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  5. "可以开灯吗?"


Translation:Can I turn on the light?

January 13, 2018



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?


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


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


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


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?"


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


Could it be "可以把灯开了吗"


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


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


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.


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?


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


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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