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What is the correct way to form a sentence expressing the opposite of 得 (have to) as in "do not have to". I don't think 不得 is correct?!

*我不得工作

I am thinking something like...

我不需要工作 or 我不用工作

Is there a better way to construct "do not have to?".

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3 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

You are correct in that 不得 is not the correct negation for 得 (děi). The generally recognized negation for 得 is 不必 (bùbì), although 不需要 (bùxūyào) and 不用 (bùyòng) are perfectly fine as well; you could also use 无须 (wúxū).

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Just a supplement. There is actually a word "不得",which is a formal way to say "should not","not to be allowed","to be prohibited".

You may say "我不得工作",which means "I am prohibited to work","I should not work", however, this meaning sounds very weird.

You should also take care of the pronunciations. When "得" means "to have to","must",the pinyin is dĕi,while for "不得", pinyin is bù dé

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I think "don't have to" could also be expressed as 不一定得.

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