Dialogue

Vocabulary

Learn New Words FAST with this Lesson’s Vocab Review List

Get this lesson’s key vocab, their translations and pronunciations. Sign up for your Free Lifetime Account Now and get 7 Days of Premium Access including this feature.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Notes

Unlock In-Depth Explanations & Exclusive Takeaways with Printable Lesson Notes

Unlock Lesson Notes and Transcripts for every single lesson. Sign Up for a Free Lifetime Account and Get 7 Days of Premium Access.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Naomi: 直美です。 (Naomidesu.)
Peter: Peter here. Your Japanese Possibilities. In this lesson, you learn how to say you can or cannot do something.
Naomi: Verb plus ことができます (Koto ga dekimasu) and verb plus ことができません (Koto ga dekimasen). For example, 写真を撮ることができます。 (Shashin o toru koto ga dekimasu.)
Peter: You can take a picture.
Naomi: 写真を撮ることができません。 (Shashin o toru koto ga dekimasen.)
Peter: You can’t take pictures. This conversation takes place
Naomi: 電話ですかね。 (Denwadesu ka ne.)
Peter: On the phone. The conversation is between
Naomi: お客さんとお店の人。 (Ogyakusan to o-ten no hito.)
Peter: A customer and a person who works at a bar. Since this conversation is between a customer and a person working at a bar, you will hear
Naomi: Formal Japanese. では、聞いてください。 (Dewa, kiitekudasai.)
DIALOGUE
店員 (Ten'in): はい、マジックバー101でございます。 (Hai, Majikku bā 101 de gozaimasu.)
三門満 (Mikado Mitsuru): 来週木曜日の予約をすることはできますか。 (Raishū mokuyōbi no yoyaku o suru koto wa dekimasu ka.) 七時からニ名です。 (Shichi-ji kara ni-mei desu.)
店員 (Ten'in): はい、大丈夫です。 (Hai, daijōbu desu.)
三門満 (Mikado Mitsuru): じゃ、予約をお願いします。 (Ja, yoyaku o o-negai shimasu.) あとクーポンを使うことができますか。 (Ato kūpon o tsukau koto ga dekimasu ka.)
店員 (Ten'in): はい、大丈夫です。 (Hai, daijōbu desu.)
三門満 (Mikado Mitsuru): それから、誕生日マジックを頼むことと記念撮影をすることはできますか。 (Sore kara, tanjōbi majikku o tanomu koto to kinen satsuei o suru koto wa dekimasu ka.)
店員 (Ten'in): 申し訳ございませんが、写真をとることはできません。 (Mōshiwake gozaimasen ga, shashin o toru koto wa dekimasen.) それからキャンセルをすること、時間を変えることもできませんが、大丈夫ですか。 (Sore kara kyanseru o suru koto, jikan o kaeru koto mo dekimasen ga, daijōbu desu ka.)
三門満 (Mikado Mitsuru): あ、問題ありません。 (A, mondai arimasen.)
もう一度、お願いします。今度は、ゆっくりお願いします。 (Mōichido, onegaishimasu. Kondo wa, yukkuri onegaishimasu.)
店員 (Ten'in): はい、マジックバー101でございます。 (Hai, Majikku bā 101 de gozaimasu.)
三門満 (Mikado Mitsuru): 来週木曜日の予約をすることはできますか。 (Raishū mokuyōbi no yoyaku o suru koto wa dekimasu ka.) 七時からニ名です。 (Shichi-ji kara ni-mei desu.)
店員 (Ten'in): はい、大丈夫です。 (Hai, daijōbu desu.)
三門満 (Mikado Mitsuru): じゃ、予約をお願いします。 (Ja, yoyaku o o-negai shimasu.) あとクーポンを使うことができますか。 (Ato kūpon o tsukau koto ga dekimasu ka.)
店員 (Ten'in): はい、大丈夫です。 (Hai, daijōbu desu.)
三門満 (Mikado Mitsuru): それから、誕生日マジックを頼むことと記念撮影をすることはできますか。 (Sore kara, tanjōbi majikku o tanomu koto to kinen satsuei o suru koto wa dekimasu ka.)
店員 (Ten'in): 申し訳ございませんが、写真をとることはできません。 (Mōshiwake gozaimasen ga, shashin o toru koto wa dekimasen.) それからキャンセルをすること、時間を変えることもできませんが、大丈夫ですか。 (Sore kara kyanseru o suru koto, jikan o kaeru koto mo dekimasen ga, daijōbu desu ka.)
三門満 (Mikado Mitsuru): あ、問題ありません。 (A, mondai arimasen.)
今度は、英語が入ります。 (Kondo wa, eigo ga hairimasu.)
店員 (Ten'in): はい、マジックバー101でございます。 (Hai, Majikku bā 101 de gozaimasu.)
CLERK: Hello, Magic Bar 101?
三門満 (Mikado Mitsuru): 来週木曜日の予約をすることはできますか。 (Raishū mokuyōbi no yoyaku o suru koto wa dekimasu ka.)
MITSURU MIKADO:Hi, can I make a reservation for Thursday of next week?
七時からニ名です。 (Shichi-ji kara ni-mei desu.)
It's for two at 7:00.
店員 (Ten'in): はい、大丈夫です。 (Hai, daijōbu desu.)
CLERK: That'll be fine.
三門満 (Mikado Mitsuru): じゃ、予約をお願いします。 (Ja, yoyaku o o-negai shimasu.)
MITSURU MIKADO:Okay, then I'd like to make a reservation.
あとクーポンを使うことができますか。 (Ato kūpon o tsukau koto ga dekimasu ka.)
Also, can I use a coupon?
店員 (Ten'in): はい、大丈夫です。 (Hai, daijōbu desu.)
CLERK: That's no problem.
三門満 (Mikado Mitsuru): それから、誕生日マジックを頼むことと記念撮影をすることはできますか。 (Sore kara, tanjōbi majikku o tanomu koto to kinen satsuei o suru koto wa dekimasu ka.)
MITSURU MIKADO:Okay. Also, can I request some birthday magic and also have a commemorative picture taken?
店員 (Ten'in): 申し訳ございませんが、写真をとることはできません。 (Mōshiwake gozaimasen ga, shashin o toru koto wa dekimasen.)
CLERK: I'm sorry, but we can't take pictures.
それからキャンセルをすること、時間を変えることもできませんが、大丈夫ですか。 (Sore kara kyanseru o suru koto, jikan o kaeru koto mo dekimasen ga, daijōbu desu ka.)
You also won't be able to cancel or change your reservation time. Is this alright?
三門満 (Mikado Mitsuru): あ、問題ありません。 (A, mondai arimasen.)
MITSURU MIKADO:That's not a problem.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Peter: Naomi Sensei 面白そうですね。マジックバー。 (Omoshiro-sōdesu ne. Majikkubā.) Magic bar. That sounds interesting.
Naomi: 面白そうですね。 (Omoshiro-sōdesu ne.) I have never been to that kind of place. 行ったことありますか? (Itta koto arimasu ka?) Have you ever been to that kind of place?
Peter: まだ、行ったことありません。 (Mada, itta koto arimasen.)
Naomi: The previous lesson’s grammar point.
Peter: Yes. I still haven’t been but I believe there are a lot of Themed restaurants in Japan?
Naomi: ああ、そうですね。 (Ā, sōdesune.)
Peter: Or at least in the Tokyo area. Isn’t there one by right by headquarters?
Naomi: Headquarters.
Peter: Japanesepod101.com headquarters.
Naomi: Okay a Ninja restaurant.
Peter: But that’s what I said, isn’t there one? So yeah, what’s the restaurant again?
Naomi: 忍者レストラン. (Ninja resutoran.)
Peter: What happens there? What goes on there?
Naomi: I think the waiter dressed up like a ninja and they did some magic at the table.
Peter: So you enjoy your meal and the atmosphere is, I think it is dark in there.
Naomi: そうそうそう。 (Sō sō sō.)
Peter: Have you been?
Naomi: No.
Peter: Okay so from what I have heard, the atmosphere is very dark. You know they really play to the whole theme. The waiters are dressed up like ninjas. They come to the table, they take your order, they do some magic and a good time is had by all.
Naomi: そうね。 (Sō ne.)
Peter: I think we should go.
Naomi: あ、本当? (A, hontō?)
Peter: Yes.
Naomi: あ、じゃあおごりですかね。 (A, jā ogoridesu ka ne.) If the company can pay…
Peter: はい。おごります。 (Hai. Ogorimasu.)
Naomi: あ、お願いします。楽しみです。 (A, onegaishimasu. Tanoshimidesu.)
Peter: Yes we should look forward to it. Okay on to the vocab for this lesson.
VOCAB LIST
Peter: First word.
Naomi: 予約 (Yoyaku)
Peter: Reservation, booking.
Naomi: (slow)よやく (Yoyaku) (natural speed) 予約 (Yoyaku)
Peter: Next word.
Naomi: 問題 (mondai)
Peter: Problem.
Naomi: (slow)もんだい (Monda i) (natural speed) 問題 (mondai)
Peter: Next word
Naomi: キャンセル (kyanseru)
Peter: Cancel.
Naomi: (slow)キャンセル (kyanseru) (natural speed) キャンセル (kyanseru)
Peter: Next word.
Naomi: クーポン (kūpon)
Peter: Coupon.
Naomi: (slow)クーポン (kūpon) (natural speed) クーポン (kūpon)
Peter: Next word.
Naomi: 記念撮影 (kinensatsuei)
Peter: Commemorative photo, ceremonial photo.
Naomi: (slow)きねんさつえい (Ki nen satsu Ei) (natural speed) 記念撮影 (kinensatsuei)
Peter: Next word.
Naomi: 写真 (shashin)
Peter: Picture.
Naomi: (slow)しゃしん (shashin) (natural speed) 写真 (shashin)
VOCAB AND PHRASE USAGE
Peter: Let’s have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson. Naomi sensei, what’s the first word we will look at?
Naomi: 記念撮影 (Shashin)
Peter: Commemorative photo, ceremonial photo.
Naomi: 日本人、好きですよね。 (Nihonjin, sukidesu yo ne.)
Peter: まあ、そうですよね。 (Mā,-sōdesu yo ne.) Okay this word contains two nouns which are
Naomi: 記念 (Kinen)
Peter: Memory, commemoration and
Naomi: 撮影 (Satsuei)
Peter: Photography. So memory, commemoration and photography. This is actually a common birthday service at a Japanese restaurant. Isn’t it?
Naomi: そうですね。誕生日にレストランで記念撮影をすることができます。 (Sōdesu ne. Tanjōbi ni resutoran de kinen satsuei o suru koto ga dekimasu.)
Peter: So you can have your picture taken at a restaurant on your birthday. Really Naomi Sensei, I haven’t heard of this.
Naomi: え、何?記念撮影? (E, nani? Kinen satsuei?)
Peter: はい。 (Hai.)
Naomi: At the restaurant.
Peter: Yeah.
Naomi: We just did for Hiroko.
Peter: いつでしたっけ? (Itsudeshita kke?) When was that?
Naomi: 去年です。おじいさん忘れちゃった? (Kyonendesu. Ojīsan wasure chatta?)
Peter: But that was our camera.
Naomi: No that’s their camera. おじいさん、次にいきましょう。 (Ojīsan,-ji ni ikimashou.)
Peter: Okay I am confused. Anyway, yes it was a very nice memory. Now I remember. So do you have to call in advance and let them know?
Naomi: Right. You have to make 予約 (Yoyaku) reservation.
Peter: 記念撮影の予約 (Kinen satsuei no yoyaku)
Naomi: Umm テーブルの予約が必要ですね。 (Tēburu no yoyaku ga hitsuyōdesu ne.) I think you need to reserve the table.
Peter: But just to tell them right?
Naomi: Yeah, yeah you have to tell that 私の誕生日です。 (Watashi no tanjōbidesu.)
Peter: Okay and then 記念撮影 (Kinen satsuei)
Naomi: お願いします。 (Onegaishimasu.)
Peter: Okay. I will try that. Let’s take a look at a couple of the katakana words, words taken from another language. First we have
Naomi: クーポン (Kūpon)
Peter: Coupon and
Naomi: キャンセル (Kyanseru)
Peter: Cancel. Now these take a little while for your ear to get adjusted but once your ear is adjusted, you will find katakana words very easy to understand but in my experience very hard to pronounce.
Naomi: そうね。 (Sō ne.)
Peter: キャンセル (Kyanseru) but it’s so hard. It’s so natural to say cancel.
Naomi: そうそう。(Sō sō.)
Peter: But キャンセル. (Kyanseru.) It’s kind of like Naomi sensei, can you say Karaoke?
Naomi: カラオケ (Karaoke)
Peter: Say it in English.
Naomi: Karaoke.
Peter: Karaoke. So it’s kind of like that for English speaking people. It’s so hard to say キャンセル (Kyanseru) to get the right tones because
Naomi: うん。そうですね。 (Un. Sōdesu ne.)
Peter: And finally we have one last phrase.
Naomi: 問題ありません。 (Mondaiarimasen)
Peter: No problem.
Naomi: 問題 (Mondai) means problem. ありません (Arimasen) means doesn’t exist.
Peter: So you can also say in more informal situations 問題ない (Mondainai).
Naomi: うん。問題ないです、とかね。 (Un. Mondainaidesu, toka ne.) but for some reason, we don’t put any particles between 問題 (Mondai) and ありません (Arimasen) or 問題 (Mondai) and ないです (Naidesu).
Peter: In proper Japanese, it’s really 問題がありません。 (Mondai ga arimasen.)
Naomi: But in a conversation
Peter: The particle is omitted.
Naomi: 問題ありません、問題ないです (Mondaiarimasen, mondainaidesu) or 問題ない。(Mondainai.)
Peter: Or 問題ございません。 (Mondaigozaimasen.)
Naomi: Oh! You are being polite here.
Peter: That was the best oh! Okay on to the grammar point.

Lesson focus

Peter: In this lesson, we are going to learn how to ask for permission using the dictionary form of a plain verb plus
Naomi: ことができますか (Koto ga dekimasu ka)
Peter: Now
Naomi: ことができる (Koto ga dekiru)
Peter: And it’s corresponding formal form
Naomi: ことができます (Koto ga dekimasu)
Peter: できる (Dekiru) becomes できます (Dekimasu). Our phrase is used to express ability, possibility or permission. These phrases are equivalent to can or be able to in English. Now できる (Dekiru) is a class II verb that means can or be able to. こと (Koto) is a nominalizer which basically turns something into a noun. This attaches to the verb’s dictionary form and changes that verb into a noun. Now we are going to explain this with some examples. So don’t be intimidated by that explanation. Naomi Sensei, for instance.
Naomi: 払う (Harau)
Peter: Is the verb for to pay.
Naomi: And 払うこと (Harau koto)
Peter: Means paying or to pay.
Naomi: 払うことができる (Harau koto ga dekiru)
Peter: Literally means paying is possible. So it means it’s possible to pay.
Naomi: Right. カードで払うことができますか? (Kādo de harau koto ga dekimasu ka?)
Peter: Is it possible to pay by credit card.
Naomi: カードで (Kādo de)
Peter: By credit card.
Naomi: 払うこと (Harau koto)
Peter: Paying.
Naomi: が (Ga)
Peter: Subject marker.
Naomi: できます (Dekimasu)
Peter: Possible.
Naomi: か (Ka)
Peter: Question marking particle. So is it possible to pay by credit card and of course in spoken English or in Spoken Japanese, it would be kind of more like Can I?
Naomi: Yeah can I pay by credit card.
Peter: Now please note that ことができる (Koto ga dekiru) is flexible like the English can in that it can be used to talk about both one’s ability and to ask for permission. Now can we have a sample sentence from the dialogue?
Naomi: クーポンを使うことができますか。 (Kūpon o tsukau koto ga dekimasu ka.)
Peter: Can I use the coupon? This sentence is asking if it’s possible to use the coupon. Let’s break it down.
Naomi: クーポンを使うこと (Kūpon o tsukau koto)
Peter: The act of using a coupon is
Naomi: が (Ga)
Peter: Subject marking particle.
Naomi: できます (Dekimasu)
Peter: Can.
Naomi: か (Ka)
Peter: Question marking particle. Is using a coupon possible or can I use the coupon? Now also in the dialogue, we have
Naomi: 予約をすることはできますか? (Yoyaku o suru koto wa dekimasu ka?)
Peter: Can I make a reservation.
Naomi: 予約をすること (Yoyaku o suru koto)
Peter: The act of making a reservation.
Naomi: は (Wa)
Peter: Topic marking particle.
Naomi: できますか (Dekimasu ka)
Peter: Can I? So can I make a reservation? Is making a reservation possible or is it possible to make a reservation.
Naomi: This such and such ことができます (Koto ga dekimasu) sentence pattern is often used to talk about rules just like English 例えば (Tatoeba) for example.
Peter: Naomi Sensei 動物園で写真を撮ることはできますか? (Dōbu~tsuen de shashin o toru koto wa dekimasu ka?) Can I take pictures at the zoo?
Naomi: うん。もちろんできます。 (Un. Mochiron dekimasu.) Of course you can. でもフラッシュを使うことはできません。 (Demo furasshu o tsukau koto wa dekimasen.)
Peter: So of course you can but you cannot use a flash. Now, of course this is talking about permission with a camera, with a flash, you can obviously take a picture with a flash but this is talking about permission. You can do it. It is interesting and this is kind of like one of those grammatical rules that have been bent. I saw a movie recently and the students came over and said, can I get you something to drink and the customer responded, yes you can. Of course, if you want to take it literally, if you want to be very literal about it and if you want to be a stickler to the grammar, yes, you are tactically right but this is again flexible. You can talk about ability and permission.
Naomi: ああ、いい例ですね。日本語も英語もそれは一緒かもしれないですね。 (Ā, ī reidesu ne. Nihongo mo eigo mo sore wa issho kamo shirenaidesu ne.)
Peter: そうですね。 (Sōdesu ne.)

Outro

Naomi: それじゃあ、また。 (Sore jā, mata.)

Grammar

Japanese Grammar Made Easy - Unlock This Lesson’s Grammar Guide

Easily master this lesson’s grammar points with in-depth explanations and examples. Sign up for your Free Lifetime Account and get 7 Days of Premium Access including this feature.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Kanji

Review & Remember All Kanji from this Lesson

Get complete breakdowns, review with quizzes and download printable practice sheets! Sign up for your Free Lifetime Account Now and get 7 Days of Premium Access including this feature.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

78 Comments

Hide
Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

JapanesePod101.com Verified
April 28th, 2009 at 06:30 PM
Pinned Comment
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

みなさん、こんにちは! Have you ever heard of a Magic Bar? Sounds fun, doesn't it?

JapanesePod101.com Verified
April 30th, 2021 at 05:40 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Pablo Ignacio Scaletta さん

That's interesting😄


丹さん

Yes, you can use a particle there, but it's common to drop the particle.


Rachelさん

そうですね😁


Please let us know if you have any questions!

Thank you for studying with us!


Sincerely,

Erica

Team JapanesePod101.com

Rachel
April 2nd, 2021 at 06:46 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

いいえ。楽しそうです。

March 22nd, 2021 at 10:31 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

それからキャンセルをすること、時間を変えることもできませんが、大丈夫ですか。

Shouldn't there be a particle to connect the first two sentences?

と or か, right?

Is it common to drop the particle?

Pablo Ignacio Scaletta
March 13th, 2021 at 02:06 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Good afternoon,

You know, the Spanish verb "poder" is as flexible as its Japanese counterpart. For instance, if you translate 動物園で写真を撮ることはできます into Spanish, my mother tongue (Puedes sacar fotos en el zoológico) the sentence is ambiguous because it has got both meanings of ability and permission (if no context is given). This dual usage of the verb できます seems to be universal among all languages.

JapanesePod101.com Verified
October 5th, 2020 at 05:23 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Lawrence,

Thank you for your comment!

If it's too fast, please try the lesson audio instead.

(The line is around 1:07)

You can change the audio speed👍


Thank you for studying with us!


Sincerely,

Erica

Team JapanesePod101.com

Lawrence
September 20th, 2020 at 03:53 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

The speed of the dialogue on the second line for “の予約をすることは” is something else. I can’t pick out the words or sounds :(

JapanesePod101.com Verified
August 13th, 2020 at 02:28 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi lol,


Thank you for your comment!

Your sentences are grammatically correct☺️


However, we usually don't say "wakaru koto ga dekiru" for "can understand."

In Japanese, both "understand" and "can understand" are just "wakaru."

Nihon-go o(ga) wakaru.

Nihon-go o(ga) honno sukoshi wakaru.

*"just a little bit" is "honno sukoshi"


Hope you enjoy learning Japanese with us:)


Sincerely,

Miho

Team JapanesePod101.com

lol
August 4th, 2020 at 10:25 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

nihongo o wakaru koto ga dekiru

i can understandjapanese

nihongo o choudo sukoshi wakaru koto ga dekiru

i can understand japanese juust a little bit

arigatou team san

JapanesePod101.com Verified
May 21st, 2020 at 04:08 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Rachel,


Thank you for your comment!

I'm sorry for the late reply.


“Mizu o nonde mo ii desu ka.” is a question asking just about permission.

“Mizu o nomu koto ga dekimasu ka.” is also asking about permission, and possibility as well.

So when you want to ask someone if you may drink water, you can say both of them.


Thank you for studying with us!


Sincerely,

Miho

Team JapanesePod101.com

Rachel
April 23rd, 2020 at 04:28 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello,


I was wondering:


What’s the difference between

“Mizu o nonde mo ii desu ka?”

and

“Mizu o nomu koto ga dekimasu ka?”