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  5. "Nie muszę rozmawiać."

"Nie muszę rozmawiać."

Translation:I do not have to talk.

August 8, 2016



In English, "I must not talk" and "I do not have to talk" are different. How do you distinguish the two meanings in Polish? Can you say "Muszę nie rozmawiać"?


Nie muszę is "I don't have to".

"Muszę nie rozmawiać" - could sometimes work as "I must not", but it is not a natural thing to say.

We usually just say "Nie mogę"=I can't , or "nie wolno mi"=I am not allowed


In Belarusian we have the same verb "мусіць" and at when negating it is quite ambiguous whether you would mean "must not" and "don't have to" by it. Swapping word order like you have suggested helps but does not guarantee the desired meaning all the time, so normally if I want to make sure I am understood I paraphrase it.


I fail to see why "I must not talk" can't work here.


That's "Nie mogę".

Positive "must" and "have to" mean more or less the same, but negative "must not" and "not have to" are quite different.


Wouldn't "nie mogę" be "i can't" though?


Both. "I must not" isn't really different in meaning to "I can't". To a Polish person, at least.


What about the usage of mieć? Nie mam rozmawiać


"mieć" can sometimes work similarly to "musieć", but definitely not here. And I think it's closer to "be supposed to".

"Mam się z nim spotkać" - I am supposed to meet with him.

"Mam z nim nie rozmawiać" - I am supposed not to talk with him.


My first inclination was, I don't have to speak.


Speak and talk, when you speak, you talk.


Both should have worked.


You can speak without talking.


"You got to cry without weeping, talk without speaking, scream without raising your voice"

Running to Stand Still – U2


Bono doesn't strike me as having enough self-discipline to do any of those things.


Well, that was 35 years ago...


Really? Oh... It's not fair, time can't fly so fast... I remember all that music and songs like i heard them yesterday. U2, and even Red Hot Chili Peppers:), i remember even Kurt Cobain in good health and wellness... Unbelievable... By the way, i think the theme of modal verbs is one of the most complicated and confusing in every language, too many nuances, imho:)

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