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Ich habe um 8:00 Uhr ein Meeting mit Kollegen aus der Marketing-Abteilung. Um 11:00 Uhr muss ich dann _____ einem Kollegen sein.

Please tell me why/how the answer of the gap is "bei" and not "mit" or "zu". Most importantly: why *"bei"? The grammar behind it.

I have researched all over and found 12 conditions to use "bei" but none of them seems right:

  • when someone's at your place,
  • when you have something on you + reflexive pronoun,
  • when you are with a professional at his/her place,
  • when describing working at a place,
  • ordering something on company's website,
  • when you are near a place or by a place,
  • in a sense of during,
  • with nominalized nouns,
  • temperature and numbers,
  • with verbs that uses bei,
  • in case of or in certain condition,
  • when you are talking about someone else's situation or your own situation
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    Could you please add (in short) those 12 conditions and why you think, they aren't correct? This might help to identify, whether your sources are not correct or where you might have gotten something wrong. – Arsak Sep 5 '18 at 14:51
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    Just curious: why the very first condition didn't seem right to you? – Eller Sep 6 '18 at 7:50
  • Because the sentence had sein at the end. That's way I was confused. – user34265 Sep 6 '18 at 8:45
  • @saaras maybe you mixed up sein (to be) with sein (his) in this sentence? That could explain the confusion :) – Arsak Mar 13 at 13:41
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According to my grammar book, bei is used with reference to people, usually means 'at (the house of)'. It is also used to indicate place of employment. Examples:

  • Sie wohnt bei ihrer Tante.

  • Bei uns.

  • Bei uns in der Fabrik.

So, in your text, 'bei' seems an acceptable answer to me, and it indicates the idea of being in that collegue's 'office'.

  • Yeah, it is clear now I was confused because of the sein at the end. – user34265 Sep 6 '18 at 9:02
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It's the "sein" at the end of the sentence that enforces the "bei".

You could write "Um 11:00 muss ich dann zu einem Kollegen gehen." or "Um 11:00 muss ich dann mit einem Kollegen arbeiten."

"bei jemandem sein" means to be at someone's place. "Ich werde bei meinem Freund sein" means that I will be at my friend's place (not just be with him).

So the sentence answers the question: "Where do you have to be at 11:00?" - "I'll have to be at my collegue's place."

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bei

  • local
    something is located near by or next to something else

    Baden liegt bei Wien
    Baden is next to Vienna

  • temporal
    at a certain time

    Haben Sie Wien schon bei Nacht gesehen?
    Did you see Vienna at night?

  • modal
    used to express certain circumstances

    Bei deinem Einkommen kannst du dir das ja locker leisten.
    With your income, you can easily afford that.


mit

  • modal only
    You use "mit" if one thing or person is compound with another

    Ich gehe mit meiner Frau ins Kino.
    I go to the movies with my wife.

    Ich habe ein Spielzeugauto mit Fernbedienung.
    I have a toy car with remote control.

    Or if you use a device

    Ich fahre mit dem Zug.
    I take the train.

    Hans schlägt den Nagel mit einem Hammer in the Wand.
    Hans hits the nail with a Hammer into the wall.


zu

  • local
    Heading in a direction

    Ich gehe zu meinem Chef.
    I go to my boss.

  • temporal
    at a certain time

    Zu Ostern hat es geregnet.
    It rained at Easter.

  • modal
    in relation to something

    Diese Mischung besteht zu einem Drittel aus Sand.
    One third of this mixture is sand.


So, what does that mean for your question?

Um 11:00 Uhr muss ich dann _____ einem Kollegen sein.

At 11 o'clock you have to be where your college is, i.e you have to be next to him or her. So we are talking about a place where you have to be.

"Mit" can't be used in local mode, so it never can mean a location.

"Zu" can be used local, but then it only can express a direction. But we need something that expresses a place, so it canÄt be zu.

"Bei" is perfect. It expresses a place near by someone else. So, it has to be:

Um 11:00 Uhr muss ich dann bei einem Kollegen sein.

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