Translation:May I turn on the light?
Also ii in this means okay or good. Its another form of yoku. So phrase that are "action.... ii desuka" means "is it ok to do this?"
Youre right though, iite can be "says.". I dont know the rule offhand to tell when it's different aside from the particle preceeding it and context.
Yes, but remember that it does not go both ways. You should usually translate an English sentence using the phrase "may I" or "can I" into a Japanese sentence that uses the phrase "いいですか" or "よろしいですか", despite it not being a literal translation. There are other forms of asking for permission depending on context, but it is never expressed in Japanese in terms of ability, unlike English.
believe it or not, but that's how people normally speak in US, and yet once again duolingo refuses to accept this natural form of American politeness
P.S. I also use "is is okay" (which sounds more like a polite offer), instead of "can I" (which sounds more pushy)
"Can I?" can also mean "Am I allowed to?" (for example, "I have a fever, so can I go home?" spoken to a teacher means the same as "I have a fever, so am I allowed to go home?"), but "May I?" can never mean "Am I able to?".
So "Can I?" has two meanings: "Am I able to?" and "Am I allowed to?".
But "May I?" has only one meaning: "Am I allowed to?".
Actually, both have two meanings:
"Can" refers to both physical capability and permission. "May" refers to possibility and permission.
"May" has been used longer for asking permission but "can" is just as valid - the difference today can be considered one of formaility. "May I go to the washroom" effectively asks if the possibility exists that you will do so. This indirectness, much like in Japanese, was considered more polite than asking whether you are "able to". Both questions are inderect however, and so the same elementary school joke about "I don't know, can you?" actually applies to both, it just doesn't sound as familiar in modern english:
"Can I go to the washroom?" "I don't know, can you?"
"May I go to the washroom?" "I don't know, may you?"
Really, any question can be answered with "I don't know" - "Do I have permission to go to the washroom?" "I don't know, do you?"; "Will I go to the washroom?" "I don't know, will you?" - so if you have a really sassy teacher who just won't cut you a break, and you really need to go, go for the direct route:
"Please allow me to go to the washroom"
When you talk about the second meaning of “may”, you’re using confusing sentences.
So for anyone, who’s not a native speaker of English, and got confused after reading the above explanation, here’s the summary: the word “may” is not equal to the word “can”.
“can” means 1.”to be able to” and 2.“to be allowed to”.
Can I go home tonight? = Am I able to go home tonight? / Am I allowed to go home tonight? I can go home tonight. = I am able to go home tonight. / I am allowed to go home tonight.
“may” means ”to be allowed to” (most of the time)
May I go home tonight? = Am I allowed to go home tonight?
However, in statements (especially in sentences that start with “I/we” or “he/she/it/they” the word “may” can also imply UNCERTAIN possibility. In other words something that maybe will happen or maybe won’t happen. In this cases “may” means something like “maybe + verb”
I may go home tonight. = Maybe I can go home tonight. / I am allowed to go home tonight.
He may like it. = Maybe he will like it. / He is allowed to like it.
She may wear it to the party. = Maybe she’ll wear it to the party. / She is allowed to wear it to the party.
Yes, there is. て is for る-verbs (most verbs that end with る). って is for う-verbs (all other verbs, including some that end with る confusingly enough) that end with う, る, or つ. Verbs that end with く use いて. Verbs that end with す use して. Verbs that end with ぬ, む, ぐ, or ぶ use んで.
You may have noticed that some verbs drop the る when ます is added. Those are る-verbs. Verbs that instead change the last character to the character that has the same consonant sound, but "i" as the vowel sound (る to り, く to き, う to い, etc.) are う-verbs.
る-verb example: つける、つけます、つけて
う-verb examples: わかる、わかります、わかって
They are categorized as Godan and Ichidan verbs. You can see the category in the dictionary. All Ichidan verbs end in ru. Godan can end in -aru, -uru and -oru, and all other syllables. Verbs that end in -eru or -iru can be Godan or Ichidan, more likely the latter. Ichidan verbs drop the ru and add -masu, -te, -ta, etc.; Godan - look it up! Rules are more complicated. BTW わかる is Godan.
Because this Japanese structure 〜ていいですか or 〜てもいいですか is used for asking permission.
"Can you turn on the light?" is not asking for a permission, so you would use another structure for it. For example 電気をつけてくれますか (asking a favour) or 電気をつけませんか (making a suggestion) or 電気をつけられますか (asking one's ability).
I strongly disagree with how duolingo blatantly refuses to add "is it okay to..." form for these sorts of statements. In my experience with Japanese & English, it would be more correct than the current translation.
電気をつけていいですか should be in English as "Is it okay to turn on the light?" Both statements imply that the speaker gives a polite offer to the listener. The speaker wishes for the light to be on, but will not push the matter, if the listener doesn't want it.
On the other hand, "Can I turn on the light?" translated back to Japanese would be something like "電気をつけたいけどいいですか". Both statements imply that the speaker wants the light to be on, and politely urges the listener to give in to this request. If the listener refuses, the speaker is likely to further press the matter.
more likely "can i turn on a lamp", as in there are many lamps in the room, but when talking about "light" more than likely it's going to be one type of "the light" that will light up the room (so both speaker and listener are thinking about the same kind of light) as opposed to other types of light, like "a traffic light".
"Can I" for permission is slang. Common usage does not make it correct. The default translation at the top of this page should be "May I..." as there is no good reason to promote bad English.
I'm sorry, but every time I asked "Can I...?" as a child, my mother would say "You can, I don't know if you may." and so now I have to do the same to other people. After all, if you allow slang to go unchecked, you'll wind up with an entirely different language. And we wouldn't want that, would we? BC I R Pedant an bad gramer make PEdant ANgRY.!
What, then, does make it correct? Would it only be correct if your mother said it? I'm afraid we have no Academie Francaise to set down standards for the language as the French do, which has actually made English quite a flexible and versatile, if quite heterogeneous, language. If you do not want your language changing, I would suggest Icelandic. English does change, and quite rapidly. Look at any early twentieth century dictionary of slang and you will see many words that your mother accepted as standard.
That entire second paragraph was to point out my flawed reasoning in the first paragraph. I called myself a pedant. While I FEEL that "Can I..." for permission is wrong, as that is what was forced down my throat, and I WANT to be High Chancellor of the Grammar Nazi Party, I CANNOT justify my position, and so I am FORCED TO laugh at myself and use LOTS of CAPS for no reason.
But it really should be "May I..." as the default with "Can I..." as not being counted wrong.
Yours truly, High Chancellor Raum Dellamorte, First of His Name, and Enabler of Dragons.