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  5. "Sabes que no te lo voy a imp…

"Sabes que no te lo voy a impedir."

Translation:You know that I am not going to prevent you from it.

February 5, 2013



The translation sounds odd, it needs something like "prevent you from doing it".


The problem is that the correspondence between the object pronouns in the Spanish and English sentences here is not straightforward, because the verb schemas of the Spanish ‘impedir’ and the English ”prevent” are incompatible: The Spanish verb ‘impedir’ always takes the thwarted person (‘te’ here) as the indirect object, while the English “prevent” always takes the thwarted person (“you” here) as the direct object. An English verb with similar meaning and verb schema is “spoil”: “You know that I'm not going to spoil it (‘lo’) for you (‘te’).


I had not read your comment when I wrote mine. I think perhaps we are on somewhat similar if not exactly the same wave length. I always appreciate hearing an analysis by a linguist but at least review my comment if you have time. I think "te" is an indirect object for sure as I stated above. Also think "lo" is a direct object and refers to something which both the speaker and the person spoken to would clearly know. We are hampered because we do not know the antecedent of "lo". That antecedent might be something like "going to Hell' ! ( I only had two years of Latin but still find it helpful.


True. But the "doing" part would need a verb in Spanish that is not there.


It is highly unlikely that the english translation given would ever be used by an educated native English speaker.


What you say is true, but may not be the point. Are we actually trying to translate or are we trying to learn Spanish? Those are slightly different goals. I feel sure the Spanish construction is correct, and feel certain that most of us would not use this particular translation, however the English sentence is useful to show that "it" is referred to in the Spanish sentence. How you accomplish these divergent goals in one lesson example is not an easy problem to solve.


Got it (almost) right - except for the "from it" bit. Simply didn't know how to fit in the "lo", there being nothing to indicate a "from". Enjoyed reading the comments though.


"Prevent you from it" is not proper English under any circumstances.


You are absolutely correct, arturohiero -- unless it is a viable idiomatic exception to the grammar rules governing prevent:



The fact that there is a English word derived from Latin doesn't mean it's a good choice. Consider this example in "Alice's adventures in Wonderland" "In that case, said the Dodo solemnly, I move that the meeting adjourn, for immediate adoption of more energetic remedies" you can recognize french words :solennelle, ajourner,immédiat, adoption,énergétique,remèdes. That is why the Eaglet replied "Speak English" All the words are "English", but they sound awkward and pompous to a native speaker.


I agree with your premise, but solely on the basis that context dictates what's appropriate. When translating, for example, a legal or medical document, it is absolutely a good choice to use the equivalent Latinic based English words. Matching the intended style of the original ought to come before personal stylistic preferences, at least in my opinion anyway.

Now, there are situations where either both Anglo-Saxon and Latin based words could be swapped out, keeping the original meaning intact; prevent and impede are both Latinic, so I guess they don't provide a good example. But in cases where either root is acceptable, I think maintaining consistency is paramount. With almost 60% of the English language deriving from Latin and French, I think it's a matter of opinion as to what is more pompous, i.e. using Anglo-Saxon only terms or Franco/Latinic terms.

Here's an interesting graph of the makeup of English:



So without a gerund or similar thing, this sounds really weird. "I'm not going to prevent you from swimming" for instance sounds find. But without context we assume "it" is a person/place/thing rather than an action, in which case we'd probably say, for example, "I'm not going to keep you from your son." It would be very unusual bordering on wrong to say "I'm not going to prevent you from the park."


You're absolutely right, vandermonde. The definition involves the use of something happening, or a gerun. There may however be idiomatic usage of "prevent you from it:"


I do agree it's awkward, and grammatically incorrect (unless it's a valid exception). When I dug deeper, I found a more clear definition of prevent:

http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/american/prevent http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/prevent http://oald8.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/dictionary/prevent

Duolingo may have erred on this one, if it's not idiomatic. If it is, then it's perfectly acceptable, regardless of grammar rules.


So what´s the difference? In the latest sentence it was marked as wrong to translate " prevent you from it" (The " from " was incorrect!). But now it´s ok!

What`s the explanation for this?


They were wrong before, and they corrected their software.


yes, very confusing stuff...


My problem is I don't really think "from" is implicit in the concept of "prevent" or "impede". The "te lo" really threw me. I translated it as "you know that I am not going to prevent you it". Why isn't a preposition required? ("de lo"?)


The confusion here that I see, is about "te," which does not mean "you," rather "to you."

Here's a translation with a portion of it made a bit more literal (but not grammatically correct):

You know that I am not going to prevent it to you.

The direct object "lo" receives the action from the verb "impedir." The indirect object of "impedir" here is "te," which means "to you."

So we see that the Spanish grammar "mindset" is a bit different from English. As AndreasWitnstein pointed out, it's not natural (and I believe just plain incorrect) to use "to" as opposed to "from" with the verbs "prevent" and "impede."

As we narrow in on a better translation, we try the following, which also misses the mark:

You know that I am not going to *prevent it from you.

This sentence, though grammatically correct, is not natural in English. Thus we are left with the following:

You know that I am not going to *prevent you from it.

*prevent - impede is perfectly acceptable as well.


My answer word for word. I was pleasantly surprised it was accepted.


No preposition is required because in Spanish, ‘impedir’ takes the impediment as the direct object. You're right, the English verbs “prevent” and “impede” don't take a “from…” prepositional phrase. A more-accurate translation of the indirect object of ‘impedir’ would be “for”, but that's likely to be misinterpreted as “on your behalf”; “to” would also be more accurate, but seems just as unnatural as “from”.


A lot of discussion about this, but surely the aim is to understand what is being said. Spanish is my first attempt at learning a new language, I only want to know what real people (especially in south america) are saying, and be able to read. So "You know I won't stop you" or similar should be correct.


I think the better translation is I am not going to prevent it for you. I think"lo" is a direct object and "te" an indirect object. I do not think "lo" can be translated as "from it".Let us assume a child is about to be expelled from school. If that were the case, the sentence would mean "You know I am not going to prevent it for you." In this case I suspect that 'lo' would refer to the child's being expelled from school. Translating the "te " as "for You" in such a sentence makes literal sense and I suspect that in a face to face confrontation the child would know that to be the case. If my example is contextually correct the child would also know precisely what "lo" stood for. Finally I think "te'' should probably not be translated at all but rather be understood by the person trying to render the sentence in English.


If one had to translate this sentence using the English verb “prevent”, then I agree that “I am not going to prevent it for you.” would be a more-idiomatic translation, even though it reverses the roles of the direct and indirect objects. I'm frankly surprised at the huge number of hits Google shows for "prevent you from it", as jwilson pointed out. I don't recall ever hearing anyone say that without the dummy verb “doing”, as lesliewilman commented.


I took the sense of 'prevent you from it' and tried to think how I would say it in English. The result was 'keep you from it' which (to my surprise) was accepted. It would be interesting to see if 'prevent you from doing it' would be accepted but I want to get to where there are more future tenses.


I've read the comments below and still cannot make any sense of the sentence, in either Spanish or English (my native language). So I'm going to throw in my suggestion for an interpretation of the sentence, since a direct translation does not seem to be possible. How about "You know that I am not going to stand in your way." (?)


That would be ‘Sabes que no te voy a impedir.’, without the direct-object pronoun ‘lo’ in the Spanish.


Yes, but the subject of 'lo' is implied.


impede- obstaculizar


This sentence should be deleted from Duo. It is a heart robber that doesn't teach a lesson.


A better question might be, "Como se dice en espanol, 'You know that I am not going to prevent you from DOING it?'" Maybe, "Sabes que no te voy a impedir a hacerlo."


I've been fine up to this point but I was completely unable to parse this sentence


Yeah, Spanish clitics and prepositions are a bear.


Could this also be translate this as "you know that I won't prevent it from you"? (DL says no, but I am curious what other people have to say)


DL probably didn't accept "won't" as a replacement for "not going to." In order for "I won't prevent it from you" to be acceptable, the Spanish would have to be, "no te lo impediré." As for "it from you" vs. "you from it," I think the intent in the Spanish is the latter, but I'd imagine that DL would have accepted, "you know that I won't prevent it from you."


So, is the answer "...prevent IT from you" ( what I wrote but incorrect according to DL) OR "...prevent YOU from it" ( correct according to DL and others above) or are they interchangeable? Does it matter the order of te and lo ie would it ever be " lo te"? Thanks.


Neither answer in English is "dictionary" correct, but both answers show up a significant number of times in a Google search. The most grammatically sound translation into English would be "...prevent you from doing it", or perhaps "...keep it from you".

As for the Spanish pronouns "te lo", the order does matter in Spanish: the indirect object must precede the direct object.

I found an interesting link to a mirror discussion here:


They had an excellent explanation of the difficulty of translating the Spanish sentence into English.

Also, this discussion hits pretty high in a google search:



Second and fourth place respectively. :)


DL sentence does not make sense. it is better to say ' you know that i am not going to prevent you from doing it'


"You know that I'm not going to impede you" should definitely be accepted. Or "You know I'm not going to stand in your way." This emphasis on literal word-for-word translation is a big drawback in DL (otherwise an excellent program though).


but then you forget about "lo"


is the "from it" really necessary? It's awkward in ingles. you might say "Prevent you from doing it", though. I said "stop you".


Had to combine my objects with the verb (impedírselo) to search the term, but these examples will indicate how the construction is meant to be understood. http://m.linguee.es/espanol-ingles/search?source=auto&query=impedírselo+


word order feels so awkward in this one... "you know that not you it I am going to prevent"... my brain aches now.


You know I'm not going to stop you. Accepted.


duolingo your English here is messed up!!


I have read all the comments and I still don't know what the sentence means either in Spanish or English!


There is no "from" to be found in the Spanish part of this


This English sentence sucks. It is very VERY unnatural.


no native English speaker would ever say this


Duo also accepts: "You know that I won't stop you."

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