Wir können zwischen uns Deutsch sprechen

Wir können uns _____ Deutsch unterhalten.

Should I use "auf" or "in" here? In English we would use "in" with a language, but here I suspect it would be "auf". Is there any case where we would use "in Deutsch"?


2 Answers 2


Both are possible, but I think, that auf is more common than in. And that's backed by ngram.

  • 1
    Ich empfinde "in" als falsch. Das ngram wird deutlicher, wenn Du den Haken bei case-insensitive setzt.
    – Carsten S
    Commented May 30, 2014 at 20:51
  • Das ngram wird deutlicher. Das stimmt.
    – Toscho
    Commented May 31, 2014 at 8:27

I would go for "auf". "Sich in Sprache X unterhalten" sounds like an awkward machine-translation from English, to be honest.

Another option would be - although it sounds a bit formal - to leave out the prepositions: "Wir können uns deutsch unterhalten." I wouldn't recommend that, though.

  • 2
    "deutsch unterhalten" sounds like "in a German manner", not like "using the German language".
    – Carsten S
    Commented May 31, 2014 at 6:56

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.