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  5. "One cannot know everything."

"One cannot know everything."

Translation:Нельзя всё знать.

November 4, 2015



What is incorrect about "не можно знать всё"? I generally use нельзя for "impossible" and не можно for "can not", because in English, "can" may refer to permission or capability, similar to можно. Is that distinction also true with нельзя?


Practically all the russian sites I go to tell me never to use 'не можно'; you use нельзя for both "impossible" and "not allowed to".

For example:

Моей сестре нельзя есть шоколад. = My sister can't eat chocolate (maybe she can't digest it). This refers to capability.

Здесь нельзя курить. = You can't smoke here. You technically can smoke here but are forbidden by law. This refers to permission.

Kind of like how 'nor' is the opposite of 'or' but you can never say 'not or'.


I wrote невозможно and it allowed it. In all of the sentences I've seen, можно is always paired with an real subject rather than an implied one, so "He may not" rather than "one may not".

Also when I see "cannot", to me "не можно" is more like "one may not know everything" and doesn't have the exact same connotation, whereas невозможноis "it is impossible to know everything", which is the intention of this phrase.


“Не можно” simply doesn’t exist in Russian. Use нельзя instead


We sometimes use льзя in answer to нельзя as a joke :)


Yeah, but use (не) может as a verb instead of можно :-)


It just isnt how sentence structure works in Russian


«Не может быт» is impossible


"Не можно" is a bad construction. You can say "Невозможно знать всё." (It's impossible to know everything).

Можно - one can

Нельзя - one cannot


What would be wrong with "Всё нельзя знать."? The only difference between this and the correct solution is word order. How can the correct word order be determined in this sentence?


It’s a correct answer. Said with a proper intonation it might be even better than the default option. In fact, 5 out 6 possible permutations of those 3 words are equally possible. Only ‘Знать нельзя всё’ sounds weird (but still grammatically correct, I believe)


Another Duolingo mystery answer, never explained.


To express impossibility, as opposed to prohibition, shouldn't нельзя be used with the perfective infinitive узнать.?


not with that attitude


Is the word order critical here? "Всё нельзя знать" marked wrong.


It’s a correct answer


Человек не может знать всё.


А обезьяна может? Ваше русское предложение не полностью эквивалентно английскому. Английское говорит о принципиальной невозможности знать всё, не важно кто субьект. В русском языке подобное утверждение передаётся путём отсутствия подлежащего. В английском же, в котором подлежащие не может отсутствовать, существует техническое подлежащие - one


Никто не может знать все. Мне кажется наиболее близкий перевод к английскому варианту. Потому что обратный перевод "нельзя знать все" не получится без костылей.


"Нельзя знать всего" не принимает.


Знать requires an object in the accusative case. Всё is neuter and inanimate, so it stays the same in the accusative.


Not really sure why you say that the verb знать "requires an object in the accuative case... While the default (in most languages with case conjugation) is to have subject=nominative, (direct) object=accusative and indirect object=dative, it's not a 100% rule. In Russian, a typical twist to this truth is that a "negative direct object" takes genitive (aka the "non-ownership" of the non-existent thingy overrides the default accusative....if that's a way to put it. (Sorry for the lack of better wording!)


  • У её кошку --> She has a cat, with кошка conjugated into accusative because it's the object in the sentence)

  • У её нет кошки --> She does NOT have a cat, where кошка is conjugated into genitive because it's the "negative/non-existing object" (there's probably a better wording/explanation of this!)


У её кошку is wrong, кошка is the subject of the sentence, it should be у неё кошка


Nevertheless нельзя знать всего is correct


The answer makes no sense, how do you distinguish between, "one cannot know everything", he , I etc?


Says a man whose language can't distinguish between he and she :) I'm affraid you have wrong preassumptions how a foreign language should work. It's an indefinite subject here: English uses a technical word 'one' to build such a sentence, Russian omits the subject altogether. Please, consult a corresponding section in your grammar book for more details.


Does this essentially break down to: "Cannot everything one know."...?


What does нельзя mean?


Cannot. There is not possibility/permission.


Take heed, this is why all countries eventually fail.


Which is another way of saying "you can't fool ALL the people ALL of the time."


одному нельза всё знатъ - почему это не право?


English sentences require a subject even when making impersonal declarations. So we often use "One cannot..." or "You are not allowed..."

But these are only needed in English, in Russian we omit the subject. So «нельзя ...» and «можно ...» are all that's needed.

(Also, your sentence has spelling errors, not sure if that is important).


нельзЯ.... знатЬ


because it's duo , man


Why not "одному не знать всё"? According to the hints it should be accepted…


Why can't I say: Человеку невозможно всё знать?


Would 'одно не знает всё' count as a correct answer?


No. You shouldn't translate it word-for-word; Russian and English are two different languages that have their own idioms and ways for saying things. You wouldn't translate 'У меня есть карандаш' as 'At me there is a pencil' but 'I have a pencil'. Similarly, the impersonal construction works very differently in Russian than English; English grammar, unlike Russian, REQUIRES the sentence to always have a subject: here it is 'one' or, more likely, the impersonal 'you'.


one cannot know everything means один не может знать всё. one means один, nobody means никто


I think this would change the meaning to "one person alone may not, but maybe several together".

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