Ich Bin Dabei, Du Bist Dabei

For me, one of the most difficult words to use correctly is the German word “doch”. After all these years!

Perhaps you struggle with the word “dabei”? It’s a tricky word to translate into English, because there are so many different ways to express it.

Let’s take a closer look.

Do you know the chorus, “Ich bin dabei, du bist dabei, wir sind dabei uns zu verlier’n”? (Good that you can’t hear me singing it.)

Here we could say, “I’m in the process of …” or “I’m in the middle of …

So you might say that you are in the process/in the middle of writing a book. (Ich bin dabei ein Buch zu schreiben.)

Imagine I’m telling you about a concert I  went to recently. You might exclaim, “I was there, too!” (Ich war auch dabei!)

If I ask you if you would like to join me later, you might answer, “Count me in” or simply, “I’m in!” (Ich bin dabei!)

And now you would like to invite me for a coffee, but realise that you’ve forgotten your purse. You might say something like, “Christine, I don’t have any money with me!” (Ich habe kein Geld dabei.)

Do you have any other words that are tricky to translate?


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Foto Christine Sparks

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