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Here is an exchange from one of the Goethe Zertifikat mock tests:

  1. Hast du Lust mit mir ins Kino zu gehen? Es läuft "Gegen der Wand."
  2. Da war ich schon drin. Schöner Film, aber noch Mal will ich den nicht sehen.

What does "drin sein" mean exactly? I've read that it means something like "to be inside" but it does not seem to fit here. Unless it's some subtle idiomatic meaning.

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  • It's idiomatic German. Can you make an educated guess from the context? Pretty sure your guess will be right Sep 12, 2023 at 15:34
  • In ist, wer drin ist! Sep 12, 2023 at 15:45
  • "im Kino" -- the "in" is extende to: "in diesem Film bin ich gewesen" (metonymy Kino-Film)
    – Alazon
    Sep 12, 2023 at 16:24

1 Answer 1

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The meaning is idiomatic, and it's not as subtle as you may think ;) "In einem Film drin gewesen sein" (mostly used in past tense) simply refers to going to / into the cinema and watching a movie. Therefore,

Da war ich schon drin.

just means

I've already been in the cinema (watching that movie).

or

I've already seen that.

It may be noteworthy that this phrase is typically used when you go some place to watch a movie. You wouldn't use with a movie you watch on TV in your living room, for example.

You might find it used with other forms of narrative entertainment like stage plays, but mostly it is used in the context of movies.

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  • It reminds me of the English expression "Been there, done that." This can be used even if what is being talked about does not involve actually being some particular location or doing some particular activity. But the expression conveys a certain amount of frustrated boredom which doesn't seem to be in the German idiom. See Wiktionary.
    – RDBury
    Sep 12, 2023 at 22:48
  • @RDBury Yes, the German "in einem Film (drin) gewesen sein" is neutral and just conveys that you've seen the movie. Sep 13, 2023 at 5:51
  • Yes, it would fit for theater, concert, opera, lecture, entertainment parks like Disney and the like as well. Sep 13, 2023 at 13:35

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