When I'm trying to translate the French sentence: "Notre logiciel XYZ permet de redimensionner les images au format PNG et convertir le format", I often find:

1) "Our software XYZ allows the user to resize PNG images and ..."

Naturally, I would write:

2) "Our software XYZ allows to resize PNG images and ..."

Does 2) sound strange for a native English speaker?

Which one is more idiomatic?

Is it better to use "to allow sb to do sthg" vs. "to allow to do sthg"?

Is there maybe another way to say it without involving "the user" (with another verb than "allow")?

  • Please don't use such things as sb and sthg on this site. This is not twitter. – 9fyj'j55-8ujfr5yhjky-'tt6yhkjj Jan 23 at 3:36
  • @9fyj'j55-8ujfr5yhjky-'tt6yhkjj This is not "twitter-style", this is a convention used in many reputable dictionaries (paper version, I mean not online ressources, but good book dictionaries). See here: dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/allow (or better, see in a book paper version) : "allow sb/sth to do sth. The website allows consumers to compare the prices of all energy and telephone providers." – Basj Jan 23 at 11:48

"Our software XYZ allows resizing of PNG images" could be an alternative (without the user). The Oxford Learner's dictionary gives the following meaning for allow: to let somebody/something do something. In this sense allow requires a noun or pronoun after it. So it should be allows the user to resize.


I am not fully bilingual, but I can generally understand written French. To me, this sentence reads:

Our software XYZ allows the resizing and conversion of PNG images.

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