2

is there any way to say that, for example:

You could do nothing

You could not do anything

I feel like there should be a similiar one to say what I mean, but what I've come up with ends up just meaning "you couldn't do anything".

  • 1
    Are you trying to say, "You didn't have to do anything"? – Jim Nov 22 '14 at 2:56
  • 1
    It seems like the poster is trying to say you have the option to do something or to do nothing, it's up to you to choose. If that's the case, I would say "You may (or could) choose to do nothing." I would need more context to decide if may or could is better though. – ColleenV Nov 22 '14 at 3:51
  • That is what I mean, you have the option to do something or not. I think "You may choose to do nothing" is the best answer I'll get. I just thought there would be another construction more similiar to the phrases I gave. Since the phrase didn't come naturally for me, I ended up translating from my native language, which then sounded odd.Thanks though. – PoulsantPullover Nov 22 '14 at 5:26
2

You can do nothing. (Needs context for clarity.)

You can/may [verb]. (May need context for clarity.)

You don't need/have to do anything.

You need do nothing.

You needn't do anything.

You can [optional verb phrase], but you don't need/have to.

It's not necessary to do anything.

You can [verb phrase] or not.

[verb-ing] is [possible but] not required.

It's possible/ok [to + verb] [, but not needed/necessary/required].

____ is optional.

I can think of many more alternatives. We can also communicate information about whether some possible act is suggested, desireable, discouraged, prohibited, easy, difficult, etc.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.