Take the 2-minute tour ×
German Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for speakers of German wanting to discuss the finer points of the language and translation. It's 100% free, no registration required.

If you wanted to translate "I'm hot" into German, like "I'm burning up cause it's hot outside", it would translate to "Ich bin heiß" which has a bad connotation. So it is translated to "Mir ist heiß".

If you wanted to say "I'm in a good mood" you wouldn't say "Ich bin gute Laune" instead you would say "Ich habe gute Laune".

In which cases do you use each one?

share|improve this question
    
"I'm hot" would be translated to "Ich habe heiss". "Ich bin heiss", or "Sie/Er ist heiss" have nothing to do with temperate, but rather with the look of a person. "Es geht mir heiss" would be wrong as well :) –  Lukas Jun 12 '12 at 20:21
    
Would it be mir ist heiss? –  John Jun 12 '12 at 20:28
1  
"Ich bin heiß" exists too. It means "I'm hot" with the meaning of of sexually desirable. –  The_Fritz Jun 12 '12 at 20:43
    
@John: You can't say "Ich bin gute Laune" because that would mean that you are the good mood, but "Ich bin guter Laune". –  user unknown Jun 13 '12 at 0:19
1  
@user: Na ja, wenn man(n) sagt "die ist echt heiß", dann geht es aber nicht um die Temperatur der Frau, sondern um die des Sprechers. (Bei "ihr ist heiß" würde es um die der Frau gehen.) –  Hendrik Vogt Jun 13 '12 at 7:46
show 5 more comments

2 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

You use Ich bin if you want to describe a condition or state using the adjective or a substantive preceded by an adjective and the word "in":

Ich bin gelangweilt. I am bored.

Ich bin hungrig. I am hungry.

Ich bin in guter Laune. I am in a good mood.

Ich bin in guter Verfassung. I am in a good condition.

And if you are burning then you can say:

Ich bin heiß. I am hot.

Otherwise this has just a figurative meaning of being sexually attractive, thus you can say about a gorgeous woman:

Sie ist heiß. She's hot.


You use Mir ist to describe a feeling using an adjective

Mir ist langweilig. I am bored.

Mir ist schwindelig. I feel dizzy.

Mir ist kalt. I feel cold.

Most times when you would use I feel in English you can translate it with Mir ist into German.


You use Ich habe to describe a feeling, using the substantive (which again can be preceded by an adjective)

Ich habe schlechte Laune. I am in a bad mood.

Ich habe Hunger. I am hungry.

Ich habe Fieber. I have fever.


You use es geht mir only to describe how things are going. In essence, there are just three situations: A good, a bad and neutral one.

Es geht mir gut. I am fine.

Es geht mir schlecht. I am awful.

Es geht so. I am so-so.

share|improve this answer
1  
Side note: I only refer to the usages regarding your feelings and condition. Of course there are more usages of "Ich bin" and "Ich habe" like: "Ich bin Pilot." or "Ich habe gewonnen.", but they are off-topic for this question. –  Em1 Jun 12 '12 at 21:23
    
Thanks for the answer! –  John Jun 12 '12 at 21:29
add comment

"Es geht mir heiß" is wrong. You'd say "mir ist heiß" instead (see also this thread).

You say "ich habe" (not: "have") if followed by a noun describing your mood. For example, "gute Laune" is a (qualified) noun, therefore you say "ich habe gute Laune". "Ich bin gute Laune" would mean that you are the mood, which is obviously wrong. However, in this case you could say "ich bin gute*r* Laune" instead.

"Es geht mir" is exclusively used with words in the "good/bad" scale, e.g. "es geht mir gut", "es geht mir schlecht", "es geht mir mittelmäßig", "es geht mir prima", etc.

For adjectives you'd use either "ich bin" or "mir ist", but I don't know a good rule when to use which. Note that there's also "mir ist schlecht" which has a slightly different meaning than "Es geht mir schlecht". "Es geht mir schlecht" means you don't feel well, while "mir ist schlecht" means you feel like vomiting.

Here are a few cases:

  • Ich bin hungrig – I'm hungry
  • Ich bin durstig – I'm thirsty
  • Ich bin müde – I'm tired
  • Ich bin wütend – I'm angry
  • Mir ist warm – I'm hot
  • Mir ist schwindlig – I'm dizzy
  • Mir ist langweilig – I'm bored
share|improve this answer
    
+1 thanks for the info! –  John Jun 12 '12 at 21:29
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.