Translation:My daughter is with her grandparents.
Yes, „Meine Tochter ist bei ihren Großeltern.“ means “My daughter is [located] at her grandparents['s place]”. But ‘mit’ is used instead of ‘bei’ if she's traveling with her grandparents, as in „Meine Tochter ist mit ihren Großeltern unterwegs.“ = “My daughter is en route with her grandparents.”; or if she's together with her grandparents somewhere other than their place, as in „Meine Tochter ist mit ihren Großeltern im Kino.“ = “My daughter is in the cinema with her grandparents.”.
Sorry Christian, but on this occasion you are wrong. Many native German friends have confirmed that there is indeed a subtle difference, related to short and long sounds, ist and isst should sound slightly different (for an advanced German student or native speaker). Renato (above) was perfectly right in his comment, unfortunately you told him otherwise.
@d2coutinho: No need to be sarcastic. They are wrong. The point is this: Standard German only distinguishes between long and short vowels. Anything in between doesn't carry any meaning by definition. So there can't be "subtle differences in the length of vowels" to distinguish between "ist" and "isst". If there were and they were used to distinguish between "ist" and "isst", that would mean that you have found an additional German phoneme (that's exactly the definition of a phoneme) that a) is used by millions of German speakers throughout German speaking countries (otherwise, it can't be part of standard German) and b) hasn't been noticed by professional linguists yet (otherwise, they would distinguish at least three classes of vowel lengths) and this with words as common as "ist" and "isst". You can judge by yourself how likely such a scenario is. And even if this all were the case, it would still have to be recognized by a standardization body to be part of the standard language and incorporated into the "official" phoneme inventar of German. So, yes: You can tell your friends they're wrong.
@wataya : Wow. I wasn't being sarcastic. It's tricky to be sure without listening to my tone of voice, I agree. But hey, that sounded aggressive from you..no need. (of course I will never be sure if you meant to, there's no standardization body for tone of voice/written words :P )
I'm genuinely pleased to be learning that much about German with you guys, including IST and ISST :)
Merry Christmas anyhow! :)
@KendallHolm: That's a feature of the Ruhr regiolect. It's also common to merge verbs and personal pronouns. "Verben + nachgestellte Personalpronomina verschmelzen regelmäßig. An der Verbindungsstelle kommt es zu zusätzlichen lautlichen Anpassungen. Hier die Serie mit kommen im Präsens: kommich, kommße, kommter, kommtse, kommdet/kommtet, kommwer, kommder/kommter, kommse/kommense." http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruhrdeutsch
I made some people say, "sie ist bei ihm" und "sie isst bei ihm" and in the first version the "t" is omitted. Not so in the "eat" version. - Edit, because your comment must have slipped in while I was writing mine - The funny thing is, when you make people pronounce the t in "ist" they tend to stress the s in "isst". At least here around me in Berlin. :-) "Sie ist bei ihm denn sie isst gerne bei ihm".
@wataya Maybe ... it sounded natural to me. She would also do it to the endings of dies, kein, ein and any other word that has endings that change. She is from Essen and she is supposed to help me with my colliqual speech and she def has issues with endings or she is intentionally leaving the endings out.
No. You simply don't use "mit" with persons in these contexts in German.
"Meine Tochter ist bei ihren Großeltern." doesn't state whether she's there right now or permanently. If you want to say that she is living with her grandparents, you'd say "Meine Tochter lebt bei ihren Großeltern." or "Meine Tochter wohnt bei ihren Großeltern."
The difference of "mit" and "bei" is that "mit" is always used if two or more people are doing the same together. So you can "mit jemandem Eis essen gehen" (Going out for ice cream with someone), "mit jemandem ins Kino gehen" (going to the movies with someone), "mit jemanden kochen" (cooking with someone) ect., but if someone is (only) in the care (for children) of another or as a location information - near someone else., you use "bei".
"Meine Tochter ist bei ihren Großeltern." doesn't say anything about what they're doing, whether they're doing something together. It is meant to say that you don't have to worry because the grandparents make sure that nothing happens to her (or that she doesn't harm anything/anyone else) OR that she is at her grandparents' house or with her grandparents somewhere else. (So you know where to pick her up or that you can call her by calling her grandparents' (cell) phone number.)
The possessive adjective ‘ihr’ can mean “her”, “their”, or (if capitalized ‘Ihr’) “your [formal]”; only the context can tell the difference.
The ending ‘-en’ in this sentence is the dative plural: dative because the preposition ‘bei’ always takes the dative case; plural because ‘Großeltern’ is plural.
German adjective declension is complicated. The declension of the possessive adjective ‘ihr’ is:
m.s. f.s. n.s. plural
ihr ihre ihr ihre nominative
ihres ihrer ihres ihrer genitive
ihrem ihrer ihrem ihren dative
ihren ihre ihr ihre accusative
Sorry, I misread your question. In German, the possessive adjectives ‘ihr’=“her” and ‘ihr’=“their” are identically pronounced and spelled in all declensions. The possessive adjective ‘Ihr’=“your [formal]”, which was historically the “royal they” is also identically pronounced and spelled in all declensions, except that it's capitalized.