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19

Very simply : 食べることができる I am technically able to eat. I have a mouth, a stomach, and so on. When you ask "can you do this for me" and your witty friend replies "yes, I can" but doesn't do it, that's this meaning of potentiality that he chose to understand. You'd use this form to say "I cannot time travel" or "I cannot fly". You cannot do anything about ...


13

I don't think you can differentiate them without looking at the context. ハンバーガー が・を 食べられる → I can eat hamburgers ハンバーガーを食べられてしまった! → Someone ate my hamburger!! With the passive form, you'll usually see the doer/"culprit", indicated by ~に: 父にハンバーガーを食べられることが多い → My hamburgers are often eaten by my father ("My father often eats my ...


13

What I've read regarding the 見える、見られる and 聞こえる、聞ける doesn't appear to have been mentioned here at all and I think it's probably the clearest explanation. 見える - something comes into view 聞こえる - something can be heard Both of these describe sights/sounds that can be sensed regardless of the speaker's volition, e.g. if you look out the window you can see the ...


11

Can you say "日本語する"? I suppose you can use it idiomatically or somewhat playfully (perhaps akin to something like "I'm Japanese-ing it up"), but it's not a real verb that is used. If the answer is no, how can "日本語できる" be grammatically correct? Without realizing it, you are actually saying "日本語が分かることができます。". 日本語できる is really just dropping the が ...


9

Neither of the current answers sit well with me at the moment, so I'm going to risk adding to the confusion by posting another. Question 1 (grammar) First, let's clarify the two verbs in question: 解く solve (a problem) 解ける resolve (itself) (These are not the only definitions, but for the sake of brevity and on-topic-ness we'll go with these.) ...


9

Yes, ~うる (or ~える) can be thought of as a potential form. It's an auxiliary that expresses "can", and it attaches to the continuative form (連用形) of a verb. That's the same form of the verb you use before the polite auxiliary ~ます, so we get forms like these:   ある   →  ありうる   考える  →  考えうる   する   →  しうる In kanji, this verb is written 得る, but in this ...


9

In this case, the particle で denotes method/means ('by means of', 'with', 'using', etc.) The difference is 'speak in Japanese' vs 'speak Japanese'. 日本語で上手に話せます。 One can (speak / talk with someone / say something) well in Japanese. 日本語が上手に話せます。 One can speak Japanese well. (= One is a good Japanese speaker). When someone says 日本語で話す, it ...


8

Technically, it exists, but as a Japanese-speaker, I would NOT recommend that you actively use it --- at least not on a regular basis. As @Chocolate stated in the comment above, 「~~させられうる」 is the form. Your sentence “It is possible that she may make you eat her cooking.” can be said in Japanese as: 「ボクは[彼女]{かのじょ}に[自分]{じぶん}の[料理]{りょうり}を[食]{た}べさせられうる。」 ...


8

A devil's-advocate, non-rigorous argument from etymology: (1) /wakaru/ is morphologically /wak.ar.u/, and so in /ar/ already contains a spontaneous/passive morpheme that is equivalent (in some ways, different in others of course) to modern /((ra)r)e/. (2) Constructions like /nihongo ga wakaru/ are often explained as equivalent to "[somebody] understands ...


8

みえる = to be able to see. (precisely: to be seen/to be in sight) ⇒ Can you see the fujisan? => 富士山が見えますか? みれる = to be able to watch. ⇒ Can you watch DVD with this? => それでDVDが見れますか? The same for 聞ける (Can you listen) vs 聞こえる (Can you hear / precisely: to be heard/to be audible) みえる and きこえる and not a special form of みる and きく, they are specific ...


8

Here's where 歩けなく comes from: Start with the verb 歩く, "to walk". Turn it into its potential form: 歩ける, "able to walk". Make it negative: 歩けない, "unable to walk". Turn the newly formed i-adjective into an adverb: 歩けなく. Now, なっちゃう is a shorter form of なって + しまう. なって, of course, is the -て form of なる, which means "to become". なる requires that the adjective ...


7

It depends on what you mean by “potential form.” Both れる/られる and ことができる are attached to a verb and their basic meaning is “have the ability to do.” (れる/られる has very different meanings such as passive and respect, but I ignore them for the purpose of this answer.) Because they are about the ability, the subject is usually animate. The combination of ...


7

I don't know what you mean by "-せる" form. -せる can appear at the end of the verb in at least two ways. As the potential form of a verb, which ends in -す. 帰す -> 帰せる As the causative form of a verb. 帰る -> 帰らせる Here, -せる is the potential form of the verb 倒す, so 倒す "to throw over, to knock down" 倒せる "to be able to throw over / knock down" 倒せない "not ...


7

Well, it appears to me that you're confused with the transitivity of 止まる. While the English word "stop" is used both transitively (as in "I stopped the taxi.") and intransitively (as in "Then the taxi stopped."), 止まる is always intransitive. The transitive version is 止める, and its potential form is 止められる. So 俺は止まらない just means "I don't stop" or "I will never ...


6

Context is important. With passive verbs you should look for a に before the verb that will mark the person or thing that performs the verb. This is not the same as the subject of the verb. For example, if you see the short phrase: お兄さんに食べられた。 You can figure out pretty quickly from the に that this is not the potential. The subject of the sentence is an ...


6

1 When you're walking and your shoelaces come undone, they appear to do that on their own. 靴ひもがほどける does not mean that someone unties them, but that they "untie themselves". The meaning is closer to an intransitive active than to a passive; therefore にくい is appropriate. On the other hand, 問題が解ける means that the problem is solved by someone, not that it solves ...


6

「答{こた}えられる」 has three different usages and meanings. Honorific: Used when describing someone higher up answering. 「その質問{しつもん}にはスミス様{さま}が答えられました。」 = "Mr. Smith (kindly) answered the question." Potential: Used to express "can answer" or "to be able to answer". 「その質問は難{むずか}しすぎて答えられません。」 = "That question is too difficult (for me) to ...


6

合える is the Potential conjugation of 合う。 Attaching ~ 合う (あう)to the end of a verb stem means to do the action with each other or to do the action mutually with someone else. (See more examples on the source page) Attaching 〜合う and 〜合える in this way is pretty common. To determine whether it would be fitting in a certain situation, a good rule of thumb is ...


5

Indeed there are uses of できる outside of sheer potential. Most commonly you'll find it used in the sense of completion of an action, as in your example above, where the preparations have been completed. You also see it in the sense of something that wasn't previously there coming into existence, and you often hear something like 鼻ににきびができた, or that you got a ...


5

話せる is the potential form of 話す. The potential form implies being able to do the verb. It's an immensely useful form! The potential form is created by adding られる to the stem of る-verbs, or adding the え form of the final kana of う verbs plus る to the stem of う verbs (I think the cool kids call those ichidan and godan verbs, respectively). 食べる - to eat ...


5

話せる/話せます "able to speak" is the potential form of 話す/話します "to speak". See also the conjugation table at wwwjdic. Edit: I didn't previously know this (and it's not used this way here), but apparently (according to the progressive dictionary and Daijisen), coming from the "able to speak" meaning, 話せる can also mean "is sensible/is reasonable/is good at ...


5

They seem entirely ungrammatical to me. But, the number of search hits for "られてられて" (94,100,000) verges on the frightening - almost makes me suspect that the Japanese language has changed its syntax behind my back.. All the more so when you see that these usage contexts include pretty formal ones which must have gone through some kind of proofreading [1]. ...


5

I don't think there is way to decide that without looking at context. And there is another meaning for ~られる, which is used as polite form (keigo), which means 食べられる can be used as similar meaning with 召し上がる (meshiagaru), but of course special usage 召し上がる is more polite than 食べられる for this case.


5

Unfortunately, 〜飲み得ない might be better used in poetry rather than everyday conversation. And 〜飲むわけにはいかない or 〜飲むわけにはいけない might rather be used more for when something is just "undrinkable" (perhaps something not potable) instead of something you personally cannot (or possibly don't like to) drink. At any rate, along with @Chocolate's point about「〜飲めないんです。」 ...


5

Yes, it is the potential form of 書く in the progressive. These phrases are often used in the form 上手に/よく+[verb in potential form]. By itself, the potential form indicates that you are able to do something, and in combination with 上手に/よく, it means you did it well. よく読めた (praising a primary school kid on his 音読 reading out loud) 上手にできた etc. The ...


5

Just copied & pasted from my half-year-old answer (though the question itself isn't a duplicate): Though I translated 日本語を話す into "speak Japanese", the verb doesn't have "be able to speak" sense, so every time you have to explicitly use potential form when you question about ability. 日本語が話せますか? Do you speak Japanese? compared ...


5

''することができる'' isn't ill-advised at all. Generally, you can say ''(verb, dictionary form)~ことができる'' when someone can do something, of course you can say ''することができる''. You don't have to care about duplicating ''する''. There are many verbs like ''勉{べん}強{きょう}する'', ''質{しつ}問{もん}する'', etc. These ''する-form verb'' can be appended to ''ことができる'', such as ...


5

Is using "することができる" ill-advised? Short answer: No. "することができる" is perfectly normal. Long answer: If you do a quick search for "することができる" on google, you will find a lot of hits, where some of the main ones are people voicing the same concern. "Is 'することができる' good grammar?". Nonetheless, the fact that you do get over 65 million hits for the term, and ...



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