I read the question "How to use “hier”, “dort” and “da” properly in German?" and in the answer says that if the distance is far away, you use 'da' and the farthest is 'dort'. I was given a home work to write a small letter to your imaginary girl friend in Munich with information like:

1) Your arrival 2) Your stay 3) Question to your girlfriend what she needs as gift?

Now here is my informal letter.

                                                   Bangalore, den 21.11.2012
Liebe Sandra,
nächstes Wochenende fliege ich nach München und meine Ankunft ist am Sonntag. 
Dort übernachte ich fünf Tage. Ich bringe dir ein tolles Geschenk. 
Was willst du von Bangalore?

Liebe Grüße,

In this context, I don't know if I should use 'dort' or 'da', as there is no comparison of distances (Bangalore - Munich is the only distance computation available) or two places (apart from Bangalore, there is only Munich) to decide between them. So, should I generally prefer 'dort'?

  • I don't understand what the Bangalore does in this letter. It makes no sense to me. Are you implying that you come from Bangalore??? Then it should be aus instead of von and you should combine the present bringing and the origin (Bangalore). Split into 2 makes it sound like it is 2 different things... you bring a present and you bring stuff from Bangalore.... or you bring presents from various places one being Bangalore. – Emanuel Nov 23 '12 at 11:27
  • Just summarizing the ideas of Emanuel, Takkat and RoflcoptrException: "Liebe Sandra, nächstes Wochenende fliege ich nach München und bleibe da fünf Tage. Meine Ankunft im am Sonntag. - [Zeilenumbruch] - Ich bringe dir ein tolles Geschenk mit. Was möchtest du aus Bangalore (haben)? – Em1 Nov 23 '12 at 12:00
  • @Emanuel I wanted to say "I bring a gift from Bangalore". So I split it as "I will bring you a great gift. What do you want from Bangalore?" – thandasoru Nov 24 '12 at 2:46
  • @thandasoru... well, to me this is odd. With the right intonation it'll be clear but just written I find it confusing. The following would do the trick: "I will bring you a great gift from Bangalore. What do you want?" – Emanuel Nov 24 '12 at 21:53
  • @Emanuel: Ja, aber bitte nicht mit 3 Fragezeichen arbeiten, wie im ersten Kommentar. – user unknown Dec 24 '12 at 1:43

In this particular sentence it is much more common to use da over dort. I, though, would go with dort due to regional dialect.

The Philosoph-Histor. Fakultät der Universität Augsburg has an interesting article containing some illustrative images that clearly shows that da is more spread in use than dort when referring to a city which has already been mentioned.

enter image description here

In your sentence you can interchange them without changing the meaning.

Ich fahre nach München und da verbleibe ich fünf Tage.

  • coole quelle :) +1 – Emanuel Nov 23 '12 at 17:46

Just for the records (as it does not answer your already answered question) let me be picky on some other aspects of your letter. These are all grammatically correct but could be improved otherwise.

nächstes Wochenende fliege ich nach München und meine Ankunft ist am Sonntag.

As flight and arrival are distinct we may consider to not join them with "und" but keep them in separate sentences.

Dort übernachte ich fünf Tage.

We are talking of days, therefore "übernachten" does not quite fit. Consider "Dort bleibe ich fünf Tage/Nächte".

Ich bringe dir ein tolles Geschenk.

Of course you will also bring a present but when talking of presents we mostly use the split verb "mitbringen" ("Ich bringe Dir ein tolles Geschenk mit").

Was willst du von Bangalore?

It may be personally biased but rather then "wollen" I prefer "mögen" (i.e. "was möchtest du...") as a more polite variant.

In addition when carrying something from somewhere the preposition "aus" is used.

  • Also „Tage übernachten“ ist IMO doch relativ weit verbreitet, weil „Tag“ hier einfach für die Angabe der Dauer verwendet wird. Vermutlich bleibt der/die OP ja sogar eher 6 Tage da, davon 2 Tage nur zum Teil? Ich sehe das ansonsten mit der Wortwahl aber grundsätzlich wie Du. – Speravir Nov 23 '12 at 19:20
  • @Takkat Thank you for the suggestions. Feels very nice to known the improvements. – thandasoru Nov 24 '12 at 2:48

Dort implements as distance, which is not done by da. Like "over there" and "there".

Da da auch dort verwendet werden kann, wo dort verwendet wird verwende ich im Zweifelsfalls dort da, wo dort verwendet wird. (sorry couldn't resist)


The problem is that "dort" refers to Munich, even so it's not so clear from your sentence, since you added another clause in between: "und meine Ankunft ist am Sonntag." Therefore, I would recommend to either:

Nächstes Wochenende fliege ich nach München und übernachte dort fünf Tage. Meine Ankunft ist am Sonntag.


Nächstes Wochenende fliege ich nach München und meine Ankunft ist am Sonntag. In München übernachte ich fünf Tage.

  • 3
    the second sentence should be removed. It has a double München in one line which sounds like it is 2 different cities. Reading this out loud I would trip and a lector would most certainly mark it red. – Emanuel Nov 23 '12 at 11:25

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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