"Can't I decide myself?"

Translation:Kann ich nicht selbst entscheiden?

April 18, 2013

This discussion is locked.


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!

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


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


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


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


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


Why is nicht before selbst and not after it?


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.


But is what I said grammatically correct?


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


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


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


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.


The past tense of entscheiden is entschieden?

What a nightmare for lysdexic people.


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


Darf = may (permission to do something)

Kann = can (ability to do something)


Why not "Kann ich nicht allein entscheiden"?


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

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


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


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.


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


Not without "selbst/selber" after "nicht"


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


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


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?


'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.


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".


Why not "Kann ich nicht allein entscheiden?"?


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


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

Why does "nicht" come before "selbst?"


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


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


Two options are same change this

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