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  5. "可以开灯吗?"

"可以开灯吗?"

Translation:Can I turn on the light?

January 13, 2018

15 Comments


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

There's no pronoun in the Chinese sentence. How do we determine whether it's "Can I" or "Can you" or "Can we / they" when translating it into English?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/crissy762229

I don't know about what duo accepts, but you're right, the subject isn't specified. This sentence could also easily be used as a request for someone else to please turn on a light. I'd be more likely to use it this way


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NasuSamaruk0

Yes, that is the best way to express that in English!


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

There is no i or you in the converse sentence why should it be" can the light be turned on?


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

Do you mean, why should it NOT be "can the light be turned on?" I think that's also possible as well as "can we turn on the light?"


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

A bit later bit yes, that's what I meant:)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Baderman2000

Could it be "可以把灯开了吗"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Elijah.Fung

Could I turn on the light. 不行吗?上一句还could we turn on the air conditioner 呢?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MlBP9

Elijah.Fung 说的对也. 可以说"Could l turn on the light.


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

Can't use could in combination with I, because then the meaning of the sentence changes to if you are able to instead if you are allowed. 可以開燈嗎?=can the light be turned on, or could somebody turn on the light or, is it ok i turn on the light? Could i turn on the light, to me sounds more like 我會開燈嗎 which is a bit of a weird question to ask in most situations.


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

The provided English translation is incorrect. It should be "Can the light be turned on?" because the Chinese sentence does not make a reference to who can turn the light on - it could be spoken to someone else asking them if they can turn on the light as well.

"Can I turn on the light?" requires the sentence to be 我可以开灯吗?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JeroenDeBr7

In this chinese sentence there is no ‘person assigned’ is I or you or they???


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

Correct, in Chinese it's not always necessary to describe the person. In this case it could be a request to somebody else to turn it on or it could be a question to ask if its OK if I turn the light on. At least, that's how I used it when in Taiwan

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