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  5. "ちかてつをつかいます。"


Translation:I use the subway.

June 24, 2017






Should be accepted for us British English speakers.


The "underground" in British English (in a transport context) refers specifically to the London Underground Railway System, as far as I'm aware. Subway is still used in British English- but is usually in reference to a path under something else (a road) etc. In other usage, subway is still generally understood as a shortening of "subway train". So, if we assume we're describing a foreign (Japanese...) underground train, subway seems perfectly appropriate.


The London underground is even more specifically called 'the tube'.


Oh neat, never knew british call the subway the underground


For what it's worth, the word "subway" is what's used on English signs in Japan (or at least in Fukuoka, where I am now).


I translated to : i take the metro. Doesnt it make more sense to translate norimasu to take?


Honestly, to use take in this instance is like....a lingual colloquialism. To take as a standalone verb means to remove. To ride (norimasu) or to use (tsukaimasu) both have different connotations as well, but are both usable in this case.

It's honestly better to identify that take isn't the 'correct' word, even though it's used. It could cause confusion later down the road when you associate, say, tsukaimasu with "take" and then have a minor mental shock when they use it with toilet or something.


I put "I take the subway" and it was marked wrong. I plan on reporting it as being accepted since that is a typical way to say it in English.

I understand つかいます is usually translated as "to use" but in English, to "use" the subway is to "take" the subway.


Agreed. I have reported it, too. How disheartening that this has not been corrected.


As per July 27th, 2019, "I take the subway" is deemed correct.


What's the difference between using を and に here?


に is a time/location particle, so it's usually only used for phrases such as "in" or "at." Using に here wouldn't make much sense, as ちかてつ is not the location/time in this sentence. For example: it WOULD be in the sentence: ちかてつにのりました。(I got off the subway.) But, in this sentence, ちかてつ is the direct object, so we would use the direct object particle (を).


is のる get on or get off? you translated のりました as "got off".


のる is get on, おりる is get off


I could not understand, maybe I am too dumb. Can uou please elaborate a bit more?


Yes, you are right that に can be a time marker, but it can also mean "in" or indicate direction "to." You absolutely must use it with のります。It doesn't make any sense to use を, as that would somehow give the nuance of "through."(はしをあるきます=I walk over the bridge, as opposed to just "on" the bridge.)

There are other times when it will be interchangeable with へwhen it indicates direction (がっこうにいきます・がっこうへいきます。), but not here.

For now, just memorize what particles go with what verbs. It will become second-nature to you eventually.


The word 'Metro' should also be accepted.


What the differences between 地下鉄に乗ります and 地下鉄を使います ?


The latter sounds more habitual, or as the answer to the question of how you get around/will go somewhere. The former is more of a descriptive statement, a one time occurence: "I board/ride the metro".


What's the difference between つかいandのり? I just saw both used with subway but my answer got refected earlier when I useつかい


Literally, のる means "to get in / to get on / to ride," whereas つかう means "to use."


I get it's slightly different nuance but can you elaborate slightly? Just because sometimes it comes up with "I got in a taxi" as the answer. Also what is the difference between のるand のり?


「のる」 is the "dictionary form" or "plain form." This is how it looks in the dictionary, and you can also use it when you are talking to your friends (but not your boss or your teacher, for example.). 「のります」 is the 「~ますform」, also known as the polite form. You can also turn a verb into a noun often by chopping off the ますpart.  

Nevermemory, it's been a while, but do you remember the context in which you saw「のり」? I had just assumed the ます was at the end.

To go from dictionary form to ますform is super easy. First of all, you have to decide if your verb is a one-step verb (also called る-verb, but I don't want to confuse you because のる ends with る...) or a five-step verb. Five step verbs go through five steps (あ・い・う・え・お) to get every single inflection you could possibly want.  For the ます-form, just take that last syllable and make it rhyme with い, then add ~ます。 So 「のる」 becomes 「のります。」

(one-step verbs: Just chop off the る and add -ます。So 「たべる 」becomes 「たべます。」)

To get back to your question, nicolajade95, as a teacher, the nuance totally wouldn't bother me. I wouldn't mark anyone wrong for using one over the other. But sometimes Duolingo is super picky, and wants a strict literal translation. If you feel the nuance between "use a subway" and "ride a subway" shouldn't make a difference, then hit the "report" button when it tells you that you are wrong. Eventually, Duo will have all the variants.

Does that help? I got off on a tangent yet again. But I feel you can learn language faster if you look for the patterns. Recapping: I use the subway (つかいます) vs. I ride the subway (のります)


Thanks a lot for this in depth comment, it has helped so much! Yes, I think you were right when assuming のります came as a pair, but I'll keep an eye out now just in case.

Is there a rule to know which verbs are one step and which are five, or will this be something I'll just have to learn by exposure? Nevertheless, I'll be able to look out for it now and actually understand what's happening. Thanks again MadameSensei :)


Dear Deka Dally is right to look for the verbs that have an ~える or ~いる sound, such as ねる・たべる・おきる。。。

Be careful, though, because there are a small handful of 5-step verbs that sound like ~える・~いる (かえる・はいる)。

Just because I am feeling particularly geeky today, I'll explain where the "five steps" comes from. Let's take つかう for example.

We're going to inflect it along the あ・い・う・え・お line. That is, the last syllable is going to change. (I apologize for Duolingo formatting. It makes more sense when they all line up in a column and you can see the あ・い・う・え・お

つかわない  I don't use/he doesn't use/etc.、but in plain form. (Perhaps this is a poor choice to start with: It should be つか-あ-ない, but that would sound weird, so the "w" sound gets snuck in. We'll save that explanation for a later time.)

つかいます  I use/he uses / (This also gives you the~ません・~ませんでした・~ましょう forms)

つかう  I use/he uses (plain form AKA dictionary form)

つかえる・つかえます I am able to use/ he is able to use (~ません will give you "I am not able to use," etc.)

つかおう "Let's use..." (plain form)

Let’s try のる. It's going to inflect on ら・り・る・れ・ろ. So that last syllable will change.

のらない I don't ride (informal, AKA plain form)

のります I ride

のる I ride (dictionary form AKA plain form)

のれる I am able to ride

のろう Let's ride! (plain form)

Once you know one verb, you know all the verbs. There are only two irregular verbs, and even they work similar to this. The る verbs will just take off the る and slap the endings on. Japanese is so logical!


To answer your question, only sometimes. I'll do my best to answer this:

When going from ます-form to plain, there is no way to tell because every verb ends in the い or え sound, and therefore you cannot know whether they are る-verbs or う-verbs (MadameSensei called these "five-step verbs").

When going from plain to ます-form, however, you can tell because any word that doesn't end with the いる or えるsounds is a う(five step) verb.


What's the dictionary form of this verb? 使う?


Yes, exactly as you wrote it: 使う

Five-step verbs are so-called because the last syllable will move through all five vowel sounds. (On the う-line, moving to あ would sound weird, so it's going to turn into わ.)

使わない "I don't use..."

使います (使いません・使いましょう・etc.) All the ~ます forms

使う Dictionary Form or Plain Form

使える・使えます "I am able to use..." (or "He is able to use" or "They are able to use," etc.)

使おう "Let's use..."

One-step verbs are the verbs that end in an ~える or ~いる sound (with a small handful of exceptions.) Just lop off the ending and add your new ending. (Hence "one step.")

Japanese is so logical! Even the two irregular verbs work the same as all the other verbs.

So hopefully, given any verb, you can now figure out the dictionary form.


Is "the" necessary before subway in English? Like, can somebody ask "Do you go to work by car or subway", can you answer "I use subway"?


I would say yes, the "the" is necessary. " I use subway" sounds incorrect to me. I'm a native English speaker.


You can say "I go to work by train", but you couldn't say "I use train". You'd only leave off the article in certain contexts.


Very interesting question! Car, subway plane, foot are all countable nouns so why when using 'by' does the article get a 'bye'? These are zero articles and there are a few other circumstances (Eg A change of ...., switch from ....etc) where articles are dropped. Some suggest it avoids the confusion of specificity of the noun but then how do you explain "At night" vs "In the afternoon/morning/evening" or "in the home" vs "at home"?


I like how it first says " I don't like the subway" and then says " I use the subway".


why "地下鉄を使います" is wrong?


It's right. I think Duolingo just doesn't have all the 漢字 in yet. Remember, this course is in beta testing.


The course has actually been out of the formal beta stage for months. Of course, that doesn't imply it's truly mature and doesn't still have many valid answers yet to be added.


isn't it TAKE the subway but ok


使う is "to use." I believe it's fine.




I feel like using を here gives the impression that you are currently using the subway. Is that right?


を is the direct object marker. You have no choice but to use it in this phrase. で wouldn't work here; に would be ungrammatical; は would be emphasis that there is a negative coming up and you DON'T use the subway, も would work if you are saying, "I use the bus (or a bike or a car or walk...) and also the subway."

But this sentence can also mean "I will take the subway." If you want to say "currently," you'll use the て-form of the verb : つかっています, or even a different verb might sound more natural: のっています。

Hope this helps!

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