How would I say the following:

Can I continue studying Japanese?

I was thinking something along the lines of

Watashi wa nihongo o narau no tsudukimasuka?

It's probably wrong, and I could use some help.

  • Are you using "can" in the sense of asking for permission (tudukete mo ii desu ka) or asking about the possibility (tudukeraremasu ka)?
    – Earthliŋ
    Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 11:08
  • It's more In a sense of permission I'd say
    – Lemon
    Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 11:13

1 Answer 1


There are three issues here.

  1. Transitivity

    tuduku (→ tudukimasu) is intransitive ("to continue [of its own accord]"). You need its transitive sibling tudukeru "to continue [sth.]" (→ tudukemasu).

  2. Translation of "Can/May I..."

    "Can/May I [verb]?" is usually translated using ~てもいいですか -te mo ii desu ka, here tudukete mo ii desu ka.

  3. Grammar

    nihongo wo narau no is a noun phrase, which should become the object of tudukeru. To make this grammatical you would need another particle wo, giving nihongo wo narau no wo tudukeru. A way to avoid two wos in the same sentence would be to substitute narau no by benkyō, for example. nihongo no benkyō wo tudukeru.

Putting everything together, I would suggest

nihongo no benkyō wo tudukete mo ii desu ka

as an improved version of your sentence.

You haven't given any context, so we can't determine whether this is a natural way of phrasing this question in your context.

  • Thank you for the feedback, and the detailed explanation. The basic context of the sentence Is that, I haven't been to class for the longest amount of time, and I was wondering If I can continue studying from where I left off. The message Is intended for the teacher.
    – Lemon
    Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 12:03
  • There might be more elaborate ways to say something like "Can I continue studying Japanese from where I left off?", but for the context, I think the sentence you now have is fine, especially for a message from a (beginning) student to his/her teacher. (If you wait a few more hours/days you might get feedback from other people.)
    – Earthliŋ
    Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 12:12

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