Learn the verb Dekiru: easy and fast できる

Today I’m going to do a little class on the verb できる.

できる means to be able to do. So for example, I know Japanese language, it would be: わたしは、にほんごができる。 In formal tense, it would be: できます。

You have to take care of the particle; the particle は is with the subject, and “thing が できる”.

〜 は 、 〜 が できる。

The case of the verb できる the combination would always be like this. It is the formula.

わたしは、にほんごができる。/ 私は日本語ができる。

It means “I know Japanese language very well.”

But be careful, when you use the verb できる, you are saying that you manage the Japanese language perfectly.

So, if you doubt, “Well, I can manage in Japanese, but perfectly, no”, then you add a small word “ちょっと”, in front of the verb.

Then it would be:

わたしは、にほんごがちょっとできます。/ 私は日本語がちょっとできます。I know a little bit the Japanese language.

with English subtitles

But this really means that you handle a little bit of everything, it means that you can speak, listen, write, read, everything a little bit.

But maybe you can speak well but you can’t read Kanji, vice versa. In this case you want to specify that you can speak.

So you have to add the verb to speak, which is はなす, to say what I can do is to speak. 

So here, instead of にほんご, which is a noun, we add a sentence.

That would be にほんごをはなす, and the verb at the end must be informal.

As I said before, “Subject Wa thing Ga Dekiru (〜 は 、 〜 が できる)”, that combination is already done, you can not change.

So we have to convert the part of “にほんごをはなす” to the noun form, and for that, we add the word “こと” to the verb, so the verb is converted to a noun.

So the phrase would be:

わたしは、にほんごをはなすことができます。/ 私は、日本語を話すことができます。

I can speak the Japanese language.

This こ と you cannot forget because without こ と this part is still a normal frase, verb but adding こ と, this part converts to a noun, and that is necessary to put this part to the noun position.

So another example, I can write Japanese, Hiragana, Katakana, Kanji, everything perfect, so what would the phrase be like? Would be:

わたしは、にほんごをかくことができます。/ 私は日本語を書くことができます。

できる also suggests the possibility.

You ask some friends if tomorrow they can go shopping with you.

Can you go shopping with me tomorrow?


Tomorrow is a bit ...

Also if they want to answer in whole sentence, they can say: はい、行(い)くことができますよ。

The last thing: the こと, can also be の.

This の is not the particle の, it is simply the short version of こと, that is, you can also say like this: にほんごをはなすのができる. When talking fast you can use の instead of こ と.

Other Examples

Is it possible to speak with a face mask?

Yes, it is possible.

Is it possible to drink coffee wearing a face mask?

No it can not be done.

Can you drive a car while talking on the phone?

No it can not be done.