I saw this usage:

Wo?: bei Freunden
Woher?: von Freunden
Wohin?: zu Freunden

But as i understand this topic, we should use also artikel. Like this:

Wo?: bei den Freunden
Woher?: von den Freunden
Wohin?: zu den Freunden

Is the second one correct or only the first one?

  • 1
    Whether or not to use the article depends on what exactly you want to say.
    – RHa
    Commented Mar 8, 2021 at 7:46
  • Can you give an example? Commented Mar 8, 2021 at 8:01

1 Answer 1


"Bei Freunden" is the plural of "bei einem Freund", with the indefinite article. You use it when you're not defining these friends further; all that matters for what you're saying is that they're friends.

Ich habe in Berlin bei Freunden übernachtet.

"Bei den Freunden" is the plural of "bei dem Freund" (or "beim Freund"), with the definite article. You basically use it when you're talking about friends who were mentioned before or are well-known to the person you're talking to, or you're defining them further:

A: Ich habe in Berlin bei Freunden übernachtet.
B: Bei wem denn?
A: Bei den Freunden, mit denen ich vor zwei Jahren in China war.

Weißt du noch, wie wir letztes Jahr in Berlin waren? Ich war letzte Woche wieder da, und ich habe wieder bei den Freunden übernachtet.

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