I put "It goes well with them" but it says, as you have here, "It goes well for them". Is there a difference in the meaning of those two ways of expressing "they are well" in German? Isn't the "for" or "with" understood? In American English, they would be pretty equivalent. Just trying to better understand. Thanks!
I have had a similar thought when reading the discussion about 'bis spaeter' vs 'bis bald.' The English translations are basically equivalent, idiomatically. Yet there seems to be a stronger distinction in German. I don't expect to become fluent overnight, but I would welcome more explanation about some of these subtleties.
/With/ and /for/ actually have different uses in English in sentences such as this, for instance the sentence "The business is going well /for/ them." Does not allow for the word "with" to be used in place of "for", it would render the sentence sense-less unless you add more, because-at least for that particular instance-, "The business is going well /with/ them." Makes no sense, unless you added something to complete the sentence, "The business is going well /with/ them in charge." And alternatively, the more descriptive sentence doesn't allow the usage of "for" instead of "with". So it depends on how descriptive you want to be, if you want to be less descriptive, use "for", if you want to be more descriptive, using "with" will be the correct choice. Let's all also note I'm not an English student or anything like that, I was just raised with it as my native Language by someone very particular about speaking and writing properly in English.
lizziej20 has the correct answer. Duolingo is being formal in their use of English. Strictly speaking, you can say, "The test went well!" but not, "The test went good." However, in everyday (colloquial) use, the distinction is not made terribly often. It's like how people say, "That was hard," when they mean, "That was difficult."
To your average person, this is all to-may-to, to-mah-to.
Your last 2 examples don't really support your premise. While some people might prefer the use of 'difficult' over 'hard,' in your examples, both are correct, grammatically. Plus, both 'good' and 'well' can modify the verb 'to be.' For instance, 'I am good' and 'I am well' are grammatically correct, but have very different meanings: 'I am good.' can refer to a level of skill, as in 'I am good at dancing.' 'I am well.' can refer to a state of being/health, 'I am well (not ill).'
Yes, but in this case it's about the third person, plural. So it would be awkward to ask "How is it going for them?", wouldn't it? Ok, maybe not exactly, but it would more natural to simply ask "How are they?" It's not the same as "How is it going?" which is addressed to the second person, singular. So I wouldn't agree with you completely.
"Standard" word order is "Es geht ihnen gut." However, German word order is rather flexible, and the words can often be switched around as long as (for a statement) the verb remains in the second position. Changing word order doesn't change the meaning of the sentence but can often give more emphasis to the first word.
So "Ihnen geht es gut" gives more emphasis to "ihnen," perhaps pointing out that it is they who are doing well and not, say, someone else. We could also put "gut" in the front: "Gut geht es ihnen," perhaps emphasizing that they are doing well and not, say, badly.
For an English-to-German translation, these different word orders all work fine--they all mean exactly the same thing. For a German-to-English translation, just know that the subject isn't always first.
Check out this link on word order: https://deutsch.lingolia.com/en/grammar/sentence-structure/main-clauses
Yes, that is right, literally speaking. We don't use this idiom in English, so we ought to translate this by making "for them/ with respect to them" the subject.
The dative case is commonly a way of making a noun into a beneficiary. It is closely attached to the verb because doing something to benefit something else is a verbal notion. This is why the pronoun is so close to verb. (The German word order is: It goes for them well.)
No, that doesn't work. ihnen is "them," not "him" ("him" would be ihm here). Also, the es is really just a dummy pronoun, so there's not really a "something" that would be suiting him well. The literal translation is "It is going well to/for/with him," which doesn't really work if "it" is actually something in particular.
"It suits him well" would be something like Es passt ihm gut.
Here's a pronoun chart. It'll tell you what all the pronouns mean.
But to answer your specific question: "ihn" is accusative for "er"; "ihnen" is dative for "sie" (when it means "they"); and "ihren" is "ihr" (possessive for "sie"-- "they" or "she") with the "-en" ending for certain case/gender combinations (like masculine accusative).
You can't translate es to "they" -- you cannot translate word for word because in English, we don't use the same expression.
So you have to translate es geht ihnen... as a unit to "they are...".
A little how you cannot translate Me gustan los animales into "we like the animals" with a plural "we like" because the Spanish verb gustan is plural -- you cannot translate that word for word, because in English we don't (usually) use a verb that acts exactly like gustar.
"He is well" would be Es geht ihm gut -- the template es geht ... gut requires the dative case, so you need dative ihm, not accusative ihn.
"You are well" would be es geht dir gut (to one person whom you know well), es geht euch gut (to several people whom you know well), or es geht Ihnen gut (when you're speaking politely/formally).
es geht ihr gut would mean "she is well".
And es geht ihnen gut with lowercase ihnen is "they are well" -- because ihnen is the dative case of (plural) sie "they".
Interesting mix you have there. This chart of personal pronouns and this chart of possessive pronouns (both at Lingolia.com) should help you with that. If it still doesn't make sense, explain what is confusing and I (or someone more knowledgeable than I) will attempt to clear it up for you.
Note that when capitalized, Ihren und Ihnen (along with all the third-person, plural pronouns) become the second-person, formal pronoun. (Obviously, if Ihren, Ihnen, Sie, etc are the first word of a sentence, they are capitalized whether third-person or second-person, so there is some ambiguity that may require context to resolve.)