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How come Express capability to do Something in Japanese

When to express something the you have the right to or cannot carry out in Japanese, you may use the following pattern:


Japanese Sentence Pattern



The very first part of the sentence V+こと indicates the action. If the activity is one intransitive verb such as 泳(およ)ぐ (oyogu swim), add “こと” come the back of its plain type to nominalize the action.E.g. 泳ぐこと

If the activity is a leg verb, you have actually to include noun + を before the verb to make it a finish clause.E.g. 絵(え)を描(か)く(e o kaku).Remember to also add the ことat the ago to nominalize the action

The fragment “が ” acts as a subtopic mite in the sentence. In this case, the subtopic is the nominalized activity V+こと. Click below to learn more about this paticle


できます is a verb itself. The plain kind is “できる”. It can be directly translated come the English indigenous “can”. Come express something the cannot be done, simply change できます come its an unfavorable form: できません

Complete example sentence

私(わたし)はフランス語(ご)を話(はな)すことができます。Watashi wa furansugoohanasukoto ga dekimasuI deserve to speak French.

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鈴木(すずき)さんは走(hashiru)ることができません。Suzukisan wa hashirukoto ga dekimasenSuzuki cannot run.

Asking & answering to a inquiry With できる

When asking others even if it is he/she have the right to do something, simply add “か” at the back of the sentenceWhen you space asked a can/cannot question, an easy ways to answer are: はい、できます (Yes, ns can) or いいえ、できません(No, i cannot)

Example sentences:

キムさんは弁当(べんとう)を作(つく)ることができますか。Kimusan wa bentou o tsukurukoto ga dekimasukaKim, deserve to you do bentos?

はい、できます。Hai, dekimasuYes, i can.

ペンギンは飛(と)ぶことができますか。Pengin wa tobukuto ga dekimasukCan penguins fly?

いいえ、できません。Iie, DekimasenNo, they can’t.

Using Potential Japanese Verbs

Another method to express have the right to or cannot carry out something is by using potential verbs.

Potential Verb transformation Rule

Group 1: adjust the last vowel come the one top top the “え column” that the same duty then add “る” come the back.Group 2: remove “る” in ~ the earlier and add “られる” (“ら” is occasionally omitted in oral Japanese)Group 3: する ―できる 来るー来(こ)られる

Japanese Potential Verbs

Example Sentences

コンビニでATM が使(つか)えます.Conbini dewa ATM ga tsukaemasuATM deserve to be used at a convenience store.

レストランでおいしい料理(りょうり)が食(た)べられます.Resutoran de oishiiryouri ga taberaremasuYou have the right to have delicious food in ~ a restaurant.

私(わたし)は家(いえ)で勉強(べんきょう)できません.Watashi wa iede benkyoudekimasenI can’t research at home.

See more: The Statement: Return 8, 10; Returns The Value ____., C++ I Ch 6 Quiz Fall 2018 Flashcards

Now the you have learned the 2 means of expressing capability in Japanese. What around asking the 5W1H inquiries in Japanese?

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