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  5. "J'aime pouvoir faire ça."

"J'aime pouvoir faire ça."

Translation:I like being able to do that.

February 22, 2013



This is a sentence that goes unsaid in English. At least for me. Very awkward. This sentence used in a present context is bizarre. It is far more comfortable to say 'I'd' or 'I want'. Again, at least for me.


Or maybe: I like being able to do that? When you are glad because of the very opportunity of doing something (even if you do not eventually do it).


This is much more natural


It's marked as correct too. I like being able to do that.


This is my summer place, where I come to just get away from the hustle and bustle of the working world, and recharge my batteries. I like being able to do that. JS...


Why isn't "I love being able to do that" acceptable? I am having trouble firguring out when J'aime is "I like" vs "I love"


Sitesurf has commented on "aimer" and "adorer" on other pages. Hope I've summarized it correctly:

  • "aimer" = "to like" when referring to things or objects
  • "aimer" = "to love" when referring to people
  • "aimer bien" = "to like" when referring to people or pets
  • "aimer beaucoup" - "to like a lot" when referring to people or pets
  • "adorer" = "to love" when referring to things or objects


Excuse me, I'm sorry that this question isn't directly related to your comment, but I could use your help. What exactly does this sentence translate to? Because Duo accepts 2 completely different sentences as correct.

  1. "I like being able to do this", which expresses happiness over a present state of ability.

  2. "I like to be able to do this", which expresses a wish for future ability

So, which one is it?


The short answer is that I don't know the answer to your question. On a different page, people have commented that "I like to be able to do that" isn't natural English. Sitesurf commented:

Even though you may never say "I like to be able to do that", you may want to know what exactly the French sentence means:

Context: For the first time in your life, you did something requiring talent (any: manual, intellectual...). Commenting on it, you could say "I am proud (like it that) I could do that". If you anticipate doing it again you can say "I am proud (like it that) I can do that". If you have already done it successfully a few times, you may want to say "I like being able to do that".

  • J'aime être capable de faire ça = I like the fact that I am capable of doing that = I like being able to do that / I like to be able to do that.


William Cobbett's grammar book "Le maître d'anglais" (1801) discusses how to render the French verb "pouvoir" in English at pages 271 and 272. It's a google digitized book, and he published several books with similar content.

According to Cobbett, the ability to do something (le pouvoir de faire une chose) is expressed in English by "to be" followed by the adjective "able" (French "capable"). His text provides examples, including:

  • mode infinitif: pouvoir parler = to be able to speak
  • mode subjonctif, le gérondif: pouvant parler = being able to speak


I would say that 1 and 2 are identical in meaning in English. If you want to express a wish for the future you have to say "I would like to be able to do this".


The infinitive: "to be able" is not used in the present tense in English. You would say," I am able to do this and I like that" or "I like being able to do this." # 1 is the correct answer.

  • 2302

The sentence "I like to be able to..." is awkward in this context. It may be accepted but #1 is more natural.


Can one say "J'aime pouvoir la faire." instead?


Would "J'aime pouvoir le faire." also be considered correct?

And if so, how can I know which version of the sentence to use (le + verb vs verb + ça)? :)


I failed with......... I would like to do that :-(


I would like to do that = J'aimerais faire ça = J'aimerais faire cela


The English is incorrect and is a direct translation of the French. Correct English: - I like that I can do that. - I like that I am able to do that. - I like that I am capable of doing that.

From the French it cannot be: I would like (I'd like) to be able to do that. That would require: J'aimerais pouvoir faire ça.


The translation for this should be either 1) I'd like to be able to do that or I like being able to do that


Nope, the first example you give is conditional tense, which this is not. The second one though is correct. If the second was not accepted you should report it.


'I 'would' like to be able to do that' is the better


See comment above yours. That is conditional tense. It might be your preference to say in English, but it isn't what the French says. DL is not trying to match your syntactical ideal, it is trying to teach French. It is an entirely different meaning - it conveys that one can't do something, but wishes they could. The French sentence expresses enjoyment with having the ability to do something. Totes different.


English conditional is often the same as the French indicative. For example, we say "I'd rather...", where the french say "I rather". The French conditional isn't as broad as the english one.


In which case "I like being able to do that" would be a far more acceptable translation than "I like to be able to do that." Doesn't include the conditional and still carries the intended linguistic integrity without sounding like it was passed through Google Translate and came out awkwardly. There's no amount of explanation that can reconcile this.


Bold claim. Might be dialectic, but as an Australian, I would say it in that form without thinking twice. "I must have a holiday at least once a year. Running my own business means I can organise things to ensure I get at least six weeks where I can just get away - I like to be able to do that". Your preference for 'being able to do that' really is just that - preference.


The more I think of it, the more I agree it's dialectic. Putting my "American-speak" aside, the sentence does come together sufficiently well.


Is this an idiom or can anyone explain this sentence as it relates to the rules of the infinitive? It seems that there's "aimer" then two verbs "pouvoir" and "faire". The tips didn't mention more than 1 verb after the conjugated verb.


This is literal, it is fine if there is more than 1 verb that follows a conjugated verb although it is not commonly heard of. The notes don't mention it, but it goes like this. "conjugated + infinitive + infinitive" etc.


nobody in England would say 'I like to be able to do that'


If you had just done the thing and you were happy then you might!


Why can it not be "J'aime pouvoir le faire"? Why can we say "Je peut le faire"?


What is wrong with I like to be able to do that? I thought that there was no separate progressive form in french.

  • 2302

But there is in English and when you translate to English, use natural English. There are many situations when the infinitive être translates best to "being" and this is one of them.


Triple verb. Why no "de" here?


to do what exactly?

  • 2302

"Ça" = that; it can refer to just about anything.


oh thanks:) i forgot XD


the question i have is regarding the two unanswered questions above, the earlier one is the omission of "de" after pouvoir, and the next question is the option of using "le" or not using "le" in the same place. these 2 questions occur earlier for me in the comment quoting from the English/French reference william Cobbett; he makes pouvoir parler (faire), and pouvant parler (faire)


i said i would like to do that and i got it wrong, why?

  • 2302

J'aimerais faire ça = I would like to do that. It is the present conditional tense.


ok, so I read the comments, can you please change the correct answer to it's correct form now " I would like to be able to do that", so no one else will try to add comments


How would you say ' I like that I can make that' then


I accidentally typed : 'I'd like to be able to don that' My question is that how would you say THAT in French? Would it be: 'J'amerais pouvoir faire cela '


"I like that i am able do do that", seems more natural to me


It tells me that it should be "I like being allowed to do that". "Being able to" could mean about the same thing in english. Couldn't it? (Sorry for my pour spelling and idiomatics. English isn't my native language.)


I agree with The_D, it is very awkward English. I translated it as "I would like to do this". I concede this has a different meaning so perhaps it is just a silly sentence that wouldn't be said very much in either English or French!


I really don't understand why "I like being able to do that" is not accepted. It claims in the correction that this is the correct answer.


Can we use the étant to replace 'being' here?


yes, I have read about 90% of this comment section, and on my second take with this I wrote, "I like doing that". And I am happy to take the consequences of this translation in my mind when I hear my fiancee say this, and when I speak it in my American Southen Japanese influenced French attempted accent


what a pity phrase!

"I like being able to do that" isn't so bad, but Duo corrected my translation with the phrase "I like that I can do that."


In English one would need the conditional. I'd like.


I like the power to make (or to do) that though unusual should have been marked as correct.

[deactivated user]

    I like that I am able to do that.... What's the difference?


    People can (and will) quibble endlessly about the English phrasing.

    For me, the cool and interesting thing is the way French can easily string all these verbs together--evidently without quibbling!


    Speak French? Yeah, I like being able to do that.

    It's perfectly good English and very common phrasing.


    This sentence is totally wrong


    I would translate it as: i like to do that...sounds more natural

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