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  5. "I do not want to imagine it."

"I do not want to imagine it."

Translation:Ich will es mir nicht vorstellen.

January 8, 2013



What do you need the "mir" for? I understand what it means, but I'm just wondering why "Ich will es nicht vorstellen." is not correct.


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


OK - I understand that it's reflexive - but why is it "mir" (dative), & not "mich" (accusative)? (And I thought French was hard. . .)


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.


Für mich -> mir


Acusative -> Dative


Exactly like in Russian (представлять себе)... Yet another similarity!


Ah, so it's like merken, then.


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.


I forgot the "mir" and got offered to solutions: "Ich will es mir nicht vorstellen" and "Ich will mir es nicht vorstellen". Is there any difference between them? Emphasis or something?


I am not native, but some other user who speaks German fluently, pointed out that when there both dir. and indirect objects are pronouns, direct object has to come first, so technically the correct sentence should be "Ich will es(DO) mir(IO) nicht vorstellen".


Is the word "vorstellen" a separable verb?


Yes, it is, because the stress is on the prefix: VORstellen.


Why is it mir instead of mich?


Check christian's answer above


can't we use imaginieren here ?


I've never heard that word in German.

If someone used it, I would understand it but would think that the speaker is trying to be terribly posh.


Dude, Mandela effect, i though the same word existed as well.


It does exist, it's just not really used anymore.


Why does nicht not go at the end of the sentence, in this case?


I thought 'vorstellen' meant introduce not 'imagine'


I thought 'vorstellen' meant introduce not 'imagine'

jemanden vorstellen = introduce someone

sich vorstellen = introduce oneself

sich etwas vorstellen = imagine something


"Ich will es nicht nicht einbilden" is not correct? Isn't that more literal in the meaning of actually picturing in your head?


What's the difference between "Ich will es mir nicht vorstellen" and "Ich will nicht es mir vorstellen"? Is the latter grammatically wrong, or just has another meaning?


"das will ich nicht vorstellen" - why is it incorrect? (besides the reflexive pro)


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.


Thanks again Mizinamo! you're on the ball as usual ......


@Austin Hugenberg

Einbilden is more like "imaginary" than "imagine" in terms of seeing things that aren't there in reality, delusions.

I'm not a native speaker, but in Dutch we use similar words and usually our version of 'einbilden' is used in a negative sense.


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


"Das will ich nicht mir vorstellen", is this incorrect? Does the nicht have to go right next to the vorstellen?


"Das will ich nicht mir vorstellen", is this incorrect?

Yes. Using nicht mir sounds as if you don't want to put the idea into your own imagination but into someone else's imagination.

Also, personal pronouns such as mir generally come as close to the main verb (here: will) as possible.

Both leading to Das will ich mir nicht vorstellen.


Maybe the note about personal pronouns being placed as close as possible to the main verb will help me sort out the word order at times!! Thanks!


Duo give us the literal translation aswell like memrise, it makes it easier to remember. That just looks like gibberish to me "I want it me not imagine"?


Vorstellen means to present, not to imagine. In German, instead of saying "I imagine something" they often say "I present something to myself" (which basically means "I imagine").

The other thing you need to know is that word order is different in every language. In Spanish, for instance they would say "You are a person nice." But when you translate that into English, you should say "You are a nice person", because we put our adjectives before the nouns they describe instead of after.

In German, they always put the conjugated verb in the second position. Any infinitive verbs after that should go at the end of the sentence. For example, In English we say, "I want to go to Germany." "Want" is the conjugated verb and "to go" is an infinitive verb. So in German they would say, "I want to Germany to go." or auf Deutsch, "Ich will nach Deutschland gehen."

So this LITERALLY means: "I do not want to present it to myself." or a better translation: "I do not want to imagine it."


"Ich will nicht, sich es vorzustellen." should be accepted.


Stelle dich vor, es gibt keine Länder . . . (John Lennon)

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