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"I can speak English and Japanese."

Translation:英語と日本語が話せます。

March 1, 2018

152 Comments


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

why was が used? why do we need to emphasize 英語と日本語 over はなせます?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Luis705650

Because you want people to know that you speak those two languages. They will pay more attention to the languages than to the fact that you speak them.


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

I thought が was the subject marker. By that logic, wouldn't 「英語と日本語がはなせます」 mean "English and Japanese can speak"? Or am I wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ricarda00000

Yeah, cause its the short form. The full sentence is: わたし は 英語 と 日本語 が はなせます。


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/D0S-81

The only time you would say watashi would be at the start of a conversation or if changing subject as in your previous sentence was about someone else. So if your talking to someone and you say "i speak different languages" and they ask which, you would just say the short form. In english you can do both and say "oh, i speak this and i speak that", but japanese really dont like saying me or i all the time. So where we would say "when i went to the shop, i tripped on the curb and hurt my foot, but i wasnt bothered by it" theyd say "i went to shop, tripped on kurb, hurt foot, wasnt bothered" i had never realised how much we say i and me, learning japanese has taught me a lot about english that i never thought about before. Its kinda cool.


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

You are wrong. が is the object marker, and は is the subject marker. Here in this sentence, the subject is わたし,and it is omitted,which happens often when pointing to "myself" - the speaker - in Japanese language. The full sentence should be: わたしは 英語と日語が はなせます。☺


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

My friend, you're wrong... は is the TOPIC MARKER and が is the SUBJECT MARKER. を is the OBJECT MARKER. In the sentence, the speaker is the topic (because they're talking about their ability to speak those languages) and the languages are the subject. Though you did get the omitted pronoun part correct, a review of the three basic particles might do some good.


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

Also, I assume it was a typo, but for everyone else, it would be (私は)英語-(えいご)-と日本語-(にほんご)-が話-(はな)-せます。


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

Actually both を and が are used for object markers. Sometimes が is used over は for the subject to stress a certain point. Here you have to use が as はなす is used in the potential form はなせます. There are a few other verbs like いる,ある,はじめる... that use が as an object particle.


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

To my knowledge i thought が was used when giving somebody new information. Like in this example youre telling someone for the first time that you speak english and japanese.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chris27027

Thanks that was helpful


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jorgeluis.519974

No, the verb 'CAN' is not there.


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

It is, though.
話せます is the polite form of 話せる which is the potential form of the verb 話す "speak"

話す・話します "speak" (transitive, takes a direct object with を to mark the language that "is spoken")
英語を話します - I speak English (English is spoken)

話せる・話せます "can speak/able to speak" (intransitive, takes が to mark the language that "is speakable")
英語が話せます - I can speak English (English is speakable)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ramen540k

pretty sure が is a subjective character letting the listener know that the subject being discussed is the languages? Is this correct?


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

Not quite. To mark the subject or topic of a sentence you use は. が as a particle is an object marker like を; they're often interchangeable (though for some words you only can use が). が is used here to amplify the meaning that you speak those two languages instead of the fact that you can speak them. The subject (わたし / I) is omitted here as it should be obvious from context who is meant by it.


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

どこでそれを学びましたか? 時々、「が」は客体を示しますが、ほぼいつも主語を示しますね。

What do you mean by "amplify the meaning that you speak those two languages instead of the fact that you can speak them?" Do you mean that you DO speak them as opposed to the fact that you CAN speak them? That's a slight bit confusing...


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

Think of it as different questions leading to that sentence as the answer: 1) Do you speak English and Japanese? -> The focus is on your ability to speak those languages. 2) What languages do you speak? -> Here you emphasize that it's English and Japanese which you can speak.

Though I also read in a comment somewhere here that with はなせます you have to use が instead of を because it's an intransitive verb or the potential form or something like that. I'm not sure about that myself though.

With verbs like ある, いる, はじめる... が is most definitely used as an object marker. ((私は)友だちがいます. - "friend" is an accusative object here) Otherwise I think it can be quite fluent if you use が or は for the subject. In this sentence here は would be the topic marker as well as the indicator for the subject (わたし) even though it's omitted here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cVC9doiH

I don't think that's true. In 私は友達がいます, 友達 is the subject. The friends (of mine) exist. います does not take an accusative object. You're confusing the grammar of the English translation (with "have") with the grammar of the Japanese sentence.


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

what is the difference between は and が?


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

This is probably one of the most confusing things to learners of Japanese and you'll see this asked in a lot of question comments on this site. There's lots of different ways to explain it, but I'll just give you the one that helped me the most:

は is used to stress what comes after it. When you see something written as "X は ...", you can read it in your head as, "As for X, ..."

が, in contrast, is used to stress what comes before it. It's like you're answering an unspoken question and the answer is what was just before the が.

For example, consider the two sentences

  1. 田中は先生です。

  2. 田中が先生です。

These are both grammatically correct sentences and they both mean "Tanaka is a teacher," but the situations that you'd use them in are different.

Suppose that someone asked you what Tanaka does for a living. We're already clearly talking about Tanaka, so we don't really need to stress the "Tanaka" part of the sentence, but we do want to stress the "teacher" part, since that's the answer to the question. So in this case, you'd use #1 - 田中は先生sです。("As for Tanaka, he's a teacher.")

Now suppose instead that you, me, Tanaka, and a bunch of other people were all in a room and you asked me if anyone here was a teacher. I know we're already talking about teachers, so I want to stress that the answer to your question is that Tanaka is a teacher out of all these people. So in this case I'd use #2 - 田中が先生です。("Tanaka is a teacher.")

There are also just some verbs that always use が instead of は that you'll encounter and just have to memorize which ones they are. For example, the verbs あります and います ("to exist") always use が instead of は. That isn't the case here with はなせます, but I figure I'll mention for future reference.


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

Thanks for posting this explanation! It helped out a lot, I think I understand what the difference is now. Have 2 lingots, to push that number to 3 digits!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/R0T_TY

Thank you! I've been struggling to understand this for ages and this has helped me the most!


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

Super minor nitpick but you tend not to use ー with hiragana, instead you use the approach vowel, e.g. ともう


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

I put it in backwards, I didn't know it mattered this much. Going to get this wrong a lot.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/V2Blast

It's important for Duolingo to know you understand which Japanese word corresponds to which English one. Unless it's a set phrase with reverse ordering in the two languages, you should maintain the same order as in the language you're translating from.


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

I should maintain the same order when translating?

"English and Japanese can speak it does."

This doesn't seem like a good argument. Even if I managed to put them in order that does not mean that Duolingo knows I meant to. It's not like Japanese follows the same order as english anyway. If Duolingo is intending to test my vocabulary in this instance it failed. I already know those words.

Perhaps you can argue that with the Names reversed the sentence actually means something different, or maybe it's particularly rude or something. If that's the case I would be really interested in the differences.

But if it translates to this "I can speak English and Japanese." in english then is also translates to this "I can speak Japanese and English."

Because in english those two sentences mean the same damn thing.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Flynn431167

I think Vis S meant maintain the same order when listing things, in this case English and Japanese instead of Japanese and English so Duolingo knows that you know which kanji goes to which word.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cVC9doiH

For me they don't. Usually the order in which you list things is not arbitrary.


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

I would have used the wo particle over the ga particle - is that incorrect? Does it matter?


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

Yes, that is incorrect to use with はなせます because はなせます is an intransitive verb - it doesn't have a direct object and doesn't take the を particle.

If you were using はなします instead ("I speak" instead of "I can speak"), that is transitive and you'd use a を.


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

Why would "I can speak" be intransitive in this case? Wouldn't it still take an object (languages) and a subject (the person who can speak).


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

I am also interested in the answer to this question. In English, "can" is a modal verb, and the verb "speak" completes its meaning. "English and Japanese" (substantive use of adjectives) are the direct objects of "speak" in this sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Liam315

I think you both might getting hung up on the idea of these translations being literal equivalents to English and the subject verb object form. In this sentence "English and Japanese" is none of those- it's the topic of the sentence which is a grammatical concept that doesn't quite exist in English which is why it might seem weird that a particular verb can be intransitive. Conjugating the verb to the potential form (う -> え, which in this case is す -> せ) takes care of the "can" so there is no modal verb, and I believe all potential forms are instransitive. My guess is because it's only a potential, it's therefore a general truth and not something that actively needs an object "now." What you're really saying is "(on the topic of) English and Japanese, (I do) have the ability to speak (them)."


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

@XxOwNsLuKeXx
Transitive means that a verb is doing something to a direct object. (Eating food, throwing a ball, reading a book) You eat the food, throw the ball, read the book.
Intransitive is a verb that does not have a direct object. (Going to the store, Sitting in a chair, Dancing to music, Sleeping in bed) You don't "Go" the store or "sit" the chair, "Dance" the music, or "Sleep" the bed.

The dictionary non-past form "speak" 話す・話します・hanasu/hanashimasu is transitive.
英語を話します "I speak English", I do the action of speaking to the object English

The potential form of a verb though is intransitive
話せる・話せます・hanaseru/hanasemasu
英語が話せます "I can speak English" - This takes the subject marker が instead because it's closer to saying "English is speakable" or "English is able to be spoken". You aren't taking action on the noun "English", only describing a state of ability.


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

Thank you so much for the lucid explanation! It was helpful for me in several ways.


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

What does transitive and intransitive mean?


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

Which part of the sentence specifies that it's me? I'm confused because it doesn't have something like   わたし in it


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

"Pronouns are relatively rare in Japanese, but they are sometimes used to explicitly specify the subject or topic of a sentence."

You can drop the pronoun if it's clear who the sentence is about. I don't think it's wrong to include わたし here, but my sentence was marked incorrect for including it


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

The actual subject can often be obliterated when it's generally clear who/what is meant. (same as in spanish: you leave out the yo (I), tú (you)... and just conjugate the verb) a lot in japanese is said by assuming things through context.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Angie11299

Shouldn't it be "英語と日本語 が話せます"? Would it be fine to just write it as はなせ?


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

yes that's also correct.


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

Are you always assumed to be talking about yourself in japanese if you don't state it outright?


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

Generally, yes. If it's something obvious like "(It) tastes good" then it would be implied to the listener, though, that you are referring to the food, etc. And questions are generally implied to be referring to the listener, i.e. 「名前は何ですか?」would be asking the listener, "What's your name?"


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

Why is ます used instead of です? If I'm wrong please let me know, but isn't ます for "you" and です for "I"?

Halp meh plz


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

desu is a verb meaning "is" or "to be", in this case, the verb is hanasu meaning "to speak" with a masu stem making it hanasemasu.


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

です and ます are both endings for the polite present form. です is used with nouns and adjectives like 日本人です or 高いです (takai = expensive, high) while ます is used as the verb ending together with the verb-stem はな-.

The subject "I" is not used here and you have to guess at it fromt he context. For "I" exist different words: 私 (わたし), ぼく (only used by men) and おれ (used by men and a bit rough or arrogant), for you there is あなた though you mostly talk to or about a person by using their name like "田中さんは何時におきますか." (Mr. Tanaka, at what time do you get up?)


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

I heard before: イギリス語. Is it used just as often as 英語 or not used at all?


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

イギリス is actually specifically for the english as a people, not the language. So イギリス人(じん) is correct for "British people" and 英語 is correct for "English language"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cVC9doiH

British English, maybe?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/max._.idek

What makes this が instead of は、and when do you know to use one of these


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

は is used as a general topic marker for a sentence; very simply put you can often use it for the subject. が is more used with objects. It's required to use with verbs such as いる (ともだち が いります. = I have a friend.; いる is used for people.) and ある (たべものがあります. = I have food/There is food.; ある is used for things).

In this sentence you could technically also use を as the object marker but in using が instead you put special emphasis on the fact that it's those two languages that you're speaking.

RVJioWts gave quite a throughout explanation further up. ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LongDoan1

Is it correct if I say 英語と日本語を話せます (wo instead of ga) or it still need to be 私は英語と日本語を話せます (with watashiwa) ? And is the meaning change from 英語と日本語が話せます or it still be the same?


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

I'm terribly sorry but in my previous answer I was wrong regarding the use of を and が in this sentence. Here you actually havea to use が because はなす is used in the potential form (はなせる).


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

It should be also correct with を instead of が. Though を would probably be more used in a general statement while が would stress more on your ability to spreak those two languages, i think. RVJioWts already explained the different use of は and が higher up in the discussion quite well.

You can omit the 私(は) here as it is implied that you're the one being asked if you can speak those languages/what languages you speak. There it's clear from context that your talking about yourself in that statement. You'd have to add 私 though if the person was talking about what languages they themselves (or some other person) are speaking and then you add that you know japanese and english.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GavinAusti6

Can someone explain the "hanase" use?


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

はなせ(る)is the potential form of はなす, meaning that you can/are able to speak (a language). For putting the verb in the present or past treat it like a regular ~る-verb: omit the ending ~る and add ~ます/ません/ました/ませんでした.

The general rule for う-verbs (う、つ、む、す、ぬ、く…) is that you convert the う-ending into an え-ending (え、て、め、せ、ね、け) and add る. It then conjugates like a "normal" る-verb.

For る-verbs you omit the regular ~る at the end and put ~られる instead. It then also conjugates like a "normal" -verb.

くる and する are irregular and transform to こられる and できる respectively, then also conjugate like a "normal" る-verb.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marshall318219

So i think an example conversation like this may clear up the confusion. Bob asks you, "What languages can you speak?" You reply "I can speak English and Japanese" Since you were directly asked, you can ommit the subject ("I" in this case) because it's obvious that Bob asked what languages YOU speak (The subject is about you and what you can speak). Sorry for the English only but I can't seem to find out how to use the Japanese keyboard.


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

https://www.tofugu.com/japanese/how-to-install-japanese-keyboard/ there's a good explanation on how to use a japanese keyboard on an otherwise european/american keyboard.


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

Why saying 私は英語と日本語が話せます。is wrong?


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

Why is "私は英語と日本語が話せます。” incorrect? Can I not refer to myself in this context?


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

this should be correct. report it if you were marked incorrect.


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

Does it really make a difference if u use はなせ or 話せ?


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

why is it spelt 'はなせ' and not '話せ'?


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

why didn't we use watashi, and for the other one without saying japanese and english (just saying they speak japanese) we did use watashi?


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

Arent you supposed to be using something like 私は or 僕の at the beginning when refering to yourself when speaking about how i speak english and japanese?


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

「私は・僕は」英語と日本語が話せます should also be accepted, though usually if it is clear from the context of the conversation who you are speaking about it would be omitted. You would only need to explicitly state "I" if clarification was needed, such as if there are multiple people being referred to in the conversation and you needed to make sure it is understood you are shifting the focus back to yourself and not someone else.

私の、僕の wouldn't work here though as の is a noun-linking particle that would turn the pronoun "I" into the possessive "My"


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

Why are they using ”はなせます”, I was told that they are supposed to be using "はなします”. I wasn't told this by some passerby, both of the teachers that taught me Japanese so far have used "はなします”, not "はなせます”.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Liam315

It's because they are different inflections of the same base verb.
(話 = はな)
話す to speak
話し to speak (polite form)
話せ to be able to speak (potential form)
The first two describe the actual act of words coming from someone's mouth, whereas the third describes the potential ability to do if they wanted to.

Another example would be
(読 = よ)
読む to read
読み to read (polite form)
読め can read


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

Do all/most verbs follow this pattern of -u, -i, -e for different inflections?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Liam315

Pretty much. There are very few irregular verbs (する、行く、and 来る are the main ones you'll see).

The rest are split into two types. Ichidan verbs which end in る、and godan verbs which end in other う sounds, like the examples above 話す and 読む. It can get confusing because some verbs ending in る are actually godan verbs.
E.g.
見る (みる), to see/look, is an ichidan verb and becomes 見ます in its polite form (drop the る).

帰る (かえる), to return home, is a godan verb and becomes 帰ります in its polite form (う to い).

The two types of verbs conjugate in different ways but they are consistent within their groups. When you start doing some inflections like the て-form then the godan verbs break down into smaller groups again.


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

thanks for explaining; was wondering what form was はなせます. they really do need some verb-from explanations and not just throw all those different forms at us. there are just too many.


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

why 英語と日本語  はなせます is not the good answer?


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

も kind of relates here to something else, not the languages. Though it would be grammatically correct to say: 英語はなせます。日本語も話せます。(in 2 different sentences) (I speak English. I also speak Japanese)


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

So youre telling me the noun comes first?


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

Yes. The order in japaneses sentences is subject, object, verb. The verb is always at the very end. Additional information like time or place are usually put before the object and in case of omitting the subject at the beginning of the sentence.


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

So が is after the proper noun? And は is for people!


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

It's a bit more complicated than that. You can use either particle for both. は is usually used to mark the topic of the sentence and can be used to put special emphasis on something like e.g. あした は 日本 に 行きます. (Tomorrow, I go to Japan.) where you put the emphasis on the fact that you go tomorrow and not today (that you are the one going is implied here; if you talked about Mr. Tanaka in the sentence before, it would probably be him going to Japan by context understanding). Very simply put は is often used with the subject of the sentence.

が is usually used as an obejet marker with verbs similar to を. In some special cases は can be replaced by が though I'm not sure on the rules there. :-/


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

There is no "can" here.


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

It's in the verbform or more precise a variation of the verb はなす ("to speak"). For that one present tense form would be はなします (as はなす is a u-Verb and therefore conjugates by putting the verb-stem in the i-form (す -> し) and adding ます).

Here you got はなせる which means "to be able to speak" and is the potential form of はなす (change "u" to "e" at the ending). This form conjugates as a ru-verb therefore the used form here is はなせます.


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

Whats the diffrence between "i speak" and "i can speak?


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

"I can speak" is a potential form, meaning that you are generally able to speak those languages if you have to. "I speak" rather means that you are regularly using those two two languages in your every day life.

Another form which will probably be taught later, would be はなしています which means that you are speaking in that language right now. It's built by using the て-form of the verb "to speak" and the konjugated (polite present tense) form of the verb いる.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/emptyinside69420

I got this wrong because I put the two languages in a different order. I don't think that should matter too much?


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

I think they want to make sure you match the two words correctly and aren't just guessing at the translation.


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

What do はなせ do in the sentence?


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

はなせ(る) stands for "can speak". The translation for "to speak" is はなする. The form of はなせ is the intransitive and translates to "being able to speak". The ending ~ます is for the present tense affirmative of the verb.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sam64641

What does 'tho' in the sentence stand for?


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

You mean と?

In here, と is used to say "English AND (と) Japanese". と essentially means "and" when mentioning more than one thing.

マリアとジョン

Maria (マリア) and (と) John (ジョン)

Maria and John.


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

What's is difirence between もand と? Foe ex. : ジョンもマリアは日本語が話せます。 and マリアは日本語と英語は話せます。


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

と is used as "and" for nouns (not verbs and adjectives!) when listing things. If you want to say "I speak english and japanese (among a few others)", you use や instead of と.

example: (私は)いぬとねこがいます。(I have a dog and a cat.)

(私は)いぬやねこがいます。(Among other pets I have a dog and a cat.)

も is used when you want to say, that something has the same properties as something else. note: when using も with the subject, topic-particle or a direkt object, it replaces the other particle (も instead of は, が or を). With particles for time and place it get's added.

example:

1) 田中さんは先生です。(Mr Tanaka is a teacher.) 山口さんも先生です。(Mr Yamaguchi is a teacher, too.) (I'm not sure, you can say it in one sentence like in your example, though.)

2) いぬがいます。(I have a dog.) ねこもいます。(I have a cat, too.)

3) 七時に食べます。(I eat at 7 o'clock.) 十二時にも食べます。(I eat at 12 o'clock, too.)

4) ロンドンで大学があります。(There's a university in London. ) ニューヨーク でもだいがくがあります。(There's a university in New York, too.)


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

Wait so, if ます is supposed to be a "word" (not really) to make certain words more polite, why would we use it when talking about ourselves? I remember reading that making words more polite than usual when talking about yourself can make you seem like the arrogant, "I'mthe only one that matters" type of person.


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

ます is an ending that makes the speech in general more polite not just in regards to yourself or the person you speak with. If you use the short/dictionary form of a word it generally indicates familiarity with someone e.g. friends.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MICHAELJAC294201

I switched 英語 and 日本語, and I got the question wrong...


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

If you don't put them in the correct order Duo will assume you think 英語 is Japanese and 日本語 is English


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChadiJawhar321

Why wasnt 私 used?


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

It can be omitted (like in spanish) when it's clear that you're talking about yourself. In this case you were probably asked "Which languages can you speak?". Therefore, it'd be clear you are the person who can speak english and japanese.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Goodie76079

what is the purpose of every marker in the sentence?


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

英語/えいご = English

と= and (only used for nouns, not when you want to connect two acitvities)

日本語/にほんご = Japanese

が = object particle (has to be が here and not を because the verb is intransitive/in the potential form)

はなせます = can speak (from はなす = to speak; す to せ for the potential form for verbs with ~う-ending; ~ます for present tense)

The subject (I/わたし) you'd usually use, is omitted here, as can be done in the japanese language (like in spanish) when it's clear that you're talking about yourself.


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

Can I have a breakdown of this sentence? I'm confused.


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

英語/えいご = English

と= and (only used for nouns, not when you want to connect two acitvities)

日本語/にほんご = Japanese

が = object particle (has to be が here and not を because the verb is intransitive/in the potential form)

はなせます = can speak (from はなす = to speak; す to せ for the potential form for verbs with ~う-ending; ~ます for present tense)

The subject (I/わたし) you'd usually use, is omitted here, as can be done in the japanese language (like in spanish) when it's clear that you're talking about yourself.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/4Nhqq8Di

I entered the kanji for japanese first i know that its not i speak japanese and english, but english and japanese. But i know the form and it gets the same idea across. Doesn't it?


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

why do we end 話せ with ます、and not です?


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

Why does it suddenly only give me はなせ as an option instead of 話せ like in all previous exercises? Does it make a difference?


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

With kanji would be the more proper way of writing it and both should be acceptable. I suspect this sentence is a carry-over from the old Japanese course that had very limited kanji usage and managed to slip past the contributors when they were updating.


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

Ah, I see. Thanks :)


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

What happened to「話せ」? Is it 「話せ」or「はなせ」?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sean511388

Hi guys, why is と used instead of も for and? I am going through Japanese Mastery Method course and も is used for and. Am I missing some exception? Thanks!


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

と is similar to "and/with" and is used for a complete list, "English and Japanese are the languages I can speak"
も is an inclusion particle similar to "Too/also" and applies a statement to one made previously. "I can speak English. I can also speak Japanese.". Saying "I can also speak English and Japanese" leaves an implication that there is a third language in the conversation you can speak that was previously mentioned.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sean511388

Why is と used instead of も for "and"? I am going through the Japanese Mastery Method course and they use も for "and". Am I missing some exception? Thanks!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/twilight.tweek

Everyone here is pointing out specific issues they're having with this, meanwhile I'm literally so confused about everything because it feels like I just got thrown into the deep end-


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

If you're feeling overwhelmed by some of the new phrases or sentence structures I would recommend doing a few of the Practice courses. I've found that they really help me and you can even get some hearts back (on mobile).


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

Does anybody have any good ways to remember this?


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

Why do I have to specifically type out はなせます instead of using it with the Kanji 話せます? It already makes me use Kanji for "eigo" and "nihongo" but for "hanasemasu" I have to use the hiragana only?


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

はなせ what does this mean? I can say?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/d0minxx00

This is probably one of the most confusing things to learners of Japanese and you'll see this asked in a lot of question comments on this site. There's lots of different ways to explain it, but I'll just give you the one that helped me the most:

は is used to stress what comes after it. When you see something written as "X は ...", you can read it in your head as, "As for X, ..."

が, in contrast, is used to stress what comes before it. It's like you're answering an unspoken question and the answer is what was just before the が.

For example, consider the two sentences

田中は先生です。

田中が先生です。

These are both grammatically correct sentences and they both mean "Tanaka is a teacher," but the situations that you'd use them in are different.

Suppose that someone asked you what Tanaka does for a living. We're already clearly talking about Tanaka, so we don't really need to stress the "Tanaka" part of the sentence, but we do want to stress the "teacher" part, since that's the answer to the question. So in this case, you'd use #1 - 田中は先生sです。("As for Tanaka, he's a teacher.")

Now suppose instead that you, me, Tanaka, and a bunch of other people were all in a room and you asked me if anyone here was a teacher. I know we're already talking about teachers, so I want to stress that the answer to your question is that Tanaka is a teacher out of all these people. So in this case I'd use #2 - 田中が先生です。("Tanaka is a teacher.")

There are also just some verbs that always use が instead of は that you'll encounter and just have to memorize which ones they are. For example, the verbs あります and います ("to exist") always use が instead of は. That isn't the case here with はなせます, but I figure I'll mention for future reference.


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

half of the things mentioned in the dotted underline werent there. please put stuff that you show to us in the lesson.


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

Words are underlined/highlighted when they are introduced to you for the first time in a question to encourage you to tap on/hover over them for a translation hint
Also make sure to pay attention to what each translation that comes up in the hint box applies to what parts of the phrase, certain translations will only apply to certain characters in a full word and will be aligned with that word in the box.
For example when hovering over 日本語, as a whole the word means "Japanese" but separately you would also get 日 - day/sun 本 - book/origin/cylinder counter 語 - language


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

Why they didn't write "hanasemasu" with its proper kanji, and used hiragana instead? Can we do that when writing in Japanese?


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

Is this a region specific sentence? As in, if I were in Italy going through this course would it say "I can speak Italian and japanese."? But it's in italian, obviously.

Because if it's region specific then props to the volunteers for this sentence. And extra kudos for being nice to me and inadvertently motivating myself with positive messages.


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

Since this course is meant to teach Japanese from English, I don't think it is, since if you can't speak English, this course is pretty useless to you. So the statement would, supposedly, always be correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linda580556

When do u use わたし? I know it means 'I' like "i can speak english" but it is not all the time used.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tyler111271

what does "go" represent?


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

If I recall correctly, "go" simply means language. A more literal translation of "nihongo" might be "Japan language", with "nihon" meaning the country Japan and "go" meaning "the language of said country."


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

俺 was accepted over 私 in this one. Nice! I wonder if 僕 would be accepted as well.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BabluVerma276091

Why is とused here, when there is が and why is it used later on?


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

と is the noun listing particle, "and/with"
It is connecting the two nouns "English" and "Japanese" into the phrase [English and Japanese] which is then marked with が as the thing that is able to be spoken


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/happy_394

btw, can we use Watashi at the beggining?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ph.IFXKMW

Why we can't use watashi


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

You can but you would also need to follow it with a particle

私は英語と日本語がはなせます
Though Japanese usually omits particles if they can be understood from context.


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

Sorry if this has been asked already but why is this hanasemasu and not hanashimasu? With hanasu being a "u" verb shouldn't the su become a shi for the masu form?


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

話す・話します is the verb "speak" (transitive)
話せる・話せる is the potential verb "can speak/able to speak" (intransitive)
They are different verbs so they conjugate differently


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hackerman110

Why are we, the learners, supposed to know when diolingo is implying that a statment has had precios context. What a joke


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tottochan395850

Is it possible to say 英語も日本語 ? As I can speak one as well of the other. Hope it's clear, i am not a native english speaker, i am french


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stacy921592

Why isn't わたしは used in the beginning of this sentence?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Patryk397

Wait how come it said it was wrong when I said 私は, like it's I speak English and Japanese not, speak English and Japanese


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

So i put " 私は英語がと日本語話せます" (watashiwa eigo ga to nihongo hanasemasu) and i get why i got the ga wrong because i misplaced it but why didnt it accept the watashiwa?


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

the article should be を yet it seems to accept は and が, not sure i understand why. は and が are subject articles, を is the object action article.

The complete sentence would be: わたしは英語と日本語を話せます


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Liam315

It's because 話せる is an intransitive verb meaning "able to speak" or "have the ability to speak" so there is no direct action necessary.

話す is the transitive version which would require the を particle.

日本語は話せます
にほんごははなせます
As for Japanese, (I am) able to speak it

日本語を話します
にほんごをはなします
(I will/do) speak Japanese

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