I'm referring to word groups like oben and droben, or außen and draußen.

Does the "dr-" represent something in its own right, perhaps a contraction of "dr-"?

Apparently, they lend some subtle changes or shades of meaning to the above-mentioned adverbs. How does that come about?

  • Can you give some examples?
    – Hackworth
    Sep 14, 2011 at 5:44

2 Answers 2


The adverb droben is a short form of "dort oben". It's contracted for "daroben" which is not used anymore. The word "droben" itself isn't very commonly used in everyday language though.

draußen is a popular adverb, meaning outside or outdoors. I'm not sure, but it could also have its origin from the word "dort" (in combination with außen) or as Takkat wrote: a contraction of daraußen (not a word in modern German).

There are other examples of adverbs starting in dr-:

  • drunter (short for darunter)
  • drin (darin)
  • drüber (darüber)

Both examples come from a contraction of two words into one evolving from Middle High German:

draußen - mhd. dār ūʒenDuden

or, in your other example from

droben - dort obenDuden

Examples where both variants coexist are

dran - daran, drüber - darüber, drum - darum, drauf - darauf [...]

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.