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This is a sentence from Duolingo. The app translates it as "don't stay with him". Does this mean don't stay at his place or break up with him?

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    I'd say the latter. Commented Aug 27, 2020 at 13:29
  • Shouldn't that be "Bleib nicht mit ihm"? I thought 'bei' was used to mean staying at someone's place.
    – user392289
    Commented Aug 27, 2020 at 13:43
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    No, this would be very uncommon. In this case it's not about location at all, but the relationship stands focussed. Commented Aug 27, 2020 at 13:46
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    @user392289: No, because "mit jemandem sein" is quite unidiomatic. If anything, you can say "mit jemandem zusammen sein" (in which case your suggestion should read "Bleib nicht mit ihm zusammen"), and then the meaning is even somewhat more clearly (if not absolutely exclusively) about relationship status. The only occasion where "mit jemandem sein" is typically used is as somewhat archaic language in religious contexts, such as "Gott ist mit dir." (and this, obviously, does not point out romantic relationship status, but rather being on/at someone's side or ready to support them). Commented Aug 27, 2020 at 20:40
  • Note, Duolingo has its own discussion forum, so see the thread for this question as well.
    – RDBury
    Commented Aug 28, 2020 at 8:46

1 Answer 1

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It can mean both depending on the context. But it more often means break up with him. It would mean don't stay at his place if someone had explicitly asked about staying with him in a specific situation e.g. staying in his flat for this night. The (warning) answer could be Nein, bleib nicht bei ihm. But this is not as often.

To express the request to leave the place next to him it's common and natural to add a verb, which describes the action the addressee does in order to keep the place, e.g. Bleib nicht bei ihm stehen if the addressee stands next to him or Bleib nicht bei ihm sitzen if the addressee sits next to him.

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