1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Japanese
  4. >
  5. "Can I look at my textbook?"

"Can I look at my textbook?"


June 9, 2017



It should really be 見てもいい at this level of formality.


Both are fine. I'm not sure what level of formality is inferred from "Can I look at my textbook?" to make you think it HAS to be 見てもいい.


I think they mean the general level of formality taught in the duolingo course up to this point. Thus far, particle omitting has been discouraged (you have to know how to use them right before you can know when to leave them out, so it makes sense).


what difference does the も make?


The difference is, that's how it's usually taught.

As in 食べてもいいですか?(May I eat/ Is it okay if I eat?)


Sorry but I am not sure to understand the difference... "that's how is usually taught"... in Japan? In the US? Which is more polite? Sorry but this came out a lot in previous lessons and I just want to understand :)


That is how this sentence structure is usually taught in formal textbooks.

Verb~てもいいですか? Is the more polite way of asking for permission.


Wouldn't it be better as mo ii desu ka




Is it wrong if I add a は particle?


"To look at the textbook, is it okay?"


Where is the "my" in the Japanese version offered here?


I think it's implied, but it could be translated as "the textbook, a textbook, my textbook". The fact that it's"my" textbook is contectual, but in this sentence we have no context.


Why would anyone have to ask permission to look at their own textbook?


During some quiz or test, where the answer would likely be no


All of the elements have meaning. "Mo" conveys a sense of additionality (too, also), ranging to the unexpected (even, although). "Mite mo ii?" then, is something like "Looking, too, is OK?" or "Even looking is OK?" "Mite ii?" leaves this out or leaves it to be understood (which is consistent with the Japanese propensity for not saying what can be understood except to be polite).


What about "mite wa ii"? My first intuition was to search for a topic marker regarding that textbook looking business.


Mite ii, mite mo ii, and mite wa ii are all possible and the difference between them is the difference in the sense or meaning of the particles. First, particles indicate but do not create grammatical function. So, "mite ii," with or without a particle, means roughly "looking is OK." Add "mo" and you get "looking, too ..." or "even looking is OK." Add "wa" and you get something like "looking, as compared or contrasted with whatever else might be mentioned, is OK." In other words the particles add nuance but the grammar of "mite ii" is constant.


Why do we use ですか here instead of いますか? Isn't いますか used to infer an action?


います is a verb that literally means something like "to exist" and is only used for animate beings. So like, 女の人がいます means there is a woman.

いい is an adjective and です is.. something akin to "is". It essentially allows the adjective to function as the core meaning of the sentence without needing a verb. 女の人がいいです means the woman is good.


Really was expecting 教科書を見て も いいですか.


Never even mind formality, it just feels weird and incomplete to me without the particle.


Spoken Japanese has a lot of omitted particles. While you may not be ready yet to omit them on your own, it is fluid and natural to do so, and you need to understand and be comfortable when you hear sentences like this.


Why is the -te form used here?


What the difference between selecting 見て as two characters within one block and selecting 見 and 7 as single characters in two separate blocks???

Learn Japanese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.