Recently I have come across this sentence in my german textbook: "Stellen Sie sich hinter den Stuhl. Der Rücken ist gerade. Wenn Sie hinter dem Stuhl stehen, dann legen Sie die Hände auf den Stuhl.

Gehen Sie jetzt in die knie - der Rücken bleibt gerade und die Hände liegen auf dem Stuhl."

My questions are: why den is used in the first sentence after hinter while dem is used after the same word in the following sentence? I also wonder why auf den Stuhl is used at the end of first paragraph while auf dem Stuhl is used in the second paragraph?

marked as duplicate by Takkat Jan 18 '18 at 9:10

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The difference between these two sentences is that the first one

Stellen Sie sich hinter den Stuhl.

denotes a directed movement. The target position is denoted with the accusative case ("den Stuhl").

In contrast, the second sentence contains a description of a location:

Wenn Sie hinter dem Stuhl stehen, ...

This uses the dative case.

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