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  5. "英語と日本語がはなせます。"


Translation:I can speak English and Japanese.

June 5, 2017



Why is が used here?

[deactivated user]

    It is a little confusing, but basically because the verb はなせます is in the potential form (i.e. can speak), the particle you use to indicate the object (the thing you "can verb") changes to が instead of を. The reasons for this are not known to me, but it's just a rule you have to learn


    I've hardly touched Japanese since 1982, so correct me if I am wrong. 'Hanashimasu' = speak, 'hanasemasu' = can speak. And these are both forms of 'hanasu'

    [deactivated user]

      That's correct to my knowledge. "Hanasemasu" (話せます) was taught to me as "present potential" tense, so it translates to "can speak" in English.


      If you remember this way then it may be easier.

      In the old Japanese language, the "potential form" and the "irrealis form" + れる/られる are the same. The latter is used to express the passive voice. The direct object becomes the subject of the "state" when the action is performed.


      I don't fully understand this, can you explain it in a different way? Is it just a part of the sentence that needs to be there for no apparent reason?


      There needs to be a particle to mark what "英語と日本語" is (Is it the topic? Is it the subject? Is it the object?) cause that's how Japanese works. In this case, the correct particle is が which is the subject marker. In this sentence the languages are the object, so you would expect to use を but because the verb is in its potential form ("can speak") it acts differently, kind of like the passive voice in English ("languages are being spoken by me"). It's tricky, mostly you learn this kind of stuff best by listening to lots of the language so you become used to what sounds "right".


      Different verbs use different particles. For example ikimasu (to go) uses ni as a particle. Particles just help to indicate whats the topic in the sentence. Hope that helps


      Kinda, though it is not necessarily true that a sentence with 行く will have only the direction particle; for example, you might want to specify both a destination and a time, in which case you could use the へ and に particles, respectively. And if the destination is the topic, you can skip the に bit altogether and instead use が to mark a subject that will be going there. Context matters a lot in Japanese conversation.


      Cant wait to be able to say that one day


      Why is it "I can speak" and not only "I speak"?


      The verb はなす is being conjugated into the potential form which means "I can speak" instead of the present form, "I speak." Another user explained it to me better than I could here: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/22926693$comment_id=22931890


      Are we supposed to have learned this earlier? Or is this the duolingo method? I'm new here


      Duolingo has notes with grammar, conjugations and other rules on their website for each language. However, Japanese wasn't on the website version last I checked. It is quite frustrating that they don't put them in the app.


      "I speak" would probably be more along the lines of はなす instead of はなせます.


      In English, "I speak" does mean "I can speak." I speak Chinese means the ability to speak Chinese.


      "I speak" is now accepted by the app :)


      It shouldn't be. In this sentence the verb is saying 'can speak', not just 'speak'. It's a form of the verb that conveys a person's ability to do something.


      Can someone translate this sentence?


      "I can speak English and Japanese"


      I do appreciate the translations in the comments so i can be sure i understood it correctly. I always clme here to check


      Ok, what role is "と" fullfilling here?


      It means "and" in this sentence.


      Yeah, I'm all confused about が and を all over again. The other app I used had を as a particle after 英語 and 日本語. This one uses が in not sure which is actually right now.


      wo is used when the action occurs on the object directly. eg. ushi wo xxx ushi = cow if xxx is the verb, it means that the action will occur on the cow, as in, if the verb was 'to eat' it would be 'to eat the cow'. ga is the subject particle, like wa is used to introduce topic, ga tells the subject.

      hope it helped


      My Answer: 英語と日本語が話せます The Answer: 英語と日本語がはなせます

      Marked wrong? Is this just a case of random kanji rejection? I'm sure I've used this kanji on a previous answer and it was fine :s. Or am I missing an obvious mistake I've made...


      No, you're right, a case of random kanji rejection on Duo's part.


      Why is が pronounced differently here?


      It isn't. It's pronounced "ga"


      The pronunciation is "nga" and this is called 鼻濁音(びだくおん). It is used to make the flow of the sentence smoother. It is optional but naturally spoken when you speak fast enough.


      So whats the difference between 英 and アメリカ? Because 日本 is used for both 日本人 and 日本語.


      I believe the first word (the kanji) is England, while アメリカ means America, or USA. Just like 日本, you'd just tack on a 人 or a 語 to make it a nationality or language. However, American can be a nationality, but the language is actually english, which is why the kanji for england is used for the language.


      America also used to be called 米国 (べいこく)


      英 - England (UK) アメリカ - America 日本 - Japan 人 - person 語 - language

      That's my understanding. 英語 would mean British English or just "English". You could say アメリカ語 possibly to mean "American English", but I don't know if that's a thing they actually say


      That would make sense, but if you want to specify "American English" or "British English", you say アメリカ英語 or イギリス英語, respectively. Because of the state of English education in Japan, most Japanese probably don't realise the difference, and 英語 typically refers to American English since that's what they learn at school.

      • 1497

      So England and English (at least the language) are in kanji but America and American are katakana. Is that typical usage?


      The kanji name for the US is 米国, read as べいこく。Katakana for England is イギリス。


      A small number of Asian countries and languages have kanji. The United Kingdom and English are Eikoku and Eigo. England is engurando (in katakana) The rest use katakana as they are transliterations of foreign language names/words. https://www.coscom.co.jp/learnjapanese901/country.html (missing UK, England, Scotland, Wales for some reason)


      What indicates that it is a statement about "I" and not people in general? Is it in the verb form like Spanish has -o?


      No it is by implicit context. It can be used to describe people in general too. For example:

      • そのホテルのスタッフは何語が話せますか。 (What languages do the hotel staff speak?)
      • 英語と日本語が話せます。 (They speak English and Japanese.)


      So if I was to write "I can speak English, Spanish, and Japanese" would it be 英語もスペイン語も日本語が話せます or 英語とスペイン語と日本語が話せます? Basically, when I am using many objects/topics, should i use と or も or a combination (i can speak English spanish and also japanese) to conjugate multiple objects.


      Both of your Japanese sentences are correct, but I think the と on matches best with your English sentence. The reason being, as you probably already know, is that も means "also" and therefore emphasizes the inclusion of each item in your list.

      There's a lot of flexibility in using と and も (and to a lesser extent, や), and it really just depends on your tone and what exactly you want to emphasize. It's possible to combine them, for example: 「英語とスペイン語と日本語話せます。」emphasizes the fact that you can speak Japanese, in addition to English and Spanish.


      Why "英語と日本語が話せます。" is incorrect?


      I'm guessing that Duo marked it as incorrect because they haven't yet caught up with all kanji yet and also because Duo is just generally inconsistent about when they accept and don't accept kanji in answers as well as a bunch of other things.


      Can someone please write it out phonetically, I'm having trouble identifying the individual words.


      My suggestion is that you go back to lower lessons and practice your hiragana more.

      I have found it very useful to print out a hiragana and katakana chart that shows the stroke order along with the pronunciation AND to use a Japanese handwriting keyboard (most phone keyboard apps have this as a language option, and you can enable a similar function on computers with touch input - regular mouse input is difficult though, but not impossible). You'll need to use the website instead of the app, though, because the app doesn't yet allow keyboard input for Japanese responses!

      Also, try to say everything out loud as you go to build more neural connections between symbols and sounds and meanings.

      It's slower, but you'll learn faster.


      So this sentence is saying "I can speak English and Japanese" right?


      Yes, although the "I" is only implied. In other situations, different translations might be correct.


      The translation "The languages I speak are English and Japanese." is not correct? I was thinking that ga meant the focus was on hanasemasu. Is this because hanasemasu is singular and there is a different version for indicating plurals?

      Also, the correct translation it gave me at first was "They can speak in English and Japanese." I assume either they or I are fine because there is no context to base this statement off of?


      Let's get the easy stuff out of the way: yes, either "they" or "I" should be fine because we don't have enough context.

      Back to your first question, from a translation perspective, your suggestion isn't necessarily incorrect, but feels a bit more awkward than the Japanese sentence is. From a learning/grammatical perspective, I would say it's unacceptable because "the languages (that) I speak" is a relative pronoun construction which changes the main verb from "speak" to "are", meaning the Japanese sentence would read more like 「話せる言語は英語と日本語です」(はなせる げんご は えいご と にほんご です) (Literally: "Able to speak language, English and Japanese is")

      I'm not sure what you mean by が putting the focus on はなせます, but verbs in Japanese don't have singular or plural forms.


      I understand why が is used rather than を, but is there ever an instance in which you'd use も or does the inclusion of と mean you'd ever only use が?


      It can be either

      …と(…と)…が (sth, sth and sth)


      …も(…も)…も (not only sth, sth but also sth)


      Another sentece in this lesson said "Eigo ha/wa hanasemasuka?". Why did that one use 'wa' and this one uses 'ga'?


      Are there other verbs that have forms like 話す and 話せる? How do you conjugate the plain form to passive or potential form?


      First we need to understand there are three types of verbs. Each type conjugates in a particular way.

      • 五段(ごだん), some Japanese textbook refers this as "Group I"
      • 一段(いちだん), some Japanese textbook refers this as "Group II"
      • カ変(かへん) and サ変(さへん), some Japanese textbook refers this as "Group III"

      We look at the end of the verb in dictionary form 辞書形(じしょけい) to "guess" the type of the conjugation. 辞書形(じしょけい) always ends in the "u" column.

      • 五段 - They can end in most of the rows in the "u" column: う く す つ ぬ む る ぐ ぶ
      • 一段 - They only ends in る, and the sound before the る is in "i" column or "e" column, e.g. みる, いる, ねる, たべる
      • カ変 - one verb くる, サ変 - one verb する

      Now, to form the potential form,

      • 五段 - change the end of the verb from column "u" to column "e" in the same row, and then add る, e.g. かう→かえる, よむ→よめる, あらう→あらえる
      • 一段 - remove the る at the end, add られる (or れる in oral form), e.g. たべる→たべ(ら)れる, みる→み(ら)れる, いる→いられる(don't omit ら even in oral)
      • くる→こ(ら)れる, する→できる

      Don't want to confuse people here with the passive form. Read this for other conjugations. p.s. I find it easier than the French conjugation table.


      Is the hiragana for English えいだ?


      For portuguese speakers: hanasemasu = falasse mais . I memorized the verb "to speak/hanasemasu" like this.


      Why is と used as "and" here and not も? Do you use も with people (田中さんもマリア) and とwith things other than people (英語と日本語)? Thanks in advance.


      Both と and も can be used regardless of what kind of thing you are listing.

      と means "and" while も actually means "also", so you would use も instead of と when you want to emphasize the inclusion of a particular item in a list.


      I keep accidentally reading はなせます as "wanasemasu", oops.


      Why can't I use 話せます instead of はなせます?


      What's the difference between と and も?


      と - and, も - also, too


      I gave then answer: 英語と日本語が話せます which was marked wrong, but it is correct, being the same as: 英語と日本語がはなせます -_-


      How would you say this in a not overly polite way? Like, normal way.


      This IS a normal, not overly polite way to say it.


      I wish duolingo taught sentence structure amd linking verbs. Knowing the nouns means practically nothing answering queations like these.


      Linking verbs? Do you mean verb endings that act like conjunctions and can be used to join sentences together? Because none of that is happening in this sentence.


      What about if use できる instead of 話せる?


      Yes, that's fine. You can say 日本語ができるand it means I can speak Japanese. 話せる is just specifically can speak.


      How come it just says english and Japanese can speak, it makes no mention of who can speak them?!


      The speaker is saying I can speak English and Japanese. English and Japanese are not the subjects/are not performing the action. With potential verbs or potential forms of verbs が usually follows the "object" ie. が marks what the speaker is able to do. So in this instance the speaker says "I can speak....." I can speak what? What the speaker can speak precedes が, so "I can speak English and Japanese".


      Eigo to Nihongo ga Hanasemasu.


      Man this one's killing me, I hear は instead of が every time.


      Hi there! My sentence was completely correct but I put ei and go separately (separate boxes each contacting a kanji), is it a big deal or something when I am writing these tests?


      Still bothers me to no ends that I can't use the kanij when typing this because it counts it as incorrect!


      What does "masu" do?


      It is a polite verb ending. It also tells us the tense, voice and mood of the verb for instance ~ます here tells us that the verb is present tense, active voice, and the せ tells us the verb is in the potential form.


      Why is が used after 日本語 but not after 英語?


      Why is が used after 日本語 but not after 英語?


      The と after 英語 means 'and', the が is used because 話す is in its potential form. The と joins English and Japanese together - they are the two languages that the subject can speak.


      At least that is the goal.


      Why won't Duolingo accept "が話せます" on this sentence? I've encountered the kanji, so it should know that I might know it. (I'm using Japanese handwriting input specifically so I can learn better, especially the kanji)


      The Duolingo system requires someone to enter in every possible answer. Initially they only used kana and they later started adding Kanji, so the kanji acceptance is very inconsistent. Flag it as correct any time it is not accepted, and eventually they will get to it.


      Same question has been asked by LukaszGuzewski. It has to involve course contributors' manual work to enter this kanji in the Duolingo database. And one of them promised to add kanji up to N4 in the new course. https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/30544388/Tree-2-0-UPDATE


      Quick question... is はなせます The same thing as 話せます?


      Yes, 話 is the kanji pronounced はな in this case.


      Did they update the app? It just said i had a typo instead of saying i was wrong


      They have had this feature for a while. It is very hit or miss whether it recognizes any particular typo. They seem to have to add every typo manually. My phone frequently will autofill "pleas" instead of "please" and I am hoping at some point it will be recognized as a typo.


      What's the difference between は、が、を、and も to indicate a subject?


      The only particle that indicates the subject is が. は and も seems to indicate subject sometimes but it is because they supecede が if they are used together.

      • はが => は always
      • もが => も 99% of times

      を never indicates the subject.

      • が indicates subject, or the target of ability or desire. It can also be use to indicate contrast by putting it between two clauses as a conjuctive particle (same as "but" in English).
      • は brings a phrase/noun to a topic, or indicates a contrast.
      • も indicates the phrase/noun has a common attribute with another phrase/noun.
      • を indicates the direct object of the verb. Also indicates the waypoint of a movement action.


      を always indicates the direct object of the verb - never the subject. も could actually indicate the subject OR the object depending on what it follows. Consider for instance if my friend says: ケーキを 食べました - and I wanted to say that I ate cake TOO. I could either say 私も ケーキを 食べました - I ate cake too. OR Simply 私も - me too. In this instance も follows the subject of the sentence to indicate that I also ate cake.

      Compare this with - say I had already said that I had ice-cream for dessert but wanted to add that I had cake as well. Then I would say - ケーキも たべました - I also ate cake or I ate cake as well - in this instance も follows the object to show that cake was what I ate in addition to what I had already told my friend that I had eaten. Hope this makes sense.


      Why doesn't it accept the following?! 英語と日本語が話せます。


      I accidentally did not press the word "speak" so i translated it to:"I can English and Japanese" :D


      How can i pronounce it correctly?


      What is the use of と?


      It means 'and'. It's always a good idea to read through the entire thread thoroughly - questions like yours are often asked and answered multiple times.


      Why there is no watashi wa


      It is deliberately omitted from the sentence because it is well understood that I am the subject.


      I wish there was a slow speak I can not understand what their saying


      Would putting 「私は」 at the beginning change the meaning? If not, what is the preferred way to say it in Japanese?


      It is not wrong but the preferred way is NOT to put 私は to any sentences unless the context is not clear.

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