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What is the the correct preposition in this case? Auf die or in die?

Ich steige auf / in die Buslinie ein.

  • 5
    Strictly speaking: neither. You can "in den Bus" or "in den Bus der Linie 42" (@Em1 maybe he meant that and your edit went into the wrong direction?) or "in den 42er (Bus)" einsteigen - but not "in die Buslinie". And of course not "auf". – Matthias Feb 5 '15 at 13:23
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    @Matthias: Sounds like an answer to me - I had just contemplated to write one, but will step down for you. – Stephie Feb 5 '15 at 13:26
  • @Stephie Thank you. I will wait for a short while to see whether the OP accepts Em1's edit. – Matthias Feb 5 '15 at 13:32
  • @Matthias Stimmt. Hatte beim Editieren nicht so direkt drüber nachgedacht. "Eine Buslinie nehmen" wäre aber natürlich in Ordnung. – Em1 Feb 5 '15 at 13:50
  • @TheyCallMeLuke Note, that Matthias is right that you cannot say "in die Buslinie". You can only get on the bus, not on the 'bus route' / 'bus line'. – Em1 Feb 5 '15 at 13:52
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Definitely and only in die.

Auf die Bahn steigen would be maybe correct, if you think of people travelling on trains' roofs in India :)

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    "auf den Zug aufspringen" ;) – Em1 Feb 5 '15 at 13:14
  • Ok, this one is an idiom :) – Bartłomiej Zalewski Feb 5 '15 at 13:15
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The preposition you want to use is in. But you cannot use it together with Buslinie and einsteigen.

You can say

in den Bus / in den Bus der Linie 42 / in den 42er (Bus) einsteigen

but not in die Buslinie einsteigen. Maybe you had "Bus der Linie X" in mind when writing you question, but it seems like you accepted @Em1's edit.

As @1Darco11 pointed out in the comments, Buslinie is a general word for all busses on the same route so you can not interact directly with a Buslinie. But you can say

Ich nehme die Buslinie (or short: Linie) 42.

if you want to express that you want to take a bus of that line.

There are some vehicles where auf would be the right choice, like an open trailer (Anhänger), but then the verb to use would be aufsteigen.

  • In colloquial German, the name of the bus route may be used as a totum pro parte: „vor mir fährt die Linie 42“ for „vor mir fährt ein Bus der Linie 42“ similar to „hinter mir fährt die Polizei“ for „hinter mir fährt ein Polizeiauto“ – Loong Feb 6 '15 at 16:42

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