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  5. "Ich bin da" vs. "Ich bin hie…


"Ich bin da" vs. "Ich bin hier"

Doesn't "hier" mean "here" and "da" mean "there"?

If so, why does "Ich bin da (I am there)" mean "I am here"??

November 16, 2018



“Da sein” also has an existential meaning, similar to the more generic “there” in English: “There are many problems with this product” does not refer to a remote place “over there”, but has the existential meaning (which is usually translated in German as “es gibt”).

”Ist noch genug Brot da?” - “Do we still have enough bread?”

“Diese Mode ist noch nie dagewesen” = hat es noch nie gegeben, has never existed before.

“Wir sind da”: We have arrived at our destination. We are present. Note that the answer to a roll call would be: “(Ich bin) hier!” (Or “ anwesend” - present)

Vs. “Ich werde dort sein”: answer to an agreement to meet at a specific place/specific time.

“ich bin dort” requires more information on the location: “Ich bin dort, wo früher mein Elternhaus gestanden hat.” This is quite logical since “da”, “dort” and “hier” are all based on the speaker’s perspective, and “dort” refers to a place where the speaker is NOT.

Für jemanden da sein: sie ist immer für andere da - she is always ready/available to help others.

Für etwas da sein = für einen bestimmten Zweck vorhanden sein (meant for a specific purpose). Das kostbare Geschirr ist dafür da, benutzt zu werden, nicht nur zum Anschauen. Der Feuerlöscher ist da für den Fall, dass es mal brennt. (Der Feuerlöscher ist hier bei der Tür, damit er immer griffbereit ist = specific location)

“Ich bin hier” is much more location-specific. I am/have arrived at a certain place. “Ich bin hier, um dir zu helfen” - I have come here/I work here, to help you.


“Ich were dort sein”: answer to an agreement to meet at a specific place/specific time.

were -> werde ?


I hate typing on my iPad...

Of course, that should be “werde”. Fixed.


    The usage of words that mean "here" and "there" is, roughly speaking, more flexible than in English. As you have encountered, da can mean either "here" or "there" depending on context.

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