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Old 09-10-2019, 08:11 AM
davidmich is offline
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In German, what is the distinction between im/am/beim Morgengrauen?


Hi

In German, what is the distinction between im/am/beim Morgengrauen?

They all seem to mean 'at'. Are 'im Morgengrauen" and "am Morgengrauen" at the moment of sun-up? Is "beim Morgengrauen" during dawn/sun-up?

I have seen all three "im/am/beim Morgengrauen" used online. I look forward to your feedback.
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Old 09-10-2019, 08:25 AM
Mops is offline
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There is no clear distinction of meaning. "Im" is the most usual preposition; "am" and "beim" are much less frequent - perhaps there is an influence of region or period.

Morgengrauen is the earliest part of dawn, with the barest hint of sunlight. Also sometimes used figuratively for the physiologically lowest point of the day, at about that time.

Last edited by Mops; 09-10-2019 at 08:26 AM.
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Old 09-10-2019, 08:32 AM
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Maybe this is entirely specious, but to me "im" carries an overtone that the rest of the sentence is more concerned with some event or person in place and location, 'am" with a point in time, and "beim" with the process of growing light.
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Old 09-10-2019, 08:33 AM
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Think about it the way some Americans say they are "in line" but others say they are "on line."
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Old 09-10-2019, 09:53 AM
davidmich is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrickLondon View Post
Maybe this is entirely specious, but to me "im" carries an overtone that the rest of the sentence is more concerned with some event or person in place and location, 'am" with a point in time, and "beim" with the process of growing light.
Superb! Thank you PatrickLondon. Thank you all.
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Old 09-10-2019, 10:05 AM
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'Im', 'am', and 'beim' are actually contractions of 'in dem', 'an dem', and 'bei dem', where 'dem' is the dative singular article. 'In', like in English, then carries a connotation of containment---inside, within, perhaps also during when applied to something of temporal extension, like dawn ('Morgengrauen'). 'An', on the other hand, in a spatial case, would connote proximity, close to English 'at', also to denote a point in time ('at dawn'). 'Bei', to me, is similar---compare 'at the' or 'by the', for a rough sense of the relation between 'an' und 'bei', but in a temporal sense, connoting something like co-occurrence.

So 'im Morgengrauen' would be something like 'during dawn', while I'd understand 'am Morgengrauen' to mean something like 'upon dawn', and 'beim Morgengrauen' as 'while it is dawning'. But that's possibly a little idiosyncratic.
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Old 09-10-2019, 10:11 AM
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. . . Also sometimes used figuratively for the physiologically lowest point of the day, at about that time.
Ah, Morgengroan.
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Old 09-10-2019, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Half Man Half Wit View Post
'Im', 'am', and 'beim' are actually contractions of 'in dem', 'an dem', and 'bei dem', where 'dem' is the dative singular article. 'In', like in English, then carries a connotation of containment---inside, within, perhaps also during when applied to something of temporal extension, like dawn ('Morgengrauen'). 'An', on the other hand, in a spatial case, would connote proximity, close to English 'at', also to denote a point in time ('at dawn'). 'Bei', to me, is similar---compare 'at the' or 'by the', for a rough sense of the relation between 'an' und 'bei', but in a temporal sense, connoting something like co-occurrence.

So 'im Morgengrauen' would be something like 'during dawn', while I'd understand 'am Morgengrauen' to mean something like 'upon dawn', and 'beim Morgengrauen' as 'while it is dawning'. But that's possibly a little idiosyncratic.
Thank you Half Man Wit. I think you're spot on.
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