"Ĉu vi povas fermi la pordon?"

Translation:Can you close the door?

June 1, 2015



I can, but will I?

June 1, 2015


I wonder if it's impolite in to say that in English. Is it?

June 30, 2015


It's considered impolite, as it sounds like you're refusing for no reason.

July 2, 2015


No, I meant if its impolite to say "Can you close the door?". To say "I can, but will I?" might be a reaction to that impoliteness.

July 2, 2015


"Can you close the door?" is moderately polite but it's more an order (e.g., from parents to children) than a request.

The following are examples of requests: "Would you please close the door?" and "Would you be so kind as to close the door?"

I rather like the second one, because it gives the other person time to focus attention on your request. While you are saying "Would you be so kind as to...", the other person is listening and waiting to find out just what you're asking. Even if they missed the first few syllables, by the time you reach "close the door", you have their full attention.

July 17, 2015


Oh. "Can you close the door?" is the polite way in English to say "Close the door!"

July 2, 2015


Benjamin, the can/may distinction in English is more for if you're asking permission to do something, not if you're asking someone to do something for you.

"Can you close the door" is polite, but as has already been said, those who take things literally will make a joke out of it and act like you're asking them if they are ABLE to close the door.

November 3, 2015


Thanks. I heard it was impolite and the polite way was to say "May ...". But maybe that was in a different context, like "Can/May I have the butter?".

July 3, 2015


It's more to do with a person deliberately understanding the word "can" by it's original meaning of being able to. My English teacher in school if asked "can I go to the toilet?" would respond "If you can't I'd suggest going to see a doctor."

August 13, 2015


So can you use "can you..." to make requests/demands like in english? Or is this literally asking if he has the ability to shut the door?

December 14, 2015


Yes. It depends on context. "Can" can be a more causal way of saying "would you please" or "may I," etc. It's not technically grammatically correct, I believe, but that is what you'll hear most often in English.

April 24, 2017


I'm surprised there were no Panic At The Disco references.

May 15, 2016


that's because I just got here

November 5, 2017


When are you going to have a "slow" spoken option for understanding Esperanto, like they have in the Spanish Duolingo Course?

September 10, 2015


Deal is, in the Esperanto course it's a real person while in Spanish it's a voice bot

November 5, 2015


They rarely read these comments. If you need to send a comment, use the report function.

September 11, 2015



October 27, 2016


Useful term for Brendon Urie to know.

November 5, 2017

[deactivated user]

    In English, you wouldn't say, "can you TO CLOSE the door?" so when do you use the infinitive form in Esperanto?

    December 16, 2015


    In esperanto, you use the infinitive whenever you have a verb that refers to an action, ie the verb is acting on another verb. Here, the verb 'povas' (can) is referring to the action of closing (fermi), so it has to be the infinitive. Povas, provas, ŝatas, bezonas and devas are all verbs that are likely to act on the infinitive of another verb.

    December 16, 2015


    A better translation would be 'Are you able TO CLOSE the door?'

    February 8, 2016


    The truth is that in the English sentence, "close" is used in the infinitive form, but you simply omit the "to". Just replace "close" with an irregular verb.

    You wouldn't say "Can you to be the door?" You'd say "Can you be the door?" You don't have the "to", but it's obvious that "be" is the infinitive because it can't be anything else.

    May 29, 2016


    I feel like most Esperanto verbs come from French

    July 10, 2016


    They actually come from Latin, which is also the main root for Romance languages such as French (and Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese).

    English, on the other hand, is about half Latin and half Germanic, with many of our more basic words coming from the latter source.

    September 25, 2016


    I don't know, can I? 7th grade English!

    November 25, 2015



    May 7, 2016


    is it like in english, where this means 'may you close the door?' or is it just 'are you able to close the door'?

    August 25, 2017


    Someone else already asked that question. And althyastar answared: "Yes. It depends on context. "Can" can be a more causal way of saying "would you please" or "may I," etc. It's not technically grammatically correct, I believe, but that is what you'll hear most often in English."

    August 25, 2017


    yeah i know about english, was asking if it was the same in esperanto or this only means 'are you able to open the door'.

    August 25, 2017


    Mi ne scias; ĉu povas vi?

    March 23, 2018


    I thought that "close" was "malaperis" in Esperanto.

    March 9, 2019
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