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  5. "You cannot see another stude…

"You cannot see another student's test."


August 2, 2017



Would this translate better as "You musn't see another students test."

I always get that feeling from いけません。


Agreed, "cannot" is not an accurate translation of ikemasen.


Cannot would mean できません.


Obviously, you can't deny people their sight unless you blindfold them, but you can tell them that they are not allowed to look at something.

"Must not look at" would be clearer although I don't personally have any issue with cannot being used as a prohibition. That may be regional. Others may feel that musn't look or may not look would be more appropriate.

According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, cannot indicates either lack of ability -or- lack of permission/not allowed. It depends on the context.

  • can not/cannot = to be unable (できません) or not allowed to (Te form + は+いけません or いけない)

  • "can (PERMISSION) to be allowed to" (Te form + もいい)

"If you have the authority to grant permission, てもいいです or てはいけません would be appropriate."

p.s. The negative te form of the verb なくてはいけません or なくてはいけない means "you must do something"or "It's not okay if you don't do it."


Agreed, but it would be "look at", not "see".


In deep dark theory, but in practice English speakers rarely say it like this. Language evolves, prescriptivism doesn't last long. This is the much more realistic English translation.


I've heard that the contraction musn't is common in British English and Australia (and possibly other places), but it's rarely if ever used in the US or Canada. "Must not" is common.


"You cannot see another student's test." means that you literally can NOT see another student's test, as in all other tests are on the other side of a wall from you.

What they want here is "You MUST NOT LOOK at another student's test", although I'd rather it said "You must not look at your neighbor's test".


I agree that "you cannot see another student's test" speaks more to one's physical ability to view the test . But I accept "You cannot LOOK AT another student's test" as a statement prohibiting cheating, although you may not look at another student's test is a bit better. As a native English speaker (and former teacher :-)) I find "You must not see another's test" to be odd. What I see when I open my eyes is not under my control, but what I look at is.


I would have used 見えません here. Does anyone know how that would be different?

Also why is it spelled '見て' here and not '見って'?


見えません implies that you are physically unable to see it.

見って is simply incorrect as 見る is a る verb.

る verbs' て form conjugates verb stem + て

う verbs on the other hand, such as 帰る, conjugate as verb stem + って, 帰って in this case.


To me, in English, "You cannot see another student's test" means that you cannot physically see it. Agree with the first comment in the thread above.


見る is a ru-verb so the te-form of it would be 見て。U-verbs that end in つ、う、or sometimes る have the stressed って such as in 買って、which is the te-form of 買う。


instead of ”学生” the correct word would be ”生徒”

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