Wie geht es dir / ihnen

RexV

RexV

I have seen this sentence a couple of times “Wie geht es dir / Ihnen”. One thing I am wondering about is why we are using dative case. I assume it is because you are addressing someone directly?
 
sfpugh

sfpugh

I think you can see what is going on if you translate the phrase literally.
Wie geht es dir 
How goes it with you.
But it is usually translated as "how are you"
 
RexV

RexV

Hi again,

I understand what it means but it is more why we are using "dir/ihnen" and not "dich/sie".

Thanks beforehand
sfpugh

sfpugh

I thought that "with you" would make it clear.
The phrase uses an impersonal construction with es as a dummy subject.
gehen is an intransitive verb with can't take a direct object you have to use dir not dich.

You can look up intransitive verbs.

 
Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

Hallo RexV und sfpugh!

Exactly as sfpugh points out, Wie geht es dir/Ihnen? (careful of the capital "I" there) doesn't actually translate literally to "How are you?" Instead, it translates to "How goes it with you?" Because we have the meaning "with you" instead of just "you," we use the dative forms (dir/Ihnen) instead of the accusative (dich/Sie). 

If you're still not sure why the addition of "with" (or of other prepositions, such as "to") means that we need to use the dative, the lesson on the dative in Module 6 of Level 1 should be helpful.

Tschüss!

Liss

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