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  5. "Ist unserer Großmutter kalt?"

"Ist unserer Großmutter kalt?"

Translation:Is our grandmother feeling cold?

May 2, 2013



No: "Ich bin kalt" <> "Mir ist kalt". I am a cold person <> I am feeling cold. The translation should have better been "Is our grandmother feeling cold?"


Literally, "is it cold to our grandmother?"


Ohhhhhh...now the dative makes sense.


Ich danke dir! As with comment above, I now get the meaning of the sentence much better. Take a longot!


Altough that "literal" translation would explain the dative, I can not realize how did you get it.


I literally typed "is it cold to our grandmother?" It was marked wrong.

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Yes, it is wrong. You don't say so in English.


And that apparently is not the correct answer. -.-


But most of the time we would just drop the "feeling" part as it is implied.


In English, it's not necessary to add the word "feeling" because any native speaker would understand that is intended in the sentence "Is our grandmother cold?" That is not the case in German where one must put Granny (unserer Grossmutter) in the dative lest one gets the idea that she is sexually frigid.


I don't know where this 'sexually frigid' rumour came from, but I'm living in Germany and have asked my partner, my flatmates and friends if this is true. They all said it might mean the person had a cold personality but it's hardly ever used. All said they would never use it to mean sexually frigid, nor would anyone understand it to mean that.


I don't know about "sexually frigid", but in Czech Republic, you would imply, that your granny is dead in not very polite manner :D


In Poland too. :)


In Spain a cold person is not funny, but not necessarily harsh.


That what I wanted to ask here, whether it can have this meaning also in German

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That's what the cases are for: "Meiner Großmutter ist kalt" (dative) definitely tells that the grandmother feels cold. Her own impression is that it is cold.
"Meine Großmutter ist kalt" (nominative) would mean that the grandmother is cold, maybe frozen or dead or whatever, but her real temperature is low. It can be used figuratively to say that she is a very cold person.


In Australia it would be asking if she was a ❤❤❤❤ (❤❤❤❤❤...mean). Excuse my language but yeah.


It came from the sons of a German family with whom I stayed in Berlin. It had turned cold during the day. When I came home I proudly announced: "Es ist kalt draussen; ich bin kalt. They broke up laughing and explained I should have said "Mir ist kalt" and that I'd just said I was frigid like a woman.


I've heard that being the case with hot, but not with cold, though I guess it would make sense


@pellucidon, it isn't just in Berlin where "warm" means gay. Gay males will often be referred to as a "warmer Bruder" (literally "warm brother"). This slang is dated, but still used.

And to correct your other point, "schwul" does not mean humid, it means gay.

"Schwül", on the other hand, means humid. They are two different words with different spellings and pronunciations.

Umlauts are important!


I said "ich bin warm" and was told that I had just said to my friend that I was gay.

They told me that you have to say "mir ist warm" if you mean "I feel warm".

On the other hand google just translated "I am warm" to "ich bin warm" so maybe it was just a localised Berlin slang phrase from a long time ago. Or maybe google lacks the subtlety of common speech.

Schwule means gay too and schwul is humid.


Implies sexual frigidity to Austrians!


That's very helpful,thanks.


Why is 'Mir ist kalt' dative? Sorry, just need some clarification.


It is cold TO ME. mir=to me, so dative is used


Hi Roman. I started learning German this month. So one of my (first) questions. Could we also say "Fühlt unserer Großmutter kalt?". Or for instance "Fühlt unserer Großmutter die Kälte?". I am aware that especially the second sentence doesn't correspond literally to the German one (Ist unserer Großmutter kalt?), but could ist be replaced by fühlt keeping the sentence sufficiently natural? Thank you previously.


Mir ist kalt = it is cold to me = i feel cold. What is not obvious in the above exercise is that the UNSERER is also dative, so it is really saying "is it to our grandmother cold "= "does our grandmother feel cold". So the sentence you asked about "fühlt unserer Großmutter kalt" does not really mean anything when you use "unsereR". If you meant "fühlt unsere Großmutter kalt" I think that you might say that if you thought she was dead and had put your hand against her face to check her temperature. I think fühlen is used more for what you are feeling external to yourself. "sich fühlen" (reflexive) is used in some senses to talk about how one feels about something but not for if you are feeling cold. However I am not a native German speaker so I could easily be corrected on this. For questions like this Reverso Context can sometimes be useful (although not so much in this case) http://context.reverso.net/traduction/anglais-allemand/she+feels+cold


Hi Roman. It is a bit late, but I couldn't answer you before. I needed some more experience in the learning of German to really understand the correctness of what you wrote in your answer. In fact, the sensation of cold in German is always expressed with "to be", in German you can't feel cold but BE in a state of having cold. I have even some doubts about the "sich kalt anfühlen" from the link, sometimes these Internet translations are not always an example of reliability. Hope you don't mind to still accept my gratitude having been more helpful now than seven months ago. Ich wünsche Ihnen ein glückliches neues Jahr!


I think the answer was great. I just wanted to remark that fühlen followed by accusative case so we usually say "Ich fühle mich krank".


you can always look up the exact meaning of words here: http://www.duden.de/suchen/dudenonline/fühlen you can replace "ist" with "fühlen" and would be understood, especially with a foreign accent, but it wouldnt be natural. in this case "unsere großmutter fühlt sich kalt" would be a translation that is nearest to being natural imho.


Mir(to me) es ist(is) kalt(cold). "es(it)" is implicit there.


You need to have the verb in the second position. You have the following options:

  • Mir ist kalt
  • Mir ist es kalt
  • Es ist mir kalt

But never "Mir es ist kalt."


i wrote "[ es ]" (without the in-between spaces) to mean that "es" is implicit here, but Duolingo turned it into a link.


I understand that. (If you put a space between [es] and (it), that would probably fix that problem) and it's correct that "es" is implied in the sentence, it is however still incorrect word order.

You would still need to put the "es" after the finite verb "ist".


I totally agree...auxiliar verb DOES can't come followed by our


yes that would be far better but the whole sentence could have been replaced with something very similar that's not this incredibly odd to say

You'd sooner ask, does your grandmother need a blanket or indeed; feeling cold , "being cold" implies something else and I think a lot of people agree

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The German sententence is not odd in any way. On the contrary, you'll meet a construction like this very frequently, so you definitely should learn it, particularly because no real unambiguous equivalent exists in English. It is English which is ambiguous here, not German.


Is our grandmother cold? is it meant that she is dead? Just how funny these automaticly generated question are :))


No, no. Please note "unsereR Großmutter" Grandma is not the subject of the German Phrase. There is no subject at all. In fact it says: It is cold to grandmother >> she is cold (as in temperature, caused by the Dativ) A better translation would be: "Is grandmother feeling cold?"


You are correct for the German to English exercise, but if you get this sentence as an English to German exercise, the sentence you see is "Is our grandmother cold?". In this English sentence, my first association is that she is dead.


Why would that be your first association? In English that is the correct way of asking if she is cold (temperature wise).


That passed through my mind too


I don't understand why this is dative. None of the hints I know seem to be there. If it were not a question, would it still be dative? "Our grandmother is cold" seems like the most normal type of sentence. What makes it dative?


I believe it's the same logic as "wie geht es dir?" - "(es) ist mir kalt". just guessing here.


Is it cold for our grandmother?

Note the for - dative case handles "for" and "to" something


Thanks, siebolt and MBr. for the explanation, this sentence can be easily miss-interpreted, and slip into an unethical meaning. It's meant to be: "-the good old grandma feels cold." When you correctly translate the German sentence. As DUO gives the translation: "Is our grandmother cold?" which does not necessarily mean feeling cold, but rather to be physically or mentally cold, I personally do not accept it as a correct translation! Sorry DUO.


No, the natural interpretation of "Is our grandmother cold?" really would be, "is she feeling cold." You'd only interpret it differently with a clear other context -- say, a conversation about people with chilly personalities, or people with chronically cold body temperatures. New England native English speaker, here.


I checked, it is available to answer "Does our grandmother feel cold?" as well


Yes, it sounds stilted, but is fine.


Shouldn't it be "unsere" instead of "unserer"?


You have a dativ case so you need to add -er for feminine nouns (die -> der; meine -> meiner; etc.)


How is this the dative case? Isn't grandmother acting in the nominative case here?


Yeah I thought the same but elaliv reminds me of the rules explained in this lesson.


I don't understand why it's in the dative case. I thought if the verb was sein it was always nominative


More literally: Is it cold to our grandmother?


Which rules are you speaking of?


I got confused at first but when you look at it:

Mir ist kalt (statement).

Ist mir kalt? (question).

Unserer Großmutter ist kalt (statement).

Ist unserer Großmutter kalt (question).

If you replace the dative case pronoun in the first question and statement with "unserer Großmutter" which is in the second, it makes perfect case to keep it in the dative. Unfortunately, I doubt my brain would keep up with this if it were in a conversation. Not that it would matter, because in speech it seems kind of hard to distinguish the sound of unsere vs unserer anyway. You'd still guess that your sibling is asking about whether you grandmother feels cold.


"Ich bin kalt", where ich is the subject of the sentence, literally means "I am a cold person", as in cold-hearted. You can say it, but you need to be aware of the context.


just cover the body..


She ceased to be.


The cases are all fine and dandy, but I don't hear a difference in the pronunciation of "unserer" and "unsere" - it just sounds like it ends in the same sound. And the same with "meine" vs. "meiner" etc.

BTW, we express the cases more clearly in Czech:

  • Naše babička je chladná. (nominative) - Unsere Großmutter ist kalt.
  • Naší babičce je chladno. (dative) - Unserer Großmutter ist kalt. - what a tiny difference in German

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You are not trained about the difference between the two sounds, because they are not distinctive in some other languages. So it takes some time, but the dufference exists.
The "-e" in "unsere" is a muffled "e" sound (shwa), whereas the "-er" in "unserer" is more like an "a".

Btw.: there is indeed a big difference between "-á" and "-o", but the ifference between "naše" and "naši" is about the same amount as is the one between "unsere" and "unserer".


Thank you, I was somewhat aware that it should be a schwa as oppposed to something similar. In IPA, it's /ə/ (meine) vs. /ɐ/ (meiner) - I guess one has to train one's ear to really perceive these two as different sounds :) - I mean yes, I can hear that one is more open than the other, but in the flow of speech, it's hard to tell which one I just heard.

And please note that it's not "naše" /-ɛ/ vs. "naši" ("naši" with a short /-ɪ/ is accusative) but "naší" with a long close /-i:/, objectively a lot more different. And the main difference is in babička/babičce while "Großmutter" remains unmarked for case.

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please note that it's not "naše" /-ɛ/ vs. "naši" ("naši" with a short /-ɪ/ is accusative) but "naší" with a long close /-i:/,

Sorry. Yes, of course you're right. So the difference is bigger in that case. But I'm pretty sure there are tight cases in Czech as well.

If I'd known you understand IPA, I would have directly used that.


In Poland it would mean that granny kicked the bucket


So I understand the difference between being a cold hearted person and being cold because of the temperature, but I don't understand when we should use the dative case for this.

e.g. Would I ask my friend, "Bist dir kalt?"


Ich bin noch Anfänger but I don't think that's correct.

Even when you say the phrase "Mir ist kalt / heiß" you're not conjugating for yourself because you're not the subject. You're sort of literally saying: Is (it) to me cold?. So you would instead say: "Ist dir kalt?" because it is the cold that is the subject, in a sense. Some are saying there is no subject but I think in the spirit of easing ourselves into the understanding of dative phrases it can help in the beginning.


It would be "Bist du kalt," but I believe that depending on the context, that's either a sexually embarrassing question to ask, or you're asking whether the person is dead. Native German speakers?


no, she's only dead...


Ask the grandma, duh!!!


Why unserer, should it not be unsere

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No, you need a dative here.


Would it be okay to say something along the lines of "Es ist unserer Großmutter kalt." in everyday speech?


Is there a difference in German between 'is our grandmother cold?' and 'does our grandmother feel cold?'?

Directly translated 'Is unserer Grossmutter kalt?' sounds more like the former than the latter. Is there another way of phrasing it that highlight gran's subjective view of her coldness? i.e. I have in mind older people often feel the cold more than others


I swear to frickin' God, Duo has zero difference in its audio between -e and -er endings. Every single time that it ever asks for an -er ending in a "type what you hear" question, I'm going to get it wrong, for like, ever and ever... at least until they fix this. It's so frustrating.


This is where you need to understand German endings. Duo isn't designed to teach grammar, but how to hear/speak the language. I have found it to be very helpful alongside my German courses, but I would be VERY frustrated if this were my only instruction in the German language.


I believe "Ist unsere großmutter kalt?" Is correct as well because you could be asking: is our grandmother cold (to people in general) or dead? If this is not correct please someone tell me


"Ist unsere Grossmutter kalt?" would mean "Is our grandmother frigid (sexually?"


How many other adjectives/specifically feelings trigger the dative case?


At first glance I read "Ist unserer Großmutter ALT?" and got my translation wrong. Second time I actually got it right, but not before thinking for a moment whether it was literally cold, like a person of cold personality, or feeling cold. Not quite sure if I understand the difference between the two in german.


How about "Is it cold for our grandmother?"


No. It is unnatural English. You need to say Does our grandmother feel cold.


Dative for die Großmutter. See Drumknott above.


Why can't it be "Is our grandmother freezing"? I'm German and it would fit perfectly.


❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤ cover that poor grandma anyways

[deactivated user]

    When I studied German in high school years ago, I said "ich bin kalt" to my German teacher (who was Dutch) and she told me that the proper way to say it was "Mir ist kalt." Apparently, "ich bin kalt" was a slang term for being sexually aroused.


    In one sentence unser wasn't declined but in this one it is?? I am confuse.


    Nein, unserer Großmutter IST kalt.


    From just the German I thought it'd mean cold like dead. Lol


    Is it cold to our grandmother - why is this wrong

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    Because the English language does not use this kind of construction. In German it is indeed something like "it is cold to X", but the English equivalent is "X is cold".


    Burst out laughing thinking is the grandmother cold(in the fridge yet). Man German is fun to learn. xD


    To express that you put your grandmother in the fridge and ask your brother if she's already frozen/cold, you'd say "Ist unsere Großmutter kalt?".

    "Ist unserer Großmutter kalt?" is the right question if the grandmother is still alive and able to feel cold.

    "Ist unsere Großmutter kalt?" is the right question if the grandmother is already dead or asleep or in a coma - in any state not able to feel cold. So somebody else (the person you are asking) has to touch her arm and feel if she is cold or not.


    Can't we ask the same question in accusative?


    Oma and grandma are the same


    Yes, "Oma" = "Omi" = "grandma" = "granny" = many other nicknames

    but "Großmutter" = "grandmother"! -> That's the official term. ;)


    “Ist es unserer Großmutter kalt?” would be the proper way to phrase this question!

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    no. That sounds weird.


    What sounds weird is “Ist unserer Großmutter kalt”, it’s either “Ist es unserer.....” or “Ist unsere.....”.

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    Definitely not. "Meiner Großmutter ist kalt", "Ist meiner Ge´roßmutter lalt?", "Mir ist kalt" ...
    No "es" anywhere (native German).

    And "Ist unsere Großmutter kalt?" would be the question, if her real temperature is cold, e.g. because her body lies in the refrigerator.
    But this is not what is meant here, The construction "X (dative) ist kalt?" means "does X feel cold?".


    Geez, I thought it means something like "Does the old hag finally kicked the bucket?"


    Sometimes it seems you are just doing funny examples on purpose; and i do mean that in a negative way; and you know it because at most of them you locked the comments, basically acknowledgement In this case: obviously i already know what you will respond and have in the past...and sure its "perfectly fine" but who says things like a baby shows a dress to a woman, or is our grandmother cold... implying dead... and sure "its fine" because in a literal sense its just cold, but it would be a weird thing to ask or say in such manner in almost any practical context, if you ask me there's more, the choice of pictures, frankly the stories are better written then whoever with his political bias and strange-things mind is picking some of these example sentences.

    Just some honest criticism, I'll not mention it further because I've seen others mention it per example so recon this my one time opinion, in some sense it does make me consider just picking up some books of whatever language i'm up keeping because it would be nice to not be bothered with kuh scheiße everywhere.


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    The German sentence cannot be interpreted as implying the grandmother is dead under any circumstances. In contrast to English German is very unambiguous here. The construction with grandmother in dative casecan only be understood as talking about how she feels the temperature -- therefore she can't be dead.

    And this is a construction very common in German, so English speakers, who don't have that in their language, must definitely learn about it. Therefore sentences like these are very important in such a course.

    The discussion shows that this is indeed necessary, since many people still don't get it.


    Ist das etwas todlich?-it seems macabre a little bit

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    It is not macabre in any way. In contrast to English the German sentence is unambiguous and only talks about the temperature the grandmother feels (so she must be alive).


    Is she dead or smth

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    No. It is just the question if she thinks the temperature to be cold. In German this is "Ist unserer Großmutter kalt?", using dative case for "grandmother".
    If you want to ask if the grandmother's corpse is cold, you'd say "Ist unsere Großmutter kalt?", using nominative case for "grandmother".
    In German these are two different sentences. English unfortunately does not differentiate here.


    "Is our granny cold?" accepted.



    If "dead" is a translation of kalt, then how come saying "Is our grandmother dead" is incorrect? -_-


    Ok, I try to explain.

    "Jemanden kalt machen" means to murder someone or at least to get him/her out of action. "Kalt sein" on the other hand does not really translate to be dead in German. If your thinking curve is: "Ich have ihn kalt gemacht, deshalb ist er kalt = tot." that's linguistically wrong but factual true. :-)


    Can someone please give a clear explanation of why this is dative because I haven't understood previous explanations. I'm about to throw in the towel with this language! Haven't even got to Genative yet.


    In German, it is phrased in a way that says or asks how it feels to you:

    "es ist mir kalt," (it is/feels cold to me) which can be shortened to "mir ist kalt" (to me it is/feels cold)

    "ist dir kalt?" (is it cold to you?) "ist ihm kalt?" (does it feel cold to him?)

    So in the German, "es" (it) is the subject of the sentence, and the person is the object, in the dative case (to you, to him, to us, etc.) Might help to think of it this way: the environment around you makes you feel cold, the cold does not come from within you.

    In English, we just say it differently. We say " I am cold," or "I feel cold," with "I" as the subject (nominative case) of the sentence.


    Oh god... german is very difficult.... damned


    Virtually unintelligible at normal speed


    Difference between unser and unserer?


    Why isn't nan correct?


    How do you mean?


    What a dumb question


    This is NOT idiomatic German usage. As stated, it is more likely to be understood as "Is our grandmother (sexually) frigid?"

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    Not if you correctly use dative case, as it is done here. "Ist unserer Großmutter kalt`?" can not at all be understood as you suggest here. It is ordinary idiomatic German user for "Does your grandmother freeze because of cold temperature?".

    [deactivated user]

      Just wondering, what is the difference between unsere, unserem, unserer etc. I understand that they are different cases but I do not know which ones they are. Also what are some examples? Danke!


      unser is a possessive pronoun - possessive pronouns are "der" words i.e. they are inflected in the same way as der, die das.

      e.g in the accusative case: Ich habe den Hund (I have the dog), Ich habe unseren Hund (I have our dog)


      That's an excellent concise explanation!

      [deactivated user]

        Thank you!


        RIP Grandma :(


        why is it not - Ist "unser" Großmutter kalt?


        This is the dative case, so you have to add -er for feminine nouns (Großmutter is feminine). Which makes ''unserER''.


        Seid ihr von Sinnen? Es sollte "unsere Grossmutter", nich "unserer [maennich] Grossmutter" sein.


        Nope. This is dative.


        if its that persons grandma why not ask her???


        Perhaps she is old or sick and can't speak?

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