How do I use the word "da"

  • I have just learned German. I have heard a lot of people say the word "da" in conversation, but I don't know what it means. And dictionary doesn't help. Can somebody help me translate this word and give me some examples how to use it correctly.

    Was ist das für ein Dictionary, das `da` nicht kennt?

  • Em1

    Em1 Correct answer

    8 years ago

    Da is either a conjunction connecting the main clause with a causal clause or it is an adverb.

    As a conjunction Duden defines three different usages one of which is archaic. The other two usages are quite common. First it has the meaning of because, since as in

    Diese Frage ist einfach für mich, da Deutsch meine Muttersprache ist.

    (This questions is quite simple for me, since [or because] German is my mother-tongue.)

    The second usage as conjunction includes a temporal meaning.

    Da ich jetzt ihre Aufmerksamkeit habe, möchte ich mit meinem Vortrag beginnen.

    (Now that I have your attention, I'd like to start my presentation.)

    As an adverb there are several different usages including spatial and temporal location:

    Da vorne wohnt er. (There he lives.)

    Von da an [=Seit diesem Moment] war absolute Ruhe. (From this moment there was ultimate silence.)

    There are (= Da sind) more than those mentioned usages. For example da is also used in meaning of in this respect. More examples and usages are listed on Duden.

    I'd like to add _as_ as another translation: This question is quite simple for me *as* German is my mother-tongue. *As* I now have your attention, I'd like to start my presentation. *As* of that moment, there was silence.

    @ssc your "as" translation is just a synonym for "since", except the last sentence. Could you translate that one for me? I am intrigued by the structure!

    The translation is in the answer I commented on: As of that moment, there was silence. (a different way to say:) From this moment there was silence. (translation:) Von da an [=Von diesem Moment an (or) Seit diesem Moment] war Ruhe.

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM