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  5. "Er war vorher zu Hause."

"Er war vorher zu Hause."

Translation:He was at home beforehand.

July 23, 2014



Haus and Hause! I am unable to get it. Please explain.

  • das Haus = the house
  • zu Hause = at home
  • nach Hause = (to) home

The latter are exceptions, fixed expressions. If you look up your dictionary, you won't even find the gender for the word "Hause" because it does not exist as a standalone word. If just talking about home in general, you use words like "das Zuhause" or "das Heim".


'Hause' is archaic German, hence being no longer used as a word except in some fixed expressions. I think it's a relic of a mostly obsolete part of the dative case, which affixes an -e to the end of some singular nouns. This can also be seen in the motto "Dem Deutschen Volke" (which means "to the German people"), and expressions "am Tage" (during the day), "auf dem Lande" (in the country).

At this point I wouldn't stress about them, and as @EeroK said, they're an exception. Just know when to recognise it in expressions.

Further reading if you're still confused: http://forum.wordreference.com/threads/haus-vs-hause.1574076/

Hope this helped!


What is wrong about "Before that he was home"?


I'm also curious because I wrote "he was at home before that"


i put "he was at home before" and it was accepted


So I was under the impression that davor and vorher were subordinating conjunctions. This doesn't look like it has a subordinate clause.


What is the difference between vorher and vorhin? Is there any analogy with woher/wohin or daher/dahin?


I think not.

vorher means something like "before that" (with reference to some other event), while vorhin means "a short time ago" (with reference to now).


why are the Tips missing in this lesson? There were always tips and a little explanation I could learn from but in this lesson there are only the lessons, no tips, Why?


What is the difference between using 'zu Hause' and 'heim'? Are they interchangeable? Is 'heim' restricted to 'heimgehen', or is er war vorher heim also acceptable?


"Er war vorher heim" is not a german sentence. What you could do is "Er war vorher daheim", since "daheim" and "zu Hause" are basically interchangeable. But "zu Hause" is way more common than "daheim". The term "Heim" is nowadays mostly used in fixed expressions like "Heim und Herd" (~Home and stove) (which is also archaic) or in terms like "Kinderheim" (children's home) or "Altenheim" (retirement home) where it's supposed to mean "home" but is more or less interpreted as "asylum", to be frank.


May I use zuvor instead of vorher? "ich bin zuvor zu Hause"


If u change "bin" to past...it would be: "ich war zuvor zu hause" that would be a german sentence and means: I was at home before that/previously


I put "he was at home" & was marked wrong, supposed to be "he was previously at home". I can't tell the difference in English (except "previously" adds emphasis) - is there something I'm missing in the German?


vorher "previously".

i.e. "before something else happened" -- the "something else" is not mentioned in this sentence but would be clear from context.

For example, Gestern abend war er im Konzert, aber vorher war er zu Hause. "Last night, he was at the concert, but previously/before that, he was at home."


Why is the image for this lesson a dumbbell?


What's wrong with simply "he was home" was implies previously


Because that would be "Er war zu Hause". If they didn't imply it in German, then they don't expect you to imply it in English either.


is "he used to be at home"? not acceptable?


No. vorher refers to a time before some particular event, not to a general habit over a longer period of time like "used to".


I wrote he was at home initially and was marked wrong


I already got quite used to barely hearing the "r" in german, but this is too far- The audio only version very clearly says "Wa" rather than "War", there wasn't even a hint of an "r" there that I could hear...


"Wa" isn't a word, so with that in mind, and with the rest of the context, you should be able to discern what the word is.


could you not simply say "he was at home"


Could someone point out to a good explanation about when to use 'zu' and when 'in' when referring to being at home? A previous exercise translates 'my son is in his house' as 'mein Sohn ist IN seinem Haus.' Why is ZU not used in this case?


zu Hause is a fixed expression for "at home".


Thanks Mizinamo. But is there any difference in meaning between im Haus and zu Hause? In practice, can one use either and mean the same?


No, they are not the same - im Haus "in the house" just refers to being in a building that you had spoken about before or that is obvious from context; zu Hause "at home" is in the place where you feel comfortable (which need not even be a house: it could be an apartment or even underneath a bridge).


Thanks. That was crystal clear!


'Wah vorheir' What does this mean, if anything?


Before that he was at home .Why is it not correct?


"He was in the house before", is there a reason this weren't accepted?


"He was in the house before", is there a reason this weren't accepted?

Because the sentence has zu Hause "at home" and not im Haus "in the house".

You can be at home without being in a house, and you can be in a house without being at home.


As a native American English speaker I think the English could be "he was beforehand at home." Is there a reason that I'm mistaken in thinking this?


The word order sounds very awkward if not outright incorrect to me. I'd say "He was at home beforehand" if anything, and even then I can't think of an example context where that sentence would sound natural.


I agree! "Beforehand, he was at home." "He was beforehand at home." Beforehand is an adverb and modifies a verb, so how can its placement next to a verb be wrong? It doesn't seem grammatically incorrect to me and could be viable with commas, emphasis, and appropriate phrasing in spoken English. This sentence needs context. If I asked you "where was he?" you would say "He was at home." "And beforehand?" "He was, beforehand, at school." At better example "Your exams are coming. You need to study beforehand" ( in advance).


I translated "he was earlier at home". I got zapped and corrected with "he was formerly at home" which nobody would use in English unless I am trying to say something like "he was formerly at home when out at sea" or something similar. When I wanted to discuss that, Duolingo cheated and translated here with "he was PREVIOUSLY at home" which is correct and acceptable.


The audio on this always trips me up, I hear "warvor her" rather than "war vorher".

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