Currently on DuoLingo, and got this sentence:


which means:

Please don't talk when we watch movies.

My question: is the 要 strictly necessary here? Google translate actually gives a slightly different translation of

  • 要 is necessary in the sentence. 要 is necessary when express a demand. E. g. 不要说话!不要随意乱画!etc. – dan Jun 7 '20 at 3:14

'要' in '不要' cannot be removed, because '不要' is a compound word that mean 'don't'(auxiliary verb) which is different from '不' (adv: not)

  • 不要说话/ 别说话 = Don't talk (demand)

  • 不说话 = 'not speak'

  • 看电影的时候请(不要)说话 - Please (don't) talk when watching movies (O)

  • 看电影的时候请(别)说话 - Please (don't) talk when watching movies (O)

  • 看电影的时候请(不)说话 - Please (not) talk when watching movies (X)

他(不说话) = he (doesn't speak)

  • Thanks, got it 不要 should always be used (or 别) – information_interchange Jun 7 '20 at 18:51
  • However, it is a little confusing, since 要 also means "want". How to say "don't want"? – information_interchange Jun 7 '20 at 18:51
  • Don't want is 不想 – Tang Ho Jun 7 '20 at 19:38
  • 1
    Or you could also say "不想要 " – 高鵬翔 Jun 8 '20 at 1:54
  • I agree with @高鵬翔 . 你要不要? the answer is 不要 – information_interchange Jun 9 '20 at 0:49




  • Please answer the question whether 要 is needed. – zyy Jun 8 '20 at 4:29

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