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Attempting to translate:

You’re not going to suggest buying back that robot?

The sentence is meaning that the one spoken to should not make such a suggestion.

I said:

Du willst es nicht vorgeschlagen werden, dass du den Roboter zurückkaufst?

But 2 native German speakers corrected me with:

Du willst es nicht vorschlagen, dass du den Roboter zurückkaufst?

However, I do find many examples of "vorgeschlagen werden werden", albeit none in the negative. Is that important or is the original sentence a possible, correct translation?

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  • Please clarify, what you consider not to negate in the English sentence. In my opinion, it is the expectation, i. e. the speaker does not expect this suggestion. This would translate to nicht etwa vorschlagen, ....
    – guidot
    Commented Jul 1, 2022 at 14:50
  • Did you realize that all the examples you found were "vorgeschlagen werden werden", which is a completely different thing?
    – HalvarF
    Commented Jul 1, 2022 at 15:02
  • No, I did not realize. Thank you.
    – user44591
    Commented Jul 1, 2022 at 15:15
  • Are you sure you understood them correctly? What you propose as "native German", sounds really off to my native ears. The "es" does not fit in there. Commented Jul 1, 2022 at 17:59
  • Yes, I was quite confused with this translation. planetmaker sorted it out well.
    – user44591
    Commented Jul 1, 2022 at 19:23

1 Answer 1

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Start your translation with the base phrase "going to do sth". It translates to "etwas tun werden" or "etwas tun wollen".

So the question "You are not going to XXX" translates to "Du wirst (doch) nicht XXX tun (wollen)?". The "doch" is somewhat optional and expresses surprise or incredulity. Now we simply have to plug in the remainder.

"You are not going to suggest buying back that robot?" and similar in German we get "Du wirst doch nicht vorschlagen (wollen), den Roboter zurückzukaufen?"

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    That is the literal translation. But what a German speaker would actually say is usually "Soll ich den Roboter etwa zurückkaufen?" (Auxiliaries that express modality often map to Modalpartikeln in idiomatic German.) Commented Jul 4, 2022 at 6:28
  • The English sentence importantly associates a heavy degree of resistance to the act. "Soll ich den Roboter etwa zurückkaufen?" does not seem to convey the same resistance.
    – user44591
    Commented Jul 4, 2022 at 13:11
  • 2
    Oh, but it does! Our Modalpartikeln often express modality with the same intensity as much longer constructions in other languages do. Unfortunately, this is often not appreciated even among language teachers. Commented Jul 6, 2022 at 7:42

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