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  5. "Må jeg gå nu?"

" jeg nu?"

Translation:May I go now?

April 20, 2015



Currently taking a danish course. My teacher (danish native speaker) said that "må" indicates "must" in 90% of the cases, and only 10% translate to "may". Now what?

"skal" is even more strange, as it seems to be very, very similar in it's usage to the english "shall", which is not really synonymous to "must", but rather implies an obligation or promise to do something.


How would we know that this is 'may' and not 'must'?

[deactivated user]

    It could be both, but using in the sense of must seems a bit archaic. Instead, one would use skulle or være nødt til

    • Skal jeg gå nu?

    • Er jeg nødt til at gå nu?


    What if you put emphasis on the word "må"? Wouldn't that sound more like "Do I HAVE to go now"?

    [deactivated user]

      "Skal" or "Er jeg nødt til" are still better.

      "MÅ jeg gå nu?" just sounds like "CAN I go now?"


      Equivalent English phrase: "May I go now?" Usually used English phrase: "Can I go now?" (see e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2K8_jgiNqUc&t=2m22s)

      The latter is misleading, but should be accepted.


      "Might I go now?" should also be accepted.


      I see a patient to the doctor asking: "Can I walk now?". Not accepted.


      Can I walk now? Why not?


      "Gå" can mean both "walk" and "leave/ move..." (somewhat equivalent to the English "go"). This Danish sentence will usually (context is a help of course) rather obviously be more about asking permission to go than about the ability to walk. Thus "can I walk now" will seldom be the right translation. The patient asking a doctor... well, if asking whether he or she is able to walk right now, it could be "kan jeg gå nu?". But if the patient is inquiring as to whether he or she will be able to walk (again), the question would probably be something like "kommer jeg til at kunne gå", "bliver jeg i stand til at gå".


      Since when was the word ''jeg'' pronounced as er in this sentence?

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