Dictionary verb *ghabh- geben



to give
Opposite (closest): nehmen
to be
(in the sense of "availability". It's how German phrases the English "there is, there are")


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Word Family

Root: *ghabh-

The core idea of this root was:

grabbing, taking

The meaning of geben and to give comes from the idea of grabbing something to hand it to someone, but the family is more diverse than that.
It’s also the origin of the families of habit and hibit, which both come from the Latin verb habere, which meant to hold. That’s also where able is from, which evolved from the word habilitate.

And also part of the family are due, duty and debt. They all go back to a Latin verb debere, which was about the idea of having to give someone something, and which is nothing other than a combination of de- with … habere again.
Here’s a list of the most important English relatives:

  • debt (having to give)
  • duty (having to give)
  • due (having to give)
  • able (capable of “holding”)
  • habit (something you “hold”)
  • inhabit (holding a place and living there)
  • inhibit (holding in)
  • exhibit (holding outward)
  • prohibit (holding/taking away)
  • to give
  • gift
  • forgive (give away)
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4 months ago

I’ve always thought that
“es gibt” = there exists in the abstract.
But “da ist” = there is right over there

So, es gibt zwei Katzen in meinem Haus.

But. Da ist eine große schwarze Katze auf meinem Bett!

However, reading your comments under “leiden”, you wrote:

“ich habe auch lange gebraucht, bis ich realisiert habe, dass da eine Verbindung ist :)”

Could you have written, “dass es eine Verbindung gibt.”

So that there are cases where you could use either “es gibt” or “da ist”

I didn’t see an article where you explain in glorious detail where the textbooks have lied to us, and oversimplified things :)

Also, you wrote above that “es gibt” is about “availability”–

Like ” es gibt zwei Apotheken” — for you to buy stuff from.

But it’s not like there’s a connection that’s available …

4 months ago
Reply to  Emanuel

No worries :) I know you must have a huge inbox. I appreciate every response.

To finish the topic:

Is there any difference between
Da ist
Es ist

Could one say,
es ist eine Katze auf meinem Bett.
as well as
da ist eine Katze auf meinem Bett

with da just more off a spatial emphasis, like, hey, look over there, a cat!

I think I’ve seen a lot of
Es sind
Like could one say,
Es sind zwei Hunde auf meinem Bett.

I only ask because it would be good not to make a mistake when one tries to say some simple like

“there is/are” —

LIke, well, I know the ten prefix versions of “hindern” but can’t say there’s a cat! LOL.

Thanks again. Super appreciated.

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