In the exercise book I've met the following sentence:

Das ovale Gesicht passt zu Bild A.

Question: Why "Bild" doesn't have any article here? To find examples just google for "zu Bild A".

  • 1
    You could consider "Bild A" a name. Names don't normally come with articles.
    – tofro
    Commented Jun 29, 2017 at 8:02
  • 2
    That's BTW the same in English.
    – tofro
    Commented Jun 29, 2017 at 8:30

2 Answers 2


If a noun is followed by a cardinal number or letter (or combination thereof), there is often no definite article in front of the construction. This holds in particular for printed material or other media:

  • zu Bild A
  • in Kapitel 5
  • in Anhang B/2
  • auf Seite 25
  • in Folge 7
  • in Akt III
  • wegen Theorem 3.5

Omitting the article is not a hard and fast rule, however. For instance, you can find both

  • in Haus (Nr.) 10
  • in Abteilung 3


  • im [= in dem] Haus (Nr.) 10
  • in der Abteilung 3

and the version with article even seems to be more common.

Note the difference between cardinal numbers on the one side and titles or ordinal numbers on the other side: While there is usually no article in

  • in Kapitel 5

the article is mandatory in

  • im [= in dem] fünften Kapitel
  • im [= in dem] Kapitel "Adjektive und Adverbien"
  • Didn't you mean to say the version without article seems to be more common?
    – RHa
    Commented Jun 29, 2017 at 9:56
  • @RHa no. The version with article has in fact more Google hits. (I was also surprised.)
    – Uwe
    Commented Jun 29, 2017 at 9:59

Either Bild A is already uniquely defined, then dem (definite article) is not necessary and einem (indefinite articel) is simply wrong, since there is only one.

Or there are several Bild A, then a typical construction would be

.. dem Bild A, das auf Seite 7 steht.

The article is also likely to be merged with the zu, giving zum.

  • 1
    Either Bild A is already uniquely defined, then dem (definite article) is not necessary What about die Sonne, die Erde, die Zahl 3, der höchste Berg der Welt, die Gattung Rattus, der Eiffelturm?
    – sgf
    Commented Jun 29, 2017 at 9:53

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