I would like to aks about the word "die Post".

I would write:

Ich bin auf der Post.

Ich komme von der Post.

Because I thought, dass this is an institution.

But now I have heared from one native speaker that it is no more an institution and you should say: "Ich bin in der Post" und "Ich komme aus der Post".

Now, I don't know anything.

  • 5
    While waiting for someone to answer more elaborately, both forms are completely fine to my native ears. Sep 12, 2019 at 12:21
  • Similar question in German: german.stackexchange.com/questions/43741/…
    – mtwde
    Sep 12, 2019 at 12:30
  • Sind das überhaupt noch Beamte, die da auf der Post arbeiten? Von daher kann man vielleicht nicht mehr wirklich vom Amt sprechen.
    – äüö
    Sep 19, 2019 at 12:02

2 Answers 2


Both are absolutely valid with just a slight different meaning.

Using "auf der Post" or "von der Post" takes Post as an institution same as "Amt" in your question.

Using "in der Post" or "aus der Post" takes Post as the building where the institution is seated.

To take your example with "Amt" it would be something like:

Ich bin auf dem Amt. Ich komme vom Amt


Ich bin im Rathaus. Ich komme aus dem Rathaus

The only difference: "Post" happens to be both, institution and building whereas for the institution "Amt" there is a specialised word for the building aka "Rathaus".

  • 1
    I don't quite understand your final remark about "Rathaus", which is both a building and an institution, as well. "Ich bin auf dem Rathaus." is just as common. And for what it's worth, the same can be said about "Amt" (and any more specific type of "Amt", as well). Sep 12, 2019 at 19:34
  • Yes of course you are right, I simplified a bit...
    – Tode
    Sep 12, 2019 at 22:02

Years ago the post was a public institution in Germany, so the term "Amt" could be applied. It was even common to request an "Amt" in a company, meaning to request a phone line to outside (the German post also was the phone company until the 1980s). So "Amt" for "post" can be said to be very oldfashioned and outdated.

  • 2
    The russian language has the word почтамт - Postamt! Sep 13, 2019 at 19:41
  • 1
    @BernhardDöbler Wow, thanks for the insight. I know that word in Russian, but it never occured to me to compare it with Amt. They also have главпочтамт, Hauptpostamt, which is probably where this borrowing (has) survived longer.
    – Dan
    Sep 14, 2019 at 11:56

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.