I translated " it is not to be done" and it was marked wrong, and "it cannot be done" was suggested as the correct translation, but in the "comments" window duolingo says "it is not to be done" is correct. There must be an error
"It is not to be done" is still not being accepted (21-05-2017). I reported it too :)
My initial translation for "Het is niet te doen" was " There's no way that can be done", or, "It can't be done". Does anyone else understand the meaning that way? I would have thought that the solution "It musn't be done" would be translated as "Het moet niet gedaan worden".
My initial translation would be 'it is not doable'.
'There's no way that can be done' would be 'Er is geen manier waarop dat gedaan kan worden'.
'It can't be done' would be 'Het kan niet gedaan worden'.
'It is not to be done' sounds to me like 'It should not be done', which would be 'Het zou niet gedaan moeten worden'.
I agree with It is not doable, or alternatively It is unbearable, as in: Het is zo heet, het is niet te doen. (It is so hot, it is unbearable.) this probably is idiomatic.
I said "It is not to be done". Can anyone explain why that's wrong by any chance?
yes, this sounds very abstract but I tried the same variation to .. since "te doen" really sounds tempting to be regarded as "zu tun" and "Es ist nicht zu tun." also sounds very "swollen" and ancient, but wouldn't be wrong German...
In English,"It is not to be done", means it is not polite or legal to do something. It's also old fashioned. It cannot be done means that something actually can't be done, not that it would simply be wrong in some way.
You are quite correct. I am striving to reach the underlying meaning in the Dutch. Is it physically impossible or taboo?
Actually, it's a way of sying that you find something so hard that it's (nearly) impossible to accomplish.
Which is an expression after all but not to be learned as (legit/proper) English?
What is wrong with 'It is not done'? -as in it is taboo. I see this question was asked a while ago but there was no response.
Just because "It is not done" doesn't mean it "cannot" be done and I think it's the "cannot" part that is essential in this sentence.
It does actually. Perhaps this is one of those expressions you just have to remember. If you say "Het is te doen" it means something can be done or is possible to do. By adding "niet" you're saying it cannot be done, or is impossible to do. See also vandesnieder's comment above. And Susande gives "unbearable" as an alternative meaning of this expression. Make sense?