Learn when to use zënter, no, virun, bis, um in Luxembourgish

When talking about the time in Luxembourgish, it can become tricky to know which preposition (no, virun, um, zënter …) to use. And in this lesson I will help you with sample sentences how  to use these  prepositions correctly so that you get more fluent in conversations. If you haven’t read my previous lesson about the time I recommend to do so before reading this lesson.

So, let’s start!

Only use these prepositions before Auer (o’clock):

no, viru(n), um, géint, bis, vu(n) … bis, tëscht …. a(n), säit / zënter

after, before, at, around, until, from … to, between … and, since / for

Examples:

De Film fänkt no 6 Auer un. The film begins after after 6 o’clock.
De Film fänkt viru 6 Auer un. The film begins before 6 o’clock.
Ech kommen den Owend um 6 Auer heem. I’m coming home at 6 o’clock this evening.
Ech kommen haut géint 6 Auer heem. Today, I’m coming home around 6 o’clock.
Ech schaffen haut bis 6 Auer. Today, I’m working until 6 o’clock.
D’Apdikt ass vun 8 Auer moies bis 6 Auer owes op. The pharmacy is open from 8 am to 6 pm.
D’Apdikt ass tëscht 12 an 1 Auer mëttes zou. The pharmacy is closed between 12 and 1 pm.
Ech waarden schonn zënter/ säit 10 Auer op dech! I have been waiting since 10 o’clock for you!

Listen to the podcast of this lesson or watch the video presentation to improve your  listening skills.

Other uses of these prepositions:

 no 

translates into afterNo is a preposition which requires the dative case.

Use no + noun (following an event)

No enger Stonn war ech scho mam Test fäerdeg. I finished the test already  after one hour.
Nom (no dem) Iessen halen ech oft en Tomp. After the meal (lunch or dinner), I often take a nap.
No engem Mount, war mäi Papp nees op de Been. After one month, my father was healthy again. 

Don’t confuse dono and noDono always comes with a verb:

Ech iessen haut um 12 Auer an dono ginn ech nach akafen. I’m going to eat at noon today and afterwards I go shopping.

virun 

translates into before / ago. When virun is used before a measurement of past time (ago) it requires the dative case:

Ech si virun enger Stonn heemkomm. I came home one hour ago.
Ech hunn hatt virun engem Joer fir d’lescht gesinn. I saw her for the last time one year ago.

Never end a sentence with virun. Instead use virdrun.

Don’t confuse virun and virdrunVirdrun always comes with a verb.

Virdrun hunn ech vill Sport gemaach. In the past I did a lot of sports.
Dat war virdrun. That was in the past.

vun … bis

meaning  from ….. toVun is a preposition which requires the dative case.

Use vun … bis as a marker of time

Ech hu vun 2000 bis 2005 an England gewunnt. I lived in England from 2000 to 2005.
Ech gi vum (vun dem) 1. bis de 15. Abrëll an d’Vakanz. I’m going from 1st of April to the 15th on holidays.

säit / zënter

both meaning since and for. In Luxembourgish we use as well säit / zënter  when talking

  • about a period of time: Ech wunnen hei zu Lëtzebuerg säit / zënter 6 Joer. I have been living here for 6 years.
  •  from a certain point in time until now: Ech wunnen zu Lëtzebeurg säit / zënter 2012. I have been living here since 2012. 

Other prepositions of time:

während

meaning  during / whileWährend is a preposition which requires the dative case.

Use während + noun

Während dem Film hunn ech gutt gelaacht.  I laughed a lot during the movie.

vun ….un

meaning  from / as of. Vun … un is used to show the time or date something begins.

Vun 18 Auer un sinn ech am Congé. I am on leave as of 6pm. 
Vu muer un ginn ech 3 mol d’Woch lafen. I am going to run 3 times a week as of tomorrow.

an

An translates to in / after a certain time. Then it is used in the dative case :

An enger Stonn fuere mer fort. We are going to leave in one hour. 
An engem Mount ass et Wanter. It will be winter in a month.
Am (an dem) Hierscht reent et vill. In automn it rains a lot.

This is of course not an exhaustive list of time prepositions in Luxembourgish but the most commonly used in spoken Luxembourgish.

And of course if you want to improve your oral expression, just get in touch and email me at anne@glift.lu I would love to help you with your oral skills as well as with your pronunciation skills. Check as well my courses I offer.


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