A number of Dutch prepositions can also occur at the end of the noun (group) they accompany, instead of at the beginning. This is normally the case when the preposition in combination with the verb indicates a direction. Typical postpositions are: af, in, langs, op, uit. The difference in meaning between pre-and postposition becomes clear in the following examples:
|We liepen de stad in om iets te gaan drinken.||We walked into town to go for a drink.||Here the difference is expressed by the different English prepositions into and in.|
|We liepen in de stad en gingen iets drinken.||We were walking in town and went for a drink.|
|De politieagent liep de omstanders langs en stelde vragen over het ongeluk.||The police officer walked among the bystanders asking questions about the accident.||The bystanders are treated individually. The walking around and asking questions are going on simultaneously.|
|De politieagent liep langs de omstanders en stelde het slachtoffer een paar vragen.||The police officer walked past the bystanders and asked the victim a few questions.||The bystanders, they are treated as a group. Walking past the bystanders and asking questions are happening consecutively.|
|We bezochten een kasteel en gingen trap op en trap af om alle zalen te bekijken.||We visited a castle and went up and down the stairs to look at all the rooms.|
|Jaar in jaar uit.
||Year after year.|