"Maria and John can speak Japanese."
は and が are both subject particles, but は is more of a grammatical subject and が is more of a topic marker. The subject verb part of the sentence is "the people speak". What do they speak? The が indicates the answer to that question.
This is not true. は is the topic marker (but sometimes also replaces the subject or object marker) and が is the subject marker.
I found this:
For anyone who has learned Spanish, は and が look a lot like the differences between "por" and "para." Depending on the situation, you would choose one over the other.
It looks like we are in situation 4, where both participles are used in the same sentence. It says:
“a は b が …” is a very common Japanese sentence structure. ‘a’ is the topic. ‘b’ is something related to ‘a’. (and the verb comes at the end of the sentence)
It does say that “a が b は …” works but is less common. At the time of me posting this, Duolingo does accept this formation, but suggests the other as "another correct solution"
So, basically the potential form is also functionally passive.
I find it helpful to think of the potential Japanese form as the suffix “-able“, so in this sentence: “As for Maria and John, Japanese is speakable”, this way you can clearly see that Japanese is the subject.
As a note: if the base form “話す/話します (hanasu/hanashimasu)” were used, then “Japanese” would be the object and “を“ would be used, e.g.: “マリアとジョンは日本語を話します”.
There's a difference between a grammatical subject and a topic, which is basically the difference between は and が. The grammatical subject of the verb is "Maria and John" and this is indicated by は. "Japanese" is the "topic" of the verb here. はなす is a verb that generally takes a topic instead of a direct object, because you don't act on the Japanese language by speaking it. It's similar with 好き. You don't act on something by liking it in the same way you act on something by, say, throwing it. I don't know how good an explanation this is, as I'm still learning, but I hope it helps
I am also curious to find out this. When can we use the subject marker for a direct object like in this example?
話せます is Potential form ("I can.") while 話します is Present Indicative form ("I do.") Basically the first one is saying "I can speak." While the second is saying "I speak." ^^
話 is the kanji for "speak", in this case (when followed by し/せ ます) it's pronounced はな.
Additional fact: The Kanji is also used in phone 電話 (でんわ), kinda cool because it relates with speaking.
Super cool because that kanji with a tail means electricity. So phone is electric speak.
語 is what you're thinking of. It looks extremely similar to 話 but they are different.
マリアとジョンは日本語は話せる。 What do I do when the correct choice is NOT in the array of possible selections? 話 wasn't in the list of possibilities Yes I did report to but maybe I am missing something?
I have the same problem. 話 is not in the list here, so it's impossible for me to finish T_T
Exactly. I'm glad you guys had the same problem. I was wondering what I'd missed.
I'm running into the same thing. It's giving the correct answer as "マリアとジョンが日本語は話せます。", but the "は話せます" portion of the sentence is not available for selection. It rejects the use of the hiragana for "hanaseimasu" as incorrect by saying I've used the wrong word even though that's how the entire lesson had us learning it. Anyone at Duolingo tracking this?
話 as expected of the alliteration of はな is simply the kanji form of to speak, or talk. We don't apply normal ひらがな if the form of kanji can be used instead.
that missing character is a kanji that stands for hana. they use the kirigana, not the kanji
A question about は and が! So I think マリアとジョンは日本語がはなせます。would be an answer to "Which language can Maria and John speak?", right?
In response to "Who can speak Japanese?" could I say 日本語はマリアとジョンがはなせます。?
Right, I'm out! I've got this far by using half a dozen other apps to study the writing systems. There's no explanation for any of the grammar in Japanese. At least the German, French and Russian modules have hint boxes from time to time. I am sick of flying blind into a language I had absolutely no prior knowledge of, and getting zero support for my money. Subscription cancelled as of this afternoon. サヨナラ
So... I put this as my answer: マリアとジヨンは日本語がはなせます. It is the same except my "yo" is bigger than the answer they have. this has been the same with some other sentences and words so far. What is the difference between ヨ and ョ? how do I get the smaller one? Its making me type it but I can't get the smaller one so it keeps calling it wrong... Thanks
ジョ is pronounced "Jyo/Jo" while ジヨ is "Jiyo" (so for "John", the smaller one is correct). The same goes for any consonant+i character paired with ャュョ／ゃゅょ, so look out for them.
You just have to type "jo" or "jyo" (or ja = じゃ, sho = しょ, nyu = ニュ & so on) for it to automatically input the smaller form.
“はなせる“ is the potential form of “はなす”, meaning “can speak, speak-able”. “はなせます” is just the polite form of “はなせる”.
I am unable to understand this particular sentence (as in what are the proper words)
Personally, I find it hard to figure out where and how to put placement of words into my writting.
Translating it word for word gives me: "Maria and John Japanese speak can."
There should be an option on the bottom of the screen that says "Use Word Bank" to switch to multiple choice options. Also you could look up online how to set up your computer/phone to type in Japanese using roumaji. You do not need a Japanese keyboard to do so.
I don't see the kanji for "speak" as one of the options offered for choice. Have I missed something?
I was wondering this myself, why aren't there honorifics? Though I will say this, your 'John' is in hiragana instead of katakana. It should be ”マリアさんとジョンさん…” Maybe it's not letting it go because of that?
What would happen if I wanted to say that someone CAN'T speak a certain language? I imagine I'd have to change the end of 話せます somehow?
I thought I had the same issue, but if you scour your answer you will most likely find a slight error. Look out for the small ョ in ジョン. I have had it auto correct to ジヨン multiple times. (I'm assuming your using a keyboard not the word bubbles)