"Ich kann jetzt lesen."

Translation:I can now read.

January 14, 2013

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Could someone explain to me why one would say "Ich lese" but "Ich kann jetzt leseN"? What causes the verb to change like that?


If the predicate consists of a modal verb (e.g. can, must, may) and another verb, only the modal verb is inflected ("changed"). For the second verb you use the infinitive: ich kann lesen, du kannst lesen, er kann lesen, wir können lesen, ihr könnt lesen, sie können lesen.

That is incidentally also the case in English, although it's not as obvious as in German. You say "He can read" and not *"He can reads".


Vielen dank! That's a lot clearer to me now.


How are you able to make a "hard return" on Duolingo posts? You did it on this one, with "That is incidentally ..." on a new paragraph.


To make a "hard return" add 2 spaces after the return.



Does this sentence means that "I have time to read now" or "now that I learned how read, I can read"? Or either of them?

The question is about the difference of nun and jetzt. Would there be a difference in the meaning using one out the other?


It can mean both. As for "nun" and "jetzt" - they are basically synonyms, with "nun" belonging perhaps to a slightly higher stylistic register. In any case, it doesn't change the meaning if you use "jetzt" or "nun" here.


The FSI substitution drills have been very helpful to me. So if I wanted to make a drill for this sentence, would these be the correct entries?

Ich kann jetzt lesen. Du kannst jetzt lesen. Er (Sie/Es) kann jetzt lesen. Wir können jetzt lesen. Ihr könnt jetzt lesen. sie (Sie) können jetzt lesen


looks correct


Does the word order at the end matter? As in, "Ich kann jetzt lesen" vs "Ich kann lesen jetzt"


in german grammar there is a rule to finish the sentence with a verb - so the - ich kann jetzt lesen -sounds more natural.


But not every sentence of course.


of course not every :) but most of them do so if unsure it is a safe bet :)


Anyone else hearing a distinct "t" at the end of Kann... "ich kannt jetzt lesen"


So if a sentence has a modal verb and an action verb, only the modal verb is affected by the gender of the subject and the action verb becomes infinitive, yes?


It's exactly the same as in English. E.g. we say: He can be there tonight, not He can is there tonight.


It's simple - when you say - Ich lese - you translate it as - i read = the activity. When you say - ich kann jetzt lesen - you are referring to your ability or possibility of reading.

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