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"Ich bin mir sicher"?

Why is dative used in this case? What is the difference between this and "Ich bin sicher"?

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phil_lee profile picture phil_leeSeptember 2015
Dative case is used here because "sich ... sicher sein" (to feel certain/confident) is a reflexive verb and "sein" always wants the reflexive pronoun in dative. "Ich bin sicher." as the shorter form is also allowed and generally used in common speech but can also mean 'I am safe.' which is not a reflexive verb anymore and therefore doesn't need a reflexive pronoun in dative case. So, don't let both phrases confuse you and pay attention to the respective context.
KleinSahid profile picture KleinSahidSeptember 2015
Additonally: "Ich bin sicher" = "Im safe"
"Ich bin mir sicher" = "Im sure"
However: "Ich bin (mir) sicher, dass ... = Im sure that ...
So it depends whether or not this sentence is used alone and (sometimes) on the context of the following sentence.
All in all, you can use both sentences but the second one can cause misunderstandings.
KleinSahid profile picture KleinSahidSeptember 2015
Im not sure but "Ich bin sicher" sounds as if something is missing. Despite that, the verb you are actually using is "sich sicher sein". So, its a reflexive verb.
  • Duc_ profile picture Duc_July 2021
    Not necessarily. An assault rifle might be regarded as ”sicher” or more often ”gesichert”, when the lever points to the white ”S” mark. There isn’t any reflection on that point, it’s a mechanics issue.
Duc_ profile picture Duc_July 2021
”Sicher sein” betrifft äußere Umstände und ”sich sicher sein” bezieht sich auf die (eigenen) Überzeugungen und Erinnerungen.
Außerdem bedeutet ”sicher” sowohl ”safe” als auch ”secure”.
pvaglue profile picture pvaglueJuly 2021
It reminds me of the English ”I’m sure of myself.”