"Ihr müsst das nicht essen."

Translation:You don't have to eat that.

April 21, 2018

20 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/samuviti

While the given translation is idiomatic, I do think "You must not eat that" is definitely a correct translation. The given translation might confuse beginners into thinking one can use "müssen" for "brauchen" or "benötigen"

April 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/quis_lib_duo
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  • 1953

Careful! You must not eat that. = Ihr dürft das nicht essen.

April 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/samuviti

Would not "Ihr dürft das nicht essen" be more closely translated as "You may not eat that"?

April 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/quis_lib_duo
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  • 1953

That works, too.

It is important to remember that English must not expresses a strong necessity NOT to do something, i.e. a prohibition.

German nicht müssen, on the other hand, is an advice that on does not need to do something.

Hence, one needs to translate must not by a German verb which in its negative corresponds to a prohibition, and that is nicht dürfen.

April 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Agonisti
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... Add German modal verbs to the list of things I will never properly learn or understand.

January 20, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/larboi
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I guess "you must not eat that" is not accepted, i need to review

October 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/CMTinPHX

In English, there is a twisty-turn™ with "must" that does not apply to "müssen": The negation of "must" (required) isn't really "must not" (forbidden) but rather "need not" (not required). German does not have this complication: The negation of "müssen" ("müssen nicht") is indeed "need not" rather than "must not" ("durfen nicht").

November 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Agonisti
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You must eat that = you have to eat that (obligation to eat)

You must not eat that = you have to not eat (obligation to not eat)

Seems logical enough for me. You have an obligation, either 'positive' (to eat) or 'negative' (to not eat).

Ich muss das essen = I have to eat that (obligation to eat)

Ich muss das nicht essen = I have no need ("must") to eat that (lack of obligation to eat)

So German has to complement müssen with dürfen ("may, be allowed to"):

Ich darf das nicht essen = I may not eat that (I am FORBIDDEN from eating [by someone/something])

Sure, it works, but let's not pretend German is somehow the more 'obviously logical' one, having to use another verb with a different meaning to more-or-less effect a "good enough" solution.

Not that any of the modal verb systems of Germanic languages particularly exude 'logic' and it all only gets worse when you look up etymologies; English "may" usually deals with either possibility or permission (not that directly related concepts), deriving from Proto-Germanic magana, denoting ability (the adjective "mighty" 'betrays' this original meaning), whence also derives German mögen, which usually indicates wants and likes! (Eg. "Ich mag Tiere" = I like* animals)

January 20, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/AmandaSieg5

I'm guessing "You all don't have to eat that." should be accepted?

October 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/CMTinPHX

"You all..." is not proper English.

November 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/dorcasp
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What about "you need not eat that"? Marked wrong.

August 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/MountainsMann

"you do not have to eat it" not accepted, isn't it proper English?

November 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/roman2095
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The English is fine, but in German that would be "Ihr müsst es nicht essen"

November 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Dex239957

what about "You need not eat this" or "You do not need eat this"

February 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/HakancanYl1
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why "you don't have to eat this." not correct?

February 15, 2019
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