1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. The "Da" in German


The "Da" in German

I'm still in the phase of understanding the usage of "Da" and i noticed that when we use some verbs with prepositions we tend to use "Da" in the following manner : (über diskutieren) : wir werden darüber am sonntag diskutieren.//we will discuss "it" on sunday (auf achten) : werden Sie darauf achten//you will take care of "it"

in those examples, is this the only way to translate "it" --> "da+prepositions" ?

October 2, 2018



Maybe this is helpful:
"...2. Da– Compounds German can use words formed by affixing da– or dar– to the beginning of a preposition in order to refer back to something. In its most basic usage, we usually translate a da– compound into English as a preposition followed by a pronoun.

Er hat einen Bleistift. Er schreibt damit. He has a pencil. He is writing with it.

Hier ist ein Stuhl. Sie sitzt darauf. Here is a chair. She is sitting on it.

Note that the form dar– is used when the preposition begins with a vowel. ..."

October 2, 2018


In colloquial German the preposition sometimes is eliminated.

"Da (rueber) sage ich lieber nichts." "Da (rauf) bin ich gespannt."

"Da" also can mean there together with "sein". "Da ist eine Schlange." The verb is "dasein".

Da can be used in place of

weil (Da ich muede bin, gehe ich lieber nicht aus)

deshalb (Das Essen riecht so shlecht, da esse ich lieber garnichts.)coll.

dann (Von da an sprach sie nicht mehr mit ihm)

Maybe somebody else can fill in with more examples.

October 2, 2018


The general rule is the following:
If a preposition is followed by a pronoun that stands for a person, the construction is the same as in English. If, however, the preposition happens to be "it", the two words form one compound word that is built using "da(r)" + the preposition, so, e.g. "over it" = "darüber", "on it" = "darauf", "next to it" = "daneben" etc. The "r" is used when the preposition starts with a vowel.

The same effect can be found in building a questions. The interrogative "what" is combined with the preposition, this time using "wo(r)". So "for what" becomes "wofür", "with what" is "womit", "on what" is "worauf" etc. And again this is not used for persons:
"with what" = "womit",
but "with whom" = "mit wem".

October 3, 2018
Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.