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Was sind die Unterschiede zwischen den Wörtern:

  1. gemeinsam
  2. beisammen
  3. zusammen
  4. miteinander

Wiktionary nach sie sind Synonyme. Sind die Unterschiede regional? Ist ein Wort formaler als die anderen?

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That's the beauty of GSE; teaching me things that I had never thought to ask before. –  emaltman May 12 at 2:18

2 Answers 2

up vote 12 down vote accepted

They all mean together, somehow, but you can't all use them in the same sense. I'll try to give you a few examples:

Gemeinsam means together, united, as a community:

Wir müssen das gemeinsam tun (einer allein schafft es nicht). Gemeinsam sind wird stark. Wir haben an dem Projekt gemeinsam gearbeitet.

Beisammen means assembled, collected:

Ich habe lange gespart, jetzt habe ich das Geld beisammen. Wir saßen gemütlich beisammen (or: zusammen), und besprachen den vergangenen Tag.

Zusammen mit means together with (zusammen kommen = come together):

Zusammen mit den übrigen Schülern verließ er die Klasse. Alle spendeten, es kam eine nette Summe zusammen. Die Mitglieder des Vereins kommen regelmäßig am ersten Donnerstag des Monats zusammen. Wenn alle zusammen helfen, sind wir schneller fertig.

Miteinander means conjointly, together, side by side, literally "einer mit dem andern" (one with the other) and highlights the relationship and cooperation between people. It's also the opposite of gegeneinander:

Wir müssen miteinander reden. Miteinander geht alles leichter.

Differences are subtle and not easy to explain, I am afraid. You'll probably want to remember a few fixed collocations to get you started.

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Rather, beisammen is used most frequently to indicate togetherness as a group in some activity. –  Newb May 13 at 14:15

The difference is mainly function.

Gemeinsam:

This is a pure adverb. That means the sentence

Wir sind gemeinsam.

is wrong. It means "together" in sense of "together we do"

Wir essen gemeinsam.

Miteinander:

This is an adverb too so again the sentence

Wir sind miteinander.

is wrong. Other than "gemeinsam" it implies more interaction between the parties.

Wir haben gemeinsam geredet. - Maybe you just talked at the same time
Wir haben miteinander geredet. - You talked to each other.

And here's an example in which "miteinander" wouldn't work:

Wir haben miteinander gegessen.

It sounds odd, as eating doesn't allow for the degree of interaction. (We ate with each other... what?)

Beisammen:

This is (mostly) an adjective so it does work in the sentence we had, but it doesn't work in combination with a verb.

Wir sind beisammen. Wir machen etwas beisammen (wrong)

As the other answer shows, it is possible to use "beisammen" in combination with verbs like "sitzen". It kind of feels like a local-adverb then though. Of all the words, this is the least common one I would say.

Zusammen:

This can be used as either, adjective or adverb.

Wir sind zusammen. Wir machen etwas zusammen.

It can be a synonym for "beisammen" and "gemeinsam" but not really for "miteinander" as "zusammen" lacks reciprocity.

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Apart, you're right when saying that "beisammen" is the least common word. Here are the data taken from a corpus: beisammen 1083, zusammen 116824, gemeinsam 67654, miteinander 19837 –  Em1 May 12 at 9:56
    
I find nothing wrong with "Wir haben miteinander gegessen": wir haben miteinander gespielt, miteinander gearbeitet, miteinander geschlafen (as ambiguous in German as it is in English) all work for me as well. –  Ingmar May 12 at 10:20
    
@Ingmar... I agree, but it implies interaction... And I do find "miteinander essen" a bit odd. How about "Wir lesen miteinander"... does that sound any odd to you? –  Emanuel May 12 at 10:32
1  
I agree, some sort of interaction is required. Sharing a table is sufficient, though, in my opinion. "Miteinander lesen" works if we read from the same book (me and my children, say), or if we all read the same text (in class, e.g.), but not if everybody reads his or her own book. –  Ingmar May 12 at 18:53

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