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  5. Mir ist kalt??


Mir ist kalt??

It was on DL. But shouldnt the sentence be ich bin kalt?? Why is the dative case used here?

August 4, 2017



"It is cold to me," hence the dative. Ich bin kalt is correct, but not idiomatic.


Thanks.. so i feel hot would be mir ist heiß right? And does "not idiomatic" mean thats not how natives would speak?


From an objective point of view "Ich bin kalt." would mean that the body temperature of the person speaking is low. That is nothing which you normally observe. You just feel how the air and the outer regions of your skin react. So, the only place where people speak about how cold they are that I know of is sports. You need to warm up before the game and before that you are cold. Which doesn't mean that you feel cold. You also have to warm up in summer.

In a nutshell, yes, nobody says "Ich bin kalt." if they feel cold.


Thank you! So thats what ich bin kalt would imply..


There's another use of "kalt sein":

If you watch a crime film, and they find the corpe...

"Er ist [schon] kalt."

  • 1266

MZSFng - If a phrase is idiomatic it means that is how the natives DO say it and it does not translate word for word to another language.


This type of sentence is used with a few adjectives of feeling (others example include "mir ist heiß" I am hot, "mir ist langweilich" I am bored, "mir ist übel" I am sick...)

A lot of languages use similarly tweaked structures for these adjectives, for instance Romance languages use the equivalent verb of "to have".

Of course this sentence works with any pronoun or noun in the dative case:

Ihr ist kalt = she is cold
Dem Hund ist kalt = the dog is cold


Thanks! This is very helpful.


Hi, this is a little bit tricky^^. Mir ist kalt - I am cold Sie ist kalt - If you touch her, her body is cold So both sentences are correct but have a different meaning. Ihr ist heiß - she is hot, she is burning up Sie ist heiß - she has a high body temperatur when you touch her (fever) Sie ist heiß - she is a hot girl, she is sexy (so be careful^^)

You can comfort yourself with the thought that "me is cold" is a classic mistake in our english lessons at school :-)

greez Angel


Hi Epic, good question. Let me try to explain it this way.

Wie geht es Dir (wie ist dir zumute)? Mir ist kalt. Mir ist heiß. Mir ist schlecht. WEM ist schlecht? Mir.

These sentences are describing a feeling, so you have.

Ich bin kalt (Körper kalt, tot?) Ich bin heiß (Fieber) Ich bin schlecht (Verbrecher?)

These sentences are describing a state, a condition. Mostly something physical.

So in german when you ARE cold your body is physically cold.

Sorry, I can´t explain it better. Unfortunately I´m not a teacher I only speak this language and thank heaven I don´t have to learn it ;-)

greez Angel

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I think you explained it well. Have a Lingot.

  • 1266

It looks like I'm the only one studying only one language. I have a friend who got married and moved to Canada and she has to learn French. We are planning some day to travel to Europe. I really should try to learn Spanish as it comes in handy here but I have no desire to.


Pretty sure it means more of being personally cold, like a bad or strange person. "That was a cold move."

I bet you saw a lot of Rammstein lyrics :D


Why is it "ist" and not "bin"

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