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), нiльга́(nilʹhá), нельзя́(nelʹzjá), Belarusian няльга́(njalʹhá), нільга́(nilʹhá), не́льга(njélʹha), Old Church Slavonic льзѣ(lĭzě, possible, possibly), Slovak nielza, Old Polish nielza.

Pronunciation[edit]

Predicative[edit]

нельзя́ ‎(nelʹzjá) (impersonal, invariable)

  1. impossible (perfective aspect), it is impossible, one cannot, you can’t
    нельзя́ ему́ + perfective infinitive‎ ― nelʹzjá jemú + perfective infinitive ― it is "impossible" for him to (perfective infinitive)
  2. prohibited, forbidden, not allowed, one must not
    здесь нельзя́ кури́ть‎ ― zdesʹ nelʹzjá kurítʹ ― it is not allowed to smoke here

Usage notes[edit]

Нельзя is the negative of можно. Do not say "не можно"...always use нельзя instead.

Synonyms[edit]

Antonyms[edit]