LA-MANZANA-DE-EVAProhibitions lead our lives since we were born. It doesn’t matter wherever we are, we know that we are allowed to do things, but others are forbidden. These rules make our lives easier and they make possible our cohabitation.

However, some philosophical or political ideologies, such as anarchism, have tried to get rid of them throughout History. In spite of that, we’ll always have prohibitions and today we’ll learn how to express them in Spanish.

We can forbid in general (for everybody) or in particular (for a specific person).

1. In general:

  • No se puede + infinitive: No se puede fumar aquí (Smoking is not allowed).
  • No + infinitive: No usar el móvil (Don’t use the cellular).
  • (Está) Prohibido + infinitive / nouns: Está prohibido comer en la oficina (eating in the office is forbidden) / Prohibido el consumo de alcohol (Drinking alcohol is forbidden).
  • No está permitido + infinitive / nouns: No está permitido pasar / el paso (No trespassing).
  • No + present subjunctive (3rd person plural): No hablen alto (don’t speak aloud).

2. In particular:

  • No + poder (present form) + infinitive: No puedes salir con tus amigos (you can’t go out with your friends).
  • Te prohíbo que + present subjunctive: Te prohíbo que vengas tan tarde a casa (I forbid you to come back home so late).
  • No te permito que + present subjunctive: No te permito que me insultes (I don’t allow you to insult me).
  • No + present subjunctive (3rd person singular): No toques eso (Don’t touch that).

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