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  5. "She does not have to eat it."

"She does not have to eat it."

Translation:Sie muss es nicht essen.

January 17, 2013



Does the suggested answer not mean: "She must not eat it."?


I've been misled by this false friend too! In English, when we negate "must", we mean that you absolutely MUST NOT do something, because "must" = very definite positive compulsion; however, in German, negating "muessen" changes it from "having to do something" just to "not having to do it". It helps to use the "have to do" translation first in your head in order to see the difference.


No, that doesn't help at all. The problem isn't confusion over what "muss" means. The problem is that the word order, specifically where "nicht" appears misleads what the sentence means. Translating "muss" as have to still gets you to "She has to not eat it." and does not get you to "She does not have to eat it."


I took a German audio course (not sure if I can say which was it here at duolingo) and its lessons deal with this matter and I remember a close example to this exercise. It was something like: how to you say "X does not have to Y" and the "audio teacher" explicitly said that one should use "Sie braucht es nicht zu..." instead of "sie muss es nicht..." The latter really sounds like "She must not..." instead of "she doesn't have to..."

I don't know whether there are any variations of this in German speaking countries but I would side the German course I took.


Yes! "She does not have to eat it" (in the sense, it is not required of her) is commonly expressed as: "Sie braucht es nicht zu essen". "Sie muss es nicht essen" is also OK


So, how would you say "She must not eat it"?


"Sie darf es nicht essen"


Thanks! Just to cover them all (☺), what would Sie soll es nicht essen be, then?


"Sollen" can have different translations into English. One of them is "she's not supposed to eat it".


Hello. What is wrong in "Sie muss nicht es essen?"


There is nothing wrong with this answer. You should report it, like I did.


Why was "Sie muss nicht es essen" marked wrong?


See above. Should be a correct answer. It is grammatical to say it either way. I reported it.


It is wrong! Right is "Sie muss es nicht essen"


What is with this word order? In other examples the (nicht) comes straight after the verb. E.g. Du musst nicht sofort gehen. Kann jemand mir helfen?


But "Sie darf das nicht essen." would be totally perfect.. still you loose a heart, because the owl wants it to be "Sie darf es nicht essen"..


For English speakers it is better to remember these translations for "müssen" and "dürfen":

ich muss - I have to (=I must)

ich muss nicht - I do not have to (but I may, if I want)

ich darf - I am allowed

ich darf nicht - I am not allowed (=I must not)

As you can see - the similarity between English "must" and German "mussen" is confusing and they do no match exactly with each other. They are false friends :)


Thank you for this explanation!

[deactivated user]

    See the comment above -- "Sie darf das nicht essen" would be "she must not eat that"; the sentence asks for "she doesn't have to eat that".


    I think because it's "eat it" rather than "eat that"


    'Sie bracht das nicht zu essen' is incorrect, why?


    Sie braucht nicht das zu essen. Your corrected sentence "She doesn't need to eat that" is a little different than the model sentence, "She does not have to eat that".


    What is the point of discussing a sentence if one is not allowed to debate the correctness of the model answer?


    No idea what you're talking about. Polite and focused discussions about the sentences are welcome and encouraged.


    There was a notice in bold and red letters that said something to the effect of "stop the clutter, don't comment, read the discussions below" If I have misinterpreted it then I apologise.


    It means that you should read the other comments before you post and make sure that you either have something to ask that hasn't already been answered or something of value to contribute. (Where "something of value" basically means "don't post random stuff that hasn't anything to do with the sentence or the language"). Questions about the sentences, grammatical constructions, the language, idiomatic use, the culture, or if you simply don't understand why a solution is correct/incorrect are highly welcome! If you have a question about a phrase that hasn't already been answered, by all means ask! :)

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