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  5. "Es geht ihm schlecht."

"Es geht ihm schlecht."

Translation:He is unwell.

March 19, 2013



Es geht (it goes) ihm (for him) schlecht (badly)--literal translation.

Think of the english saying "how's it going?" b/c it is the equivalent of "Wie gehts."

However in english one would usually say "things are going badly" or "shit's not good" (for a colloquial saying.) It seems important, when translating, to not always give a literal word for word translation. Instead, say what is meant in the way one would say it in English--one would not usually say "He is bad" in english. One would say either "he's not feeling well" or "things are bad for him right now" or perhaps "he misbehaves" or "he has behavioral problems"--if 'bad' is to mean not behaving correctly. However, in German, if we were saying an individual was behaving badly-I think-the accusative would be used, not the dative--as we would be attributing properties to an agent rather than describing the effect of actions on an agent (action being "bad going" for the the agent "him.")

But I do think some explanation of when, and why, to use "krank" rather than "schlecht" is in order. When I think "unwell" I think of physical illness specifically. Whereas 'not good' could mean anything from money to spousal problems. P.s. trying to contribute more to the community while working on the dative concept. pls correct any mistakes/misunderstandings. Hope this helps someone.

UPDATE: this doesn't necessarily explain why schlecht=ill, but it does shed some light on complaining and describing bad feelings in German--it is both funny and informative: http://yourdailygerman.wordpress.com/2014/03/25/german-bad-mood-vocabulary/#more-5855


The British English expression "He's in a bad way" might be the translation that best captures the flavor of the German.


Thank you very much. I also think that literal translation is not always helpful. There are some expressions which need to be adapted to your own language (in this case English).


why is "he is not ok" not ok?


Thanks! Danke! Köszönöm! :-)


I'm sorry but it is not true that English people don't say 'he is bad'. I certainly do say that.

[deactivated user]

    "Wie gehts." ist tatsächlich Wie geht es. 'gehts' ist eine Kontraktion ohne Apostroph. Z.B. Ich wills ist "Ich will es"

    [deactivated user]

      *Think of the english saying "how's it going?" b/c it is the equivalent of "Wie gehts." *

      Actually 'Wie gehts', as you have it should be 'Wie geht's'. Geht's is a contraction, as in the English "can't' for "cannot". Geht's is short for Geht Es. Wie geht's means "How Goes it"


      Why cannot I say "He is bad" ? I think it can also mean that (bad as unwell..)


      That's what I put as well. We do say "he is bad" to mean "he is sick" in the right context. "How's John?" "He's bad." I understand Duo wanting to avoid confusion, though. This obviously doesn't mean he's a bad person.


      I would say He is feeling bad.


      Why can't I say "It is going badly for him"?


      Can "He is not feeling well" be accepted?


      I think "He feels ill" should be acceptable, right?


      can it be it goes bad for him?


      how about "Er geht schlecht"?


      It is an accusative pronoun and the feeling is reflective of him. Whereas Er is a normal subject pronoun. English speakers aren't taught such specific grammar principles. Hopefully a linguist or a native speaker comes along and can explain it better. My explanation is just what I was able to glean from my German professor's recent lecture.


      Ihm takes the place of an indirect object in this sentence structure.


      Also since I don't see an edit button, I was incorrect: ihm is a dative pronoun, not an accusative. I'm not sure if that matters as much to you as the understanding of what the phrase means.


      schlecht= ill? since when it even not written in the translations


      I translated He does not feel well ...should be correct as "He is unwell"

      [deactivated user]

        I tried: it goes bad with him. why it marked me wrong??


        Apparently 'poorly' and 'badly' dont have the same meaning?


        They do, for the most part.


        "It is not going well WITH him" is also a general way of saying it


        Could you say "Ihm geht's schlecht"?


        can we use er in the place of es


        Where is the indirect object? Dative is damn confusing.


        I got it wrong even though I said "He feels sick."... I am so confused


        Get with it! The Queen's English has become obsolete in many countries.


        Why 'Ihm geht es schlecht' is not accepted ? Like in the case 'Mir geht es gut'.

        [deactivated user]

          Another correct solution: He is unwell.

          Warum nicht "Er ist nicht gesund", Oder, "Er ist krank". Vielleicht "He's doing badly" würde auch gut tun.


          "He is bad" not acepted


          I am confused on the order of "es geht" and "geht es / geht's"? Why does the placement of es keep moving around? What is the difference if es is before geht or after it? Danke!


          I wrote "It makes him feel bad" and it's not accepted.


          He isn't fine should be right?


          I wrote "It is going bad to him" (not "for him"). You get the picture write? English is not my native tongue.... Come one DL! Give me a break!

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