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I'm always confused when to use von, vom or aus in a sentence, such as "Warm greetings from Cape Town", so which do I use in this case?

  • I would use aus in this example but i am not sure if a generilization can be made. aus would also be the word to use to describe where you come from or the material something is made out of. vom is just von dem and von is used in cases as von denen habe ich seit lang nicht mehr gehört (i haven't heard from them in a while). But as my name suggests, i am not a native speaker so let's wait and see what the others say. – Ma0 Nov 30 '16 at 14:45
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    Unfortunately more context is needed for a general answer. In your specific example neither von nor vom is needed: Liebe Grüße aus Kapstadt. – guidot Nov 30 '16 at 14:45
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    german.stackexchange.com/q/10311/1224 — And there are many, many sources on the Internet that covers that topic. – Em1 Nov 30 '16 at 14:52
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    Kaapstad or Kapstadt? – Iris Nov 30 '16 at 16:00
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    In englischen Sätzen würde ich generell nichts von dem benutzen. Grüße aus Berlin. – user unknown Nov 30 '16 at 16:12
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Ev. Kounis' comment is correct:

"Aus" is used when you are "in" something while "von" is used when you are "bei", "über", "auf" ... something.

For male and neutral words with article "von dem" becomes "vom". (There is no short form of "von der", "aus dem" or "aus der".)

City and country names typically have no article and you are "in" a city or "in" a country. Therefore "aus" is correct.

Examples:

Grüße aus England (England is a country and you are in a country.)

Grüße aus dem Mustermannhaus (You are in this house when writing this message.)

Grüße vom Mustermannhaus (You are near this house when writing this message.)

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In addition to Martin Rosenau's answer, I'd like to add:

The fact that you can greet aus locations you are in, would make countries, cities, houses, etc locations you greet aus.

Grüße aus dem Kölner Dom (when you are inside)
Grüße aus England
Grüße aus Kapstadt
Grüße aus dem Haus meiner Großeltern

If you are on or at that place you greet from, you greet von, like islands, sights, etc.:

Grüße vom Kölner Dom (when you are in front of it or on one of the towers)
Grüße von Koh Samui
Grüße vom Kap der guten Hoffnung
Grüße vom Haus(dach) meiner Großeltern

This is just a rough generalization, but it will be a good advice for most cases. Please feel free to add edge cases to the comments for discussion.

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  • Very enlightening Thorsten, you've been a great help to sort out my query. Many Thanks :) – pdesjard Dec 5 '16 at 11:30

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