“Du” vs. “Dich”

A real life chat log of today:

[13:33] Birger: 今日暑天

[13:37] Friend: wowowow

[15:40] Friend: ich mag kochen 😀

[15:52] Friend: dich mag nicht chicken feet

[15:52] Friend: 😉

[15:59] Birger: 🙂

[16:01] Birger: Unfortunately, our Grammar is more complex…without good reason, as I apparently understood you well. But correct would be:

“Du magst Hühner-Füße nicht.” oder, besser, “Du magst keine Hühner-Füße.”

[16:02] Birger: Ill-thinking people could, based on “dich”, interpret it the other way round: “Chicken feet do not like you” 😉

[16:15] Friend: u mean dich mag nicht chicken feet=Chicken feet do not like you?

[17:01] Birger: I mean: Can be interpreted as such. It’s not a correct sentence.

[17:01] Birger: But the form “dich” is used to express, TO WHOM something happens (so-called accusative case).

[17:01] Birger: While “du” is used to express, WHO DOES something.

[17:02] Birger: (nominative case)

[17:04] Birger: The Chinese language regulates that (to my knowledge) mostly with the position in the sentence:

Wo xihuan Chicken-feet [“du” case]


Chicken-feet xihuan Wo [“dich” case]

Wow, that’s Birger-grammar

[17:04] Birger: 😉

[17:06] Birger: Well, I just noticed I left out a few bu’s (不) here…

[17:07] Birger: And should have replaced wo with ni….well, I still need to practice Chinese a bit…

[17:07] Birger:

Ni bu xihuan Chicken-feet [“du” case]

Chicken-feet bu xihuan ni [“dich” case]

[17:09] Friend: Ich mag dich gramma

[17:10] Friend: Du gramma sounds interesting

[17:12] Friend: oh, should i replace mag with magst?

[17:22] Birger: No, was correct:

“Ich mag”

“Du magst”

“Er/sie/es mag”

“Wir mögen”

“Ihr mögt”

“Sie mögen”


But “Deine Grammatik”, instead of “Du Grammar” 😉

[17:23] Birger: Ah, maybe I got what you thought wrong….

[17:23] Friend: german magst complicated lauguage

[17:24] Birger: You can say:

“Ich mag dich.”

“Du magst mich”


“Ich mag deine Grammatik”

[17:25] Birger: German IS a complicated language when you come from Chinese and English.

It’s simple if you come from, hm, Latin, Russian, or some other easter European languages

[17:26] Friend: ok, can’t change that

[17:26] Friend: but ich mag german, du magst chinese?

[17:26] Birger: genau!

[17:28] Friend: but i am not sure whether german mag mir, or chinese magst dir 😉

[17:29] Birger: well, me neither…

[17:30] Friend: hehe

Added 10-Oct: Ja/Nein

[17:51] Friend: ich bin serious!!

[17:52] Birger: Du meinst das ernst?

[17:54] Friend: genau!

[17:55] Friend: ich meine

[17:55] Birger: That’s again a very Chinese way of saying ‘Yes’. 😉

[17:56] Friend: warrum?

[18:01] Birger: Chinese sentence structure (sorry don’t get that in Chinese now that quicky):

question: 你去上海吗? Ni qu Shanghai ma?

Anwer: 我去! Wo qu!


Q: You’re going to Shanghai?

A: Yes. […I will go]

german the same:

Q: Du gehst nach Shanghai?

A: Ja. […ich werde gehen]

We answer primaril with Ja/Nein. The additional part […I will go] is optional.

Chinese, however, usually repeats the verb like you just did.

[18:02] Friend: got it

[18:03] Birger: We westerners struggle quite a bit with the fact that the Chinese language has no simple “Yes” or “No”! 😉

[18:03] Friend: ahh??!!

[18:06] Birger: Probably closest comes 是 / 不是. But it would be the wrong answer above:

question: 你去上海吗? Ni qu Shanghai ma?

answer: 是! Shi!

(according to my books that’s wrong, or at least unexpected)

Categories: Shanghai

Originally Created: 09/19/2005 12:39:54 PM
Last Edited: 10/10/2005