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  5. "英語がはなせます。"


Translation:I can speak English.

June 4, 2017



Wow everyone here knows what they are talking about except me. I will study hard\º-º/


I feel like im in waaay over my head and have to go back to hiragana 1 to 4 to really nail that down...


I am soooooo confused, even people who are a lower level understand way more than I do. Maybe I should use other learning resources.


I agree. Duolingo is a great website for practicing, but doesn't do an amazing job explaining grammar rules, which is essential in learning Japanese, or any language for that matter. When I first began intro one, I searched up grammar basics on Youtube and this is the most useful video I've found for when you begin learning the language. https://youtu.be/BckC9gXghIc It's a bit lengthy, but it's worth it, trust me.


The video is a good one, and the pronunciations are authentic. Regarding the grammar notes, there are similar contents in the course tips sections which are accessible by clicking on the light bulb button on the course tree page when you click on a lesson.


I've also been learning Japanese in a class before I started Duolingo. Can someone explain why it is 話せます here and not 話します?


話します is "I speak", whereas 「話せます」 is "I can speak". It is the potential form, so it is like " I can (verb)" , which is formed as follows:

For う verbs/ godan verbs: Change the う into える。 話す becomes 話せる 書く becomes `書ける etc.

For る verbs/ ichidan verbs: Change the る into られる。 見る becomes 見られる 食べる becomes 食べられる Often the ら is dropped in this case so it becomes 食べれる.


the changing may be difficult. so, there is another way to express potential form. i can speak. わたしは 話す こと が できる。 i can write. わたしは 書くこと が できる。 in these case, 'できる' means 'can'. the function of こと is as same as of 'to' or 'ing'. for example... it is possible for me 'to' speak Japanese.
it is possible for me speaking Japanese. i hope this comment helps you.


Wow, everyone, seems to know a little before has started im Duolingo.


That's very helpful, thank you so much!


What are う godan and る ichidan verbs?


God that's a scary link!


lmao thought you said ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤ for a split three seconds


you're using kanji waaaay above the point im at. hell most of the people who liked your comment understood 30% of what you said........ you aren't speaking to native Japanese speaking people. i read a little, then found myself lost entirely but finding what youree saying useful. i don't want to google every aspect of an explanation. Hopefully this becomes understandable to me in the near future. but right now it is useless. i know this is old, sorry for ranting but im tired of these advanced explanations, from most likely self taught people when duolingo needs to oblige themselves in helping with the learning curve. they make money off of us the least they can do is hire a person who speaks each language to add tips and pointers. that way there is way less "from my understanding" and a tutored like sense of education.


Unfortunately thereare way more people complaining about not using enough kanji. It is very bad that Duolingo developers do not prioritize adding the readings of kanji making learning experience bad.

If you don't understand any of the comments, just leave it. Not all comments target the real beginners.

Also check the official tips and notes that are only available in the web version.

Basically some verbs conjugated in -eru form are in their potential form which represents ability. e.g. hanasu (dictionary form)-> hanaseru (potential form). Just read the wiki page I posted above for more information on various conjugated forms.


Why が is used here?


Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but i believe it's because 英語 is not the topic, the implied person is the topic. 英語 is the subject, and thusly marked by the subject particle が.


So the sentence :

eego wa hanasemasu

Would translate as: english can speak.(Correct?)

Here "english" would treated like a person as in A can speak ?


No, 英語は話せます means that you stress that the language you can speak is English. は is used to stress the previous noun. Maybe you cannot speak Japanese or French, but you speak English. 日本語とフランス語は話せませんが、英語は話せます。


Sorry, but i didnt quite understand why did you use 話せませんが in your example


The が there means "although." Although I cannot speak Japanese and French


Yes, that's right. That's why you use が instead of わ


Instead of は, you mean.


Does that mean it's as simple as object vs. subject?


How difference this ~I can speak English ~You can speak English ~We can speak English I ask because the phrase literally can be translated as "can speak Japanese"


Because in Japanese you don't need a subject in a sentence; it's left to context to decide the meaning. It's like saying "I go to the store and shop." You don't need to repeat yourself. But Japanese takes this a step further and lets you drop the first 'I' as long as it's understood. This also applies to words other than 'I' but you get the picture.


It does also happen in languages derived from Latin such as Italian and Portugues so it isn't that strange


It's different than in romance languages. In romance the subject is implied in the declension of the words; not in Japanese.


Why do they call it 'romance'?


Because they originate from a language spoken by Romans.


At the end, why ます, and not です?


Because ます is doing, and です, is being. (sorry if the explanation is poor)


ます Doing. です being


dude, you legit saved me from a lot of confusion. toake my lingots


1 year later still helping, thanks friend!


Can someone explain the polite "masu" at the end? Why is it needed?


Because you want to show respect to the one listening to you.

If the listener is your friend you can use the simple form 話せる. This normal form is often called タメ口(くち).


Then why isn't is ' です '?


です is for noun and adjective ending. Verbs end with ます


Why does 英語 get the particle が ? If I speak English, I am the subject and English is the object - the thing I'm speaking. So why doesn't it get the pronoun を ?


When it is in the potential form, it does not accept a direct object, so we do not use "を". It indeed express the state of the ability and the direct object in the plain form becomes the subject in the potential form. It is difficult to understand so I recommend beginners to just memorize the usage of が if we are using the potential form.


Would this be more accurately/literally translated as "English can be spoken"?


In the old form of Japanese 英語が 話される - yes, like English is spoken.


It says "polite form" ....polite form of what?


Japanese has several politeness levels. Among them are Informal Speech, Formal Speech ("keigo"), and Humble Speech. You will only need to deal with the first two, usually, though there's a bit more to it. You recognize Keigo by either です/ます, which are not used in non-keigo, or by certain words. For example, if you are male, 私 (わたし) is keigo for "me/I". おれ, ぼく etc. are informal.

[deactivated user]

    When I can use the particle wo?


    をindicates a direct object. はなせる is the "potential form" of 話す(はなす)(to speak). All potential form cannot have a direct object, so we do not use "を"

    日本語を話します。 but 日本語が話せます。


    Very helpful. Thanks.


    Could someone ask "英語は話せますか?" And the response would be this?


    yes and the answer is はい、英語は話せます。 or いいえ、英語は話せません。


    if ます means "a little" then why is the translation not "I speak a little English"?


    It does not mean "a little." It is a politeness modifier on the verb "speak."


    What if we use をinstead of が ? How come 英語 is the subject?? Shouldn't it be the skipped 私 ?


    There can be multiple subjects in a sentence. This is the so-called は~が structure in Japanese. It is used to describe traits owned by someone or something.

    私は背が高いです I have a trait that my back is high. => I am tall. Both 私 (I) and 背(Back) are subjects (same as the English sentence).

    私は英語が話せます。 私 is the larger subject and 英語 is the smaller subject. "I have a trait that English is being able to be spoken"


    Oh thanks for the explanation but I saw somewhere that を was used after 英語。So can it also be a direct object ?


    When it is in potential form, in this case 話せる, it is no longer a transtive verb and can no longer take an object. Think of this potential form is transformed to the passive voice; the original object 英語 of the verb 話す becomes the subject of 話せる. (The Japanese potential form was derived from the passive form in the ancient times.)

    Therefore it is almost grammatically incorrect to use を with 話せる, although を is used with 話す. (In day-to-day conversations you will find を with potential form, but really it should not be the case in written form.)


    Why is this 英語がはなせます for "I can speak English.", but when you ask "can you speak English?" It's 英語ははなせますか? when do I know to use は and が?


    This lesson had a "Select the missing word" on it and the missing word was a choice of "English, Japanese or Chinese". The correct answer was English but there was no way to determine which it would be until it was answered.


    Where are the pronouns?


    There are none. Like with many things in Japanese it's implied by context.


    What indicates the subject?


    The subject is commonly omitted if it's obvious by context, but if it's not obvious, words like "watashi" and "anata" can be used (by the way, you usually say someone's name instead of "you" as "anata" is somewhat impolite).


    Impolite, i.e. not commonly used, not as in "non-keigo". あなた is technically Keigo, unlike おまえ, きみ, あんた etc.


    I belive it's context. There are pronouns (e.g watashi) but if you're talking about someone, you don't have to use them.


    Why is there no desu?


    です is basically the verb "to be" while はなせます is the verb "to be able to speak". So your sentence is "I can speak..." instead of "I am...".


    And ます already indicated Keigo.


    How do i know where to put the ga?


    after the subject of the sentence


    Before が would transform a sentence from a statement to a question (though usually it is at the end of the sentence), so why dors this not become a question?


    That's the particle か(ka) not が(ga) and かmust be at the end of the sentence to make it a question.


    Got it! Thank you for clearing that up :)


    So if I want to ask someone if they are able to speak English, I could say: 英語がはなせ desu ka?


    I believe it will be 英語がはなせ masu ka?

    You use "desu" as an equivalent of I am; She/He/It is; You/we/they are

    You add "desu" to the noun: teacher desu, doctor desu, american desu

    You add "masu" to the verb: English speak can masu, etc.


    Thank you very much, you are very kind。 And、 yeah, I've read it a few days ago somethin' close to what you said. That, for now, (before the really hard stuff starts to kick in) we should use "ます" after verbs and "です" with basically everything else. ありがとうございます、またね。


    Do you say the 'Wa' after the 'Ga'


    No. It is "ha" as part of the word はなせます (can speak).


    All the following sentences google translates to "I can speak English". Are they correct? Which one should I use? What's the difference? 1)英語がはなせます 2)英語を出来ます 3)私は英語を喋れます 4)英語を話せる



    So I have a question about "はなせます" I have a verb chart with "hanasu" the dictionary form on it and many other forms of the word but the only ones with "せ" have either ば which is conditional or ますか which is asking ability, none with just ます. Any help would be great.


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_verb_conjugation#Potential. The potential form is basically an -eru verb.

    From the dictionary form of potential conjugation, apply the polite form of (-eru) at this section https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_verb_conjugation#Summary_of_verb_conjugations

    話す→話せる(from the potential form chart)→話せます(from the polite form chart)


    Excuse me but "ga" what does it mean??


    Indicates the target of abilities, wishes, or preferences.


    "Ga" indicates an emphasis in front of it like in "Dare ga kimasuka" - "Who will come" putting more emphasis on the subject 'who' unlike "wa" which puts emphasis after it such as "watashi wa kimasu" - "I will come" putting more emphasis on the verb ' to come'


    I don't get it. I learned that to make the potential form the verb must end in -ru, but this one ends in -masu


    This is compound. Hanasu->hanaseru (potential form)->hanasemasu (polite form).


    “I can speak English” is a potential form then why is it written with -masu?


    In order to show politeness to the listener.


    Whats the difference between はなせます and はなします? Are they interchangeable?


    As I've understood it, はなします means am/are/is speaking (at in at this moment), while はなせます signifies ability to speak. And when you in English say "I speak Japanese", it usually means that you are able to speak Japanese, not that you are speaking right now.


    I know this sounds dumb, but I'm confused as to why this sentence means "I can speak" - where in the sentence is I specified? :/ is it just implied? Would it be improper to incorporate watashi? (Sorry, I dont have a Japanese keyboard installed at the moment.)


    私 is almost always implied, unless you need to use it to avoid confusion.


    英語が話せます or 英語を話せます?

    Ive seen both being used, so in which case do you use が instead of を ?

    Btw 話せ is kanji for はなせ in case you were confused.


    Como é que vou saber se é inglês ou japonês ?


    Hi everyone, Why duolingo marked the answer 英語が話せます as wrong?

    Thanks for your help


    Because the kanji 話 is not recognized by Duolingo


    Oh. Ok Thanks for your help


    For some reason it will not accept 話せます but will accept はなせます. Whats the difference between the two?


    Sometimes I feel like I'm taking a shot in the dark


    It doesn't accept 英語が話せます

    I assume it's because of the kanji ?


    Yes, confirmed in one of the above discussions.


    Today on "useful phrases to understand when you're visiting Japan"!


    Good job introducing whole sentences and signs before teaching the separate words first. This is not a very good approach to teaching a language as complex as Japanese


    Is 英語が話せます。not correct?

    What happened to the 'report' option of 'my answer should've been accepted'?


    Why is everything deleted? This is so frustrating


    What's deleted?

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