In German, this sentence relates to one with 'meinem Kind' in the indirect object position, which is why it is marked with dative case:
- Es ist meinem Kind schlecht. ['meinem Kind' in indirect object position]
- 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:
- It looks bad for my child. ['my child' in indirect object position]
- 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.
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.
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.′′
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.
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)
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?
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.
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 :)
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.
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."
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There are other resources. Try this one, for example: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~german/Grammatik/WordOrder/WordOrder.html
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.
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!
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"?
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"
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.
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.
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".
"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.
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.
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"
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.
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
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Unfluid gives a pretty good explanation near the top of the thread.
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.
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.
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.
There's a good explanation by unfluid at the top of the page.
It's about which word is the direct object and indirect object of the verb when you use dative case.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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