Which one is correct? or both correct?

Ich gehe in den Markt

I go to the market


Ich gehe im Markt -
I go inside the market

  • 1
    You will notice how people assume der Markt being a building in your example. That is because open places require the preposition auf rather than in.
    – Janka
    Mar 24 '19 at 17:48
  • Thanks, could you please give the links of pages that provide distinction between these prepositions.
    – Rtg
    Mar 24 '19 at 18:27
  • 1
  • Very useful link,Thanks.
    – Rtg
    Mar 24 '19 at 19:01

Both are correct.

  • Accusative = move to a target, into a direction.

    Ich fahre in die Schweiz.
    I drive to Switzerland.

    This means: I am outside of Switzerland and I am going to cross the border to Switzerland.

  • Dative = move on a spot, inside an area.

    Ich fahre in der Schweiz.
    I drive in Switzerland.

    This means: I am inside of Switzerland and I am not going to cross any border. I am driving around, but I will not leave Switzerland.

And so:

  • Accusative = target, direction

    Ich gehe in den Markt.
    I go to the market.

  • Dative = spot, area

    Ich gehe in dem Markt. = Ich gehe im Markt.
    I walk inside the market.

  • Does it mean, the more appropriate English translation for the dative is, 'walk inside' rather than,'go inside'?
    – Rtg
    Mar 25 '19 at 1:53
  • You could mention that this only works for a small fixed set of prepositions.
    – Carsten S
    Mar 25 '19 at 6:39
  • Could you please elaborate
    – Rtg
    Mar 25 '19 at 7:54

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