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 nelza, nelzä, neľzä, 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 infinitivenelʹzjá jemú + perfective infinitiveit is "impossible" for him to (perfective infinitive)
  2. prohibited, forbidden, not allowed, one must not
    здесь нельзя́ кури́тьzdesʹ nelʹzjá kurítʹit is not allowed to smoke here

Usage notes[edit]

Нельзя is the negative of можно. Instead of saying "не можно", нельзя should be always used.

Synonyms[edit]

Antonyms[edit]