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  5. "Sie kommen mit der Bahn."

"Sie kommen mit der Bahn."

Translation:They come by train.

July 10, 2013



What is the difference between "der Bahn" and "der Zug"? I know train stations are called "Bahnhof," which suggests "der Bahn" has been the common word in the past. Is "der Zug" just a more modern word? Does it imply a different kind of train? Does "der Bahn" conjure images of old coal-powered steam trains? That'd be cool.


There are differences, but not so clear cut.

Let's start with "der Zug". It comes from "ziehen", wich both means "to pull", but also "to trek". A procession of people on foot can be called ein Zug, too, mostly in combination with another noun (Fackelzug, Umzug, Demonstrationszug). But I guess it's the meaning of "to pull" that got the train it's German name. I don't find a source, but I would say it's the older name.

"Die Bahn" actually means "the track". So while der Zug was the train, die Bahn meant the network of tracks at first, (while a Bahnhof is a "railroad yard") but it soon was used for the train itself. It's also the name of the German railroad company, "Deutsche Bahn", and so they enforce the use of "Bahn" for train. Bahn also gets used for any trains that are not driving on the federal railraod tracks but on smaller networks, like Stra├čenbahnen (trams) or U-Bahnen (subways) or the Wuppertaler Schwebebahn (suspended railway).

So Bahn is the word that means all kinds of trains, while Zug is an alternative and probably older word that gets used for big railway trains.


This explains why highways are called "Bahn," like the Autobahn.


wow... thanks a lot!!

and a question: would it be wrong to use "bei" instead of "mit"?


Yes, that would be wrong. "Bei" means near, close to, it's not always a good translation for "by".


It's a bit like saying "by rail" instead of "by train," I think. So S-Bahn etc is a bit like the old British Rail. "Rail" refers more to the type of transport, while train is the physical vehicle.


Maybe Bahn is more modern, because subway is "U-Bahn" but I have no idea, I'm also curious


If bekommen also means "to arrive" according to drop down, why is "They are arriving by train" not correct.


    "to come" = kommen (sie kommen)
    "to arrive" = ankommen (sie kommen an)
    "to receive" = bekommen (sie bekommen)


    mit requires the dative case, and Bahn is feminine, so you need dative feminine der Bahn here.


    Because of yhe dative case i believe


    It might be that my English is not native enough, but would "by railroad" also be correct? It wasn't accepted by Duolingo.


      "By train" would be the most common expression by far.


      "By rail" is much more likely in English than "by railroad," and yes, "by train" is the most common.


      I am seeing both Die bahn and Der bahn as correct answers at different times. Is the plural of Bahn, Bahn?


      No; the plural of Bahn is Bahnen.

      die Bahn is the nominative or accusative case, der Bahn is the genitive or dative case, of the word in the singular.

      For example, mit der Bahn fahren (dative case) but auf die Bahn warten (accusative case).


      By the train is accepted


      "by rail" is wrong?


      It's accepted. I must have made a different mistake the first time


      Could it also mean that they come with the train - as in they come with a friend, but replace friend with train.


      Kate, I'm from the US. " They come with the train." Would sound very strange and awkward. You might expect to hear a phrase like that in a movie coming from a foreigner with a heavy accent speaking in broken English. But a native would never say something like that.


      It kind of gives the impression that "they" weren't on the train, just happened to show up at the same time.


      bahn and zug mean train. what is the difference?


      Is it supposed to be der Bahn or die Bahn?

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