1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Chinese
  4. >
  5. "我可以跟你练习中文吗?"


Translation:Can I practice Chinese with you?

December 24, 2017



That's the whole purpose of this app, so yeah


I think "practise" is spelled wrong


In American English it is common to use "practice" as both verb and noun.


"practise" is the British spelling. I am American, but i favor "practise" because it is more fonetic. I am a firm supporter of (ov) English spelling reform; "foneticizing" as i call it; given that millions of English-speakers ar functionally illiterate, no-one (-wun) should be able to, in good conscience, choose the clearly-less-fonetic ov two or more accepted spellings.


In polite English, "can I" is asking if I have the ability. "May I" is seeking permission. So "May I practice Chinese with you?" is more correct.


"Can I" is not less correct. It's informal and very common. 可以 is also widely used in Chinese, and the translation is perfectly fine. "May I" should be an acceptable alternative.


"Can I" is not informal in US English. "May I" fell out of common use more than thirty years ago.


That's a mere applying the rule. Some situations call for politeness, but some, as with practicing Chinese with someone (which sounds quite cute or romantic to me), call for familiarity.


Totally agree. Using 可以 conveys more politeness, I think.


wtf, they spelled practice wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


practise:× practice:○


Why 一起 is not used in this sentence? Following the previous lessons, it seems that I should have rather written something like: "我可以跟你一起练习中文吗?" Does anyone know?


一起 means together. Since the context of which this sentence is said is not clear, it works both ways。Previous lessons included 一起 because whatever verb that follows 一起 was done together. For example "我可以跟我的朋友一起来吗?" "Can I come with my friend together?“ (The action "to come" is being done together by both you and your friend)

Now when you apply 一起 to this sentence you have to pay attention to the verb 练习 since that is what 一起 is referring to. Are both you and he practicing? or only you?

我可以跟你一起练习中文吗?means "Can I practice chinese together with you" (Can we practice chinese together?) in better english. It implies both of you are practicing with each other. Whereas 我可以跟你练习中文吗?is just saying "Can I practice chinese with you?" or more accurately, "Can I practice chinese ON you?"

If you're saying this to a fellow chinese student, you'd want to say 一起 whereas if you're asking a native speaker if he'd help you practice chinese by talking to him, you wouldn't.


This is a very helpful explanation - so thank you! But it raises the question for me of whether 一起 is really necessary even when it's clear that the action is jointly undertaken. In English we say, 'I'm going to the store with you' when we mean 'I'm going to the store together with you', because in English you would only add 'together with' for emphasis. If I were to say in Chinese, 我跟你去商店,would that sound strange? That is, would the addition of 一起 be necessary for it to sound good to a native speaker?


"May I" is the better answer, and at least should be considered interchangeable.

  • 1529

Elsewhere Duo is promoting US English, but suddenly the US spelling happens to be incorrect (OK, yeah, for this sentence it accepts both versions now, but in other cases it doesn't)


'Practice Chinese together' is better than 'Can I practice with you' since they are both working on their Chinese language skills. 'practice with you' -> the you could be the Chinese teacher or a native speaker, which is not the intended meaning.


@Juan - how do you know that? Gan ni = With you.

Where did you get the context that "you" is another student and not someone who knows more Chinese than the speaker?


What about "Can i practice 'some' Chinese with you?"


Although "can" is frequently used colloquially in America in this type of sentence, the correct grammar is really "may". Can = do I have the ability, may = polite form for asking permission.


I think it's a pretty good translation, though, because 可以 kind of does mean "can", so it's nice that it captures part of both the literal and figurative translation.

Learn Chinese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.