How to say these sentence in German. I’m using example of Rossmann for the name of shop. Does the translation changes with name of shop?

I’m in Rossmann. Ich bin bei Rossmann. (Wo)

I buy it from Rossmann. Ich kaufe es bei Rossmann. (Bei/von wem)

I’m going to Rossmann. Ich gehe zu Rossmann. (Wohin)

I’m coming from Rossmann. Ich komme von Rossmann.(Woher)


3 Answers 3


I’ll use different names of shops with different grammatical genders:

  • Der Baumarkt is male.
  • Die Buchhandlung is female.
  • Das Schuhgeschäft ist neuter.
  • Rossmann is male, but since it is a person’s name you normally don’t use an article for it. But in case of a shop it is often unclear, if the name refers to the shop itself (which is not a person) or to it’s owner or fonder (who is a person). So in case of shop-names you are often free about the usage of articles.

If you are inside a shop you use »in« (+ article if it is not named after a person) (remember: preposition »in« + article »dem« = preposition with included article »im«):

Ich bin im Baumarkt.
Ich bin in der Buchhandlung.
Ich bin im Schuhgeschäft.
Ich bin im Rossmann. (here you use the hidden article dem because it is clear that the thing where you are inside is not a person, but a shop)
wrong: Ich bin in Rossmann. (»in« without article would mean, that you are inside a person, not inside a shop)

If you are not inside, but close to a shop you use »bei« + article (remember: bei + dem = beim):

Ich bin beim Baumarkt.
Ich bin bei der Buchhandlung.
Ich bin beim Schuhgeschäft.
Ich bin bei Rossmann. (you can omit the article here)
Ich bin beim Rossmann. (but it is allowed)

But you can use bei also if you are inside the shop. This is correct too and very common.

If you buy something at a shop (a shop is not a person), you also use bei or in. But if you buy it from someone (i.e. a person), you say von:

Ich kaufe es beim Baumarkt.
Ich kaufe es bei der Buchhandlung.
Ich kaufe es beim Schuhgeschäft.
Ich kaufe es bei/beim Rossmann.

Ich kaufe es im Baumarkt.
Ich kaufe es in der Buchhandlung.
Ich kaufe es im Schuhgeschäft.
Ich kaufe es im Rossmann. (not »in«!)

Ich kaufe es von Herrn Meier. (Herr Meier is masculine)
Ich kaufe es von Frau Müller. (Frau Müller is feminine)
Ich kaufe es von dem Mädchen. (Das Mädchen is neuter; since »Mädchen« is not a name you need an article)

If you are going to a shop, you use zu + Article (zu + dem = zum; zu + der = zur):

Ich gehe zum Baumarkt.
Ich gehe zur Buchhandlung.
Ich gehe zum Schuhgeschäft.
Ich gehe zu Rossmann. (No Articles for names)
Ich gehe zum Rossmann. (But Articles can also be used in this case)

If you are coming from a shop, you use von + Article (von + dem = vom):

Ich komme vom Baumarkt.
Ich komme von der Buchhandlung.
Ich komme vom Schuhgeschäft.
Ich komme von Rossmann. (no Article)
Ich komme vom Rossmann. (with Article)

  • 1
    ‘So in case of shop-names you are often free about the usage of articles.’ How true: Examples: Edeka usually takes masculine/neuter (indistinguishable to me atm), even though it ends in a and stands for a Einkaufsgenossenschaft (feminine). Norma, on the other hand, allows both im Norma and in der Norma.
    – Jan
    Sep 26, 2015 at 23:22
  • 2
    @Jan: In Österreich gibt es eine Buchhandelskette die nach der Muse der komischen Dichtkunst benannt ist: Thalia. Und obwohl Thalia eindeutig weiblich ist, hat das Buchgeschäft einen männlichen Artikel: Der Thalia (»Ich gehe zum Thalia«). Die Marketingabteilung von Thalia vermeidet es selbst tunlichst, einen Artikel zu verwenden (Aus der Werbung: »Wie findest du das?« - »Bei Thalia«) Sep 27, 2015 at 8:06
  • 2
    @Jan: Ich gehe zu Edeka, weder zum Edeka, noch zur Edeka. Sep 27, 2015 at 12:26
  • Und ich gehe auch zu Thalia. Gibt es wirklich Leute, die zum Thalia gehen?
    – Iris
    Dec 5, 2016 at 10:28
  • @Iris: Ja, meine Frau beispielsweise. Dec 5, 2016 at 18:51

Instead of discussing the details, here is how it all makes sense and is hard to forget:

  1. If the word you use to refer to a shop is an established word for some physical thing or ends in one (Laden, Geschäft, …handlung, Markt), then normally the prepositions are selected based on what makes sense for a house (even in the case of Markt, which on its own gets different prepositions suitable for a market square), and the gender according to that word.
  2. Otherwise, the prepositions (and lack of definite article) are based on the fiction or reality that the shop’s name is the name of the founder/owner and the fiction that you are visiting the founder/owner for tea or a chat and then buy some things on the side while you are there.

There are no clear rules for selecting between the two metaphors. 2 is so common that it can almost be considered the regular case. It is certainly often generalised to typical 1 cases. On the other hand, when the context is rather concrete and physical, 1 is often used instead of 2.

Some corollaries:

  • Using the definite article is normal in case 1. It is colloquial if not vulgar (depending on the region) w.r.t. persons, and so the same applies to shops in case 2.
  • You are and buy 1. in, 2. bei the shop.
  • You go 1. in/zu, 2. zu the shop.
  • You come 1. aus/von 2. von the shop.

My answers below might not be grammatically correct and they might not be “correct” with respect to the dialect spoken in different parts of Germany.

I’m in Rossmann.

Ich bin gerade beim Rossmann/Aldi or Ich bin im Rossmann

I buy it from Rossmann.

Ich kaufe es bei Rossmann/Aldi but Ich kaufe es im Aldi (for some reason »Ich kaufe es im Rossmann« sounds strange to me)

I’m going to Rossmann.

Ich gehe zu(m) Rossmann you might also hear Ich gehe bei Rossmann/Aldi but I would not recommend that.

I’m coming from Rossmann.

Ich komme vom Rossmann but Ich komme von Ikea

I am not sure if this answers your question actually because when I think about it, it seems one has to learn it for every shop there is, because for certain shops we speak of as if it would be the butcher or baker.

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