"There is a cat on the tree."
Translation:Da ist eine Katze auf dem Baum.
In English (around here anyway), it is more natural to say "There is a cat IN the tree". I can only envision saying "on the tree" if the tree was felled and the cat was sitting on the trunk. Is "auf dem Baum" the German equivalent to "in the tree", or is this sentence awkward in German too?
In German, you can say "auf dem Baum" or "im Baum". They both mean "in the tree".
What is the difference between "es gibt" and "da ist"? I know that it some contexts (like this one) they can be used interchangeably, but not in others. But how do I know the difference?
"es gibt" tends to suggest a permanent condition and "da ist/sind" tends to suggest a temporary condition.
@christian correct me if I'm wrong. I thought "es gibt" is a condition provided by someone (like a service provider, a host). Like there is someone who shoud "give" you something (hence the "gibt" part).
At least not in the given context. But you can use it that way in sentences like (Sitting in an ice cream parlour) "Es gibt Schokoladeneis" – "they offer chocolate ice cream". BTW: do you sit in or at a parlour?
Yep. This is what I had in mind. On the DW Audio Course (available for free on Deutsche Welle podcast), there is always the expression. "Gibt es etw. in der Nähe". Always talking about specific locations available for tourists, like ein Supermarkt oder die Bushaltenstelle.
@wataya Generally, you sit in a parlour. "We are sitting in the ice cream parlour."
At would be used more for past tense, e.g., "We sat at the ice cream parlour," or, "We stopped at the ice cream parlour."
At (present tense, e.g., "We are at the ice cream parlour") would more likely be used if you were sitting at a table outside (rather than inside the actual restaurant), or standing in line waiting to be served. I hope that helps a little. ☺