"Мне нельзя есть курицу."

Translation:I cannot eat chicken.

November 11, 2015

97 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/TrueCB

why is the subject in that case and not in nominative?

November 11, 2015

[deactivated user]

    It's not really a subject. It's a subjectless sentence (when translating these to English, we usually add a dummy subject 'it'), the literal translation would be 'to_me, [it's] forbidden/impossible to_eat chicken'.

    This construction takes a dative, but it can do without any person at all: нельзя́ убива́ть люде́й 'it's forbidden to kill people', здесь нельзя́ кури́ть 'here, it's forbidden to smoke'.

    Other words that behave this way are мо́жно (it's possible/allowed), запрещено́ (it's forbidden), ну́жно 'it's needed/neccessary', на́до 'it's needed/neccessary' (less formal), хо́лодно 'it's cold', тепло́ 'it's warm', жа́рко 'it's hot', хо́чется 'it's desirable', пло́хо 'it's bad' (about people мне пло́хо means 'I don't feel well'), хорошо́ 'well'.

    November 11, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/Tattamin

    This should definitely go into the "Tips and notes" somewhere!

    May 26, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/kvargman

    Why isn't "есть курицу" the subject? As in: eating chicken is forbidden for me.

    September 11, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/TrueCB

    Thanks! That was really helpful.

    November 11, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/littlegreygal

    This has really cleared things up, thank you so so much!

    March 27, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy

    Duo accepted Chicken is not allowed for me which puts it in the dative case. I didn't think to put eating chicken is not allowed for me which would include the verb but I assume that would be accepted as well.

    January 29, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/flint72

    Does this mean "I am forbidden from eating chicken" (due to my religion, say), or "I am not able to eat chicken" (due to an allergic reaction, for example, or because I lack the enzymes to digest chicken, and thus am physically unable to eat it).

    Thanks.

    December 6, 2015

    [deactivated user]

      It can mean either.

      December 6, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/Nuept

      There are some external reasons why you cannot eat chicken (religion or intolerance) that don't let you eat chicken, so you are basically forbidden from eating it in both cases and it can mean either of these two.

      December 11, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/nahuatl1939

      the translation given by DUOLINGO is : I cannot have the chicken ! because est' is to have whilst est is to eat. So, is it EST' or EST?

      March 27, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/Theron126

      It's est' and Duo's translation is correct. In sentences where it's "to have", the Russian is u menya est' - here, est' is the present tense form of the word byt' - to be. Est' is also the infinitive of the verb "to eat", as here. This sentence with nelzya requires the infinitive of the verb.

      By the way, if you're seriously trying to learn Russian, I very strongly recommend learning the Cyrillic alphabet. If at this point you're just trying it out to see how you like it you're probably OK with transliterations for now.

      March 27, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/nahuatl1939

      I don´t get you. you say that DUOLINGO's traduction is correct but this traduction is not EAT but HAVE. so why is everybody talking about eating _ to me , of course, the sentence makes more sense if it is "eat" but DUO says it is "have" like I translated. As to the cyrilikc alphabet, i can read russian easily because i have studied ancient Greek and 50% of the cyrilic writing is Greek. however, i don't write it because my laptop doesn't have it. I want to learn Russian because we have Russian customers coming to our city in Peru for jungle expeditions and they hardly speak anything but Russian. I am 76 years old and just supervising the business. I don't go into the jungle anymore., By the way, if I can be of help to you and/or the other students, it will be my pleasure. I am Swiss with french mother-tongue and very fluent in German, Swiss German, Spanish, Brasilian Portuguese, Italian and English, all of them languages which I speak since i was 20 and which I used for business around the world during 50 years. Latin also but this would just be for talking to the Pope !

      March 27, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/Theron126

      Oh, I can write in Cyrillic then. Your confusion here is because "есть" is two different words.

      First, it's the present-tense form of быть, "to be", which is used in statements about possession (where the translation "to have" comes from).

      Second, it's the infinitive form of the verb "to eat". This is the word that's used in this sentence. The first word doesn't make sense in this sentence.

      March 27, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/nahuatl1939

      I follow you but my question is : why does DUOLINGO translate the sentence with HAVE and not EAT ?

      March 27, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/Theron126

      Oh, maybe I wasn't understanding before. You mean it suggested "I cannot have chicken"? That actually makes sense. We do say in English "I can't have", just meaning "I can't eat". It's a bit confusing, especially given the multiple meanings of "есть", but "I can't have chicken" and "I can't eat chicken" are translating the same sentence and have the same meaning.

      March 27, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/Theron126

      I know that, if you see my comment above, but I don't see the relevance to this comment.

      March 27, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/voevodsky

      Similar in German. "Er ist" means "He is", while "Er isst" means "He eats". I suspect, that it is not coincidence. The similarity of the verbs meaning to be and to eat is typical for Indo-European languages. In English itself you can sometimes mix "is" with "eats" in fluent speech.

      March 27, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/Theron126

      Really? I've never heard that. Though of course I'm not familiar with every region's informal speech. But in Scotland I would definitely notice if someone said "is" instead of "eats".

      March 27, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/voevodsky

      No! Есть are two different forms of two different verbs! The infinitive from the one meaning «to eat», while and 3rd singular from «быть» — to be.

      March 27, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/RLShahan

      So glad to have this phrase - I am horribly allergic to chicken!

      January 11, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/Theron126

      That's too bad :-( I didn't know there was such a thing as an allergy to chicken.

      January 11, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/RLShahan

      Yes, and one of the hardest things to avoid when eating away from home.

      January 11, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/LivingLifeform

      Just only go out with vegeterian/vegan friends. ;)

      April 16, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/Jeffrey855877

      I had a friend who wasn't allergic to chicken like you, but might as well have been - he worked on a chicken farm one summer at age 16, and he got so disgusted with the entire operation, the very thought of eating chicken or any similar bird made him physically ill. He didn't get hives or have anaphylaxis or anything, he just turned this pasty-color and had to leave the room. The most curious "allergy" I've ever seen, because of the extreme degree of his - what? food-phobia, I guess.

      July 3, 2018

      https://www.duolingo.com/T-Mye

      Does anyone know why 'I must not eat chicken' is unacceptable here? Thanks.

      December 7, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy

      must not = obligation on the part of the person. = I must not

      not allowed = something is blocking the person. = something prevents me.

      You will note that the apparent subject of this example is actually in the dative case not nominative. Me not I.

      Replacing cannot with must not is moving further away from the dative case presented in this Duo example. Not allowed puts you in the dative case.

      Eating chicken is not allowed for me.

      January 29, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/vcottam

      I am wondering the same thing!

      January 25, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/Mattia_DB

      Is it correct to translate this sentence as "I must not eat chicken"?

      December 15, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/Theron126

      It is. Report it.

      December 15, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/BillEverett

      Reported again this morning, 14.05.2016, 08:55 Moscow time.

      May 14, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/Domcje

      Again, 18.09.2016

      September 18, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/AnUnicorn

      Но я люблю курицы, эдди!

      November 27, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/voevodsky

      Я люблю курицу. Here it is used as uncountable, and you needn't plural, but single accusative.

      March 27, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/nahuatl1939

      Yes I understand that, it is an accusative, no problem because gramatically it answers as " I love what " the dog., so it is a direct objet, i.e. accusativ. The problems will arise with certain words need a particular case, like NET which needs a genitiv. This I will have to find out by and by , make a list and learn it by heart. Until then I will still make mistakes. I started with Russian 2 or 3 weeks ago and I'm learning it with DUOLINGO and other methods I own, including my own, I am convinced I will speak and write by the end of this year. Thanks for you comment and best regards.

      March 27, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/AnUnicorn

      Even if it's talking about loving the animal in general, rather than the food?

      March 27, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/voevodsky

      I like hens — Я люблю кур

      March 27, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/Theron126

      Not куриц?

      March 27, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/voevodsky

      With this very word куры, кур, курам, кур, курами, о курах sounds better than курицы, куриц, курицам, куриц, курицами (especially unnatural), о курицах.

      March 27, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/Theron126

      Thanks! That's everywhere, not just a St. Petersburg thing?

      March 27, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/Nuept

      it works also; personally for me the both phrases sound absolutely same from the point of view of "normality" if I can put this way. I'm native

      March 28, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/JanF

      Would it be possible to translate this as 'I don't eat chicken.'?

      January 20, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/Theron126

      No, I think that's simply "я не ем курицу". "Нельзя" implies that there's something preventing you, which is lost in your translation.

      January 20, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/littlegreygal

      I've got to say Theron, you always help my understanding of the Russian language and make me more comfortable in how I learn it. You're fantastic! :D

      March 27, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/Theron126

      Well, thank you very much! :-)

      March 28, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/JanF

      Thanks!

      January 20, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/Akuhime-sama

      So, I understand that this can translate to "I am not allowed to have chicken", as in eating the chicken, but can this also mean or translate to "I am not allowed to have a chicken" as in- OWNING a chicken?

      like if your mom will not let you have a snake as a pet, could you write that out "Мне нельзя есть змея" ? Or does that not mean the same?

      May 25, 2016

      [deactivated user]

        Actually, it's unrelated to having.

        «Есть» as infinitive is 'to eat' (as correctly noted by Theron126), it's present tense forms are ем/ ешь/ ест/ едим/ едите/ едят.

        «Быть» as infinitive is 'to be', its present tense is есть (but it's often omited). When talking about having, you actually talk about 'being', and use у to specify the possessor. So, «у меня́ есть ку́рица» 'I have a hen' is literally something like 'at me {~my possession}, [there] is a hen'.

        After «нельзя́» '[it is] impossible/not allowed' you can't use a personal form, only an infinitive. You can't use «есть» 'is' here. The closest thing we can have is a subordinate clause: «нельзя́, что́бы у меня́ была́ ку́рица» 'it's impossible that at me [there] would-he a hen'. But it requires a subjunctive mood which you haven't probably learnt yet.

        May 26, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/BillEverett

        Couldn't we also say "мне нельзя иметь курицу" without using the subjunctive?

        May 26, 2016

        [deactivated user]

          Yes, it's grammatically correct.

          As for naturalness, both phrases («нельзя́, что́бы у меня́ была́ ку́рица» and «мне нельзя́ име́ть ку́рицу») sound pretty awkward.

          May 26, 2016

          https://www.duolingo.com/Theron126

          I was wondering the same thing.

          May 26, 2016

          https://www.duolingo.com/Akuhime-sama

          Yeah, most likely something I haven't learned yet. This is why I'd really like to have one-on-one classes with a native Russian Speaker as a teacher, and not just Duo. So far though, Duo is all I have.

          (Luckily my one family member knows someone who is a native speaker and I asked if she'd be willing to somewhat help me along in my Duo course. By this I mean I can ask her any questions I have about the language and grammar, show her basically where I am in the language so she can better understand what I 'know'. I'm also hoping I can get a better idea of pronunciation of some words that Duo seems to make me question. Moments in which I'm not sure If I'm hearing it correctly) So I'm hoping I can have a one-on-one Q & A soon.

          And thanks for your input. It helps me understand the structure better.

          May 27, 2016

          https://www.duolingo.com/Theron126

          Obviously if you have a native speaker to talk to, make the most of it. But for pronunciations you aren't sure on, it's also worth checking Forvo.com. They have pronunciations of thousands of Russian words by human native speakers.

          May 27, 2016

          https://www.duolingo.com/BillEverett

          I think there is a danger in learning from one native speaker. In terms of recognizing the meaning in a speech stream, no native speaker provides an adequate sample of "correct" pronunciation. The "correct" pronunciation is what is common to the multitude of native speakers, and each individual native speaker provides a mixture of the common features and individual characteristics peculiar to that speaker (which is why we are able to distinguish which friend is speaking, or if it is not a friend, we can at least usually make good guesses about sex, age, education level, state of health or emotions, etc.). Given a large number of samples of different people speaking, the brain at a level well below conscious processing works out what is common and sets aside what is peculiar to an individual. Working with a limited sample of native speakers, that level of brain processing can easily lock onto individual peculiarities instead of common features of pronunciation.

          I experienced a small problem from this effect when I first visited Russia. I found it easy to understand people in St. Petersburg, but people in Moscow seem to be talking with a mouth full of каша, making it difficult for me to understand them. The majority of native speakers that I had been talking with before visiting Russia were from the Magadan region, and for historical reasons, the pronunciation in the Magadan region was very similar to the St. Petersburg pronunciation.

          May 29, 2016

          https://www.duolingo.com/Akuhime-sama

          Oh thank you for the tip. I'll definitely check the site out. I mainly wanted one-on-one for pronunciation, in the sense that, if I am with someone in person who is a native speaker, I can have direct feedback if I'm pronouncing things right. I want to perfect saying the words. I have trouble (i feel) pronouncing some of the words that they say on duo, because they say them so fast that I can't break the sounds down, and the duo speaker's pronunciation doesn't exactly match up with the spelling, and I want to know if that's JUST duo having issues, or if it is ACTUALLY pronounced the way I'm hearing it. This is why if I'm in person with a native speaker, I can practice saying the words, and get immediate feedback.

          May 29, 2016

          https://www.duolingo.com/JanF

          Immediate feedback on pronunciation would kill a conversation. I certainly can't learn like that. I want to have some kind of fluency first and fix up the mistakes later.

          May 29, 2016

          https://www.duolingo.com/Akuhime-sama

          @JanF: No no, we wouldn't be having a conversation, I was talking about if I had the ability to ask a native speaker if I'm pronouncing words right, to know HOW to say the words that I'm not entirely sure if Duo is just saying too fast, or skipping over sounds. The immediate feedback would be me asking if things are right, and, in the event that Duo isn't stressing a sound that looks like it should be pronounced, a native speaker can tell me "YES, you can say it that way."

          Basically, I'm talking about Q and A, where if I have a concern about the way a word is pronounced, I can have my QUESTIONS ANSWERED, immediately, so I KNOW I'm saying it right.

          May 30, 2016

          https://www.duolingo.com/Theron126

          No, "есть" as an infinitive is strictly "to eat".

          May 26, 2016

          https://www.duolingo.com/AlejaKitty

          Why cant be hen?

          January 4, 2017

          https://www.duolingo.com/detailaddict

          A hen refers to a live animal, whereas "chicken" in the context of eating implies the flesh thereof. Most people don't care to eat live hens so the phrase "I can't eat hen" is not used in English - unless there's some reason that one could eat the flesh of a rooster but not a hen.

          June 4, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/FranciscoA332796

          Спасибо огромное!

          June 4, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/FranciscoA332796

          I am wondering the same. Hola Alejandra!

          June 4, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/Marcos282612

          Sad

          April 19, 2017

          https://www.duolingo.com/Rus_Ivan

          Eating chicken is not allowed for me - is it wrong? Why?

          November 8, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/JerryMcCarthy99

          Not really English as it would be normally spoken. "It is not allowed for me to eat chicken" would be closer to a regular English statement.

          February 20, 2019

          https://www.duolingo.com/LuisaAbrahamyan

          Wasn't ест without ь when it means 'eat' ? And у меня есть with ь

          January 20, 2016

          https://www.duolingo.com/Theron126

          "ест" is the third person singular form, "he/she eats". The infinitive "to eat" is "есть".

          January 20, 2016

          https://www.duolingo.com/ClovisStoc

          but is there some clues to know if it's "to have" or "to eat" ? in "у вас есть пиво ?" it's not the verb "to eat" ... ?

          March 4, 2016

          https://www.duolingo.com/Theron126

          Usually, probably always, only one will make sense in context. In phrases like "у вас есть" - the infinitive "to eat" here makes no sense. In this sentence, "мне нельзя есть" - "мне нельзя" is used with the infinitive of the verb. "Есть" is only the infinitive of the verb "to eat", the infinitive of "to be" is "быть".

          March 4, 2016

          https://www.duolingo.com/ClovisStoc

          спасибо мой друг !

          March 4, 2016

          https://www.duolingo.com/sple00

          "Hen" was not allowed as translation. What is the difference between курица and цыплёнок? Are they equal?

          March 10, 2016

          https://www.duolingo.com/MarkCurtis9

          I believe "курица" can translate to chicken or hen, but if you're talking about the meat, rather than the bird, then you would generally say "chicken" in English.

          I've not come across "цыплёнок" before, but Wiktionary translates it as chick, or young chicken.

          March 23, 2016

          https://www.duolingo.com/voevodsky

          Wictionary is right. Also you can meet цыпленок as a part of the dish names, but generally speaking, like in the sentence above, we still use курица. Moreover! In Saint Petersburg we use кура as meet, but other Russians don't understand us.

          March 27, 2016

          https://www.duolingo.com/nahuatl1939

          thanks a lot. So you are Russian ? that's good news for me. I see you also speak German ( niemietsky ) Ja, ist und isst ist fast wie est' und est. Mein problem war nur wegen DUOLINGO Uebersetzung. Ya gavariou pa frantsusky . ne gavariu pa russkii, tolku natchinayu ! Paka i spasiba.

          March 27, 2016

          https://www.duolingo.com/voevodsky

          I studied both French and German long time ago, and gave up. So I decided to renew them both with Duolingo. My French was better, so I decided to start with it, and then return to the language of Goethe :). I'm Russian, and I work as English tour-guide.

          March 27, 2016

          https://www.duolingo.com/nahuatl1939

          tres interessant. Je suis Suisse de langue francaise et je vis en Amerique du Sud ( Equateur et Perou) depuis 1992.. Ici au Perou je vis en Amazonie, ville de Pucallpa ( 350.000 habitants) et je supervise l'hotel d'un vieil ami Suisse. Je m'occupe particulierement des touristes etrangers. C'est pour ca que je veux apprendre le Russe car nous avons regulierement des clients de votre pays. Meilleures salutations.

          March 27, 2016

          https://www.duolingo.com/nahuatl1939

          I have a question : : how much money does one need to live decently in Russia, renting a flat for 6 months, eating at home, electricity, heating, internet, cel phone, eating out.. Not necessarily in Moscow or St.Peterburg but not lost in the woods either!

          June 13, 2017

          https://www.duolingo.com/voevodsky

          Желаю успехов в изучении русского языка! It is great, how Duolingo brings together so many different people ! And welcome to Saint Petersburg !

          March 27, 2016

          https://www.duolingo.com/littlegreygal

          I couldn't agree more with you there! I'm part Russian but have been raised in the UK and it's so interesting to hear people not just discuss the language on Duolingo, but the culture, customs, and all sorts of cool things!

          March 27, 2016

          https://www.duolingo.com/Poesia3

          "Eating chicken is not allowed to me." Is there a problem with this translation?

          May 25, 2016

          https://www.duolingo.com/Theron126

          It sounds very unnatural in English.

          May 26, 2016

          https://www.duolingo.com/websmasha

          I cannot remember cannot, so I made a way of remembering it, which is- I cannot nail зя. Which is nailing the letters зя on a wall or something, I guess.

          June 10, 2017

          https://www.duolingo.com/websmasha

          I also heard that there's another version, не умеет. I saw it on a Duolingo sentence

          June 10, 2017

          https://www.duolingo.com/Jeffrey855877

          That seems unlikely. (Он/она) умеет is 3rd person singular of "to know how to", so while it could mean "he/she cannot", the phrase connotes a lack of ability or knowledge, and not knowing how to eat chicken seems like a really weird context for this sentence, which naturally implies that the person has a food allergy or an aversion to eating chicken, such as being a vegetarian.

          July 6, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/nahuatl1939

          why does DUO give I CAN'T HAVE CHICKEN as the correct translation ??? when here it says I CAN'T EAT CHICKEN which is what I wrote and DUO said WRONG !!

          July 27, 2017

          https://www.duolingo.com/Jeffrey855877

          "Have chicken" is much too indefinite and broad. There are many ways of having chicken, but very few of eating it.

          July 6, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/Gummidipuundi

          "It is impossible for me to eat chicken" should be correct, no? I've learned that нельзя is the exact opposite of можно, so 'not possible' seems good to me.

          June 12, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/Jeffrey855877

          Under what circumstances would it be impossible for you to eat chicken? Translations need to make sense, so even if a word is a possible translation, that doesn't mean it should be used for any particular translation.

          While I've seen comments in other contexts where "impossible" is a viable translation, it really doesn't make much sense in this context. People might not be able to eat chicken without getting sick, but it is still possible for them to eat it.

          July 6, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/Jay-The-Durg

          Ya vegetarianskiy.

          October 7, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/ArkadiKl

          Очковтирательство

          November 26, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/White524419

          Why i cannot use "hen" word?

          December 27, 2018

          https://www.duolingo.com/JerryMcCarthy99

          "Hen" is very much a word which farmers might use when discussing their flocks, but nobody discussing their eating habits would use the word "hen".

          February 20, 2019

          https://www.duolingo.com/azriman

          "I cannot eat hen" - why doesn't it work? You use "hen" translation of "курица" in other tests as a main translation, not chicken!

          June 16, 2019

          https://www.duolingo.com/JerryMcCarthy99

          As I wrote just three months ago, "Hen" is very much a word which farmers might use when discussing their flocks, but nobody discussing their eating habits would use the word "hen".

          June 17, 2019

          https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy

          JerryMcCarthy99

          You are correct. If you did say ... I eat hen... people would start asking you questions.

          You eat only hens???

          How can you tell when it is served if it was a hen or not??

          Is there some difference about them that I should know about when eating chicken???

          June 17, 2019

          https://www.duolingo.com/JerryMcCarthy99

          Thanks :-). I think confusion arises because some languages use a word that looks like "hen" for a "order-chicken-in-a-restaurant" word. For example, German has "Hähnchen" as a food word.

          June 17, 2019

          https://www.duolingo.com/azriman

          Confusion arises by different reason. Duolingo uses 'hen' in other tests in "курица" meaning. This word (hen) was really new for me and I was surprised with 'hen' translation of "курица" as I always used chicken for it. Then I started using 'hen' in tests here. I was surprised again, in this test with wrong translation.

          June 17, 2019
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