auf (plural aufs)
- (obsolete) A changeling or elf child; a child left by fairies.
- (obsolete) A deformed or foolish child; a simpleton; an oaf.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Drayton to this entry?)
Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for auf in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)
From Middle High German ūf, from Old High German ūf, from Proto-Germanic *upp. This form with a lengthened vowel is originally Upper German. Central German forms were Middle High German uf and (western) up. Compare Luxembourgish op, Dutch op, English up.
- (with dative) on, upon (positioned at the top of)
- Das Buch liegt auf dem Tisch.
- The book is lying on the table.
- (with accusative) on, onto, up (moving to the top of)
- Ich lege das Buch auf den Tisch.
- I’m putting the book on the table.
- (with dative) in, at; used with certain nouns intead of bei or in
- auf der Kirmes ― at the fun fair
- auf der Post ― at the post office (also: bei der Post)
- (with accusative) to; used with certain nouns instead of zu or in
- auf die Kirmes ― to the fun fair
- auf die Post ― to the post office (also: zur Post)
- (with a language name) in (see usage note below)
- Was heißt das auf Deutsch?
- What’s this in German?
- (archaic or colloquial, regional, northern and western Germany) on (a day; usually of the week)
- Du kannst doch auf (’n) Sonntag nich’ den Rasen mähen!
- You can’t mow the lawn on a Sunday!
- Auf is a Wechselpräposition, meaning that it is used with accusative case when the verb shows movement from one place to another, whereas it is used with dative case when the verb shows location. In idiomatic combinations with verbs the correct case is not always predictable and must be memorised.
- Generally speaking, auf is used when referring to something being on a horizontal surface, as opposed to an, which usually points to a vertical surface.
- Auf is used with language names not preceded by any determiners or adjectives; otherwise in is used. Thus you say something auf Englisch (“in English”), but in gutem Englisch (“in good English”). The phrase auf gutem Englisch may not be entirely ungrammatical, but it is doubtful and at most informally acceptable.
- (on a day): an
- (somewhat informal) open
- Synonym: offen
- Die Tür ist auf. ― The door is open.
- (colloquial) finished; gone (food)
- Synonym: alle
- Hast du deine Suppe auf? ― Have you finished your soup?
- Die Milch is’ auf. ― The milk is gone. (consumed)
- Compare to the latter example the phrase: Die Milch ist aus, which would mean that all the milk has been sold out, e.g. from a supermarket.