Impersonal Verbs

An impersonal verb is one that does not relate to a real person or thing and where the subject is represented by it: It's going to rain.

In German, impersonal verbs are used with es (it) and the third person singular form of the verb. Some verbs use the pronouns that follow the verb in the dative case.

Es geht mir gut. - I'm doing fine.

Es gelingt mir. - I succeed.

After es gibt (there is/there are) objects are used in the accusative case.

Es gibt einen Kampf. - There is trouble.

Other expressions use the pronoun es but need to be translated by a personal pronoun.

gefallen - to be pleasing

Es gefällt mir hier. - I like it here.

fehlen - to be missing

Es fehlt mir noch etwas. - I'm missing something.

Es fehlt mir an nichts. - I've got everything.

There are numerous expressions with impersonal verbs:

Es brennt! - There is a fire!

Es gießt. - It's raining hard.

Es hagelt. - It is hailing.

Es schmerzt. - It hurts.

Es regnet. - It is raining.

Es schneit. - It is snowing.

Es eilt! - It is urgent!

Es windet. - It is windy.

Es reicht! - That's enough!

Es weihnachtet. - Christmas is approaching.

Es dämmert. - Dusk is falling.

Wie steht es um ihn? - How's he doing?

Mich friert es. - I'm cold.

Es tut mir leid. - I'm sorry.

Es stört mich. - I resent it.

Es tut weh. - It is painful.

Es sagt mir zu. - It pleases me.

Es fehlt etwas. - Something is missing.

Es eilt nicht. - There is no hurry.

Es hat geklingelt. - There's the doorbell.

Es freut mich. - I'm pleased.

Es fällt mir schwer. - It is hard for me.

Es geht alles vorbei. - This too will pass.

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Grammar Patterns

Listening Comprehension