Ability and possibility in Japanese – Koto ga dekimasu

In Japanese language, it is possible to express ability and possibility with こと が できます (koto ga dekimasu) form. こと が できます (koto ga dekimasu) is polite form of こと が できる (koto ga dekiru). When you want to say your ability or possibility to do something, you can express it using こと が できます (koto ga dekimasu) form.

Rule: Verb Plain Form + koto ga dekimasu.
This means you have to add plain form of verb before the “koto ga dekimasu” form.

Lets see some examples:

English: Mika can make various countries dish.
Japanese: ミカさん は いるいるな くに の りょうり を つくる ことができます
Kanji: ミカさん は いるいるな 国 の 料理 を 作る ことができます。
Reading: Mika-san wa iru iru na kuni no ryouri wo tsukuru koto ga dekimasu.

Expressing ability to make various dishes.

English: Around how many meters can you swim?
Japanese: なん メートル ぐらい およぐ ことができます か?
Kanji: 何 メートル ぐらい 泳ぐ ことができます か?
Reading: Nan meetoru gurai oyogu koto ga dekimasu ka?

Questioning about the ability of the swimming length.

English: You can visit here from 10am.
Japanese: ここ は あさ 10じ から けんがく する ことができます
Kanji: ここ は 朝 10時 から 見学 する ことができます。
Reading: Koko wa asa 10-ji kara kengaku suru koto ga dekimasu.

Expressing about, from when it is possible to visit the area.

English: It is quite difficult to memorize kanji.
Japanese: なかなか かんじ を おぼえる ことができません
Kanji: なかなか 漢字 を 覚える ことがでできません。
Reading: Nakanaka kanji wo oboeru koto ga dekimasen.

なかなか (nakanaka) means, you want to but it is hard to do.
Expressing about, inability/not possible to memorize kanji.

English: This luggage is light, therefore, can be carried by one person.
Japanese: この にもつ は かろい です から ひとり で もつ ことができます
Kanji: この 荷物 は 軽い です から 一人 で 持つ ことができます。
Reading: Kono nimotsu wa karui desu kara hitori de motsu koto ga dekimasu.

Expressing about, possibility for how many person can carry the luggage based on the weigh.

English: I can speak in Japanese. (as a foreigner)
Japanese: わたし は にほんご を はなす ことができます
Kanji: 私 は 日本語 を 話す ことができます。
Reading: Watashi wa nihongo wo hanasu koto ga dekimasu.

Expressing about, ability of speaking Japanese as a foreigner.

English: I cannot make dishes (cook).
Japanese: わたし は りょうり を つくる ことができません
Kanji: 私 は 料理 を 作るす ことができません。
Reading: Watashi wa riyouri wo tsukuru koto ga dekimasen.

Expressing about, inability of making dishes (cooking).

Hope now you have the idea about how to express ability or possibility using こと が できます (koto ga dekimasu) form. Try using this form in your Japanese expression.


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