"電気をつけていいですか?"

Translation:Can I turn on the light?

June 10, 2017

55 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/MadameMedusa
  • 23
  • 19
  • 18
  • 12
  • 10

Shouldn't it be ~てもいいですか ?

June 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Islacorn
  • 25
  • 13
  • 12
  • 10
  • 8
  • 7
  • 4
  • 2
  • 2

This is correct also.

June 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Fneups

I think this would be better too...

February 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/kkaland
  • 12
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 10
  • 9
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 4
  • 4
  • 2
  • 2

The help said electricity. Can I turn on the electricity was wrong

July 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/XRavishX

Electricity is correct. However, the sentence refers to the translation that is "light" (electric) instead.

July 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JamesTWils
  • 18
  • 18
  • 17
  • 17
  • 16
  • 16
  • 15
  • 15
  • 15
  • 13
  • 13
  • 12
  • 12
  • 12
  • 12
  • 12
  • 12
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 4
  • 1350

This sounds more like "may I" than "can I."

June 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Carl759216

More or less the same. A more literal translation would perhaps be "Is it okay to turn on the light?".

June 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/lcsondes

Spoken English vs. technically correct English. :) If you ask "can I" and being super pedantic, you're asking if you're able to do it. Cue any English teacher responding with "I don't know, can you?"

June 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JamesTWils
  • 18
  • 18
  • 17
  • 17
  • 16
  • 16
  • 15
  • 15
  • 15
  • 13
  • 13
  • 12
  • 12
  • 12
  • 12
  • 12
  • 12
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 4
  • 1350

You are, of course, right. My question was really whether I was correct in reporting "may I" as an answer that should also be accepted.

June 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/lcsondes

I think you were so much that in fact I also reported it myself :)

July 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/RobertKinzie

'May I' accepted 7/ 15/18

July 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/V2Blast
  • 25
  • 14
  • 8
  • 24

Spoken English is still correct. Grammar rules change based on what's socially accepted.

July 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Drunken_Sailor
  • 14
  • 14
  • 11
  • 5
  • 5
  • 10

So let's stop to perpetuate errors, shall we?

October 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Floydius

That is what I answered the first time, and I think it would be better to translate it this way, specifically to avoid confusion with the potential form if that is talk later.

September 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/eiluned.bubble

Oddly, they don't accept this answer.

July 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/melink14
  • 20
  • 9
  • 613

Yes, just reported that they didn't accept "Is it okay if I turn on the lights?"

August 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/FranStalli

i tried that -- was marked wrong

November 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Goren17
  • 19
  • 17
  • 15
  • 15
  • 12
  • 11
  • 10
  • 7
  • 5
  • 34

Can I use "is it okay to"? This sounds more natural and seems like this is even closer to the Japanese text

October 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/FrederickEason
  • 25
  • 23
  • 20
  • 17
  • 16
  • 14
  • 11
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3
  • 3
  • 510

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.

July 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/DeathBoo
  • 12
  • 11
  • 7
  • 5

Is it okay if i turn on the light? Should be accepted, right?

October 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Mario119640

That is also my answer

January 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/takarabako
  • 20
  • 18
  • 13
  • 9
  • 7
  • 4

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)

March 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/AdamScott794079
  • 9
  • 5
  • 5
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2

May I. May I turn on the lights.

June 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/failedlearner

Can I is the new May I. Get over it

August 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JamesTWils
  • 18
  • 18
  • 17
  • 17
  • 16
  • 16
  • 15
  • 15
  • 15
  • 13
  • 13
  • 12
  • 12
  • 12
  • 12
  • 12
  • 12
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 4
  • 1350

Absolutely, though "may I" should also be accepted here, so AdamScott should report it, if he hasn't already.

August 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Cadda_P

This is true for casual spoken English, but to avoid confusion they should teach the word as "may" since "can" has a different meaning in many situations

March 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/sihaz
  • 18
  • 10
  • 11

Incorrect - "can I?" means "am I able to?" "May I" means "Am I allowed to?" "as any fule no"... very different...

April 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/takarabako
  • 20
  • 18
  • 13
  • 9
  • 7
  • 4

"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?".

April 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JustinDono3

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"

May 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/takarabako
  • 20
  • 18
  • 13
  • 9
  • 7
  • 4

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.

May 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Xiang-yu
  • 10
  • 10
  • 9
  • 7
  • 2

電気を点けて良いですか?

February 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/lwPo32

Is there a rule when it is って and when て?

July 6, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Carl759216

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

聞く、聞きます、聞いて

話す、話します、話して

遊ぶ、遊びます、遊んで

July 6, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Wolfsauge
  • 17
  • 13
  • 11

Slight correction: verbs that end inぐ use いで.

July 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/tadpole17

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.

April 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Gingertastrophe

It's more like "is it good to turn on the lights?"

October 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/cpflames
  • 14
  • 11
  • 3
  • 88

Tried this and got rejected... I feel like this is reasonable informal English, and the closest translation

January 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JooArthur186866

What is the need of いい?

December 31, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Waniou
  • 23
  • 13
  • 391

A more literal translation is "is it good if I turn on the light". "Can I turn on the light" is an acceptable variation.

February 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/breathofthewild

Wouldn't "Can I turn the light on?" be correct?

January 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/V2Blast
  • 25
  • 14
  • 8
  • 24

Yes.

January 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/euxneks
  • 21
  • 6
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2
  • 140

OK, does Duolingo consider "Can I.." and "May I.." to be semantically equivalent? To me, "May I" is for asking permission while "Can I" is asking whether I have the ability to?

March 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Dagraen
  • 12
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 5

Is the translation "Is it okay to turn on the lights?" not right?

March 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/takarabako
  • 20
  • 18
  • 13
  • 9
  • 7
  • 4

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.

March 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ClairaTayl

Wouldn't "Can i turn on A light" be the same?

March 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/takarabako
  • 20
  • 18
  • 13
  • 9
  • 7
  • 4

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".

March 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/AngeloMarc14
  • 25
  • 8
  • 6
  • 4
  • 299

how about "can I switch on the light", that's what we say in australia

June 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/margaret711539
  • 25
  • 22
  • 11
  • 10
  • 387

How about shall I?

October 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/darkmedellia

Shall I turn on the light is more like 電気をつけてましょうか? More like suggesting that I turn on the light than asking permission. ~ていいですか? or ~てもいいですか? is the best way to ask for permission to do something.

November 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/tadpole17

I put "Is it okay to turn on the lights?" - rejected!

April 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/cd06doDP
  • 25
  • 22
  • 18
  • 10
  • 8
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2

電源をONにするという意味で、 Can I close the electricity circuit? Is this correct?

September 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Eyebrows7

Is it incorrect to translate this as "Are you turning on the light?"

November 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Setsuko670458
  • 9
  • 8
  • 6
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
  • 11

I don't know, can you?

November 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/sidcitris

I had Can you turn on the light? which was marked wrong. Is いいですか always "Can I"?

January 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/toastedbunz
  • 23
  • 12
  • 9
  • 6
  • 274

Whats the deal with か over here?

January 17, 2019
Learn Japanese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.