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  5. "Ist unserer Großmutter kalt?"

"Ist unserer Großmutter kalt?"

Translation:Does our grandmother feel 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?"

May 2, 2013


Literally, "is it cold to our grandmother?"

February 2, 2014


Ohhhhhh...now the dative makes sense.

June 3, 2016


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

April 17, 2018


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

July 23, 2019


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

January 8, 2016


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

February 9, 2014


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.

January 29, 2016


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.

February 4, 2016


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

September 23, 2016


In Poland too. :)

March 1, 2017


In Russia too )

November 18, 2017


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

July 18, 2019

  • 1085

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.

July 18, 2019


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

September 7, 2019


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

December 7, 2017


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.

February 4, 2016


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

February 12, 2016


@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!

December 2, 2017


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.

December 1, 2017


..or dead....

November 23, 2018


Implies sexual frigidity to Austrians!

April 21, 2017


That's very helpful,thanks.

May 3, 2013


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

August 2, 2015


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

September 14, 2015


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.

May 19, 2016


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

May 20, 2016


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!

December 29, 2016


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".

May 30, 2016


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.

September 9, 2016


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

January 22, 2017


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."

March 9, 2017


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

March 9, 2017


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".

March 9, 2017


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

February 16, 2016


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

May 14, 2013


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?"

May 14, 2013


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.

April 29, 2015


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

August 23, 2015


That passed through my mind too

December 28, 2016


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?

December 27, 2013


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

June 10, 2015


Is it cold for our grandmother?

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

February 29, 2016


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.

August 14, 2013


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.

October 10, 2015


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

May 30, 2015


Yes, it sounds stilted, but is fine.

May 31, 2015


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

May 2, 2013


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

June 13, 2013


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

September 20, 2013


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

June 15, 2013


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

September 6, 2014


More literally: Is it cold to our grandmother?

May 25, 2015


Which rules are you speaking of?

September 29, 2014


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.

November 25, 2014


"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.

July 2, 2013


just cover the body..

October 13, 2015


Creepy sentence...

January 10, 2016


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?"

October 18, 2014


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.

November 25, 2014


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?

October 10, 2015


no, she's only dead...

December 19, 2015


Ask the grandma, duh!!!

September 12, 2016


No, she's dead

November 14, 2016


She ceased to be.

May 17, 2017


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

November 26, 2014


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

September 28, 2015


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

December 7, 2015


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.

October 23, 2016


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

December 17, 2016


Nein, unserer Großmutter IST kalt.

February 4, 2017


yes shes dead

April 3, 2017


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

April 17, 2017


Why unserer

September 23, 2018


Is it cold to our grandmother - why is this wrong

December 30, 2018

  • 1085

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".

April 5, 2019


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

March 10, 2019


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.

April 13, 2019


Can't we ask the same question in accusative?

April 4, 2019


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

July 29, 2015


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.

September 10, 2015


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.

August 6, 2017


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.

October 7, 2015


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.

October 12, 2015


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

December 4, 2015


Difference between unser and unserer?

January 11, 2016


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.

March 17, 2016


How about "Is it cold for our grandmother?"

July 3, 2016


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

July 4, 2016


Why unserer?

August 19, 2016


Dative for die Großmutter. See Drumknott above.

August 19, 2016


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

August 20, 2016


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

August 26, 2016


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

July 23, 2015


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. :-)

July 24, 2015


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

December 29, 2015


Virtually unintelligible at normal speed

January 2, 2016



January 4, 2016

[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!

    March 9, 2016


    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)

    March 9, 2016


    That's an excellent concise explanation!

    March 10, 2016

    [deactivated user]

      Thank you!

      March 10, 2016


      Why isn't nan correct?

      September 19, 2016


      How do you mean?

      September 19, 2016


      What a dumb question

      August 3, 2019


      RIP Grandma :(

      July 19, 2016


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

      March 25, 2015


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

      May 29, 2015


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

      November 27, 2014


      Nope. This is dative.

      March 9, 2017


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

      January 24, 2015


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

      January 29, 2015
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