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  5. "Dürfte ich etwas sagen?"

"Dürfte ich etwas sagen?"

Translation:May I say something?

October 13, 2015

45 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AeneasFegg

Why dürfte? Why not darf?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/biertopf

"Dürfte" (conditional) is a bit more polite than "darf" (same as in English with "might" and "may").


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/1lizsnxr

but can you replace it as "darf" too in case you want to be less polite?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/biertopf

Yes, you can do that - just as in English, where you can use "might" or "may" depending on how polite you want to be.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/margaritaguese

.... Or if it's American English you don't say may and you just say can... But yeah


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dunk999

I didnt realize that there was a difference in politeness between might and may.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/royalt213

For most people and situations, there likely isn't.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SydneyBlakem

Might is a bit old fashioned. Today it is used in the past tense (nearly) only


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jdevola

As a native English speaker, might I ask which is the more polite form: may or might? I have never ascribed any difference.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/whgodwin

To my native English ear, "might" is a little more polite and old-fashioned than "may". "can" is the least polite when used here (rather than its literal sense of 'am I able to').


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TaylanxToxic

Think about "can I say something" versus "may I say something". It's a better example to grasp than "might" versus "may".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SyamkumarR

Okey, does that mean 'May I say something' (IF you allow me to- conditional hidden in the sentance).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BuffDoge

what is conditional ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OnkelD

There is an implied "condition" in the statement/question... either you may, or you may not in this example. Most if not all the Modal verbs (which are auxiliary) tend to have or imply "condition" or "under what condition"... English examples would be should, could, can, must, may, etc.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stuart-Patrick

Super explanation. Using 'might' and 'may' this will help countless English speakers. Ty.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jano-18

I think dürfte in this case means, "Is there a possibility that I might say something?", I mean, you're asking them to give you the possibility to do something. While darf would be something like "Can I say something?", more casual, I guess.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PunkJesus

Because you use Subjunctive Konjunktiv II in German for conditional.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jigeeshu

durfte is 'might' or 'may' ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/biertopf

durfte is Präteritum
dürfte is "might" (Konjunktiv II - Präteritum)

This is a good example to show that umlauts (a, ö, ü) matter.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaheshMarg

Dear biertopf - or somebody else who cares to explain: How to translate the differences between "ich darf", "ich durfte" and "ich dürfte" in the context of our sentence?

I think that "Darf ich etwas sagen?" would be "May I say something?" "Durfte ich etwas sagen?" - "May I have said something?", like in some past occasion were it could have been appropriate for the person to say something, but he/she said nothing.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/biertopf

"Durfte ich etwas sagen?" I'd translate as "Was I allowed to say something?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeonardSch3

If it is translated as 'might I say something?' it sounds right


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gerhard_dP

Could dürfte also mean "dare to?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Athalawulfaz

I think that, as a native English speaker, dürfte as a subjunctive would be better translated as a past tense in English as well. So 'could I...' or 'might I...' or 'would I...'. It just seems strange to translate a German past tense subjunctive as an English present tense subjunctive.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PAVVAP

Why i can not to translate it as: "May i tell something?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HashishShetty

No, because that's grammatically incorrect. There has to be an indirect object after "tell." For example, "May I tell (you/him/her/them) something?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/abbas287060

I think there is something wrong with the translation of the sentence : Dürfte ich etwas sagen . It says dürfte ich etwas sagen and when you write it, it marks it wrong, but write the same sentence of : Dürfte ich etwas sagen . Please check this sentence and open the path . Vielen Dank für ihre hilfe .


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Viktorianischen

Is the r not pronounced in dürfte


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaheshMarg

It certainly is. I would say it's very similar to the "r" in "früher" or "war", for example - as in "Früher war ich ein Student."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Agonisti

In another exercise in this very unit they specifically forbid you from translating "dürfen" as "may" or "might".

Trying to make sense of this is unnecessarily painful.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ann658914

I was taught in English that if you say "may I" you are asking for permission. "Can I" you are questioning whether you have the ability to do it. Native speaker here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wombatcastle

Why are there two different sets of words for past in the conjunction pop-up?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Reinhard85407

May I say anything, is this ok, too?????


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StevePrice451726

"May I tell you something?" That should be accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Copernicus-

There's no "you" in the German sentence, so that's not a good translation without context.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StevePrice451726

You are right. Thanks for that explanation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CachusCerberus

May I say anything? Why is it not right?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BrettL.Haw

As an English speaker, I prefer to use the word "might" to indicate uncertainty, and to use the word "may" to indicate permission/certainty.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/peterreid3

May and can are both acceptable in the english language


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/biertopf

dürfte, darf, könnte, kann... might, may, could, can. Duolingo rather likes direct translations.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/killerman64

no they are different. May is being allowed, can is physically capable


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/margaritaguese

@hunter nope in American English can is the same as the British may


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/An1mal1

That is not true. @margaritaguese. American English “can” is exactly the same as the British English “can”.

i.e. Both can be used colloquially to mean “may” e.g. when I ask my friend “can I drive” that is the informal way to say “will you let me drive/may I drive”. Can does not exactly mean may! It is just used in place of it in an informal setting.

It is synonymous but it is not the same.

The use of may / can is totally down to the way you were brought up and how you choose to use the word to the people you talk to. It has nothing to do with the factual root meaning of the word in either American English or British English. As the similarities and differences in American English and British English from "can" and "may" are identical.

I can run fast. Why?

1) (ability to perform the action) Because I am fit, Because I have good genetics, Because I have been training,

2) Because I have been given permission to.

I may run fast. Why?

1) Because I have been given permission to.

2) Because I have been performing well recently (future conditional answer).

In this Duolingo question the synonymous meaning of “to be allowed to do something” of both “can” and “may” work in translated meaning but one is more polite that the other.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/killerman64

as @biertopf said, in expanse, the root Dorf and Kann have two lineages of meaning. Wie im das prufe, ein Mann kann etwas sagen, aber bedeutest nicht dass Man durfte etwas sagen. Honestly I haven't been speaking German since this course, I had been speaking a related Language, Yiddish; although Yiddish uses Dorf and Kann in complete parallel usage.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JaniceMReeder

No, they are not. Can means " able". May is askung permission. Whem my kids asked me if they ciuld do something, I told them they were able yo do it, but I was not going to give permission. Can and May are not even clise in meaning. I am a native Englush speaker.

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