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15

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 ...


9

Is either of コーヒーを・は飲み得ない, 飲むわけにはいかない more correct and/or preferable? No. Or would something without potential, like 飲みにくい・づらい・がたい work better? Hmm... no. 飲みにくい/飲みづらい might sound like you're having difficulty swallowing/drinking because you have some problem in your throat... or maybe you really hate the smell of coffee... Since that's not the ...


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

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 would be written 得る, but in ...


7

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.) ...


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 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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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/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

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

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 ...


4

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.


4

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 ...


4

The latter, passive. cf. やられた!


3

I think ~ことができる has more to do with the potentiality (real word?) of things out of your control and ~(ら)れる has more to do with your abilities or things you can control. 雨が止んだら、テニスにいくことができるよ! → After the rain stops, we'll be able to go play tennis (can't control the rain). こつこつ日本語勉強するなら、難しい漢字も読めるようになる。 → If you keep up with your Japanese studies, ...


3

I will go in conjecture mode here, as I do not have the knowledge of the validity in question. (Question 1) Why is ほどけにくい acceptable while とけにくい unacceptable? I guess that it's related to the subject. A shoelace, in English too, gets loose and unties itself. The shoelace can do the action of untying itself, with ease or not, hence the (claimed) ...


3

Potential verbs are much more common than passive form. However, keep in mind that in speech it is very common to use ら抜き言葉 also. For example: 来られる #1 来れる #2 Some people actually believe that #1 is passive and #2 is potential, while others would say that #1 is both passive and potential (which is the way the standard dialect (東京弁) deems it). ...


3

I wouldn't say always. I think the construction Xができる is more or less a fixed expression for "being able to do sth." 車の運転ができる sounds more like "I can drive" in the sense of "I have a driver's licence and know how to drive". It is unmistakably a statement about me. 車を運転できる might be interpreted more circumstantial, like "The car is drivable and I can drive ...


3

A purely-grammar-based, "textbook" answer would be 「[褒]{ほ}められ[得]{う}る」. The chances that you would ever hear/see us say that in a natural setting would, however, be close to 0%. It sounds pretty wordy and not even completely "natural". In real life, 「褒めてもらえる」, the phrase given by @Choko above, would be far more natural. 「褒められることができる」 is actually as ...


3

見える To be visible, to be in sight. あそこに高{たか}い山{やま}が見える。 A tall mountain can be seen over there. 僕{ぼく}にはあなたが見える。 You are visible to me / I can see you. to look like. 僕にはその雲{くも}がわたあめに見える。 That cloud looks like cotton candy to me. 見える is about objects being visible and not so much about one's ability to to see them. Obviously, if an ...


2

I would say,"コーヒーは飲めないんです” I think only this sentence works. It's like "お酒はのめないんです。”This sentence implies that you cannot drink it because it affects your stomach or maybe you're allergic to that. But if that person asks why, I would say,"お腹が痛くなります".or ”気持ちが悪くなります。” If it seriously affects your stomach, I would say, ”体が受け付けません” It means that my body ...


2

I'm going to venture another answer and claim that the perfective-progressive discussion is a bit of a red herring. Usually, since 死ぬ is a change-of-state verb, 死んでいる means "is dead" (perfective aspect) and not "is dying" (progressive aspect). But in this case, I claim that ~ていられない is really a fixed construction and the difference between 死ねない and ...



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