German word of the day: Da

German word of the day: Da
A woman at a 2019 protest wears a shirt with the slogan: "Mother Earth, I am here (da) for you." Photo: DPA
Da. So simple. So short. So many meanings.

A two-letter word that somehow means here, there and seemingly any location in time and space, Da is a little word with a big meaning.

“Since” and “because” can also be synonyms for the all-powerful Da

We’ll start with physical locations. First, Da can simply mean “here.” 


“Ich bin da.” 

“I am here.” 

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A second meaning: there. 


“Ich bin hier, und er ist da.”

“I am here, and he is there.” 

Okay, cool. Not too bad. Let’s move on to something more complicated. 

Another meaning: At this moment. 

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“Von da an, wusste ich, dass es eine Katastrophe wird.”

“From that moment on, I knew it would be a disaster.”  

Da can also mean “under these circumstances.” 


“Wenn Sie mich bitten zu gehen, da bin ich schon weg.” 

“If you ask me to leave, I’m as good as gone.” 

Da can also mean “because.”

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“Da er seine Stöcke vergessen hat, konnte er nicht Skifahren.” 

“Because he forgot his poles, he couldn’t go skiing.” 

Finally, Da can also simply be the opening for a sentence. 
“Da sieht man eine Frau auf der U-Bahn.”
“There you can see a woman on the subway.” 
Oof. There it is. An overview of a small word with large uses.  

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