Why is "mir" used in these sentences?

  • "Ich bin mir sicher." - "I am positive."
  • "Ich kann mir vorstellen ..." - "I can imagine ..."

It doesn't appear in the translation. Also "Ich" looks sufficient.


1 Answer 1


Both are reflexive verbs that can also be used in a non-reflexive way.

Reflexive verbs are more common in German than in English (like "enjoy yourself").

"Ich bin mir sicher" works with or without the "mir", but "Ich kann mir vorstellen" does not, because the reflexive version "sich (etwas) vorstellen" (=> imagine something) has a different meaning than the non-reflexive version "(jemanden) vorstellen" (=> introduce someone).

Here, you can find more about this subject.

  • 6
    But note that "Ich bin sicher" can also mean "I'm safe", so without context it's better to put the "mir". Commented Sep 8, 2011 at 10:51
  • The link provided in this answer doesn't seem to address the subject (at least I can't see how it does)
    – Tony M
    Commented Sep 27, 2019 at 9:25

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