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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Drekir

Sind ihnen vs Ist ihnen

Came across an example in Dativ, lesson 4: "Ist ihnen schlecht?" (Are they bad?) As far as I know, shouldn't it be "Sind ihnen schlecht?"

(ihnen here is the dativ of plural 'they', sie)

October 28, 2012

5 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lokalkolorit

Ist ihnen schlecht?=Are you bad(badis a feeling)/Do you feel bad? Ihnen is a polite form.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/siebolt

@Drekir: your example "ist ihnen schlecht" means "are they feeling bad/ill" If you had written "ist Ihnen schlecht" it would have meant "Are you feeling bad/ill". The only difference is the capital in Ihnen (you). Anyway: keep in mind that it is an impersonal construction with the verb in singular. More examples: mir ist kalt, mir ist warm, mir ist übel (move away, he is going to throw up!!)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Drekir

Well i know, but ihnen (not Ihnen) always takes plural conjugation. I want to ask about the verb conjugation.. as sie (plural) or Sie (sing/plu) always take plural conjugation form..


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Talat

I think Drekir's question is about why the sein has been conjugated in the third person singular (er/sie/es ist ) rather than in the third person plural ( sie sind ). The answer I guess has to do with the German equivalent of the English impersonal 'it'. In other words, "Is (it) bad for them."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Drekir

Ok yes found the answer on google... Yes Talat you are right.. It is actually "Is (it) bad for them". I was confused because of "Sind sie schlecht?" which is the same, but lit. translates as "are they ill", instead of "Is (it) bad for them". Thnx guys..

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