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  5. "I am serious."

"I am serious."

Translation:Es ist mein Ernst.

March 15, 2013



So why can't I say "Ich bin ernst" ?


Since the sentence is out of context, it could mean that. However, "ich bin ernst" describes rather a character trait, as in 'I am a serious person'. Usually you want to refer to something you said before and reinforce your seriousness about it. In that case it is necessary in German to say "Es ist mein Ernst" (literally: It is my seriousness) or "Ich meine es ernst" (I am serious about it).



  • das/es ist mein Ernst = I am serious (about the matter at hand)
  • Ich bin ernst = I am serious (in general)


Can we say :"Mir hat Ernst" or "Ich habe Ernst" to say that we are serious temporarily? Isn't it like "Ich habe Hunger" means that we are hungry at a while ?


No, we don't talk about Ernst haben.

Being serious temporarily would be something like Das ist mein Ernst (literally, "This is my seriousness"?) or Ich meine das ernst ("I mean that seriously").


If there are contextual differences giving rise to different translations they need to be expressed along with the English sentence in the lesson, and only the correct contextual answer should be accepted.


Is "ich bin im Ernst" correct too? It is not accepted by DL


It is not.
Sense would make:
Ich bin ernst as a state you are in like not being in a fun mood - and
Ich meine es im Ernst sehen you mean it in seriousness .. but would be a rather unusual expression I'd guess. The adverb would be more elegant here as well.

Your sentence ich bin im Ernst is not completely nonsense though, but would have a while different meaning. Since 'Ernst' is a name in Germany as well it would probably understood as you being in a person with that name XD


Ah, the importance of being earnest.


So what if you wanted to say you're serious? Would it be Du bist dein Ernst?


Shot in the dark here, but I'm guessing "Ist es dein Ernst?" given the example.

Can anyone verify?


Correct. Although you would usually ask "Ist das dein Ernst?" with an emphasis on the "das".


... und ich heiße nicht Shirley.


I thought I could just say “Im Ernst”


Heres a tip guys, Just say Im Ernst, it means 'seriously'


'Ich bin im Ernst' wasn't accepted. :(


I thought ich bin im ernst would be correct - I've heard Germans say it!


German here: never heard that and it does not really make sense to me. There is Das meine ich im Ernst - i really think that And then there is
Ich bin im Recht - i am on the right side of the law or logic is on my side


Is "Das ist mir Ernst" a correct translation?


No, that sounds off. That would be something like "to me serious" or like a broken translation of "that's serious to me" but we'd say "I'm serious about that" or "that's important to me." "Mir" in the dative is only used for words (which you kind of just have to memorize) that specifically require dative constructions.


That's kind of a mix between. I am serious about that. and it is important to me


I had the multiple choice version - why is "Es ist mir Ernst" wrong? It sort of makes sense as "it is serious for me" in English. . .


Ich hatte immer geglaubt, die richtige Antwort wäre: "Es ist mir Ernst". Warum ist das plötzlich falsch?


Does "Ich habe Ernst" work?


No, sorry, that doesn't work.


Why can you say "Ich habe Durst" but "Ich habe Ernst" doesn't work?


Ah, I can understand where you are coming from - "Durst haben" = "to be thirsty" and "Hunger haben" = "to be hungry". But there are only very few cases where the verb "to have (haben)" is used to express a condition that is described with an adjective in English. In fact, the only ones I can think of right now are:
Durst haben - to be thirsty
Hunger haben - to be hungry
Angst (vor etwas/jemandem) haben - to be scared (of something/somebody)
Sorgen (um etwas/jemanden) haben - to be worried (about something/somebody)

Hope that helps a little bit.


What about "lust?"


Yes, "Lust haben, etwas zu tun" = to feel like (doing something; "Lust auf etwas haben" = to feel like eating/doing something.


Not a reply but seriös is in my dictionary. Why is Ich bin seriös not right?


Because that would be "I am reputable."


In case you fell for it as well: "Es ist mir Ernst" or "Es ist mir ernst" should both be accepted (according to duden.de) - I reported the mistake.


Interesting - thank you!


Ich bin ernst......is it wrong?


What does 'es' refer to? If I say that I'm serious it describes me, not some 'it'.


I suppose you could say it refers to what you had said before.

I'd prefer Das ist mein Ernst -- which literally means "that is my seriousness", but in effect means something like "I mean that seriously; I'm serious about that; I was serious when I said that".

With es, it's essentially the same but with "it" rather than "that" in the above glosses.

You could also say Ich meine es ernst. "I mean it seriously."

But Ich bin ernst ("I am serious") is not what Germans say in such a situation -- it would merely mean that you tend to be a serious sort of person (you don't laugh or smile a lot), rather than that you're serious about what you said just now.


So here "I am serious" stands for "I feel serious about it/this"? This makes sense. Thanks.


That's how I interpret it, yes.

As in, "Don't tell anyone this secret. I'm serious." = I am not joking when I say this particular thing.


"es ist mir ernst" should also be correct!


This translation is wrong. "Mein" is a possessive pronoun. The "correct" sentence "Das ist mein ernst" means "That is my seriousness". My Dutch German translation dictionary (Van Dale) gives: "Das ist mir Ernst" which actually means: "That is serious to me" which I think comes closer to I'm serious than the given translation. Duden also gives: "Es ist mir Ernst". Please change this. It's ruining my score.


Das ist mein Ernst idiomatically means "I am serious (about this)".

It has a similar meaning to Das ist mir Ernst.

Translating it as "That is my seriousness" is not a good translation as it does not capture the sense of the German sentence.

The related question, Ist das dein Ernst? is also relatively common -- "Are you serious (about that)?"

You would not ask, Ist das dir Ernst? in this situation.

So knowing this expression with mein Ernst etc. is useful if you are learning German.


This expresion is not in any of the serious german dictionaries I tried. Düden is a big name. Strangly "Dass ist mein Ernst" is in a lot of English books about German, but I can't find it in any German book.



Sense "1b" has an example sentence of "es ist mein [bitterer] Ernst".


Wow, your right! Missed that. It still gives "Dass ist mir Ernst" first, so that should be counted as correct as well. It's in 1b before mein and at the top of the article. Never heard your version before.


You gave "This is my seriousness" as a translation yourself in this thread. Are you a native speaker? I'm not, I'm Dutch. German is my third language.


I gave it as a literal translation, not as a good translation.

I'm a bilingual native speaker of English and German. (English father, German mother, grew up in Germany, went to an English-speaking school.)


Maybe Es ist mir Ernst has gone out of fashion. It's been over a decade since I was in Germany.


How to say 'Are you serious?'


Is there any appreciable difference between "Es ist mein Ernst" and "Das ist mein Ernst"?
E.g., would the latter imply being serious about something specific whereas the former might be more general?


I would prefer das...; using a personal pronoun es seems a bit odd to me since those usually refer back to something specific that has been mentioned before.


By the was, "Es ist mein Eindruck.", what does this could mean?


"It is my impression."


Why not "meiner" Eindruck, with the "-er" specifier?


Because "ein, mein, dein, sein, kein; ihr" do not take -er for masculine nominative singular.


Thanks jobabel, i fell for it too!


Wie ist "Ich bin sicher"


Why cant i say " ich bin seriös."


False friend - seriös is more like "trustworthy, reputable".


Ich bin ernst heißt wörtlich übersetzt I am serious. Also stimmt duolingo 's Übersetzung im übertragenen Sinn. Aber:das hilft sonst auch nicht. Bitte duo korrigiert das!


Somehow "Das ist mein Ernst" was not accepted. I reported it. 01.05.2020


"Ich bin ernsthaft." worked for me.


Es ist mir Ernst - soll auch in Ordnung sein


I wrote: "Das ist mein Erst" and I was marked wrong. Duo just showed me an example" Das ist mein Erst" for I am serious. Can you please clarify that for me?


Duo just showed me an example" Das ist mein Erst" for I am serious.

Do you have a screenshot of this error?

It should have been Das ist mein Ernst (five letters in the last word), not Erst ("first").

If you can show where this incorrect phrase was taught, that might make it easier to find and correct it.

Thank you!


You cannot be serious, as John McEnroe would say. But how would you say that in German?


You cannot be serious, as John McEnroe would say. But how would you say that in German?

Das kann doch wohl nicht dein Ernst sein. / Das ist ja wohl nicht dein Ernst.

(Where ja, doch, wohl can be left out. They're untranslatable particles.)


Brilliant! Thank you.

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