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  5. "Meinem Kind ist schlecht."

"Meinem Kind ist schlecht."

Translation:My child is not feeling well.

January 6, 2013

219 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/virvy

Why is "My kid is bad" incorrect?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/unfluid

In German, this sentence relates to one with 'meinem Kind' in the indirect object position, which is why it is marked with dative case:

  1. Es ist meinem Kind schlecht. ['meinem Kind' in indirect object position]
  2. Meinem Kind ist schlecht. ['meinem Kind' in initial position]

We see a similar thing in English with verbs like 'seem', 'look', 'sound', 'feel', 'smell' and 'taste'. For example:

  1. It looks bad for my child. ['my child' in indirect object position]
  2. My child looks bad. ['my child' in subject position]

People learning English might think the second sentence means something like "My child has bad eyesight", much as many of us assumed "Meinem Kind ist schlecht" must mean "My child is bad".

This isn't idiomatic usage. It follows from the grammatical properties of the verbs in question.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/berr

Really thorough and very technical explanation. I find it easier to grasp like this: 'for my child (it) is bad' it is what meiner means after all


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/simmp002

That's a good insight, thanks!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Faux3

First, it's meinem. And b), German, being a very technically precise language, has much better ways of saying, "My child is feeling ill." This merely looks like someone saying, "My kid is bad", but adding -em on to mein out of error.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/drhanysakr

Great explanation, have a lingot :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/johanov

This is a very idiomatic expression in German and it means: my child feels sick, meaning that its stomach is upset and it feels like it is about to vomit, to throw up. Similarly, you can say "Mir ist schlecht", when you have eaten something bad and you feel like it can come back any minute. Another similar sentence is: "mir wird schlecht wenn ich das sehe", meaning watching this makes my stomach turn. Unfluids explanation is technically correct, but it does not allow you to decrypt this sentence. Not very wise that Duolingo took this as an example for the use of a dativ.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Teresinha

Excellent explanation! I start to understand... :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SyamkumarR

Does 'Mein Kind ist schlecht' mean 'my child is bad'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/down-house

I agree with you, but I think it's rather to use "krank" instead of "schlecht".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lisamnusa

I learned "krank" as well


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kt98762

Excellent explanation but can you simplify it at all as i am confused? Much appreciated


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChagrinofError

If it were ′′Mein Kind ist schlecht′′ the translation ′′my child is bad′′ would be correct as Mein Kind is the subject, but in ′′Meinem Kind ist schlecht′′, Meinem Kind is not the subject but rather the indirect object. One can rewrite ′′Meinem Kind ist schlecht′′ as ′′Es ist meinem Kind schlecht′′ and vice versa. Both are correct, but the second is more understandable for beginners to the language as all the components are present. ′′Es ist meinem Kind schlecht′′ can be directly translated as ′′It is for my child bad′′ or more conversationally ′′It looks bad for my child.′′


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kt98762

Thank you. That was very useful


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hodarabie

Very good and simple explanation


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/inhoser

So if "Kind" is the indirect object, and the presumed "it" is the subject, then what here is the direct object?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yuyusa

thanks for the clearing! wasn´t really clear for me! you deserve a lingot!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/aptg.gabi

But: Mein Kind is schlecht.=My child is bad?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/thorenius

Mein Kind ist schlecht. Yes, that's correct


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dcounts

Vielen Dank.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WAVE98

danke sehr. Sehr hilfreich!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jhdsn48

Thanks for the great explanation. Makes perfect sense now :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Enrique-Xara

So thanks, you did an awesome explaination


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DrHitlersaurus

Indirect object position? Dative case? What.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Laruthell

Those are just names for different parts of a sentence. For example:

| The boy | gave | a piece of bread | to the bird |

The boy = subject (nominative case)

gave = verb

a piece of bread = direct object (accusative case)

the bird = indirect object (dative case)

Often, the direct object in the English sentence will be in the accusative case in German, and the indirect object in the English sentence will be in the dative case in German, but the correspondence is not exact, so there are plenty of exceptions.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DrHitlersaurus

Nominative case? Accusative case? Dative case? Direct (verb)? Indirect (verb)?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Laruthell

As I said, those are just names for different parts of a sentence. (It's one of those things we all learn in elementary school and then promptly forget.) The best I can do here is to provide you with another example sentence with all the parts labeled. If you want more detailed information, Google it. I'm sure there are plenty of articles available online that will explain everything in much more detail than I can go into here, and you can find them as easily as I.

My father showed him the way.

| My father | showed | him | the way |

My father = subject (nominative case)

showed = verb

him = indirect object (dative case)

the way = direct object (accusative case)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Krbk78

In this sentence"Meinem Kind is schlecht" ,Kind is subject postion.So, there are no reasons to turn to dative case.the words in subject position must be nominitive case.the article of Kind is das. If it is "Ich schreibe meinem Kind,I understand why Kind turned to dative case.because there is a clear reason to be dative case.But here, " Meinem Kind is schclecht must be "Mein Kind ist schlecht" .In that sentence "Meinem Kind" is wrong. "Mein Kind" ist right.I think so.Am I wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bbigblue

Please read unfluid's explanation among the comments. This has been explained several times. "Meinem Kind" in this case is good.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/clackz

me too, why would it be anything else??? thats what schlecht means, it means bad, that's what the owl told me anyways.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joeHF

The explanation in the thread linked above is somewhat confusing, but it appears to me that it's somewhat idiomatic German. Using dative case here changes the subject and object to make the sentence imply specifically that the child is ill, rather than bad (naughty/evil)

There is a minor issue, however, in that bad has multiple meanings in idiomatic English (particularly in the UK), and "bad" can mean "ill" as well; as in "I'm feeling bad" or "I've got a bad leg". You could arguably apply that sense of the word to an ill child, too, with "my child is bad"; which could therefore be a valid translation here. However, to make the point regarding the German specifically meaning "ill", I guess it's best to keep it as marked wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vincifgs

There's nothing idiomatic here. Read unfluid's explanation. It's in the dative case, not the nominative case. It's simply the difference between "Mein Kind" and "Meinen Kind", the second roughly translated to "To my child it is bad", so 'child' is the indirect object and 'it' is the subject. If your native language were a Latin language, then you'd have understood much easier. But it's not that hard to understand for English natives either. It's just the difference between the nominative and the dative :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joeHF

Apologies for the late reply, I've been away from the site for a while, but I saw your response when I logged back in and think I need to elaborate what I mean. I understand the point regarding dative case here, but I still find it slightly "idiomatic".

A direct translation would yield something like, as you've said, "To my child it is bad" or, slightly more naturally, "it's going badly for my child". In English, this does not specifically mean "ill", as it could stand in for other bad things, like "he's being bullied", or "she's getting poor grades". Unless I'm mistaken, in German, it's understood to be specifically referring to illness, which is one part I find idiomatic.

There is also the issue of missing words being implied, which is also somewhat "idiomatic"; requiring non-trivial knowledge of which words are implied and which words can be omitted.

Also, at the time of my original post, unfluid's explanation wasn't here, and the explanation on the other (linked above) thread does explain the missing words / case issue as idiomatic usage.

Perhaps "idiomatic" is not the best word for either of those issues, but I cannot currently think of a better one. Suggestions are welcomed.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bbigblue

Direct translations usually don't work well. A good translation would be 'my child is not feeling well'. My language also has this 'not feeling well' which does not specifically has the word 'ill'. So... i disagree with this being idiomatic.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/drevans18

Thanks for the link, but I think this is something that Duolingo should explain before throwing at us out of left field, and we shouldn't have to rely on finding relevant discussion thread to explain idiomatic German.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alltat

I think you kind of have to read the comments when you don't understand why something is wrong/right. There's often too much information for it to fit in a mouseover text. Think of checking the discussion as the Duolingo equivalent of asking the teacher.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bhagyesh-Battuji

Duolingo needs the vocab for each lesson,or else the exceptions are not cleared.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mikau_from_bay

Completely agree! Just where they put the summary of the lesson (the lightbulb) they should put at the end the vocab.!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/veganpanda

I agree, it's not good!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BlueRoza

Those statements are true but Duolingo is better than any other language learning site I've been on, such as Busuu.com. At least it gives most of the information in a decent order that is comprehensible.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/andyripper

I'm really getting tired of the back and forth between strict literal and non literal translations. of course I would put my child is not well, if I had not already been penalized for using non-literal translations many times.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/1lizsnxr

Oh my god, this German sentence got me I also answered this. x'D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/danc76

Simple: because to say what you want, you would use the dative case. You would say "mein Kind ist schlecht". In the exercise, by using dative here, Duolingo is saying: it is bad TO MY KID, in a very bad literal translation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Sapphira-

That's the same thing I wrote and I got it wrong!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Laruthell

Read the comments; there is a reason why.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/recoverymodel

I don't know if Duolingo allows "kid". (I hope not!) In proper English, best to avoid using the word "kid" when referring to a child. It's not educated. You can use very informally with friends, perhaps, but in the kind of English that we need to speak and write to get jobs, always use the word "child."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Voyta
  • 1437

Duolingo allows kid, in any sentence out there. You probably don't know that the American English is being learned on this site. Nevertheless, child and children are also allowed.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/carolina_passos

Why should I use the dative case in this sentence? I thought "Mein Kind ist schlecht" would be correct, since there is no indirect object in the phrase and we are using the verb 'to be' (ist).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rsalden

In German, there IS an indirect object: "Meinem Kind ist schlecht" = "Meinem Kind ist es schlecht" or "Es ist meinem Kind schlecht".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LatinomiSmoS

Ey, you should expand the idea, because I didn't understand.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Laruthell

This is how I understand it: when you ask a German "How are you?" you say, "Wie geht es Ihnen/dir/euch?", which could perhaps be translated as "How is it going for you?" The answer, assuming you actually ARE doing well, would be "Es geht mir gut" (or just "gut" for short, I reckon!)

I think what we have here is the same sort of thing, except the subject (es) is not actually mentioned. As far as I know, if you said "Mein Kind ist schlecht." you would be saying something about your child itself being bad, but as here we have "Meinem Kind ist schlecht." we are saying that "(it) is (going) badly for my child" or, making the same sort of conversion as in the paragraph above, "My child is not feeling well."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/briandavidpowers

Why are the other words being omitted by Duolingo? Is dropping the "es" really necessary? Does "ist" turn into the English equivalent of "It's" when the pronoun is in dative form?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ManOfGer

I would say that the reason DuoLingo omitted the word "es" here is because that's how German people actually talk.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Laruthell

Frankly, I have no idea why the "es" is omitted here. I don't think there is anything wrong with putting it in (saying "meinem Kind ist es schlecht").


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RafaRiff

Great explanation. Could I say "Meinem Kind geht schlecht" too?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bbigblue

I would say no. You're trying to override the implied verb "ist".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Teresinha

Then "Kind" is not the subject ??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Laruthell

Exactly. That is what using the dative case shows.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/unfluid

It is the subject of the sentence, but it has dative case because it derives from a structure in which "Meinem Kind" is the indirect object.

In German, dative and genitive markings are assigned earlier in a sentence's derivation than nominative and accusative, so if a noun phrase has been moved from an indirect object position to the subject position, it will already have case marking by the time nominative case would otherwise be assigned. If a noun phrase is moved from a direct object position instead, it will be assigned nominative case in the subject position because it won't have received accusative case in its original position. In German, the dative and genitive cases are called 'inherent' cases, while nominative and accusative are 'structural' cases.

CORRECTION: 'Meinem Kind' actually appears to move to a position before the subject like that filled by 'for my children' in 'For my children, it is bad'. How can you tell? Subjects and verbs normally agree for number in German, but if you substitute the plural form 'meinen Kindern', the verb doesn't change to 'sind'. It remains 'ist': 'Meinen Kindern ist schlecht'. Hence, it cannot be the subject.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Teresinha

Very interesting. Thank you!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Preste

Love it whenever someone knows his/her grammar!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/paulszulc

Kind IS the subject. His parent (aka you) is indirect. But we reffering to ourself (my is replacing the indirect noun) using "mine" in datvi "minem"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MorenoAlejandro

So, when I use the verb To Be (Sein) to talk about status, the fake subject will always be Indirect Object and the subject would be ES??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ptcebula

I thought so as well. Anyone?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bbigblue

Same, but read the discussion linked above, it holds the answer for this as well.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gorn61

My take on this...

Note that "Meinem Kind" is in the dative, so this isn't a simple "my child is bad" sentence.

As "my child" must be the indirect object, we have the subject missing in this sentence. I recall that we've seen other sentences with an actual or implied "es" as the subject, representing some anonymous "it" (the same anonymous it that features in the English "it's raining". )

If we assume that the same thing is happening here, the sentence makes sense. We can can turn it into Meinem Kind ist [es] schlect - literally "For my child [it] is bad". Following the same logic as "Es geht mir gut", we can see this as meaning some variant of "my child is not well".

Also, I note that the English text supplied for this is not "My child is unwell" ("Mein kind ist krank") but "My child is feeling unwell".

I suspect that this almost idiomatic usage is misplaced in this lesson, and that it appears here just because whatever word/construction selection "engine" Duolingo uses to include phrases in skills blocks has just matched that this is a dative construction, so has included it in the dative skill block.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KellieBrow1

Great explanation!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OlWags
  • 1148

That's how I understood it too, but I translated it is "It is bad for my child" and it is incorrect. Even though that still gets the Dative, it does not get the idiomatic translation and thus, still wrong. I guess.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Thvnraz

So "Mein Kind ist schlecht"= My child is bad, while "Meinem Kind ist schlecht"= My child is ill?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VirgilJSchmidt

Could one write the following.

"Mein Kind ist nicht gesund."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LaniHimiona

This feels far more logical. Or "Mein Kind ist krank"...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joeHF

Yes, "Mein Kind ist nicht gesund" or "Mein Kind ist krank" are more straightforward, and I presume both will be accepted if you're asked to translate to German. This idiomatic phrase is like "it's raining cats and dogs" or something like that; the meaning might be less clear to non-native speakers, and translated word for word without understanding the implications of case, you might get an odd idea, but you will see/hear it in German, and you should learn to understand it, even if you don't use it yourself.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/marco41

Screw this, I'm moving on.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ste-n-Dee

Summary: The sentence means "To my child [it] is bad" or "For my child [it] is going badly". Dative case "meinem Kind" makes all the difference. If it were nominative, "Mein Kind is schlecht", that would mean "My child is bad."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ThatScienceGeek

Why is "My child is not well" incorrect? Isn't that almost the same meaning as in the sentence with the word "feeling"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Voroshilov1917

So if there are any Germans around I ask you: Would you use such a sentence?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vandesnieder

That's a definite YES!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LewisPeng

Can I say, Meinem Kind gehts schlecht?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vandesnieder

Yes, but please separate 'geht' and 'es'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RafaRiff

When to use "geht" and when to use "ist"? What's the difference?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hrafnunga

Geht is "goes/going" and ist is "is" - so to answer your question: Es geht mir gut = It is going well with/to/for me. Ich bin gut = I am good (but not common colloquial usage). Or, to use a better example: Es geht ihm slecht = It is going bad/poorly with him (because of the dative ihm). Er ist slecht = He is bad (because of the nominative Er).

So, to know when to use it depends on what you want to say and how you want to say it. As far as duolingo goes, specifically in the German course, "well" as an adverb usually translates to a sentence involving "geht" and simpler sentences like "(it) is bad) use "ist" - but some sentences can be deceivingly simple.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JCHaynes1

What is the subject of the verb "ist"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hrafnunga

An unspoken es. It's basically saying "it isn't well with my child" or Es ist schlecht mit meinem Kind. You could also say Es geht mir schlecht for "I'm not doing/feeling well."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/unfluid

This is actually not a straightforward question to answer. The term 'subject' just refers to a particular position in a clause, which may or may not have a particular case form, so the fact that 'meinem Kind' is dative doesn't tell you one way or the other.

One way to test whether something is the subject in German and many other languages is by whether it agrees with the verb for things like person and number (it is, they are, I am, etc). In this example, if we changed 'meinem Kind' (singular form) to 'meinen Kindern' (plural form), 'ist' (is) would not change to the plural form 'sind' (are) to agree for number. Instead, it stays singular: 'Meinen Kindern ist schlecht'. This suggests 'meinem Kind' is not the subject but occupies an earlier position like that filled by 'for my children' in 'For my children, it is bad'.

Further evidence for this is the fact that it is possible though awkward to include an explicit subject in this sentence: 'Meinem Kind ist es schlecht'. Here, 'es' (it) is the subject. It appears after the verb it is agreeing with because the verb has to come second in the clause in German.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/floaterions

Another question. If you want to say "I'm feeling ok", do you say "Mir ist ok [gut]", or do you use the nominativ form?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Menschenkind

You would say 'Es geht mir gut' or 'Mir geht es gut.' or 'Ich fühle mich gut/okay'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/floaterions

Thank you. Does "Mir ist gut" have any meaning at all?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Menschenkind

I don't think so. It sounds strange. 'schlecht sein' as in your first post is a fixed phrase. 'not feeling well' sounds like a paraphrase to me. 'Mir ist schlecht' means feeling ill in the stomach, a slight or growing nausea.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SrijaiKida

Still I am not getting What is wrong in "My child is weak" (probably after he/she is sick)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/andreita2388

i think schlecht has different meanings and one of those meanings refered the word "weak" so i dont understand why "my child is weak" is incorrect?!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alltat

Because "meinem" is the dative case, indicating that your child is not the subject. Something is being bad for your child, i.e. your child is ill. To get the meaning of your child being bad or weak, it would have to be "Mein Kind ist schlecht".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Verine00

If I wanna say 'my child is ill', can I just put 'mein Kind ist krank'? Idk why DL don't just start from more common sentences for similar meaning.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DorotaJarosz

This lesson is about dative case. You need to recognize it in common expressions using such a structure like "Meinem Kind" = for my child.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SallyConno1

I know this is a free app, but I REALLY feel I would benefit 100x from some included grammar lessons and lessons on subject verb agreement and general sentence structure :S


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lex35lew66

I am sorry for posting my problem but Meinem, Meinen, and sometimes Meiner all sound the same. The m n r are not clear sometime. I still love this site.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/largishcat

So how would you actually say my kid is bad, as in my kid is badly behaved?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hrafnunga

Mein Kind ist schlecht. Notice the Nominative instead of Dative.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/l3d3xma

Esta (sintiéndose) mal mi niño --- "mi niño"= Objeto Indirecto.

Mi niño es malo --- "Mi niño"= Sujeto (Nominativo).

La oración: "Meinem Kind ist schlecht" -dadas las propiedades gramaticales de la lengua alemana- coloca el O. I. al inicio indicandolo bajo su forma dativa.

Por lo menos esa es la conclusión a la que pude llegar después de mi curso de mes y medio aquí en DUO.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/allenfrang

Buena lógica pero malos ejemplos. En tu primera oración, "mi niño" sigue siendo el sujeto, aunque cambies el orden de las palabras.

Para que sea objeto indirecto, podrías decir: "Le está yendo mal a mi niño", de hecho si te fijas, el sujeto (¿qué le está yendo mal?) está omitido. ¡Igual que en el alemán!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cheddarhead92

Do Germans not use "Krank?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joeHF

Sometimes, but sometimes they say it this way as well. There's many ways to say the same thing. I wonder whether there's a strength of meaning difference? Perhaps a native speaker could answer that? Does "Ich bin Krank" imply a greater, lesser, or equal illness compared with "Mir ist schlecht"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joeHF

johanov has now answered this nicely for us, confirming what someone else had written. The "Mir ist schlecht" versions idiomatically imply a specific type of illness; feeling like you're going to vomit.

I guess it's a bit like "I feel sick" in English, which is more likely to refer to being about to vomit than the alternative "I feel ill"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/psukys

"My child is not doing well" is a separate meaning from "my child is doing not well". First indicates explicitly indicating that the state is opposite, whereas the german version does not do that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/quantumboy

How frequent is the lack of explicit subject in German?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AngieLC

Is "My son is not feeling well" incorrect?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joeHF

You're adding in gender information that isn't specified in the original. Sure, "Kind" could mean "son", but it could also mean "daughter" - it's not clear from the original - and thus "child" would be a better translation.

Otherwise, seems a reasonable translation to me.


[deactivated user]

    Perhaps "It is not well with my child"? That would account for the dative case (meinem Kind).

    Slightly contrived, but it captures the sense of the original.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Corbie15

    I don't get why it's not "Mein Kind". Where does the dative come from? I also don't get the difference bwtween "Ich habe einen Hund" and "ich habe ein Hund." What causes the change from nominative?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joeHF

    The change comes from what is the subject, object, and indirect object of the verb. In English, we take this all from the word order - but in German, it comes from the cases.

    In English, "The man gives the ball to the dog" can only mean one thing - but in German, you need the cases to pin down the meaning, otherwise it might mean that "the ball gives the dog to the man".

    Nominative marks the subject - the man.
    Akkusativ marks the direct object - the ball.
    Dative marks the indirect object - the dog.

    In your example, "Ich" is the subject - the thing "doing" the "having". "Hund" is the direct object - in this case, being "had". In German, that means it should be marked with Akkusativ case, hence is "einen Hund"

    "Having" doesn't have an indirect object, so there's no dative in your example - but if the something else were going on where something were being done for it, like if the dog had a direct object being given to it, it would become "einem Hund".


    In the case of this question, it's "Mein Kind" - this is because "Kind" is acting as an indirect object - the verb is being done for it.

    Although the concept of the verb "is" being done "for" something sounds odd in English at first, we can roughly translate "Meinem Kind" to "for my child"

    "For my child, (es) ist schlecht" - "For my child, it is bad". - or more naturally - "my child is feeling sick".

    From what I've been told by native German speakers, this would be idiomatically understood to specifically refer to feeling nauseous and about to vomit - not just a general "things are bad" as might be understood from the literal translation.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Corbie15

    Thanks for the explanation. The way I read this expression, the child is the subject. The child is feeling bad. I guess the "my" makes me the subject in "owning" the child. Thus, if I'm getting this right, it should be "Das Kind ist schlecht" or "Ein Kind ist schlecht" but when I move in with my relation I become the subject, thus "Meinem Kind ist schlecht".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joeHF

    "My" is just indicating the possessive - and works slightly differently to the verb "owning" - so your thinking that "my makes me the subject in owning" isn't quite right.
    The subject/object/indirect object relation is determined just by the case - for your example, you should still be using dative, by using "dem" and "einem" to put Kind as the indirect object - otherwise the meaning is very different.

    Mein Kind ist schlecht = My child is bad (naughty/evil)
    Meinem Kind ist schlecht = (It) is bad for my child = My child is sick

    Das Kind ist schlecht = The child is naughty
    Dem Kind ist schlecht = It's bad for the child = The child is sick.

    Ein Kind ist schlect = A child is naughty
    Einem Kind ist schlecht = It's bad for a child = A child is sick.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RichardDic10

    So, how would one say "my child's is bad"?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joeHF

    Well, to start with, one would fix the English starting point. You don't need both the "'s" and the "is" (unless it's supposed to be "my child's X is bad" and you missed a word)

    "My child is bad" is simply "Mein Kind ist schlecht".
    It's only when you do clever things using the dative "Meinem" that you switch the meaning to "for my child, it is bad" (="my child is sick") - hopefully the rest of the discussions here should clear up how that functions.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Corbie15

    Ah! The coin finally dropped. "Meinem" means "for my"! Thanks, now I get it (I think).


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joeHF

    In simple terms, yes, that's the gist of it.

    However, it's really a bit more complicated than that. It really just means "my (something)" is in the indirect object position in the sentence; and depending on the verb, I think the most natural translation could be to one of a few different things like "to my", "from my", or "at my"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alipersian

    why "my child is bad" is not right??


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joeHF

    Dative case. Look for the other comments, the details are explained numerous times; but essentially it means "for my child, (it) is bad"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Proffit6

    How is this in the dative case?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/geoffyboy0609

    So according to this it'd be perfectly acceptable to say: Mir ist schlecht to say I'm sick right?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joeHF

    Yes. In fact there's a reply by johanov that confirms that exact sentence. It's quite an idiomatic one that implies the "feeling like you're going to vomit" kind of sickness, apparently.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sal2154

    This seems like a very bad sentence for this level. It would have been better to use the sentence "Es ist meinem Kind schlecht.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DorotaJarosz

    I thought exactly the same at first. After reading this discussion, I changed my mind. After all, it is about dative case and for me it is about dative pronouns specifically.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jonafown

    If schlecht is ill, what's krank?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bbigblue

    schlecht is 'bad', not 'ill'. In this case the english version is that my child is ill. please read the rest of the discussion for more.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Laruthell

    "krank" = "sick", "unwell", "diseased", etc. In any language, there are often two or more ways to say the more or less the same thing.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rowschank

    Why is "My kid is feeling poor." wrong?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ste-n-Dee

    Mainly because Duolingo cannot check for every possible correct translation, so your translation has to be fairly literal. In this case, Duolingo will accept a non-literal translation of "my kid is sick", but not lots of variations on that. For example, they will accept "child" or "kid", but not "little one" or "precious bummikins". They will accept "sick" or "ill", but not "under the weather" or "feeling poorly". It simply is not realistic for the Duolingo crew to provide every possible correct translation.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Myownway

    My child isn't felling good. Why is it incorrect?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joeHF

    Because of your typo, perhaps? "felling" normally refers to cutting down trees.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LRCFO

    Schlecht means "bad" not ill. Krank means ill.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bbigblue

    In this case it means that someone is feeling ill. Even in my own language (roughly translated) "feeling bad" means that "i feel ill" / nauseated.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/af056

    It would be really good if the definition box under each word would have some hints or examples to explain when which sense of the word applies. I get that schlecht can mean bad, wicked or ill, but is there any way other than experience to know which is meant?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dougmorris35

    I chose "weak" for schlecht and marked incorrect. "Weak" is one of duolingo's provided definitions of schlecht.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/newdoc

    I agree with everyone else. There really was no way of knowing that schlecht in that context was an idiom. Oh well...


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/johnnos92

    why not - Meinem Kind ist Krank??


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bbigblue

    in that case it would be Mein Kind ist krank. (small krank, not Krank) Look for unfluid's explanation above how "Meinem Kind ist schlecht" is a short form of "Es ist meinem Kind schlecht.".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/c3230

    what is the difference between meinem and meinen and meiner?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Laruthell

    In the DATIVE case "meinem" is used before masculine and neuter nouns, "meiner" before feminine nouns, and "meinen" before plural nouns. "Meinen" is also used before masculine nouns in the accusative case, and "meiner" before plural and feminine nouns in the genitive case. You can see this in table format here: http://german.morley-computing.co.uk/mein.php


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/maxez.hl

    So ( Mein) Kind ist schlecht " schlecht " means bad here ...right ??


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KevinR.Kid

    "My child is feeling badly," was marked incorrect. It is proper English for the idea being expressed and is similar to "My child is not feeling well.". "My child is feeling bad," which is accepted, literally means that he feels he IS bad - like a criminal, or such - in spite of the fact that native English speakers may say it.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hrafnunga

    Badly is an adverb, meaning that it modifies the verb "to feel" in this case. It means your child is not good at feeling (with his/her fingers or other parts of their body). No matter how many times you hear someone use a word a certain way, it doesn't become correct grammar.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joeHF

    I disagree with your final point. There are both prescriptive and descriptive aspects of language, and words do gradually change meaning as they are misused. While "badly" is currently only supposed to be an adverb, I can easily see it taking on an additional definition as an adjective, to reflect common usage. It has already happened for "poorly" in exactly the same context, particularly in UK English.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hrafnunga

    While they certainly can and do change meaning with repeated misuse, I personally abhor this practice, which is the reason behind my statement. I study origins, which in the field of language means etymologies, and so I dislike incorrect usage of words. I am not a grammar Nazi, though, nor an English major.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gangatharan

    Isn't the dative form of "das kind" "meiner kind"... Why meinem kind?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bbigblue

    Nope. In dative 'der' and 'das' becomes 'dem', singular 'die' becomes 'der', and plural 'die' becomes 'den'. And with the same logic 'mein Kind' becomes 'meinem Kind' in dative.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KyleKane1

    Why is it meinem? Usually, nominative is following the verbs bleiben, sein, and one other verb that I can't remember. If there are dative prepositions with the verbs, then comes the dative, but I don't see gegenüber, aus, bei, mit, nach, von, zu, seit, or (Dativ Stillstand) auf, in, an, hinter, vor, über, neben, zwischen, nor unter anywhere in the sentance.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/unfluid

    In German, a noun phrase doesn't need to be introduced by a dative preposition to be in the dative case. The noun phrase 'meinem Kind' is marked for dative case inherently, which means the case it is assigned doesn't depend on its structural position in a sentence. This isn't so for nominative and accusative cases which do depend on structural relations in German (and English).


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joeHF

    Unfluid gives a pretty good explanation near the top of the thread.

    https://www.duolingo.com/comment/112787$comment_id=1946433


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KyleKane1

    He does do a good explanation on why meinem is used, but he doesn't say why it is used in this way. Mein Kind ist schlecht works the same way, it just may not mean the same, and there is nothing to say that it is dative, or that child is the indirect object still


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joeHF

    I'm really not sure I follow what you're getting at. The way I understand it, the important thing is that we're talking about the child as an indirect object, and therefore we use dative.

    Is your understanding that using one of the mentioned words causes the switch of case? If that's what you're thinking, I think that's not the right way to think about it.

    In the case of "Mein Kind ist schlecht", it doesn't work the same way; there's no dative, so "Mein Kind" must be the direct object, changing the meaning.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KyleKane1

    There is nothing to say that we are talking about the child to say that we are using the dative. I know Mein Kind ist schlecht is say that the child is a bad kid, but there is no marker for the dative, the kid can be in one place, so it has to be using the dative prepostions. If we were using a different verb, like gehen, I would understand, but this is sein and the nomitive still follows sein, even if you are talking about the object still.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ste-n-Dee

    "Meinem" is dative and marks "Kind" as being the dative case. Maybe I don't understand the point you're getting at.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ste-n-Dee

    KyleKane1: Because IT'S NOT THE SUBJECT. It's the indirect object. The subject is implicit: "To my child [it] is bad." In other words, "My child is sick."


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joeHF

    I'll try to clarify one last time. Apologies if this is obvious or patronizing, but I'm not quite sure where you're not understanding, so I'll try to explain everything. Apologies also if I slip up in terminology, I'm working from my understanding, and I'm no language expert.

    In German. dative case is used to mark the indirect object of verbs, rather than word order as it is in English. I'm sure you will have encountered this in other lessons up to this point.

    In terms of constructing the sentence, we want to say that our child is ill. In German, one way we can do this is by saying the equivalent of "It's bad to my child" Here, "it" is the subject, and "my child" is the indirect object (which must be marked with dative). Hence, "my child" gets marked with dative. In nominative, it's "Mein Kind", so to make it dative, it becomes "Meinem Kind", hence "Es ist meinem Kind schlecht" The "it" can then be dropped and implied (somewhat idiomatically), leaving "meinem Kind ist schlecht"

    In terms of reading the sentence, we see "meinem Kind", which we recognize as being in dative (because it's meinem rather than mein), and hence the indirect object of the verb, so we have "[verb] to my child". We see that's with "ist schlecht", so we translate to "is bad to my child". We can then imply the missing "it", and get "It's bad to my child", which we can somewhat idiomatically understand to mean "my child is ill"

    I hope that clarifies for you.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KyleKane1

    No one understand, I just need to know why one uses meinem, even though it is the subject, or what tells us that it is the dative case.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SachinThuk

    In speech she is saying meinen instead of meinem...there is some problem in speech as well


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jurgo

    How come for "Meine Katze folgt mir" we use Meine, but for "Meinem Kind ist Schlecht" we add the M to make it Meinem. I guess I'm confused as to when it's Meine and when it's Meinem


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bbigblue

    See unfluid's explanation. In "Meine Katze folgt mir" the "Meine Katze" is the subject. In "Meinem Kind ist schlecht" you do not see the subject because it's implied - "Es ist meinem Kind schlecht.".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavinDavis

    Why does it make my child is ill when you just make it Meinem? -So confused


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joeHF

    There's a good explanation by unfluid at the top of the page.

    https://www.duolingo.com/comment/112787$comment_id=1946433

    It's about which word is the direct object and indirect object of the verb when you use dative case.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JonathanKabban

    Even though that explanation is phenomenal the green owl is still evil


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mcarrollte

    What makes,"Kind," dative? Should it not be nominative?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joeHF

    It's function in the sentence. When it's dative, it's an indirect object; "To my child, (it) is bad". If it were just nominative, it would be "My child is bad", which has a different meaning. See the discussion in the rest of the thread.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gzeebzee

    In english "My child is badly" is commonly used.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ste-n-Dee

    Do you mean "My child is feeling badly"? You do hear that occasionally, but it's not grammatically correct, and it's not "common". At least, it's not common where I live.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gzeebzee

    Is badly or is feeling badly used like ill. Is ill, is feeling ill. It's colloquial. People might also say "in bad fettle" I mentioned these because I wonder if these turns of phrase originate from a shared past with German/Danish? Foreigners should avoid saying badly or fettle because it sounds odd if they use these words but hey were discussing German here.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexandraA114

    no one gives us a simple explanations explanations of that why the sentence is with meinem instead of mein


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Laruthell

    The reason is that "Kind" is the object of the sentence, not the subject. (That is true of the German sentence, not the English translation.) This is an idiomatic sentence. The implied subject is "es", and the object ("Kind") must be in dative case. For masculine nouns, "meinem" is dative, "mein" is nominative. If you have a specific question that this does not answer, please ask it.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/steveo6

    Dad gummit! The correct word for ill is "krank" not schlecht! How would you say that your child is "bad' as in not obeying?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bbigblue

    My kid is bad: Mein Kind ist schlecht. My kid is ill: Meinem Kind ist schlecht.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VirgilJSchmidt

    Wow! Really, That makes me feel like I have a lot further to go than meets the eye.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pulga_0907

    this actually helps a lot. it made me realize that the other way it would be just nominative.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/robbmonty

    Meinem Kind ist Krank is more accurate with regards to sharing info about one's health, rather than one's behavior, no?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gorn61

    It would need to be "mein Kind", in the nominative, rather than the dative we have here.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bbigblue

    Krank is a noun, not an adjective. Maybe krank, but im not german. Anyway, this might be a different way saying that someone is ill, and it teaches a valuable lesson as well.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shanx666

    I thought it was "My kid is spoilt"; as in a spoilt brat.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joseph.lon

    "My child is poorly?"

    What language is that? It isn't English, I can tell you that much. There is no way that "My child is poorly" would ever be considered a sentence in English.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joeHF

    It most definitely is English. If English is not your native language, you may be mistakenly thinking that the "-ly" suffix means "poorly" is an adverb, and hence doesn't make sense. It's not always; sometimes it's an adjective, and is a synonym of ill or sick. There may also be regional variations. It is a very common expression in UK English. I am not certain, but it may be much less common in US English.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ElioraSmith

    I've pretty much never heard it in American English.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tanay.pahare

    How would we say "My child is bad" in German?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bbigblue

    Mein Kind ist schlecht. But this has been described among these comments several times. ;)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kayeses

    Mein Kind ist bӧse means my child is bad. (Mi niño es malo)

    Mein kind ist schlecht is also correct, but I would not expect to hear a German speaker use it, because when speaking of one's child it is more common to say that one's child is ill (krank) rather than to say one's child is bad.

    So, in German, if a parent really means to say that their child is bad, they would say: mein Kind ist bӧse.

    But if the Parent is talking about their child's health, this is what they would say: Meinem Kind geht es schlecht (Mi niño se siente mal ó literalmente A mi niño le va mal) or Mein kind ist krank.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Teresinha

    That sentence is the champion of doubts. Could someone give the final explanation, please? Thanks.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenjaminClendon

    schlecht should have "sick" added to the list of meanings


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gorn61

    I don't think so - I think you are missing how this phrase works. My understanding is that "schlecht" does not mean sick, just "bad" or "badly". In this phrasing, it being bad for my child has an almost idiomatic meaning of my child being unwell.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Laruthell

    This question has already been thoroughly discussed. See unfluid's excellent answers above.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Deadpool723

    Why not my kid is bad? And why meinem


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Laruthell

    Next time you really should read the whole thread before posting; those questions have already been asked and answered multiple times in this thread. If you don't find the answers clear, ask away, but please be specific.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GerSzej

    schlecht is translated by "bad" in English, I still don't understand why "my child is bad" was rejected


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Laruthell

    Although your sentence is a fairly literal translation, it just doesn't mean the same thing as the German sentence. The German sentence is talking about the child's health, not how the child behaves. See both of unfluid's explanations above for further explanation.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Deadpool723

    Why is this sentence dative?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Laruthell

    This question has already been asked and answered many times. I refer you to the rest of this page, especially unfluid's comments.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Krbk78

    Why is "meinem"? There are any reasons for "Kind" to be dative.Because "Kind" is the subject of the sentence. The article of "Kind" is "das". Why is " das" turn to "dem"?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/countrylife4me

    Meinem is in the dative case. There is no direct or indirect object here. Nothing is being done to the child and is , is an intransitive verb. It just states that something exsist, it doesn't require a direct object... Go to google and place this in the search ( "mein kind ist schlecht" ) It will bring up all native german sites and they put Mein not meinem and they use krank for ill not schlecht. Then put ( "mein kind ist krank" ) and you will see other examples


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DorotaJarosz

    You are confusing predicative nominative sentence (left side = right side of the verb) with dative pronoun "meinem," which means "for my,,,whoever/whatever" and indicates an indirect object. Read earlier two posts by gorn61.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JaviFontal

    my child feels badly should be correct


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/newdoc

    A minor grammatical point, that would not be proper English. It would mean the child was having trouble feeling with his fingers. Badly is an adverb.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gzeebzee

    I am English It would mean what JaviFontal states badly is not just an adverb although it is not something you would here the Queen say. I don't worry too much Duo missed this, this is German course not advanced English.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/worldons

    its incorect to say meinem kind ist bad, if you are trying to say that your boy is not feeling well


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/begleyju

    Without knowing the context, "Meinem Kind ist schlecht" could simply mean that "My child is bad," as in "My child is not well behaved."


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bbigblue

    You do not need context here. The hint is the dative Meinem vs the usual nominativ Mein.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DorotaJarosz

    Read before posting, it is worth the time, especially here.

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