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"Ich sollte das besser nicht essen."

Translation:I better not eat that.

March 23, 2013

22 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jeff121271

I always thought phrases like "I better not..." were more colloquial in English. Does it actually apply the same way in German? For that matter, is the "besser" completely optional?


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

"I better not... " is indeed colloquial, and mostly American. The more correct (but still idiomatic) phrase is "I had better not... "


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

Does each one of these have to have sollte in? Could there be a version that was just "Ich das besser nich essen", in the same way that in English both "I had better not" and "I better not" work?


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

No, you need the "sollte".


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

Why not, "Ich sollte das nicht essen"? It seems like the "besser" is redundant. (I'm a newbie to German).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Serhat256

What is the function of sollte.As far as I understand, it changes the meaning of sentence.I think just “besser” is enough for sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ajna
  • 2270

It means "should" and that is how you expression a conditional.


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

It is konjunktiv || and in this sentence with SOLLTE we dont need to BESSER.


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

would it also be correct if we use 'soll' in place of 'sollte'?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/enrico.guiraud

christian, correct me if I'm wrong here :)

"soll" (present tense) and "sollte" (past) have slightly different meanings, just like "shall" and "should" in english. "du solltest einen Apfel essen" ("you should eat an apple") is less compelling than "du sollst einen Apfel essen" (meaning something like "you have to eat an apple"), even though the two sentences have basically the same meaning.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ajna
  • 2270

I wonder about that, too: apparently wiktionary lists it as another correct form for the first person, but I guess that it is only in the present, while this sentence requires the past [wild guess here]:

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/sollen


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bmwx11

How do you know whether to use dass or das for that?


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

so how would you say: i should not have eaten the apple? or - i should have made dinner?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/aquilogy8

As I understand the placement of negation is after the first verb unless the verb is in reference to an object in which case the thing is also included in the negation.. as in "Ich habe es nicht." right?

.. but why is besser also before the negation... what role does "better" play in this sentence?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarkBennett6

It's an adverb modifying "sollen" in its past subjunctive form. It's hard to spot the past subjunctive here, because the past indicative form is the same - but look at the unusual English: "I had better not eat that", where the verb phrase is "I had eat" - clearly not your every day grammar going on here! It's not surprising that anyone should have issues translating this.

As a separate issue, this is a two verb sentence. The placement of "nicht" in any two verb sentence is before the verb at the end: "Ich konnte gestern mein schönes Eis nicht essen."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/aquilogy8

OH you're right! but also wrong. :P I think .. it's something I didn't understand until you said this though. so as I understand it "sollen" is sort of like "should" which is almost the exact same concept as "having to do" something.. the latter depending on necessity and the former indicating personal choice.. so they are different right? Much like the English word "can" i find "having" very confusing where language is concerned. In the sense of personal action as it is here, perhaps it is the choice that is possessed or "had"? Such a realization came from you pointing out that besser is an adverb modifying this possessed or had choice and saying it is the better choosing to partake of. "I to choose better should not eat this" to have a better shoulding? haha. I'm not sure in language what the technical term for "should" is.. it's a strange concept. Since the food eating is a choice though, I suggest the verbal phrase would be more like "I should eat" .. a much less unusual translation for such an unusual subject matter.

As for my initial question thank you answered it. subject first verb time (place?) object negation second verb as infinitive or modal verb i guess that's called. not sure where the place goes if you want to tell me where you were yesterday when you couldn't eat your.... ice cream is it? :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarkBennett6

Yup - my ice cream ;) - and to say where I was, follow the "temp" (TMP) rule - in German the information always goes in the order Time, Manner, Place - yesterday unfortunately in the garden / at four o'clock hurriedly behind the bike shed / etc. so in my sentence it would come after "gestern", but flexibly before or after "mein schönes Eis".

Your thoughts on "sollen" make complete sense, and I'm delighted to have helped in prompting them! "Sollen" is "should", more or less. To be more precise, "sollen" is the modal verb of obligation, and we have several ways of expressing this in English, including "should", "ought to" and "have to". It's the "have to" which gives potential for confusion, because "have to" is a completely different meaning from "have" - and we even pronounce it differently in some accents, more like "haff to".

Language is great, isn't it!


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

If 'Ich sollte das besser nicht essen' and 'Ich sollte das besser nichte essen' are both, according to you wrong. You should rearrange the question.


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

"I would rather not eat that" is marked wrong, for some reason.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarkBennett6

"I would rather not" means "I would prefer not to" (my free choice - ich möchte nicht). "I had better not" means "I am not supposed to" (something restricts my choice - ich sollte nicht). It's subtle, but it makes a difference.

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