"Пусть думает что хочет."

Translation:Let him think what he wants.

November 28, 2015

117 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/jmccartin

Where is the personal pronoun in the sentence? Is 'him' actually gender neutral?

November 28, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/mightypotatoe

The pronouns are dropped but the verbs are conjugated in the third person singular so they're implied. "Let her think what she wants" would also be an acceptable translation. As well as "let it think what it wants" I suppose, though that would be a somewhat strange thing to say.

November 28, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Samiwise

Thank you very much,you are a mighty mighty potato!!

July 20, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Jeffrey855877

If it is in my house, the rule is "Let him think what she wants". :-)

May 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/potatoeglot

Let it think what it wants was considered incorrect for me [25-08-17]. I'm not sure if it was supposed to be correct, though. And yes, it does sound strange.

August 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/regexp1987

I used IT, but hasn't been accepted.

August 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Dmitry_Arch

Only a human can think. And a human is not “it”.

August 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/sagitta145

Firstly, not only humans can think. Secondly, a human baby can be an "it".

"It" should be accepted.

August 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/TomGinJP

Animals can't think?

August 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Dmitry_Arch

Babies are too young to think, and when we talk about an animal’s “thinking”, we personalize the animal and tend to refer to it as “he” or “she”. So the “it” scenario is very unlikely with the given sentence.

August 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/bboyallday

I used "them" and it wasn't accepted. Guess i gotta work on my cases.

October 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/sagitta145

"Them" would be "Пусть думают что хотят"

October 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/SS_Coyote

As sagitta145 said, "them" can be translated as plural in Russian. But it is also accepted to use "them" to denote plural possibilities rather than plural nouns. In other words, since you can use either he or she, you can replace "he or she" by "them". "The person who leaves last, whoever THEY may be, let THEM shut the light off" <-- use of the plural pronoun to denote a single person

March 17, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/sagitta145

To summarize. Translating Eng->Rus "Let him think what he wants" would be "Пусть думает что хочет". Plural does NOT mean ambiguity in Russian, it only means plural (NOT used as the gender neutral "they" in English). Translating "he" as "(они) думают" is simply wrong.

Translating Rus->Eng. "Пусть думает что хочет" -> "Let him/her think what he/she wants" or "Let them think what they want". Since in the Russian sentence it's unclear what person we're speaking about, it can be either "he" or "she" or the gender neutral "they".

March 17, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/2E3S

The Russian sentence doesn't specify the gender since the pronouns are omitted there (which is typical enough), but the English translation does require a pronoun.

November 28, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/-HystErica-

Thank you! Is the the pronoun commonly dropped in Russian, like Spanish & Italian? I've received conflicting answers regarding this...

December 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/2E3S

No, Italian drops personal pronouns more than Russian. It is more common to include a personal pronoun in Russian. However, there are cases when it's normal to omit it, "пусть" is one of them (kind of 3d person imperative).

December 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/OhItsAlex

Is in the ending of the word Я думаЮ Ты думаеШь Он/она думаЕТ So is implicit in the verb.

December 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/AndreaMark19

Agreed

September 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/PaulWellni

It is things like this that make this language pull my hair out!

February 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/grep_php_freak

I wrote "let them think what they want" (them referring to one person of course) because i didn't know the gender. this should be accepted. Either that or context should be given

December 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/mightypotatoe

You can report the sentence and in the free write section include that they/them is often used as a singular gender neutral subject in English.

December 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/peterviuz

It's possible to find a context for "them": There's someone on the phone. - Tell them I'm in a meeting. - They don't believe you! - Let them think what they want! (Or rather "They can think what they like"). However, I don't think "them" should be accepted as people are unlikely to think such a situation.

February 5, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Dmitry_Arch

The Russian sentence clearly refers to one person. So the English translation should be either "Let him think what he wants" or "Let her think what she wants". In the absence of context, they are both correct. Your version is not an option here as it allows the reference to more than one person.

June 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/grep_php_freak

Yes the Russian sentence clearly refers to one person. There is no contesting this. In English though, it is perfectly acceptable to use "them" or "they" in certain situations to refer to a single person.

June 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Dmitry_Arch

I know that. But I am trying to warn the learners of Russian against using the plural to refer to a single person, because if you do, you will sound like a servant speaking of their master: "Пусть [их благородие] думают, что хотят". That usage was common in the tsarist Russia.

June 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/jscheible

"[It] is perfectly acceptable to use "them" or "they" in certain situations to refer to a single person."

No, it's really not.

January 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/alekseimirov

Yes, really, it is in English. Ask Shakespeare and the OED, in case you need confirmation.

July 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/oaskul

Using "them" as singular is generally considered bad practice. I definitely remember getting poor marks for doing that in high school.

January 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/esalesky

It's something that's become much more accepted over time. It's more accepted in speech than in writing still, but in regular use:

http://qz.com/578937/this-year-marks-a-new-language-shift-in-how-english-speakers-use-pronouns/

January 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/grep_php_freak

On the contrary, using 'them' is perfectly normal and not bad practice if used in the right context.

January 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/zanfur

The word "them" is now considered proper for use as the gender-ambiguous singular animate indicative pronoun. It used to be bad practice, but now it's fine, as of the last couple decades.

April 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/jscheible

It's still bad practice. Especially in this case. Because the verbs are singular, not plural, the person is known, so his sex is known. The whole problem stems from people's confusing grammatical gender with anatomical sex. Take up Georgian -- it has no gender.

January 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/sagitta145

What are you talking about? Please rephrase what you wrote, because I don't understand what your statement is.

Because the verbs are singular, not plural, the person is known, so his sex is known.

The verb does not show you the gender, the pronouns do. The person is known here (3rd person singular), the sex is not known. What did you mean in this sentence?....... Therefore, several translations are possible in this case ("he" and "she"), because in Russian one can omit the pronoun while in English it's not the case.

The whole problem stems from people's confusing grammatical gender with anatomical sex.

Grammatical gender of a noun coincides with anatomical sex, if that noun represents something that has anatomical sex. Otherwise it doesn't. How is it possible to confuse? Also, what does it have to do with the sentence in this exercise?

Take up Georgian -- it has no gender.

Many languages have no grammatical gender (Georgian, English, Chinese, ...), and many do (Romance languages, German, Slavic languages, ...). Georgian is a fascinating language, I have several coworkers from Georgia. Why did you mention it here? Just as a random example of a language without gender?....

January 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/jscheible

What I mean is, anyone saying this sentence would know the person to whom he was referring, thus he would know the sex of the person to whom he was referring.

English has grammatical gender -- HE and SHE. (And ships are female.) Georgian does not. HE is ის and SHE is ის. (Pronounced EES.) Yes, just gave Georgian as a random example. I understand that some African languages have several genders.

January 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Dmitry_Arch

Given that the speaker knows who the thinker is, the thinker's sex is known to the speaker. Therefore, in this particular situation, "Let them think what they want" is not an option. It should be either 'he' or 'she'.

January 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/sagitta145

No. In English when the speaker does not know the sex of the person, it's possible to say "one" or "they". It is an option. "Let one think what one wants" or "Let them think what they want" are both fine.

It's relatively new thing, I guess. You can check some examples here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singular_they

"Somebody left their umbrella in the office."

"The patient should be told at the outset how much they will be required to pay."

In these sentences "they" still refers to one person, using it as a gender neutral pronoun to avoid saying/writing "he or she" all the time.

January 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Dmitry_Arch

I know 'they' and 'one' are used to refer to one person when there's a need to avoid saying, 'she or he'. But in "пусть думает, что хочет' there is no such need. For instance, if I am a talking about a girl, why should I say, "Let one think what one wants"? It sounds deliberately vague, and this vagueness is rendered in Russian by "Каждый волен думать, что хочет". Omission of the subject after пусть/пускай only means that the situation leaves no doubt about who the person is (i.e. both the speaker and the listener know it). So it must be either 'she' or 'he' in English.

January 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/sagitta145

The thread is too long, can't keep replying :)

The lecturer stared at me in bewilderment and asked me why it mattered. I had to explain that it was not that it mattered, but Russian simply doesn't have a gender-neuter word for a student.

Really?! In Ukrainian "студент" is the gender-neutral word! Doesn't it work so in Russian? Студентка, вчителька and so on are considered to be spoken versions that carry gender for colloquial purposes. If you speaks officially stating somebody's profession, you wouldn't say "вчителька", you would say "Вона вчитель фізики" or "Вона студент на фізичному факультеті"

January 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/jscheible

It is the same in most languages. In English, HE is the correct pronoun to use when one does not know the gender of the person is question.

January 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/sagitta145

IF you're talking about a girl, you will say "she". Depending on the context, "Let them think what they want" can be translated as "Пусть думает, что хочет" rather than "Пусть думают, что хотят". And the other way around, "Пусть думает, что хочет" can be translated as "Let him think what he wants", "Let her think what she wants", and "Let them think what they want".

The first two is when the speaker knows the gender of the person, of course you are right here. The last one is for the case when one doesn't know the gender. Or do you mean that it's never possible in Russian that the gender is not known? I think it is possible, given a context. There are gender-neutral nouns, for example, "сирота" (orphan) that can be either "he" or "she" and the speaker would just say "Пусть думает, что хочет" without the need to inquire first whether it's a boy or a girl.

January 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Dmitry_Arch

Gender-neutral words like сирота (orphan), забияка (bully), плакса (whimp), пьяница (drunkard), воображала (a smug person) in their singular form are mostly used to refer to someone whose sex is known. Although they can be used generically (e.g. Пьяница всегда найдет где выпить), the use of the verb 'думает' rules out that possibility. So, when you say, "Пусть думает, что хочет", it will be understood that you know the person's sex simply because it was clearly indicated earlier in the conversation.

January 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/sagitta145

I agree that in most of the cases the speaker does now the gender of the person they are talking about. However, I don't see how it excludes the possibility of a gender-neutral translation completely.

January 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Dmitry_Arch

After giving it a second thought, I must admit that you are right. The Russian names of certain professions (e.g. врач - medical doctor) ARE gender-neutral. So, in this dialog: - Врач думает, что больному пока рано вставать. - Пусть думает, что хочет., the person who says the last sentence may not know the doctor's gender. In that case the translation "Let them think what they want" will be justified.

January 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Dmitry_Arch

The Russian language simply doesn't leave you an option to stay gender-neutral when you speak about a particular person. I remember interpreting for one lecturer who said, "I had a student who...". Before translating the sentence I had to ask him whether the student was male or female, because in Russian we say ученик/студент or ученица/студентка, depending on the student's gender. The lecturer stared at me in bewilderment and asked me why it mattered. I had to explain that it was not that it mattered, but Russian simply doesn't have a gender-neuter word for a student.

January 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/sagitta145

jscheible, nobody was saying that using "he" is right or wrong, gender-neutral or not. We were discussing and analyzing whether a gender-neutral translation in this particular example is valid. According to me - yes, according to Dmitry - no, because his opinion is that no matter what context one chooses in Russian, the gender is always known.

January 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/jscheible

Actually, "Let him think what he wants" IS the gender-neutral translation. By the rules of English (and some other languages), one uses the masculine gender is used when he does not know the sex of the person about whom he is speaking.

My last sentence is an example. Using ONE, HIM, and HE, the sentence actually covers the possibility that the ONE of whom he speaks is female.

January 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/jscheible

The point is that anyone saying this sentence WOULD know the person he was talking about, and so would know that person's sex.

January 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/sagitta145

I'd argue that nowadays people define how grammar is, and not grammar defines how people should talk.

We don't say "you does" because it doesn't sound beautiful to us and sounds confusing. Not because there is some Grammar God who imposes these rules on us. If somehow saying "you does" became popular, everyone would say it. In German saying "wegen dir" is wrong, the correct way is "meinetwegen", but people say it anyway and it becomes the accepted version now.

When people change their habits, aesthetics etc (could be because of lack of education as well, I don't disagree with that!), the rules change. This is why there are many differences between American and British English, between in Mandarin spoken in Taiwan or in China, German spoken in Austria or in Germany etc., not only vocabulary, grammar as well.

The rules in the written language that are accepted officially follow the changes in the spoken language with a time delay, of course, if the change is popular enough to become "the truth".

If you perceive grammatical rules as instructions from above and not as convenient suggestions on how to speak clearly and beautifully, then stick to never-changing rules. I perceive it as evolution of species in biology and don't see anything wrong with changes or simplifications in the rules.

January 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/jscheible

Point being, using incorrect grammar makes one sound ignorant.

January 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/sagitta145

No, the point is, if you care unnecessarily too much about grammar, it makes you sound like you use grammar to distinguish people by class i.e. by how much money and time they have to study unnecessarily complicated grammar. "Necessarily" complicated serves the purpose of conducting your statement clearly, the "unnecessary" part makes you a snob... That is, if you claim a certain type of grammar is incorrect, which is not true in this case, because your opinion is that of the linguists from the 18 and 19th century, as mentioned in my links.

January 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/jscheible

That's what employers do. Go into a job interview and use lower-class grammar, and either you will not get the job, or the offer will be less than if you sounded educated. If getting a job, and getting the best offer you can, are unnecessary to you, then learning proper grammar is unnecessary to you.

January 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/sagitta145

You just seriously wrote "lower class"... What... Either 1) I'm scared to think how old you are and where you come from and how you come to think this way in the 21st century etc; or 2) You're a troll and nothing you wrote is your actual opinion. I prefer (2)... But in either case, I'm just going to stop right here. I thought this a discussion and a conversation, but this is not one...

Lower class... Educated... Do you seriously think education, knowledge, intellect and wisdom boil down to correct grammar... How did this deep topic even come up in Duolingo comments... And, like, discussing whether "they" is a gender-neutral pronoun (which it is in reality). I'm deeply shaken by these blunt statements of yours. Lower class... Gosh.

I hope somebody downvotes both your and my posts so that they eventually disappear and never get read, especially this last message of yours...

January 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/sagitta145

Using THEY as a singular noun is grammatically incorrect, wikipedia notwithstanding.

Unfortunately you are the only one having this opinion against everyone else :) Oh, I'm sorry, also some linguists from the 18th and 19th century.

If you don't like Wikipedia, you can scroll down the article and go to "References", "Bibliography" and "Sources of original examples". Or google out articles like this one: http://www.americandialect.org/2015-word-of-the-year-is-singular-they. Or just go talk to someone, and you will hear that they use singular they :)

Grammar changes throughout the years. We don't use "thou" anymore.

January 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/jscheible

We simply dropped the familiar "thou." That did not change the grammar. If you say, "you hast" or "thou has," you are still wrong.

Yes, grammar does not change; grammar is changed. It is predominately by the ignorant, then their ignorance becomes standard.

January 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/sagitta145

It is the same in most languages. In English, HE is the correct pronoun to use when one does not know the gender of the person is question.

I don't think so. I would say it could be so before, but now it's sort of outdated. People use "he or she", "he/she", "they" or "one"; I have never seen "he" being used when the gender is unknown, not in English. Recently everyone tries to be more PC :)

January 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/jscheible

Politically correct; grammatically incorrect! :)

January 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/sagitta145

Politically correct; grammatically incorrect! :)

Explain what you mean. None of the options listed by me are grammatically incorrect.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_(pronoun)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singular_they

He or she, he/she, (s)he etc.

January 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/jscheible

Using THEY as a singular noun is grammatically incorrect, wikipedia notwithstanding.

January 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/sagitta145

>Point being, using incorrect grammar makes one sound ignorant.

A nice TED talk for you who tried to standardize everything according to the immediate era his was born in: "Does grammar matter?" https://youtu.be/Wn_eBrIDUuc

Don't separate language from culture :)

January 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Y0RGI

There's думает which points out on 3rd person singular

August 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Memoryy721

Your wrote "Them"... them = to multiple people = they= они.

"думает"= "Думать" conjugated into the He/She/It form. It is hard to explain, so I will write out the simple list of the present tense conjugations.

1st Person Singular Думаю
2nd Person Singular Думаешь
3rd Person Singular Думает
1st Person Plural Думаем
2nd Person Plural Думаете
3rd Person Plural Думают

I hope this helped!

March 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/sagitta145

Please follow the discussion below by Dmitry_Arch, me and other people. The English sentence written above ("Let them think what they want") uses "they" as a singular pronoun (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singular_they). The discussion is not whether "he" in Russian can be translated as "they" in general (answer: yes, it can). The problem was, can it be translated this way in this particular context.

March 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Memoryy721

Aha! I was confused about why this was being argued when it seemed to be a simple topic to me. Thanks ))

March 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/sagitta145

No problem :D Apparently, this is confusing to all of us here x)

March 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/trajan2trajan2

I thought "что" can also be translated as "that". How would one translate "Let him think that he wants"?

May 31, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/sagitta145

Very cool question. Yes, indeed it can mean both in the sentence without "пусть".

I was also thinking whether there is any difference between "Он думает, что он хочет" and "Он думает, что хочет" and whether there is a comma needed there (I thought there should be one) and whether the comma would change the meaning etc etc etc

I think there are no difference at all no matter how you put it. Maybe intonations could clarify them, but otherwise - only context.

With пусть somehow I would say "Пусть думает что хочет" for "Let him think what he wants" and "Пусть думает, что он хочет" for "Let him think that he wants [it]"

June 1, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Dmitry_Arch

"Let him think that he wants [it]" = Пусть думает, что он этого хочет. To avoid ambuguity, a stress mark is often put above O in 'что' when the word means 'what'. Some forty years ago it was a must in all Russian publications. There is a difference in pronunciation, too. When что means 'that', the letter 'о' is pronounced as shwa (so что sounds similar to "-shed a". in "washed a car").

June 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/trajan2trajan2

Hmm, interesting that it is so ambiguous.

June 2, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/NekiCovek

Why is "Let him think whatever he wants." not accepted, doesn't it mean the same?

November 10, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/sagitta145

OK, I'd say it can be accepted.

To emphasize the feeling "whatever" I would also phrase it as "Пусть что хочет, то и думает". Just shuffling words around, but creates a "whatever" flavour :)

November 10, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/NekiCovek

Thanks for your reply. Can you please help me understand the structure of that sentence, it sounds unnatural to me (my native language is Serbian, and I can't make it sound good there either with this word order). Or do I have to just memorize it like that?

November 11, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/sagitta145

The second sentence is just a reshuffling of the previous one... Somehow the word order changes the feeling, putting "хочет" at the beginning instead of the end. It's a common pattern, "что... то и ..."

"Сделал то, что сказал" (did what he said, neutral statement). "Что сказал, то и сделал" (the same meaning, but emphasizing it, said it - did it!).

In the case of the sentence here, "Пусть думает, что хочет" sounds neutral and soft to me; "Пусть что хочет — то и думает" (I put the dash here to show the pause and the intonation) sounds more upset, aggressive or daring, "pffff, who cares, let him think whatever he wants, duh"

November 11, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/NekiCovek

Thanks a lot for the explanation :)

November 11, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/brFVUUDS

"Let him think what he likes." is more conversational English.

February 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/carosas

Could infinitive "думать" be used or would that construction be incorrect in Russian?

July 25, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Dmitry_Arch

Пусть/пускай cannot be followed by an infinitive.

July 25, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/carosas

Спасибо.

July 25, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/redbluerat

The audio is really hard to transcribe. The text to speech is awful.

December 10, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Jeffrey855877

Still awful. пусть isn't even "legible" (or whatever the aural equivalent of that word is, since it pertains to writing). After playing the thing like 10 times, I got everything except the first word. And now, after coming back for a 2nd look-see, it is still not "legible" - the т isn't being pronounced, for one.

I can understand if this were a more advanced course, where we'd maybe be able to fill in the aural blanks, but it's important now for things to be pronounced fully and correctly. This isn't one of the those times.

So, I'm reporting it.

May 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Dmitry_Arch

When it is followed by another word starting with a consonant, пусть is pronounced as пусь or пузь depending on whether the first consonant of the following word is voiceless or voiced. In other words, the phrase "пусть думают" is supposed to sound like "пузь думают" where пузь sounds somewhat similar to "poois". Think of missing out "t" in "don't know" in speech. That's the same phenomenon.

May 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/jruota

Is "пусть" imperative?

January 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Guenter212784

See the explanation given by Dmitry_Arch further above.

January 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/sagitta145

Пусть is not a verb, it's a special particle.

(I think to type this takes the same time as "See the explanation..." :D )

January 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Sagie

In English "let" is always used with a verb in a bare infinitive form. In this Russian sentence I can see the adjunct verb is conjugated in a 3rd person singular present form. Is this always the case? What if we let "them" (explicitly, e.g. "пусть им") instead of the implied "him/her"? How would the verb be conjugated then?

February 10, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/peachtree2

I think that we would be saying пусть они думают что хотят based on the model that wiktionary provides, пусть being a "participle" rather than a sort of weak undirected command like English formulates it.

Closer to:

"let/allowed that he thinks what he wants"

Rather than:

"let (command directed at listener, or at 'fate') him (object) think (infinitive) what he wants.

I too was wondering if something like this ever exists:

пускай его думать что хочет

Because actually the current wiktionary article says "let + direct object + infinitive" but then gives the example "пусть он пи́шет"

edited: Thanks for the correction Dmitry

February 15, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Dmitry_Arch

Пусть думают, что хотят. (Хотеть is irregular: хочу, хочешь, хочет, but хотим, хотите, хотят)

June 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Tultag

This sentence is great for communication.. Пусть делают что хотят

June 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/RogerRivero0

How do you write Let HER think what she wants?

July 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Dmitry_Arch

Пусть [она] думает что хочет. "Думает" is not gender sensitive, so "Пусть думает, что хочет" can be interpreted either as "Let him think what he wants" or as "Let her think what she wants", depending on the context.

July 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Jeffrey855877

It really should depend on context. Since there's no context, either gender should be acceptable in the English translation.

May 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Ramdrive.sys

Let him think about what he wants. - why is this not a correct solution?

August 5, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/sagitta145

Because it has a slightly different meaning, in English as well.

Your sentence would translate to "Пусть думает про то, что (он) хочет".

Furthermore, I'd say without "он" it means he knows what he wants to think about; with "он" it means he doesn't and needs to think "What do i want?"

This is so confusing.

August 5, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Dmitry_Arch

Better still, Пусть/пускай думает, о чём хочет.

November 11, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/sagitta145

I think it has already been discussed that the meaning is slightly different.

Пусть думает, что хочет - Let him think whatever he wants

Пусть думает, о чём хочет - Let him think about whatever he wants

Slight difference of feeling. Thinking about something is a kind of "activity", thinking something is a more about an opinion.

November 11, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Ramdrive.sys

My native language is not English but Slovak so I do not find Russian hard, however:

Said sentence in Slovak would be:

Nech si myslí, čo chce.

or

Nechajte ho, nech si myslí čo chce.

The Russian sentence seems closer to the first variant.

You are right, it has a different meaning.

August 5, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Jeffrey855877

What does Пусть come from?

I found a verb pair пускать / пустить (to let, allow, permit; to let go, release; to let in; to launch, start, set off), but there's no verb form in the conjugation table which matches пусть. The imperatives are:

Imperative
Informal- ты пуска́й / пусти́
Formal or Plural - вы пуска́йте / пусти́те

May 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Dmitry_Arch

Historically, пусть used to be a short form пусти. These days it is perceived as some kind of interjection or special particle. In modern Russian, пусть is interchangeable with пускай except the latter may also be used as the imperative of пускать in various meanings.

May 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/RikVlasblom

Would this sentence only be used when the other person (or reflective to oneself; thought) knows whom is being talked about? Otherwise, I can't see how to translate something that is unknown hehe.

June 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Dmitry_Arch

You are right.

June 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/sagitta145

I couldn't really understand what you meant, sorry :')

Who is the "other person" in this sentence? The speaker? In the Duolingo sentence there are two people: the speaker, and the "he". That's about as much as I can comment since I didn't get the rest :)

June 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Dmitry_Arch

The sentence itself is about one and the same person. Whether that person is male or female, the Russian wording is the same: neither «она» or «он» is mentioned in the Russian version. “The other person” mentioned by RikVlasblom is the addressee(s) of the sentence. Whoever that person is or whoever those people are, it is assumed that they know who the speaker is talking about.

June 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/sagitta145

So, you think this is what Rik was asking about? If it is, then your comment answers it. My comment was that I'm not sure if he's asking about this, or what he's asking about at all :)

June 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/RikVlasblom

"Пусть думает что хочет." Translation: Let [ ? ] think what [ ? ] wants.


Well, in this sentence not much information is given. So there are multiple possibilities for a translation result. Each of them could be right and wrong.

I can imagine a speaker (#1) talking with a person (#2) about another person (#3 he/she/it). Or even an "it", as in a robot or an animal of some kind that can be thought of being able to think.

I can also imagine "the speaker" (#1) talking or thinking to the self (#1) about (#3 he/she/it).

In any case, I don't think it is up to the translater to fill in the blanks. May be this translation just requires us to go one step up the abstraction ladder, by using "person" or even "entity" :-).

Let this person think what this person wants. Or any of the he/she/it variants...

You know, some people (rare) are actually "one entity". Literally being stuck to "eachother".

June 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Crejb

Why is пусть in the infinitive? Could you conjugate it for ты or вы or should it only be in the infinitive

July 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Dmitry_Arch

«Пусть» is not an infinitive, but a special particle derived from the perfective verb «пустить». In fact, historically, пусть is a frozen shortened version of the imperative form «пусти» meaning “let go”. A colloquial alternative to пусть is пускай, which can also be the imperative form of the imperfective verb «пускать» (literally, “to launch””).

July 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/deesnoop

Let one think what one wants should be accepted i think.

September 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Dmitry_Arch

No. We do not omit the pronoun unless the person in question has been mentioned earlier in the conversation. Thus omission of the subject implies that the person’s sex is known to us. “One” is therefore ruled out.

September 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/sagitta145

"Let one think what one wants" is a general statement, and not a statement about a particular person. For these cases "they" is used in Russian: Пусть думают что хотят. Or e.g. "What does one do when there is no water?" can be phrased as "Что делают когда нет воды?"

October 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Ryanobt

"Думает" and "хочет" are conjugated for he/she/it. So: "Let him/her/it think what he/she/it wants" will do, depending what the situation is. Like, the person saying this could be refering to a guy, a girl, or an alien monster for all we know. (Alien monster being the "it")

For DuoLingo's sake though, in this situation, "him" or "her" works. "It" does not. For now at least, as of 11/27/2018.

November 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Guenter212784

Why is "let him believe what he wants" not accepted? The meaning of the sentence is clear, of course (in German you would say "Lass ihn glauben/denken, was er will").

December 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/sagitta145

I think it's only interchangeable in German where "Ich glaube..." basically means "I think..." and not literally "I believe..."

I think in English it's more literal, so "let him believe what he wants" (sounds more like we're talking about faith and religion, or one's beliefs) is different from "let him think what he wants" (simply thinking and having opinions).

I might be wrong though, not a native speaker of English...

January 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Donald135335

What is wrong with "Let people think what they want? In English this could be either a single person or plural since it is an abstract statement in the first place.

January 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/sagitta145

That would be "Пусть думают что хотят" (using plural like that in Russian is similar to "one" in English as in "Let one think what he wants") or "Пусть люди думают что хотят". "Let him think..." refers to a specific person, "Let people think..." refers to all the people.

January 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/DARYL2103

problem with this is that in English(UK, US, etc) 'them' is perfectly acceptable in the singular when the gender(or lack thereof) of the person is not yet defined or is so unimportant it is omitted from context

obviously this is not the same for Russian where 'they/them' has its own conjugation so cannot be used interchangeably like English

March 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Jeffrey855877

Honi soit qui mal y pense

May 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Dmitry_Arch

Hont

May 22, 2018
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