Just curious. How would you explain to someone the proper use and appropriate case of Richtung as a directional indicator, in simple terms? whether showing movement or simple location or direction (and how the accusative, dative, or genitive is used for it), and whether des or von or any other article is needed with it?

z.B., in Richtung [des]; in die/der Richtung [von/des], usw.

  • 1
    In a lot of cases, you would not use an article at all: "Folgen sie der Straße zwei Kilometer in Richtung Innenstadt"
    – 0x6d64
    Commented Jan 24, 2012 at 22:27
  • 1
    de.wiktionary.org/wiki/Richtung Commented Jan 24, 2012 at 23:00
  • Da hat ja auch Leo (dict.leo.org/…) schöne Beispiele aber noch ohne Erklärungen. Na, ja. Schönen Dank.
    – Kevin
    Commented Jan 25, 2012 at 6:14
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    @Kevin: This might help.
    – user508
    Commented Jan 26, 2012 at 16:24
  • @Gigili: Thank you for the additional page. :-)
    – Kevin
    Commented Jan 28, 2012 at 7:08

1 Answer 1


"Richtung" is a noun used in the prepositional meaning of a movement or view into a direction. Unlike directional prepositions (nach etc.), it concentrates solely on the act of moving (viewing) and its special direction.

"Richtung" can be preceded by the prepositions "in" (with accusative, to name the destination of the movement) and "aus" (dative, to name the starting point of the movement) and its article "die/der". It has to be followed by a name word, substantive or subordinate clause. In the latter case, "Richtung" keeps its substantive character and must be preceded by its article. If a substantive follows, the article of this can in some cases be omitted.

Some rules for the use of the preposition and article before "Richtung" and the article before a following substantive.

1) If a name word or a substantive used in its general meaning follows, "Richtung" can only be preceded by "in/aus". "In" can be omitted.

Wir kamen aus Richtung München.

Er ging (in) Richtung Autobahn.

2) If the article (or a possesive pronoun) is used to point on a specific substantive, "Richtung" must be preceded by "in/aus", and the article can be inserted. The following substantive has the genitive.

Wir liefen in (die) Richtung des Feuers.

3) if a subordinate clause follows, "Richtung" must be preceded by preposition and article.

Sie sah in die Richtung, aus der die Schreie kamen.

All verbs describing some movement/view of the acting subject or objects used by the subject can be used in connection with "Richtung", like

  • gehen, laufen, wandern, kommen etc.
  • blicken, schauen, sehen; zeigen
  • werfen

"Richtung" emphasizes the movement and its direction. It should not be used if end point of the movement should be integrated in the expression. In this case, "nach", "zu", "in" or other prepositions are the right choice.

Let me know if I should add/clarify things. Please criticize if something is incorrect.

  • Thank you for such detailed information. I can't see anything I would disagree with. It helps to have things written out. I can share this with some people I'm working with. Great work!
    – Kevin
    Commented Jan 28, 2012 at 7:11
  • Thanks. I tried to work it out a little bit, just out of interest. Commented Jan 31, 2012 at 20:17

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