German Da-Compounds and uses of es
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What is the function of the da-compound in German?
the da-compound is the shortcut with which German refers to inanimate objects or ideas with prepositions
How are da- compounds formed? (prepositional da-compounds)
- 1. the da preceeds the preposition
- 2. when the proposition begins with a vowel, an r is inserted to facilitate pronunciation (this in turn causes the a of the da to disappear in colloquialisms)
- 3. da compounds cannot be formed with außer, gegenüber, ohne, seit, or with genitive prepositions
How are da- compounds used? (prepositional da-compounds)
1. the da in the compound stands for whatever is being referred to in combination with the preposition, regardless of its gender, case, or number
2. this also eliminates the need to worry about case when combining with two-way prepositions
Ich kann nichts dafür
It's not my fault
Es kommt drauf an.
It all depends.
Darauf kommt es an.
That's what counts.
Dabei bleibt es.
That's how it's going to be.
Was sagen Sie dazu?
What do you have to say about that?
Es ist aus damit.
Out with it!
Was haben wir davon?
What good does it do us?
How are prepositional object phrases created in German? (Anticipatory da-compounds)
- 1. the da compound containing the preposition is inserted into the middle field of the main clause
- 2. the information linked to the preposition follows directly after the main clause in the form of an additional clause
- 3. the additional clause can be an infinitive clause or a subordinate clause
- 4. if the subject of the anticipated clause is different from the main clause, the anticipated clause must be subjunctive
- 5. the clauses are separated by a comma
- 6. sometimes an optional anticipatory da-compound is added even when not essential for completing the meaning of the verb
- 7. the da-compounds dahin and daher are used with gehen and kommen and cannot be omitted
What is the impersonal es in German?
like in English, it is used to indicate the occurrence of activities without any specific doers, as with time and weather expressions
example: es regnet
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