I think the confusion here is not stemming from a difference between German and English grammar. It is instead that the verb itself has a different meaning. In German it is the subject of the sentence that is in a state of being missed by him, where as in English it is the subject of the sentence that is committing the action of missing her. I hope that is correct and makes sense. Please correct me if not.
Youre right navethechimp. It can also be thought of meaning "she is missing to me"
That seems to me to be how the difference is & where the problem lies. We just have to reverse our thinking. . . thanks for the explanation!
This made more sense to me when I saw "to lack" as a translation of "fehlen" (http://dict.leo.org/ende/index_de.html#/search=fehlen&searchLoc=0&resultOrder=basic&multiwordShowSingle=on) -> "She is lacking to me". That, at least to me, seems less ambiguous about the direction of "missing" than "to be missing".
Yeah, I think a more accurate English equivalent to gefallen is "to please" or "to appeal to".
Not really, since this type of grammar is similarly found in Italian... "loro me piaccono" being I like them, "lei me manca" being I miss her. This is translated more like "She is missing from me."
Considering that I commented this seven months ago, I think my reasoning was relatively well stated. Allthough your correcting me has nothing to do with the subject that has been opened up here (my reasoning still stands), I thank you for pointing me to my error.
I got this one wrong in French too. It's a weird, backwards way of thinking for us English speakers! But it's like "Das gefaellt mir", and "Es tut mir leid", so I'll get it right eventually. . .
I hate this verb (not really, but it's hard to grasp for an English speaker). I just have to think of it as meaning "to be missing from," and 'from'='von,' which is a dative preposition, so it takes 'mir' instead of 'mich.' The same with gefallen and gehoren ('to be liked by' and 'to belong to'- 'bei' and 'zu' are also dative prepositions so they also take mir or dir etc.).
I think it's importat to note that, here, is the verb "fehlen" (be missing) that requires Dative, like a Dative preposition would.
I don't know how this question can be improved, but if you don't know the verb "fehlen" and you learn it with this sentence, you will be told that "fehlt = to miss". Then you see that the subject is in German is "Sie" and you can only learn by failing! :)
I got it wrong too. BUT, looking at it, the mir should have been a clue. The sense of it is something like "she is missing TO ME". If she missed me, I'd expect it to be mich rather than mir.
So you could translate this more literally as "She is missed by me." Is that right?
No, your sentence is past tense. Literally, it would be translated to " she is missing to me". The easiest way for me is to look at it in German as "Mir fehlt sie," so that way the word order is normal for us.
Agree - it's passive, present tense, which is exactly how we English-speakers have to understand this expression.
Because in german "fehlen", the object is the thing which is being missed.
Thus, "Peter fehlt mir" is translated with "I miss Peter". Another example: "Das Fenster fehlt bei diesem Haus." -- "The window is missing on this house".
Isn't that backwards? The subject -- akkusativ ("sie") -- is the thing being missed and the indirect object -- dativ (mir) -- is the thing doing the missing.
thank you Katherle for your prompt reply to my question, I should have realised and understand now
I'm guessing you would use the verb vermissen for that. I can't imagine how to order the words with fehlen.
If I'm not mistaken, this is structured in a similar way to French, where you would say "Elle me manque" (literally "I lack her")
I thnik. the problem is: this type of structure is quite unusual for ENGLISH. Sure, a popular one in other languages.
Hardly. In this sentence it is "I" who is longing for "her". This type of structure is rare for English, but indeed there are examples. For instance, no one in their right mind would say "I seem it strange": the correct way is "(It) seems strange to me" or just "Seems strange".
In various languages there are more verbs that act this way. Namely, even though the feeling of a PERSON is expressed (so objectively the emotion is produced by this person), the grammatical structure suggests that the feeling just "happens to a person", produced by the object the feeling is about
We have a load of these verbs in English: "unaccusative verbs" for grammar buffs. Like "I am melting" - I'm not doing anything; something is melting me! I am dying - I'm not doing it; it's happening to me. These are so common we don't even notice that we are using verbs where the subject is not the thing causing the verb to happen.
tldr So if I have this right, the literal translation of this is "She is missed by me". If I am wrong, feel free to correct me, but that is the only way I can get "I miss her" and not "she misses me" out of that.
Weeeell... This interpretation still leaves it an open question why you use Dative here :)
I miss her--Does it mean"I am longing for her" or " I have no idea where she is"?
"She is missed by me " helps me remember the construction better. I miss her ... she is missed by me ... sie fehlt mir.
I think of this as ‘She fails me.’. It's a bit harsh, just because I miss her, to think that she is at fault, but it helps me remember the grammar.
What is more common gefallen or vermissen? Obviously vermissen is used like ich vermisse dich
As a native English-speaker, it is natural to read the sentence in order. Therefore, it reads (to me) that "She misses me." So my question would be, if I want to say that "she misses me," would I reverse the order and say "mir fehlt sie?"
Also, why aren't we using virmisse? Ich virmisse sie? Sie virmisst mich?
You Germans are very confusing :)
Nice explanation. Yes, It is quite confusing to define which one the subject and which one is the object
I was about to suggest this. I think this is what is grammatically or etymologically being said.
I've read all the comments below, and I just want to shake all of you because....sigh....I'm a native English speaker. And when I see "mir" I think "me." Hence: She misses me. We run into this from time to time while learning German; what you see is not what you get. Word order is an assault on our sanity, Duo slips us unrecognizable words out of the blue, everyone seems to miss hitting the "y" key when they type "they." You can hardly blame us for feeling stupid. And then, after checking the dictionary to find that "Ich" is "I" and "mich" and "mir" are "me," we find that, nope, doesn't work that way in German. Because it's an idiomatic language that simply boggles the English-speaking mind.
I will have to write on the blackboard 1,000 times "Sie felht mir" = I miss her. It should sink in.
I feel as though this is slightly awkward considering there is a word specifically for missing someone, vermissen and there is no context here as to whether it is emotional or physical
In Romanian we have something similar but with verb in the end: "Ea îmi lipseste" = Sie fehl mir .