"Are they sick?"
Translation:Ist ihnen schlecht?
The comments above about 'ich bin schlecht' vs. 'mir ist schlecht' cover it. Basically, the use of the dative implies you are the object, to which it is bad, in a somewhat too literal sort of sense. 'Ich bin schlecht' = I am bad; 'mir ist schlecht' = to me [it] is bad.
'Ist ihnen schlecht?' = is [it] to them bad?
That's my assessment of the mechanics of it anyway - I'm just a learner myself, but it seems to hold up to keeping me right with that usage. :)
But if 'ich bin schlecht' = I am bad, wouldn't that make more sense than To me it is bad? I am bad implies I am not well, but To me it is bad implies that I don't like something. So I still don't understand about Sind ihnen' vs 'Ist ihnen' and I am newly confused about 'Ich bin schlecht' vs 'Mir ist schlecht.'
But if 'ich bin schlecht' = I am bad, wouldn't that make more sense than To me it is bad? I am bad implies I am not well
No. "I am bad" means "I am evil" or "I am naughty". You are a (morally) bad person. It has nothing to do with health.
If you say "he is a bad boy", you would not think that the boy is in poor health.
So, is this the antithesis of the "geht es gut" phrasing for being well? It sounds like the literal interpretation for these are "it goes bad to [person in dative tense]" and "it goes good to [person in dative tense]" with regards to their health. Please correct me if I'm wrong or misinterpreting something.
Right, there is the same form of the indeterminate 'it' doing the action and the self as the indirect object. Though it looks like there might be a difference between 'gehen' and 'sein' in this context. 'Mir geht es schlecht' apparently means 'I'm doing badly'. And I wonder if 'Mir ist es gut' might mean 'I'm healthy'.
It seems that the German language creates a subtle psychological distance between objects and their properties. The meaning 'I am sick' is expressed as 'It is sick with me' or 'I have sickness'. Thus in 'Ist ihnen schlecht', "it" (it is sick - or literally, it is bad) is unwritten, but assumed by "ist", and "with" (as in, with them) is also unwritten, assumed by the dative third-person plural "ihnen".
We don't use the dative case with krank.
Some feelings or conditions use dative:
- Mir ist schlecht. (I feel sick to my stomach, as if I want to vomit)
- Mir ist warm.
- Mir ist kalt.
- Mir ist heiß.
- Mir geht es gut.
- Mir geht es schlecht.
But some use nominative:
- Ich bin krank.
- Ich bin gesund.
- Ich bin froh.
- Ich bin glücklich.
- Ich bin traurig.
I wanted to put, "Sind sie krank?", but since this is in a lesson on the dative I put, "Es geht ihnen schleckt?". However, it was marked as incorrect. This question has been posed by others, but not answered.
I can assume two possible answers: one (less likely), that my response just hasn't been added to the bank of possible acceptable translations... so I will report it...
Or two, that my sentence is asking if they're having a hard time in general, or just feeling a little sick/down, rather than an exclusive referral to their health?
The sentence in English has no reference to feeling nauseated. It's just a simple question asking if they are sick. If "Ist ihnen schleckt" best translates to "Are they sick to their stomach?" then that should be the preferred answer, with "are they sick, are they nauseated?"etc. as accepted alternatives.
I put, "Es geht ihnen schleckt?". However, it was marked as incorrect.
Yes–no questions start with a verb, so geht would have to come at the beginning of the sentence (with the subject es right after it).
(er) schleckt means "(he) licks". The word for "bad" is schlecht with ch.
Geht es ihnen schlecht? is one of the accepted translations.
You will notice that the sentence uses "Ihnen" instead of "Sie" - "They" is dative, and since there is no other word which could potentially be Nominative in the sentence, the subject must be assumed to be an unspoken "es", so the sentence should be understood as "Ist es ihnen schlecht?" - "Is it poor for them", which is understood by germans to mean "Are they sick".
Since "es" (the subject of the sentence) is singular, we use the singular "ist" instead of "sind"
I think you want to say Sind sie krank?. This is the most direct translation, and the one I would recommend.
In the sentence "Are they sick?" the word "sick" is an adjective. In German, you don't capitalise adjectives. Having a capital letter in the middle of the sentence means it's a noun, and there's no noun Kranken.
German does have the possibility of 'nominalised adjectives', which is kind of like saying "he's a sick one" in English. In German, that would be Er ist ein Kranker, but it sounds kind of strange. Even in this situation, "Are they sick ones?" would translate as Sind sie Kranke? or "Are they the sick ones?" as Sind sie die Kranken?.
"Are they sick?" simply translates to "Sind Sie krank?"
No. "they" is lowercase sie, not uppercase Sie.
or a better / more polite way of asking would be "Fühlen Sie schlecht?" ("Are you feeling unwell?")
No. If a person describes a feeling within themselves, you use the reflexive verb sich fühlen, so "Are you feeling unwell?" would be Fühlen Sie sich schlecht?.
or when addressing a whole group "Geht bei Ihnen nicht gut?" (Are they/you all feeling unwell?")
No; bei is not appropriate, and the formal subject es is missing.
"Are they feeling unwell?" would be Geht es ihnen nicht gut? (with lowercase ihnen); "Are you [all] feeling unwell?" would be Geht es such nicht gut? informally, Geht es Ihnen nicht gut? formally.
The segment of "Ist ihnen" translates for me "Is they".
ihnen is dative, not nominative, so "is to them" would be a literal translation.
But you can't translate it literally; German expresses some feelings a bit differently, including being cold, hot, or nauseated -- those feelings are "to" someone.
So you don't say ich bin kalt but instead say mir ist kalt.
And Mir ist schlecht means that you feel sick (nauseated).
So does 'krank' not also mean sick?
Or is "bist ihnen krank" just incorrect grammatically :/
That is indeed incorrect grammatically, and if you corrected the verb form bist to ist, it would be wrong idiomatically (i.e. the grammar is correct but nobody would say it).
Sind sie krank? would be possible for "are they sick?"
We don't use the ist + dative construction for krank.
It might help to remember that "Wie geht es ihnen" is equivalent to when we say in English "how is it with you" or "how is it going" rather than "how are you". So here we have the similar "is it going bad with them" for are they sick. The current trend to reply to "how are you" with "I'm good" is not grammatical unless the question was asking if they are a good or bad person.
I have a bit of former knowledge in German, so I knew the work "Krank" meant sick. I put "Sind sie krank?" and it accepted it as I expected, though I was super confused by the other accepted answer being "Ist ihnen schlecht?" Only thing I can think is Dative case is a hard one to grasp for me xD