I read a book on german and meet these words very often, but the context still not clearly for me. So I want to see a few examples with these 3 words with translation.


As I read a book further here is one sentence:

»Du warst damals nicht dabei«, sagte Er.

closed as not a real question by Emanuel, Wrzlprmft, Em1, teylyn, splattne May 11 '13 at 9:46

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  • 5
    If you have a book in which these words appear very often then you don't need us to give you examples, they're already in your book! Edit your question to include some of those examples, then describe what is unclear to you about each of them. – Eugene Seidel May 9 '13 at 7:17
  • For example, can you give us a few sentences where you find the context confusing? If yes, then please do. I think that will help you more than us giving examples. – detraveller May 9 '13 at 15:50

"Da" has at least two different meanings:

  • Pointing to a certain spot or situation:
    • Gehe in die Küche, da gibt es etwas zu trinken ("Go to the kitchen, there is something to drink"
    • Wo ist mein Schlüssel? Ach, da ist er ja! ("Where is my key? A, there it is!")
    • Gib auf, da gibt es kein Entkommen! ("Give up, there is no escape!")
  • Giving a reason or explanation (often exchangeable with "weil"):
    • Da er betrunken war, redete er wirres Zeug.("Because he was drunk, he talked gibberish".)
    • Er verstand kein Wort, da er kein Japanisch konnte ("He didn't understand a word, as he didn't speak Japanese")

"Deutete" is past of 3rd person of "deuten", which has two meanings as well

  • "to point to some direction"
    • Er deutete auf den nahen Wald ("He pointed to/at the near forest")
    • Es deutet alles auf ihn als Täter ("Everything leads to him as perpetrator")
  • "to interprete"
    • Er deutete ihr Schweigen als Zustimmung ("He took her silence as agreement")
    • Seine Miene war schwer zu deuten. ("His expression was hard to interprete")

And "dabei" has at least three meanings:

  • "to have something with me", as part of the "splittable" verb "dabeihaben" or "dabeisein"
    • Er hatte seinen Hund dabei ("His dog was with him.")
    • Er war bei jeder Party dabei ("He was present on every party.")
    • Du gehst zu einer Party? Ich bin dabei! ("You are going to a party? I'm coming with you!")
  • "on the contrary", "in contrast", "despite"
    • Er lebte drei Jahre in Japan, dabei sprach er die Sprache nicht ("He lived three years in Japan, despite not speaking the language")
    • Ich war zu einem Picknick, dabei wollte ich gar nicht. ("I was on a picknick, even though I didn't want.")
  • as a placeholder for an action
    • Ich hatte dabei ein mulmiges Gefühl ("I had a strange feeling when doing that.")
    • Du warst auf einer Party? Was hast du dir dabei gedacht? ("You were on a party? What did you think [when you were doing this]?")
  • ""Deutete" is past of 3rd person of "deuten"" or first person: "ich deutete darauf hin, dass 'deutete' nicht nur die dritte, sondern auch die erste person singular von 'deuten' beschreibt" – user1451340 May 10 '13 at 5:55
  • Great explanations! Very thanx! – Marius May 10 '13 at 7:42

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