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  5. "You are not allowed to swim …

"You are not allowed to swim here."

Translation:Du darfst hier nicht schwimmen.

March 14, 2013



Why not Du darfst nicht hier schwimmen?


It's actually more complicated to explain than you'd think.
German uses "time-manner-place" word order.
For example:

"Today, I am going to the city with my brother." - „Ich gehe heute (time) mit meinem Bruder (manner) in die Stadt. (place)“

In 2-verb sentences, the second verb gets kicked to the end of the sentence.
So, applying time-manner-place to a 2-verb sentence would be, for example, using "werden (V1) gehen (V2)":

"Tomorrow, I will go to the city with my brother." - „Ich werde morgen (time) mit meinem Bruder (manner) in die Stadt (place) gehen.“

Note - There are exceptions pertaining to emphasis. If you start a sentence with one of these 3 factors, it shows you are emphasising it, but, the other two factors remain in order. For example:

„Mit meinem Bruder werde ich morgen in die Stadt gehen.“ - "I will go to the city tomorrow with my brother. [rather than someone else ]" (manner - emphasised, time, place)

Now, nicht will usually precede verbs, much like adverbs (although "nicht" is called a 'Negationspartikel').
"Nicht" will precede the specific word that is being negated.
If there is no specific part of the sentence that is being negated, "nicht" will come at the end.
To simplify, in this scenario, "nicht verb" effectively counts as one verb in itself, so they stay together.

In this particular question, there is no time or manner, only a place, and so that place precedes the last 'verb', "nicht schwimmen".

„Du darfst hier (place) nicht schwimmen.“

You'll find that gradually, you'll develop an ear for certain word order patterns, for example:

„Ich kann den Apfel nicht essen“, or „Wir gehen heute nicht einkaufen“ are correct, whereas saying „Ich kann nicht den Apfel essen“ or „Wir gehen nicht heute einkaufen“ are wrong... unless they are unfinished sentences that lead onto something, like:
„Ich kann nicht den Apfel essen, sondern die Orange“. - "I can't eat the apple, but the orange."

Again, in the second sentence, we can use "time-manner-place" to find the correct order:

„Wir gehen heute (time) nicht einkaufen.“ (no manner or place )

I guess it's more a case of learning to recognise patterns and developing a feel for them!


Thank you, Alpog! That was very helpful!


How would the phrase be using erlauben? Du bist hier nicht erlaubt schwimmen?


U could say nicht erlaubt zu schwimmen that would be the same


I dunno, sounds weird. As if it's for someone who is doing the "allowing", e.g.:
"Ich erlaube dir nicht, hier zu schwimmen." - "I don't allow you to swim here."
Though I guess "Du bist nicht erlaubt, hier zu schwimmen" should be okay.


does this work? "hier bist du nicht zu schwimmen erlaubt"

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