I read the following in a description a patient's visit to the doctor.

Der Arzt schaut in ihre Augen, ihren Mund, und in die Ohren.

Why die Ohren but ihre Augen?

1 Answer 1


This is just a variation to reduce repeating words. This also would be correct, but contains 3 times "ihre":

Der Arzt schaut in ihre Augen, ihren Mund und in ihre Ohren.

Another possibility is this:

Der Arzt schaut ihr in die Augen, den Mund und die Ohren.

But here the word ihr is not a possessive pronoun, but dativus commodi.

  • 4
    In general, German uses articles instead of possessive pronouns for body parts much more frequently than English. There are a some fixed expressions,"take her by the hand, look her in the eye", but you "look in her ears", never "look her in the ears".
    – RDBury
    Oct 19, 2020 at 10:26

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