I was given the following two sentences to consider.

  1. Dies ist eine der ersten Einrichtungen, in die Kinder kommen.
  2. Kinder kommen nach dem Kindergarten in diese Schule.

The first sentence I managed to work out to say This is one of the first facilities where children go.

However, the use of the preposition in confused me.

In the second example, I managed to work it out as Children go after Kindergarten to these schools.

Why is the preposition in different for both examples

  • 4
    There is almost never a single 1-to-1 translation for any word in any language. Especially for such versatile words as prepositions. So the answer would be "because it's the way the German works".
    – Eller
    Jan 15, 2019 at 23:29
  • What @Eller sais. And: A more literal translation could be "This is one of the first facilities in which children come". Not sure, whether this could be correct in english, though...
    – Jonathan Herrera
    Jan 15, 2019 at 23:47
  • 1
    It isn't different. "...where children go" is simply an idiomatic alternative expression for the clumsier "...to which children go". So in this context, in + institution corresponds to "to", plain and simple. Jan 16, 2019 at 7:07

1 Answer 1


Kinder kommen nach dem Kindergarten in diese Schule.

This is a pretty straightforward use of a prepositional object giving a direction, as suggested (not strictly required) by the verb kommen. Nach dem Kindergarten in contary is an adverbial of time, because it's an addition not tightly connected to the verb kommen in particular.

Dies ist eine der ersten Einrichtungen, in die Kinder kommen.

This is way trickier. The word die doesn't belong to Kinder, instead, it's a backreference to Einrichtungen. Kinder has no article here, it's "children as a kind". With article for Kinder:

Dies ist eine der ersten Einrichtungen, in die die Kinder kommen.

You may replace the first die with the relative pronoun welcher/welche/welches:

Dies ist eine der ersten Einrichtungen, in welche (die) Kinder kommen.

This construction preposition+relative pronoun (or article as a relative pronoun) to my knowledge is possible in English, too. But it seems to be bad style, English speakers seem to prefer a passive participle construction as this one:

This is one of the first instititutions attended by children.

While this is certainly possible in German, too,

Dies ist eine der ersten von Kindern besuchten Einrichtungen.

it sounds pretty "technical" in German. People don't talk like that and only write like that if they want to sound distant. The natural way in German is the relative clause lead by a preposition+article as a relative pronoun.

  • 1
    In the sentence after trickier I would replace article by something more neutral (since it is a relative pronoun) to avoid confusion with the grammatical article.
    – guidot
    Jan 16, 2019 at 8:34
  • I've edited my answer.
    – Janka
    Jan 16, 2019 at 19:18

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