4

What is the difference in meaning between these two sentences?

Es dürfte lustig sein, in fremde Länder zu reisen.
Es muss lustig sein, in fremde Länder zu reisen.

Are these two sentence correct? Do they both make sense? Is the meaning difference though?

As I understood so far:

  • dürfen: to be free to do something, to be permitted to do something
  • nicht dürfen: to be forbidden
  • müssen: to have to, must
  • Dazu würde ich auch "Es sollte ..." fügen. – Denis Aug 14 '15 at 13:33
5

dürfen: to be free to do something, to be permitted to do something
nicht dürfen: to be forbidden
müssen: to have to, must

Usually, that’s correct.

Es muss … sein, on the other hand, expresses
an (strong) assumption or opinion, not a clear statement.

Es muss lustig sein, in fremde Länder zu reisen.

roughly means

I’m sure it’s fun to travel other countries

but the speaker doesn’t know for real,
eg. because he/she never travelled to other countries.

A bit weaker is Es müsste … sein, ie. the person is not 100 % sure that the statement holds.
And Es dürfte … sein is even weaker and can imply a question if the other person thinks of it as true.

Note that while muss, müsste and dürfte can be used that way, it’s not possible with darf.

Es darf lustig sein, in fremde Länder zu reisen.

means that it’s allowed to have fun while travelling (well, of course)

4

Both sentences are fully correct and idiomatic and have roughly the same meaning. The strictly literal meanings are as follows:

It might be fun to travel ...

It must be fun to travel ...

In the second case the literal translation happens to be correct because English uses exactly the same idiom in the same way. In the first case, the literal translation is misleading because the idiomatic meanings of the conditionals of German dürfen and English may are different. The correct translations are as follows:

It should be fun to travel ...

It must be fun to travel ...

People often don't distinguish, but if they do, the first variant would be used when the speaker is thinking about traveling themselves, and the second when thinking about what it probably means for others to be traveling.

0

Es dürfte lustig sein, in fremde Länder zu reisen. = It SHOULD be fun to travel to foreign countries.

Es muss lustig sein, in fremde Länder zu reisen. = It MUST be fun to travel to foreign countries.

  • Your answer is the equivalent of a one-liner, making it a bad answer. Please add more explanation. – Jan May 20 '15 at 13:36

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.