The meaning(s) of “vorbei”

Hello everyone,

and welcome to our German Word of the Day. This time we’ll have a look at the meaning of

vorbei

 

And the question on everyone’s mind is of course “Come on, German, for real? We’re combining two of these ..uhm.. things into one word now?”
To which German will answer
“Na klar, wo ist das Problem?”
The problem is of course that it can be bit confusing for learners, especially when they hear it in a sentence.
But okay, German is not exactly known for caring if something is confusing for learners.
“I am the most confusingest language on the planet… muahahahahahaha!”
Yeah, yeah whatever.

Anyway, so vorbei is obviously a combination of the two prepositions vor and bei.

Vor is about the core idea of in front, ahed, and it can be used for location as well as time and all kinds of other figurative contexts.

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Noisha
Noisha
2 years ago

I love your lessons. You are a good human and teacher :)

Anonymous
Anonymous
2 years ago

Could you please explain to me (ein Anfänger;), why did you use Dativ in the sentence ” Ich fahre an der Bibliothek…”
According to me, we would have to use Akkusativ because it refers to movement.
Anyway, thanks for sharing your knowledge (and humour)!

Davis
Davis
2 years ago

It would be awesome to just listen to this whole piece, in addition to reading it.

niamh
niamh
3 years ago

Hi There, sadly can’t work this out: ◾Wobei, ich wollt’ davor bei dir vorbei : I wanted to pass by before you???? Can you help?

Thanks

Niamh

SteveBead
SteveBead
3 years ago

Ich halte mir die Ohren zu, wenn eine Feuerwehr an mir vorbeifährt.
Deine Idee geht an dem Problem vorbei.

Emanuel why do we have the ‘an’ in these sentences where we use a vorbei related word?

thanks Steve

Nami
Nami
5 years ago

Hey Emanuel, Could you please do if possible german word ‘vor’ just vor because i think alone can be used in different context and it make me bit confused and also can be used as prefix like one explained above or simply suffix ‘Bevor’ /’ Zuvor’ / ‘Davor’ (that already been explain in da’ articles)

Nami
Nami
5 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Thank you :-)

turanm
turanm
5 years ago

“Ich fahre an der Bibliothek vorbei und mache ein Foto.” surely this should be an den as its transitive?

Anonymous
Anonymous
8 years ago

“Mahrzeit”?

Vindara
Vindara
7 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Can we say” kann ich mal vorbei” inst ead of vorbei kommen …..can ppl understand itfrom d context?

jaygopalanmusic
jaygopalanmusic
8 years ago

Hallo, und danke für ein wundervolles Artikel! Ich habe eine Frage, nicht über dem Wort “vorbei”, aber im Allgemeinen. Im Beispielsatz, „Ich halte mir die Ohren zu, wenn eine Feuerwehr an mir vorbeifährt.”, warum sagt man nicht „Ich halte mir die Ohren zu, wenn eine Feuerwehr an mir fährt vorbei”? Ich habe gesehen, dass das Präfix trennbar sein–ich unterstehe nicht. Bitte erklären Sie?

(Oh, and my German sucks, so it’d be awesome if you could correct all the mistakes I made above)

Grateful Reader
Grateful Reader
8 years ago

Darf ich einen eventuellen Vorschlag machen? Wir könnten zwischen den Hauptbeiträgen auch unser Deutsch üben, indem wir kurze Texte ins Deutsche übersetzen würden, ungefähr 3-4-5 Sätze (aus den Nachrichten o.Ä.). Dann die üblichen Korrekturen, Vergleich der Ergebnisse und deine Vorschläge zum besseren Übersetzen… Könnte nützlich sein.

Grateful Reader
Grateful Reader
8 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Ach so, verstehe. Dann noch eine zusätzliche vorläufige Idee – vllt. könnten wir zu jedem deinem Artikel, der mit dem Wortschatz zu tun haben wird, Miniaufsätze (wieder mal 4-5 Sätze) mit dazugehörigen Wörtern verfassen? Dabei läuft alles nach wie vor, außer dass du bloß mehr Kommentare kriegst als üblich.

Grateful Reader
Grateful Reader
8 years ago

> i dont the card with me ” they say ” ich habe nicht die karte vorbei ” is that true ? can we use it this way ?

I strongly doubt that anyone says this. You probably mean “Ich habe die Karte nicht dabei”.

hitch
hitch
8 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

thank you both for making it clear ! so dabei not vorbei ! :D thanks

peter mohideen
peter mohideen
8 years ago

hi

I wanted to thank you for your blog. I’m in berlin and I just finished b1 at the vhs. german is still really confusing and your blog posts help put everything in context before I take my test. I shared your blog with some people in my class and they all love it too, even the spanish who don’t speak english so well. thanks for explaining everything so entertainingly.

hitch
hitch
8 years ago

hello , thanks for this word :D sometimes i hear people using it like if they want to say ” i dont the card with me ” they say ” ich habe nicht die karte vorbei ” is that true ? can we use it this way ?
1 more thing , can we request a word of the day for later ? coz i would like to read some explanation about the word ” holen “, is it like the “get ” in english ? coz u know there is a lot of ways to use ” get ” is that the same in german ? and how does it work in german please !?
oh , 1 more thing :$ u told me before to read more german to gain more vocabs , have u any idea where i can find some easy german texts to read so i can understand at least some of what im reading !?

markusblanus
8 years ago

Hey great blog on the nuances of the German language! I love learning new languages and I am currently studying four languages, and I must say your blog is taking it to a whole other level. I have seen other blogs on German, and other languages too. I think part of your success is the language itself. It lends itself to much exploration because you can combine words is a simple way in German, and yet, the other secret to your success is how you explain the details (etymology) of how each word formed over the centuries in German for its various meanings. I really enjoy how you break down the different meanings of each word into an enjoyable read. Bravo! Two questions for you if you have the time: How many languages do you speak or study, and I believe your native language (from what I have read) is German?

Ahmad
Ahmad
8 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Bitte, Emanuel was bedeutet dieser ausdruck ?” I can kiss awake whenever I need it ” Je devine quelque chose comme ” se débrouiller ou manager ” mais je ne suis pas sur .

Ahmad
Ahmad
8 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Ach so! wie Brüder GRIMM’s Märchen Rosendörnchen .Welches interecentes verb! Vielen dank .

Grateful Reader
Grateful Reader
8 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Some polyglots advise to learn several languages at once, say that it’s actually somehow easier. Dunno whether it’s true, but there you have it.

Ahmad
Ahmad
8 years ago

I don’t know . I’m dubitative to learn sevral langages simultaneously.

markusblanus
8 years ago

I agree – by studying four languages concurrently I do not find it that much difficult as folks would think. Of course, I did not venture out of 2 or 3 languages for years. In the last 3 years did I move into my fourth language. They also say if you are bilingual before age 8, you have more gray matter in your brain to assess more languages – I am not sure if this is true, it was from a study I once read. I was a bilingual baby so I am not sure if this has helped me or not.

markusblanus
8 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Great job on your other languages! I speak Spanish, German, and then there is Italian and French that I love practicing as well. However, living in Southern California makes Spanish EXTREMELY assessable, and of course, Italian its’ “near and dear cousin” language. Finnish, like all the Scandinavian languages beginning with Denmark and Northward do not have verb conjugations – rather they use the “declination of the noun” itself which puts them on an entire new point of view. Some folks say “oh no verb conjugations should make it easier, but noooo the noun declination is entirely foreign to my neuro-mind make up. Keep on keeping on – I really enjoy your word of the day and will make a donation to you – is it through pay pal? (:

Grateful Reader
Grateful Reader
8 years ago
Reply to  markusblanus

Does it make sense to write “Finnish, like all the Scandinavian languages”, as if they constituted a separate group, even though Finnish is not even Indo-European?

markusblanus
8 years ago

I am just saying Finnish like the other Scandinavian language uses “noun declension” instead of “verb conjugations.” I find this fascinating. So you have to know your noun classifications. I do not know other details of the Finnish language (like that it is not Indo-European), and I only studied Finnish in a flash – maybe two or three weeks. In this sense, these languages are considered distinct from other languages. Or, if you would like, a separate grouping of languages. Hope this helps in clarifying what I was trying to point out (:

yngwievai
yngwievai
8 years ago
Reply to  markusblanus

Finnish does have verb conjugation. We don’t even have to use personal pronouns to imply “who’s doing what” because it’s so visible in the verb form. And there’s a verb form for passive too, so unlike in German we only need one one word to form the passive (Es wird gesprochen/ Man spricht vs. Puhutaan). Verb forms don’t only imply “who’s doing what” but a bunch of other stuff too, such as conditional or the likeliness of something happening.

I don’t know for sure about other “Scandinavian” languages, but the noun declination in Swedish is relatively simple. The definite – indefinite thing makes it a bit harder especially since we don’t have that in Finnish, but it’s still nothing compared to the noun declination in fenno-ugrian languages. I applaud foreigners that are able/willing to even pick up the basics of Finnish.

yngwievai
yngwievai
8 years ago
Reply to  yngwievai

Finnish is supposed to be pretty monotone, but I guess us girls are too emotional or passionate or something to be monotone. :D I think English or Swedish have made an impact on the way we speak Finnish nowadays, because a lot of people – especially young women from Helsinki – have a rather annoying habit of raising their intonation towards the end of the word (loppukiekaisu as we call it). Even reporters on TV emphasize syllables wrong even though it should come naturally to only emphasize the first syllable.

Yeah, I guess the core-syllable thing makes sense, it just seems that there would be an awful lot of core-syllables or core-syllable groups to learn. The local cases have other meanings too, like “MinuLLA on kissa” or “Tuoksuu hyväLTÄ/LLE” but I guess context makes it pretty easy to understand anyway.

I don’t unfortunately really understand what you’re trying to say with your sentence, but it could sort of make sense if Oivaluu was a word or like a name of a god. Then it’d be kinda like “thanks to the languages that Oivaluu has bestowed (upon us)”. :D

yngwievai
yngwievai
8 years ago
Reply to  yngwievai

The translation of insight is “oivallus” so there’s probably something wrong with your dictionary… The better way to say it would be “Kiitos oivalluksesta(si) suomen kieleen (liittyen)” but it still sounds pretty weird. Oivallus sounds like you’ve been thinking about something for a long time and then you finally understand it. I would probably say something like “Kiitos näkökulmasta(si)/näkökannasta(si) suomen kieleen”.

Your train of thought makes sense, but for some reason “thank” is kind of directed outwards (kiitos joSTAkin). You were right about insights being directed toward/into something, but the declination was off – “kieliin” is the plural. You were also right about the adjective taking the same ending as the noun, but the word “suomi” isn’t an adjective. The word suomi (with a lower-case “s”) just means the language so you have to use the genitive, which gives the phrase the meaning “the language of Finnish”.

Ich möchte dir noch für dein Blog danken! Es hat mir sehr viel geholfen, als ich für die B2-Prüfung und für die “ylioppilaskirjoitukset” gelernt habe.

Ahmad
Ahmad
8 years ago

Ach enschuldigung! Ich möchte ” brauchen” sagen .

Grateful Reader
Grateful Reader
8 years ago
Reply to  Ahmad

Du meinst wahrscheinlich, du *wolltest* das sagen, da sich deine Aussage eher auf die Vergangenheit bezieht, während “möchte” eine Präsensform ist.

Ahmad
Ahmad
8 years ago

Du hast vollkommen recht . Vielen Dank .

Grateful Reader
Grateful Reader
8 years ago

Ich glaube, dieser Ausdruck verdient es, im Artikel erwähnt zu werden: aneinander vorbeireden

Grateful Reader
Grateful Reader
8 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

:D

Ahmad
Ahmad
8 years ago

Gute idee. Es gibt ein paar halbmodal verben, wie heissen, helfen, gebrauchen, sehen als Ersatinfinitif .

Grateful Reader
Grateful Reader
8 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Ihr redet aneinander vorbei. ;)

Grateful Reader
Grateful Reader
8 years ago

Frage zum Ersatzinfinitiv.

Du wirst gefragt. – Du wurdest gefragt.
Du könntest gefragt werden. – Du hättest gefragt werden können. ?

dass du gefragt wirst – dass du gefragt wurdest
dass du gefragt werden könntest – dass du hättest gefragt werden können ?

Grateful Reader
Grateful Reader
8 years ago

Was bedeutet “herbei”?

Ahmad
Ahmad
8 years ago

hierher, hierhin ( or hither in English )

Grateful Reader
Grateful Reader
8 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Wieso sagt dann der Duden in allen “herbei”-haltigen Einträgen, “herbei” impliziere Bewegung aus Entfernung zum Sprechenden?
Z.B. “herbeischaffen

von einer entfernt liegenden Stelle an einen bestimmten Ort, zum Sprechenden schaffen, bringen”

Grateful Reader
Grateful Reader
8 years ago

Erstens habe ich nur danach hineingeschaut.
Zweitens verstehe ich den Unterschied nicht zw. z.B. “herkommen” und “herbeikommen”. Duden hilft nicht dabei.

Grateful Reader
Grateful Reader
8 years ago

Ach so. Wieso nicht mit “du”?
“Du riefst und alle eilten herbei” – zu dir?

Grateful Reader
Grateful Reader
8 years ago

Ich habe rumgesucht und habe diese Aussage gefunden:

“Das Gegenteil von “herbei” ist “weg”, das Gegenteil von “hierher” ist “von hier fort.” ”

Würdest du der zustimmen? Könnte man sagen (wenn das Sinn macht), dass “her” mehr “geometrisch” ist (sagt aus, dass etwas von dort drüben nach da kam), während “herbei” eher “ergebnisorientiert” ist (sagt aus, dass etwas hier ist/sein wird, was hier zuvor nicht war)?

Grateful Reader
Grateful Reader
8 years ago

“eins gehört gehört” – the first [channel] deserves to be listened to?

Ahmad
Ahmad
8 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Was bedeutet eigentlich dieser Ausdruck ? Es ist ein wortspiel mit Hören (particip 2: gehört ) und Gehören ( particip 2: gehören) ? Voraus danke.

Grateful Reader
Grateful Reader
8 years ago
Reply to  Ahmad

“Was bedeutet eigentlich dieser Ausdruck ?”

Ich habe die Bedeutung im ersten Kommentar angegeben.

“Es ist ein wortspiel mit Hören (particip 2: gehört ) und Gehören ( particip 2: gehören) ?”

Jup. Analog: “Sie gehört bestraft.”

Ahmad
Ahmad
8 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Vielen vielen dank für deine erklärung . Ahmad

Ahmad
Ahmad
8 years ago

It’s imperfect

Christopher Kellen
8 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Also, definitiv negativ, dann. Es war nicht so einfach in Kontext zu sehen. Danke schön zu beide!

Christopher Kellen
8 years ago
Reply to  Emanuel

Wirklich. Aber nicht an *dir* (dativ), nur *dich* (akkusativ)? Faszinierend! Deutsch ist immer überraschend!