Watch out Germans! VON isn’t always FROM!

Translating VON into English

The German word “von” is often directly translated as “from”. However, we sometimes need to use a different word in English.

One phrase that comes up very often in social conversations is “ein Freund von Mir”. Many Germans will say “A friend from me”, which is incorrect. The correct translation is “A friend of mine” or “my friend“.

We use the preposition “of” when we talk about membership in a group.

Some other examples include:

“Ein Freund von Nick” isn’t “A friend from Nick“. Instead, say “A friend of Nick” or “Nick’s friend“.

“Die Freunde von ihm” isn’t “The friends from him“. Instead, say “The friends of his” or “His friends“.

“Die Wohnung von ihre Mutter” isn’t “The apartment from her“. Instead, say “The apartment of her mother” or “Her mother’s apartment“.

“Von” should also be translated as “of” in the following examples:

“Ich habe was davon gehört” isn’t “I have heard from that“. Instead, say “I have heard of that.”

“Sie haben ein Foto von uns gemacht” isn’t “They took a photo from us“. Instead, say “They took a photo of us“.

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