In Dutch I can let the user choose between (a software setting):

Alleen indien NIET toegestaan
Alleen indien WEL toegestaan

for which I think the English translation should be:

Only when NOT allowed
Only when allowed

But as you can see, that translation misses the visual emphasis (capitals) for the positive choice.
Is there something I can do with the translation that would let me use emphasis for both choices?


1) This is a configuration setting with a 3rd choice: N/a

2) I do not have the option of making this (much) longer like in

Only when overtime is NOT allowed
Only when overtime IS allowed

That is exactly the issue, it seems: there is no noun to refer to.

  • 1
    If you're determined to have a word you can capitalise for "visual emphasis", consider Only when EXPRESSLY allowed (or EXPLICITLY permitted, etc.). Oct 19, 2018 at 17:03
  • @FumbleFingers I suggest you make that an answer
    – user22427
    Oct 22, 2018 at 11:53
  • I don't fully understand your context. Are you talking about two possible values for a single configuration setting? The first thing that comes to mind for me there is a choice between "blacklisting" and "whitelisting" (for a web browser, say). In that context, "blacklist" would mean You can visit all sites except those listed as forbidden, whereas "whitelist" would mean You can visit only those sites listed as permitted. Is that the kind of thing you're asking about? Oct 22, 2018 at 12:04
  • @FumbleFingers Correct, two possible values for a single configuration setting.
    – user22427
    Oct 22, 2018 at 12:28
  • I don't think this is really a "Learning English" type of question. You might do better asking on SO User Experience for this sort of thing. Oct 22, 2018 at 12:45

1 Answer 1


You could make the sentences parallel by changing "NOT allowed" such as


Only when ALLOWED

or perhaps from your context

Only when DISABLED

Only when ENABLED

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