In this lesson you’ll learn the different meanings and usage of the Luxembourgish word an. This is a word which is causing some headache to my students. Indeed it is a word which has several different functions in a sentence and you are likely to hear 3 or even 4 “an” in one single sentence:
Ech fueren an enger Stonn an d’Stad an dann huelen ech den Zuch fir an d’Schwäiz. – I’ll go in one hour to the city and then I’ll take the train to Switzerland.
Let’s explain this step by step!
1. an – as a conjunction
means and. A conjunction combines things and has no influence on the word order.
Meng Fra an ech fueren de Weekend op Paräis. – My wife and I will go to Paris on the weekend.
Ech hunn en Hond a meng Schwëster huet eng Kaz. – I have a dog and my sister has a cat.
D’Iesse war gutt a bëlleg. – The meal was good and cheap.
a) an is subject to the N-Rule. So you will often read and hear only “a”!
b) the word order changes if you add after an an adverb such as dann (then) or dono (afterwards):
Ech fueren an enger Stonn an d’Stad an dann huelen ech den Zuch. – I’ll go in one hour to the city and then I’ll take the train.
Watch the video HERE so to practice your pronunciation & comprehension skills!
2. an – as a locative preposition
An is a “two-way preposition“. This means that it takes either the accusative or the dative depending on the clause.
an with dative
means either at or in. An takes dative if you ARE at a place or at a location – using verbs like sinn, hunn, wunnen, schaffen …
Meng Kanner si bis 4 Auer an der Schoul. – My children are at school until 4.00pm.
De Schlëssel ass a menger Posch. – The key is in my bag.
Ech schaffen an enger Apdikt. – I work in a pharmacy.
Meng Elteren wunnen an England. – My parents live in the UK.
am is the contraction of an dem (the definite masculine & neuter article den changes to dem in the dative). Thus, whenever the location / place is masculine or neuter you will have to use am:
Ech sinn am Supermarché (m). – I am at the supermarket.
Et sinn haut vill Leit am Park (m). – There are many people in the park today.
Dat steet am Buch (n). – You can find / read that in the book.
an with accusative
an takes accusative if you move towards a place / location or when place/put something somewhere else, using verbs like goen, fueren, stellen … Then it takes the meaning of to or into.
Meng Kanner ginn um 8 Auer moies an d’Schoul. – My children go to school at 8.00am.
Mir fueren d’nächst Woch an Italien. – We go to Italy next year.
Stell d’Mëllech an de Frigo. – Put the milk into the fridge.
3. an – as a temporal preposition
an can be translated as in, where a period of time is implicit.
Remark: as a temporal preposition, an is ALWAYS dative:
Ech sinn an enger Stonn zeréck. – I’ll be back in one hour.
Wat méchs du am Summer? – What do you do in the summer?
Mir plënneren an engem Mount op Mamer. – We’ll move in one month to Mamer.
Useful Expressions with “an”
an engem Stéck – constantly (non-stop)
an engems – simultaneously (at the same time)
a Gedanke sinn – to be (deep) in thought
no an no – little by little
You can watch the video HERE!
Download the PDF so to practice what you’ve learnt in this lesson!