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  5. "Du musst nicht aussagen."

"Du musst nicht aussagen."

Translation:You do not have to testify.

January 11, 2013



Can this sentence be translated both to: "You MUST NOT testify" as well as "You DON'T HAVE to testify"?


No, it can't. Even though the words look similar, "du musst nicht" does not mean "you must not".

You must = Du musst


You must not = Du darfst nicht

You don't have to = Du musst nicht

PS: Unfortunately, a direct link doesn't work, but if you google "Don't get lulled into thinking that muss nicht is equivalent to must not", you'll find a slightly longer explanation.


Thank you for this reminder. I put in must not and was marked right but when I saw the other allowed answer was don't have to, I realised they had very different meanings. Now I remember your explanation from german grammar lessons. Thank you again for your great input.


You're welcome :). It's definitely a mistake by Duolingo. Incidentally, when I was writing my explanation I remembered that we also discussed this in our English lessons at school in Germany because it's a mistake that Germans make in English too.


Du darfst nicht = you may not ? Which is different from you must not.


You have to (must) = Du musst

You don't have to = You need not = Du musst nicht = Du brauchst nicht

You must = Du musst (as above)

You must not (prohibition) = Du darfst nicht

You may = Du darfst

You may not = You are not allowed to = Du darfst nicht (as above)


How can you tell that "nicht" modifies "musst" and not "aussagen"?


You mean, how do I say "You have to not testify"? Perhaps "Du musst kein Aussagen geben" or whatever the correct version of that is. But otherwise the negative applies to inflected verb.


Thank you, that's actually really going to help me by demarking these in my mind so that 'muss' = 'have to' and 'darf' = 'may'.


Thank you for this information. It is really helpful.


well it is now accepting you must not testify as an answer :S


As it always did, see the discussion above. It's still wrong, though.


ah ha thanks yep i read the part of the book above and understand now.... just need to remeber than mussen = to have to and not must


It's fine to translate 'to must' to 'müssen'. The problem arises only with the negation. In German the 'nicht' is interpreted as negating the 'müssen', in English the 'not' is interpreted as the thing your are obliged to (~ "you must refrain from..."). So: "You must not" = "Du darfst nicht", "You don't have to"="Du musst nicht"


There's nothing to gain in translating "mussen" with "must". "Have to" is the natural translation, and it avoids the mistakes.


I said that and it was counted wrong.


I wrote "You must not testify" and it was marked correct...this has a co pletely different meaning from "You don't have to testify."


It is no longer accepted.


In English, "you must" means that it's compulsory. The opposite is that it's not compulsory. So the German means what logic dictates that it would mean. The English is hard to explain.


I also am curious - is aussagen always testify? Could it be used for "speak out"?


"You don't have to testify" is correct, but "you don't have to say" is wrong, although, if you peak, it also states "to say" for "aussagen"?


The intransitive form of the verb is used exclusively in law contexts. It's a technical term and means 'to testify'. Unfortunately, duo's dictionary is rather poor. I recommend using Pons instead: http://is.gd/uUoW8h


I understand we have to learn 'every' verb at some point. But is there really nothing more important to learn before "testify"?


I really hope I don't need to use this phrase.


I find the male voice so difficult to understand at times, is it only me?


No, not only you. He (the male voice) speaks quickly, and mumbles, and slurs.


"You needn't testify" was not accepted. That's wrong!


Could this also be said: Du brauchst nicht aussagen.


Why is 'speak out' not accepted? To me 'to testify' is just a more formal version of 'to speak out'. 'Speak out' is also a more literal translation of 'aussagen'. Is this duolingo, or am i incorrect here?


doesn't it have to be: "du brauchst nicht auszusagen"?


I thought ß is always preferred over "ss", and that you should use "ss" only when your device cannot produce the ß. Yet I keep getting ß marked as an error. I typed "Du mußt night aussagen." DL says it is almost correct and my computer underlines it with red squiggly lines. What is the rule for when to use ß versus "ss"?


I found an answer to my question on the Internet here: http://german.about.com/library/weekly/aa092898.htm It says ""For the sharp (voiceless) [s] after a long vowel or diphthong one writes ß, as long as no other consonant follows in the word stem." Do read the entire article - it is interesting.


No, the relatively recent German language reforms replaced "ß" in a lot of words with "ss" so now "ß" is only used in certain circumstances (I think when proceeded by long vowel sounds?) It's worth reading up on.

For example: "musst", "Fluss", BUT "Fuß", "Straße"

More examples: http://german.about.com/od/writinggerman/a/When-To-Use-S-Ss-Or-Ss.htm


The logic behind this is straightforward: a vowel followed by a single consonant is long, while a vowel followed by two consonants is short. SS is two consonants, ß is just one.


Yes, it appears when the sound is preceded by a long vowel or a diphthong.


Did it sound like there was a "die" thrown in to anyone (not in the slowmode part)? 'Cause it sounded like "Du musst die nicht aussagen" to me (which I was confused about)

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Du wusst nich aussagen, is accepted what is wusst? ;)


I have a problem with the male voice always dropping at the end of the sentence. I can't make out the last word!


So musst is "have to" not 'must'. Du musst nicht is more like 'you do not must'

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