"你会说英文吗?"

Translation:Can you speak English?

November 19, 2017

21 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tatonka71

Does 英语 and 英文 mean the exact same thing?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yasmin611499

This is what the people on Quora said, that 文 implies culture as well as all facets of the language whereas 英语 is more the spoken language: https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-differences-between-yingwen%EF%BC%88%E8%8B%B1%E6%96%87%EF%BC%89and-yingyu%EF%BC%88%E8%8B%B1%E8%AF%AD%EF%BC%89


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KyleDelane6

Why wouldn't the one that means spoken language be used when asking if a persons speaks it?


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

In everyday conversation they are synonyms. Duolingo accepts both variants.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nanani6

Technically no, 英文 is supposed to refer to written English, not spoken. However, in the real world, people do use 英語 and 英文 interchangeably so even though "speak 英文" is technically not logical, it is what people often say.

Every language has common "mistakes" that people actually say all the time. You might have learned not to start an English sentence with words like "and" or "but." But, in the real world, people do it all the time. And they are understood by other speakers.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Renfield4

Grammar is not an absolute, it is just the attempt to explain how language works. Language is what people speak and language changes. Language comes first. Grammar has to try to keep up. (Just my opinion)


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

Do you speak English is the normal way to say it. Can sounds payroll ising


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ecnerwal8

yes. do you speak english should be accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JAIMEOJEDA553062

i have the same problem, do you speak english is the polite way of asking


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StephenJoh218823

Also, shouldn't 可以 be in the sentence if can is the preferred translation?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JeffDe2

I enter "do you speak English", but it counts it wrong instead of me typing Can you speak.


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

Same here, the polite way to ask if someone knows the English language is to ask them in English "do you speak English" as "Can you speak English" may come across as somewhat rude. Duolingo should accept "Do you speak English" as this is how it is commonly phrased.


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

"Are you able to speak English?" -- should be accepted. It's both the closer to the Chinese and more common than "Can you speak English?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shiny-Face

Is, "Do you speak English?" acceptable?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JAIMEOJEDA553062

do you speak english, should be accepted


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KyleDelane6

How would you say "will you speak English"?


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

会 Can indicate both "learnt ability" and "a future action".

To say "Will you speak English?" would be grammatically very similar, but the context would be important. In this case, without context, this 会 refers to "the ability to“. However if you said something like "你会在学校说英语吗?” (Will you speak English at the school), the context dictates that the 会 means a future action.

Always remember, context is king :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BrunoRodri800248

What is the difference between 英语 and 英文? Are they interchangeable?


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

At this level of language learning yes they are completely interchangeable


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JJCastro11

文 means culture right?


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

文化 (wén huà) Means culture. 文 as a character can also refer to literary things such as language and writing.

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