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  5. "Du kannst nicht "nein" sagen…

"Du kannst nicht "nein" sagen."

Translation:You cannot say "no".

February 5, 2013

222 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chessdragonboge

first quotation in a duolingo sentence


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tyskagudN

5 years later and they still say it's wrong if you don't use the quotation marks....


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zeebadz10

When you get a listening-->writing excercise how are you supposed to know that quotation marks must be used? Duolingo doesn't care about punctuation anywhere esle so why make a big deal out if it here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/imtezcan

My thoughts exactly. You don't need to put a question mark in questions, why should I care about quotation marks here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/changaputi74

Precisely, I got it wrong for that as well.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Derpyleafeon

I think the fact it says "sagen" might be a give away


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/steer70

My answer is "You can not say "nein"" is marked wrong. with "" I think should not be translated, and "can not" should be same as "cannot"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/otto703012

Agreed. I got the question right but they pointed out that "can not" should be "cannot." I could be completely wrong on this, but I think "can not" is acceptable.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ziggy8392

Eh, it's not great English to say "can not" instead of "cannot." The former has snarky connotations like if you asked "can I play video games?" and the response is like "uh, you can NOT play video games."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CaseyBahr

Only in writing and colloquially there is no difference. This is splitting hairs and should not be marked wrong when we are trying to learn German, not English. Bad Duo! Also, got marked wrong because I did not include the quotation marks. Duo doesn't bother marking capitalization or misplaced/missing commas, so why mess with us on this?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Markqz
  • 1883

This is the only Duo question I've encountered where punctuation matters. My guess is that whoever input the question didn't know how to work around quotes-within-quotes. There are, unfortunately, certain Duo questions where you have to memorize the required answer to get past them because someone has made an executive decision that only that solution is acceptable.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Puett

Indeed - who can hear quotation marks??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NeoTubNinja

@Puett

Indeed - who can hear quotation marks??

I can't hear capital letters, commas or apostrophes, but I can somehow still add them when necessary.

If you heard the sentence, "You cannot say 'You shall not pass!'", would you also ignore putting the relevant text in quotes because you "couldn't hear the quotation marks"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NikolaSchildberg

I was also marked wrong for this, but I think it's better to force us on re-doing a sentence (from now on, knowing that in this sentence the right punctuation is required), than taking the risk of letting someone who hasn't understood the sentence learn wrongly how to place the "nein".

I don't know...for me, who's not a native english speaker, it seems that this sentence can give rise to much confusion, if allowed without the quotation marks. (And there are a lot of non-english-natives here between us) :)

Not sure, though.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MtFenyvesi2

You have to be really dumb thought to misunderstand this. The meaning is to make the necessary transmissions in your head to a German way of thinking. Also I've learned english in 6 mounth so even though I'm not a native speaker I'm not necessarily stupid.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/christian133090

you are completely right : here again we have a clear and cut example of Duo's method .This kind of things has been recurring umptee times , I am very critical about the "one answer only " attitude which is the LAW if you choose to jump the given levels in the same section.Fortunately Duo does not teach at American universities.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sean_T.

There are instances when "can not" is useful. Something like "You can go to the shop or you can not go to the shop, it's up to you". Think that "can not" has an element of choice.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ken335502

In that situation, the "can not" is only a coincidence. The 'not' is modifying 'go'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cyberchipz

What happened to the typical rule, "we ignore punctuation"? I didn't use quotation marks, and I was marked wrong! This seems to be the only sentence requiring punctuation!!! @mizinamo


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoBabington

I agree - cannot is a contraction of can not, as is can't


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Seiryuu

"Cannot" and "can not" aren't the same. In the former "not" is modifying "can," whereas in the latter the "not" is modifying the verb that comes after.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wayne____

The dictionary literally defines cannot as "can not."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TalGlobus

In English, contractions indicate the flow of conversation. Not using them, i.e. saying 'can not' instead of 'cannot' or 'can't' sounds robotic and unnatural, even though it may technically be correct. It's best to almost always contract when possible, as this produces the most natural English


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mmacinne

This isn't a contraction. This is a place where what used to be two words "can not", "every thing", "every one", etc, became one thing: "cannot", "everything", "everyone".

A contraction is specifically where you lose letters/syllables and use an apostrophe in their place "can't", "won't", "I'd", etc


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TalGlobus

In basically any case in which a native English speaker in casual conversation has a choice between a longer and shorter version of an English word, the speaker will more naturally choose the shorter. Lack of contractions (or such "shortenings" tends to sound overly formal, or robotic) I.e. in natural speech: will not -> won't; can not -> can't; cannot -> can't; are you not -> aren't you


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TalGlobus

Technicalities. The point remains


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mmacinne

No. Because this is only true for some words and they are very specific. It's basically just a giant list of exceptions.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shannonnz

i think you were marked wrong because you said "nein" instead of "no" . i said "can not" and i was marked right


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NeoTubNinja

It was marked as "almost correct" for me, but I still received credit.

Without thinking about it, I usually put "can not" if I don't use a contraction. Why? Because it's the simple negation of can. "Cannot" stands alone (as far as I can remember) as the only negation that concatenates the two words.

There is no such thing as willnot, shallnot, havenot, etc. You either have the verb + not or the contraction won't, shan't, haven't, etc.

So while cannot may be "more correct", it's certainly an outlier here.

Plus, when translating German into English, you always have verb+nicht. Easier when I'm "in the groove" to keep the negation as not+verb. Not to mention the number of times I've been quickly typing and hit the enter key while trying to add an apostrophe. The. Worst.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OsoGegenHest

Wrong. "Cannot" has a different spelling, pronunciation and meaning than "can not".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NeoTubNinja

If you're saying "can not", "cannot" and "can't" don't mean the same thing, then you might be a little confused as to what one of them means.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SheldonCol3

"can not" doesn't mean the same thing as "cannot".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NeoTubNinja

Have anything to support your claim?

The best thing I found in support of your cause is this article.

It states that:

Don’t use can not when you mean cannot. The only time you’re likely to see can not written as separate words is when the word “can” happens to precede some other phrase that happens to start with “not”.

We can not only break even, but also turn a profit.

It is possible to write can not, but you generally find it only as part of some other construction, such as “not only . . . but also.”

I'll admit, those are some decent examples of where can not sounds better than the contraction can't, but that's more to do with the presence of the phrase than anything. Besides ... the article goes on to say:

Can’t is a contraction of cannot, and it’s best suited for informal writing.

In formal writing and where contractions are frowned upon, use cannot.

It is possible to write can not, but you generally find it only as part of some other construction, such as “not only . . . but also.”

So it sounds like they frown upon can not, but that it's grammatically correct.

OK. So what are the definitions for all 3? I chose to use multiple dictionaries so as to have more than one source to cite.

Can't

Cannot

Can not

  • Not really much out there since it's 2 words and most sites redirect to can't or cannot. Why? Probably because it knows they mean the same thing!

Anyways, I don't need more definitions because most of those dictionaries say the same thing.

The say that can't is a contraction of cannot which is a form of can not.

The one dictionary that differs is Merriam-Webster which says both can't and cannot are forms of can not.

I hope you can provide sources if you're going to offer a rebuttal. Until then, they all mean the same thing to me and you can NOT tell me otherwise.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bob20020

No because should means sollten.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wrleckemby

surely "nein" doesn't have to be in quotation marks for this to be correct - is there possible a reason for this?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FPereira77

I just got it marked wrong for the same reason. Said exactly what was on the solution, with the difference that I didn't used the quotation marks lol sigh...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ellieshortcake

I'm sorry I can't hear quotation marks.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ellieshortcake

Sorry if that sounded mean, but I did not realize I needed to include them given that this was a listening activity for me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AdriennePi2

It didn’t sound mean, just funny.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kijkenroboter

"sagen " means "say" . so "aussagen" means "express"~


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dimaria.p

Because of the implication.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chemung416

I just got this wrong because I didn't put quotations marks around the "nein"! Really???


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shirlgirl007

Not that shocking really, since MANY others have reported the same thing already on this thread. Please make an effort to read the previous posts, before posting yourself. Often, your question will be answered, and away you go...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CaroEnrico

But the problem itself doesn't get rectified...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chicadelaire

I just forgot the "" and it is wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mike17966

I wrote "Du kannst nicht nein sagen" which was marked wrong


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

I wrote "Du kannst nicht nein sagen" which was marked wrong

Duo seems to be rather picky about quotation marks.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Charles215113

Which is annoying as hell since it doesn't give a rat's bottom about full stops, question marks and so on. And even MORE annoying when it marks your answer WRONG because you weren't aware you had to use them!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NeoTubNinja

Learning involves making mistakes, naturally. I can assure you most people who get this wrong probably don't make the same mistake as often here, or for much longer if that.

I think the same goes for words/phrases that are introduced before people "know what they are", albeit without the remembering as much. If this were old Duo and you only got the 3 hearts, I'd agree it would be rough, but at least in this version, all you have to do is remember it until the end of the lesson as anything wrong gets tacked on the end. It sucks if you lose a combo streak, but that's not the biggest loss.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/roemer

Wow! Really? I guess you're the first! ..

Oh no. Oops.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/helenvee

So my answer (which is identical with that given as the correct answer) was marked as incorrect. This is the second time this has happened in the last two days. I like Duolingo but this is just careless - and irritating.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Perseph1955

Report it. That's how DuoLingo changes and improves. Posting here is fine, but it's just venting in the end.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/iliad2000

4 years later the same problem resists :) I am reporting again with patience :)))) May be a slow improvement but no worry :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/redcatcher06

wow - nice streak by the way. Respect!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Perseph1955

Thanks! It's kind of like the instructions for living to be 100: eat one apple every day, for a hundred years.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MichM3

How would you say "You can't say no to that"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MichM3

Update 1 year later: "You can't say no to that" = "Dazu kannst du nicht nein sagen", not "zu das"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DerZorz

Zu dass du kann nicht "nein" sagen. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WILearner

That cannot be correct. The form of "können" is incorrect for using "du" and the word order is not accurate. I also think the wrong "that" is used. Unfortunately, my German is not strong enough to come up with a proper alternative, other than to say "You can't say 'no'" and "You can't say 'no' to that" convey very similar sentiments, so "Du kannst nicht 'nein' sagen" should work. Hopefully a native German speaker can come and respond to the question better.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NeoTubNinja

For all intents and purposes, I believe you're right. In normal conversation, to that would be implied based on whatever you're talking about. But just like English can make both of those sentences, German should be able to as well.

My guess is something similar to what he had would work.

"Zu das, kannst du nicht "nein" sagen."

You have the original and just add the subordinate clause to that. Of course I'm not a native German speaker, so there could be something more colloquial like Über das that is used instead.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/roemer

I can definitely say "nein" to your sentence :D sooo many mistakes ...

Just joking! Keep learning and keep on making mistakes, it's the best way to learn!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Moselle137872

I typed: du kannst nicht nein sagen. I know this does not have correct punctuation. However, Duolingo needs to be consistent - why I am required to use quotation marks here, when I don't even need to properly use umlauts or punctuate any other sentence? My answer should be accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FilipKV

The quotation marks requirement is ridiculous


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BertrandDog

I don't think the German quotation marks look like that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Deficere2

Ah, the shady sentences are back!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IsabelleSa530946

So skipping apostrophes, punctuation, accents,... in every other sentence is ok. But missing the " makes your answer marked wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DonnMacCar

I typed it without the quotes and it was marked wrong. Give me a break.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FranciszekM

No!! This was my last question on my checkpoint and silly quotations stopped me from passing it! :( They didn't even change it after 7 YEARS


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/saintsauve1

Been there, done that. My deepest sympathy. There are a few like that, usually lurking at the important points. There’s one with quotes about a book title. Watch out for it!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/charodeika

I answered: You cannot say 'no' - why is it incorrect?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cephalium

The sam thing happened to me. I'll report it!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Edem777

I wrote it as well and it has been accepted. Maybe it is because of quotation marks. I used double mark: "no" (whatever it is called). You maybe used single one. It is just a theory :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cephalium

The double inverted commas have nothing to do with it. Duolingo just needs some education now and again!.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/XoooOverdose

Haha agreed but at least it's free! :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jetsu1337

"Double inverted commas" are called apostrophes, and using them to quote something is incorrect unless the quote is within another quote...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DanielStermer

Hi Jetsu-

You might want to clarify that what you said is only true of British English. In American English, it is correct to put quotations in double quotes, and quotations within quotations in single quotes.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CaroEnrico

Hi Daniel, I'm British, and that was actually the rule I was taught in Britain.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/adlihtam

Why not 'You cannot say "nein".' ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/roemer

Because you did not translate 'nein'. As simple as that. If you translate a text (i.e. a novel), you translate everything, also the stuff within quotes.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stasha52

Mine shows that because I don't have quotation marks around nein, it is wrong. How can you tell by listening to the voice that they are there?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Perseph1955

You know because the sentence is structured as a quote. Same rules as in English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shirlgirl007

Is this not ok without the quotation marks? I could swear we had this sentence a bit earlier, without any quotation marks. And I think it works fine without them.. Help??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kranix

The version without the quotation marks was accepted for me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SteffieSproat

Lack of punctuation has always been ignored in Duo. Therefore why was I marked as wrong for omitting speech marks?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MikhailAre1

It does not accept «nein» or »nein«, only "nein" which is ridiculous. It's been a YEAR


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/UndeadOndi

I was finally able to get it counted correct when I spelled it out, instead of using the given words. I think it might be because it's wanting the "" around the word nein.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pola382263

After listening a dozen times or so I know that I type exactly what they are saying but they mark it wrong. Something is off here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

but they mark it wrong

Please show a screenshot with the exact error message. Thank you.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RoseOndine

I honestly can't take screenshots with my phone. It marked it correct once I typed it out and could put the quotation marks around nein, so I think it has something to do with the quotation marks.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Markqz
  • 1883

Why does "nicht" not go before "sagen", as in all the other modal examples?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndrisK.

I wrote "Du kannst nicht nein sagen," and it was marked incorrect! Reported.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/julieford13

I wrote 'du kannst nicht nein sagen' and was marked wrong, I guess the 'nein' should have been in apostrophes!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AdriennePi2

Du kannst nicht “nein” sagen.

This is exactly what I wrote and it came back as incorrect. I’m not sure how to report it because it doesn’t fit any of the proposed categories. Could it be that it doesn’t like my quotation marks?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NeoTubNinja

Actually, it seems like most people here have the opposite problem as you. They get marked incorrect for excluding single or double quotes. Might just be a buggy sentence. I wish I could try myself, but I don't feel I've personally seen this sentence in years :(


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MadDog4711

Putting nein into double quotes makes it correct??? Don't think so. rather wrong on the Dulingo side!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gransview

First time ever it was marked wrong by mistake.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gabrielle474586

This is very messed up -- for the listening response I wrote the correct sentence without quotation marks around 'nein' and it was marked as incorrect.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/carinab3

wrote du kannst nicht nein sagen, and it was wrong just because its missing the "" -.- my god


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Atheia

du kannst nicht nein sagen - was marked wrong (listening test), apparently I should have used speech marks? Even though duolingo has never cared about punctuation before.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Charles215113

I answered: Du kannst nicht nein sagen - and got marked wrong. How the **** am I supposed to know to wrap the "nein" in quote marks? The answer was right and should have been marked such.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobynJacks7

I had no quotation marks so it was not accepted. It should have been!! Its not meant to question our punctuation, but our German. Not I am a native English speaker and former teacher of English. In the reverse situation I would not expect quotation marks around no, because I was not testing their punctuation, but their English!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NeoTubNinja

Why is it not meant to question punctuation?

I actually think it's rather generous of Duolingo to allow you to generally submit without the correct punctuation. Yet, I myself still add punctuation, commas and apostrophes where required for most of my sentences, all of which I believe Duolingo is willing to forgive a person on. And it's because of this I think most people have the knee-jerk reaction of hating the requirements for correctly submitting this sentence.

If you would be required to put quotes around it in English class, you should be required to here. This sentence is like vegetables at the dinner table. A lot of people don't want to eat them, but they are good for you and will be beneficial to you down the line.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AdriennePi2

The issue is the inconsistency. I usually punctuate my Duolingo responses correctly. However, given that it doesn’t appear to be required anywhere else, it makes no sense to suddenly require it here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CaroEnrico

It's about consistency, Neo. To use your analogy, why is Duo happy for us not to eat our vegetables most of the time, and then suddenly penalises us out of the blue for not eating them?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NeoTubNinja

It's about consistency, Neo. To use your analogy, why is Duo happy for us not to eat our vegetables most of the time, and then suddenly penalises us out of the blue for not eating them?

I'm all for consistency. In fact, if there were another sentence in this tree that had quotes and didn't require them, that would bug me. But you're comparing all vegetables as if they were equal. Asparagus isn't the same as iceberg lettuce.

Periods - You don't need periods to tell when the sentence ends here. There's never more than one sentence at a time here, so requiring a period seems irrelevant. They don't use periods for abbreviation, so that's irrelevant.

Capitalization - Once again, with only one sentence at a time capitalizing the first letter is less important. I don't believe Duo marks uncapitalized German nouns as incorrect (keeping with the consistency you seem to think is lacking) even though I think it should be marked incorrect, but that's just me.

Commas - I don't think they mark it as incorrect when it's excluded, but once again, I think they are fairly consistent across the board from what I remember. Also, you can usually differentiate different clauses based on the arrangement of verbs and conjunctions used.

Apostrophes - I believe excluding these gets answers marked as incorrect, as it should. They add meaning to the sentence the previous punctuation didn't quite have. "It's" vs "Its", "We're" vs "Were", etc.

Quotes - I've literally only seen one sentence that requires quotes. It's this one. It separates "nein" from the rest of the sentence and should be required. It's not like the other punctuation.

You see how you can have a different opinion based on the punctuation used and not have some stupid unilateral opinion for all punctuation because you couldn't do nuance? Quotes are the asparagus, periods the iceberg lettuce.

What it really comes down to is people just not wanting to learn things properly. Just do it. It's like turning on your turn signal. If you do it enough, you won't have to come to the comments section to complain because you don't learn from your mistakes.

It's the height of first world problems to complain about having to put quotes in your translation when using a free language app while people are dying in the thousands due to a pandemic. What do the two have in common? Nothing, but if people put this much effort into caring about real things, this world would be a better place.

Have you read the comments here?! Most of the people who complain about the quotes write one-off sentences that replicate what others have already said a hundred times over. They add nothing of value. They're not the kind of person to see if somebody already made the same comment. Instead, they want to do the least amount of work, get their opinion out and move on.

If you can find another sentence in the German tree that does quotes a different way, by all means show me. Especially if they mark your sentence as incorrect for including them. I'm open to changing my opinion, but I have yet to see another sentence like this in ANY language tree.

Instead of changing this, another option is to just learn to do things correctly so that when you're actually writing something important, you don't look like a moron, but that's just me. You do you, but is this the hill you really want to die on? Is this a battle worth fighting? How often do you encounter this sentence that it's really worth the effort reduce the amount of time you spend on it by a couple of seconds?

You know, I started following this thread not because I got this question incorrect (I had fantastic English teachers), but because I wanted to see why there were so many comments and to play Devil's advocate. Little did I know it would be 4 years of babies complaining about the same thing. And hey, I have nothing against babies. I just want to discuss language with other adults.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/saintsauve1

There’s an exercise in which the sentence to be translated is: Er schrieb ein Buch mit dem « Sprachen » Or possibly the other way round, He wrote a book with the title « Languages » I don’t recall which way round. However the quotation marks were required for a correct answer, but my «  .. » ones were not accepted. I enjoy doing my daily Duo, I’m at 740 odd days, which would have been over a thousand had I not been up a mountain when my streak saver ended. My only serious gripe is the insistence on American usage exclusively for words like round/around etc. Thanks for moderating. It must be a thankless task at times


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/triklogl

Yes, of course it would be better if we had to be more rigorous.

But far less fun. People want to have fun, so if they had to be too much more precise, and lose time to think about capital letters or punctuation, it would be boring.

I'm as lazy as "these people", I admit. Of course there are worse things in life than losing a heart because you forgot quotation marks.

But why do they demand them here and not everywhere else? Asparagus and brioche for everybody!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Luise162040

counting this as incorrect because of missing quotation marks is old-fashioned.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DancingLass

I was marked wrong only because I didn't use quotation marks in the German sentence. In other places, in the same kind of sentence, Duolingo does not use quotation marks. I just wish Duo would be consistent.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hsengivnajar

Well i think it is abnormal that in the answer the have to be these "". Because technically it is right to just write nein and not "nein"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Avi__S
  • 1205

I answered: du kannst nicht nein sagen, it said I was wrong because it's: du kannst nicht "nein" sagen.

Why mark the answer as wrong for quotation marks???


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/changaputi74

Same! It should be right without speech marks


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/changaputi74

I got it wrong for not putting speech marks even though it was a listening question :(


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KelvinBouma

'Du kannst nicht nein sagen' is marked incorrect. That should not happen for such a minor difference compared to 'Du kannst nicht "nein" sagen'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joefeyzullah

whoa answers without ""'s not accepted


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/iongantas

As if we're supposed to hear air quotes >:-[


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/triklogl

either punctuation everywhere or nowhere please!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CaroEnrico

Wow, a rare case where Duo insists on correct punctuation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CaroEnrico

Having said that, I don't think the quotation marks are obligatory anyway.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MeHigh11

Duo wants the "..." quotations. Using „...” quotations doesn't cut it for Duo, no siree.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ajapam

Ich habe ihm ein Angebot gegeben, das er nicht ausschlagen konnte


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Carolus_BR

Why do I say "Du kannst nicht nein sagen", but "Du kannst mich nicht sehen", that is, why do I have these two different positions for the adverb nicht?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NeoTubNinja

Hopefully somebody will correct me if this isn't accurate, but I believe it's because you can be so flexible with the word order assuming all the verbs are in the right place. I believe "Du kannst nicht mich sehen." is also valid.

I couldn't find anything here about why it would be written "Du kannst mich nicht sehen": http://german.about.com/od/grammar/a/The-Position-Of-Nicht.htm


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Carolus_BR

Thanks a lot, Neo! That was all too helpful!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DanielStermer

Nicht is an adverb. If the sentence has a direct/indirect object, like "mich" in your sentence above, this always goes before adverbs.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Carolus_BR

Oh, ok! So it doesn't have anything to do with the adverb itself, but with the presence of a direct/indirect object. Thus, I could figure "Du kannst mir nicht helfen" is the proper choice. Am I right?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DBasar

Wouldn't "nicht", in this sentence, come right before the infinitive verb; thus making it: "Du kannst "nein" nicht sagen"? Or is "nicht" there simply because it spesifically negates "nein"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EgotisticalRaven

You should always be able to say 'no', it doesn't matter what Duo tells you, you always have the option.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zest16

Don't they have the inverted quotation marks, which look like this: „…“?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kranix

In proper, edited text, yes, they do. However, keyboards rarely have these marks, so they have to be converted to the proper ones by some program. Duolingo doesn't have one such.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TurgutUnal

I wrote: "Du kannst nicht nein sagen" and IT WAS MARKED WRONG!ALL I DID WAS WRITE NEIN WITHOUT THE QUOTATION MARKS!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shirlgirl007

What about the spelling of sagen?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TurgutUnal

When I answered I wrote it right, here I got it wrong, when I was mad


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shirlgirl007

Oh, so it seems they just wanted the quotation marks, I guess..


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TurgutUnal

Yeah, so do I...It's kind of strange though, it should've been accepted "almost correct" as it usually says when you make a typo :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/az_p

Such problems have been fixed now, as far as I can tell! If it happens again, please submit a report :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/redcatcher06

aargh - I was going to put the speech marks in and then thought that they wouldn't be recognised lol


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BriMacPhi

My answer: Du kannst nicht nein sagen. And this was a listening one for me... thanks, duo...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Huy_Ngo

I wrote :Du kannst nich nein sagen. and it marked as wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gillana1

I refuse to discuss such a "stupid" thing, please correct immediately!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fautrel1

To complete this practice, copy and paste the given answer when your correct response has been rejected a few times!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sana303057

marked wrong for lack of quotation marks. come on duo


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mikali157

Wirklich? Between the quotes and can not vs cannot this is thoroughly frustrating. There's more than enough weird stuff to memorize without this. And, stuff like this makes it so much less fun. Especially when this is the one you miss that makes you do it again. :(


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VeraChisman

should not be penalised for omitting quotation marks


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/saintsauve1

Latest bit of fun. Knowing the insistence on quotation marks I put them in and....guess what? Wrong! But the corrected answer was exactly what I put. If I knew how to show my screenshot here, I would. I have not lost my marbles!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

If I knew how to show my screenshot here, I would.

Screenshots are always good!

Please upload your screenshot to a website somewhere (e.g. imgur, flickr, Google Docs -- anywhere as long as you can get a URL that lets everyone see the image; you might need to set the link to shareable first). Then post the URL of the image in a comment here.

Thank you!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/saintsauve1

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1OK26JCsH0XGmTwl4QmvMY44LQ4ONfy2k/view?usp=drivesdk Being a bear of little brain, I’m trusting this doesn’t give everyone access to my (empty) bank account!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

It looks as if you might have used “smart quotes” instead of "straight quotes" -- the ones in what you typed look like // to me while the ones in the correction look like ||.

(And strictly speaking, those were the wrong smart quotes for German; German has low-99 ... high-66 as in „nein“ rather than high-66 ... high-99 as in “no” in English.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/saintsauve1

Thank you for the reminder re quotation marks in German.. Given that this is such a rare instance of Duo noticing punctuation of any sort, I doubt whether the actual format is all that relevant. Few people here will have instant access to low sixty-sixes, I imagine. We are learners, after all. It just seems odd that with so many people commenting on this question, a solution has not yet been found. The only way I have found to actually complete this exercise is to get this question wrong and then copy and paste from the “correct” answer, otherwise it’s impossible to get to the end.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/theharryalan

DISGUSTING. I failed because of no speech marks? Absolutely appauling


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/saeed118

welche ist wahr? du kannst nicht nein sagen oder du kannst nein nicht sagen.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FilipTirke93

Why isn't "you can't say 'nein' " accepted....?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/theavic

How would one say "can you not say no?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mitchell290773

When do you put nein at the end of a sentence? I never know where it goes.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JudyBackho

The audio clearly says nichts, but the answer requires nicht. I think the audio needs to be corrected.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bob46196

Agreed. I listened it to it several times because I thought it should be nicht, but the audio very clearly sounds like nichts. I reported it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NeoTubNinja

I don't think it sounds like nichts. She is just enunciating the final t and I think most people are mistaking that for an s. There may be an argument for her enunciating it too much, but I don't think it's wrong.

Audio on Pons:

The first link sounds far closer to the Duolingo audio to me than the second. I don't hear any sort of z sound at the end of nicht to make me think it's nichts.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bob46196

Interesting. On my computer, it sounds more like the second audio. It may depend on the quality of our different audio systems. I'll try it on some different devices and with earbuds when I get a chance.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NeoTubNinja

You may be onto something. I only tried it on one device myself but it may be hardware dependent.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GeoSchribs

"You can't say no to that" is in German: "Sie können (or du kannst) dazu nicht nein sagen. Or: "Dazu (or zu dem) können Sie (kannst du) nicht nein sagen.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shirlgirl007

So what is the purpose of the quotation marks?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NeoTubNinja

Because like in English, you put spoken text in quotes. It's what separates it from the rest of the sentence. If it were longer and not just "no", but instead "No way, Jose!", you would proceed to do the same thing. The sentence would become 'You can't say "No way, Jose!"' Whether it is one word or a full sentence should be of no consequence.

I've never seen a conjugation of say (i.e. say, said, says) that didn't have it's corresponding text in quotes.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shirlgirl007

Yes, I think I understand your point, but the whole sentence is in quotes, with "nein" in quotes in the middle. The English translation only has "no" in quotes, which I can understand. But what is the reason the whole sentence is also in quotes?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GeoSchribs

Oh pardon, I couldn't put my comment in the right place. But my purpose of using quotation marks was to keep the translations and my notes separate. Should I let that?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WILearner

Using one set of quotation marks ["] looks out of place. Normally quotation marks always have a set a the beginning of a quote and a set at the end of a quote if quotation marks are used at all. Consequently, you should have added a set at the end of each translation or omitted them entirely. I do think it looks better with full quotation marks.

Here is what you wrote, formatted more appropriately:

"You can't say no to that" in German is "Sie können (or du kannst) dazu nicht nein sagen" or "Dazu (or zu dem) können Sie (kannst du) nicht nein sagen."

That all being said, I think that the comments in response to your original comment, GeoSchribs, actually stem from Duolingo's punctuation rather than the punctuation in your comment.

{Also, I think you meant to say "Should I leave it?" in your last comment rather than "Should I let that?"; I'm guessing that the multi-faceted German verb "lassen" is to blame for the awkward English wording.}


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Methodminus

Because of the implication...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ClareShalala

had it correct also but they marked it incorrect


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lynneo

I wrote, "Du kannst nicht nein sagen." It marked it wrong. I reported that it should be counted as correct; it may have counted it wrong, because I did not use apostrophes around "nein"??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BethDuffus1

Marked wrong for not including inverted commas around "nein"!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Scott31461

Why in "Du kannst nicht nein sagen." (You cannot say no.) are kannst and nicht next to each other, but in "Ich kann es dir nicht sagen." (I cannot tell you it.) kann and nicht are separated? In each case they mean cannot.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KaptianKaos8

In German, isn't the first double quotation marks inverted: „Like this?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

It's low 99 at the beginning, high 66 at the end, „like this“.

(Unfortunately, some fonts - tuned for English, I suppose - make the closing 66 look like \\ when the should look more like // )


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobertHJMa

'musn't' comes into this somewhere surely?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

No. können is to be able to, so du kannst nicht = you cannot.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cnews2

My answer has been correct twice now


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hilary59668

My translation was correct but the computer said it wasn’t! My first language is English and I must admit sometimes the English translations are not correct so this leads me to wonder if all the German sentences are correct too!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/az_p

It would help greatly if you click "My answer should have been accepted" under the report options. That submits it for review. Alternatively, if you want to write a comment about it here, please copy and paste your response in its entirety. I understand your frustration when things don't work as they should, but it's hard to guess what happened when we don't have the details!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pat211087

It still does not accept the answer without quotation marks around "nein". I have taken a screen shot but do not know what to do with it. Also I cannot report it as the reporting button only gives 3 options, and "my answer should be accepted" is not one of them.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hilary59668

My answer was written in German and it as word for word correct with the ‘right’ answer. I am confused.com!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shirlgirl007

If memory serves, I think at one point there was a glitch with this sentence, having to do with the quotation marks. I think the first and last ones were removed, now I see they are back again. Possibly that is another issue. I also see the English version only has quotes on the "no"...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jaynanne

Am I the only one who heard: Du kannst nichts "nein" sagen? I played it a few times on slow just to be sure and that is what I heard. Of course it was marked wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jon-dan

I would say: You can't refuse.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sune269096

Should be correct without quotation marks


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheM11Mum

So I am using a word bank and have listened to the sentence over and over and from what I have to choose from, I answer Du kannst nicht nein sagen. I am told I am incorrect. I don't have anything else available in my word bank and the answer is exactly as written above (without quotes-which I don't have in word bank). I have no option in 'report' for 'my answer should be accepted'. Is it just me?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RoseOndine

That's what happened to me as well. The only way I could get it right was to type it in by hand, thus including the quotation marks. I'm certain it's those quotation marks that's making this occur.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/legstump

Me as well. Thanks to reading your reply I got it to work. I see a mod looked at this a week ago but maybe immediately went on holidays.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WilbertHar12

The correct german was keyed in and rejected. duo needs to fix this!!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fliedermaus2

Duolingo doesn't seem to keep up with fixing the various reported problems. With all their employees, that should be a priority, I believe.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Please post a link to a screenshot.

Vague comments about "I wrote the right answer" or "there was an error" are not helpful at all.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/John537647

Once again I have been asked to write in German what I have heard and what I heard is "Do last night be in sagen". Filling up refuses to accept that. What can I do?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shirlgirl007

John, your question doesn't make any sense. Want to take another stab at it?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/John537647

I was asked to write in German what I heard from the audible file. What I heard was clearly "Du kannst nicht nein sagen". Using the word bank I did just that. Duolinguo refused to accept that as correct. Eventually I learned that I had to use the keyboard and put the word" nein" in quotation marks. This is the only time I have seen Duolinguo require punctuation marks.

By the way, I have no idea why my previous post was so garbled in transmission.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shirlgirl007

Likely you have your autocorrect enabled, and sometimes the computer autocorrects to something other than what we had intended...Particular difficulties when trying to type in a different language...


[deactivated user]

    I got it wrong because I didn't put quotation marks around the nein -_-


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Odiin

    Seeing as Duolingo doesn't care about grammatical syntax in any other scenario, it is absurd that I need to add quotation marks around "neun" to have it marked correct. This needs to be changed. I have flagged it, but there was not an appropriate box to explain what my issue was.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OverTheRinabow

    I just got this wrong as a listening exercise when the only difference between my answer and the "correct" one are quotation marks

    How in the hell am I supposed to know on a listening exercise that quotation marks are mandatory, especially when punctuation has never been relevant anywhere else?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shirlgirl007

    Please read existing comments before adding something that has already been mentioned several times. 171 comments is sufficient...


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mof2KF

    Why not "You cannot tell me "no"". Seems like the dative "me" fits this just fine.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

    Why not "You cannot tell me "no"".

    Because that's not what the German sentence means.

    Most likely, it refers to someone who always likes being helpful and never refuses when someone asks them a favor. So they "can't say 'no' (to anybody)".

    There's nothing about "me" in the German sentence.

    Seems like the dative "me" fits this just fine.

    Translations have to be not merely grammatical and sensical; they have to convey the same thought as the original as well. So you can't add ideas that are not in the original.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/christian133090

    not using the quotation marks makes one wrong : es ist völlig idiotisch und ungerecht ! Now I'm quite used to Duo's "so called" learning ways !!! One I got regular ads about Duo's excellence in learning foreign languages , they claimed that Duo was far better than American universities at learning languages to people.At the university things are at least more open , and f


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NeoTubNinja

    not using the quotation marks makes one wrong : es ist völlig idiotisch und ungerecht ! Now I'm quite used to Duo's "so called" learning ways !!! One I got regular ads about Duo's excellence in learning foreign languages , they claimed that Duo was far better than American universities at learning languages to people.At the university things are at least more open , and f

    So one set of required quotation marks on a site with multiple languages managed by multiple contributors makes this site awful? Because what, you lost a whole 10 seconds of your time?! That's the epitome of first world problems.

    It's always easy to complain at free things. Clearly you've managed to get to 25 in both German and Spanish, so it must not have been as terrible as you allude to if you made it that far.

    What I'm more concerned about are your English language skills. Have you checked out the English tree? I haven't, but I'm sure it's pretty good, just like MOST of the courses on here. Sure there are problems, but you don't throw the baby out with the bathwater ...


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/erickjorda19

    this answer wasn't accepted. what's wrong?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guran94

    i wrote du kannst nicht nein sagen and it was wrong. Weird.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

    i wrote du kannst nicht nein sagen and it was wrong.

    Duo expects the quotation marks: Du kannst nicht "nein" sagen.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guran94

    Achso, danke für die Antwort


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MicahB18

    What the heck! I got it wrong because I didn't put quotation marks. Duo, you need to get on top of that.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cyberchipz

    Nope, they're needed! Would you say that they're superflouous in English? The sentence implies that the person doesn't have the ability to say "no". Could be something wrong with his speech. "He can't say "no"!" In that case, the quotes are needed, for example. "He can't say "no", so they are giving him speech therapy."


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin964111

    Utterly ridiculous to be marked wrong for not using quotation marks.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cyberchipz

    Not true, see my post above yours! :-)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rose775133

    How am I supposed to know quotation marks are required. It’s just a statement.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/thezenbum

    wrong.. du kannst nicht nein sagen is what we hear. needs to be accepted.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SpieleRatte

    No native English speaker would feel quotation marks are necessary in this sentence.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jrgen792736

    2.1.2021 Ich habe den Satz OHNE Anführungszeichen geschrieben und er wurde akzeptiert.

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