In English there are two possible translations, but the meaning is not quite the same. Does this distinction make sense in German? If so, how would one make the distinction?
"You are happy with life" = You are generally very happy; you are very happy with YOUR life."
"You are happy with THE life" refers more to a way of life in which you participate, not just your own life; for example "You are happy with the life in a monastery" (if one lives in a monastery) or "You are happy with the life of a pirate (including long months at sea, sleeping in a hammock, getting wet often, drinking bad rum)."
Thank you. How would you do that in writing? (Is this an instance in which a modal particle would be handy?)
I don't think you need a modal particle here. If you mean "this kind of life in contrast to another", you can also use "diesem Leben".
Thanks. Perhaps I should ask: would you say "you are happy with the life" meaning "the way of life" in German, or would you consider that English construct to be an English language idiom?
Well, with "normal" intonation, you mean life in general. I wouldn't say that it is an idiom.
So the article is needed to make it clear is "Dativ", even if it is not THE life but "life" in a generic abstract way? I just want to grasp the German grammar.
I think you are right. At least omitting the article sounds weird to me (I'm a native speaker). Though you can omit the article when you are using the plural and refer to something in general rather than something particular. e.g. "Ich bin zufrieden mit Hunden"
Siempre, compañero de la lengua. @ the others, please excuse my use of Spanish in a German discussion. :)
Buddy, do you speak Spanish? 'cause I'm Argentinian and that would be great to ask for help to somebody that is a native german speaker and also can communicate in spanish, for a easier way to learn! :D
I don't speak it fluently. But it should be good enough in order to communicate with you as long as it isn't too difficult Spanish. (Al menos yo lo espero :D) Anyway, I'd be glad too help wherever I can. If I it helps my Spanish too the better.
Can we find this sentence on the form "Du bist mit dem Leben zufrieden"?
Sorry I misread your sentence. I read the questionmark before the quotation marks. Considering the word order it can be both.
I typed my answer too fast and made errors by mistake: due bish zufriegen mit dem leben.....it was marked correct!
yes, I find those two you mentioned akin to the concept. the content person is happy but perhaps in a peaceful, calm way, or just through satisfaction. happy is more general; you can be not content yet still happy...of wanting more and more [of something]. but you're right anyway, that's what people generally make use of the adjective, sadly.