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During a "Dative pronouns" test, I found myself with the sentence: "Meinem Mädchen ist nicht schlecht."

I'm a bit confused... isn't Mädchen the subject of the sentence (i.e. we are dealing with nominative case)? Shouldn't the sentence be "Meine Mädchen..."?

Further in the test, I stumbled upon "Mir ist schlecht." which I believe has the same pattern. Maybe is something related with the verb "to be"?

At this point, I'm not sure if I fully understand the Nominative/dative cases.

Thanks for your insights!

September 30, 2012



"Schlecht" means "bad".

"Mir ist schlecht." is actually only spoken like this. You would write "Mir ist es schlecht." -> "It is bad to me." ("I don't feel well." or "I feel likevomiting.") "It" is the subject (nominative), not "something"! It's like "It is raining", "It is cold".

"Meinem Mädchen ist nicht schlecht." would literally translate to "It is not bad to my girl."

Yes, dative is correct. It answers to the questions "whom?", "to whom?", "with whom?" ...

Similar behaviour: "Wie geht es Dir?" -> How is it going to you?" -> "How are you?" or "How do you feel?"

"Mir geht es schlecht." (Here you cannot omit "es" in spoken german.) -> "It is going bad to me." referring not only to physical circumstances for instance -> "I don't feel well." or even "I have problems."


Thanks kragi!

So, if I understand it correctly, it is a particular thing concerning the word "schlecht", which in German is understood as if the subject would be "something".

So, having ""Meinem Mädchen ist nicht schlecht." would literally translate to something like "Something is not bad with my girl.". Hence, the dative form of "Mein".

Is that it? Are there other words with such behaviour?


Thanks again kragi for your clarifications! (specially as I see that you've answered this question in other threads and it seems I didn't do a thorough search.

Just a last question about this topic. If I was to say "Mein Mädchen ist nicht schlecht.", would it be correct (having the meaning that my girl is not a bad person)?


Yep. "Mein Mädchen ist nicht schlecht." -> "My girl is not a bad person."

BTW: "schlecht" can also mean "spoiled". "Das Fleisch ist schlecht." -> "The meat is spoiled."

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