da vs weil
Hi everyone. While playing on a Minecraft server in German the text chat said to me 'Du kannst Kepling nicht zur Party einladen, da er nicht online ist!' It's an English server so I don't know if this is a mistake but if not is there any difference between da or weil?
weil has da for a synonym -- well, mostly. Whereas it does not work the other way round (da has more meanings, for instance it is synonymous to dort).
But one addition why in spoken German even the causative da and weil are not 100% interchangeable: At times you may come across spoken constructions which do not take the traditional word order into account with weil:
(1) Ich spiele. Weil ich habe keinen Bock, Hausaufgaben zu machen.
Many people consider this incorrect, but nevertheless you will hear it a lot. The correct version would be:
(2) Ich spiele. Weil ich keinen Bock habe, Hausaufgaben zu machen.
What you will never ever hear anyone say, though, is the semi-correct version started by a da instead:
(3) * Ich spiele. Da ich habe keinen Bock, Hausaufgaben zu machen.
This is the only difference in use, I think. And if you want to avoid da or weil or denn (see the other post above) altogether, you can make it a dass construction: just replace it by aus dem Grund(e), dass. You only need to remember the dass-clause word order then:
(4) Aus dem Grunde, dass er sich weil nicht merken konnte, fand bei ihm eine Alternative Verwendung.
As far as I can tell, there is no language whose native speakers use perfect grammar all the time.
I hear speakers of English say things like 'Chuck us that' (utilises a plural pronoun instead of 'me'); 'Where [are] you at?' (ends in a preposition and I often see it without the requisite verb); 'But I don't want to' (begins with a conjunction, ends in a preposition); 'None of my classmates are helpful' (collective plural using the incorrect verb form -- so common that it actually sounds wrong to use the word 'is' here); 'I can't get none' (slightly less common but still, one hell of a double negative); and 'I've got to head off' (there's no actual object that you've 'got' here, so I believe it should be 'I need to' || edit: Actually, I'm not even sure this is correct -- perhaps just 'have' would be okay... Just definitely not 'got'!)
I think I could go on all day, so let's stop the examples there.
People rarely speak in a way that can be considered completely grammatically correct; in all places bar serious writing (such as essays, formal letters, etc.), colloquialisms are the norm rather than the exception. This obviously doesn't just occur in English, so though it's frustrating to learn a language with complex grammar rules, only to discover they aren't always even followed, we just have to deal with it. We'll get there in the end (after all, I'd like to think my English is pretty coherent, though once upon a time I despaired at the insanity of this language). Just stick with it!
For all intents and purposes, the conjunctions da and weil have the same meaning and a both send the verb to the end of the clause (subordinating conjunctions). You can use them interchangeably.
Another word meaning "because" is denn, however, unlike da and weil, this is a coordinating subjunction, which means the verb doesn't go to the end. Also unlike da and weil, you can't start a sentence with denn.
- Du kannst Kepling nicht zur Party einladen, da er nicht online ist!
- Du kannst Kepling nicht zur Party einladen, weil er nicht online ist!
- Du kannst Kepling nicht zur Party einladen, denn er ist nicht online!
- Da er nicht online ist, kannst du Kepling nicht zur Party einladen!
- Weil er nicht online ist, kannst du Kepling nicht zur Party einladen!
- Denn er ist nicht online, kannst du Kepling nicht zur Party einladen!