Thursday, 5 March 2009


One preposition that we don't have in English is bei. It means 'at the home of' or 'at the shop of' or more simply 'at'. It sounds like the English word 'by' as it follows the rule that the German letters 'ei' sound like eye and ie sound like ee. As there is no sense of movement bei only takes the dative case.

We would normally say 'he works with a big company' but in German you have to think 'bei'. Er arbeitet bei einer großen Firma. Er ist beim Fleischer oder beim Metzger. Ich kann bei mir fernsehen. Notice that if you say 'bei dem' you can shorten it to 'beim'.

Do you know the traditional Scottish song 'My bonnie lies over the ocean'? The Beatles recorded it partly in German. "Mein Herz ist bei dir nur". Obviously there is artistic and poetic licence to song lyrics, but you can see that there may not be an obvious translation for a prepostion. However you should know what "Mein Herz ist bei dir nur" means.

Bis bald

No comments:

Post a Comment