"英語がはなせます。"

Translation:I can speak English.

1 year ago

119 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/2JGl
  • 13
  • 7
  • 7
  • 3

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

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Stefan659208

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

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LoriK22

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?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KiritsuguZFC
  • 11
  • 10
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2

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.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nakada501
  • 24
  • 14
  • 7
  • 5

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.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Gui253827
  • 15
  • 15
  • 11
  • 2
  • 14

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

2 days ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LoriK22

That's very helpful, thank you so much!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wush11
  • 16
  • 10

What are う godan and る ichidan verbs?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithWong9
  • 23
  • 14
  • 12
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 4
  • 4
  • 50

https://www.duolingo.com/mark.one.too

God that's a scary link!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BrandonRig1250

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.

2 days ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithWong9
  • 23
  • 14
  • 12
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 4
  • 4
  • 50

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.

2 days ago

https://www.duolingo.com/shirel.tai
  • 25
  • 25
  • 23
  • 17
  • 17
  • 13
  • 12
  • 12
  • 10
  • 9
  • 7
  • 5
  • 5
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
  • 61

Why が is used here?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/geoffreyhu6

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.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Divyanshu937485

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 ?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithWong9
  • 23
  • 14
  • 12
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 4
  • 4
  • 50

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。

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Bruno_Rezende

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

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithWong9
  • 23
  • 14
  • 12
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 4
  • 4
  • 50

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

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rockisch

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

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PStrotman

Instead of は, you mean.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Beste_Schurk
  • 15
  • 11
  • 7
  • 5
  • 3
  • 2

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

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ZenKeep

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"

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EmptyK

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.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitarah27
  • 19
  • 11
  • 10
  • 7
  • 6

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

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hectorlqr
  • 15
  • 15
  • 15
  • 14
  • 13
  • 12
  • 12
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 4
  • 4
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 8

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

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/thesharanaithal

Why do they call it 'romance'?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dimaas
  • 15
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 4

Because they originate from a language spoken by Romans.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/zsemi021

At the end, why ます, and not です?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ktakn

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

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ktakn

ます Doing. です being

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lord_Bacon03

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

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/avaschmys
  • 20
  • 14
  • 12
  • 10

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

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithWong9
  • 23
  • 14
  • 12
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 4
  • 4
  • 50

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).

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/avaschmys
  • 20
  • 14
  • 12
  • 10

Thanks!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lautje111

Then why isn't is ' です '?

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithWong9
  • 23
  • 14
  • 12
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 4
  • 4
  • 50

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

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jake3.14
  • 15
  • 12
  • 10
  • 9
  • 2
  • 2

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 ?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithWong9
  • 23
  • 14
  • 12
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 4
  • 4
  • 50

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.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tophyr

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

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithWong9
  • 23
  • 14
  • 12
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 4
  • 4
  • 50

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

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KTmApb

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

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Nimajita
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 6
  • 6
  • 5
  • 2

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.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jardorowsky

When I can use the particle wo?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithWong9
  • 23
  • 14
  • 12
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 4
  • 4
  • 50

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。

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jamesjiao
  • 13
  • 12
  • 12
  • 10
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5

Very helpful. Thanks.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Wavynavy10

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

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithWong9
  • 23
  • 14
  • 12
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 4
  • 4
  • 50

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。

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PalaeoJoe

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

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithWong9
  • 23
  • 14
  • 12
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 4
  • 4
  • 50

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

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Pouriya0
  • 21
  • 17
  • 12
  • 10
  • 8

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

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithWong9
  • 23
  • 14
  • 12
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 4
  • 4
  • 50

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"

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Pouriya0
  • 21
  • 17
  • 12
  • 10
  • 8

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

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithWong9
  • 23
  • 14
  • 12
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 4
  • 4
  • 50

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.)

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NathanWood010101

Where are the pronouns?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Beste_Schurk
  • 15
  • 11
  • 7
  • 5
  • 3
  • 2

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

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Marbellous
  • 14
  • 14
  • 8
  • 6
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2

What indicates the subject?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kai19154

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).

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Nimajita
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 6
  • 6
  • 5
  • 2

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.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NathanWood010101

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.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ilsa772619

Why is there no desu?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jake3.14
  • 15
  • 12
  • 10
  • 9
  • 2
  • 2

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...".

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Nimajita
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 6
  • 6
  • 5
  • 2

And ます already indicated Keigo.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/feanixium

How do i know where to put the ga?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithWong9
  • 23
  • 14
  • 12
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 4
  • 4
  • 50

after the subject of the sentence

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheRozhea

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?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithWong9
  • 23
  • 14
  • 12
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 4
  • 4
  • 50

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

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheRozhea

Got it! Thank you for clearing that up :)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BrianBleynolds

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?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/crash_boom_bang

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.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BrianBleynolds

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。

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sebbie10
  • 10
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 2

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

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithWong9
  • 23
  • 14
  • 12
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 4
  • 4
  • 50

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

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sergei_K_

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

Thanks!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Glatorian

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.

11 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithWong9
  • 23
  • 14
  • 12
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 4
  • 4
  • 50

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)

11 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NgocThuyVo1

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

11 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithWong9
  • 23
  • 14
  • 12
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 4
  • 4
  • 50

Indicates the target of abilities, wishes, or preferences.

11 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Glatorian

"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'

11 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Robin539971

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?

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kris768945

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

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithWong9
  • 23
  • 14
  • 12
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 4
  • 4
  • 50

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

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kris768945

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

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithWong9
  • 23
  • 14
  • 12
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 4
  • 4
  • 50

In order to show politeness to the listener.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Alex141365

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

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vtopphol
  • 20
  • 17
  • 14
  • 12
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 6
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2

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.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KomiShouko

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.)

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Xelia5
  • 14
  • 14

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

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FadyJaber

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.

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rafaelSilv693429

Como é que vou saber se é inglês ou japonês ?

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RaohPiccol

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

Thanks for your help

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithWong9
  • 23
  • 14
  • 12
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 4
  • 4
  • 50

Because the kanji 話 is not recognized by Duolingo

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RaohPiccol

Oh. Ok Thanks for your help

3 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/WayneOwen3

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.

2 weeks ago
Learn Japanese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.