I was translating a Japanese Digimon card with the text 「このカードを自分のテイマーの下に置ける」. When I translated the text myself, I got "Place this card under your tamer", however an official translation said that the correct translation was "You may place this card under one of your tamers".

I believe either that the missing words are part of some sort of nuance that I'm not aware of (as my knowledge of Japanese is still very limited), or the opposite phrase of "You must" is normally stated explicitly in this game, so it's absence means "You may".

What am I missing that adds the missing phrases to the translation?

  • 2
    Whether to translate 自分のテイマー as “your tamer” or “one of your tamers” is totally up to the context. I don’t know what a “tamer” is, but if you have more than one and “this card” can be placed under only one of them, “one of your tamers” sounds more accurate.
    – aguijonazo
    Commented Sep 2, 2022 at 14:14

1 Answer 1


Here potential form 置ける (can put) of 置く (put) is used. Therefore "you may place". Besides, if you want to say "Place your card etc" you have to use imperative form - 置いてください or similar. Although, I don't know whether in rules' explanation imperative is really used.

  • The dictionary form (置く) is just fine as an instruction like this. The imperative form (置け) is usually too oppressive when explaining the rules of a game.
    – naruto
    Commented Sep 2, 2022 at 13:57
  • That was my guess Commented Sep 2, 2022 at 13:59
  • Ah, so it's the particular form that makes it "you may"; makes sense. Thanks @YaroslavFyodorov, that explains a lot. Commented Sep 3, 2022 at 3:16

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