Darf/kann man?

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  • Lhost Vokus

    Senior Member
    Kajo is right.

    But in everyday language "können" is often used in the sense of "dürfen".
    "Kann ich hier kurz parken?" (Can I park here for a minute?)

    "Auch mit einer leichten Erkältung könnt ihr zu Hause bleiben." (Even with a slight cold, you can stay home.)

    "In diesen Kleidern können Sie uns nicht auf der Messe repräsentieren." (You can't represent us at the fair in these clothes.)

    In all these examples of course you "kann" do it. But the meaning is "dürfen". Isn't it the same in English with can/may?


    Senior Member
    There is an additional thing:

    Even if you are not allowed - example: "man darf nicht Musik hören" - it might
    be possible that you can do it nevertheless. (Obwohl es nicht erlaubt ist, kann man Musik hören.)

    Usually it is allowed to do only things with "man darf ...".

    Man kann die Regeln brechen, auch wenn man es nicht darf. You can brake the rules, even if this is forbidden.
    Sometimes this is necessary. Sometimes it is dangerous. It depends on context.
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