ALMA Tip: "НЕЛЬЗЯ" in Russian

You need to know, when to say “No”! In case you also need to know, how to say “no” correctly in Russian, this ALMA Tip is for you ;)

In Russian there is a word for “one can’t” – “нельзя”. The hard part is choosing between perfective and imperfective variations of the following verb.

To say that something “isn’t allowed”, use an infinitive form of the imperfective verb:

Здесь нельзя переходить дорогу. (You (one) can’t cross the road here.)
В ресторанах и кафе Киева нельзя курить. (You can’t smoke in cafes and restaurants of Kyiv.)

When we mean that something can’t be done, simply because it is impossible, we use the infinitive of the perfective verb after “нельзя”:

Кино нельзя посмотреть, дома нет электричества. (We can’t see a film, there is no electricity in the house.)
Дверь нельзя открыть, замок сломан. (You can’t open the door, the lock is broken.)

That’s it from us on what you presumably can’t do. Now, what you CAN (and definitely should) do is come by ALMA School and learn some Russian or Ukrainian as foreign! You’d be surprised how fun it is ;)