"She doesn't tell him."

Translation:Sie sagt es ihm nicht.

August 16, 2017



I think it should be "Sie sagt ihm nicht". Adding "es" before "ihm" means "She doesn't tell it to him" rather than just not telling.

August 16, 2017


    That's true, but there are a couple of examples where the German needs an object that can be left out in English. This is one of those. (Even in the situations where you could colloquially leave it out in the German, it would sound sloppy for anyone who's still learning the language).

    August 16, 2017


    Even colloquially, you can't drop the object. To a native speaker, "Er sagt ihm nicht" sounds incomprehensible.

    August 16, 2017


      Thanks for the clarification. One of the other examples I was thinking of is ich weiß (es) nicht, where I understood it to be more accommodating.

      August 16, 2017


      Yep, that one works.

      August 16, 2017


      What triggers the necessity of adding the direct object? I mean, I can say "Ich helfe ihm nicht." but I wouldn't say "Ich helfe es ihm nicht."

      Would you happen to have a conceptual answer or is this something particular to German that one would need to remember with certain cases?

      April 9, 2019


      Good question (mine also).

      I understand that "helfen" is a verb which requires only an indirect object (Dative Case) and no direct object - that's why "es" or an direct object doesn't belong to the second sentence you gave.

      But I am not sure why in our case here, regarding the verb "sagen".

      I made a little research and have found that this verb works like this: "jemandem etwas sagen" (this is the Infinitiv - to tell something to somebody), in which jemandem is Dative and etwas is Accusative. Source: click here

      April 10, 2019


      Why not "Sie erzählt ihm nicht"?

      May 2, 2018


      There needs to be an object in the sentence. "Sie erzählt es ihm nicht" would work. In English, the object can be dropped, but that's not the case in German.

      October 16, 2018


      I would like to know the same thing.

      July 13, 2018


      Would I be right in saying that in this particular example, the dative case is used which explains why 'es' is required for this sentence to be complete?

      She doesn't tell him = She doesn't tell (it) <to him>

      'It' is the object, 'to him' is the indirect object.

      October 5, 2017


      Some verbs which require/call for the dative case don't require an object like "es". For example, "helfen": jemandem helfen - to help somebody.

      But, just like you suggested, in this case the way the verb works in German is: "jemandem etwas sagen", where "etwas" is in the accusative case. Or one can also just say something, "etwas sagen", without saying it to somebody.

      June 23, 2019


      Warum nicht "Sie sagt ihm es nicht", sondern "Sie sagt es ihm nicht"? Kommt der Dativ nicht vor dem Akkusativ?

      April 17, 2019


      I would like an answer to this too...

      July 4, 2019


      I used the verb erzählen in stead of the suggested sagen. That should be OK???? Sie erzählt es ihm nicht.

      January 20, 2019


      Was ist mit diesem Satz "Sie sagt ihm nichts" (auf Englisch "she tells him nothing")? Ist es nicht das gleiche?

      March 9, 2019


      Nothing means no thing at all, while "she doesn't tell him" implies something particular, specific, that she is not telling him - that is, she may be telling him other things.

      April 10, 2019


      Es kommt auf den Kontext an.

      Him: please tell me what it is

      Her: nope

      Him: please?

      Narrator: she smiles and tells him nothing.

      April 10, 2019


      Not really a change in the meaning of "nothing". So, in this example, it could be translated as "Sie lacht und sagt ihm nichts." Otherwise it could end as "Sie lacht, sagt ihm es nicht, und sprecht von etwas anders."

      By the way, I forgot to mention that "nothing" is the translation of "nichts" (probably you already know it).

      April 11, 2019


      Ja, ich weiß :)

      Ich bedanke mich für dein Feedback

      April 11, 2019


      Why "es"? The sentence did not say "it".

      April 8, 2019


      This has already been explained in this very discussion.

      Please always read the comments. Asking questions that have already been answered is a massive waste of everyone's time.

      April 8, 2019


      Why the "Sie sagt ihm nicht" is right? i just write "Sie sagt ihn nicht". Can you tell me the problem of mine?

      September 11, 2018


      M4Yj6 - Two mistakes:

      1) 'ihn' is accustive, which is not what is needed here. Due to the specific use of the verb 'sage' in this case (to say something to someone), you need the dative 'ihm', which I personally interpret as 'to him' or sometimes 'for him' but not just the accusative 'him';

      2) You also needed to include 'es'. It is just the way it is: I also struggled with 'es' here, which may not be required in English but apparently is required in German. Best to just learn it by heart.

      September 22, 2018


      Just like az_p said above, this is one of those sentences in German which needs an extra object even if it doesn't make any sense in English.

      German "it" is different from english "it". Mostly because, germans use it in sentences for no reason at all.

      It acts as a filler object.

      For a longer version, please read this article: https://yourdailygerman.com/word-of-the-day-es/

      September 20, 2018


      There is no "it" in this sentence. Is this senatenace just another "Its right as far as duo-lingo is concerned" ?


      August 25, 2018


      well, in the question 'wie geht es' .... you dont say 'how goes it' in english. The way Germans use 'it' is different to english.

      October 10, 2018
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