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What is the difference between drin and darin?

I often hear people saying these two words, but I am not sure about situations on how to use them.

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"Drin" is a colloquial short form of two different words, either

darin

or

drinnen

So one can use "drin" in colloquial speech short for "darin", but not the other way: when "translating" colloquial speech in a formal form, one has to decide if drin is used as short form of darin or drinnen.

Examples:
Die Kinder spielen lieber drin. -> Die Kinder spielen lieber drinnen.
Ich habe drin nichts gefunden. -> Ich habe darin nichts gefunden.

  • I'm not sure if its a colloquial form of "drinnen" too. The "e" is nearly not hearable in colloquial speech, but shortening it to "drin" sounds wrong for me. – Iris Feb 13 at 12:37
  • @Iris Der Duden unterstützt die Sichtweise. – IQV Feb 13 at 12:41
  • es gibt auch Google Treffer für "drin spielen", es gibt also Leute, die das sagen. Für mich hört es sich trotzdem seltsam an. – Iris Feb 13 at 14:28
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    @Iris. I guess, there is some flexibility on how people spell it out on the internet. I agree with your observation that it is common to pronounce it "drin|n" with a silent e. On the other hand, I believe many non-native speakers have trouble hearing such details anyway. As the question was referring to spoken language, I would think it is fine. – Bernd Konfuzius Feb 13 at 15:01
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'drin' is a contraction of the word 'darin'. source: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/drin

As such, it is colloquial to use 'drin', but as you noticed both forms are common in daily conversation. As a beginner, I wouldn't worry too much about it.

In official writing / letters, and public speeches, one should use only the formal 'darin', though.

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