"我们不准说英语。"

Translation:We are not allowed to speak English.

December 4, 2017

44 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/DestinationVoid

为什么?

December 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/qthecats

因为我们在学中文

December 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/jim140738

ooh now it makes sense :)

August 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/George418878

Because we'll get in troubl-- oops!

December 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/FaizalZahid

Full immersion :)

February 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/varigby

因為老師好嚴格...

December 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/zhouhuanyue

因為他們在中國

August 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ToviOlivolo

在中国不能说英语吗?

September 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/xnaut

因為 Middlebury

April 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/jinjanodwan

因为野人讲英语

December 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/kongming819

"We are not allowed to speak in English" is incorrect??? WHY?

December 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Gabrielle145359

“Speak in English" is technically also correct, but "speak English" is more natural (in American English, anyway.)

April 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/IceKreamKuhn

Eh, there's a subtle difference thats extraordinarily hard to explain... They're definitely both acceptable and understood by every speaker though and should both be correct for this sentence.

June 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Gabrielle145359

I agree that they're different, but I'm not sure how to explain the difference.

March 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/PeaceJoyPancakes

In certain contexts they're effectively the same; they both mean "speak using the English language". They both work in this Duolingo sentence.

However, unlike "speak in English", "speak English" can be used not only to mean "speak, with English being the language used", but also to discuss fluency levels. "You speak English well" means that you're competent at English grammar and you have a good vocabulary.

"You speak in English well", for its part, doesn't sound natural or correct. "You speak well in English", on the other hand, is theoretically possible, but it seems to be referring to your ability to express your thoughts and be persuasive, independently of your actual fluency. And you may also be fluent in another language, say Chinese, but not particularly charming when speaking that language.

March 13, 2019

[deactivated user]

    Can't 不准 also be translated as "to forbid"? Is "we forbid speaking English" an accurate translation?

    December 25, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/PeaceJoyPancakes

    That's a good question. I think your suggestion is indeed a possible interpretation (though I believe "prohibit" or "[do] not allow" would be more likely and somewhat more accurate in terms of nuance than "forbid" – but I could be wrong).

    However, to my mind the more important question raised by your comment is whether this sentence is properly translated as "we do not allow speaking English" or "we are not allowed to speak English", which are very different in meaning.

    Examples available at Linguee suggest it may be the former rather than the latter:

    Chinese native speakers?

    April 18, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Mr.rM
    • 1498

    Both are possible. The context matters. To make it clear it is the latter (“do not allow …”), better mention the receiver of the action, e.g. 我们不准 任何人(anyone) 说英语.

    April 19, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/PeaceJoyPancakes

    Thanks!

    April 19, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/origamifish

    不准 is more like "not allowed" (a less serious attitude)

    January 29, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Johnson441380

    forbid is more like 不允许 or 禁止 in Chinese

    September 30, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/josip02

    Why is "in English" not correct?

    January 6, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/origamifish

    In chinese, you don't have to put a "in" before english

    January 29, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/PeaceJoyPancakes

    * an "in"

    March 19, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/cwmccabeMD

    Is it incorrect to translate this as "we should not speak English"?

    April 18, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/PeaceJoyPancakes

    Yes, that's wrong. This is about a clear prohibition, not a suggestion. It's stronger than "should not".

    April 18, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/cwmccabeMD

    Thanks PJP.

    April 19, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Rumactree

    Must not / mustn’t ?

    June 12, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/PeaceJoyPancakes

    It's not bad, but it's not quite accurate.

    Here "不准" specifically refers to something being not being permitted by someone else, i.e. someone other than the person whose actions are prohibited.

    "Must", on the other hand, can refer to an internal admonition. We can tell ourselves we must not do something, even if no one actually prohibits us from doing it.

    June 12, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Rumactree

    Can one also use 准 to say: 我们准说汉语 etc?

    If so, how does it differ from 可以?is it permission vs ability? Is 可以 a broader term?

    June 12, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/PeaceJoyPancakes

    My guess is that it's not used in the affirmative, but ultimately I'll have to leave these questions to Mr.rM or another native speaker. ;-)

    June 12, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Mr.rM
    • 1498

    准 is about permission, not directly related to ability. 可以 can be used for both permission and ability. More: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/25702692

    I think the monosyllabic word 准 is not common in the affirmative. 允许 and 准许 are preferred.

    June 13, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Mr.rM
    • 1498

    Also, without context I intend to interpret 我们允许(准许)说汉语 as “we allow others to speak Chinese”. Then “we are allowed to speak Chinese” should be “我们可以说汉语”.

    July 9, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/alanxoc3

    你们不准说英语 vs 你们不可以说英语 vs 你们不行说英语 vs 你们不能说英语 How are all these sentences different? I feel like they all mean "You are not allowed to speak English." But I'm not positive.

    July 8, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Mr.rM
    • 1498

    你们不行说英语 is simply weird or wrong. 不行 means “(be) not okay” and usually ends a sentence. It is not an auxiliary verb like “cannot”. This sentence sounds like “You are not okay speaking English”.

    Other sentences are just fine. 不可以 and 不能 can also mean “lose the ability to …”.

    July 9, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Rumactree

    I’m going to give this a go:

    你们不准说英语 = you are not allowed to speak (in) English = You are not permitted to speak (in) English.

    你们不可以说英语 sounds a bit odd to me .. it feels like it’s fine as a positive sentence 你们可以 (May I have a piece of cake? You may) ...but not quite native speaker level of flow to use as a negative? But = You may not speak (in) English.

    你们不行说英语 again it feels like you need to say 你们说英语?不行!or 说英语不行!不行 seems to mean “No” or “that’s not ok” or, in my last sentence: “it’s not ok to speak (in) English”. Or “it’s not going to work”. A bit easier to translate into french: ça va or ça ne va pas

    你们不能说英语 = You can’t speak English = you are not able to speak English.

    But I look forward to the actual experts on this. I just tried to answer as an exercise for myself. Wondering what they say :)

    July 9, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/StephanieB87596

    Why does his pronunciation of allowed change in this sentence?

    October 28, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Andrew-Lin

    Do you mean "准"? To me the pronunciations are completely the same, as they should be. Maybe the pronunciation of the independent character is a bit longer than the one in the sentence.

    January 18, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Dave168907

    I do not have access to phonetic characters here, but as I hear it, zhun is pronounced zhwë. Where ë is nasalized shwa. The "n" is not articulated, but realized as a simple nasalization of the previous vowel, like in French or Portuguese.

    February 2, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Andrew-Lin

    我們不准說英語。

    January 18, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/BarAdal3

    What is the relation between 准 here and in 准备 which means to get ready?

    February 1, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/BarAdal3

    Or is there no difference?

    March 31, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/PeaceJoyPancakes

    Same character, different use. It's common for Chinese characters to be used in different compounds and to take on different (but often related) senses, but also you can see a lot of convergence, divergence, and trading places if you look into the etymological history. Wiktionary can be helpful for the different senses of a given character, as can a mobile dictionary like Hanping. (I've never regretted purchasing the pro version of Hanping and the camera add-on.)

    March 31, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/BarAdal3

    Thanks for the long response.

    March 31, 2019
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