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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 nothing ... :( Help!

Kind regards Felicia

  • 5
    While waiting for someone to answer more elaborately, both forms are completely fine to my native ears. – infinitezero Sep 12 '19 at 12:21
  • Similar question in German: german.stackexchange.com/questions/43741/… – mtwde Sep 12 '19 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 '19 at 12:02
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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

vs.

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".

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  • 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). – O. R. Mapper Sep 12 '19 at 19:34
  • Yes of course you are right, I simplified a bit... – Torsten Link Sep 12 '19 at 22:02
3

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 So "Amt" for "post" can be said to be very oldfashioned and outdated.

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  • 2
    The russian language has the word почтамт - Postamt! – Bernhard Döbler Sep 13 '19 at 19:41
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    @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 '19 at 11:56

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