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  5. "I can speak English."

"I can speak English."

Translation:私は英語が話せます。

March 5, 2018

117 Comments


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

I just encountered a sentance that was "Can you speak English?" (英語ははなせますか?) but instead of a particle は this sentance uses が why is that?


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

I'm confused too, but this article has helped me out a bit: https://8020japanese.com/wa-vs-ga/


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

"In other words, 「は」 is used to redefine or clarify the contents of the context bubble, or part thereof.”

So I was thinking 「は」was used for emphasis, but it's actually somewhat "de-emphasizing." I.e., if it's followed by 「は」then it's not new/important information, but background information.


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

idk why you were downvoted for discussing the article lol.

Anyway, perhaps I misunderstood the article (this whole section is pretty confusing to me haha) but what I got from it was "“wa” marks the topic of the sentence; it tells us what we are talking about." which to me means it is new information. or at least, information that needs to be clarified (such as watashi wa, to clarify that it is yourself you are talking about in the event that you were previously talking about someone else). Background information is omitted, but implied, as you see in the handy chart they used to show how context plays in:

As I say in basically all of my comments, please correct me if i am wrong. My intent isn't to mislead or pretend to inform, but rather discuss to help clarify not only for who I am responding to, but myself as well.


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

To prevent confusion, I'd like to explain what they mean when people say that が can be used for new information and は is NOT used for new information. This is an important distinction, but it is easy to get mixup if you over-think it.

A topic is always common information. Something familiar to both speaker and listener. If the listener does not know about something (new information), then it cannot be used as a topic for the conversation (yet). First, it would need to be introduced into the conversation somehow, either by contextual clues, or using a different topic, or by stating it directly as a new subject.

It might help to provide an example. Imagine you are talking to your coworker and you say, "I bumped into Jim from Accounting this morning. He just proposed to his girlfriend. Isn't it exciting?"

In this conversation, you could use "Jim" as a topic in the second sentence, when you are telling your friend about Jim's proposal, but it would not make sense to make Jim the topic of your first sentence. Unless Jim was brought up earlier in the conversation, to provide a context for using him as a topic.

"Speaking of Jim ... I bumped into him this morning."

Now that Jim has been brought up as the topic under discussion, the rest of the sentence is providing new information related to Jim. When you are ready to talk about something else, you just introduce a new topic. But again ... it must be common information. It doesn't make sense to throw out a topic that is completely unexpected. It would break the flow of conversation and confuse your listener. You would need to introduce a brand new subject using が or an existing topic instead.

It takes a while to get used to topics, but they really aren't that scary or strange. Just a different way of organizing the information.


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

It doesn't make sense to me, can you prove it by writing these example conversations in Japanese and breaking it down?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeFant0meCach3

@Deivisony what I took from that was to mean that if the topic was mentioned before you could use は to specify the topic since it's not new information but when bringing in a totally new topic that wasn't part of the conversation previously, が is the more appropriate particle...at least that's how I understood it.


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

And do you know why you can never get a simple, straightforward answer?
Because it’s the wrong question to ask.

cue sobbing

edit: article isn't actually so hard to get thru, even has a diagram or 2 to explain how the context plays in. Good read.


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

From my understanding, and this could be wrong, は is used if you were to say like "this is a PEN" - whereas が is used more-so to say "THIS is a pen" say if you were like holding one, and a kid was saying a cup is a pen, and you wanted to be like no-no THIS is a pen!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AaronAtkin17

Like if you wanted to say, "THAT's not a knife. THIS is a knife!"


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

I'm still learning, but I think it might depend on context. If you're talking about the English language it's は, but if you were focusing more on languages you can speak in general, が would apply since it's just one of many, so to speak. I think が tends to be associated with stuff that is still sort of unidentified (sorry in advance if this is all wrong).


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

when は is use, it just focus on the subject english, like is english something speakable (to you), when が is used , the subject is implied, (私は)英語が話せます、and in this case the subject is (あなたは)英語が話せますか。


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

Wa and Ga are extremely complex. There are entire books on it. I think in this case either should work. I'm honestly not sure about this one. It's insinuation is that you only speak English, or "I at least speak English".

I hope a native speaker chips in here.


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

私が英語は話せます and 私は英語が話せます are accepted for me. I take が as the object you want to emphasize most which could be " YOU (can) speak english" or "ENGLISH (is what) you speak." Some situations call for one more than the other. I could be totally wrong but thats what I've gathered.


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

(sorry I don't have a Japanese keyboard)

My school understanding is

Wa = is Ga = can

So nihongo wa hanashimasu = I speak Japanese (not a phrase that's really used I think)

And nihongo ga hanasemasu (note shi conjugates to se) = I can speak Japanese

Hope this helps :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ben813848

I'm not sure if I'm reading this wrong, but it doesn't feel 100% correct.

As far as I'm aware, it's not は or が that causes the sentence to mean "can", it's entirely using the potential form of 話す(hanasu) which becomes 話せる (hanaseru) or in "masu-form" becomes 話せます (hanasemasu). http://www.guidetojapanese.org/learn/grammar/potential

This seems to be unrelated to whether one should use "wa" or "ga", where the resource linked by maggiekarp_ seems to give some decent insights: https://8020japanese.com/wa-vs-ga/


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

You are correct.

The particles are different because the potential form is intransitive, not because が means "can".

話す is a transitive godan verb. Changing it to the potential form 話せる essentially turns it into an INtransitive ichidan verb. It conjugates differently and follows intransitive grammar rules whic include using が to mark the language that can be spoken, instead of を.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tsuj1g1r1

Your responses are always so helpful, DestinyCall. Reading your comments here is going to make learning Japanese so much more fun!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin121657

From my understanding of that, it is not ga that makes it Can. It is the conjugation of hanashimasu to hanasemasu that makes it can. (Hanasu = to speak, Hanaseru = Can speak)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ender0703

how about "私は英語が話せます"


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

Perfectly good, though in many cases you wouldn't need the 私は. Context and all that. In fact, using 私 or other pronouns too much can sometimes come across as a bit rude (or egotistical, in the case of 私).


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

im confused i did this last week and it said boku wa eigo hanasemasu but now its eigo ga hanasemasu


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

僕 and 私 is usually omitted, since Japanese heavily relies on context, and it's pretty obvious that you are talking about yourself.

Either answer you gave can work, they are fine.


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

Why not accept the るform of the verb? 英語が話せる?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tim613889

英語が話せる is informal, but correct.


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

I don´t get it, why is 英語 succeded by が if it's not the subject of the sentence? English doesn't speak anything, it's spoken


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

The potential form of a verb is not transitive, meaning it cannot take a direct object. Verbs that are intransitive take が instead. "English can be spoken"
The action of speaking isn't actually being done, you're just describing the ability to do an action. It's like describing English as having the attribute of being speakable, making it the subject.


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

Ok, I think I got it, I will take a deeper look later about this potential form that I hadn’t learned about it before, but I guess it’s when the verbs are next to “can” if I got it right


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chloe697958

Why is it が and not を? And also why not just use はなします instead of はなせます? "英語をはなします。"


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

はなせます is an intransitive verb, which means it doesn't have a direct object and thus doesn't use を. Think of it like a passive statement of your ability instead of an active statement of something you're actually doing: "I have the ability to speak English."

はなせます is used instead of はなします because the original sentence is, "I can speak English," not "I speak English." There is a difference between the two, even though we often use them interchangeably in casual English speech. はなせます is the potential form of the verb はなします; you're saying that you have the ability to speak, rather than that you're actively speaking.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eeeiii64

What is the context and/or differences between 僕(ぼく)& 私(わたし)? Is this a formal and informal type deal? Or respectful and causual type deal?


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

"Boku" is boy-ish, "watashi" is polite and gender-neutral. There are many other ways to refer to oneself, too. For example, "atashi" is extremely feminine/girly, and like "boku" can be considered kind of kiddy. A major thing to recognize is that in Japanese, there is not only several layers of politeness, but also male speech and female speech. Once you understand that, you start looking for it, and it becomes easier to understand what's being said.


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

why do they use the ga particle instead of wa? isnt ga a particle of the subjet, it is I who speaks english...(so it should be ga)?


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

Yes the particle が marks the subject of the sentence and the particle は marks the topic of the sentence.

When you ask a question, you should use は if the question word comes after the topic in the sentence.

When a question word appears at the beginning of the sentence, you should use the particle が

You should also use が for new information.


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

Ga denotes a subject, wa denotes a topic if my understanding is correct


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tsuj1g1r1

If you were to use wa, you'd be saying "As far as English is concerned, I can speak it." But using ga with an implied "watashi wa" means "As far as I am concerned, I can speak English." It depends whether the topic of the conversation is English or yourself. And see DestinyCall's comment above about how the potential makes the verb intransitive.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aadithyaa23

what is the difference between 僕 and 私


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

Connotation. Watashi is very neutral, while "boku" sounds boy-ish. I explain this in more detail above.


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

Quick question:

What does the 僕 (boku) kanji represent?


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

僕 is a first person pronoun "I" primarily used by males
If you mean as far as why it looks the way it does, its etymology is a bit interesting:
https://www.tofugu.com/japanese/japanese-first-person-pronouns/#section-3
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/僕


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

Not "eigo o hanashimasu"?


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

There are actually two things in your answer that differ from the accepted one. RVJioWts commented on your use of 話します rather than 話せます (話 pronounced はな). They're based on the same verb, but 話します is speaking, and 話せます is the ability to speak (dictionary forms are 話す and 話せる).

The second issue is using を rather than が. When using potential form (what I referenced above), you use が, even if you'd use を if the verb were in normal form. The potential form turns it into an intransitive verb, so it doesn't take a direct object (what を signifies). To paraphrase Tae Kim's guide, it describes the state, not an action being taken.


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

That would be "I speak English." This sentence is "I can speak English."

Obviously in English we use the two phrases interchangeably mostly, but there is a difference.


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

I'm curious why the spelling of the verb here looks like the imperative (hanase) instead of the regular masu form (hanashi), especially when it still ends with "masu". Is this a special exception for this verb or something?


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

It's the polite version of potential form of the verb - はなせる. It means the ability to speak instead of the actual verb "speak."


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

this is called the 可能型 かのうけい、form of the verb that states possibility or ability


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

Why is "British" in katakana but "English" in Kanji?


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

My understanding: Britain (イギリス) is in Katakana because it’s a loanword from European language (England —> igirisu). “English” (the language) is 英語 which is in Kanji because it comes from the Chinese-based (onyomi) reading of those characters. “English” language is 英语 in Chinese too (I’m using the simplified form of the characters which I am more familiar with). In Chinese they are pronounced ying1 yu3 which became ei go in Japanese.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mark393107

why can't "Boku no" lead this sentence and still be correct?

I thought "boku no" was a rough translation for "I".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tsuj1g1r1

It means "my," not "I."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ben813848

To add to tsuj1g1r1's comment: "Boku (僕)" is a specifically masculine way of saying "watashi (私)", although I believe it's less polite. Using "no (の)", if used the way you suggest would indicate possession; i.e. "僕の英語" would mean "My English language". You could write, ”僕は英語が話せます”, specifying yourself as the "topic" of the sentence, ("As for me, (I) speak English" -- literally) but depending on context this may be unnecessary.

https://japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/74/how-should-i-select-what-first-person-pronoun-to-use


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

To further clarify, 僕 and 私 are both personal pronouns that translate to something similar to "I" in English. But I would not say that boku is a masculine watashi. Their meaning and usage is similar, but they have different etymologies in Japanese. They are not two forms of the same word.

That being said, boku is more commonly used by men and it considered less formal than watashi. Watashi can be used by men or women and is considered fairly polite. When speaking more casually, male speakers might use boku instead (or the word 俺 (ore) which is even more casual and brusque.) In contrast, women will rarely use boku, even among close friends.

Fun Fact - the literal meaning of 僕 is "manservant" and it was originally a term that was used by a master when directly addressing his servant.

Fun Fact #2 - when talking to small children (especially boys), Japanese people will sometimes use the word 僕 as a second person pronoun, equivalent to the word "you". For obvious reasons, you cannot use this word in this fashion when addressing adults or people of higher social status. That would be incredibly rude.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mark393107

why is a leading "Boku no" incorrect here ?_?


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

の is the possesive particle.

僕の means "mine" or "my"

Do you mean to say boku wa?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LittleHobbit13

I used を considering English was the object of focus for the verb and it accepted it as a correct particle, but it offered the alternative of が. Can anyone provide a brief explanation to why が would be suggested for use in this structure?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tsuj1g1r1

With the potential form (the form of the verb that means something can be done), you treat the object as the subject. Based on what I learnt on here, your use of the particle を is actually incorrect


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ben813848

を is typically used when there is a "direct object" as the focus of a verb. I've found this is normally used if the verb in question is "transitive" (takes objects) rather than "intransitive" (will not take objects).

Looking up the root word in a dictionary, 話す(はなす)you'll find that it is listed as "transitive", so a sentence like this would be correct:

"I will speak (converse in) Japanese"

「私は日本語を話します」(わたしはにほんごはなします)

However, the "potential form" of a verb, I believe, is always "intransitive". In this example, 話せる(はなせる)is the potential form of 話す (the conjugation varies depending on verb type). So you'd have to use が in the following sentence:

"I can speak (converse in) Japanese"

「私は日本語が話せます」(わたしはにほんごはなせます)

Some verbs are "intransitive" right off the bat and should normally use が, while others are "transitive" and should use を, although there are exceptions (see resource 3). These resources might be helpful (take SE posts with limited responses with a grain of salt though). The first is distinguishing between "ichidan" (る) and "godan" (う) verbs, as the potential forms are different between verb types. The second gives example sentences that would take を. The third is an example case where を is used even for "intransitive" verbs. The last is just an article talking about "transitive" vs "intransitive" but in English


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

Excuse me, but what's the difference between hanase and hanashi? I thought "hanase" was more telling someone else to speak, while hanashi was the actual action.


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

話せ Can be the informal imperative form of 話す (to speak) "Speak!!"

But here it is actually the verb stem for the polite non-past ます conjugation of the potential form of the verb 話せる, The ability to speak. 話せます "Can speak" or "Will be able to speak"

話し is the verb stem for the masu form of 話す, 話します "I speak" or "I will speak"

話す - Hanasu - to speak
話します - I (will) speak
話しません - I (will/do) not speak

話せる - Hanaseru - To be able to speak
話せます - I can (will be able to) speak
話せません - I cannot (will not be able to) speak

as a side: 話 by itself can also be pronounced "hanashi" and is the noun "story, talk, conversation"


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

Thank you so much! That really clears things up and is chock full of useful information! :D (I love these sorts of answers to my questions!)


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

i learnt from a japanese that が is used in important situations - but I don't know how this would be important ?


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

は and が are really complex, and I think there is no way to provide a simple explanation.

は is used mainly when the information you are speaking is already known, and emphasizes what comes AFTER it.

が is used when presenting new information, and emphasizes what comes BEFORE it.

In some cases, they are interchangeable. I'm not sure if they play more roles, but this is what I got from the comments here.


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

how do u know when to put "ます" or "です"


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

です is the copula roughly meaning the verb "to be". It is used in X=Y sentences linking two nouns or an adjective and a noun together.
パンが甘いです - "pan ga amai desu" - Bread is sweet
これはペンです - "kore wa pen desu" - This is a pen

ます is the polite present/future verb conjugation. It cannot by used by itself.
話します - Hanashimasu "I (will) speak"
食べます - Tabemasu "I (will) eat"
飲みます - Nomimasu "I (will) drink"
and here: 話せます - Hanasemasu "I (am able to/will be able to) speak"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidMelar12

Ok i need help.

Ive gotten this wrong to many times and don't know why.

When I use watashi wa before in a question I got it wrong and said i was to use watashi no.

But now that I used watashi no in this question "I can speak english." It says i got it wrong and should of used watashi wa.

When and where and why do I use watashi wa and watashi no?

Please explain.


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

In the Japanese sentence, the topic is yourself. (Using "wa" after "watashi.") Using "no" would make it possessive. "No" wouldn't make any sense in this sentence. "Watashi no neko wa totemo kawaii desu" is an example of using "no" correctly, as the speaker is talking about his or her cat. But "wa" comes after "neko" because the topic of the sentence isn't oneself, but the cat which belongs to oneself. Hope that clarifies things.

Also, it's "should have used" not "should of used." This is a mistake brought about by phonetic learning, misinterpreting the contraction "could've" as "could of" (which, in spoken English, sounds the same) when this is not at all grammatically correct. "I could have done this." -> "I could've done this."


[deactivated user]

    I've heard that が can be used to bring attention to the subject of the sentence, so if you hear a conversation about what languages people can speak, and decide to join in, could you say 私が英語が話せます? Or would it have to be 私が英語は話せます? Or something else?


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

    If you're joining in a conversation about languages in general you would probably want to mark yourself as the topic with は
    私は英語が話せます "On the topic of me, I can speak English", switching the focus from someone else to yourself and then emphasizing that English is the language that you can speak.

    Japanese also tends to go from the biggest to smallest in terms of detail, so you would start with the the topic (yourself) then the subject (english) and then the important thing that connects those two together (the ability to speak)

    If you want to make yourself the subject 英語は私が話せます it would be more like "On the topic of English, I can speak it" (not someone else; ME) Where maybe the conversation was already on English in general and you really want to stress that you are the one who is able to speak.

    DestinyCall goes into a bit more detail on the differences between は and が above in this thread. :)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sky.20011

    As for me, English speaks? Why not 英語を rather than が


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

    That would be 話します which is the transitive verb "speaks"
    話せます is the potential form and is intransitive, meaning it does not take a direct object.
    英語が話せます "Can speak English"
    English is not being spoken or speaking, but as having the description of being able to be spoken. English is speakable


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chaitanyad972223

    Can't it come watashi no...?


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

    の is used to link two nouns together and is used to show possession/grouping.
    私の英語 would be "My English" or "The English of me" which doesn't make sense here.

    は is the topic particle and would mark the general thing you are commenting on. 私は is acceptable (and the recommended answer) here.
    私は英語が話せます - [As for me,] I can speak English


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

    私は英語が話すことができます


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

    Honestly, looking forward to learning "koto." It seems to be a common suffix in Japanese.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Srujan511137

    What's wrong with 'watashi no' instead of 'watashi wa'


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

    https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/26493931$comment_id=41724202

    の is used to link two nouns together and is used to show possession/grouping.
    私の英語 would be "My English" or "The English of me" which doesn't make sense here.

    は is the topic particle and would mark the general thing you are commenting on. 私は is acceptable (and the recommended answer) here.
    私は英語が話せます - [As for me,] I can speak English


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mathilde380775

    What's the difference between 僕 (boku) and 私 (watashi)? To translate "I can speak English", I wrote 僕は英語が話せますand got it wrong. The proposed translation is 私は英語が話せます. I had read in a previous comment that 僕 was more masculine while 私 is more neutral. Thanks!


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

    That is correct and should be accepted,
    What the exact problem was could be two things:

    • There is currently a bug that isn't allowing answers input with an IME to be accepted site-wide. Staff are aware of the problem and have been looking into it. As of this morning typed answers seem to be working fine for me again, so if they still aren't yet for you they should be soon.

    • If typing answers are being accepted for you again and it is still marked wrong it may just be because that specific format hasn't been added to the list of acceptable answers by the contributors yet. You can report your answer as "My answer should be accepted" next time it happens. :)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mathilde380775

    Wonderful! Thank you for your quick reply.


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

    why is "英語が話せます。" not correct?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BrettGreen748667

    Why is it ending in ます when i see similar phrases end in です


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

    です is the copula; it functions similar to the verb "to be" in English and is used in making A=B sentences. This is usually used with nouns.
    学生ですか "Are you a student?" - (implied 'You') = Student (?)
    アメリカ人です "I am American" - (implied 'I') = American
    これは猫です "This is a cat" - This = Cat
    公演は静かです "The park is quiet" - Part = Quiet
    さくらさんは日本出身です "Sakura is from Japan" - Sakura = From Japan


    ます is a polite non-past verb ending and is not used on its own. It is attached to the stem of a verb to make it polite
    How it conjugates depends on what type of verb it is (there are three), but overall the polite form is very consistent.

    Group 1: Ichidan verbs (iru/eru ending) drop the final る from their dictionary form and add ます to make the polite non-past form. (Note: not all iru/eru verbs are ichidan but all ichidan verbs are iru/eru)
    いる iru・います imasu - to exist (animate)
    食べる taberu・食べます tabemasu - to eat
    寝る neru・寝ます nemasu - to sleep
    着る kiru・着ます kimasu - to wear
    話せる hanaseru・話せます hanasemasu - to be able to speak

    Group 2: Godan verbs do not end in iru/eru (with a few exceptions). When conjugating to their polite -masu form, the final "u" sound becomes an "i" sound before ます is added.
    aru・あます arimasu - to exist (inanimate)
    iku・行ます ikimasu - to go
    oyogu・泳ます oyogimasu - to swim
    asobu・遊ます asobimasu - to play
    motsu・持ます mochimasu - to hold
    kaeru・帰ます kaerimasu - to return
    kau ・買ます kaimasu - to buy
    yomu・読ます yomimasu - to read
    iu・言ます iimasu - to say/to be named

    Group three: Irregular verbs:
    する suru・します shimasu - to do
    来る kuru・来ます kimasu - to come


    さくらさんは日本人です - Sakura is Japanese
    さくらさんは日本語が話せます - Sakura can speak Japanese


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tyler541881

    I wish they would let me put the spoken version as an answer


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Redheadede1

    I am having trouble understanding when to use Boku, and Watashi vs. When to not define the speaker in sentense like "I speak english and japanese" especially when directly typing the english translation. How do you differentiate when the article isnt needed?


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

    It's usually omitted, but if you want to be very clear about who it is you're talking about, then you would use it. ("Watashi wa eigo to nihongo wo hanase masu." = "As for me, I speak English and Japanese (as opposed to other languages.)" "Watashi ga eigo to nihongo wo hanase masu." = "I am the one who speaks English and Japanese (as opposed to other people.)")

    If you're not saying anything that necessitates explaining yourself, though, you'd probably usually just let context do the talking.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ER1CKDESU

    What is the difference between ボクノ and ワタシワ? I answered ボクノ and it is not accepted.


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

    私 and 僕 are both pronouns "I" and either should be acceptable
    Note that both of these words and their accompanying particles are native to Japanese and would not be written in katakana. You also have ワ "wa" which would be わ, rather than the particle は

    は is a topic particle and marks the overall topic of conversation. This is contextual information for the statement you are about to make.
    私は、僕は "On the topic of me..."

    の is a noun-linking particle. The noun before the particle modifies the noun after it. This is often used to show possession.
    私の、僕の - "My"
    私の犬 - My dog
    僕の名前 - My name
    This particle would not make sense in this sentence because it would change the meaning to "I can speak MY English"


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

    は is a topic particle and marks the overall topic of conversation. This is contextual information for the statement you are about to make.
    私は - "On the topic of me..."

    の is a noun-linking particle. The noun before the particle modifies the noun after it. This is often used to show possession.
    私の、僕の - "My"
    私の犬 - My dog
    僕の名前 - My name
    This particle would not make sense in this sentence because it would change the meaning to "I can speak MY English"


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

    I am Still confuse in the use of "ga" "wa" "mo" etc can somebody tell me


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

    Why did it not accept Boku no (僕の) but will accept watashi wa (私は). I thought that they were the same. Would it have accepted Boku wa (僕は)?


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

    僕は and 私は should both be fine,
    僕の though uses the particle の which links nouns to other nouns, and is used to show possession. It turns the pronoun "I" into the possessive "My" which wouldn't work here. "I can speak my English"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/P34RTR33

    in the verb 話す the object is the language that someone can speak, right? so 英語話す rather than


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vinsmoke.sanji00

    When to use "no, wa, go, ga"?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mhope9

    What does ます mean?


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

    ます is the polite non-past verb ending. Specifically it is used for present simple (habitual) and future tense forms.
    食べる・たべる Dictionary/casual form of "Eat" - 食べます・たべます Polite form "I eat" (habitual) and "I will eat" (future)

    話せる Can speak (dictionary/casual)・話せます "Can speak" (polite)
    言う Say (dictionary/casual)・言います "Say" (polite)
    行く・行きます "Go"
    読む・読みます "Read"
    飲む・飲みます "Drink"
    ある・あります "Exist" (inanimate)
    いる・います "Exist" (animate)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kurama_Avery178

    Whats the difference of 話します and 話せます


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

    話す・話します is the transitive verb "speak"
    英語を話します - I speak English
    彼女と話します - I talk to/with her

    話せる・話せます is the intransitive potential verb "can speak/able to speak"
    日本語が話せます - I can speak Japanese


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

    Is there a particular reason why 話せられる isn't accepted? Isn't that more technically correct than 話せます?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LanguageLingo24

    Why is boku no eigo hanasemasu not accepted?


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

    That would mean "I speak my English" or "My English speaks"


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

    僕の would mean my. You are looking for 僕は ( I with the subject marker)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MK2BSk

    Can you not use eigo ga wa hanase masu?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sebass0330

    I'm still confused on when to use "ga"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Juanra0792

    Doesn't accept "英語が話せますか" but I'm sure it is right, isn't it?


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

    It isn't right because you're ending the sentence with か, which turns it into a question.

    What you're saying is: "Do you speak English?" Rather than "I speak English".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Melody742

    I'm confused why did they used ga instead ow when it said i can speak Japanese ?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Harith_81

    What is defferent betweenの、は、がand も???


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

    は marks the topic, which is old/known information that provides context for the statement you are about to make.
    私は "(On the topic of) I..."

    が is the new information/subject marker; it marks the do-er or be-er of an action
    私が "I (am the one who)..."

    私は英語が話せます "On the topic of me, English is the thing that is speakable"

    の is a genitive particle; it links nouns together. AのB would be "A's B" or "The B of A"
    私の "My"
    私の名前 "My name" or "The name of me"
    私の名前はマリアです "My name is Maria" (On the topic of my name, (it) is Maria."

    も is an inclusion particle, "also, as well, too"
    私も "Me too"
    私もアメリカ人です "I am also American"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JaylenLoga2

    Why is there a が?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/M0ment

    Why isn't 僕英語が話せます correct?


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

    You're missing a particle after your pronoun,
    英語が話せます
    Particles indicate the function of each noun in a sentence and how they relate to the verb, omitting it in a sentence reads like 僕英語 is being treated as a single noun "I English"


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

    Why is 'boku no' incorrect? Would it not be in the same context as 'watashi wa' as an 'I'


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

    私 and 僕 are both first-person pronouns "I, me"
    は marks the topic of the sentence; the contextual information for the conversation.
    私は、僕は "on the topic of me..."

    の is genitive particle used to link nouns together into a single noun-phrase
    私の and 僕の are then the possessive "My" which wouldn't make sense here

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