1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Dutch
  4. >
  5. "It cannot be done."

"It cannot be done."

Translation:Het is niet te doen.

December 3, 2014

13 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndrewsSuzy

"het is niet te doen" - can that mean "it is not to be done" rather than "it cannot be done" - ie it IS possible to be done, but it oughtn't to?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wout77

No, it can not. 'Het is niet te doen.' can only be interpreted as 'it is not possible'. You can say this also when you face something very difficult and you want to express frustration. Emphasize on 'doen' :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WilcoJacob

what about "het kan niet gedaan worden" or is that something that only happens in braband?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RemcoVonk

Should be accepted, though not really standard way of saying things in (native) Dutch


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gregory75008

How about "Het kant niet gedaan to worden" ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marinescu.Gia

What about "het kan niet te doen"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndrewsSuzy

you must be Dutch ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FreekVerkerk

Yes, i am Dutch and sorry for the typical Dutch short response. Better would be: "Het IS niet te doen". The combination of KAN and TE DOEN is impossible. the dutch TE is comparable to the English TO. Also in English the combination IT CAN NOT TO DO is unheard of. Sorry, but keep on trying.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/anothernobody

So "het kan niet te doen" would be saying that it cannot do something, while "het is niet te doen" says that something cannot be done...?...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RemcoVonk

Actually "het kan niet te doen" is complete nonsense. It would translate as "it cannot to do." What you're trying to say is "het kan niets doen" >> "it can do nothing."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kdob1

how about "het is niet mogelijk"? Would that be a reasonable translation?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CatMcCat

In the "pick the answer" form of this, one of the choices is, "Het blijft niet te doen." Is that more along the lines of "Nothing can be done" or "Nothing remains to be done"? I'm not quite sure what the difference is between "Het is niet te doen" amd "Het blijft niet te doen."

Learn Dutch in just 5 minutes a day. For free.