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  5. "Dürfen wir mitmachen?"

"Dürfen wir mitmachen?"

Translation:Can we participate?

September 11, 2013



What is the difference between "mitmachen" and "teilnehmen"?


It seems to be the difference be informal/colloquial and formal. Use Mitmachen with friends and family. Use teilnehman in more formal circumstances.


"Mitmachen" is a more casual or informal activity than "teilnehmen," but both words are Standard German, not colloquial.


mitmachen=join; teilnehmen=participate.


Dürfen wir mitmachen? = May we join in?

This is a better translation than Duo's "Can we participate?" Duo's translation is tone-deaf.


Especially since mitmachen is more informal.


My friend told me: "Teilnehmen is participating, mitmachen is experiencing it"


Hugo9191, Not exactly. teilnehmen = to participate, mitmachen = to join in, erleben = to experience.


All I could find was that teilnehmen refers to some "official" context whereas mitmachen refers to a more "casual" context. And by context I mean the event or situation that the subject is participating in. Im learning german as well so if a native speaker could confirm or correct me, it would be appreciated.


I think it should say "May we participate?" "Can" would be "Koennen wir mitmachen?" (Sorry no umlauts on my keyboard)


I think this is "May". However, the difference between "may" and "can" has fallen out of common use.


If you think the difference between may and can has fallen out of use, then you probably don't have children in (an English-speaking) elementary school. The difference is elementary and insisted on—possibly contributing to resistance to the distinction in later life? There are two reasons for this insistence in elementary school: 1. Very young children need to learn the difference between what is possible and what is allowed. 2. Beyond understanding this difference, schools also want their students to learn Standard English: may for permission and can for capacity. Of course, in casual conversation among friends the blurring of the line between may and can is often unimportant. Still, there are contexts, in which the use of the wrong word may have unintended or undesirable consequences, as discussed elsewhere in the comments.


Is this how we ask to join a match or some kind of game or sport?


Hi everyone! As I saw, some people still wonder about the difference between "Kann ich?" (Can I?) and "Darf ich?" (May I?). Yes, there is a difference in both languages just as it slightly sounds. The basic rule is that "Darf ich?" is more conditional, and also means more like "Am I allowed....(to do something)". Here is a joke from a native german, to help us get it :)

A school teacher believed he can teach his students what the difference between "Kann ich?" and "Darf ich?" really is. One day the following happens:

Student: "Kann ich auf der Toilette gehen?" Teacher: "Ich hoffe dass du kannst!"

p.s. I really, really now remember the difference... :)


Friendly reminder:

lernen = to learn lehren = to teach

Using "learn" with an indirect object is highly colloquial and considered substandard. "Teach" is better :)


Also, "Lehrer" is teacher so this makes sense.


Yes, I agree. German is actually really helpful with things like this. Words like "Lehrer" help us remember the verb "lehren".


Thank you =) For some reason a mixed up the two words for just a moment. JoJo


I hated that when i was in school. Hey Teacher, can i go to the bathroom? Teacher: I hope you can go to the bathroom.


You hated it because you probably never got it. The polite and correct question always was "May I go/do this." A good teacher is a good pedagouge. A good pedagouge always says something with a reason. =) Jo


They very well may have understood it, but resented being made to speak more formally!

S: "Can I use the bathroom?" T: "I hope you can use the bathroom! Haha." S: "Thanks a lot, I just peed my pants."



i hate it for the same reason that i hate you.


Sei nicht so frustriert! Ich wünsche dir trotzdem viel Erfolg und mehr Spaß beim Lernen =)


Would'nt it be" kann ich auf DIE toilette gehen?" I think it would take accusative .


Generations of grammarians and schoolteachers have insisted and continue to insist that can should be used only to express the ability or capacity to do something, and may must be used to express permission. May (not can) I take an extra week to submit the application? The use of can in such a request is grammatically substandard and generally considered impolite. However, can has a long history of use by educated speakers to express permission, particularly in British English. Moreover, the blurring of the line between may and can seems inevitable, largely because there are contexts in which can is more polite than may. For example, You can borrow my car, if you like is a more gracious offer than You may borrow my car. The first presumes the granting of permission, while the second makes a point of it. In short, the best advice is to use may for permission, unless you have a compelling reason to use can. Note also that when stating what is allowed, the use of may has the advantage of clarity. If lab resources are limited, the class catalog should state that Students may (not can) take only one laboratory class per semester. The use of can would erroneously suggest that an exceptionally brilliant student might be allowed to take more than one.


Shouldn't "Are we allowed to join?" be accepted? Especially as "We are allowed to join?" is.


I would say so - try reporting it.


Can we say this for example, when we see a group of people in a bar and we want to join their table?


Easy trick to remember: Mit (with) + machen (make) :)


What does "Dürfen" means ? I thought can was translated by Können ? Thanks


May/are allowed to. May we join, are we allowed to join, can we join etc etc


what is the difference between dürfen and kann?


NOTE: "dürfen" = "may," "können" = "can." English speakers may ignore the difference, but German speakers generally do not. Please fix this, Duolingo!


I cannot reply directly on questions... Warum auch immer.... But "Could you read this newspaper to me in English, please". Would be translated in:"Können (or Würden) Sie mir bitte die Zeitung auf Englisch vorlesen."


May we participate.
Duerfen = may
Koennen = can


If I understand this correctly dürfen = may(permission) and können = can(to be able). I got my bottom paddled in 7th grade English class for using "may" and "can" improperly. I believe the proper translation should be May we participate? not are we able to participate? Comments?


No, not "can." "Can" would only result from "können." "Dürfen" translates as "may," as in "to be allowed." "Can" speaks to the ability to do something, not to permission.


I always thought "dürfen" meant "may" like asking permission, können meant "can" describing the capacity to do something. These are enirely different meanings and are not really interchangeable in English though the mistake is made often.


Nit picking here, but 'can' means being able to do something, while 'may' means being allowed to, as in 'you can eat that, but you may not', (perhaps because it is not yours). If darf = may, the translation is wrong.


surely it's "May we participate?" rather than "can ......?" ?


How would you say, "could you read me the newspaper in English please?" would it be "Konnen Sie mir die Zeitung im Englisch bitte lesen?" or am I wrong?


I would have said ' Could you read this newspaper to me in English, please'

Könnten Sie diese Zeitung zu mir in Englisch zu lesen, bitte.


"May we do it with you"?


"kann wir mitmachen?"

Will this be wrong?


How would you say "Might we participate?"


could it be "may we co-work"?


I wrote "can we colaborate?" and it didn't work.


Is "mitmachen" a separable verb like "aufstehen"?


Can we participate. Isn't join in the same thing?


I said "Are we allowed to attend?" and it said it was incorrect. I think the meanings of attend and participate are very similar and "attend" should be accepted.


What would be more proper way to ask in the restaurant when waiter is busy and far away, you lift your hand: Kann ich bezahlen? Darf ich bezahlen?


Weshalb ist may we participate falsch?


If "Darfst du das?" is acceptable for "Are you allowed to do that?", then "May we?" is acceptable for "Dürfen wir mitmachen?"


That word is adorable. Can we "with-do"?


Simon says you "may".


Yet again Duolingo fails to recognize a spoken correct answer.


What is the difference between "Koennen wir teilnehmen?" and "Duerfen wir mitmachen?"


Why is "may we take part in?" Wrong?


What is the different between Kann and durfen


Why is "might" not accepted?


Can anyone give me further information about Passive in German.. Thanks


What do you mean by further information? This sentence was not in Passive voice. http://german.about.com/library/weekly/aa012901a.htm


again, should be in "flirting"


I wrote, "would we be able to join" yet is was incorrect... it should be correct.

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