is preferred, if you don't want to emphasize, that the course was taken embedded into an atmosphere/environment of spring, but just as an approximate date.

b) would be preferred the other way around.

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3  
I don't feel any difference in meaning between a and b. –  chirlu Sep 22 '13 at 19:13
    
@chirlu There's no essential change in meaning, just verb case (Dat, Akk). –  Kevin Sep 23 '13 at 5:29
    
@Kevin: Agreement. The change in meaning is only a slight one, no essential one. –  Toscho Sep 23 '13 at 16:57

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