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  5. "Where can I buy a scarf?"

"Where can I buy a scarf?"

Translation:Де можна купити шарф?

March 27, 2016



What is the difference between "можна" and "я можу" in this sentence

[deactivated user]

    «Я можу» sounds a tad less natural to my ear. «Мо́жна» is impersonal, while «я мо́жу» is a personal verb, it shifts the meaning to 'you' a bit: as if you can buy a scarf in a your own places, or in your own way, compared to others.

    But the difference is very subtle, and I think both should be accepted.

    • "можна" does not refer to anyone and is best translated as "may (I, you, he, she, etc.). It is commonly used to ask permission. e.g. "May I go to the bathroom" - "Можна заходити до туалету?"

    • "я можу" refers to you and is best translated as "can". It stresses that you can do something, not John, not Mary, not Paul, etc. It is also commonly used to express an ability to do something e.g. "Чи можу я йти до туалету?" (I dunno, can you?)


    "Де я можу купити шарф" - тільки так потрібно перекладати!!!


    Why the Anglicized "шарф" instead of the Ukrainian "хустка" or "хустина" for 'scarf'??

    [deactivated user]

      «Шарф» means 'scarf', «хустка» or «хустина» mean a 'kerchief'. (At least in literary Ukrainian. I don't know much about Ukrainian dialects. This course teaches literary Ukrainian.)

      Please refer to my answer here for more info: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/15646521$comment_id=18846464


      Можна = can or may one or someone. Where can one buy a scarf? (obviously now this sounds outdated in English as we'd say I/you but it's more of a literal translation for this)


      I like your answer the best, thank you.


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