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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Icsoyewande

Je peux or je puis

So I have been wondering about this for a while. There are two ways of saying 'I can' in French, there is 'Je peux' and there is 'Je puis' I was wondering if there are certain contexts in which you use each of the,. If you know anything please let me know.

Au revoir mes amies!

July 11, 2017

13 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fayke

"Je puis" is never used except in old literature (from at least about one century ago, maybe more) but when speaking formally we still use "Puis-je?" in the interrogative form because you can't say "Peux-je?".
However the interrogative form is often just implied by the intonation of your voice when speaking or by the question mark when writing.
So you would usually just say: "Je peux?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/aman.s

Is this the same for "tu peux" / "puis-tu"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DarkJewel

Si je parle sur un ton informel, est bonne dire "Peux je"? Merci beaucoup!

(Please correct my noobie French! I'll appreciate it!)

Jewel


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hannah858907

OK... so I think I get it, but please correct me if i'm wrong :) "Puis-je" is kind of like saying "may I" and so the word "puis" like "may" has connotations of requesting permission so it would be weird to say "I may do something " as a statement (not asking), when it is better to just say "I can" or "I am able to do something". Or am I getting the completely wrong idea :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/garpike

I think the latter is more formal/bookish.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bavesh01

dude, the number of languages, my god...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wiijimmy

You would say puis-je? instead of peux-je?, but you would always say je peux and never je puis. Je puisse, however, is the present subjunctive form of je peux.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarcD50

I would not say 'never' about 'je puis'. For instance, 'je puis vous assurer que...' is formal but not obsolete.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kitty2396

When does this show up in Duolingo lessons? I really feel like I should have known this by now.


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