The following is from a YouTube video:

"Was sagen deine Familie und Freunde dazu, dass du YouTube-Videos drehst?"
"Also meine Familie geht da echt gut mit um also die haben mich sogar da drin unterstützt."

I found in the dictionaries that there is a construction "mit jemandem/etwas irgendwie umgehen".

However, in the original sentence the mit is not followed by any object. Can someone please explain the grammar in this sentence. And also, what does da mean here?

  • the da in this sentece stands for the "dass du youtube videos drehst". it's hard to explain for me. i guess you can compare it to something like this . how do your parents deal with your drinking / smoking? they deal with IT openly. this IT reflects whatever it was about in the sentence before. Commented Oct 3, 2013 at 13:01

3 Answers 3


It occurs in colloquial speech. It's a split-up of damit, which at the same time utilizes da as a filler (meaning there / in this matter/situation).

Meine Familie geht damit echt gut um. (My family deals with it really well.)

Da geht meine Familie echt gut mit um.

Meine Familie geht da echt gut mit um.

(The expression 'mit etwas umgehen' was adopted from the realms of psychological counseling, figuratively meaning 'to deal/cope with sth.', e.g. stress, disappointments, traumatic incidents ...)

  • You can also use damit without splitting it up: "Meine Familie geht damit gut um.". Commented Oct 3, 2013 at 15:49
  • 2
    "fillers" have no meaning... the da is not a filler but a regular part of the sentence. Without it the sentence wouldn't be grammatical anymore. Also, I'd like to add that this is more than colloquial by now... it is a new feature but it is gaining ground every day
    – Emanuel
    Commented Oct 3, 2013 at 19:21

I think I found the answer myself in Wikipedia's article on preposition stranding:

Some regional varieties of German show the same phenomenon with da(r)- and wo(r)- forms. For example:
Standard German requires Ich kann mir davon nichts kaufen.
literally, I can me therefrom nothing buy.
i.e., I can't buy anything with this.
Some dialects permit Ich kann mir da nichts von kaufen.
literally, I can me there-[clipped] nothing from buy.
i.e., I can't buy anything with this.
Alternatively, one might also say Da kann ich mir nichts von kaufen.
literally, There-[clipped] can I me nothing from buy.
i.e., I can't buy anything with this.

Would be nice to know what dialects exactly, though. Because it really seemed to me that the speaker was speaking standard German.

  • I wouldn't say it's so much a dialect but rather a colloquial practice. It's still a standard word that's just used in a nonstandard way. That sort of thing can happen pretty much anywhere.
    – Kevin
    Commented Oct 3, 2013 at 13:51
  • 1
    @Kevin: No, it is clearly associated with northern Germany.
    – chirlu
    Commented Oct 3, 2013 at 16:24
  • @chirlu I just meant that using standard words in nonstandard ways can happen pretty much anywhere. That's why I said "that sort of thing", meaning that changing words around doesn't necessarily make it a dialect as much as a colloquial practice. Specific words that are changed may only occur in certain regions, as in this case. But I was just addressing the use of the word "dialect".
    – Kevin
    Commented Oct 4, 2013 at 4:59
  • @Kevin: OK, we can agree that "dialect" is not the best word here.
    – chirlu
    Commented Oct 4, 2013 at 5:22

Your explanation from Wikipedia is correct.

The speaker is probably somewhere from northern Germany. There, most people speak in a way that sounds very close standard German (and they normally think it is). Splitting »damit« and others is one of the exceptions.

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