"They can't paint."

Translation:Ők nem tudnak festeni.

July 20, 2016

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Is it wrong to simply say "Nem tudnak festeni" ? In general is it okay to start sentences with "nem"? I felt like I saw people start sentences with "nem" in my previous Hungarian studies, but Duolingo does not seem to accept anything that starts with "nem" and I'm wondering if it is because it is not considered correct, or if it is simply because it needs to be added.


"Nem tudnak festeni." is correct. "Ők" is optional and it's not a problem to start a sentence with "nem".


Concerning "nem": it is absolutely correct to start a sentence with a "Nem" (and similarily with a "Ne"), because Hungarian sentences start with the most important part and end with the less important one ( according to the personal view of the person who speaks). So if there is a negation, which turns a positive sentence into a negative, then this is the most imoortant part and you start with it.

Usually, Hungarians do not use the personal pronouns for these are already expressed in the endings, they only use them if they want to emphasize the person(s). The intonation given from Duolingo, however, doesn't show any emphasis and the "Ők" is redundant i.e. it is an overkill.

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Isn't the translation really " They don't know how to paint?"


No, "how" is no part of the sentence.


Can't in english means unable to do something

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