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  5. "Ist es schlimm?"

"Ist es schlimm?"

Translation:Is it severe?

November 7, 2015



what is the difference between schlimm and schlecht?


schlimm can be seen as a weak augmentative of schlecht, meaning it's a version of greater intensity. But the intensity doesn't need to be that much bigger. In many cases the english "bad" will still cover both. They are for the most part interchangeable. Sometimes schlimm can take on the meaning of "awful" (which seems to be missing here).

Due to this small increase in intensity schlimm can have, depending on context, a weak judgmental, but also empathic tone to it. (Not strong enough to be offensive though.) Whereas schlecht would remain neutral and objective or even mechanical.

A few examples to aid usage.

Du hast eine schlimme/schreckliche Handschrift.

You have bad/terrible handwriting.

Meant with slight judgement.

Du siehst schlimm/furchtbar aus.

You look awful/really awful.

Meant in an empathic way. E.g. towards a sick friend.

Using schlecht in those cases would feel as if you're uninvested.

The Duo example seems to fit well when talking about an injury or health issue.

Arzt: "Die Tests kamen zurück"
Patient "Ist es schlimm?"
Arzt: "Kann ich so schlecht sagen. Der Kollege hat eine wirklich schlimme Handschrift."


How about schlimm vs. Schwerr? Danke


Can a native German speaker please give me the word for "bad" as in bad behavior? Google translate always gives me "schlecht" but I know that is not correct. Danke!


"Bad behaviour" translates to "schlechtes Benehmen".

"Benehmen " is an older word as "Verhalten". The difference is that "Benehmen" is more like your behaviour in terms of manners and "Verhalten" is like general behaviour. But don't misunderstand "Benehmen" as a translation for "manners". "The manners" = "die Manieren". The behaviour of a dog in respect of destroying pillows, barking all night or something like that is something that the dog should have been taught not to do, so it is called "Benehmen" here. On the other hand, if you are an ornithologist and observe the behaviour of sparrows, it is called "Verhalten".

Hope that helpfs to distinguish these two. ;)


You mean "schlechtes Verhalten"?


Genau. Zum beispiel wie sagt Man auf Deutsch "bad dog!"? Es ist nicht "schlecter Hund" oder?


In danish we would say "Slemme hund!", which seems to have the same meaning as schlimm. :)


Böser Hund! Böser Hund! Gib dem Mann sein Wurstbrot zurück! […] Ja, braver Hund!


schlechtes Benehmen


Think of Schlimazel


Let's look at my situation. I take a test. I read this: "Ist es schlimm?" I answer: "It's bad?" Duo doesn't accept it and gives this answer: "Is it severe?" It's really better than mine?


eAVs1, you translated, "Ist es schlimm?" as, "It's bad?". Duolingo does accept, "Is it bad?" as a translation.

What you wrote, is a contraction of It is bad. It is bad is a statement. I think that might be why Duolingo marked your answer wrong.

"Is it bad?" is a question.


I've always understood schlimm to mean terrible


It means "bad", "evil", "severe", "fatal", ...


Don't see why "terrible" can't be accepted... I know it means a greater form of "bad"; but people often say things like "that is terrible"... in the same sense.


I'd say "furchtbar" for terrible.


Would 'dire' be an acceptable translation? Or is there a different word for that?


I'd say "dire" is too strong. It equals rather "entsetzlich" or "furchtbar".


Why was 'strict' not accepted?


Because it means something completely different.


Duo had translated it as 'strict' in a previous sentence.


Well, there might be contexts in which this works, but definitely not here. "schlimm" means "severe" in the sense of "bad".


Okay, thanks. I see the difference.


I thought 'Schlimm' meant clever?


No. "schlimm" means "severe", "evil".
"clever" is "schlau".

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