"Can't I decide myself?"

Translation:Kann ich nicht selbst entscheiden?

April 18, 2013

34 Comments
This discussion is locked.


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

I looked every so closely there were two choices that seemed exactly identicle until I realized one was spelled entscheiden and the other entschieden. I clicked both and got the one wrong that was spelled incorrectly. I'm kind if mad!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/scsj
  • 282

entschieden is actually the past tense of entscheiden, so not a misspelling but still subtle


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

Did the same...and i'm also kinda annoyed with it...mostly because I'm tired enough to not have noticed the difference...


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

I thought one could write 'kann ich mich nicht selbst entscheiden...'


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

Sich entscheiden means "to make up your mind" so I think your sentence translates to "Can't I make up my mind myself?"


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

I believe entscheiden can be either transitive or intransitive (i.e. It does or does not take a direct object, depending on the context). Because there is no direct object here, and thus the verb is intransitive, it isn't reflexive.

But I could be wrong :P


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

Why is nicht before selbst and not after it?


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

I think it's because the emphasis shifts from not being able to decide for one's self to being unable to decide in general.


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

But is what I said grammatically correct?


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

"Kann ich selbst nicht entscheiden" is accepted at least now


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

I was marked wrong too. Some assistance please? Why "nicht selbst..." and not "selbst nicht..."?


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

It is accepted now, I think location is more for emphasis, and the nicht being closer to Kann is emphasizing kann


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

Word order with "nicht" is pretty complicated, but I think you generally want to put it after direct and indirect objects, but before everything else. Especially before a word you want to explicitly negate.


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

The past tense of entscheiden is entschieden?

What a nightmare for lysdexic people.


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

Is there a reason I can't use "darf"?


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

Darf = may (permission to do something)

Kann = can (ability to do something)


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

Why not "Kann ich nicht allein entscheiden"?


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

Kann ich nicht SELBST entscheiden? vs Kann ich nicht SELBER entscheiden?

Are they both right? If not, why is the second wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bob690

Collins German-English dictionary defines "selber" as "=selbst" so good question. I added my comment to see if it helps us get an answer.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/revolver22

I'd like to know what the difference is too! I've looked online and found they are (almost) synonyms, is this true?

I used to know German very well but I honestly can't remember this.


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

shouldn't "kann ich mich nicht entscheiden?" be acceptable?


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

Not without "selbst/selber" after "nicht"


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

"darf ich nicht selbst entscheiden". Could anyone explain me why it is not accepted?


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

Why I couldn't use "Darf nicht" instead "Kann nicht"?


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

Same question here. Could someone please explain why "darf ich ..." was marked wrong?

If I understand correctly, "darf ich ..." means "may I ...". Now, one of the possible meanings of "can" is "may" (not in all contexts, but we are not presented with a context here!). E.g. "Can I go?" means exactly the same thing as "May I go?" (unless one's physical ability to move one's legs is questioned - not a very likely scenario). Hence "darf ich ..."="may I ..." could be a legitimate translation of "Can I ...", no?


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

'Can I go?' means 'is it possible for me to go?'

'May I go?' means 'is it permissable for me to go? '

Two slightly different meanings.


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

I beg to disagree. What possibility are we talking about here? A physical ability to walk out or a permission to go? "Can" could imply either, and in the latter instance it is essentially equivalent to "may". In the case of "Can I go?" it would almost certainly be equivalent to "may" (but not always, of course). And closer to the topic of this discussion, "Can I decide?" is almost certainly a request for permission to decide, not a question addressing one's own mental capacity (unless it's a rhetorical question directed into an empty space). Just think of a heated argument and replace "Can I decide for myself?" with "May I decide for myself?" and please tell me in what way would that substitution alter the meaning?

So, my point is, "May I ..." (and consequently "Darf ich ..") can be a legitimate substitute for "Can I ...", and so for DL to offer "Darf ich .." as one of the options in a question asking for all possible translations, and then mark it wrong, strikes me as bad practice. (And we are talking about DL here; it cannot get the difference between "anyone" and "everyone" straight, but then insists on nitpicking in cases like this.)

EDIT: Just as a side remark, in any real argument saying "May I decide for myself?" would actually be a better option than "Can I decide for myself?", but not because of any differences in meaning. It will simply prevent a cheap comeback "-Can you?" exploiting that other meaning of the word "can".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WLB357314

Why not "Kann ich nicht allein entscheiden?"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bekir978479

Warum nicht "Kann ich nicht VON selbst ent scheiden" wie im Staz "Die Kinder essen von selbst"?


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

I lost a heart for "Kann ich selbst nicht entscheiden."

Why does "nicht" come before "selbst?"


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

I used sich instead of selbst and was marked wrong, anyone knows the reason? I thought they were interchangeable?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SerafeimGk1

Can I also say: "Kann ich nicht allein entscheiden?" . If yes, is the meaning the same?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ph.7sYZ8W

Two options are same change this

Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.