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  5. "Sie ging und sprach dabei."

"Sie ging und sprach dabei."

Translation:She walked and talked at the same time.

April 8, 2013



What is the difference between dabei and zugleich


"dabei" literally means "next to it", while "zugleich" literally is "at the same time". There is a subtle difference, which may be hard to grasp at first. "dabei" I would use when I'm describing two simultaneous actions (like in this sentence), while I would use "zugleich" when describing two facts, states of being, etc.


In one of the previous exercises, the sentence said 'Er liest und schreibt zugleich', which are activities? Of does this only imply activities that involve movement from one place to another?


I actually would say (although I'm a non-native) that that sentence describes a skill "He (can) read and write simultaneously". Although, it's not incorrect to use it to describe current actions. See for example this stackexchange: http://german.stackexchange.com/questions/11746/what-is-the-difference-between-zugleich-and-gleichzeitig

My former statement is indeed incorrect per se (definitely, "zugleich" can be and is used with actions), it was more of a gut feeling.


I am a novice. An example from another lesson 'Er ist Bauer und Lehrer zugleich'.


According to my understanding "zugleich" makes the two simultaneous actions equal, but "dabei" makes the first action primary and the second an accompaning action.

  • Er isst und trinkt zulgeich = Er trinkt und isst zugleich = he is eating and drinking at the same time;
  • Er isst und trinkt dabei = He is eating and (in addition to eating) he is (also) drinking at the same time.


Very good explanation!


That seems to make sense!


"She walked and spoke as she went (along)" should be a viable translation for this German. The handy phrase "dabei" is not so easily translated as simply "at the same time." "Simultaneously" is another possibility, yet awkward? We English speakers currently might put to use some bizarre form of multi-tasking implications. "She spoke as she walked."

My druthers would be to put both verbs into past progressive forms, implying that both actions took place together over time: "She was (went along) walking and talking." Then "at the same time" sound like it belongs to those actions, and should not even have to appear in the phrase.


"Druthers"? I get to learn a lot of English on this site! In my 60s and I've never seen this word before!!


I use druthers all the time. It comes from "would rather"


In German can one say "Sie sprach als sie ging", or does that not make any sense?


Would that perhaps mean, "She spoke like she walked." ??? Because that would indeed make no sense. But then "als" is also used like "when" e.g. "Als ich Kind war, . . . " = "When I was a child, . . . " So maybe it could make sense as "She spoke when she was going." ??

(Ok, I should shut up. I'm just guessing, anyway.)


Well, just like Tucker said, in English you can say "she spoke as she walked", so I was wondering if that same structure can be copied and used in German.


What about using "während"?


Your guess is as good as mine.

For what it's worth though, when I wrote "she spoke as she walked", Google translated it to "sie sprach, als sie ging", and when I wrote "she spoke while she walked", it gave me "sie sprach, während sie ging".

Now Google translate is far from perfect in providing us with what is considered acceptable German, but that's what I got.


If you want to refer to the one specific moment when she walk and talk or on one special and precise moment in past you can use als,but it change the sentence (als+subject+rest of the sentence+verb in past+coma(,)+verb in past of second sentence+subject of the other sentence+rest of other sentace). Als ich diesen Beitrag geschrieben habe, war alles in Ordnung. / Alles war in Ordnung, als ich diesen Beitrag geschrieben habe.

But als in sentance can't be use in that way


The provided translation "She went and talking at once" is not grammatical English.


How come "She walked while she spoke" doesn't work?!?!


In ‘Sie ging und sprach dabei.’, the foreground action is ‘ging‘=“walked”, while ‘sprach’=“spoke” is incidental. It's the other way around in “She walked while she spoke.”.


It seems to me the correct solution "She walked and talked at the same time." is reading too much into it. I translated it as "She went and talked about it.". I have the same issue as sholem - is this some form of idiomatic phrase?


"dabei" doesn't mean "about it" either.

It could be translated as something like "while doing so".


(Native German speaker) I totally agree. In my opinion the best and most literal tranalation is "She talked while walking".


I wrote "as well" for "dabei" in the given context. Isn't "She walked and talked as well" correct? Please comment.


The phrase “as well” lacks the essential notion of concurrency implied by ‘dabei’.


That's a distinction of meaning I find somewhat difficult to make. vinaysini's (and my own) suggestion of 'as well' would seem to express some degree of concurrence. The assumption is that going to the place preceded the speaking action, directly related but not strictly concurrent activities. The prior suggestion 'while doing so' does indeed express true concurrence. But is that what the source statement really meant? That is, did she really do the speaking while on the way there, or was the speaking done during the same trip but after she arrived? Yes, I know it's pedantic, but it's important to understand these distinctions. Good discussion.


Whether two actions occur concurrently or one after another may be pedantic in some circumstances, but it is a fundamental distinction that all languages make — part of what linguists call ‘aspect’. The word ‘dabei’, in this context, really really really means unambiguously that the actions are concurrent. Speaking after she stopped going just doesn't cut it. Sometimes ‘dabei’ can be used in the sense of “as a result”, as in “Sie ging zu Fuß und nahm dabei ab.”=“She walked and thereby lost weight.”, but only when the resulting action occurs concurrently.


It's not reading too much into it. The word ‘dabei’ in this construction really does mean that the two actions are concurrent.


How about "she went and talked while doing so?" I believe that's what it means...


“She walked and talked while doing so.” is an acceptable translation.


Would "She walked and talked along" translate to the same meaning? (it's marked wrong, but I feel it should be ok?)


No, "along" needs to modify something: "she walked and talked along the way" "she sang along to the radio." It can't just dangle like this. Sometimes you'll see "she walked along" on its own, but that implies "further" or "the way."


Duo apparently accepts: • "She walked and speaking simultaneously." I got it as an alternative answer. That can't be right


That's garbled. Please report it.


Can i use zegleich ?


Is this an idiomatic phrase? I translated it as "She went and spoke there." Is that grammatically wrong, or just too direct a translation?


Yes, it's idiomatic.

‘Dabei’ can mean “near it”: “She went and spoke near it.”, but out of context that would not be the first interpretation to come to mind.


"dabei" can also refer to something that is done next to another activity, so it's "near that" where that is the first activity, thus suggesting they are done at once


"Dabei" doesn't mean "there".


Is dabei similar or the same to dadurch? Last lesson we had dadurch as 'at the same time' and now it's dabei.


I think you're confusing dadurch with zugleich. I was wondering the same thing as well


"dadurch" is "through that" or "because of that", not "at the same time"


How does the imperfect conjugate? Anyone have any useful links to grammar sites?


verbix.com conjugates verbs in German and many other languages.


can dabei ever mean at there? Since you can say Ich war beim Fussball training, right?


»Ich war beim Fußballtraining*« means “I was at the soccer practice**.”

In standard English dialects, “there”=‘da’ is a location pro-adverb meaning “at that place”, which can be used to replace the adverbial phrase “at the soccer practice”=‘beim Fußballtraining’; “at” is a preposition which needs to be followed by a noun, not an adverb, so *“at there” would mean “at at that place”.

In some nonstandard English dialects, the location pro-adverbs “here”, “there”, and “where” have been (or are being) reanalyzed as pronouns, so the noun phrase “at there” means the same thing as the adverb “there”. The analog change has not occurred in German dialects.

The German adverb ‘dabei’ can also mean “present”, as in »Ich war dabei.« = “I was present.”, or »Ich war beim Fußballtraining dabei.« = “I was present at the soccer practice.”.


So simply put, dabei in this instance, Sie ging und sprach dabei, is being used as an adverb correct?


Why does Duolingo offer a translation of dabei as "among them" but then mark it as incorrect?


the "hints" on mouse hover should be seen as a dictionary. They do a little more and recognize some contexts, but rarely of semantic nature. So just like in a translation dictionary, you get options out of which you need to choose for yourself.


Aber kann sie Gummi kauen?


'She went and spoke in the process' would be preferable, it seems


They told me once I've learned the pattern for conjugating verbs in past I could conjugate ALL verbs!!!!

Now Duo throws me a couple weird ones and I mistrust the sites I was reading....


It's in German as it is in English, you have regular verbs and irregular ones. You have to learn preterit and past participle individually, just as you have to in English. As a native speaker of neither languages, i have the impression that they kind of match across the two languages (eat-ate ; essen-aß | be-was/were ; sein-war). Surely you can lean on your proficiency in English at least to take a guess as to whether a verb will be regular or not? Not saying it will always work...


All the germanic languages have strong (irregular) and weak (regular) verbs. Mostly the same ones in all of them (as in from the same root, not always with the same meaning).


I noticed that too


Hello, i had been taught by a German friend that the past was usually built as "Haben + ge+verb" , i didn't know this Tense


I live in Bayern and the most common form of past we use is "haben +ge+verb". We almost never use a different one.


If you ever believe you learned and understood a rule or pattern in german language beware of the huge pile of exceptions and additions


And never even consider learning Latin :D


It's mostly used in writing, not speaking.


she walked while speaking, how can this be wrong?


See the reply to TherealMrV.


Can somone tell me what tenses were used?


the translation when I answered was: She left and speaking at the same time. not even Engish.


"let's walk and talk" is the idiom in English....'at the same time' is implicit (but could be added for emphasis as could 'while'). The DL translation here seems very literal. I translated it as 'she walked while she talked' and got the thumbs up but I'd prefer to actually say 'she walked and talked'.


She talked and walked at the same time is not accepted. Even though its a different order as the german sentence, the meaning is the same


Zeitpunkt kann/darf am Satz Anfang oder Ende stehen!!!! Wird hier nur am Ende akzeptiert, warum!?!


Wouldn't the verb "laufen" be better than gehen?


'She walked and talked' seems to be a natural idiomatic translation, though incorrect. 'At the same time' is a tad redundant, I think.


Should 'she walked while she spoke' be accepted?

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