What's the difference between ins and im? They both translate to in the. I'm thinking ins is more a reference to place but I'm not sure when to use im.


2 Answers 2


im is short for in dem and is used with dative case for masculine and neuter singular nouns. (The feminine singular equivalent would be "in der", plural would be "in den".) im is often (but not only) used to specify a location (Wo?/Where?). For example: Ich schlafe im Hotel. (I sleep in the hotel.)

ins is short for in das and is used with accusative case for neuter singular nouns. (The masculine sing. equivalent would be "in den", feminine sing. would be "in die", plural would be "in die"). ins is used together with verbs of motion to specify a destination, and could be translated as "into" in English, for example: "Ich gehe ins Hotel."

  • Exactly, case is the keyword here.
    – thz
    Commented Oct 19, 2017 at 19:46

The German preposition in can mean in or into in English

in + accusative means into

in + dative means in

ins is a contraction of in das, and im a contraction of in dem, so we have:

ins Haus (=in das Haus) - into the house


im Haus (=in dem Haus) - in the house

For those prepositions that can take either the accusative or dative, the accusative case is usually used where there is a sense of movement or change of state, and the dative in a static sense

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