"The man suddenly feels sick."

Translation:Dem Mann wird plötzlich schlecht.

November 22, 2017

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Why not fühlt sich plötzlich krank?


"Dem Mann wird schlecht" tends to mean that he's about to throw up, or at least he has to feel queazy/nauseous in some way (digestion-wise, or also close to fainting).

"Der Mann fühlt sich krank" means that he e.g. feels like he has contracted the flu, he just doesn't feel well, he might ache all over and have a fever. It can't mean that he's about to throw up. "He's feeling ill."

I'm not sure how exactly the word "sick" would be used in English, but if you normally would understand "He feels sick" as (potentially) "He feels he's caught an infection (or similar)", then "Er fühlt sich plötzlich krank" should be fine.

  • 3104

Thank you for the explanation.


What about Plötzlich fühlt der Mann krank.


Be careful. Look at these two English sentences:
1. The blind man feels the elephant's tail.
2. The blind man feels sick.

English uses just the one word "feels" in both sentences. But German distinguishes between feeling an external object and the inner state of feeling:
1. Der Blinde fühlt den Schwanz des Elefanten.
2. Der Blinde fühlt sich krank.


I see it that way too but Duo thinks differently


Hi, how often do native German speakers start a sentence with the 3rd or 4th fall in the first place?


It does sometimes happen that we put the (grammatical) object (3rd/4th case) first:

The thing about the sentence "Dem Mann wird plötzlich schlecht" - I'm sure there's language experts here who can explain this better - is that there's a hidden "es" in there which is, grammatically speaking, the actual "subject" of the sentence: "Dem Mann wird es schlecht." It's the same construction as "Es geht mir gut".

Similarly: "Mir fehlen 10€." - same as in English ("I lack/miss 10 €"), you'll put the thing that feels like the rightful subject of the sentence first. Sorry, I can't explain it any better. :) (Edit: I just realised there's a hidden "es" in there as well: "Es fehlen mir 10€.") If you say "10€ fehlen mir" (subject-verb-object), you put an emphasis on the fact that it's 10€ (not 5€) - it's not the word order you would normally use.

Those examples, though, are really just about the way German language just works in certain instances. Other than that, in "normal" sentences we sometimes put the object first when it was mentioned in the previous sentence and we want to put some emphasis on it: "In that house you will find a man. To the man you will give this letter." Or: "You wash the apple and you peel the banana. The apple you then cut into cubes and the banana into slices."

  • 1823

Sounds reasonable to me.


der mann fühlt sich plötzlich krank. - Falsch?


Dem Mann? Why?

  1. Es wird dem Mann plötzlich schlecht.
  2. Dem Mann wird plötzlich schlecht.

Sentence 2 has the same meaning as sentence 1, but sentence 2 moves the indirect object into first position, and eliminates the "dummy subject" es.

Note that English too can use or dispense with dummy subjects:
1. It hurts me to see her suffer.
2. To see her suffer hurts me.


Wird? the man is going to suddenly feel sick?

  • 3104

This is a case of passive voice, which uses werden in German. Another hint is the case of the definite article before Mann, which is dem (dative case), so that means that the Mann is the object of the passive voice. Check out the comments above by stepintime.


I believe that technically this is not a case of passive voice, just a sentence with idiomatic word order that uses werden in the active voice, in its original meaning of "become".

When "werden" is used in the passive voice, a past participle is also used. (And when werden is used in the future tense, an infinitive is also used.) Remember, there are three patterns for "werden":
1. Er wird krank = He becomes sick (active voice)
2. Er wird tanzen = He will dance (active voice)
3. Das Brot wird gebacken = The bread is baked (passive voice)

  1. I take it that this sentence means the man suddenly feels nauseated (about to vomit), not sick in general.
  2. Could other words besides "schlecht" be used in this sentence with the same meaning? Krank? Schlimm? Übel?


dictionary hints and expected answer have completely different words for "feeling sick"


it would seem like the man is the subject of the sentence, causing me to think Der Mann wird plötzlich schlecht. Okay, so they got me on this one. Maybe a good topic to add to tips somehow. After 173 days of this it seems a shame that I still have to guess at german sentence construction.


Pat, this is one of those German sentences with a "hidden" subject. Consider the following:
1. Es wird dem Mann plötzlich schlecht.
2. Dem Mann wird es plötzlich schlecht.
3. Dem Mann wird plötzlich schlecht.

I think you can see that in 1 the grammatical subject is "Es" . In 2, a non-subject element begins the sentence, followed by the verb in second position, as is usual when a non-subject element comes first. In 3, the "es", which is no longer needed, disappears.


I wrote: "Plötzlich fühlt sich der Mann übel". It was accepte und "plötzlich fühlte mich ich gut."


plötzlich fühlte mich ich gut
Are you sure about that word order?

When you have a reflexive pronoun and a noun subject ("sich" and "der Mann"), then it is OK to put the pronoun first. But when you have a personal pronoun as subject (in your sentence "ich"), then I think the personal pronoun subject must come before the reflexive pronoun: "Plötzlich fühlte ich mich gut".

Corrections welcome!


Sie haben Recht! . The correct word order with "ich" and plötzlich in the beginning would be: Plötzlich fühlte ich mich..." Word order with Name/prounoun is not the same. Vielen Dank!


Kann auch heißen: er fühlt dich plötzlich krank (mother tongue!) Please accept

  • 3104

I think you meant: er fühlt sich... The only way to get different versions of a sentence accepted by Duolingo is to use the Report button and click on my answer should be accepted. I know that for the Android version of the app, the report button is a flag at the bottom on the right. I don't know what the case is for Apple phones/tablets.

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