Es vs. man
Understanding grammar is key to understanding a language.
German grammar tips with Wunderbla, online German lessons.
Es vs. man
Impersonal sentences, in which we don't specify who does something, can be formed using either es (it) or man (one, you) + a verb in the 3rd person singular.
Es wird Kuchen gegessen. werden, Präsens
Cake is eaten.
Man isst Kuchen. essen, Präsens
Cake is eaten / One eats cake.
Man is mostly used in active sentences.
One dances / you dance / people dance.
Man spielt Mozart.
One plays Mozart / you play Mozart. (Note: man can be translated as "you" in the general sense, not referring to a specific person.)
When used in this sense, es appears in passive sentences, generally with werden + past participle.
Es wird getanzt.
There is dancing (literally: "It is danced").
Es wird Mozart gespielt.
Mozart is played.
Note: es (impersonal "it") can also be used in active sentences, often as part of fixed expressions.
Es geht mir gut.
I'm well (literally: "It is going well to me").
Take your learning further
Still facing difficulties with 'Es vs. man'? Improve your German with Wunderbla - try our German lessons for free now and receive a free level assessment!
Do you know any tips to avoid making mistakes with 'Es vs. man'? Share it with us!
Improve your German further and test Wunderbla, online German lessons.