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ب / عند

Discussion in 'العربية (Arabic)' started by big sea, Aug 2, 2014.

  1. big sea Junior Member

    Bosnian and German

    My question is very simple. عند البيت means 'at the house (outside of it, not inside)'. The sentence أنا عند بيتي means 'I am at my house (but not inside my house)'.

    I have read in some grammar books that ب (and in some I read even في) can have the same function.

    According to this books أنا بالبيت (and also أنا في البيت) can mean "I am inside my home" but also "I am at my home but not inside of my home".

    Is it really possible to use ب (and في) for the same as عند?
  2. Hemza Senior Member

    Paris, France
    French, Moroccan Arabic

    "أنا عند بيتي" has no meaning, sorry. I'm at my house would be: "انا في بيتي/منزلي/داري".

    I don't know if you can use "ب" with the same meaning as "في" (I don't think so) but "عند" in this context is incorrect.
  3. big sea Junior Member

    Bosnian and German
    You said أنا في بيتي means 'I am at my house'. Does this just mean that I am inside my house or can it also mean being very neary house and not inside.

    The language I understand best is german...there you can distingish between 'inside' and 'almost inside'.

    So can أنا في بيتي mean that I am inside my house like in the bedroom BUT ALSO that I am in front of/next to/behind my house.

    Is this correct?
  4. akhooha Senior Member

    English - USA
    "عند البيت" (at the house) doesn't necessarily mean outside the house. It could just as easily mean inside the house. That is why the best translation for "عند" in this context is "at".
    See, for example: Qur'an 8:35 ---
    وَمَا كَانَ صَلَاتُهُمْ عِندَ الْبَيْتِ إِلَّا مُكَاءً وَتَصْدِيَةً
    As far as the meaning of "in", generally speaking "في" is used in MSA. Use of بـِ for that meaning is more colloquial.
  5. Hemza Senior Member

    Paris, France
    French, Moroccan Arabic
    As akhooka said, the usage of "ب" is colloquial and used (as far as I know) only in Levantine dialects and some Najdi dialects. Now, if you're only talking about Standard Arabic, I advise you to only focus on "في" if you mean "in/at". Sorry, I don't speak German so I don't know any equivalent...
  6. big sea Junior Member

    Bosnian and German
    Yes I am studing MSA and classic arabic.

    I found the usage of ب as 'in' and 'at' in may MSA/classic arabic books.

    For example I found بالباب. The given translation is 'at the door'.
    In the quran I found ولقد نصركم الله ببدر. A translation from quran experts is 'And already had Allah given you victory at (the battle) of badr.

    So it can't be 100% just colloquial.

    My new question is:
    Does ب always express 'in' or 'at' depending on the context?

    For example:
    بالبيت in the house
    بالبيت at the house
    بالرجل in the man
    بالرجل at the man
    أجلس بالرجل 'I sit at the man (I sit very near of him)
  7. Lone_Wolf Junior Member

    United States
    Hello big sea,

    If I'm not mistaken to say "I am NEAR my house" or "I am CLOSE TO my house" in MSA would be أنا بالقرب من بيتي

    I believe MSA uses قرب من to mean near or in close proximity whereas most colloquials simply use
    قرب or
    ب قرب I hope the native speakers and those more learned would kindly correct me if I'm wrong.
  8. Schem

    Schem Senior Member

    Najdi Arabic
    بـ is completely fine in MSA/formal settings and it's used about as often as في for most of the same purposes. As for the question of the thread, عند in my experience signifies 'beside' or 'outside' a certain place. When it's used with a person (or a place named after a person such as الحلّاق), however, it may mean 'with' or 'at' as in the latter case.

    أنا في بيتي (lit. I'm at my home) means exactly what it says. It can't mean in front of/next to/behind my house which would require an assortment of different words to express.
  9. big sea Junior Member

    Bosnian and German
    No no you missunderstood me

    I ment 'in front of/bext to/behind to' as 'not said where exactly' = 'at' = 'beside'.
    Sorry that I have not chosen my words well.

    Is the following statement correct:
    The sentences أنا في البيت and أنا بالبيت can mean:
    (1) I am in the house.
    (2) I am at my house = I am beside my house.
  10. Schem

    Schem Senior Member

    Najdi Arabic
    No, it is not. :)

    Beside can be expressed by بالقرب من, بجانب, عند instead of في.
  11. big sea Junior Member

    Bosnian and German
    Can it be expressed by ب?

    I have seen بالباب, and the given translation was 'at the door' and not 'in the door'.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2014
  12. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Can anyone be in a door? Can you put someone in a door? This is why بالباب can only be understood and translated with "at the door".
    You know, sometimes you need to imagine the situation you're expressing and not just focus on words, because contexts is always helpful. Like in the examples you put here:

    Can you be in another person? No. Right? So you can't even use this example. But أجلس بالبيت can only be understood as in the house.

    So, to make things easier for you and those who would love to help you, please start by using realistic examples, put things into context, and then it will be much easier for you to understand how these prepositions work. And one more thing: in any language, we learn prepositions as they are used in that language. Comparing them to another language usually leads to confusion, because not all languages use prepositions the same way.
  13. big sea Junior Member

    Bosnian and German
    You are right...somebody can't be in somebody (only exeption is a baby in it mother).

    But it often happens that SOMETHING is inside places where humans can't be.
    Like: 'The insect is inside the wall.' 'Iron is inside the door.' 'The man ate meat - now meat is inside him'.

    You said the meaning somethimes makes it clear that ب is used as 'at'.

    So بالباب is usually understood as 'at the door' but it can also mean 'in the door'.
    So بالسيارة is usually understood as 'in the car' but it can also mean 'at my car'.
    So بالبيت is usually understood as 'in the house' but it can also mean 'at the house'.
    So في جيدها is usually understood as 'in her neck' but it can also mean 'around her neck'.

    Am I right?
  14. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    A baby inside his mother is في رحم أمه not في أمه not بأمه . So, the whole expression, phrase or sentence makes a difference and should be taken into account.
    Good examples. Please keep using examples that make sense and that constitute at least meaningful phrases. So,
    The insect is inside the wall الحشرة في الحائط (although this too is hard to imagine, insects are usually on walls على الحائط)
    Iron inside the door الحديد في الباب
    meat inside the man (!) اللحم في بطن الرجل (in his stomac, not in him. At least this is how it would be expressed in Arabic).
    And as you can see, all this examples use في , not بـ .
    Again, try to use a verb and write short full sentence. Prepositions follow verbs, and verbs help understand which meaning is intended.
  15. big sea Junior Member

    Bosnian and German
    OK I will try

    في as around
    في يدي عسل - meaning 'around my hand there is honey (I put my hand in a jar full of honey)'.
    في جيدي حبل - meaning 'around my neck there is a rope

    في as at/ب as at
    أنا في بنت / أنا ببنت - meaning I am at a girl'.
    قام في سيارة / قام بسيارة- meaning 'He stood at a car'.

    And now the onces with which I have I problems:
    ألحشرة بالباب - I think 'the insect is in/at the door' (It can mean both, to fight multible meanings في داخل and بجانب can be used) like...
    ألحشرة في داخل الباب -the insect is inside the door.
    ألحشرة بجانب لباب -the insect is at the door.

    قام في سيارة and قام في سيارة can also mean 'in a car' (for example the car is huge and it is possible to stand in it). But because this is very rare it is usually understood as 'at'. But if I say قام في/بداخل سيارة than it only means 'He stood in a car'.

    The same wih أنا في/بالبيت - I am in the house (but maybe it is understood as 'at' like when the house is burning and I am a reporter who stands in front of thr house and talks into the camera. Again داخل and بجناب can eliminate every missunderstanding.

    I know it is much to read and I thank you and everyone for reading, explaining and being patiant with me :D
  16. Ibn Nacer Senior Member

    French - France
    Je pense qu'en français "أنا عند بيتي" signifie "Je suis chez moi (à ma maison)".
  17. big sea Junior Member

    Bosnian and German
    Sorry I do not speak france

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