нельзя

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Russian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old East Slavic нельзѣ (nelĭzě), нельзѧ (nelĭzę), нельза (nelĭza), from Proto-Slavic *ne / *ně + *lьga (possibility) (possibly influenced by its dative *lьdzě), likely related to *lьgъkъ (whence лёгкий (ljóxkij, light, easy)).

Compare Ukrainian не́льга (nélʹha), нільга́ (nilʹhá), нельзя́ (nelʹzjá), Belarusian няльга́ (njalʹhá), нільга́ (nilʹhá), не́льга (njélʹha), Old Church Slavonic льзѣ (lĭzě, possible, possibly), Slovak nelza, nelzä, neľzä, Old Polish nielza, also modern Slovene lahko (may, be allowed)

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): [nʲɪlʲˈzʲa]
  • (file)

Predicative[edit]

нельзя́ (nelʹzjá) (impersonal, invariable)

  1. it is impossible (perfective aspect), one cannot, you can't
    нельзя́ ему́ + perfective infinitivenelʹzjá jemú + perfective infinitiveit is impossible for him to (perfective infinitive)
  2. it is prohibited (imperfective aspect), it is forbidden, it is not allowed, one must not
    здесь нельзя́ кури́тьzdesʹ nelʹzjá kurítʹit is not allowed to smoke here
  3. one cannot
    нельзя́ не заме́тить, что он влюби́лся в неёnelʹzjá ne zamétitʹ, što on vljubílsja v nejóOne cannot fail to notice that he has fallen in love with her

Usage notes[edit]

Нельзя́ is the negative of мо́жно (móžno). Instead of saying не мо́жно, нельзя́ should be always used.

Synonyms[edit]

Antonyms[edit]