'They' question

I have a question, how do you say, "they don't speak Japanese" In Japanese? If I said something like "I speak a little Japanese, they don't" Would it be like: はい。日本語をちょっと話せます、(then insert phrase for "they don't speak Japanese") (Romanji: Hai. Nihongo o chotto hanasemasu.)

I probably messed up with that phrase above, so corrections would be awesome! ありがとうございます。

April 3, 2019


You can use your sentence, but two suggestions. It's better to use the particle が when you use the "can" form of the verb (話ます), and ちょっと is a bit casual so if you're speaking politely to someone you don't know well it might be better to use 少し (sukoshi).

はい、日本語が少し話せます。(hai, nihongo ga sukoshi hanasemasu)

This might also be a good time to use 私 (watashi), to show that I can speak Japanese, compared to them, who cannot.

私は日本語が少し話せますが、彼らは日本語が話せません。(watashi wa nihongo ga sukoshi hanasemasu ga, karera wa nihongo ga hanasemasen)

That's one way to say it.

April 3, 2019

ありがとうございます! That was very helpful!!!

April 4, 2019

hi iam still learning but i think it is right but if iam wrong let me know!!!

April 3, 2019

The thing about Japanese is that it is a topic-prominent language, which means that the topic (what is being spoken about) is emphasized more than the subject (the doer). Essentially, you don’t have to repeat the subject in each sentence once the subject is already established verbally or by context.

For example:


Jon-san wa ie de tegami o kakimashita. Soshite, sono tegami o posuto ni iremashita.

John wrote a letter at his house. Then, (John) put that letter in the mail.

Notice in the second sentence that John’s name is not mentioned but his actions are. This is because the listener can infer that John is still the person doing that action.

Here’s another:


Kochira wa kazoku desu. Eigo ga hanasemasu ga, nihongo wa wakarimasen.

This is my family. (They) can speak English, but (they) don’t understand Japanese.

Because it is established that you are talking about your family, you need not to insert “kazoku wa” at the beginning of the other sentence because doing so in Japanese sounds redundant.

Hope that was helpful :)

April 6, 2019

This helps a lot! Thank you!!!

April 6, 2019
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