Locative Adverbs

General Info

  • Locative Adverbs give information about a location.
  • You ask for them with the questions Wo? Wohin? Woher?

Preposition or Adverb

When answering the questions Wo?, Wohin?, Woher?, you can use either a Preposition + Noun or an Adverb.

  • Wo ist dein Vater?“   – „Im Keller!“
  • Wo ist dein Vater?“   – „Unten!“
  • Wohin geht dein Vater?“   – „In den Keller!“
  • Wohin geht dein Vater?“   – „Nach unten!“
  • Woher kommt dein Vater?“   – „Aus dem Keller!“
  • Woher kommt dein Vater?“   – „Von unten!“

The difference between using a Preposition and an Adverb?

  • Wo ist dein Vater?“   – „Im Keller!“
  • Wo ist dein Vater?“   – „Unten!“

With a Preposition + Noun, we explain a Specific, Unchangeable location.

„im Keller“ ⇒  nowhere else

With an Adverb, we explain a Non-specific, Subjective place that depends on the speaker's point of view.

Unten!“ ⇒  Das kann überall unten sein, nicht zwingend der Keller.

Example: Wo?

  • Draußen regnet es.“
  • Drinnen ist es schön warm.“
  • „Papa, da ist Oma!“
  • Überall liegt Müll.“

Other Adverbs answering the question Wo?: rechts, links, oben, unten, drüben, hier, dort, hinten, vorn, irgendwo, innen, außen, nebenan, nirgends

Example: Wohin? / Woher?

For info about the use of „hin“ / „her“, „raus“ / „rein“und „rauf“/“runter“, see the L3 Extra section.

lokale Adverbien Wohin Woher 2

Recommendation: Local Prepositions

You can always answer the questions Wo?, Woher? and Wohin? with local prepositions! You must not confuse local adverbs with local prepositions. You can find everything about local prepositions here: Local Prepositions


  • One can answer the questions Wo, Woher and Wohin? with Local Prepositions and Local Adverbs.
  • Prepositions always indicate a specific place and adverbs describe a subjective place from the speaker's point of view..

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