2

Here are two examples

"Seit Marie eine Stelle als Marketingassistentin gefunden hat, bleibt sie noch bei ihren Eltern"

-

"Bis Marie eine Stelle als Marketingsassitentin gefunden hat, bleibt sie noch bei ihren Eltern"

Can "Seit" and "Bis" be arbitrarily exchanged in those examples?

  • 12
    Definitely not. The meanings are completely opposite. – πάντα ῥεῖ Jan 15 '18 at 2:40
  • 6
    In english "Seit" means since, and "bis" means until, same opposite meanings like in german. – πάντα ῥεῖ Jan 15 '18 at 2:56
9

No, these prepositions can't be used in an exchangeable way.

Their big difference is in which direction of the temporal path they point to (past, presence and future).

As mentioned in my comments "bis" and "seit" are just opposite terms.

While "bis" refers to something going on up to a particular temporal point, "seit" means something that goes up since a particular temporal point.

The sentences

"Seit Marie eine Stelle als Marketingassistentin gefunden hat, bleibt sie noch bei ihren Eltern "

and

"Bis Marie eine Stelle als Marketingsassitentin gefunden hat, bleibt sie noch bei ihren Eltern"

would be interpreted completely different regarding those prepositions:

  1. "Seit Marie eine Stelle als Marketingassistentin gefunden hat, bleibt sie noch bei ihren Eltern "

    sounds a bit weird, and opens the question:

    Why does Marie still dwell with her parents, despite she found an appropriate job, and could well stand on her own feet?

  2. "Bis Marie eine Stelle als Marketingsassitentin gefunden hat, bleibt sie noch bei ihren Eltern"

    naturally makes more sense (as the common case), just explaining it's maybe a good idea to do so:

    Marie will still dwell at her parent's home, until she's able to manage her life at her own feet.

A very strong indicator, that the latter is meant is the "noch" (i.e. "so far", "still"), that points out to the probable future change of the situation, while "seit" indicates some earlier closure of the situation (regarding the found job event), and it's just ongoing.

| improve this answer | |
0

No, they have nearly the opposite meaning.

"Bis X" means:

... - true - true - true - true - X - ? - ? - ? - ...

For example, "bis 2000" means something what is true in 1997, 1998 and in 1999. It doesn't say anything about 2000 and later, although in the common language it usually means that it was false after that.

"Ich hatte blonde Haare bis 2000" means that I had blond hair in '98 and '99, but not in 2000 and in 2001.

For programmers, it is the equivalent of a while.

"Seit X" means:

... - ? - ? - ? - X - true - true - true

Oppositely, "Ich habe blonde Haare seit 2000" means that I had blond hair in 2000 and 2001, but not in '98 and in '99.

| improve this answer | |

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