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  5. Schlecht means bad AND ill?


Schlecht means bad AND ill?

I'm doing the Dative Pronouns lesson, and I came to the sentence "Meinem Kind ist schlecht," which I had to translate into English. Up until now, "schlecht" has always been translated as "bad" in these lessons. So, I wrote "My child is bad." I lost a heart, and they showed the correct translation as "My child is not feeling well."

I understand that words can have multiple meanings, and colloquialisms and what not will require some rendering when you're translating. But isn't my translation technically still correct? I mean, I know plenty of children who could be defined as "bad" even by their own parents.

So, am I wrong?

July 20, 2012



Cubbance, your translation in this case is not correct since it requires the nominative. "Mein Kind ist schlecht" would mean "My child is bad", with the subject "mein Kind" in the nominative (remember, the subject is always in the nominative).

"Meinem Kind ist schlecht": The -em marks the whole thing as dative, so it would be literally "To my child, [it] is bad," the "es" the implicit subject in the German sentence ("Meinem Kind ist es schlecht" was formerly the full version, but is not used anymore, the "es" just got dropped). This is an idiom and means "to feel ill" or to not feel well.

"Mir ist schlecht" (mir is dative): I feel ill/sick. "Meinem Kind ist schlecht": (meinem Kind is dative): My child feels ill/sick.


Thank you for your answer. I completely overlooked the ending of "Meinem." That makes a lot of sense.

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