"Dies kannst du doch nicht tun!"

Translation:But you cannot do this!

June 10, 2013

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In proper German everybody would say: "Das kannst du doch nicht tun." Using "dies" whenever the English language uses "this" is a very typical mistake made by Anglosaxon German learners.


Where should "dies" be used then?


It's most commonly used when you have to be specific, like if you were comparing things. If you ever come across "this or that" video tags on YouTube, you can also find the German "Dies oder Das" tags, too. Other than than that, it's normally paired with a noun like "diese Toilette"

[deactivated user]

    how would you say you can't do that in german, rather than you can't do this?


    Is there a real difference between doing this and doing that though?


    Well if a person is standing far away from me, I tell them "don't do that".

    When they are a meter away from me, I tell them, "don't do this".

    I'm not sure if such a thing applies in the German culture.


    It doesn't really apply in English either. Distance has nothing to do with it. "Don't do that" is by far the more common expression and would be used whenever the reference is to what the second person is doing, whatever their proximity.

    "Don't do this" would be used when the reference is to something the speaker / first person is doing (Don't try THIS at home!) or perhaps to an example the speaker is providing. In the later case, this and that are pretty much interchangeable.


    I know machen can also mean to make, but when does one use tun and when does one use machen ?


    "you cannot do this after all" - that was the hint for "doch nicht".....


    That's what I put too. Did you report it?


    Any native Germans here? Could you give your comments on the following explanation of "doch"? These are my initial thoughts based on both this particular sentence and the tranlsations provided at http://www.dict.cc/?s=doch It is a difficult word and it could easliy be that I did not get it correctly.

    First of all "doch" seams to me like a rude word. Not as bad as "f*" in English but still something that gives the sentence some ironic, haughty scent. If you want to be polite and respectful you wouldn't use it. And if you want to show your superior position or knowledge then you would add the word "doch".

    Das können Sie nicht tun! - You cannot do that; polite form, talking to strangers

    Das kannst du nicht tun! - You cannot do that; still good and polite form if you are talking to your friend. Would be rude when talking to a stranger (you have to use Sie instead of du)

    Das kannst du doch nicht tun! - not so polite any more. Like, "heck, you cannot do that". "Of course you cannot do that", "You cannot do that, you ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤".


    After trying to come up with an explanation for half an hour I think it's best to leave you to these websites. The second one is more detailed.

    http://german.about.com/library/weekly/aa010806b.htm http://yourdailygerman.wordpress.com/2012/02/27/meaning-of-doch/


    Thanks a lot! To be honest - at first sight I thought I have to take a day off in order to go through these two articles.


    Is "you cannot do this, though!" really an improper translation?

    I thought "doch" is the literal cognate of "though" and feel like I have seen each translated with the other.


    "You can still not do this" was marked incorrect. Wieso sagt man?


    "Still" = "noch", not "doch". "Doch" as a modal particle as in this sentence signals contradiction to some implied expectation. I.e., in this sentence the speaker implies that the addressee seems to think that it is totally okay to do this, while expressing his opinion that, on the contrary, it is totally not okay.


    Shouldn't translations with "though" be accepted, then?

    [deactivated user]

      I wrote 'you can't even do this' and it was marked incorrect


      Well, it is incorrect. "You cannot even do this." could be translated to something like "Nicht mal das kannst du.".


      Doesn't "mal" mean "time", and so your sentence "you cannot [do] that once" - "even" only being a possible, idiomatic addition for emphasis to a translation, without being directly 'rooted' in your sentence... no?


      I'm having a hard time breaking this one down. can anyone help?


      "Dies kannst du doch nicht tun." Why isn't "Indeed, you cannot do this." correct? How could I possibly know the difference between "indeed" and "but"?


      Isn't my response also correct?


      What kind of things does your mom like? Animals, plants, landscapes...? I'm looking at my cards.

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