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Daran fehlt es - what is the correct translation?

Daran fehlt es - what is the correct translation?

There is a translation exercise in the German tree where "daran fehlt es" is translated as "that is missing". It is hard to understand neither the translation nor the explanations in the comments. https://www.duolingo.com/comment/1122004

It seems to me that the correct translation should be "it is missing from there". But I am a learner and a beginner in German, so I need someone to provide the correct translation and/or some further explanation. A post by a native to the discussion board would be very helpful https://www.duolingo.com/comment/1122004

July 30, 2017



Es fehlt mir an der nötigen Intelligenz, um deine Frage zu beantworten.

Fehlt es aber einem von euch an Weisheit,... = If any of you lack wisdom, ...

es fehlt jemandem an etwas is an idiom for "someone is lacking something". This daran omits the "for whom" part and then combined relative pronoun das + the an of an etwas fehlen to give daran fehlt es -- "that is what is missing (to somebody); that is what (somebody) lacks; that is what is lacking or missing".


"Dieser Satz benötigt einen Zusammenhang. Daran fehlt es hier." This phrase needs a context. This is missing here. If I would say "we need an intelligent approach here. That's what is missing" then you could use "daran fehlt es hier." Standing alone this phrase must sound stupid. If I needed a pen I would say " der fehlt". The original phrase would definitively be awkward.


Thanks for the example, it really helped to understand the phrase and the usage of it :)


"Daran fehlt es" is just an idiom.
An idiom is "a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words" (e.g. over the moon, see the light ).

In Duolingo's courses you can recognize idiom by hovering over the words. If Duolingo gives a group of words instead of a literal translation of the word, then it is an idiom.

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