"Sie fehlt mir."

Translation:I miss her.

January 13, 2013



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.

September 1, 2013


Youre right navethechimp. It can also be thought of meaning "she is missing to me"

May 13, 2014


It is just like in french "elle me manque"

January 10, 2015


Yes, absolutely. Also, "Sie gefällt mir" is like "Elle me plaît".

January 10, 2015


And it is the exact same as Spanish's 'gustar'.

March 10, 2015


also Spanish "hacer falta", to be missed (by someone)

April 18, 2015


And the italian! "Lei mi manca"

March 27, 2015


And in french, "Elle me manque" :)

March 22, 2019


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!

September 2, 2013


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".

April 27, 2014


just like when I encountered "du gefallst mir", I was deeply disturbed.

June 16, 2014


Yeah, I think a more accurate English equivalent to gefallen is "to please" or "to appeal to".

December 4, 2017


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."

July 14, 2014


Correct Italian is: "loro mi piacciono", "lei mi manca"

March 3, 2015


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.

March 3, 2015


yeah in Greek is similar to Deutsch

June 14, 2017


This really confused me, till I read your well-described explanation navethechimp. The comment of trenty70 somehow also gives a better perspective. Thank you both.

June 5, 2018


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. . .

August 6, 2013


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.).

October 28, 2013


I think it's importat to note that, here, is the verb "fehlen" (be missing) that requires Dative, like a Dative preposition would.

November 15, 2013


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! :)

November 29, 2013


It can be improved by giving more info in the tip for fehlen

January 16, 2014


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.

March 20, 2014


fair point :-)

June 4, 2014


Can I say "Ich fehle sie"?

January 13, 2013


No, you can't. "Fehlen" has to be used with the dative case. So you could say "Ich fehle ihr", but that would mean the opposite: "She misses me". The structure is like "Sie gefällt mir" (=literally: She appeals to me, i.e. I like her).

January 13, 2013


So you could translate this more literally as "She is missed by me." Is that right?

April 14, 2013


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.

April 16, 2013


Its not past tense. Past tense would be 'She WAS missed by me'.

May 11, 2013


Agree - it's passive, present tense, which is exactly how we English-speakers have to understand this expression.

October 29, 2013


The construction is very like "She fails me", if that helps people remember.

...with luck, only a very few of you will be completely confused by it...

July 31, 2013


She [is missed by] me

March 17, 2014


Why can't this sentences translates into "She misses me."?

January 13, 2013


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".

January 13, 2013


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.

February 20, 2013


Yea, i thought this was a no-brainer. i was robbed

March 19, 2013


¿ "Sie fehlt mir" = "Ich vermisse sie" ?

March 24, 2015



March 29, 2015


why is I miss you wrong?

July 11, 2014


If "Sie" meant "you [formal]", the verb would be different: "Sie fehlen mir".

July 11, 2014


thank you Katherle for your prompt reply to my question, I should have realised and understand now

July 11, 2014


Yeah, me too.

July 12, 2014


So, how would you say, She misses me?

January 1, 2014


Probably, "Ich fehle ihr".

January 15, 2014


I'm guessing you would use the verb vermissen for that. I can't imagine how to order the words with fehlen.

January 3, 2014


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")

December 27, 2017


Why not "I miss you"?

April 24, 2013


That would be "Sie fehlen mir".

May 6, 2013


It's just like Spanish "Ella me falta", that's how I understood it.

February 27, 2014


I thnik. the problem is: this type of structure is quite unusual for ENGLISH. Sure, a popular one in other languages.

February 27, 2014


In my language is very big problem too

March 10, 2018


Ah, so it's like portuguese too ''Ela me faz falta'', thanks

November 30, 2015


Is it better translated as "she longs for me", perhaps?

May 16, 2014


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

May 16, 2014


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.

January 30, 2015


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.

February 7, 2015


Weeeell... This interpretation still leaves it an open question why you use Dative here :)

February 7, 2015

  • 148

I miss her--Does it mean"I am longing for her" or " I have no idea where she is"?

February 23, 2015


What is the correct translation of "she misses me"? Ich fehle ihr?

February 25, 2015

  • 148

I think so;-)

February 25, 2015


"She is missed by me " helps me remember the construction better. I miss her ... she is missed by me ... sie fehlt mir.

April 22, 2015


Why is it not ich fehlt sie or somehing straight

June 28, 2015


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.

August 16, 2015


What is more common gefallen or vermissen? Obviously vermissen is used like ich vermisse dich

November 14, 2015


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?"

November 21, 2015


Also, why aren't we using virmisse? Ich virmisse sie? Sie virmisst mich?

You Germans are very confusing :)

November 21, 2015


Is in the context of something being missing, or wanting it to come back?

February 7, 2016


whats the difference between "fehlen" and "vermissen"?

June 8, 2016


I feel her. XD

August 8, 2016


Nice explanation. Yes, It is quite confusing to define which one the subject and which one is the object

October 16, 2016



December 17, 2016


Perhaps it can be understood as "She is missing from me" ?

December 24, 2016


I was about to suggest this. I think this is what is grammatically or etymologically being said.

December 4, 2017


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.

June 3, 2017


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

August 2, 2017


In Romanian we have something similar but with verb in the end: "Ea îmi lipseste" = Sie fehl mir .

August 8, 2017


This really confused me, till I read your well-described explanation navethechimp. The comment of trenty70 somehow also gives a better perspective. Thank you both.

June 5, 2018


Sie fehlt mir should be She miss me is it?

April 3, 2019
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