'Gibt es' und 'ist' verbs

VidyaMS

VidyaMS

Hallo . 

When should we use 'gibt es ' and when should we use 'ist da ' in a question to ask : Is there ? For eg : Is there some one in the car or is there a book on the table or is it cold today ? 

Danke schön. 
Vidya 
Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor

Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor

Hallo Vidya-manuS,

"Gibt es...?" - "Is there...?" is a general question about what exists whereas "Ist da...?" - "Is there...?" is a question about an observation of a specific situation. 

Let me give you some examples:

"Gibt es hier einen Supermarkt?" - "Is there a supermarket here?" 
This is a general question asking about the existence of a supermarket. 

"Sind da viele Leute im Supermarkt?" - "Are there many people in the supermarket?"
This is a questions referring to a current situation at the supermarket. Sometimes there are many people at the supermarket and other times just a few. 

"Gibt es viele Autos in Hamburg?" - "Are there many cars in Hamburg?"
This is a general question asking if many cars exist. 

"Ist da jemand im Auto?" - "Is there someone in the car?" 
This is referring to a specific situation as in saying "Is there someone in the car 'right now'?" It is not a general situation as there isn't always someone in the car.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any further questions!

Grüße
Julia
sfpugh

sfpugh

Julia
Could you explain a little more fully what is going on with "ist da"

"Ist da jemand im Auto? is this the equivalent of:

"Ist es jemand im Auto da?


 
Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor

Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor

Hi sfpugh,

"Ist da...?" just means "Is there...?". You wouldn't say "Ist es jemand im Auto da?"
A situation where "da" would be placed at the end of the sentence would be when asking if a person or an object was already there such as:
"Ist Tom da?" - "Is Tom here?"
"Ist das neue Buch schon da?" - "Is the new book here yet?"  (e.g. when ordering a book online and waiting for the delivery) 

I hope this answers your question. If you have any further questions feel free to ask!

Grüße
Julia
 
sfpugh

sfpugh

I guess what I was thinking about is, what happened to the dummy subject "es".
I managed to find the following example in "Easy German Grammar"
Es sind kaum Leute da and
Da sind kaum Leute.
With the comment "Where the subject and verb swap places in the clause or sentence the es is dropped" 
Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor

Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor

Hi sfpugh,

Yes, the "es" is not always needed. As you said, it's acting as a dummy subject, also called an expletive subject. It is needed to ensure the proper sentence structure without changing the meaning of the sentence. 

When the locative adverb or adverb of place "da" is placed in front of the verb, the "es" is not needed. This also changes the meaning of the sentence:

"Es sind kaum Leute da." - "There are hardly any people there." 
This is a general statement about the existence of the people.

"Da sind kaum Leute." -"There are hardly any people there."
This is a very specific statement with "da" meaning "exactly in this place".

Grüße
Julia





 
sfpugh

sfpugh

Thank you for the explanation, that's quite a subtle difference between da at the start and end of the sentence!
 
VidyaMS

VidyaMS

Thanks Julia for the explaination . I guess with more German practise  I would be able to use the sentence forms easily with out stopping to think if its a general sentence or a situation specific ... Sowieso , Danke .  :) 
Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor

Julia-Rocket-German-Tutor

Hi Vidya-manuS,

yes, definitely!

Grüße
Julia

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