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

Ich steige auf / in die Buslinie ein.

  • 6
    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
    Commented Feb 5, 2015 at 13:23
  • 1
    @Matthias: Sounds like an answer to me - I had just contemplated to write one, but will step down for you.
    – Stephie
    Commented Feb 5, 2015 at 13:26
  • @Stephie Thank you. I will wait for a short while to see whether the OP accepts Em1's edit.
    – Matthias
    Commented Feb 5, 2015 at 13:32
  • @Matthias Stimmt. Hatte beim Editieren nicht so direkt drüber nachgedacht. "Eine Buslinie nehmen" wäre aber natürlich in Ordnung.
    – Em1
    Commented Feb 5, 2015 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
    Commented Feb 5, 2015 at 13:52

2 Answers 2


Definitely and only in die.

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

  • 1
    "auf den Zug aufspringen" ;)
    – Em1
    Commented Feb 5, 2015 at 13:14
  • Ok, this one is an idiom :)
    – Liglo App
    Commented Feb 5, 2015 at 13:15
  • Except you can't really say »in die Buslinie einsteigen«. That sounds more like the bus line is a company and you're investing in it. See the other answer for possible ways to phrase this. Commented May 7, 2021 at 8:03

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) / in die 42 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.

  • 1
    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“
    – user9551
    Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 16:42
  • At least where I live (Nothern Bavaria) one could even say: Ich steige in den 42er, which summarizes a bus servicing line 42.
    – guidot
    Commented May 7, 2021 at 9:05

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.