I wanted to say:

In the evening I go home.

I originally thought "in" would be followed by the accusative, which I found on the internet was correct:

In den Abend gehe ich nach Hause.

But when I was looking at the following article:

as a temporal preposition, “in” can be translated as “in,” where a period of time is implicit. Take note that, as a temporal preposition, “in” is dative:

I then realised it must be:

Im abend gehe ich nach Hause.

However, I found on some pages that "In den Abend" is correct and on others "im Abend" is correct instead.

Which is correct?

2 Answers 2


The preposition in is used with seconds, minutes, hours, weeks, months, and years.

… in der ersten Minute …

… in der zweiten Stunde …

… in der dritten Februarwoche …

… im dritten Monat schwanger …

… im Jahr 1989 …

With other spots in time, you have to use the preposition an:

… am Abend …

… am 14. Februar …

… an Werktagen …

… an den Wochenenden …

Unfortunately, there's an exception. Some directions need in, too:

… bis in den Morgen …

But your question was about dative vs. accusative case. That depends on whether you talk about a place or direction in time:

Ihr Termin liegt in der dritten Februarwoche.

The verb liegen requires a place.

Wir verschieben Ihren Termin in die dritte Februarwoche.

In contrary, the verb verschieben requires a direction.

You example is a bit tricky because the verb gehen can take both a place or a direction. An example with real places:

Am Abend gehe ich am Strand.

Am Abend gehe ich an den Strand.

In time, prefixed verbs as losgehen and weitergehen are preferred:

Die Feier geht am Abend los.

Die Feier geht bis in den Morgen weiter.

  • 1
    what about "In einer Stunde bin ich wieder da" Commented Feb 18, 2019 at 23:58
  • 1
    or "in den Abend hinein"?
    – PiedPiper
    Commented Feb 18, 2019 at 23:59
  • The verb sein as a full verb/copula requires a place.
    – Janka
    Commented Feb 18, 2019 at 23:59
  • I finally understood your remark. You are right, end points and directions for the an places use in, too.
    – Janka
    Commented Feb 19, 2019 at 0:14

None of those are correct. Here are two possibilities

Am Abend gehe ich nach Hause
Abends gehe ich nach Hause

You could use "in den Abend" in a a context like this

Ich habe bis in den Abend hinein gearbeitet (I worked into the evening)

  • Understood now! (an not in) What I wanted to say "In the evening, I went home" would it be then "In den Abend, ging ich nach Hause"? Commented Feb 18, 2019 at 23:52
  • No. "am Abend.." or "abends..."
    – PiedPiper
    Commented Feb 18, 2019 at 23:53

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.