2

Der Flug fährt ab/aus/von Berlin.

Er kommt ab/aus/von dem Arzt

Which one is correct and why? They all mean from, so what’s the difference?

  • @LibéchtWang: Just to narrow down the possibilities for your search or your re-phrasing: 'ab' belongs to the verb 'abfahren'; -> 'von' means 'from' but needs 'to...' as a counterpart - 'von Berlin' is incomplete; 'aus' means 'from' in a more neutral way 'kommt aus Berlin' although you could also say 'aus Berlin heraus' - Hope that helps! – mramosch Sep 3 '15 at 12:09
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    "Der Flug fährt" is wrong. Do you mean "Der Zug fährt" or "Der Flug geht/startet" or "Das Flugzeug fliegt"? – Iris Sep 4 '15 at 8:14
  • @Iris: Wobei "Der Flug geht ab/von Berlin" wieder geht (wenn der Flughafen endlich fertig ist). :) SPOILER, vulgärer Stoff: "Er kommt aus dem Arzt" geht nur, wenn er ein Furz ist oder ein Rülpser. – user unknown Sep 14 '15 at 0:32
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Er kommt vom Arzt

is correct. Important: "von dem" is shortened to "vom"


"kommen aus (home/ place)", "kommen von (place)" and "kommen ab (time)" have different meanings:

Ich komme aus Berlin.

means that I'm living in Berlin./ I'm born in Berlin.

Ich komme von Berlin.

means that I'm traveling and my last stop was Berlin.

Ich komme ab Samstag.

means that I'll arrive at Saturday/ I'll stay from Saturday.

  • Thanks a lot!I'm clear with von und aus now. But what about ab?Is it only used with "time"? – Libécht Wang Sep 4 '15 at 12:56
  • In the combination with the verb "kommen" ab is only used for times). With "fahren" ab is ok: e.g. Der Zug fährt ab Hauptbahnhof. – Iris Sep 4 '15 at 13:04
  • Here different spatial prepositions are decribed in detail (unfortunately only in German): mein-deutschbuch.de/lernen.php?menu_id=86 – Iris Sep 4 '15 at 13:08
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Ab

Can only be used as part of a verb such as abfahren, abgehen (colloquial) or abfliegen.

Ich fliege ab Berlin.

It doesn’t sound like the best way to phrase it, but it is heard and possible. It would fit better into a sentence such as

Ich fliege morgen ab.

without the Berlin part. You can not use it when going away from people, so it does not work with the doctor.

Other than that, ab is perfectly fine when discussing time (where especially aus won’t work).

Aus

Emphasises the out of aspect more. If you were to come aus dem Arzt then you were somehow stuck in the doctor’s body. That likely only works if you’re a baby, and the sentence should have read aus der Ärztin. It’s not something you would say, though.

You can come aus dem Gebäude or aus der Stadt (aus Berlin); however, the latter won’t necessarily mean that you are leaving the town but rather that you live there/your roots are there.

You could technically fly aus Berlin but it would at least sound weird.

Von

Emphasises that you did not come out of something but just from somewhere close to something. So if you came from the doctor’s, the only idiomatic way to phrase it is

Ich komme vom Arzt.

And for some reason that also works with airports or stations:

Ich fliege von Berlin (nach Helsinki).
Mein Zug fährt vom Hauptbahnhof.
Mein Bus fährt von Berlin (nach Bielefeld Bonn).

As was mentioned, von + dem gives vom.

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