A fun look at the German da-words .... davon, damit, dabei and so on. We'll learn what they are, how they work, how to use them and why they're actually cool.
We'll learn how to properly arrange actions (clauses) in time using the German words for before, after and while. Also: difference between nachdem and danach and others
bevor, vorher, danach, nachdem, während
The da-compounds sure take a while to master. But it doesn't stop there. Because in spoken German, da-words often get split up. Today, we'll learn all about it.
The core idea of this root was:
going beyond, going forth
And a lot of its children revolve in some way around the idea of travelling or exploring – like for instance the German fahren and führen or the English further.
It’s the origin of Latin prefixes like per-, pro-, pro- and also of the Germanic branch around for(e) and German vor, which are all about either “going forth” or a more abstract notion of going beyond a boundary.
The root is also the origin of German fahren and führen and the English fare, which all come from a sense of travelling, going into the unknown.
You can get a really good understanding of how the core idea can lead to various meanings by looking at German ver-.
The family is very big, but here’s an incomplete list of English members:
- pre- (mixed)
- pro- (mixed)
- per- (mixed)
- para- (beyond)
- to fare, far (venturing)
- for (from person A to person B)
- forward, forth, further (going ahead)