"Was magst du an ihr?"

Translation:What do you like about her?

February 19, 2013

88 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/javax

If I want to say "What do you like about him"? "Was magst du an ihm?" is correct?

October 12, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sommerlied

Yes, correct :)

June 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Frederichtig

Wow, such flags. Much languages.

July 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ElibeyElili

i can;t even learn one language :'(

November 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Siddhartha_90

That would also translate to 'What do you like about it"?

March 31, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sommerlied

This is difficult to answer since it depends on what you describe with "it", what article the noun you describe with "it" has, and what the context is.

For objects/actions I'd say: "Was magst du daran?" eg:

  • "Ich mag den Tisch. - Was magst du daran?" (I like the table. What do you like about it?)
  • "Ich mag Lesen. - Was magst du daran?" (I like reading. -What do you like about it?)

Generally you can use ihm/ihr for objects/actions like this too, but usually it is more often used for people/animals/living things. It sounds a bit weird/unnatural if you use "ihm" but refer to a table.

July 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WarrenBrow3

My German professor says the long words are simple, it's the short ones that get you in trouble. "Well, I didn't feel well after I fell in the well."

June 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/medfun

Verb Mögen requires Dative?

June 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/paulina126937

No, requires Akkusativ

February 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LB_StorM

When do you use 'über' vs when do you use 'an' to mean 'about'?

For example, from before, "das ist alles, was ich über ihn weiß", or "that is all I know about him".

February 19, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wudama

Prepositions are in most cases not translated directly, but used to modify or specify the meaning of another word. You just have to learn it. There is no regularity or tendency that could help you. It is like that with every language I know.

to get ON the bus = IN den Bus einsteigen

to go TO school = IN die Schule gehen

to laugh AT sb = jmd AUSlachen

to smile AT sb = jmd ANlachen

February 19, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bogg22

Take it your third example is dative giving there is an aus.... What case does an lachen take?

December 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bogg22

Hang on it is jdN anlächeln... But jdM zulächeln

July 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OremLK

Even in the same country you can have variations regarding which is the "correct" way to phrase things. For example, "standing on line" in New York versus "standing in line" for most of the other places in USA.

June 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kkulonja

"What do you like on her?" Why not?

June 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/oqughuchi

In English, it's "... like about her"

June 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/frajo99

What if you are talking about something she is wearing though? I could ask "What do you like on her?" And the answer could be, "I like those earrings on her," or something like that.

October 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Laruthell

Good question. What preposition do you use if you want to say, "What do you like on her?" in German? . . .

October 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PinayTuesday

Yes, I had the same question. I thought it made sense to ask, "What do you like on her?" Is their another verb phrase or idiom to ask what clothing I like on a person?

January 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TorDog

Was magst du auf ihr?

September 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/charlybast

"auf" niemals

August 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ratakoolta

In english is "about". "On her"? Sounds really weird!

April 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KubisFowler

Or "What do you like at her?"

May 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/spacepope

Why can't it be 'What do you like about it?' ? Is there something that modifies 'ihr' to mean 'her' and not 'it' ?

December 15, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Susande

It is in dative. The dative case of 'it' (and of 'him' as well) is 'ihm', the dative case of 'her' is 'ihr', so "What do you like about it?" translates as "Was magst du an ihm?". See the second green table on this page: http://www.lsa.umich.edu/german/hmr/grammatik/Basic_Chart.html

December 22, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/oqughuchi

How does that apply to examples where the 'it' refers to a feminine noun? For example: "die Katze laeuft nachdem sie die Maus sieht."

December 22, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Laruthell

I assume that what Susande means is that the dative case of "es" is "ihm". As far as I know, if you were talking about that cat you would indeed say "Was magst du an ihr?".

January 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/oqughuchi

Thanks - let me clarify, because even I couldn't figure out what I was asking above.

My question goes to the translation, too. "Was magst du an ihr?" translates as "What do you like about her?" but I'm also wondering, couldn't it be translated as "what do you think about IT?" if the 'it' that is being referred to is a feminine noun?

E.g., "Ich habe eine neue Katze; was magst du an ihr?" Is 'ihr' correct here? Or should it be 'ihm' because a cat can also be referred to as 'es'?

January 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Laruthell

Well, I am not a native German speaker, so I cannot say for sure, but my understanding it that if you are talking about a feminine object, you use the feminine pronouns. I read once in a German Textbook that if you ask "Wie ist der Abend?" the answer is, "Er ist gut.", and I assume that the same thing happens here.

Where the doubt comes in is in regard to that cat; what happens if the cat is a male? Taking "Katze" as the feminine noun it is, you can refer to any and all cats generally with the feminine articles, adjectives, and pronouns, but I would imagine that if you were talking about a particular cat which you knew to be a male, you could use the masculine pronouns . . . I think? I know I would want to translate your sentence "what do you think about him/her" just because that is how you talk about cats whose gender you know in English.

The thing I wonder, though, is whether you might actually not use "ihm" or "ihr" at all in some cases, instead using "dies", "das", "jene" or nothing at all - perhaps especially with an inanimate object. Maybe something like this (no guarantees on the correctness of the following):

"Ich habe einen neuen Messer. Was meinst du?" "Er gefällt mir." "Was magst du an ihm?" "Seine Schneide ist sehr gut."

(In case comparing to Spanish helps, the following is correct Spanish: "Tengo un nuevo cuchillo. ¿Qué opinas?" "Me gusta." "¿Qué te gusta de él?" "Su arista es muy buena.")

So, to sum up my ramblings . . . as far as I know, "what do you like about it?" is a perfectly reasonable translation, but without the context there to tell you you're dealing with an inanimate object, I think "what do you think about her?" is probably the better translation.

January 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jphreddmugs

This is similar to my thinking. I wrote, "What do you make of her." meaning, "What is your impression of her." Duo didn't recognize it as correct, but I'm wondering if I was, idiomatically.

September 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/charlybast

"Katze" ist weiblich, "ihr" ist korrekt "der Kater" ist männlich, "ihm" "es" ist ein neutrales/nicht lebendiges Ding: no, you can't use "es"

August 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MoAl2

yes but why is it in dative and not acquisitive? I don't understand, an action is being done "liking" so why isn't it in acquisitive?

September 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/oqughuchi

Because the object here is 'was', not 'ihr'.

'What do you like about her?" as a statement becomes "You like [xxx] about her"; the [xxx] is what would be in the accusative.

September 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Siddhartha_90

Thanks. I've been wondering about this for a while now.

March 31, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FabianoBrazil

It is not acquisitive because there is no purchase or acquisition in the phrase ;)

September 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Siddhartha_90

Thanks. for asking I've been wondering about this for a while now.

March 31, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SuhasG

Is it just me or anybody else heard it as "machst?

May 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TobyBartels

Me too, they sound identical.

November 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anna_Bilbao

Why is "what do you like on her" wrong? Thought it has the exact same meaning as "what do you like about her"And how would you translate it in case they differ. Thank you

April 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/oqughuchi

I can't speak to the German, but "what do you like on her?" is not the same as "what do you like about her?"

"What do you like on her" sounds like you're asking about the clothing she is wearing.

April 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bencloete

When would an trigger accusative?

November 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

When it is the destination of motion.

For example, if so stick something to her, so that the sticker moves until it is at her, that would be etwas an sie kleben.

November 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bogg22

Why is this dative... Über is always accusative when it is translated as about.... And another example ich denke an dich... It is accusative... Why is this different?

December 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jayanti6

I guess that in this interrogative sentence there are two objects: 1)was( more appropriate answer to was) 2) an ihr A dative construction generally has two objects. But considering accusative case it has only one object. Guess this must have cleared your doubt.

May 25, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bogg22

Haha thanks... Was a while ago when asked this... But basically different verbs go with different propositions... Like about is with the proposition an.... But something like write is with über... Which is always accusative when means about... It is just things you learn along the way

May 25, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zernyu

"What do you all see in her?" How is this a correct answer?

February 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tamarayhannah

As a native English speaker, that is correct because "to see something in someone" is an idiomatic expression meaning "to like (about someone)"...not physically seeing something. It usually implies that you don't understand why someone likes someone...perhaps they "see" something that you don't. We often say "I don't know what he sees in her." (I don't know why she likes him.)

July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zernyu

I'm a native English speaker as well, but I appreciate your taking the time to respond. I posted this question months ago so I don't really remember the context... but I'm pretty sure I was referring to the "you all" part and less about "see". "Du" is singular...

July 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tamarayhannah

Aha! I hadn't noticed that. And I agree, du is singular so you all shouldn't be counted. Thanks!

July 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Laruthell

Wait, it is?! I thought "mögen" meant "to like" not "to see".

February 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zernyu

Agreed. It was one of the alternate correct solutions listed after answering.

February 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shareida

It confuses me cause about has like 5 other words for the same word in english and i dont know when to use the right one

November 29, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/silviu21

What about "What do you like at her ?"

July 31, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/oqughuchi

No, that's incorrect. In English you like something about somebody

December 21, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GAZ-3937

Is it valid to write this as "Was du magst an ihr?"

May 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Laruthell

No.

In German there is a rule that the main verb must always come second. (When I say "main" verb, I mean that if you have more than one verb or part of a verb, e.g. "haben gegessen" [have eaten], only the "haben" comes second, and the "gegessen" goes at the end of the sentence.) The only exception is in dependent clauses (starting with words like "because" etc.) in which case all the verb come at the end.

For more information, see: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~german/Grammatik/WordOrder/WordOrder.html

May 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Thiudans2

What's wrong with "What about her do you like"?

July 31, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/serinabinu

What do you like of her. Why is this not accepted?

October 29, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/oqughuchi

Native US English speaker here: that's not how it's said in English. It has to be "what do you like about her"

October 29, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kovaxim

Sounds really close to dir

January 27, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SohbKhalid

"Was hat sie, was ich habe nicht?"

April 23, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

habe should be at the end :)

(Relative clauses are subordinate clauses.)

November 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tom673443

Can i ask why 'what about her do you like?' isn't valid?

April 28, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gab_gar

could you use "über" or "um" instead of "an"?

August 20, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

No.

November 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sara641491

Why not " was magst du an sie" ?

January 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Because the appealing things are “at her” (an ihr), with dative of location, rather than “to her” (an sie), with accusative of destination of motion.

November 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MiguelPere240375

Can über be used instead of an? Why is an used here?

May 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

No, you can’t use über sie here; that works when you are speaking “about her” (as a topic of discussion), but here, what you like “about her” is “what makes her appealing”, and there Germans consider that the appealing thing is “at her” (an ihr).

November 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Johanna258510

Is there a difference in the sound of "machst" and "magst"?

October 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

In northern German colloquial, often not.

In standard pronunciation, there is a difference: machst has a short a sound followed by an Ach-Laut [x], while magst has a long a sound followed by a [k] (an unvoiced /g/ sound).

October 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Johanna258510

Danke!

October 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/abdullah562704

How do i say "everything" in german

November 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Alles.

November 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/silacim94

why 'what do you like at her' is not accepted ? They translated 'an' as 'at' in the previous sentences

July 6, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Yes, but preposition usage beyond the core physical location meanings ("on the table" etc.) usually do not translate one-to-one between languages.

As soon as you get metaphorical, different languages often use different prepositions.

In German, you write a book "over" a topic but you like something "at" a person -- but you wouldn't use those prepositions in English. Instead, you'd write a book "about" a topic and like something "about" a person.

Conversely, in English you are afraid "of" something but in German you don't *von etwas Angst haben.

July 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/silacim94

Vielen Dank <3

July 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jphreddmugs

Thanks for the gentle reminder. Until you get used to the way thoughts are constructed in any language, it's hard not to think literally.

October 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SayantanAdhikari

Was masgt du = What are you doing? and an ihr = on her.

Whats wrong if I translate it to " What are you doing on her? ".....

July 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Was magst du? = what do you like?

Was machst du? = what are you doing?

Different spelling, different pronunciation. Even the vowel length is different (though you can't tell from the spelling).

July 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SayantanAdhikari

Ooops sorry... I didnt notice this, its Magst (Like)... Getting frustrated and making silly mistakes.. Anyways thanks for your reply and pushing my flow of learning.

July 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VilmosPter

I'm beginner. I think "ihr" is plural second person in German "her" is singular third person in English. Thanks the answer.

October 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

"ihr" can mean lots of things in German, depending on whether it's before a noun or not and what case it's in.

Here, it's the dative case of the third person singular feminine personal pronoun "sie" and so means roughly "her".

October 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/veganpanda

"What do you like IN her"??? I put "What do you like on her", like the clothes she's wearing. Talk about a stupid sentence!!

March 15, 2014
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