Why is it "Ich kaufe auf dem Markt." and "Ich kaufe in dem Bioladen."? In other words, why should I use "auf" before "Markt" and "in" before "Bioladen"? Because the latter is a building?


1 Answer 1


You can say “Ich kaufe auf dem Markt.” or “Ich kaufe in dem Markt.”. Both is correct German.

Markt can be a marketplace (Marktplatz) or a mart/shopping mall (short for Supermarkt).

If you say “Ich kaufe in dem Markt.” (or Biomarkt, Supermarkt, ...), you go into a building. A Bioladen is just a special shop (health-food shop).

If you say “Ich kaufe auf dem Markt.”, you go to a marketplace to make your shoppings. So you are not inside a building, but on a place.

  • And "in dem" is usually shortened to "im".
    – Iris
    Dec 12, 2016 at 11:44
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    @Iris: Well, unless the sentence is followed by something, as in "Ich kaufe in dem Markt, der direkt am Bahnhof ist." (The fact that you would rarely say "Ich kaufe ..." without specifying what you are buying indicates that the complete sentence should be longer, anyway.) Dec 12, 2016 at 13:18
  • @O. R. Mapper, true, but in the example 'Ich kaufe in dem Markt.' in the question and answer it would be shortened. And I would additionally add an 'ein' from einkaufen.
    – Iris
    Dec 12, 2016 at 13:22
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    @Iris: You're right; when using einkaufen, the sentence sounds more natural again even without indicating what is being purchased. Dec 12, 2016 at 13:23
  • Man sagt auch "ich kaufe auf dem Wertpapiermarkt/Immobilienmarkt/..." ohne dass es den Markt als Räumlichkeit geben muss. Außerdem sagt Bioladen nur etwas über die Produktionsweise der Güter, nichts über eine gesundheitliche Wirkung. Dec 13, 2016 at 1:41

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