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In sentences

  • Ich bin zu Hause.
  • Ich gehe nach Hause.

why do we use Hause instead of Haus? It is das Haus, isn't it? In addition, why don't we say

  • Ich gehe zum Haus(e).

as the preposition zu binds to dative?

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  • I do not ask about the "e" at the end, but about "zu" instead of "zum" Mar 28 '20 at 11:03
  • You do. Not in the headline, but in the body. Mar 28 '20 at 13:45
  • OK :-) I did ask. But in different meaning, than the suggested answer. Mar 29 '20 at 8:57
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Nowadays, the word Haus has two distinct broad meanings that in English are captured by the words house and home, respectively.

Haus in the sense of house refers to the building. Here, the dative and the accusative case are typically used without -e in contemporary German.

  • Ich bin im Haus.
    (I am in the house.)
  • Ich gehe zum Haus.
    (I walk to the house.)
  • Ich gehe ins Haus.
    (I go into the house.)

Haus(e) in the sense of home refers figuratively to the rooms someone is living in. Here, the -e in dative and accusative case is a remnant from the past.

  • Ich bin zu Haus(e).
    (I am at home.)
  • Ich gehe zu Haus(e) herum.
    (I walk around at home).
  • Ich gehe nach Haus(e).
    (I go home.)

Notice also that the adverb zu Hause can be written as one word: zuhause. Since the Orthogrtaphic Reform 2004/2006 both spellings are equally valid. Nominalizing the adverb results in a noun, Zuhause, that must be capitalized as such:

Sie hat ein neues Zuhause.
(She has a new home.)

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  • 3
    Ich verstehe den Runterwähli bei der Antwort auch nicht. Hier hast du ein Hochwähli. Ich finde deine Antwort korrekt und besser, da es die ursprüngliche Frage eindeutig beantwortet.
    – Niklas E.
    Mar 28 '20 at 15:14
  • 2
    "Runterwähli" ist sehr süß, muss ich mir merken. Ist das dialektal inspiriert? Mar 28 '20 at 16:10
  • Can you also add a bit about the use of Zuhause as a word - I've seen it used to mean "home" in nominative / accusative. (In a phrase like "Ein Tierheim ist ein Ort, wo Tiere leben, die kein Zuhause haben.")
    – Sassa NF
    Mar 28 '20 at 16:13
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    @SassaNF, I added some words about the adverb zuhause and the noun Zuhause. Mar 28 '20 at 16:45
  • 1
    Thanks for the answer. Mar 29 '20 at 8:26
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The word "Hause" is basically a remnant of the past German dialect. In that old Dialect, which you can read in some older Books like Goethes Iphigenie auf Tauris: "O süße Stimme! Vielwillkommener Ton der Muttersprache in einem fremden Lande!". Today you wouldn't say "Lande", you would simply say "Land". Back then it would be normal to say things like "zu Fuße", instead of "zu Fuß" and "zu Pfred(e)" instead of "mit dem Pferd". Somehow this didn't fully change for "zu Hause". although "zu Haus" is definetly used in normal conversation, I belive its still considered an abbreviation in writing. Dont know though.

As for the dative, "Ich gehe zum Hause" would just sound like the "old german" I described above. With that old dialect, it would not be wrong. Today we would say "Ich gehe zum Haus".

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  • Thanks, and what about the dative ? Shouldn't it be zum ? Mar 28 '20 at 10:58
  • @John Ronald I edited the answer Mar 28 '20 at 12:09

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