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  5. "Can I enter?"

"Can I enter?"

Translation:Est-ce que je peux entrer ?

December 23, 2012



"peux-je" is not correct, only "puis-je".


yes, but why?


"peux-je" is too difficult to say/hear, so it is not used. "puis-je" sounds much better.


Been speaking French for 20 years without knowing that "peux-je" is difficult to say.

Upon checking I see you're right, it's only considered correct to say "puis-je", even though it seems weird to change that for something that's a lot easier to say than some things that stayed in the language.

Anyway, had reported it, complaining that the question asks "can I?" not "may I?", but I see now that was in error.

Was only doing the French on here to tidy up my (admittedly sub-par) spelling and for the sake of completeness... Now I learn some other things too :p


So the construction peux-je is never used for anything?


That's right, it is never used.


Since "veux-je" is unpronounceable, we use "est-ce que je veux"


Out of curiosity, is there a similar replacement for "veux-je"? However uncommon it may be to start a sentence that way.


Irregular verb. There are A LOT of them in french


Why is it not "Puis j'entrer"?


'Puis-je' is a subject verb inversion. In French these are hyphenated and written in full.


Nope. "Puis-je entrer" is still marked as wrong.


Did you report it?


Since the sentence is "Can I enter" and not "May I enter", sholdn't both "Peux-je entrer" and "Puis-je entrer" be accepted? We do not know if the sentence is referring to one's physical ability to enter.


No, peux-je is never used.


do you need to use 'y' with entrer as in : est-ce que je peux y entrer?


no, not necessarily, unlike verb "aller" which must have a destination.


Wow. is there anything else like this case exceptional?!


Once again, I ask: what happened to the guidance given in previous lessons that the french do not routinely use 'pouvoir' to preface a request, but (in this case )would merely say: j'entre ?


Asking for permission needs "pouvoir": Puis-je entrer ? (Can/May I enter?)

Requesting someone to do something can use "pouvoir" or not:

  • "Peux-tu me passer le sel, s'il te plaît ?" (Can you pass me the salt, please?)
  • "Tu me passes le sel, s'il te plaît ?" (Can you pass me the salt, please?)

Asking a question with "to see" or "to hear" does not need pouvoir:

  • "Est-ce que tu vois cet oiseau ?" (Can you see this blue bird?)
  • "Tu entends le bruit des voitures ?" (Can you hear the sound of cars?)


According to my native speaker friends, my response "Peux-je entrer?" is correct. Why is it marked wrong? I see the comment below, that only "puis-je" is acceptable. Why?


Your native-speaker friends are wrong. "Peux-je" is not used because it is unintelligible. It has been replaced ages ago by "puis-je", and "puis" has been kept from old French just for this purpose.


Well then, sorry about that, but your friend is totally wrong and "il devrait consulter une grammaire française, chapitre des conjugaisons."

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