"I do not want to imagine it."
Translation:Ich will es mir nicht vorstellen.
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It's a reflexive verb. If you omit the reflexive pronoun, the verb has a different meaning. Your sentence means "I don't want to present it".
sich etwas vorstellen = to imagine something
etwas vorstellen = to present something
The reflexive pronoun is in the dative case since there is already an accusative object (es).
NOW I understand! Thanks for this link - it's what a lesson on this ( & many other topics, I presume) should be. It'll probably take me a while to work through it, so Duo is going to have to wait! I'll look there for Modal verbs too - not doing very well at all on them with just Duo's exercises.
You can understand it by considering it literally, i.e., "I dont want to present it to me." Here "presenting to oneself" would be like "imagining ". In other languages too, like Spanish, a good example of this type would be "Me pregunto" which literally means "I ask myself" but really means "I wonder." You can see the similarity in meanings.
My excuses, this is a little rant. I was told that German does not care much for word order as declinations are used to show/know what is each word function in the sentence. So why is it that Duo does not accept: Ich will nicht es mir vorstellen. Would a German speaking person understand it?
They'd probably understand it, much as an English speaker would probably understand "I not want it imagine."
German word order is not completely free, so "does not care much" is overstating things.
You can rearrange some parts of a sentence due to inflections, but not others -- for example, verbs and adverbs have fairly fixed places in a sentence while nouns are easier to move around.
What are the rules for the placement of these adjectives and adverbs in a sentence? Why is the order 'es mir nicht' rather than 'mir es nicht' or 'nicht es mir' or 'es nicht mir'? Is it just something that comes from trial and error with no defined rules? I'm just guessing.
I think your question is a combination of 2 questions - one is the placement of the pronouns, the other the placement of 'nicht.' I'm not very good with the 'nicht' placement myself, although I remember that Deutsch Aber Hallo's a2 pdf discusses some of the rules for it.
Regarding the pronouns, check this out: https://www.thoughtco.com/sentence-structure-accusative-and-dative-1444619
Why is "Ich möchte nicht vorstellen" wrong!
That would mean "I do not want to present."
to imagine something is sich etwas vorstellen -- it's reflexive in German, as if you're presenting it to yourself.
Thus you need Ich möchte es mir nicht vorstellen. for "I do not want to imagine it."
Warum nicht "imaginieren"
I have never heard anyone say imaginieren.
You would sound extremely "wannabe posh" to me if you tried to.
Like someone who said Ist denn das die Possibilität!
It used to be a lot more common to use French-derived words, especially if you wanted to sound aristocratic or educated, but that has gone down considerably.
But isn't imaginieren just a scholarly word, thus another level of language? – not to confuse with an aristocratic attitude! Würde ein Philosoph oder Psychoanalytiker z.B. nicht so sagen oder schreiben?
»Ein Zustand ohne Kunst ist nicht zu imaginieren«
- Friedrich Nietzsches frühe Skizze zu einer Ästhetik der Moderne, von Renate Reschke 1999
Goce Smilevski imaginiert das Leben von Sigmund Freuds Schwester Adolfine als Roman. 2013 Quelle
Wie erstaunlich und seltsam sie sind – unsere Kinder. Wir Erwachsene lernen ihre Spiele kennen, ihre imaginierten Freunde und erträumten Länder, aber ihre Fragen fordern uns heraus.
»Bin das ich?« von Wolfram Eilenberger, 2021
These examples among many show that the use of "imaginieren" is current and demonstrate why Duo should accept the translation "ich will es nicht imaginieren", z.B. als eine Antwort auf die Frage : "Und was denkst du an ein Leben ohne Kunst?".
Does it translate to "I myself cannot imagine it"? Since mir is included?
"to imagine something" is sich etwas vorstellen -- the verb is reflexive in German.
You might translate it literally as "place something in front of yourself" or "present something to yourself".
"I myself ..." would be ich selber ... or ich selbst ....
Another verb that is reflexive in German but not in English is "remember" = sich erinnern (literally, "remind oneself").