Da wären wir!

Discussion in 'Deutsch (German)' started by Kay Champs, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. Kay Champs

    Kay Champs Senior Member

    "Da wären wir!"
    I guess this expression is used when you arrive at your destination and means "here we are!"
    My question is why "wären" instead of "sind".
  2. perpend

    perpend Banned

    American English
    Hmmm ... do you have the source text? It's hard to tell.

    Can you provide some wider context?
  3. Kay Champs

    Kay Champs Senior Member

    perpend, sorry for having given no context.
    Here is the context: A car carrying some passengers has now arrived in a car parking area of a department building. As the driver is trying to locate the car in position, one of the passengers says: "Da wären wir!" followed by another passenger saying "Wir sind angekommen!" to still another who is fast asleep.
  4. perpend

    perpend Banned

    American English
    Hi Kay, Thank much for providing the context! I am familiar with this construction "Da wären wir!", in the context you provide. It's idiomatic, but I can't explain why. Native speakers will be along soon to explain, but again, it's a common expression in this context.
  5. Kay Champs

    Kay Champs Senior Member

    Thanks perpend. Let's wait for native speakers' answers!:)
  6. Demiurg

    Demiurg Senior Member

    "Da wären wir!" is simply idiomatic, you could also say: "So, da sind wir!". A similar phrase is "Das hätten wir (geschafft)!". But I can't explain why Konjunktiv II is used here.
  7. Kay Champs

    Kay Champs Senior Member

    Demiurg, thank you. At least I now know that "Da wären wir!" does not convey any subtle difference from "So, da sind wir!" as I falsely guessed, despite the use of Konjunktive II. (I thought the nuance added by Konjunktive II here was that the degree of having reached the destination :)confused: funny though it may sound) was such that one could say "here we are" because we are almost there.)
  8. Sowka

    Sowka Senior Member

    German, Northern Germany
    Hello :)

    In such a situation, the expressions "da wären wir" and "da sind wir" mean exactly the same thing. The difference is in the flavor, somehow. "Da sind wir" is a mere statement of a fact, and, since the fact is so obvious, it might sound know-it-allish. The Konjunktiv in "da wären wir" makes this statement softer, it's more like offering the statement to the other person.
  9. Kay Champs

    Kay Champs Senior Member

    Sowka, thank you for your comments. I have several German dictionaries but none of them helped me. Your explanation was a great help.:)
  10. Demiurg

    Demiurg Senior Member

    This grammar book calls it "Scharnier-Konjunktiv":
  11. Kay Champs

    Kay Champs Senior Member

    Demiurg, thank you for finding an explanation in DUDEN!!!
    How interesting !
    Then, knowing that the Konjunktiv in "Da wären wir" implies difficulty with which the action in question was achieved, I now wonder "Da sind wir" also conveys or lacks a nuance of difficulty.
  12. Gernot Back

    Gernot Back Senior Member

    Cologne, Germany
    German - Germany
    I don't think that
    Da wären wir

    implies any difficulty of reaching some place. Unlike Duden I think that its example #b is more like its example #c, rather than like example #a.

    Da wären wir only implies an assumed lack of knowlege on the listener's side:

    Imagine so. taking a taxi in a foreign city. He or she is asking the taxi driver to take them to the local court house. The taxi driver will say
    Da wären wir, when they reach the destination, since it is assumed that the passengers don't know what their destination looks like and that they have never been there before.
  13. Sowka

    Sowka Senior Member

    German, Northern Germany
    Good morning :)

    I think the assumed lack of knowledge is not necessary. For instance, my father would often say "So, da wären wir" when we reached our grandparents' home, and we all knew exactly that this was our destination, and that we had reached it.

    So, in addition to the taxi driver situation described by Gernot, this can be a mere set phrase. And I read the situation described by Kay Champs along those lines because it's not the taxi driver who says this but one of the passengers.
  14. Kay Champs

    Kay Champs Senior Member

    Thank you, Gernot and Sowka, for additional information.
    It seems that "Da wären wir" is understood with a slight difference by different people.
  15. Scholiast

    Scholiast Senior Member

    Greetings, all.

    Interesting. Does this "Scharnier" definition also cover spoken uses of the Konjunktiv in phrases such as (Shopkeeper: ) "Haben Sie noch einen Wünsch?" (Customer: ) "Nein, danke, das wäre es", or (Wife to Husband: ) "Könntest Du mir meine Sonnenbrille holen?", response "Ja gerne, aber ich bräuchte den Autoschlüssel"?
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2012
  16. Robocop Senior Member

    Central Switzerland
    (Swiss) German
    I can't do anything with the Scharnier-Konjunktiv definition but I use the Scharnier-Konjunktiv (as they call it) without thinking. As I see it, I would be unable to explain in most cases why I used the Scharnier-Konjunktiv instead of indicative. In my opinion, there seem to be certain phrases with a preference for the Scharnier-Konjunktiv. For example, my reply to the question "Haben Sie noch einen Wunsch?" would usually be "Nein, das wäre alles", although "Nein, das ist alles" could equally be used without changing the meaning. However, you could say that some people may find the "wäre" to be less imperative (less aprupt, more polite) than the somehow more definitive "ist". In other words, a keen shopkeeper may be tempted (not as a rule, of course) to make a suggestion in reply to your "wäre" answer.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
  17. Giorgio Spizzi Senior Member

    Hullo, everyone.

    Maybe I can contribute a small chunk of test taken from the Linguaphone Deutscher Kursus which I memorised years ago when teaching myself German.


    Da wären wir! Das scheint unser Hotel zu sein.
    Da steht ja der Name! Prinzhof. Soll ich mich um das Gepäck bemühen oder willst du es tun?

    u.s.w, u.s.w.

  18. Hutschi

    Hutschi Senior Member

    Sometimes "Da wären wir!" is not even an information. I say such things by myself sometimes, as well as "Das hätten wir!" in other context - even when I'm alone.

    It is similar to a "Stoßseufzer" (a kind of "sigh of relief", an emotional outburst) and expresses relief (Erleichterung).

    There is a whole group, all with conjunctive.

    Das wären wir.
    Das hätten wir.
    Das wäre geschafft.
    Das wär's.

    In no case I would use them to myself without conjunctive.
    If I say it to others, it is seldom a "real" information, but a sign of communication and agreement.
    If you use it for giving information, you can use "Da sind wir!" and "Da wären wir!" almost synonymous. "Wir sind da!" gives a direct information. "Da sind wir!" expresses additionally emotion, and "Da wären wir!" amplifies the emotion.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013

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