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I would like to translate this sentence into German:

You have no right to try to change him.

In English, I have to use two infinitives in this sentence.

Since it is

ich versuche, etw. zu machen

and the subordinate clause needs also a verb with "zu", I thought it might be something like

Du hast kein Recht, ihn sich zu verändern zu versuchen.

But I feel that is possibly wrong. How could I build this kind of sentence?

5

German needs two infinitives as well here:

Du hast kein Recht, ihn zu verändern zu versuchen.

Du hast kein Recht, zu versuchen, ihn zu ändern.

Double infinitive does sound a bit weird, though, both in English and in German, the former a bit more than the latter.

So your sentence was basically OK, but the 'zu' stands alone - It doesn't merge with the verb.

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  • and what about the type sich+akk+[ver]ändern? Shouldn't I put 'sich' somewhere in the sentence? – Vassilis De Aug 26 '16 at 9:24
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    @VassilisDe Nope. sich makes the verb reflexive and thus changes the meaning to change yourself. Object and Subject are identical, then. – tofro Aug 26 '16 at 9:31
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    @VassilisDe A sentence where "sich" would make sense is: "Du hast kein Recht ihm einzureden, dass er sich zu ändern hat." (You have no right to talk him into thinking he had to change himself.) – Em1 Aug 26 '16 at 9:32
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Du hast kein Recht, zu versuchen, ihn zu verändern.

Note that the second verb should be "verändern" (or "ändern"), rather than the reflexive "sich verändern" or "sich ändern".

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  • 2
    We love explanations! – Em1 Aug 26 '16 at 9:30

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