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  5. "Es geht ihnen gut."

"Es geht ihnen gut."

Translation:They are well.

March 11, 2013



I do not understand this sentence. Why is "es" ignored? Why are the words in a strange order? How are we supposed to know these things without any introduction?


It translates literally as "It goes well for them", which is the construction used in German for "They are well". Think of "es" in these constructions as a non-corporeal anonymous essence, not entirely dissimilar to the "it" in English's "it's raining".


non-corporeal anonymous essence!?! Never heard that before, but I love it.


Think of going to church


Not quite. He has a name: I AM. (Exodus 3:14)


I'm totally confused, how did geekns question turn into a proof of God's existence?


Yes, that is one of His names!


I think it's "goes", not "gives", as "it is going well for them"


You're right - sorry. My fingers must have been on autopilot! have a lingot, and I'll correct it :)


Can you say something like "Es geht euch gut" or "Es geht dir gut" or... "Es geht [indirect subject] gut" ???


Ja it is possible.


How are we to know if it is one person or many people who are doing well, as the verb is singular in each case? Could not it have been 'him', as well as 'them' in this particular sentence?


No, it could not -- ihnen is the dative of sie "they", so it is they who are doing well.

If "he" were doing well, it would be Es geht ihm gut; for "her", it would be Es geht ihr gut.


But can't 'ihnen' mean to you(formal)?

Wie geht es ihnen? Es geht ihnen gut.


But can't 'ihnen' mean to you(formal)?

No, it cannot.

The formal pronoun is always capitalised, so that would be Wie geht es Ihnen? Es geht Ihnen gut.


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.


A good explanation I would like to add, isnt es geht /es gibt also in german are the two words joined phonetically for particular sentences..?


Why is it in a different order? Mir geht es gut, dir geht es tu. Why not ihnen geht es gut? I'm really confused.


"Ihnen geht es gut" is also correct.


Is "Es geht mir gut" also correct?


Obviously it's not a translation of the sentence we're talking about here. But it is correct, yes.


It irritates me that "going well WITH them " is not allowed. As a native english speaker that is more natural than "FOR them"


/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.


I get you point, but you may want to check with a grammarian. I'm not sure the 'well with them' isn't correct.


Why is "It goes good for you" wrong while "It goes well for you" correct? I'm not a native English speaker, Any English teachers here? :D


I'm not an english teacher but am a native english speaker. I think it is because good is an adjective while well is an adverb and to modify the verb to go it needs an adverb.


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).'


Good and well do not mean the same thing. Good is an adjective (only modifies nouns) and well is an adverb (only modifies verbs). Since they are asking how you ARE (the infinitive to be), you must use an adverb to describe. "How are you?" "I am well."


"well" is not only an adverb but also an adjective.

In "I am well", it's an adjective.

It's parallel to "I am happy" and "I am sad" and "I am healthy" - we do not say "I am happily, I am sadly, I am healthily".


I disagree. In the sentence, "I am well," the word 'well' is still modifying the verb 'to be,' and is answering the question 'how.' It is not modifying the noun, or in this case the pronoun 'I.'


And it's also about translating it to the literary correct English, not the colloquial one, not that the latter would be wrong :)


"Good" is an adjective whereas "well" is the adverbial form. "Good" can describe an object, place, or thing while "well" describes how something is happening. As was mentioned by others, we'll sometimes say "good" instead of "well" in colloquial English.


The answers for this one are particularly bad on several levels but the most irritating for me is that in Australian English it's common to ask how someone is 'going' and not how they are 'doing'.


We have that in British English as well, mate. 'How's it going'. You could ask for it to be accepted, perhaps?


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.


Why doesn't ihren work in this sentence?


Because it's the wrong word.

ihr is the possessive "their" and thus ihren ... would be "(to) their ...", but you need the dative of the personal pronoun, i.e. ihnen for "(to) them".


So, it's the difference between their and them. Thanks.


another 'correct translation' offered: 'you are well' is wrong, is it not? Also, could this not also be understood as, 'it suits them well'? (e.g. the make-up or the time table or the climate...)


'you are well' is wrong. That would be 'Es geht Ihnen gut'. No, the sentence doesn't mean 'it suits them well'. You probably confused it with 'es steht ihnen gut' which means 'it looks nice on you'.


right. thanks for your corrections and clarifications, wataya.


Ok. Now I'm confused. You just said "You are well" is wrong and would be "Es geht ihnen gut" which is what duo just translated as They are well. What am I not seeing?


Note the capital "I" on "Ihnen." "ihnen" (lowercase) is "them" (dative), and "Ihnen" (uppercase) is "you-formal" (dative).


Ok, that's what I missed. Danke


Very good but how will you know a speaker is refering to the "Ihnen" or "ihnen" because i believe the pronounciation is the same.


Right, you wouldn't be able to tell from the sentence itself. But context would almost always make it clear (and if it didn't, the speaker would use visual cues or reword the sentence to make it clear).


ihnen them, instead of you?


ihnen, them Ihnen, you (plural)


How come there is no "sind" in the sentence? (sind means "are" in German if I remember correctly....?)


Because it isn't a word-for-word translation, the German sentence has a singular subject and a plural object, but the English sentence has a plural subject. See gorn61's comment elsewhere in this thread.


Usually say- Mir geht es gut! Here the order it completely different. Is there a difference, if not then why? Please, help!


"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


Why is that :" Es geht ihn gut" is not correct? The verb is in singular, I don't understand


"Ihn" is accusative for "him"; the exercise asks for "they." Specifically, we need the dative form "ihnen" (roughly "It is going well to them). As for the verb, it just needs to agree with its subject "es"; the verb is not affected by "ihnen."


Where do they ask for they? tf


The English sentence is "They are doing well."


Why is it 'es geht Ihnen gut', rather than 'es geht Ihn gut'?


es geht ... gut requires the dative case for the "..." part.


"Ihn" means "him" (in the accusative); you need "ihnen" which means "to/for them" (in the dative). Conjugation chart here.


Is it correct to say "ihnen geht es gut"?


Is it correct to say "ihnen geht es gut"?



I wrote "They are feeling good" and marked as wrong! whereas in 'Es geht ihm gut" translates to "He is feeling good". why it's not the same?


Es ist mir gut => I am fine (I am good is not correct) Es geht ihnen gut => They are well

Why is not correct, "They are fine" also? That is the deutsch expression?


Es geht mir gut - is i am well. Es geht ihnen gut - is they are well. What you're thinking of is the word 'Ihnen' with a capital 'I'. That means formal you. 'ihnen', meaning 'they' is with a lowercase 'i'. ihnen vs. Ihnen. I hope that helps :).


"Sie sind fein" is right?


"Fein" is "fine" in the sense of thin (fine thread) or elegant (a fine gentleman). It doesn't mean good/okay.


It really bugs me how "going good" isn't allowed. Using "well" just sounds too formal. :s


Standard English requires "well." "Good" is often used informally, however.

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good and well are very similar ..why is not allowed good I dont understand


Check out lizziej20's response to the same question somewhere in this discussion, and you'll have your answer :).


Why not, it is well with them?


Because that isn't a sentence a native english speaking person would say. Perhaps you're thinking of 'it is going well with them' but even that is still a bit jarring to hear. The best way of wording it that I can think of would be 'They are well'. I hope that helps :).


Why are "well", "fine", and "good" not interchangeable here?


I think perhaps lizziej20's response somewhere in this discussion to a similar question would help you get your answer, friend. I hope that helps :).


Why is 'You are fine' wrong?


It goes good for them ..is it correct..?


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.)


I used "It is going good for you" and was told I was wrong because it is "It is going well for you". A bit picky, but totally different from your translation in the comments.


Good grammar uses "good" as an adjective and "well" as an adverb. In this case, one is modifying the verb, "going", and so should use an adverb, "well".


I'm confused with this sentence construction.


If you understand the dative, then it gets much easier. It goes well TO her, would be a literal translation. It's the same as, I spoke TO her. "To" here being a preposition that corresponds to the German (and other languages) dative.


Is there another more literal translation? Thanks!


Literally it would mean "it goes them well". But hat does not work in English.

It is one of those phrases/sentence constructions that pretty much needs to be learned. :)


It suits him well.....should be right translation


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.


Why could it not be Es geht ihren gut? At this point in time, I think I hate Dative.


"Ihren" isn't a dative form. Here's a nice chart of pronoun declension.

"Ihren" could be a form of the possessive "ihr" (for "she" or "they"); for example: "Ich gebe ihren Kindern Wasser."


Can we also say "Ihnen geht es gut"? or 'Mir geht es gut.' instead of 'Es geht mir gut.'

I guess what I am asking is if both constructs mean essentially the same thing.


Yes. In fact, a contracted version, "Mir geht's gut," is extremely common.


i said " you are doing well " as ihnen come with " Sie " that means you in a respect way , and it considered wrong ?


You-formal would have to be capitalized: "Es geht Ihnen gut." "Sie," "Ihr," and "Ihnen" are all capitalized when they're talking about you-formal (though "sich" is not).


thank you for replying


Can someone explain the diffrence between ihn ihnen and ihren?


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).


Warum kann nicht ihren hier gehen? (Also, is my question structured correctly?)


Why is it ihnen instead of the other ones? Sorry im just confused :P


The sentence translates literally to "It goes well to/for them." This construction requires the dative form of "sie," which is "ihnen" ("to/for them")

Handy pronoun chart here


One of the alternatives given for "ihnen" was "ihren" ...is this a word? What would it mean?


ihren is a form of the possessive ihr meaning "her" or "their".

Specifically, it's the masculine accusative singular or dative plural.

For example, Sie isst ihren Käse "She is eating her cheese", or Sie schwimmen mit ihren Hunden "They are swimming with their dogs".


German has its own way .


"They are fine" is confusing as the official translation. "It goes well for them" is perfectly good English and its very easy to understand that it is an idiom. You dont have to sugar coat it so hard.


They are well, they are fine - You translate They are well, They are fine. You do not have a capital letter after a comma!


That is not one sentence with a capital letter after a comma -- those are two separate sentences, either of which would be acceptable as an answer (but not both together as a single answer).


I am spanish speaker, I don't understand why "es" is "they" when the verb is in singular... help!!


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.


What makes ihnen correct. Why not he is well Es geht ihn gut. You are well Es geht ihr gut? I know I'm missing a clue somewhere.


"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".


It is going good for them" is wrong??


Genau. "It is going well for them" should be correct, however.


It is going well with them. Wrong?


What's the difference between: Ihren Ihnen Ihn ? Thx in advance


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.)


why are they other options wrong?


What were the other options that you saw?


I think that "they are doing well" has exactly tje same meAning im english


It goes well for them was not taken as an answer..


How do I know when is 'sie' = they, and wheh is 'sie' = she?


If sie is the subject, the conjugation of the verb will make that clear. Other times, it may be ambiguous and will require context.

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