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  5. "Den Kindern geht es gut."

"Den Kindern geht es gut."

Translation:The children are doing well.

February 5, 2014



Superman does good. The children are doing well


Maybe the children raise money for the less fortunate.


But why not "die Kindern" since it's plural


The reason it is "Den Kindern" here is, in fact, because the children are in the "dative" case (i.e. the indirect object). The way I like to think about it is this: when you are asked, "How are you doing?" in German, it is "Wie geht es dir?" oder "Wie geht es Ihnen?" Let's go with the informal "dir" though. Literally translated to English, this is "How goes it TO YOU?" The classic response is "Mir geht es gut." Literally, "TO ME it is going well/good." Why does this matter, you ask? Well, it is what this example is testing. "The children are doing well" is the English translation. But, in German, it goes back to the "geht es gut" phrase. The German question that would trigger this particular answer (to me anyway) is "Wie geht es den Kindern?" Literally, "How goes it TO the children?" The dative case is known as the "To whom/for whom?" case in grammar. So, this sentence from Duo answers the question, "How goes it TO THE children?" Antwort: Den Kindern geht es gut.

Hope this helps.


The exact answer i was looking for thanks


VERY helpful. Danke!


It is "den Kindern" because it is in the Dativ case. Here is a handy page describing the cases : http://www.german-database.supanet.com/page6.html


how is it dative just to say "the children...."? they arent receiving anything or being given to anyone, so shouldnt it just be nominative plural? Die Kinder....? ill never get my head round these cases.....


Yeah I have the most issue with Dative. Nominative and Accusative are fairly easy to understand.

My understanding is that "The children" is in dative because it is followed by the phrase "geht es gut". I believe this phrase turns the object into dative, as well as certain prepositions turning an object into the dative case.

Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong though!


@Elizabeth Evans,

I think you are right indeed, the phrase "geht es gut" made the word kinder in dative case.

Because the original phrase translation is like saying: " its going well WITH (the childre). So "children or Kinder"here is not the main subject in the phrase but "it or es" does.


And hence, Kinder also becomes --> Kinder'n' in the dative case.


Yes agreed, i think it like, "its going well with the children" hence in the Dative case.


I think the literal translation is "Its going good for the children", for the children being the dative.


The subject of this sentence is actually 'es' Something like 'it is going well for the kids'. The kids are the object, don't be fooled by the position in the sentence.


Remember "mir geht's gut" ? 'Mir' is Dative form here. Now lets ask ourself a simple question. What was the question that the answer "den kindern geht es gut" is refering to? Sure it was " Wie geht es deinen Kindern? " Which means " How are your kids doing? " Now we see deinen kinder used as Dative form. So they use the same form in response. Now my question is why should dein kinder be used as dative in above question?! Couldn't it be just "Wie geht es deine kinder?" ?


No, it couldn't be Wie geht es deine Kinder? with accusative because that's simply not the case we use with that verb.

Just as you have to learn the appropriate preposition for a verb in English (why is it "look at something" but "listen to something", not "look to something" and "listen at something"?), so you have to learn the appropriate case and/or preposition in German.


Well, you'll notice the verb is "geht" not "gehen". The (unsaid) subject of the sentence is "Es", as in "Es geht mir gut".


I'm not sure what you think is "unsaid" about the subject es -- it's right there in Den Kindern geht es gut.


This kind of thing often takes a dative in English too: "Tell him". The dative expresses an indirect object (who or what is affected by the action) as opposed to a direct object (who or what the action is performed on).


If you change the order of the sentence (or however you're supposed to say that) it would be (i think, correct me if i'm wrong) "es geht gut für den kindern" so it's going well FOR the kids, so the kids would be receiving the good or something idk hope this would help even a bit and not be entirely wrong


it would be (i think, correct me if i'm wrong) "es geht gut für den kindern"

You're wrong; it would be es geht den Kindern gut.


If you translate this sentence very literally to English, as others have pointed out, it comes out "It is going well with the children." So, if you replace "the children" with... Any pronoun, really, it's quite obvious to see English uses the dative in this scenario as well. "It is going well with him." (Of course, "him" is both accusative and dative, but it makes the point a bit more clear. Or, at least, rules out the possibility of being nominative.)


I interpret it as "it is going well for the children"


Invalid/wrong site.


That's a handy chart; but I couldn't find "unsere" on it anywhere? Would you know why? Is it possible these are all singular and the final "e" is plural? Sheer speculation there.


The concept of declension will clear your doubt OnkelD. Please refer https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_declension to understand declension. As for the declension of "unser" this may help: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/unser Unsere is used for feminine and plural in the nominative as well as accusative cases.


On my device the link leads to ads including "Must watch movies in 2019"


I would have thought so too since it is the children, (the subject - nominative case), who are doing well.


Also, the kids are allright


Ah Dative, just as you think you have the hang of it you throw this sort of thing at ye.

So really the sentence is 'it is doing well to the children'? But reordered to make more sense? Oh boy


    Compare this sentence with the common German phrase: Wie geht's? ("How's it going?")

    This sentence, as you may know, is an abbreviation of the full sentence Wie geht es dir? to which you reply Mir geht es gut or Es geht mir gut - you can swap the position if you keep the cases intact, this time. Note that these phrases are using the dative form of the personal pronouns: mir & dir, not mich & dich. And the verb conjugates to match es (which is nominative).

    So even without really understanding why it's dative, if you know that the sentences for "How's it going?"/"I'm doing well" use dative, then that's enough to tell you that dative is needed in this sentence for "the children" (Den Kindern). You're just swapping out "me" and putting in "the children", and adjusting it to dative case because that's what we know this sentence needs.

    Other comments explain well why it's dative, if you're curious.


    Danke! It was actually the 'geht' that confused me, thinking it should be gehen, but I realise 'geht' refers to 'es' not 'Den Kindern'.


    Just asking , is there any other sentences (beside this one) that always use the dative form as a general rule ?


      Ah, yes. Dative is used frequently in German. Just keep working your way through Duolingo and the sentences will find you ;)


      since "mir geht's gut" is short for "mir geht es gut", does it also follow that we could contract "Den Kindern geht es gut." for "Den Kindern geht's gut"?


      Sure, that works.


      This is an example of idiomatic grammar. Like "keep an eye on" someone or something, there is the literal meaning, and the functional meaning. The functional meaning is the one we translate, hence "The children are doing well." That's how we would convey the information in response to "How are the children doing?"

      The German way to say "How's it going?" is "Wie geht es?" or "Wie geht es mit dir?" Literally, " How goes it with you?" To which you reply "Es geht mir gut," or "It goes well with me." But remember, we translate languages by function, not word-for word. We'd say, in English, "It's going well," "it's going great," or even "Good, good."

      Note: at the beginning of this unit and other units, there are tips and explanations. In one of those, it mentions that there are prepositions that always trigger the dative case. Mit ("with") is one of them, so "how's it going?" can be thought of as implying "how's it going with you?" and in German, that's the actual structure of the idiom. So you have to use Dative.

      The definite article, plural, in the dative is "den." Also, in the dative, most words that are masc. or neut. and end in -er or -el will add an -n. So Die Kinder is nominative, den Kindern is dative.

      The implied question here is "Wie geht es mit den Kindern?" And the answer is either "Den Kindern geht es gut," or, in the form we're more accustomed to seeing, with the subject first, "Es geht den Kindern gut."


      This is a very helpful explanation, but right now, I find myself unable to anticipate words that are not there in order to determine what case to use. Hopefully with more practice I will be able to do so.


      For now, try thinking of this as "it is going well for the children". The Dative can be used with the sense of "for the benefit of" as well as the sense of "to". That is a clunky, but more literal translation. But since it does sound awkward, then revise it to what we would most naturally say in English.


      Why Kindern? Why is there an N on the end


      Dative plural has an -n for just about all nouns except those with a plural in -s.

      And es geht ... takes the dative case (Mir geht's gut. Es geht ihr gut. Wem geht es schlecht? etc.).

      So you need dative plural den Kindern.


      Why " den KinderN" but not "den Kinder"? Thanks


      es geht ... takes the dative case.

      In the plural, nouns nearly always take an -n in the dative case -- the main exception is nouns with a plural in -s (e.g. die Babys, den Babys) or which already have an -n anyway (e.g. die Frauen, den Frauen).


      Why kindern? Not kinder? Since when nouns also change in dative??


      Nearly all nouns end in -(e)n in the dative plural.

      The main exception is nouns that form their plural with -s, e.g. die Babys, dative den Babys.

      But other nouns will add an -n in the dative plural (e.g. die Kinder, den Kindern) if they don't already one have (e.g. die Frauen, den Frauen).


      Why is it Den instead of Die? Kindern is the subject in sentence and plural


      Kindern is not the subject of the sentence; the subject is es, and the children are in the dative case. den is the dative plural article.

      (A literal translation might be "it goes well to the children".)


      does duoLingo accept a more literal translation? I offer "It's going good with the children." i have my doubts. duo can be capricious.


      I understand the dative case and everything, but why does the noun change to "Kindern." This is very confusing to me.


      The dative plural of nearly all nouns ends in -n.

      (The main exception I can think of is nouns that form their plural in -s. Also, if the plural ends in -n already, no additional -n is added, e.g. die Frau, die Frauen, den Frauen.)

      I don't think there's an answer to why the dative plural ends in -n, any more than why English plurals usually end in -s.


      Sorry to ask for a clarification... but does the noun change in the dative occurs for ALL plural nouns? and ONLY for plural? Thanks in advance.


      Isn't the the dative article "dem"? Shouldn't it be "Dem Kindern geht es gut"? What did I miss?


      There is no one single "the dative article" -- it will differ depending on the gender and number.

      dem is the dative article for masculine or neuter (singular) nouns.

      Here, you have a plural noun, not a masculine or neuter one, so you need the dative plural article, which is den.

      And if you had a feminine noun, it would be e.g. Der Frau geht es gut. (and not *dem Frau or *den Frau).


      Why is 'Kindern' declined with an 'n'? Can someone please explain when and why this happens?


      "Pretty much all plurals in German get an -n on the end in dative case (unless the plural ends in -s). There are a couple of other things that can modify nouns too, but this is one of the most common." -az_p


      but kinder is the plural of kind. that doesn't make any sense.

      the only explanation i could come up with is this: kind is one of those 'weak nouns' that get a declination when they are not in the nominative form. i'd like someone to clarify that


      but kinder is the plural of kind.

      Please pay attention to the correct spelling: it has to be Kinder and Kind with a capital K.

      When we say "the plural of", we mean "the nominative plural".

      Words can change their endings in other cases; for example, "of the child" is des Kindes in the genitive case, with the -s ending that's typical for masculine and neuter genitives.

      And "to the children" is den Kindern in the dative case, with the -n ending that's typical for plural datives.


      I think it's literally: It goes good to the children.

      Wie geht es dir? How it goes to you?

      Mir geht es gut. It goes good to me.


      Shouldn't it be "Den Kindern geht es wohl."? Isn't "gut" an adverb?


      "gut" is an adjective and, like almost all German adjectives, also an adverb.

      You can make an adverb out of pretty much any adjective by just using the bare stem, without an ending.

      Hence Germans speaking English tend to mix them up and say things such as "I don't speak English good"

      wohl is also an adjective (and an adverb) but means something a bit different.


      "I don't speak English VERY good." would be better. I think that would be more idiomatic.


      Actually you would say 'I don't speak English very WELL' which has a certain irony, don't you think?!


      I think it's more like: 'For the children it goes well'. It's really confusing when the German phrase and the translation are in different cases.


      Kinder and Kindern??


        Yes. Did you read the comments?


        What's the difference between Kinder and Kindern? Is the second masculine?


          No, most plurals get -(e)n at the end in dative case. Did you read the comments?


          Thanks to the people who pointed out that Die Kinder is dative here as the literal meaning is "It is going well with the children" The preposition WITH makes the children dative.


            No, it's got nothing to do with "with". Read some of the other comments!


            Is this really saying, "to the kids, it goes well?"


            No. It's really saying "The children are fine" -- as in, the children are in good health.


            Why is "den kinder" instead of "die kinder"?


            It is den Kindern with capital K and -n at the end, not den kinder.

            That is the dative plural; die Kinder would be nominative or accusative plural.

            es geht ... gut takes the dative case for the "..." part; that is why den Kindern is in the dative case here.


            It is the subject. How is that the dative case? Dative case needs 'to' or 'for' (remember your Latin?). So the only way to translate this, in sensible English, is: 'It is going well FOR the children, or TO the children.


            You can say "it is going well FOR the children" but definitely not "it is going well TO the children" as it is a run-on sentence. TO the children is dative.


            Why not "The children feel good"?


              That's a different meaning.


              "The children feel good......about what? This is an unfinished sentence - and/or very bad English. The phrase "the children feel well" is complete because the adverb "well" complements the verb "feel".


              What.. So in German the nouns change too?


                Pretty much all plurals in German get an -n on the end in dative case (unless the plural ends in -s). There are a couple of other things that can modify nouns too, but this is one of the most common.


                Is "es geht Den Kindern gut" also correct?


                Yes. den shouldn't be capitalised in the middle of the sentence, though.


                Why not "Die Kinder geht es gut." /


                Because es geht ... gut requires the dative case for the "..." part, so you need dative den Kindern and not nominative/accusative die Kinder.


                I'm beginning to understand why my mother- whose mother tongue isn't English- gets confused when I say certain sentences and phrases...


                I would think that "it's going well to the children", IMHO fits better as in Italian I would use "ai bambini" (to the children), but probably for someone who is not Italian it can sound bad.


                probably for someone who is not Italian it can sound bad.

                Exactly. It's a literal translation and does not sound natural in English - at least to me.

                Translate it into a more natural sentence such as "The children are doing well".


                I was pleased when I entered 'The kids are O.K.' and it was accepted.


                From the phrases skill, we know that “mir geht es gut” means “I am doing well”, and finally this expression makes sense to me grammatically. I have a question though, is it possible to change the word order? Like saying „Es geht gut mir“ or „Es geht gut den Kindern“? (I imagine I might have placed „gut“ incorrectly)


                Yes, you can also say Es geht mir gut or Es geht den Kindern gut.


                Why is "Die Kindern geht es gut" wrong? If all genders take "die" in the plural in the Nom/Acc why the contradiction? The structure is subject + vb + complement so it is Nominative but according to the text it is Dative. Where is the direct/indirect object structure?


                The children are feeling well is not accepted. I wonder why that is.


                "The children are feeling well" is not accepted for some reasons


                There is nothing in the sentence to indicate how the children are feeling.

                • 219

                It is kinderN instead of kinder because it is in the dative form , i am i right ?


                It is kinderN instead of kinder because it is in the dative form

                Nearly. It is KinderN instead of Kinder. Nouns are capitalised in German.

                But yes, the ending -n is typical for the dative plural of nouns.


                "Everything is good with the children." ...I think that should be accepted


                Your sentence is not grammatically incorrect, but it does not reflect the extremely common usage that is "Den Kindern geht es gut". "The children are doing well" is much closer.


                den kindern geht es (it) gut (good). There is no "doing well"!!!!!!!!!!!!!


                It's an expression, and "The children are doing well" is what it means. A literal translation from the German would be something like, "To the children goes it good". There is no way to even rearrange those words to make a sensible English sentence.

                It is generally a good principle, when learning a new language, to try to translate as closely as possible to the given phrase. But in the case of expressions and idioms, you just have to learn what they mean.


                Why can't I help imagining some guy telling a mafia boss that "the children are doing good"?


                I thought it was den Kindern but it wants dem Kindern.

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