What's the difference here - why we use am in one example, and an der in the other?
3related: german.stackexchange.com/questions/33748/…– Carsten SSep 27, 2018 at 10:56
1related: german.stackexchange.com/questions/1933/…– AlexanderSep 27, 2018 at 16:30
4You are wondering why Main is a guy, and Oder is a maid? Well, many people scratch their heads too...– Danubian SailorSep 27, 2018 at 17:41
4Possible duplicate of Gender of German rivers?– problemofficer - n.f. MonicaSep 28, 2018 at 13:15
It is because Main is masculine, while Oder is feminine.
Then, an in this meaning is locative (where is it?), so one should use dative.
Frankfurt am Main = Frankfurt an dem Main (because der Main)
Frankfurt an der Oder (because die Oder)
3Thanks! The "an dem" to "am" part was a bit confusing at first :) Sep 27, 2018 at 8:26
12It is worth to mention, that for an der no condensed form exists, see this question. Therefore the variants look more different than they could in case of regularity.– guidot ♦Sep 27, 2018 at 9:09
4Dialect often has ana.– JankaSep 27, 2018 at 10:10
15I've never seen "ana" in written form. I tend to believe that it is just a slurred form of "an der" and not actually a condensed word.– TomSep 27, 2018 at 11:08
13@Janka If you really want to write this, it would be "an 'er". Sep 27, 2018 at 20:37
Because in German river names have various genders. Some rivers a masculine, some are femine. So it is
and thus "am Main" (= an dem Main) but "an der Oder".
1Question then: Are rivers mostly feminine or mostly masculine? Is there ever a neuter river? Sep 27, 2018 at 11:39
1They are mostly feminine: Die Elbe, die Wolga, die Donau. But exceptions: der Rhein, der Main, der Neckar Sep 27, 2018 at 11:43
8@Wilson According to this article there are 72 rivers with a length of 100 km or more in Germany, and only 8 are masculine: der Rhein, Main, Inn, Neckar, Lech, Kocher, Regen, Rhin. And I don't know a neuter river.– IQVSep 27, 2018 at 11:44
6On the other hand, non-European rivers seem generally to be masculine: der Nil, der Ganges, der Amazonas, der Mississippi, der Jordan, der Euphrat, …– celtschkSep 27, 2018 at 14:18
The declination of "der" and "die" in the case of a Dative case.
"An der" and "Am" are actually Dative (location).
"Am" is, as other mentioned, a composition of "An dem"
So in the masculine case,
the Dative of "der" is "dem"
and in the feminine case, the Dative of "die" is "der" (which is the same article as the masculine nominative)
Sorry, confusing but just the way it is.