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Die vier Sonntage vor Weihnachten wird also jeweils eine Kerze angezündet auf einem Adventskranz.

How do you translate this sentence? I know that's passive voice, and the subject is supposed to be 'eine Kerze' but 'Die vier Sonntage' confuses me. Would it be valid to say 'An die vier Sonntage'?

  • Give it a try with An den vier Sonntagen – Ingmar Sep 8 '15 at 8:04
  • Should have noticed the dative there. Well then it makes sense. So are "Die vier Sonntage" and "An den vier Sonntagen" exactly the same? – ZaIROuS Sep 8 '15 at 8:12
  • possible duplicate of Why Akkusativ in "dieses Jahr", "diesen Sommer"? – chirlu Sep 8 '15 at 8:36
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I've heard this way of talking about dates sometimes, but it is rare, and I'm not sure, if it is correct German. (And I'm a German native speaker.) For my feeling of German it sounds wrong, but I can't name you the rules.

If you are learning German, I suggest, that you should not learn this construction. Better use this:

An den vier Sonntagen vor Weihnachten ...

Remember, that the object after the preposition »an« can be in dative or accusative. If it is a place where something is located (or a time where something is happening), then use dative. If it is a target that will be reached, then use accusative.

In this example something is happening at this four sundays, so you must use dative, which means, that the article has to be »den« (plural dative), not »die« (plural accusative).

  • I agree. The position of "auf einem Adventskranz" does also not seem optimal to me. – Carsten S Sep 8 '15 at 11:36
  • @CarstenS: You can discuss about the position. It's unusual at the end, and I wouldn't put it there, but I don't think it's wrong. The really bad think about this sentence is, that it was explicitly written for learners of German: slowgerman.com/2008/12/22/slow-german-041-weihnachten Btw, when talking about »Advent(s)kranz«: If this was Austrian German, there would be no s in the word. It would be: »Adventkranz« – Hubert Schölnast Sep 8 '15 at 12:24
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    I completely agree. – Carsten S Sep 8 '15 at 12:25

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