"Can't I decide myself?"

Translation:Kann ich nicht selbst entscheiden?

April 18, 2013

50 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/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!

January 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/scsj

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

October 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/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...

March 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/topa5tro

me too... darn it!

April 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/OgnjenG.

Well, moral of this exercise is, never take anything for granted, because you can be misunderstood! :D

September 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ruthorgan

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

September 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/GregHullender

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

August 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/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

April 28, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Johnni0

I tried that too. Lost half a heart :(

December 9, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/HelcioTJ

I wrote "Kann ich nicht mich selbst entscheiden?" and also lost a heart.

I wonder whether "Kann ich nicht für mich selbst entscheiden?" is also wrong... Anybody?

August 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/niranjantdesai

Why is nicht before selbst and not after it?

July 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

August 31, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/niranjantdesai

But is what I said grammatically correct?

August 31, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ACardAttack

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

July 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/ArvindhMani

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

May 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ACardAttack

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

July 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

May 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/stephebp

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

June 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/sokplaya

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

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

January 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/bob690
  • 1663

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

March 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

May 28, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/markbooth
August 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/JackBond

The past tense of entscheiden is entschieden?

What a nightmare for lysdexic people.

March 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Deep_In_Silence

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

April 18, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/siebolt

Not without "selbst/selber" after "nicht"

April 18, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Deep_In_Silence

hmmm...but could one not use 'mich' instead of 'selbst/selber' ?

April 18, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/siebolt

No. "Entscheiden" or "sich entscheiden" = "to decide" or "to reach a decision" "myself" = "selbst/selber"

April 18, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Deep_In_Silence

thanks for your help...i've done some additional reading and i think i understand :)

April 19, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/IvanLiu

Yeah, but there is no mich in the sentence

August 15, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/miaerbus

Why not "Kann ich nicht allein entscheiden"?

July 14, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/RafaRiff

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

March 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/PawelMusial

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

March 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/zirkul
  • 1425

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?

May 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

May 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/zirkul
  • 1425

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".

May 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/baylonious

Look at it this way:

Can is to Could what May is to Might.

Think about the difference between 'I might do something' and 'I could do something'. There is a difference and DL is right to make the distinction.

May 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/zirkul
  • 1425

I certainly agree that there are differences in many, but not all contexts (and I really fail to see the difference in the context of this particular question). So if DL asked for the best translation, I would wholeheartedly agree with you. But the question was about all possible translations. Compare this level of rigour with DL allowing both "I have few books" and "I have a few books" as legitimate translations for "Ich habe wenige Bücher", while the two can have almost opposite meanings in English!

May 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Bekir978479

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

January 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/hortuspecuniae

Duolingo isn't logical

"Frauen können für sich selbst entscheiden" is for me the same construction as " ich kann nicht (für mich) selbst entscheiden "; in the first sentence I omitted " für sich" and lost a heart; now I put " für mich" in the last sentence and I lost also a heart.

If ' für mich" is not allowed, "für sich" should also not be used

April 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Apahegy

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

Why does "nicht" come before "selbst?"

November 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/bob690
  • 1663

While I know that word-for-word translations are frequently misleading or flat-out wrong, as a struggling student of German, I admit to using them as another aid to learning. Applied to the subject exercise, we have:

DL likes: Can+I+not+(for) myself+to decide

DL rejects: Can+I+(for) myself+not+to decide

Having made the "DL rejects" entry myself; I, too, am grasping at straws. The preferred answer sounds a bit better in its word-for-word translation. There is also the time-manner-place rule. "(for) myself" can clearly be interpreted as "manner." Inferring that "not (now)" is "time" and therefore comes first is a big leap of faith for me but maybe that is the answer. Lets hope that someone picks up on this and answers our question.

March 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/JackBond

I'm assuming "selbst" is Dative in this sentence?

March 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/baylonious

This is the hardest course yet. Really struggling with it. It's a real leap in difficulty from the others

May 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/GustavCheng

I still cannot tell when to use selbst or mich.

July 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JackBond

Take this with a grain of salt, but I'm pretty sure you only use "mich/sich" etc when it is the direct object of the verb.

In this case, you are not the thing being decided, so you don't use "mich"

July 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Wonderboy6

Difference between 'selbst' and 'sich'?

May 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Falkvinge

"Selber" was also considered correct on this one. What's the difference between selbst and selber?

June 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/alicia863926

I can´t see the difference between option 1 and 3, they are identical.

August 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/zirkul
  • 1425

And we can't see any of the options at all: believe it or not, we are not clairvoyant. Next time take a screen shot, put it on any of the file-sharing servers and post the link.

P.S. That said, I suspect that sneaky Duolingo offered you choices along the lines of entscheiden vs. entschieden, with the difference nearly impossible to spot. I don't know what the educational value of such trickery might be, but I've seen examples like this here on Duolingo.

August 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JosiahSchm5

We can't use "allein(e)" instead of "selbst"?

December 22, 2018
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