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If I am correct

I have allowed smth would be rendered in German as Ich habe etwas gedurft

and

I have been allowed smth would be rendered as Ich bin etwas gedurft worden.

Are these correct? If not, I'm always willing to improve myself.

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1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

The first is incorrect, because the meaning changes. You are allowing something, but your translation means that you have been allowed for something, this would be:

Ich habe etwas erlaubt

The second is incorrect too (sentence structure), this should be something like that:

Ich habe etwas machen dürfen

Ich habe etwas gedurft (used rarely)

Mir wurde etwas erlaubt

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Thank you. So dürfen is already implicitly passive in meaning, as it means to be allowed, while erlauben is the verb that can properly be translated into English as to allow. Am I correct this time? –  indoxica Jul 11 '13 at 8:41
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Gramatically it would be correct, but it doesnt sound very nice. "gedurft" you use/hear very rarely. Alternatively i would suggest you to use Ich habe etwas machen dürfen –  Postback Jul 11 '13 at 9:02
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Because i never heard it, it's hard to explain why it doesnt sound nice, that's just a feeling you have in a language ;) When i first saw your question i wasn't even sure if this word exists. PS: Mark as an answer if you havn't any further questions –  Postback Jul 11 '13 at 9:16
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"Ich habe etwas gedurft (used rarely)" This is equivalent to "Ich durfte". And here it's more common that German native speaker use the simple past. Actually, this is even the most common way to say "I was allowed to do sth". I guess "Mir wurde erlaubt..." is a somewhat formal. "Ich habe machen dürfen" sounds quite odd although technically correct. –  Em1 Jul 11 '13 at 9:38
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Both your irrititations are due to a mistak in the first comment. dürfen is not implicitly passive. You just translated it by a passive construction in English. Correct would be: dürfen is a modal verb, and as such behaves differently than usual verbs. Most important aspect here: In spoken or casual language, modal verbs are rather used in Präteritum than Perfekt. That's why indoxica's propositions sound odd. –  Toscho Jul 11 '13 at 10:27

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