Are these German sentences using da- words correct?

I am confused on the German da- words, so I attempted to create my own sentences using them. I'm not sure if they are even close to being correct by I tried :) Thank you for the corrections!

German: Die Katze ist damit.

English: The cat is by that.

German: Ich bin aufgeregt dafür.

English: I am excited for it.

German: Der mann ist darin.

English: The man is in there.

German: Der Junge ist wütend darauf. (Das Fernseher)

English: The boy is angry at it. (The TV)

German: Es wurde hervorgerufen damit.

English: It was caused by it.

April 9, 2015


You can't always use the same preposition in German as in English. You might be excited for something in English, but in German, you are begeistert über or aufgeregt wegen.

You also don't really use the da- words if you want to lay emphasis on "there", which most of your sentences imply. It's really hard to use these words without context for that reason. Let's take the sentence "Der Mann ist darin." for example.

If a pitchfork mob is storming your castle, and you want to point to the chest the Evil Overlord is hiding in, you would say

"Der Mann ist da drin."

You would not contract it to "darin" because the whole point of your sentence is to say "Da! Da ist er!"
Now the pitchfork mob is gone and the servants of the Evil Overlord are starting to clean up. Two servants want to lift the chest out of the way to sweep the floor, but it's extremely heavy and they look puzzled by that fact. So you explain to them

"Der Mann ist darin."

They are perfectly aware that something heavy is in there, they just don't know what it is, so you emphasize der Mann. And that's where you can contract the "da drin" to "darin" without a problem, because it doesn't matter here.

Okay so far? Then let's look at your sentences:

Die Katze is damit. absolutely makes no sense in German. "damit" means "with that", and you don't even have an object with which the cat can interact.

Ich bin aufgeregt dafür. Wrong preposition, and probably also wrong verb. You can be "aufgeregt wegen" something, but if you want to convey that you are looking forward to something, you would rather say "Ich freue mich darauf".

Der Mann ist darin. As explained above, if the main information is not actually the location of the man, it's fine.

Der Junge ist wütend darauf. If it's a thing he can kick, it's okay. If he's mad at a person, you would never use "da-". If he's mad about something someone said for example, you would use "darüber".

Es wurde hervorgerufen damit. Wrong preposition again. hervorrufen in the sense of to cause something needs durch. It's also very unlikely to be at the end of the sentence like this, you would rather see "Es wurde dadurch hervorgerufen, dass [explanation of what caused it]."

April 9, 2015

The usage of the da- words is actually much simpler than we English speakers realize.

I think that much of the confusion comes from trying to translate the words instead of just understanding the function. Trying to remember translations of "dafür" and "damit" clouds the issue.

First, If the object of a preposition is a thing, rather than a person, you use the da- construction instead of the pronoun:

Ich freue mich darüber ---- You do NOT say 'Ich freue mich über es'

Es ist dafür, Er spielt damit, etc.

You already know what these mean if you know what über, für and mit mean.

The second usage is actually closely related, and is one of the coolest things about the da- words. If the object of the preposition is a phrase, then the da- construction acts kind of like a placeholder for it.

Ich freue mich darüber, dich zu sehen.

Here "dich zu sehen" is the object of the preposition "über"

The pieces fit together nicely, almost mathematically

Ich erinnere mich daran, dass ich meinen Vater anrufen soll.

Same thing. This one confuses english speakers because the verb "to remember" doesn't use a preposition, whereas 'sich erinnern' requires 'an'

Many other examples. The best way to get used to it is to talk to yourself, making up sentences.

April 9, 2015

Vielen Dank!!

April 9, 2015

The da-words cause me problems too, especially when they come before subordinate or infinitive clauses. For example:

Sie hat dich daran errinert, dass sie morgen Geburtstag hat.
She reminded you that it's her birthday tomorrow. (subordinate clause)

Er war froh darüber, endlich zu Hause zu sein.
He was glad to be finally home. (infinitive clause)

The best way I've found to understand the da-words here is to think of them as meaning "about the fact that":

She reminded you about the fact that it's her birthday tomorrow.

If anyone else has a better way of understanding them, please share!

April 9, 2015


April 9, 2015

"English: The cat is by that. " What is this supposed to mean? The German sentence has no sense. Are you trying to say somthing like "The cat is by that (car)"? That would be: "Die Katze ist bei dem (Auto)". Example for the usage of "damit" are:
"Damit ich keinen Sonnenbrand bekomme." - "So that I don't get a sunburn."
"English: I am excited for it." - "Ich in aufgeregt darauf"
Example for usage of "dafür":
"Ich spare Geld dafür" - "I am saving money for it"
"Dafür gehe ich zum Sport" - "I do sports for it"
"English: The man is in there." - "Der Mann ist da"
"Der Mann ist darin" - The man is inside of it"
"German: Der Junge ist wütend darauf. (Das Fernseher)" - correct
"English: It was caused by it." - "Es wurde damit hervorgerufen"

April 9, 2015

Danke Schön!

April 9, 2015

Hi 1999Josh! To get more help, you may want to move your question to the German discussion. To do that, click "Edit", then select "German" in the Discussion dropdown list.

April 9, 2015

Thank you!

April 9, 2015
Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.