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  5. "जानवर बोल नहीं सकते।"

"जानवर बोल नहीं सकते।"

Translation:Animals can not speak.

August 20, 2018



Im confused about whether nahin should appear before or after the verb when using sakte? Both seem to be used


You can always choose to put नहीं right before or right after the verb and this case is no exception. To put it before is more common, like in this case


कभी कभी पक्षी बोल सकते हैं। ^_^


What is the exact difference between to speak and to talk, cause the later wasn't accepted! ( here/in this case)


In Hindi, to talk is more precisely baat karnaa, though of course bolnaa is also used sometimes... The way I would attempt to differentiate is: "talk" has more to do with communicating a message and "speak" has more to do with producing a sound (vocally).


Now it has been accepted.


Could you say जानवर बोल नहीं होते सकते to make it to a general case? It sounds a bit unnatural to me but I don’t know.


Per RanzoG in one of his replies on this thread https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/28182047/, touched on this.

When expressing universal truths, you use होता/होती/होते with a form of "to be", but not with other verbs.


You can’t say ‘talk’ means x in Hindi and ‘speak’ means y. It’s what does the Hindi word mean in English. And in English talk and speak are interchangeable in this context.


Well even in English talking involves two actions - speaking and listening Where speaking is just one action of production legitimate sounds from your mouth

Just like in Hindi


Well Clint Eastwood would disagree. “I talk to the trees, but they don’t listen to me.” My wife talks to her plants - I’ve never heard them talk back! ;)


aren't birds animals ??? so a parrot is also a bird but they can speak


humans are also animals.


Kudos to Duolingo for attention to detail.

I've been trying "may" in place of "can" all over the place, and so far everywhere I expected it to be accepted, it has been accepted.

I chuckled to myself as I tried it here, and "animals may not speak" was properly rejected. :-)

[deactivated user]

    Should नहीं always go after the verb (बोल in this example)? That makes sense if नहीं सकते is the literal translation of cannot (or can not according to Duo). Thanks!


    It can go before or after. I believe before is more common, and that it could be considered the "default" in some sense. When नहीं is placed after, it adds a more or less subtle emphasis to the verb. (Whereas when it comes before, the emphasis is on नहीं, the negativeness as opposed to positiveness.)

    Why did the authors of Duolingo choose to use this ordering? I imagine some of their decisions were unconscious. As native speakers, that's actually OK in the sense that we get expressions that "sound right" rather than ones that always show obvious grammar rules.

    I speculate that this sentence was conceived in a head-space of, say, a conversation about animal communication. The speaker has no reason to state the obvious, that "Animals cannot speak" (neutral emphasis), but rather has some reason to re-emphasize that trait: "Animals cannot SPEAK."


    "can not" is wrong. "cannot" or "can't" indicates impossibility, whereas "Can not" can mean that they have the option not to, but possibly can.

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