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Thread: fun with modals

  1. #1
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    fun with modals

    Are these the most common ways to say the follwing in Russian?:

    you must not do that.
    (Вам не надо это делать)

    you don't have to do that.
    (Вы не обязаны это делать ; вы могли бы это не делать)

    you must do that.
    (вам обязательно это сделать)

    you should do that.
    (Вам следует это сделать ; Вы должны это сделать)

    you should not do that
    (Вы не должны это делать ; Вам не следует это делать)

    I thought <<должен>> always meant "should", but at times it seems to be used for "must."

    Thanks for any help!!

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    You must not do that
    Ты не должен это делать
    Не надо
    Вам не надо делать(Как ты написала)

    you don't have to do that. (It means a lot similar to the first)
    Ты не должен это делать
    Не надо

    you must do that.
    Тебе нужно это делать

    you don't have to do that.
    Не надо

    you should do that.
    Ты должна(должен) это делать

    you should not do that
    Ты не должен это делать

    *What should we do?
    Что нам делать?

    Поняли?
    *Женя*

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    You must not do that = (Вам, тебе) нельзя этого делать.
    You don't have to do that = (Вам, тебе) не нужно этого делать
    You shouldnt' do that = (Вам, тебе) не следует этого делать or (Вы, ты) не должны этого делать.
    Люди с годами не меняются, они просто все больше становятся самими собой.

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    спасибо

    Большое спасибо за помощь!

    I know Я не мог means "i couln't" ,

    is it ever possible to use Я мог не ... in the sense of "i didn't have to" or "i was allowed not to"?

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    Re: спасибо

    Quote Originally Posted by begemot
    Большое спасибо за помощь!

    I know Я не мог means "i couln't" ,

    is it ever possible to use Я мог не ... in the sense of "i didn't have to" or "i was allowed not to"?
    Yes. You can use Я мог не... (and as you're a girl as I take it then you'd better say Я могла не...) For example: Я мог не идти туда - I didn't have to go there. But mind "I didn't have to go there but STILL did". If you want to say "I didn't have to go there and didn't" then you'd better say Мне не пришлось идти туда.
    Люди с годами не меняются, они просто все больше становятся самими собой.

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    Нельзя again...

    Considering the two following sentences possible (I'm not 100% sure they are, so any corrections on that are also welcome), what would be the difference between them?

    Мне нельзя читать эту книгу.
    Мне нельзя прочитать эту книгу.

    TIA!
    "שמע ישראל יהוה אלהינו יהוה אחד"

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    Re: Нельзя again...

    Quote Originally Posted by PsiLord
    Considering the two following sentences possible (I'm not 100% sure they are, so any corrections on that are also welcome), what would be the difference between them?

    Мне нельзя читать эту книгу.
    Мне нельзя прочитать эту книгу.

    TIA!

    Мне нельзя читать эту книгу -- this is good Russian, and it means "I may not/am not allowed to read this book". "Нельзя" means that something is either prohibited by the rules or mores, or that it too dangerous and so can't be done.

    For example, if a person says "Мне нельзя выходить из дома", it may mean that the person is grounded by his parents, but it also could mean that it he can't leave his home because it is too dangerous for him (e.g. if he is a criminal wanted by police or a spy in enemy's country).

    Мне нельзя прочитать -- sounds like bad Russian. If I heard or read this phrase someplace, I'd get impression that a foreigner is trying to say that he either is (1) not allowed or (2) cannot read the book (e.g. because it is too difficult for him).

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    Подающий надежды оратор PsiLord's Avatar
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    Re: Нельзя again...

    I had read that 'нельзя' might only be used with Imperfective verbs to convey the idea of 'not being allowed / able to' at first, but then I read that, when used like that, it'd convey the idea of general impossibility, while it might be used with a Perfective verb to convey the idea of punctual impossibility, hence my trying it with both types of verbs just to check what it might sound like.

    Quote Originally Posted by translations.nm.ru
    Мне нельзя прочитать -- sounds like bad Russian. If I heard or read this phrase someplace, I'd get impression that a foreigner is trying to say that he either is (1) not allowed or (2) cannot read the book (e.g. because it is too difficult for him).
    Based on what I'd read, I confess I did think it might mean something like 'I can't finish reading this book (because it's too difficult for me)' — what could it be better expressed like then?

    Ah, and just in case, the two examples I had were the following:

    Тут нельзя переходить улицу. (Impf.)
    Сейчас нельзя перейти улицу. (Pf.)

    Would the sentence with the Perfective verb be correct in this case?
    "שמע ישראל יהוה אלהינו יהוה אחד"

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    Re: Нельзя again...

    Quote Originally Posted by PsiLord
    ...while it might be used with a Perfective verb to convey the idea of punctual impossibility, hence my trying it with both types of verbs just to check what it might sound like.
    That it true to a degree. For example, you could say "Эту книгу нельзя прочесть/прочитать", and that would mean that it is impossible to read (although I would prefer to say "Эту книгу невозможно" прочесть).

    Quote Originally Posted by PsiLord
    Based on what I'd read, I confess I did think it might mean something like 'I can't finish reading this book (because it's too difficult for me)' — what could it be better expressed like then?
    You could say, for example "Я не могу прочесть эту книгу" (I can't read this book), or "Я не могу дочитать эту книгу" (I can't finish reading this book).


    Quote Originally Posted by PsiLord
    Ah, and just in case, the two examples I had were the following:

    Тут нельзя переходить улицу. (Impf.)
    Сейчас нельзя перейти улицу. (Pf.)

    Would the sentence with the Perfective verb be correct in this case?
    If somebody is standing with a friend at a crossing and the traffic light is red for them, they would normally say "Сейчас переходить нельзя". (Meaning that it is forbidden and/or dangerous).

    If you want to say that it is physically impossible (because of heavy traffic or something), you can say "Сейчас перейти улицу невозможно/не получится/нельзя".

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