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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"?

January 11, 2013


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.

January 11, 2013


Here is the link:

February 12, 2013


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.

January 20, 2013


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.

January 20, 2013


Thank you for this information. It is really helpful.

April 29, 2013


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

August 22, 2015


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)

September 10, 2015


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

November 9, 2015


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.

November 9, 2016


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

August 12, 2013


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

August 12, 2013


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

August 12, 2013


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"

August 13, 2013


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

January 13, 2015


I said that and it was counted wrong.

August 22, 2015


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."

March 17, 2015


It is no longer accepted.

November 9, 2016


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

May 17, 2014


"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"?

September 17, 2013


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

September 17, 2013



September 18, 2013


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

March 2, 2016


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

April 27, 2015


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

December 22, 2015


Could this also be said: Du brauchst nicht aussagen.

October 24, 2016


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?

June 1, 2017


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

February 21, 2014


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"?

May 17, 2014


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.

May 17, 2014


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

December 13, 2014


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.

February 20, 2015


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

February 20, 2015


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)

September 12, 2015


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

December 10, 2015


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

June 3, 2016


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

August 27, 2017


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

September 7, 2017


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

September 1, 2018
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