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Why is it that there is no article here:

Mein Freund hat um 15 Uhr einem Termin IN Hamburg

While we see one here:

Wo Arbeitet dein Freund ? IN DER Schweiz

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marked as duplicate by PMF, Takkat Jan 16 '14 at 11:31

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What's the difference? You're (correctly) using "in" in both examples. – PMF Jan 16 '14 at 10:48
What I mean, is why it's in der schweiz and not just in Schweiz – Lex Jan 16 '14 at 11:13

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Geographical entities that have a female or male gender are used with the article. The rest usually goes with "nach" and without the neuter "das", nowever, as CarstenSchultz mentioned in a comment, there are exception for which you do have to use the article. Whether or not that is specific to places in Germany, I don't know.

die Schweiz, der Iran, die USA (plural), der Sudan, die Normandie, die Toskana

(das) Deutschland, (das) Frankreich, (das) Hamburg, (das) Kreuzberg (district of Berlin), das Schweden, ...


ins Allgäu, ins Baskenland,...

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"For the neuter places, the article is dropped." seems wrong. I think you want to say that places without article are always neuter. (Allgäu, Siegerland) – Carsten S Mar 15 '14 at 19:45
@CarstenSchultz... very good point!! Danke – Emanuel Mar 15 '14 at 21:42

You should change the question to point out you are confused be the "DER" in "in der Schweiz" This is a problem i never thought of.

You would say "In Holland", too.. but "In Schweiz" is wrong. Locations that are not neutral (gender) require an article (as Emanuel said)

Further Examples are: In den Niederlanden. In den USA. (while these are plurals, i don't know any other examples like Schweiz)

And be careful with islands, as island do not use "in" but "auf" - "Auf den Seychellen", "Auf Madagaskar" etc.

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"in den Kantonen", vielleicht :) – Ingo Jan 16 '14 at 12:31

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