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"Man ist entweder frei oder nicht."

Translation:One is either free or not.

May 14, 2013



How is one supposed to differentiate between "Man" and "Mann" when this phrase is spoken?


I think it would be "Ein Mann ist..." vs "Man ist", so we have to do a little detective work here and think out the sentence. I've also noticed this with the various forms of Sie, and knowing the right form by the other words that are used with it.


You will never start the phrase using "Mann" alone: you will use "ein Mann" or "Männer"


In German, there is no "Man" like we would use it in English... they use "One". To understand why, take this sentence:

Boy is either free or not.

That doesn't make sense in English because it lacks an article ("the" or "a"). It's the same in German because "Mann" equals the English "man (male)" not "man (mankind)".

That's how you can tell the difference. Like other comments above mine said, in German, it would have to be "Ein Mann" for "man" (meaning a male).

Hope that helps anyone who was confused!


Except in this case they literally just did that. The English statement "Man is either free or not" shows how German uses "Man" when English uses man. And that's a valid translation, and one that's preferable, since the statement pertains to mankind.


i got it like this "Mann liest enteweder frei oder nicht" - Man reads either free or not (very true for someone in med school).. by time i saw answer i laughing uncontrollably...


If you wanna talk about a man you would have to use somekind of article, either Der Mann ist... or Ein Mann ist...


Hey colleague! How do you manage studying another language along with medicine?


Medicine is a 5 year course here and you only have to study about 5 hours a day here. There is always a lot of free time in a life so long as you don't have children!


Exactly what happened to me :-P


One does not simply walk into Mordor


I had no idea what the word "man" meant until I read this :) thank you.


I typed "Someone is either free or not" and got it wrong. Is this just a duolingo issue, or is there a difference between "one" and "someone" in this context?


Speaking as a newbie myself from the perspective of the English language, I would use "a person" "one" and "someone" interchangeably in a sentence like this, so I would think it should be able to translate to any of those, though that doesn't necessarily mean it would in every case.

What I mean is that "someone" in English has multiple meanings, so just because it works here does not mean that it translates back to "Man" when used in other circumstances.


the problem is "one" in english is the gender neutral, indefinite pronoun and refers to no person in particular while someone is a noun referring to a specific person whose identity is unknown. the difference being the speaker has a person in mind in the latter case and is thinking about people in general in the former case. additionally, "a person" is still referring to a single person, while "one" is used to talk about an indefinite number of people. potentially one person, potentially unlimited people (general, universal).


Hi skellious! Can you help me? In this sentence what is the situation with "Somebody"? I thought it is ok to translate "Man"...


I agree completely on your use of "a person" "one" and "someone", and just wanted to be sure I was thinking of it correctly. Thanks!


Yes there is. One = Man; Someone = Jemand; Some = Einige or Manche (Bonus* )


After getting this wrong last time I was ok this tiem. But I still don't recall ever having seen Man in my vocab.


Man is new to me also. I thought it was Mann


Man is also used for "people"


What about "We" in a neutral sense "We, the People of the United Nations". I got a mistake typing "We are either free or not"; however, I think this would be correct.


"One" is essentially saying "a person," whereas "we" speaks of a group of people. You need the singular in this context.


Couldn't 'man' also mean 'they' as in the generic use of the word? It offers it as a choice, and it also defined it as one, you, or they when I first saw it.


Why it says entweder as if it's entwieder?


My dictionary agrees with you -- should be "e" as in "egg".


I'm not sure. But when i say 'entweder' and then 'entwieder' the vowel sound is very close. Maybe it's an accent thing?


I don't get it. They give in the translation "Man is free or not." What's the relation with the men? I translated it by: "one can be free or not". And I get wrong, but I can't figure why?


In the english sentence you used the word "can", while in the german sentence there isn't any Kann.


excuses me for asking such a stooped question: what the meaning of the sentence at all??? what's " One is either free or not" means?


"Freedom cannot be given in doses; one is either free or not free - not half free." Nelson Mandela. It's related to oppression. In its most basic interpretation, it means that either you are a free man or a slave, and there is no middle ground.


He's wrong. Try to drive through a red light, or to not pay taxes. By his definition, no one in the world is free. In reality, there's a spectrum of freedom of varying degree, and hence certainly a middle ground.


Whether man is either free or not is a complicated question that has fascinated all beings on Earth. Free will is the ability to choose between different possible courses of action unimpeded.

Free will is closely linked to the concepts of responsibility, praise, guilt, sin and other judgments which apply only to actions that are freely chosen. It is also connected with the concepts of advice, persuasion, deliberation and prohibition. Traditionally, only actions that are freely willed are seen as deserving credit or blame. There are numerous different concerns about threats to the possibility of free will, varying by how exactly it is conceived, which is a matter of some debate.

Some conceive free will to be the capacity to make choices in which the outcome has not been determined by past events. Determinism suggests that only one course of events is possible, which is inconsistent with the existence of free will thus conceived. This problem has been identified in ancient Greek philosophy and remains a major focus of philosophical debate. This view that conceives free will to be incompatible with determinism is called incompatibilism and encompasses both metaphysical libertarianism, the claim that determinism is false and thus free will is at least possible, and hard determinism, the claim that determinism is true and thus free will is not possible. It also encompasses hard incompatibilism, which holds not only determinism but also its negation to be incompatible with free will and thus free will to be impossible whatever the case may be regarding determinism.

In contrast, compatibilists hold that free will is compatible with determinism. Some compatibilists even hold that determinism is necessary for free will, arguing that choice involves preference for one course of action over another, requiring a sense of how choices will turn out.[4][5] Compatibilists thus consider the debate between libertarians and hard determinists over free will vs determinism a false dilemma.[6] Different compatibilists offer very different definitions of what "free will" even means and consequently find different types of constraints to be relevant to the issue. Classical compatibilists considered free will nothing more than freedom of action, considering one free of will simply if, had one counterfactually wanted to do otherwise, one could have done otherwise without physical impediment. Contemporary compatibilists instead identify free will as a psychological capacity, such as to direct one's behavior in a way responsive to reason, and there are still further different conceptions of free will, each with their own concerns, sharing only the common feature of not finding the possibility of determinism a threat to the possibility of free will.

Source: Wikipedia


I think it was difficult


I got this: "Man is free or not", but I wrote "one is free or not"


But the phrase says "Man ist enweder frei oder nicht"...if Man means "one" why my translation got refused?! ._.


In order to be helped, next time please try to write the entire answer you gave, because probably there was something else wrong, not "one"


How can i detect diffrence between Man or Mann???


As the translation says this version of Man is one. So it's translated to One is either free or not. It's I guess a more neutral word. It's also how in academic papers when the author(s) writes one in place of you or people. Saying one is a bit formal in English I think.


I wrote "one's" instead of "one is" and it was wrong. Excellent.


Well this got deep really quickly....


Why is "man" not "human"?


What is the difference in use and or context between "frei" and "kostenlos"?


I wrote "a man is either free or not" because it wouldn't makes more sense and It came out wrong which I think is a mistake


I also wrote: "A man is either free or not." I think it means the right thing, and sounds better than Man is either free or not. In English I think "Man is either free or not" would signify man as a species not man as an individual, but I think in German it probably means more man as a general singular person as we would use "one". Sorry for the clutter,but....


I typed "man" instead of "one" and it was accepted. :-/


Can I translate "man" as it? It is either available or not


Getting philosophical here.


Correct answer says: you are either free... Totally confused with Man=You?


"Man" means "one", but does it only refer to people like "a person", and not inanimate objects? What about animals?


Why does "Man" mean "one" here?


This is a tautology Mariano Rajoy (Spain's PM) would typically say!


"One is free or 1 is not" is a ridiculous suggested answer.


I wrote "one is either available or not" and was marked wrong. I think Duolingo needs to consider my response as correct.


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