dahinter vs. dahinten

Gibt es einen Unterschied zwischen dahinter und dahinten?
Is there a difference between dahinter and dahinten?

(originally asked by Ron Magnussen at http://www.german-is-easy.com)

One comment on “dahinter vs. dahinten

  1. Yes, there is one… but at least it’s logical:

    Dahinter usually means “hinter das”behind it/that… for example:

    “Siehst du das Haus da?”
    “Mein Auto ist dahinter.”

    So hinter is the preposition and da is the German way to replace the pronoun here … just as in soooo many other da-words (read more about those here).

    Dahinten means “back there”. This time “da” does NOT replace a pronoun. It is just pointing… like a finger.

    “Das Kino ist dahinten

    This only works if you point with your finger in the direction. Without that, no one knows what “dahinten” is supposed to be … it is just super vague. Just like “back there

    Since hinter is ambiguous there is also “dahinter” as “back there”…

    “ich gehe da hinter”…

    can mean:

    “I go back there” or

    “I go behind that.”.

    It’s not clear so I would rather say:

    “Ich gehe nach dahinten” for “I go back there”.

    (for more detailed information about this difference and the difference between hinter and hinten and vorn and vor and unter vs unten check out the article here)

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