"You cannot tell anyone"

Mysterious StrangerKwiziq community member

"You cannot tell anyone"

I tried translating "You cannot tell anyone." on my own, and I came up with
"Tu ne peux pas dire à personne."

However, when I tried to check it on Google Translate, it changed my sentence to
"Tu ne peux pas le dire à personne."

Is "le" really necessary before "dire"? What is the rule of these kinds of sentences?

I hope you can help me. Thanks!

Asked 3 years ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Tu ne peux le dire à personne. -- You cannot tell (it to) anyone.

In English you can omit the "it" and the "to". In French you need them in this context, because it isn't about the act of speaking but about not telling something to anybody.

Mysterious StrangerKwiziq community member

Thanks for the clarification.

But are there other contexts when you can ommit “le”?

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Yes, there are. For example:

Je sais. -- I know.
Je le sais. -- I know it (referring to a previously mentioned thing).

Mysterious Stranger asked:View original

"You cannot tell anyone"

I tried translating "You cannot tell anyone." on my own, and I came up with
"Tu ne peux pas dire à personne."

However, when I tried to check it on Google Translate, it changed my sentence to
"Tu ne peux pas le dire à personne."

Is "le" really necessary before "dire"? What is the rule of these kinds of sentences?

I hope you can help me. Thanks!

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