Understanding German Local Adverbs: Hierher, Hierhin, Dorthin, Dahin, and Beyond

Welcome to our friendly guide on German local adverbs! If you’ve ever felt a bit lost trying to figure out when to use words like “hierher,” “hierhin,” “dorthin,” and “dahin,” you’re not alone. These small but mighty words might seem tricky at first, but we’re here to make things easier for you.

In this article, we’ll break down the differences between these common German directional adverbs. Whether you’re talking about where you are, where you’re going, or where something came from, you’ll have the right adverb ready to go.

Let’s dive in and make these local adverbs a breeze to use! By the end of this guide, you’ll be using them like a pro in your daily German conversations!

hierher and hierhin (to here)

Both “hierher” and “hierhin” mean “to here. They can be used interchangeably.

  • Use “hierher” to indicate movement towards the speaker’s location. → Komm hierher! (Come here!)
  • Use “hierhin” in similar contexts but with slightly less emphasis on the direction. → Setz dich hierhin! (Sit down here!)

dahin and dorthin (to there)

Both “dahin” and “dorthin” mean “to there”. They can be used interchangeably.

  • “Dahin” indicates movement to a location away from the speaker. → Leg das Buch dahin. (Put the book there.)
  • “Dorthin” also indicates movement to a location away from the speaker but a bit further away than when using “dahin”. → Ich gehe dorthin. (I am going there.)

daher and dorther (from there, from that direction)

“Daher” and “dorther” mean “from there” or “from that direction.” They can be used interchangeably.

  • Use “daher” to talk about where you just came from or your origin. → Ich komme daher. (I come from there.)
  • “Dorther” is used in the same way, but usually when the point of origin is slighty further away. → Ich komme dorther. (I come from there.) Ich kenne ihn dorther. (I know him from there.)
  • You can also use “daher” to indicate the cause of something. → Ich bin krank, daher bleibe ich heute zu Hause. (I am sick, that’s why I am staying home today.)

wohin (where to)

“Wohin” means “where to” and is used to ask about the direction or destination.

  • Use “wohin” when inquiring about where someone is going. → Wohin gehst du? (Where are you going?)
  • You can also use it as a relative pronoun. → Ich weiß nicht, wohin er gegangen ist. (I don’t know where he went.)

woher (from where)

“Woher” means “from where” and is used to ask about the origin or source.

  • Use “woher” when inquiring about the starting point of movement or origin. → Woher kommst du? (Where do you come from?)
  • You can also use it as a relative pronoun. → Ich bin mir nicht sicher, woher das Geräusch kam. (I am not sure where the noise came from.)


To summarize, these local adverbs help indicate direction and origin in various contexts:

  • hierher/hierhin: to here
  • dorthin/dahin: to there
  • daher/dorther: from there
  • wohin: where to
  • woher: from where

Now that you know the differences, you’ll be able to use these local adverbs with confidence in your German conversations. Happy learning!

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