No puedo .... de otra manera que no ...

Anita hk

Senior Member
Hong Kong Chinese
The writer was describing a wonderful day that he had and finished the paragraph with this sentence:
'No puedo definirlo de otra manera que no sea magnífico'
which I'll translate literally as 'I cannot define it in another way than not being magnificent', but this is exactly the opposite to what the writer wants to say.
I wonder if the highlighted 'no' has any meaning in the sentence.
Can I just say 'No puedo definirlo de otra manera que sea magnífico'?

Thank you in advance for any input.
 
  • Cenzontle

    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    I think the two "no's" cancel each other.
    "I cannot define it (describe it) in any other way that would not be 'magnificent'."
    "I can't describe it in any way other than magnificent."
    "I can't describe it as anything short of magnificent."
     

    ChemaSaltasebes

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Spain
    Can I just say 'No puedo definirlo de otra manera que sea magnífico'?
    No, in Spanish you need that second "no" that you must avoid in English to say the same. That example sounds both incorrect and intending to mean the opposite; that you cannot define it as magnificent.
    'No puedo definirlo de otra manera que no sea magnífico' :tick:
    Which should be translated, for example, as
    "I can't describe it in any way other than magnificent." :tick:
     

    Anita hk

    Senior Member
    Hong Kong Chinese
    So the second no would be a ´redundant´ no, something to remember.
    Thank you Cenzontle and ChemaSaltasebes for your input.
     

    ChemaSaltasebes

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Spain
    I wonder if the highlighted 'no' has any meaning in the sentence.
    que no sea => salvo / excepto
    No puedo definirlo de otra forma salvo como magnífico
    Also,
    No puedo definirlo sino como magnífico

    No puedo comer nada que no sean verduras o frutas
    Triple negative, No/nada/que no, although perfectly clear in Spanish.
    No puedo comer nada excepto verduras o frutas
    I cannot eat (anything) but vegetables and fruits.
     

    Anita hk

    Senior Member
    Hong Kong Chinese
    Thank you ChemaSaltasebes for the latest example. Somehow, for me, it's easier with the triple negative: I cannot eat anything that are not veg and fruits.
     
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