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I was watching a video about preposition in German and the comparison between the uses of "in" and "bei", and how "bei" can be used with "Personen/ Firmen/Aktivitäten" and they used "Ich bin beim Sport" as an example for activities, but sadly I didn't get it. Some help please

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    I might help to link to the video to see exactly what they're saying and what might be confusing about it, and generally to provide some context.
    – RDBury
    Apr 16 at 2:51

3 Answers 3

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In addition to what Ruruko wrote, there can be a spatial meaning involved. In this case,

Ich bin beim Sport.

could be compared to something like

Ich bin beim Bäcker.
I'm at the baker's. / I'm at the bakery.

Then, the meaning would be something like

I'm at the place where I (usually) exercise.

refering to a gymnasium, for example.

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    I think this would be the usual way, this phrase would be said and understood Apr 16 at 10:40
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This grammatical form is called "Verlaufsform" and is similar to the English progressive form, so it describes a process that is currently taking place. It can also be used with "am" (then it is called "am-Progressiv") or "im".

The sentence has the same meaning as "Ich mache gerade Sport." = "I'm doing sports."

Some more examples:

  • Ich bin beim Essen. = Ich esse gerade.
  • Ich bin am Arbeiten. = Ich arbeite gerade.
  • Ich bin im Weggehen. = Ich gehe gerade weg.
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    It may help to make the connection if you note that "Ich mache gerade Sport" can also be expressed as "Ich bin gerade dabei, Sport zu machen". This phrasing is quite close to "Ich bin beim Sport". Apr 16 at 9:48
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    as a German native speaker, "Ich bin beim Essen" sounds like "I am eating at a restaurant" while "Ich bin am essen" sounds like "I am having a meal". Apr 16 at 18:40
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    "Ich bin beim Sport" can be translated in two different ways: 1. Is the place important? If so, something like: "Ich bin im Fitnesstudio" (I am at the gym). 2. If the activity is important, present progressive ("Verlaufsform") is the way to go, so something like: "Ich mache gerade Sport" meaning "I am doing sports right now". From a semantic standpoint "Ich mache gerade Sport" and "Ich bin beim Sport" mean they same; they are just two different grammatic ways to do it. Apr 16 at 18:42
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This is a vague expression and Sport is a large category encompassing both 'sports' and 'fitness / working out' in American English.

So I'd translate it as either "I'm at practice." or "I'm working out." — depending on whether the 'fitness' meaning of Sport is intended, or the 'team sport' meaning. Those two sentences have different information in them (place vs. activity), but that's colloquial Am. English.

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