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"Are they sick?"

Translation:Ist ihnen schlecht?

January 20, 2013



Shouldn't it be Sind Ihnen schlecht? You are referring to more than one person, and also it says 'Are' in the question


I too am confused by the use of 'ist' instead of 'sind' here


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. :)


Thanks this helps


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 it's the same logic as why we say "how is it for you" (Wie geht es dir) instead of "how are you"? There's an "it" representing the situation you're in?


It's not "to me it is bad" it's "to me bad(ness) is".

The bad(ness) is happening to the person.


thank you so much i've been struggling with this


Yeah, it makes sense. Thanks!


That helps, thanks


To add to the comment by 'idshanks'; I think the phrase is a shortened version of 'es ist ihnen schlecht' - which literally means 'it is, for them, bad' . This translates in German to 'they are ill' , but think of it as 'for them, it is bad' I hope this helps :)


Literally, 'Ihnen ist schlecht' = 'For them is bad'.


Nein, da "Ist ihnen schlect" ist kurz für "Ist es ihnen schlect" - und "es" ist singular, so wir brauchen die singular "Ist"


ich habe "ist es ihnen schlecht" geschrieben und es war noch falsch gemärkt


Ich weiß nicht über wenn es ist grammatisch - das ist die Etymologie von die Phrase, aber vielleicht ist es nicht modern. Das weiß ich nicht - Ich will "melde es" sagen, da ich glaube dass es richtig werden sollen.


Holy shit I understood that dialogue, except for the last sentence. I asked that question ("Ihnen es ist schlecht?") 2 years ago and no one answered it, I'm glad I found this :D


"I want to say " Report it" because I believe it should be correct."


Shouldn't your first sentence be "Ich weiß nicht über wenn es grammatisch ist"? Or is über the only conjunction there and wenn isn't?

Not trying to be a douche, just curious.


Shouldn't your first sentence be "Ich weiß nicht über wenn es grammatisch ist"?

No; I think it should be Ich weiß nicht, ob es grammatisch richtig ist.


Danke schön! It makes much more sense when you realise it is an abbreviation


Thank you for this!


The fact that in English it says "are" doesn't mean that will also apply to German because the way to say it is different. In German they're basically saying: "It is bad for them." That's how they say it. So even though you are referring to more than one person, you are still using the words "it" and "is" just like you would in English if this were the way to say this.


The fact that in English it says "are" doesn't mean that will also apply to German because the way to say it is different. In German they're basically saying: "It is bad for them." That's how they say it. So even though you are referring to more than one person, you are still using the words "it" and "is" just like you would in English if this was the way to say this.


That helps, danke


Just say "sind sie krank?" :)


Yeah, I thought the same.


Me too. It's simpler!


Why schlecht and not Krank?

  • Sind sie krank? = are they ill? are they sick? do they suffer from some disease?
  • Ist ihnen schlecht? = do they feel sick (UK usage)? do they feel nauseous?


So "Sind sie krank?" should be accepted for "Are they sick?", right ?


So "Sind sie krank?" should be accepted for "Are they sick?", right ?

Yes, and it is.


I thought "are they sick?" that would be more generally, just like ill, translated as: "Sind sie krank?" "Ist ihnen schlecht?" or: "Ist ihnen übel?" refers in German only to their stomaches about like "Do they feel sick?" or "Are they going to be sick?"


I typed: "Ist ihnnen krank?" and it was marked wrong, can someone please explain to me why?


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.

And similarly

  • 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.


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".


"Are they sick" really translates as "Sind sie krank". "Ist ihnen schlecht" is best translated as " Are they feeling sick". The confusion arises because "sick"has two meanings in English: ill or nauseous.


Could you also say 'Ist es ihnen schlecht?'


Could you also say 'Ist es ihnen schlecht?'

No. Adding es makes it sound wrong to me.


"Sie sind Krank?" is not a question, is a sentences "Sind Sie Krank?" is the right one


"Sie sind krank" can be a question, too. The speaker just wants this information to be confirmed.


Genau. To ask a yes/no question in German the verb has to come first, e.g. "Sind Sie krank?" However, the statement form with verb-in-second-place, here "Sie sind krank?", would be used with rising intonation if the speaker was dubious about what she or he had just heard and wanted it confirmed.


Is "Sie sind schlecht?" really wrong?


That means "They are bad?" and not "They are sick?"


Is this short for "Ihnen es ist schlecht?" or something like that?


In German, one can also say that "I am bad" to mean "I am sick": "Mir ist schlecht." Why shouldn't this apply to "they"?


"Ich bin schlecht." = "I am bad." "Mir ist schlecht." = "I am sick." Entsprechend "Ihnen ist schlecht." = "They are sick."


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.


Well it is similar. You can also say "mir ist (nicht) wohl" (~ "I am (not) fine") but that is a little old-fashioned.


Why wouldn't "Geht ihnen schlecht" be a correct translation here?


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'.


Can one also say: "Geht es ihnen schlecht?"


You can say that but that does neither clearly refer to a disease nor to the need to throw up. ~ "Are they unwell?"


Well then it should be accepted. The English sentence we needed to translate simply asked if they were sick.


I wrote Geht es ihnen schlecht... Is that an okay answer? I mean does it mean the same thing?


You can give this answer, and Durolingo will accept it, Sind sie 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.


Building on the shaky foundation of a half-remembered phrase from my distant past ('Es tut mir weh') I tried 'Tut es ihnen weh?' Not a literal translation, but I thought it might be close enough - and it used the dative!


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


In what (if any) circumstances could you include 'es' with the sentence. z.B. „Ist es ihnen schlecht?” When can you / should you include the subject as in „Mir geht es gut.“ and „Mir ist es warm.“


What's wrong with Sind Sie krank?


"Sie" is "you" formal and not "they".


I put Sind sie kranke. I am confused as to why krank would not have an e on the end as it is the plural 'they' about which one is asking.


"Predicate" adjectives don't decline. They keep their original form. If you say, "The sick X does blah blah," then sick has to agree with X in case and number. But if you say, "The X is sick," then sick = krank, regardless of what X is.


"Seid ihr krank?" Was rejected, probably because we're supposed to be practicing dative case. I think it's correct, though. Anybody have any thoughts on this?


Because perhaps Seid ihr krank means are you sick and the question was "are they sick?"...


Why (Sind sie Kranken ?) is Wrong ??


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?.


Copy paste of another answer : "Predicate" adjectives don't decline. They keep their original form. If you say, "The sick X does blah blah," then sick has to agree with X in case and number. But if you say, "The X is sick," then sick = krank, regardless of what X is.


Is this a widespread construction? Will we face numerous adjectives like this one or are they only a tiny minority?


I figured they would say ist ihnnen krank?


You might expect that :) But we don't.


How about "Ist ihnen krank?"


No, we don't use that construction with krank.


You can say: "Ist Ihnen krank zumute?" but nowadays it is more common to say: "Fühlen Sie sich krank?" The answer could be: "Mir ist sterbenskrank zumute." Or: "Mir ist hundeelend (zumute)." Or: "Ich fühle mich hundeelend." (I feel lousy)


I answered "ist ihnen krank?" - is this not correct? If not, why not?


It is not correct.

Sick is something that you "are" in German as well, not a way of feeling as in "I am hot/cold" when you feel hot or cold.


i can't understand it :( why its wrong sind sie schlecht?? lets suppose we are not in dative case.... how can we know what is the correct answer??


why its wrong sind sie schlecht?

That means "Are they bad?"

As in, are they bad people?

It has nothing to do with health.


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.


Why not sind Sie nicht gesund?


Why not sind Sie nicht gesund?

Capitalised Sie is "you", not "they".

*nicht gesund" is "not healthy", rather than "sick".


I put "Es geht ihnen schleckt" as doulingo taught before and it's wrong. why?


The word order is different in a question and be careful not to confuse "schlecht" (bad, sick...) with "schleckt" (he/she/it licks from "schlecken").


Why "ist" was used instead of "sind" ?


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"


Thank you for explaining this so clearly!


What would mean literally "sind sie schlecht? "


"Sind sie (they, perhaps the apples) schlecht" means: "are they bad?" "Ist ihnen (dative) schlecht" means: "do they (some people) feel sick (in the stomach)?"


"Are they sick?" simply translates to "Sind Sie krank?" or a better / more polite way of asking would be "Fühlen Sie schlecht?" ("Are you feeling unwell?") or when addressing a whole group "Geht bei Ihnen nicht gut?" (Are they/you all feeling unwell?")


"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 euch nicht gut? informally, Geht es Ihnen nicht gut? formally.


There's a typo towards the end of what mizinamo has written. It should be, "Geht es euch nicht gut?"


Fixed now; thank you, Judith!


I answered Sind sie krank, which was correct. An alternative was Ist ihnen schleckt which I do not understand. The segment of "Ist ihnen" translates for me "Is they". Can someone help me understad this.


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 :/


So does 'krank' not also mean sick?

It does.

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.


why use ist not sind?


why not "Ist ihnen krank?"


why not "Ist ihnen krank?"

Because we don't say it like that in German.


Normally one would say "Es geht ihnen schlecht" rather than using "ist."


"Is they bad?" ("Ist ihnen schlecht?") is not the same as "Are they sick?" ("Sind sie krank?"), nor is it correct.


could these be correct:

ist sie krank (is she sick? ) sind sie kranken (are they sick? )


ist sie krank (is she sick? )


sind sie kranken (are they sick? )

No. This has to be sind sie krank? with no ending on the adjective krank, just like in your first sentence.


Yes I see now and it is a mistake to pluralise "krank", many thanks


Sind sie schlecht? Is also fine nah


Sind sie schlecht? Is also fine

No, it's not fine.

Sind sie schlecht? means "Are they bad?".

[deactivated user]

    do Germans really ask for more than 1 person: is they bad?????? Bad english


    ihnen is "(to) them", not "they", so if you want to translate each word literally, it would be "is to them bad?"

    But of course that makes no sense in English -- you simply cannot translate this expression one word at a time.


    Why would you say schlecht rather than krank?


    well i checked google translate for this and it was " sind sie krank?"


    Shouldn't they are sick be "Sie sind krank?"


    Shouldn't "They are sick" be "Sie sind krank"?


    How do you know when you read "are they sick" , should be a dative German translation?


    Because that's how it works


    why not "es gibt ihnen schlecht" ?


    why not "es gibt ihnen schlecht" ?

    es gibt ... means "there is ..." or "there are ..." and is used for talking about the existence of something.

    Nothing to do with talking about someone's health.


    I see that 6 years ago people were also wondering about this weird "Ist ihnen ..." I've asked German friends, and they all tell me they would NEVER say that!!


    "Ihnen geht es schlecht" is marked wrong. Why?


    "Ihnen geht es schlecht" is marked wrong. Why?

    Because the English sentence you are being asked to translate, "Are they sick?", is a question, not a statement.

    Yes-no questions start with the verb (in German as in English).

    Thus you would need Geht es ihnen schlecht? or Ist ihnen schlecht?, both of which are accepted.


    Thank you for the explanation!


    Can I say Ist ihnen krank?


    Can I say Ist ihnen krank?



    why not " SIND IHNEN KRANKEN ? "


    I still don't understand why "Ist" and not "Sind".


    This is the dative case ( indirect object ) and in German means, ' Is it to them bad ( sick )? '


    Why not sind sie kranken?


    "Sind sie krank?" also worked.

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