I am learning about dative, nominative, and accusative. I have seen the following two expressions:

  • Ich geht es gut.
  • Mir geht es gut.

Accordung to Google Translate both are right. But I doubt a little, so are these answers right?

  • 2
    May I ask what sentence exactly it was that Google translated as »Ich geht es gut«? – Philipp Feb 22 '19 at 13:15
  • I thought I could find one, but Google is smarter than me and translates even "ich is fine" to "mir geht es gut" :D – BusyAnt Feb 22 '19 at 17:49

Wem geht es gut?

Mir geht es gut.

You need to use Dativ here. Wem asks for Dativ.

The other phrase is wrong. Google translate is never a good source and should be used only to get a rough direction.

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  • 7
    The trick with asking for something to find the needed case works quite well for native speakers. There's proof it doesn't work at all for all the others. – tofro Feb 22 '19 at 10:27
  • I know. Can't work if you neither use wem automatically nor know what case you should ask for. It wasn't meant as a "trick" here. ;) – Olafant Feb 22 '19 at 12:15
  • @tofor: Indeed. I am not a native speakee, but have been speaking German fror more than 35 years now and even understood it as a small kid. The "wem", "wen" etc. question never helped me. – Rudy Velthuis Mar 3 '19 at 19:19

The phrase you picked isn't simple. It's a use of gehen which isn't relation to the action of walking at all. There's no logic in the highly idiomatic uses either:

Es geht.

It works.

Es geht nicht.

It doesn't work.

Es geht (ganz) gut.

It works (quite) well.

Es geht (ganz) schlecht.

It works (very) bad.

If you used an additional object to tell who's meant, it has to be a dative object, because it's not a thing or person acted upon (that would call for an accusative object).

Es geht ihm gut.

He is fine.

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In your examples, only the second option is correct. This particular use of the verb gehen belongs to a group of verbs where the experiencer of a feeling or sensation is not expressed in the nominative case, even though he is the logical subject of the sentence. Here are some other verbs that behave similarly:

Mir ist schlecht. Mir wird kalt. Mir scheint, dass es kälter wird. (Dative)

Mich friert es. Mich schaudert es. (Accusative)

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  • Im Satz »Mir geht es gut« = »Es geht mir gut« ist das expletive Pronomen »es« das Subjekt. *»Mir« ist ein ganz normales Dativ-Objekt (Dativus Commodi). Die von dir genannten Sätze folgen einer anderen Konstruktion als der Satz aus der Frage. – Hubert Schölnast Mar 3 '19 at 19:20
  • Ich habe allerdings vom logischen Subjekt gesprochen, nicht vom grammatischen Scheinsubjekt es. Und inwiefern folgen meine Beispiele bitte einer anderen Konstruktion? – GrottenOlm Mar 4 '19 at 15:45

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