What is the difference between "bereits" and "schon"? When would you say "Er ist bereits da" rather than "Er ist schon da"?
Overall, they're pretty much interchangable, with some exceptions. 'schon' can imply an element of surprise. 'Er ist schon da?' - 'Huh, he's already there?'. 'Bereits' is prefered in more formal context, as far as I can tell. 'Wie ich bereits erwähnte' versus 'Wie schon gesagt'. Both of your translations are fine, here, and would mean the same.
Yeah, sort of, sort of not. Say in a group of 3 people, man A says to man C "Er ist schon da" and man B may say is surprise "Er ist schon da?!?!?". If you get what I mean. "Ist er schon da?!?!" would also be correct. Not sure why, it's just what I'd say.
Either is correct, depending on the situation: "Er ist schon da?" Is used when his arrival is unexpectedly early; "ist er schon da?" Is posed as an inquiry; they're equivalent to "he has arrived already? " and "has he arrived yet? "
I know this is a simple question but please can someone tell me when to use da and when to use dort?
Smashing! Now I can think of DORTmund as being far away from me - as it is for most of us - and I have a mnemonic. Thanks.
Here's a good explanation, too: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090526204407AAyeeWm
Many thanks Patricia, I've been searching for this answer - even my German teacher didn't know (he's English)!