After this sentence:

Jeder Spieler darf drei Mal würfeln – nur wenn er eine 6 würfelt, darf er seine erste Spielfigur auf das Spielfeld setzen.

this sentence appears in episode 141 of Slow German:

Würfeln, und dann mit der Figur die Anzahl an Feldern vorrücken.

Since this is a describing a movement to a place it seems to me it should be:

Würfeln, und dann mit der Figur die Anzahl an Felder vorrücken.

Please advise.

2 Answers 2


Anzahl an Feldern is a correct construction of specifying the distance, it is not the target like auf das Spielfeld.

Anzahl can be followed by anything of the following:

  • von or an + substantive in plural form, which specifies the unit of Anzahl
  • a genitive, like die Anzahl der Einwohner.

See also this related question.

  • 1
    I think the main issue is that even thought there is movement, the movement is not onto the board, but on the board. (I'm assuming it's some kind of board game they're talking about.) Die Ziege läuft auf dem Berg. -- There's movement but it all takes place on the mountain. Die Ziege läuft auf den Berg. -- Movement is from not on the mountain to on the mountain.
    – RDBury
    Commented Nov 1, 2020 at 21:49
  • 1
    The vorrücken is irrelevant here. The association between accusatives and directions is only a heuristic, and it only applies to verb complements. This sentence has a prepositional construction (an Feldern), and prepositions have their own completely independent rules about case. Commented Nov 2, 2020 at 6:03

As I do understand the problem here, the Term "Anzahl an Feldern" is basically a typical possessive case, thus "Anzahl Felder" with "Felder" as plural and dropping the (indefinite) article. But now it looks like the plural subjective case due to the missing article!

The common solution is, to replace the possessive case for an objective case which comes by means of a preposition as, "an, von" so the term "Anzahl Felder" turnes into "Anzahl an/von Feldern". That's why...

As German language is floating and always inspired by common people's usage of language & terms, so some other expressions have already reached the new level of a pseudo-subjective form ("Wegen Renovierung geschlossen") whereas in other cases, the recent general usage of Dativ replacing the Genitiv is commonly used ("Vaters Auto > Auto von meinem Vater").

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