Ich muss es vorm Wochenende machen [DAT]

Two way prepositions are either Dative or Accusative. When they are in dative they express only location or answers the question "where".

The example given above is of dative case however. In the sentence above I do not get the sense of location or answering question "where". I understand that there is no expression of direction involved in sentence in this case. Should I understand that if there is no expression of direction involved in sentence then the preposition should be in dative case in the case of two way preposition?


2 Answers 2


You have to look at the verb driving the action. It all depends on the verb.

Ich muss es vorm Wochenende machen.

Ich muss es vor dem Wochenende machen.

Das Wochenende is a "place in time". Machen is one of those verbs which allows both a place or a direction. Let's take a look at two simpler examples:

Ich muss den Termin vor das Wochenende legen.

"I have to put the appointment in front of the weekend."

Why does it have to be a direction? Because the verb legen requires a direction. That simple.

Der Termin liegt vor dem Wochenende.

"The appointment sits in front of the weekend."

The verb liegen in contrary requires a place.

Back to machen.

Ich muss es vor das Wochenende machen.

That's colloquial speech, and uses machen with a direction. The meaning is the same as with the verb legen.

  • 1
    Das letzte Beispiel (vor das Wochenende machen) finde ich ungrammatisch.
    – David Vogt
    Jan 29, 2019 at 11:06
  • Sagt man hier aber so. Auch gern Ich muss den Termin vor das Wochenende tun.
    – Janka
    Jan 29, 2019 at 11:14
  • 1
    Wo sagt man das so? Wenn der Ausdruck regionaler Herkunft ist, solltest du das ergänzen.
    – David Vogt
    Jan 29, 2019 at 11:15
  • Braunschweig, Harz.
    – Janka
    Jan 29, 2019 at 12:30
  • "Vor dem Wochenende" is an adverbial which works with almost all verbs since it is an indication of time. "Vor das Wochenende" works only for verbs where giving a time as a destination makes sense.
    – RHa
    Jan 29, 2019 at 16:06

The question of location "Wo?" requires a dativ-Object. The time question "Wann?" is equivalent with "Wo" and requires a dative as well. F.e. When...? On Thursday = Am Donnerstag, thus "an" + "dem"[Dativ] + "Donnerstag. "An Weihnachten" = "Zu Weihnachten" etc. A moment in time and a place of location are static conditions whereas directions ("Wohin?") are dynamic ones. Ever since the English language has folded the two kinds (static & dynamic) into one grammar case called objective, their language was greatly simplified but in cases of static places vs. dynamic movings, the confusion is back while the German language clearly holds up these different states by using two different cases.

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