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  5. "Ihr dürft es nicht sehen!"

"Ihr dürft es nicht sehen!"

Translation:You may not see it!

April 20, 2018



Are they talking about the potato again?


That's exactly what I was wondering!


What's wrong here?! You are not allowed to see that

[deactivated user]

    Ihr dürft es nicht sehen - you may not/ are not allowed to see it Ihr dürft das nicht sehen - you may not/are not allowed to see that


    Indeed. Should be accepted. Durfen with negation is strong not soft, e.g.: Du darfst nicht rauchen. You are not allowed to smoke.


    You are not allowed to see it should be accepted>


    The differences between can and may are quite nuanced. Can is frequently used for permission in modern English, although everyone knows it is considered "wrong" to do so. And may is often used to indicate ability to to something, not just permission. "You may not see the ocean yet, children. It's still a bit far away". I suppose you could consider this ellipsis for "You may not be able to see the ocean", with the missing "be able" providing the "ability to do" part of the equation. But "may" does not imply just permission. It implies possibility, and I think this is what we have here - a half-way house between permission and ability. The same applies in the conditional uses. "Sorry John, I could do it but I don't think I should". Is he implying with could that he may, or that he can, or that it is possible? I don't know. Take your pick.


    Prohibited or hypothetical ?

    [deactivated user]

      You CAN'T translate "may not" to "nicht dürfen"! "Nicht dürfen" ist much stronger than "may not"; a propper translation would be "nicht dürfen" = "must not".


      dedicated user I agree completely with you. correct translation here would be you must not see it... you may not see it.... in German would be... du kannst es vielleicht nicht sehen.... nowhere near ... you are not allowed to see it.... you may not see it... if you emphasise the negative.... that you are not allowed to see it... you would translate it into... Es ist besser wenn du es nicht siehst.


      Aren't 'you may not' and 'you're not allowed to' the same thing here? If not, why not? You may not do that. You're not allowed to do that. I see no difference.


      We have a subjunctive for "may" in English: "Might."

      Wouldn't "You might not see it" be a better translation?


      I would never understand the english translation to mean what the German means. I would interpret 'may' to mean 'might', that would be common US terminology.


      Warum nicht .... it ....


        [EDIT: Ah, I see that there was a mistake in the database. I found it this time, but it would have been helpful if you posted more information about your problem!]


        You can't see it


        "You may not see it" and "You can't see it" have different meanings." The first involves permission. For example I am not allowing you to see my passport photo. The second involves ability. For example, we are still too far away so you cannot see it yet but soon you will see the ocean.


        Unless you're conversing with people that don't mean it that way. "You may not see it" is often used to mean "You might not see it." At least in the US this is pretty common. Also people often use "can" for permission. Children are often corrected for such use, but it is still somewhat common usage.


        I wanted to back you up from the UK, as 'may' and 'can' are pretty interchangeable in terms of meaning 'be allowed to'. My dictionary gives examples of both under 'dürfen'. Without context in this exercise, both should be accepted.

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