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From "Japanese for Busy People Level II" p 46, there is the following question:

Fill in the blank with the appropriate particle:

この くつを (   )みても いいですか。(はきます)

In other words, modify はきます so that the sentence makes sense when the modified word fills the blank.

This book is slowly introducing kanji, so you can see there are none here.

I know: このくつ mean these shoes. はきます mean to put on. いいですか。 is asking permission whether it is okay.

If the みても were not there, I think the sentence would make sense if te-form (はいて) filled the blank. But the みても is really confusing me. I really don't know what it means! I suppose it's just te-form みます (to look). But, I have no idea what it's doing in this sentence. Also, the particle も doesn't make sense to me.

I did learn something recently, which may or may not be related, even though it's not exactly helping me here... That is, using a te-form verb followed by みます, means "to try to do that verb." But in this sentence, it seems opposite. In other words, if I'm not mistaken, one could say, "~をはいてみますいいですか。" Which would mean, "is it okay if I try to put these on?" I could easily be mistaken, especially with particles.

Sorry to ramble, but I'm just trying to explain my current level of understanding.

Thank you for reading.

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"~をはいてみますいいですか。" doesn't work, but "~をはいてみます、いいですか。" and "~をはいてみます。いいですか。" are OK. You might have heard one of the last two in conversation, which is why you think the first one is correct. –  dainichi Feb 21 '13 at 0:41
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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The sentence wants to be translated as

Would it be possible if I try on these shoes? or more literally
Would it be alright if I try to put on these shoes?

Now do backwards substitution, using the "try to [verb]" construction you learned.

Also ~をはいてみますいいですか is ungrammatical.

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Hint: みて is the te-form of みます. –  Earthliŋ Feb 20 '13 at 22:40
    
So, "はいてみます" is not "try to put on"? –  nsw Feb 20 '13 at 22:54
    
It is, but you can't append いいですか. You should make はいてみます compatible with the construction ~てもいいですか. And for that you may use the hint above. –  Earthliŋ Feb 20 '13 at 23:03
    
Am I being too pedagogical? –  Earthliŋ Feb 20 '13 at 23:03
    
No, you're not being too pedagogical. Actually I prefer that, but at my current level, it may require a lot of back-and-forth. So, let me see if I understand correctly. If the sentence ends with the verb, then みます is appropriate. If we are appending いいですか to a verb, then it requires a も particle preceding it, and the verb must be in て form? Then, 「~をはいてみてもいいですか」. Is my understanding correct? –  nsw Feb 20 '13 at 23:14
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The みる in the てみる construction changes just as any other 'ru' verb. The textbook is throwing a slight curveball by making you recognize two different patterns and slot it in appropriately.

The first, as you recognized, is the てみる pattern, which means to try. So you are right that it should by はいてみます. However it is not as simple as just changing it to はいてみます and being done with it, since you are also asking for permission, which as you know is accomplished by ~て(も)いいですか. So you need to combine these two ideas: take はいてみます and add てもいいですか. You do this by taking はいてみます and putting it into its own て form, which then connects into てもいいですか with no problem. So your final sentence should look like

このくつをはいてみてもいいですか

Just remember that the みる in てみる needs to be conjugated like any other verb.

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Thank you for the explanation! –  nsw Feb 21 '13 at 3:16
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