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"Kan du ikke dække vinduerne til?"

Translation:Can you not cover the windows?

September 11, 2014



Why do you need a til?


In Danish we use "tildække" (verb.) (literally: up cover) as a translation for the English word 'cover'. Both "Vi tildækker vinduerne" (We up cover the windows) and "Vi dækker vinduerne til" (We cover the windows up) are correct. The later is more common though. It is equivalent to the English terms "Turn up" or "Catch on", where you use the preposition "up" and "on" to make the sentence flow. I hope this makes sense?


Mange tak. Den er meget interessant


And I assume the word order in sentences with phrasal verbs doesn't have any reasonable rules one could learn. Sometimes the preposition must follow the verb immediately and then comes the object, sometimes the object is in the middle, sometimes it doesn't matter and sometimes it means completely different things. Right?


As a native speaker I would say that it is a correct translation, but if you said it to someone they would interpret as "could you please cover the windows". "Kan du ikke" is often used as "can you please" whereas "can you not" would be "kan du lade være med" or something similar.


As another native Danish speaker, I understood the english sentence as more like "are you unable to". In either case, the danish sentence is correct.


Does this mean close the blinds/shades/curtains?


The translation is very accurate. It would most likely refer to curtains or blinds being closed but not necessarily. A sentence like "Kan du ikke trække gardinerne for?" (Literally: Can't you pull the curtains) would leave no doubt.


I omitted the not by accident and was marked correct. How is can you cover the windows the same as can you not cover the windows?


"kan du ikke" is the same as saying "would you please"


It depends on the context really, saying "can you not" might be someone being sarcastic or maybe they're unable to do something even though they tried, I just assumed they wanted the windows covered to begin with. I hope that makes sense


"Could you please cover the windows" should work for this, at least the way it's used colloquially


Yes, it feels very strange to say "Can't you cover the windows". It's sounds like he's asking if he's unable to.

  • 1560

I was wondering if there isn't two meaning possible here, because, imho, "can't you" and "can you not" doesn't mean exactly the same thing. "can't you cover the windows" would be more like I ask you that every day and you never do it, so i'm kind of annoyed. "can you not cover" would be more a polite way of asking to leave the window uncovered, so I'm asking you to keep from covering them up today... Am I right ?


It is something that could change meaning with the tone of voice


"Can you not cover the windows" is ambiguous, and the possible meanings are opposites. My understanding from these posts is the Danish is ambiguous as well, but I only know Danish through Duo.


My first thought on this was that the speaker was frustrated that the windows were always covered and wanted them left clear, not that they wanted the windows covered. "Can you not..." Or "Can we not..." "Can we NOT cover the windows today? I'd like some natural sunlight."

Having read the other comments, I must be the only one who heard it this way. The given answer at the top, "can't you cover the windows", makes it more clear that the majority is correct in this case. Would my meaning ever be used, and if so, would it simply be tone of voice and attitude?


i wrote 'can you not' and then read the dict. hints. they said 'cannot', so i corrected 'can you not' into 'cannot you' and guess what...


Why would you even cover windows? Without context it is hard to translate sometimes and makes no sense. "We are about to have sex, lets cover the windows" may work but by itself its pretty meaningless


I notice that in Danish this sentence is structured as question rather than an order.

Is the answer to this yes i can but won't or is it to do the task.


Is this the Danish way of asking: "Can you draw the curtains"?

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