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How would you say "I can't eat spicy food"?

Ich kann kein scharfes Essen essen.

It sounds strange to put two "Essen"s together. Or is it okay? What would be other ways?

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Ich kann scharfe Küche nicht essen. – thandasoru Jan 21 '14 at 5:47
Why not -Ich kann keine scharfe Speise essen? – David Rose Jan 25 '14 at 10:54
up vote 14 down vote accepted

It is perfectly correct, but as you say one might want to avoid it. If one does not want to search for a different word for „Essen“ or „essen“ then one can resort to

Ich kann nichts Scharfes essen.

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Yes he can! After all, he can only notice that it is spicy when he eats it. Another question is if he likes it. </nitpicking> – Ingo Jan 20 '14 at 23:37
@ingo poor you.. "html" tags are getting parsed... instead you could use *nitpicking* or [nitpicking] – Vogel612 Jan 21 '14 at 8:16
Im mündlichen Ausdruck würde ich mir keinen Kopp machen - das merkt niemand, dass da zwei Essen in Folge stehen. Aber willst Du vielleicht scharfe Speisen speisen? – user unknown Jan 22 '14 at 5:09

Entirely correct. The one Essen is the noun and essen the verb. You could also use

Ich vertrage kein scharfes Essen.

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Essen essen is perfectly correct. However, I'd translate the can't with darf nicht:

Ich darf nichts Scharfes essen.

Ich vertrage nicht is a little bit different to Ich darf nicht:

  • Ich vertrage nicht means my body has a bad reaction to spicy food.

  • Ich darf nicht means I am not allowed to eat spicy food.

Both are possible translations - depending on the writer's intentions.

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Except you can't use this translation in the same context as the original english; this implies you're actually forbidden from eating spicy food (possibly because of religious reasons) or are literally unable to (because you're maybe allergic to everything that's spicy). "vertragen" is correct in this context; it's colloquial, but it's well understood as "I dislike this to the extent of refusing to eat it". – Cubic Jan 21 '14 at 14:00
@Cubic In the question I cannot find any context from the original poster. So we have to paint a picture of different possibilities. – halloleo Jan 21 '14 at 21:15
One English expression for "ich vertrage scharfes Essen nicht" could be "spicy food does not agree with me". – ssc Jan 22 '14 at 21:09
The original English sentence might also mean "I am so sensitive to spicy taste that I can't bring myself to swallow anything". Neither of the proposed translations carries that meaning. – Sebastian Redl Mar 20 '14 at 16:07

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