1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. "Meinem Mädchen ist nicht sch…


"Meinem Mädchen ist nicht schlecht."

December 28, 2012



Why isn't "My girl is not bad" valid?


In "My girl is not bad" you'd use "mein", while "meinem" is dative, so it's rather "to my girl is not bad". Which wouldn't make much sense if not for the idiomatic usage.


I don't understand this, can someone explain further? It's not a dative-only preposition case, or anything like that.


So if I want to say "I am sick" would I say "Mir bin schlecht"? It seems like if you use schlecht with in the dative it seems to mean sick and in the nominative it means bad?


Because in this case, it's not saying that "your girl is not [a] bad [person]", but rather that she "is not [feeling] bad. I think it's idiomatic?


F. Formica answers my query well, but that's after I've already made a mistake. I wasn't aware of this idiomatic phrase before this question - it would be nice if Duolingo made newcomers to German aware of such phrases if they're going to phrase questions in such a manner.


The way duo introduces you to new phrases is by making you try to guess its meaning; then figured out that its idiomatic meaning after a failure. Not a bad way to do it in my opinion; in any case, us beginners rarely passed the lessons in our first try anyway.


I agree. I've previously tried unsuccessfully to learn languages by slavishly following rules, then later practice. In real life it works the opposite: As a baby you hear, repeat and master things fairly well without necessarily having been instructed in the grammar at that stage. Later when you learn the reasons behind the idiom, it certainly then only becomes fully sensible. In language, I personally prefer trying to guess something and learn by mistake. The opposite may seem more logical but is not necessarily more effective.


I understood from other comments that this sentence is idiomatic. Just to make sure, when we want to talk about whether someone's feeling bad or not, we use the dativ form. Is that about correct?


Yeah, I believe so. This is what I infer from the lessons. There are a few dative expressions like this. I think the word "feeling" is implied. I THINK it's more directly translated to "To my girl, it is not bad", indicating that internally she doesn't feel bad. It's like "Mir ist Kalt" - "I am cold", or directly: "To me, it is cold". If I used accusative "Ich bin Kalt", then I'd be saying "I am a cold/frigid person."


Yes, you pretty much got the hang of it!!


I think it may be the same reason why in German one should say: "Mir geht es gut." Instead of usen the first person in nominative case.


why is this dative?


It's the ending on the possessive. "Meinem" is dative, while nominative or accusative for neuter nouns like "Madchen" would simply be "mein".


The word 'schlecht ' has meant bad or poor,up to now, and the drop down menu still gives this translation. it has never been used for 'ill', in fact the German word for 'ill' is 'krank'. To change word meaning is confusing and misleading, I understand that interpretation of a sentence is necessary as an exact translation is not always possible, however in this instance perhaps the sentence itself should be looked and changed.


So "meinem" is used in dative case for both neuter and masculine nouns?


Yes, COTAP, that's correct!


See, I didn't know that. Good to know.


Why is "My girl is not well" bad?


Because your girl isn't not well - she is well! ;)


my girl is not ugly is wrong?


Yes. Schlecht = bad ... i believe 'häßlich' is 'ugly'

Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.