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My sentence is this:

Because of this reason, I have to visit the hospital often with her.

I wrote:

Aus diesem Grund muss ich mit ihr zum Krankenhaus häufig besuchen.

When I used translator, it shows:

Aus diesem Grund muss ich oft mit ihr ins Krankenhaus.

I googled similar sentences and found that there are sentences using ins. As per my understanding, zu = going to / visiting the place and ins = entering the place.

Could someone explain to me, what would be the relevant preposition in this example and why?

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  • I consider this as duplicate of this question.
    – guidot
    May 12 at 9:43
  • But maybe with some more attention to the aspect of the regional in die Schule/zur Schule differences... May 12 at 9:45
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If you want to translate your given sentence word by word, it would be something like this:

Aus diesem Grund, muss ich mit ihr das Krankenhaus oft besuchen.

If you visit something, you don't go into (ins) or to (zu/zum) something. You just visit it. For example visiting a graveyard, or a friend.

But if you go to the hospital, you would say Ich gehe zum Krankenhaus or if you go into the hospital Ich gehe ins Krankenhaus.

Summarized: If you visit something you don't use ins/zum etc..

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  • A word-by-word translation rarely results in a correct sentence because of different grammar and vocabulary. Of course, "Krankenhaus besuchen" is neither used with "zum" nor "ins", but "Krankenhaus besuchen" is not a good translation here. For me as a native speaker, the proposed translation "Aus diesem Grund muss ich oft mit ihr ins Krankenhaus." is much better. In a more formal context I might use "das Krankenhaus aufsuchen". Depending on the context you can even use "zum Krankenhaus" instead of "ins" and imply that you will enter the hospital for getting a medical examination or treatment
    – Bodo
    May 12 at 19:03
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First, keep in mind that there's no direct correspondence between prepositions; you have to look at the exact meaning and figure out which preposition is the best match. (This is true of most words in fact, but prepositions are often particularly tricky in this respect.)

German allows you to drop the main verb when there is a modal verb (such as müssen) and there is a preposition which makes it clear what movement is meant. This is why Aus diesem Grund muss ich oft mit ihr ins Krankenhaus. doesn't appear to have a main verb, even though müssen would normally require one. This isn't allowed in English, even it means using a filler verb like "get".

Note also that you're using "visit" in an unusual way here. Normally you "visit" a person, go to where they live or work, talk to them a while, and then leave. You're not doing this with the hospital; presumably it's someone inside you're actually "visiting". English allows this as another meaning, but you should not assume that these secondary meanings carry over into another language, and even if they do, that it would be the most natural way of expressing the intended meaning. In this case I don't think the meaning does carry over. (There is a secondary meaning of besuchen, but its best translation in English is "attend". So really the meanings of "visit" and besuchen just have a certain amount of overlap; they aren't an exact match.) I don't know the exact context here so it's hard to tell what would be the best verb to use. You could go with a generic kommen or, since it's allowed in this case, drop the verb altogether as the automatic translator has done. (Note, DeepL uses besuchen but I don't think this is correct. DeepL may be thinking you have the main meaning of "visit" in mind, which doesn't make sense to a human but DeepL is just an AI enhanced computer algorithm.)

You also need to think about what you're going to do when you get to the hospital. I assume you're going to go inside and not just stand in the parking lot for a while. So it makes sense to use ins. English allows "to" since the "in" is implied, and especially since "in the hospital" implies you're sick and not just in the building. German, however, seems to prefer you to be more specific. But prepositions are rarely that easy to pin down and there are exceptions. With locations the size of a city or larger you'd normally use nach rather than in: Ich fahre nach London. But an exception to this is exception is any location with an article, in which case you revert back to in: Ich gehe in die Vereinigten Staaten.

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If you are going somewhere like a hospital often, i would think that you are literally going inside, and with another person... I get the sense from it like, you or she is ill or visiting someone there. That's why, in this context, i would use "ins". Additional to the translation: Aus diesem Grund muss ich oft mit ihr ins Krankenhaus (gehen).

But technically you can not visit the hospital, you could visit someone in the hospital, because of that, i would not say in German that "I visit the hospital". Although you can "visit" a museum, it means that you are a visitor of the the museum, not of a person inside.

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  • Yes, I wrote it in the sense of visting often hospital with her because she is ill. Jun 13 at 12:01

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