"You cannot smoke in this restaurant."
The verb for "smoke" is in the affirmative in both the Japanese and the English sentence, not negative. The verb for "can" (cannot) is in the negative though...
I just got the following as a suggested answer to my incorrect response: このレストランではタバコをすうな。Can anyone explain that ending? I've never seen this used at all, let alone for negation
吸うな (すうな) Literally means "don't smoke". It's like an order, and sounds a bit harsher.
Well "で" means at and "は" is a topic marker. So the difference between レストランでは and レストランは is that は sets the restaurant as the subject and では sets "at the restaurant" as the subject. Meaning instead of talking about the restaurant itself you are talking about something that happens at the restaurant. I hope that makes sense.
So does "cannot" mean いけません or はいけません? Is は in いけません a particle? If it is a particle, what is its purpose? What would happen if は was taken out? I am really confused.