Δεν πρέπει - sentences

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larshgf

Senior Member
Danish
"Ο Γιάννης είναι πάντα στο σπίτι τις Παρασκευές. Δεν πρέπει να δουλεύει τότε."
"Giannis is allways home on Fridays. He must not work then"

I find it very counterintuitive that δεν is placed before πρέπει and not (as I would expect) before δουλεύει. (πρέπει να δεν δουλεύει τότε.)

Can this be explained somehow?
Any other examples of this not necessarily including πρέπει?
 
  • Andrious

    Senior Member
    The meaning of "πρέπει" here is this one:


    will v aux (may be, supposed to)πρέπει ρ απρ
    μάλλον, πιθανότατα επίρ
    This will be the place, at least if I have understood the directions.
    Αυτό πρέπει να είναι το σωστό μέρος, αν δηλαδή έχω καταλάβει σωστά τις οδηγίες.
     

    Perseas

    Senior Member
    (πρέπει να δεν δουλεύει τότε.)
    Then it should be "πρέπει να μη δουλεύει τότε".

    Can this be explained somehow?
    Any other examples of this not necessarily including πρέπει?
    Both versions are correct and have the same meaning, I only think it's a matter of style. The negating particle in the beginning of the sentence negates the whole utterance, while the negation particle after "να" negates only the second part of the sentence.
    I think that in English there are similar constructions. An example:
    I don't want to go out / Δεν θέλω να βγω έξω.
    I want not to go out / Θέλω να μη βγω έξω.


    Another example:
    Δεν πιστεύω ότι θα έρθει (Or Δεν πιστεύω να έρθει) / I don't believe that he/she will come.
    Πιστεύω ότι δε θα έρθει / I believe that he/she will not come.
     
    Last edited:

    Helleno File

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    A very intersting question, again larshgf. A complicating factor is you having to tackle the Greek via English. We English have at least four modal verbs expressing obligation: must, have to, ought to and need to. They are probably one of the most challenging areas for learners of our language. Sometimes they can be used interchangeably, sometimes not. There are also subtle differences between BE and AE. They are slightly differently used in the negative. The English Only Forum has a good number of threads about it - one that seems very useful is here.

    If you asked me I would translate "Δεν πρέπει να δουλεύει τότε" as "He mustn't have to work then" - a double 'must' :eek:. That is definitely what we would say. You could say "He must not have to work then" but if the not is uncontracted it would have a strong emphasis. "He doesn't have to work then" is OK but the version with 'must' clearly stresses that you came to the conclusion from what you observed, whereas 'doesn't have to' doesn't make the connection so definitely. I said it was complicated!!

    Thanks Perseas for your clarification that the negative can be before πρέπει or the main verb in the sentence with the same meaning - I hadn't realised that! In English the position of the negative is pretty much fixed in this example. English specialists would know better than me which verb the 'not' is negating!!

    Good luck getting that into Danish larshgf!
     

    larshgf

    Senior Member
    Danish
    The negating particle in the beginning of the sentence negates the whole utterance, while the negation particle after "να" negates only the second part of the sentence.
    Like Helleno File I was not aware of this!
    And thanks to all of you for participating. I consulted my Oxford Greek-English dictionary and realized that there are more than one meaning of this (often used) word. :)
     
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