The Luxembourgish preposition mat is a common preposition and it is hard to speak without using it in a conversation. But almost all my students are struggling with mat when using it in a sentence.
Well, because mat is a preposition which requires to always use the dative case. That is, it is followed by a noun or takes an object in the dative case.
Take for example the following two phrases. Which one do you think is correct?
1 Hatt geet mat Sandra akafen. She goes shopping with Sandra.
2 Hatt geet mam Sandra akafen. She goes shopping with Sandra.
To know the correct answer, you should learn:
A) that in Luxembourgish we use an definite article before the first name of people, this means we use the masculine definite article den before a masculine name e.g. den David and the neuter definite article d’ before a female name, e.g. d’Anne (yes, female names are neuter!).
Now the Luxembourgish Articles change in the dative case. Check the Luxembourgish Articles in this lesson.
The Definite, Indefinite & Possessive Articles in the Dative Case
Masculine Feminine Neuter Plural
Definite article dem der dem den
Indefinite article engem enger engem –
Possessive (ech) mengem menger mengem mengen
B) the dative preposition mat can contract: combined with the definite articles masculine and neuter – dem – it forms a contracted short form: mam. mam is the contracted short form of mat dem which means with the.
Now let’s come back to our 2 phrases. Hopefully you understand now why phrase 2 is the correct one.
As we have the preposition mat we have to use the dative definite neuter article dem before Sandra, i.e. mat dem Sandra which contracts to mam Sandra.
And don’t forget to use as well the personal pronouns in the dative case with the preposition mat.
Learn prepositions as part of a prepositional phrase. This is similar to learning nouns with their genders, as I also recommend.
For example, memorizing group of words such as mat menge Kanner (with my kids) or mat hinnen (with them) sets the combination in your mind AND reminds you that mat takes a dative object (menge Kanner, hinnen). This method can help move you towards an increased level of a feeling for the Luxembourgish language.
Simply learn in chunks, i.e. in group of words that always go togethter. A good example is a chunk such as mam Auto (by car), mam Bus (by bus).
Example Sentences with MAT
- Mäi Mann geet samschdes mat engem Frënd (masc.) an d’Schwämm. My husband goes to the swimming pool with a friend on Saturdays.
- Ech schwätzen ëmmer mat der Nopesch (fem.) iwwer d’Wieder. I always talk about the weather with the neighbour.
- De Weekend fueren ech oft mat menge Kanner (plural) Vëlo. At the weekend I often cycle with my kids.
- Hien ass mam Meedchen (neuter) bei den Dokter gaang. He went to the docter with the girl.
- Gees du den Owend mat mir (pronoun) an den Theater? Are you going to the theater with me this evening.
I hope that this lesson helped you a lot in your learning journey!
Complete the sentences with the preposition mat & correct article
- Ech fuere ____________________ (with my) Famill op Paräis.
- Meng Eltere ginn dëst Joer _______________ (with us) an d’Vakanz.
- Mäi Mann spillt mat ________________ (with a) Frënd samschdes Tennis.
Check the solution by downloading the PDF and practice with MORE sentences to translate !
I hope you liked it and found it useful. And …. why not sharing this lesson with your friends:-)
If your Sproochentest is coming up, remember that I offer conversation classes for those of you who intend to take the language test to acquire Luxembourgish nationality. In these classes we are going to focus on the oral expression. You will acquire the necessary vocabulary so to be able to talk with confidence about the most frequently asked topics of the Sproochentest’s Oral Exam.