Hallo, kan iemand mij adviseren over het gebruik van 'er' in plaats van 'daar'? Alsjeblieft
When they are used to describe a location, there is of course only one 'there' in english
I think I mostly understand it but if anyone has any good examples that would be great
also feel free to correct my dutch!
Yeah, it's always tricky when a language you're learning has various different words for something your native language only has one for... still, in this case it shouldn't be too hard.
We'll start with sentences in which both are possible but there's a difference in connotation. Then "er" is less defined and more vague than "daar". For instance, both of the following are possible sentences, meaning "I've often been there":
"Ik ben er vaak geweest."
"Ik ben daar vaak geweest." (more likely to be said in a different word order: "Daar ben ik vaak geweest" - this word order is not possible with "er")
In both cases, the word refers back to some place you've named earlier, but with "daar", you put far more emphasis on said place.
Then, there's situations where you can only use "daar", which is basically everything that involves or could conceivably involve pointing in the direction you mean: "Look there!", "It's over there", "I'm here and you're there", things like that. You can point and say "Daar!", but never "Er!". Which I think makes sense considering the previous part - "daar" is more specific, "er" is sort of vague.
Lastly, the sentences where you can only use "er". For starters, "er is" is the translation of English "there is" in those cases where "there" doesn't refer to any actual place. That is, if you say "There is the exit", you're using "there" as an actual indication of direction, so you'll use "daar". But for sentences like "There is nothing I can do", "there" doesn't refer to any direction or place at all. That's the kind of sentence you'll use "er is" in.
However, Dutch goes much further than English with this. That is, "er" can be used with many verbs, not merely with "is". A sentence such as "Someone walks to the door" can be translated more or less analogously in Dutch, "Iemand loopt naar de deur", but in many cases the alternative with "er" is more normal and will be used more often. Then you get "Er loopt iemand naar de deur". This doesn't have any direct equivalent in English, and obviously the "er" has nothing to do with "daar" or "there" anymore in this case.
Perhaps you weren't referring to that use of "er", though, so I'll stop here and see if I've answered your question somewhat. Feel free to ask further questions about things that aren't clear.