= Edamame, itsu dekiru kanaa.
= I wonder when I can harvest Edamame.
Today’s lesson is the verb 出来る = できる= dekiru.
I know it is a VERY basic verb and many of you know already how to use it.
But as always I will try to include some useful information for even intermediate level students. OK?
★ polite form
出来ます= できます= dekimasu
★ negative form
出来ない = できない = dekinai
★ polite negative form
出来ません = できません = dekimasen.
★ past tense
出来なかった = できなかった = dekinakatta
★ polite past tense
出来ませんでした = できませんでした = dekimasen deshita
How use 出来る = できる = dekiru.
1) to be able to do something
(1) The potential form of する ( = suru), which means “to do”, is できる( = dekiru) which means “to be able to do, can do.”
*勉強(を）する = benkyou (wo) suru = to study
to be able to study 勉強 (が）できる ( = benkyou (ga) dekiru) to be able to study
Note: Be careful! When you use a potential form of verb, the particle changes to が ( = ga) or は ( = wa)
= Konna urusai tokoro dewa benkyou (ga) dekimasen.
= I can’t study in such noisy place.
*ゆっくりする = yukkuri suru = to relax
ゆっくりできる = yukkuri dekiru = to be able to relax
= Kyou wa nichiyoubi nanode yukkuri dekiru.
= It’s Sunday today so I can relax.
*運転する = untennsuru = to drive
運転できる( = unten dekiru) = to be able to drive
= Unten dekimasuka?
= Do you know how to drive? / Can you drive?
*信用する = shinyousuru= to trust
信用できる ( = shinyou dekiru) = to be able to trust
= Ano hito wa shinyou dekinai.
= I can’t trust that person.
*旅行する = ryokousuru = to travel
旅行できる = ryokou dekiru = to be able to travel
= Kono natsu, issho ni ryokou dekiru hito iru?
= Anybody can travel with me this summer?
!heartsippai! You can ask some permission with ~ できますか ( = dekimasuka) = May I?
*試着する = shichakusuru = to try something on
試着できる ( = shichaku dekiru) = to be able to try something on
= Kore shichaku dekimasuka?
= Can I try it on?
(2) verb + ことができる( = koto ga dekiru) = to be able to do something
The potential form of verbs
*読む = yomu = to read
読める = yomeru = to be able to read
Ex. A) この漢字が読めます。
= Kono kanji ga yomemasu.
= I can read this kanji.
Now change the potential form to
★verb + ことができる ( = koto ga dekiru) = to be able to do ~
Ex. A) この漢字を読むことができます。
= Kono kanji wo yomu koto ga dekimasu
The difference between the regular potential form and verb + ことができる ( = koto ga dekiru)
They mean the same but verb + ことができる ( = koto ga dekiru) is more formal.
For example, when you want to see your friend, you usually say
= Ashita, aeru?
= Can I see you tomorrow?
= Ashita, au koto ga dekiru?
= Can I see you tomorrow? / Is it possible to see you tomorrow?
when you have something important to tell them.
= Fuku no saizu wo naosu koto wa dekimasu ka?
= Is it possible to adjust the size of the clothes?
= Ashi wo nenza shite ima, hashiru koto ga dekimasen.
= I sprained my leg, and I can’t run now.
= Zairyou ga sorotta kara yatto keiki wo yaku koto ga dekiru.
= I got all the ingredients now so I can finally bake a cake.
= Doitsugo wo hanasu koto wa dekimasuka?
= Can you speak German?
= Oai (surukoto ga) dekite kouei desu.
= It’s a pleasure to meet you.
When you want to show some contrast, you use the particle は ( = wa) →ことはできる( = koto wa dekiru)
= Henpin suru koto wa dekimasen.
= You can not return the item.
= Koara to shashin wo toru koto wa dekimasuga, dakko suru koto wa dekimasen.
= You are allowed to take a picture with Koala bears, but you can not hold them.
= Piano wo hiku koto wa dekiru ga, utau koto wa dekinai.
= I can play the piano, but I can not sing.
(3) noun + が ( = ga) + できる ( = dekiru) = capable of ~ , to be able to do ~ , to have ability to ~
= Kare wa shigoto ga dekiru.
= He is good at his work.
= Kono ko wa yonsai nanoni mou yomikaki ga dekiru.
= This child is only 4 years old but he/she can already read and write. (have ability to read and write)
= Isogashikute kaji ga dekinai.
= I am too busy to do housework.
= Chiisai kodomo demo dekiru geimu wa arimasuka?
= Do you have any games that even a little child can play?
= Nihon ni hyakunen mo sunde iru noni mada nihongo ga dekinai.
= I’ve been living in Japan for 100 years, and I still can’t speak Japanese. (I am not good at Japanese)
= Ippunkan ni nankai, udetatefuse ga dekiru?
= How many push ups can you do in one minute?
2) to have finished something / Something is done, something is ready, completed
= I finished it! / I made it! / It’s done!
= Yatto shukudai ga dekita.
= I finally finished my homework.
Ex. ご飯（or 夕食）ができましたよ。
= Gohan (or Yuushoku) ga dekimashita.
= The dinner is ready!
= Ryokou no junbi wa dekita no?
= Are you ready for traveling? (Did you pack your suitcase?)
3) to do a good job
= Shiken dekita?
= How was the exam? Did you do a good job in the exam?
= Zenzen dekinakatta.
= No, it was horrible.
= Ryouri ga dekiru hito to kekkon shitai.
= I would like to get married to someone who can cook.
3) to grow, to form, to develop something on / in your body
= Senaka ni odeki ga dekita.
= I got a boil on my back
= Amai mono wo tabesugite kao ni nikibi ga dekichatta.
= I ate too much sweets and got pimples on my face.
= Hiyakedome kuriimu wo nuranakatta kara, ippai shimi ga dekita.
= Since I didn’t use sunscreen, I got lots of sun spots.
= Kare wa shuyou ga dekita ga kurusi de naotta rashii.
= He got a tumor but it was treated (literally: healed) with medicine.
= Shiwa ga dekiru kara warawasenaide.
= Don’t make me laugh or I’ll get wrinkles.
= Kono seetaa wa kedama ga dekiru.
= This sweater develops little balls of fuzz (pills).
4) to get, to have ~ to form something
Ex. 行列の (or が) できるラーメン屋
= Gyouretsu no (or ga) dekiru raamenya.
= A very popular ramen noodle shop where people stand in line
(They are so popular that people line up for them.)
=Ano mise wa baagen de hitodakari ga dekiteita.
= There was a crowd of people for sales at the store.
5) to make, to have, to have gotten friends, girlfriend, boyfriend.
友達 ／ 彼 ／ 彼女 ／ 恋人 ／ 仲間
= tomodachi / kare / kanojo / koibito / nakama
= friends / boyfriend / girlfriend / boyfriend, girlfriend, lover / friends,
= Kyoutsuu no animezuki no nakama ga ippai dekita.
= I made a lot of friends who like the same animation.
= Maggie wa kare ga dekitarashii yo.
= I heard Maggie got a boyfriend.
= Atarashii tomodachi ga dekita.
= I got a new friend.
6) to become pregnant
= Kodomo ga dekitano.
= I got pregnant / I have a baby.
(This の ( = no) suffix is for female speech)
Sometimes you just say
= Dekichatta mitai.
= I think I am pregnant.
Ex. 出来ちゃった結婚 (colloquial)
= Dekichatta kekkon
= shotgun wedding.
(ちゃった=chatta= is a casual contraction of ～てしまった(=te shimatta))
= Kodomo ga dekita node motto shigoto wo ganbaranai to ikenai.
= Since I have a child (baby) now, I have to work harder.
7) to grow, to be raised , to be ready for harvest
!Anapple! From the picture above
= Edamame, itsu dekiru kanaa.
= I wonder when I can harvest Edamame.
You use 出来る = できる （= dekiru) when fruits or vegetables grow and ready to harvest.
= Purantaa de dekiru yasai wa iroiro arimasu.
= There are many kinds of vegetables that you can grow in planters.
= Hokkaidou de dekiru toumorokoshi wa amakute oishii.
= The corns that grow in Hokkaido are sweet and tasty.
8) to get intimate
= Ano futari wa dekite iru mitaida.
= They seem to be in love with each other.
9) to have some plans, to have/make time to do something
= Kyuuyou ga dekita node ikanakutewa ikemasen.
= Something came up so I have to go now.
Note: 急用 ( = kyuuyou) is some urgent matter to take care of
= Youji ga dekita node sukoshi, okuremasu.
= Something came up, so I will be a little late.
= Hima ga dekitara mata asobini ikimasu.
= When I get more free time, I will come over again.
= Chotto jikan ga dekita node ryokou ni itte kimasu.
= I got some extra time, so I will go traveling.
The difference between 時間がある ( = jikan ga aru) and 時間ができる ( = jikan ga dekiru)
時間がある ( = jikan ga aru) is just a fact. to have some time. You say 時間ができる ( = jikan ga dekiru) when you have been busy and hoping to have extra time and finally got some time to do something.
10) to be built, a new place opens
= Ekimae ni atarashii depaato ga dekita.
= A new department store opened in front of the station.
= Itsu, uchi no chikaku ni konbini ga dekiru no kanaa.
= I wonder when we are going to have a convenience store near my house.
= Tonari ni manshon ga dekitara hiatari ga waruku naru.
= If they build an apartment building, we won’t get much sunlight.
You can also talk about some system
= Yononaka souiufuu ni dekiteiru.
= That’s the way things work in this world.
= Atarashii zeikin no houritsu wa okanemochi ga motto okkane wo moukeru you ni dekite iru.
= The new tax law is was designed so that rich people can make more money.
11) to be made of ~, to consist of
= Kono sousu wa battaa to remon no shiborijiru de dekite imasu.
= This sauce is made of butter and lemon juice.
= Kono ryouri wa nande dekite irun desu ka?
= What is this food made of?
= Sono omocha wa ki de dekite iru node totemo anzen desu.
= This toy is made of wood, so it’s very safe.
= Yoku dekite irune.
= It’s well-made.
12) Other common expressions
★出来がいい = deki ga (or no) ii = well made, smart
★出来が悪い = deki ga (or no) warui= poorly made, badly made, bad
=Shiken no deki ga warui
= To do poorly on the exam.
= Kare wa deki ga ii seito desu.
= He is a bright student.
*出来すぎた= dekisugita = too good to be true
= Kono hanashi wa dekisugite iru.
= This is too good to be true.
★出来合い = dekiai = ready-made, prepared
= Dekiai no tabemono de yuushoku wo toru.
= To have dinner with ready-made food.
★出来高= dekidaka= earned value, turnover, trading volume
Ex. 株の出来高= kabu no dekidaka = stock market turnover –
★出来るだけ= できるだけ= dekiru dake = as much as possible,
= Dekirudake doryoku shimasu.
= I will try harder as much as possible.
= Dekirudake takusan, jaakii wo kudasai.
= Please give me dog treats as much as possible.
= Dekirudake hayaku ikimasu.
= I will try to be there as early as possible.
(You can also say 出来る限り=dekiru kagiri = as much as you can)
= Dekiru kagiri no koto wo shimasu.
= I will do as much as I can.
マギー先生より = Maggie Sensei yori = From Maggie Sensei
= Yatto “Dekiru” no ressun ga dekimashita.
= Finally the lesson on “dekiru” is finished.
= Dekirudake wakariyasuku tsukutta tsumori desuga, wakaranai koto ga attara itsudemo shitsumon shitene.
= I tried to make it as easy as possible but if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask me.
Will you be my Patron?
I appreciate your support! サポートありがとう！
Hi, Maggie-sensei, I hope you’re doing great!
About this lesson, I wanted to know if there’s a difference between using ことができます and 可能形？
Thanks very much in advance. I’m always a fan of your great lessons!
As for your question, the difference between ことができます and 可能形
Please look at the Note in the lesson.
The difference between the regular potential form and verb + ことができる ( = koto ga dekiru)
As I wrote there, ことができる is more formal and literal. And potential form is more conversational.
I watched a movie and this line came out:
I assume it means: “we probably can win the trial.”
Why the sentence use the particle に instead of を or other particles?
It is one of the special usages of the particle に
When you are talking about “to win” or “to lose” you use に
Actually I am thinking about making a lesson of the usage of に including this theme.
The meaning of your example sentence is
裁判に勝ってるかも知れないね Maybe ~ is winning the trial.
If it’s 裁判に勝てるかもしれないね Maybe ~ can win the trial.
Hi sensei, sorry for the late reply. I thought the blog will notify me.
Thank you! It makes more sense now for me!
裁判に勝てるかもしれないね Maybe ~ can win the trial
Does ” 裁判に勝てられる？” has the same meaning with the sentence above?
Thank you! Hope you have a nice day :)
Sorry. The comment page doesn’t have a function to notify you.
You say 勝てる but you don’t say 勝てられる
勝てる already has a potential meaning.
You have a nice day,too!
oh, I got it! Thanks for the explanation! ❤
Good! You’re very welcome! 😊
I have a question. In this sentence :
The correct answer is 失敗のしようがない。I understand that. But why is “失敗できない” the wrong answer in this case?
(this is a multiple choice question).
This example sentence has two key expressions to solve the problem.
混ぜるだけ just mix (implies the salad is easy) and だれでも ( anybody)
失敗のしようがない implies something is so easy that there is no way that you can fail.
失敗できない “can’t afford to fail” (for certain reason)
Ex. 一度試験に失敗しているのでもう失敗できない。= Since I already failed the exam once, I can’t afford to fail it again.
Thanks, it makes more sense now but, “失敗できないデートの時は是非Tokyo Q シティガイドをご覧ください”
I found this sentence in the dictionary. In this case it cannot be understood as “can’t afford to” right? If so, does the “can’t afford to” meaning only applies with people?
失敗できないデート the subject is still people. The date that you can’t fail / you can’t afford to fail.
Ohhh, わかりました! ありがとうございました、先生 <3
Hello Maggie sensei,
Is it possible to use 可能系 in continuous tense like
Thanks Maggie sensei and nice weekend!
漢字がよく書けている。(Let me add よく to make it sound more natural) →OK or 書けるようになった
If I just see the sentence, 赤ちゃんが立てている。, I would say it is not natural but if you add some context ,I guess it is possible.
Still （一人で）立てるようになった/ 立てるようになっている is more common.
Thank you Maggie sensei a lotttttt!
From your “Warm” heart student :)
A comprehensive and well written lesson! I have now grasp the basics of dekiru!
A note for the beginner who isn’t a genius. I consider myself intermediate (but no where near fluent) and this was a lot to grasp. Make sure you focus on the dekiru verb when you feel overwhelmed with the context because there is a lot of context (very useful for the intermediate learner, might I add).
Thank you very much Maggie Sensei!
Thank you for the lesson. I have a question. Can I say Ekimae ni atarashii depaato ga dekiteiru instead of Ekimae ni atarashii depaato ga dekita?
If I can’t, why? Isn’t dekiru a ‘state’ verb like kowareru, oreru?
If I can, then what’s the difference between the two sentences?
I would be really grateful for your help. I’m stuck wondering why some verbs can be conjugated in the present continuous tense while others can’t (wakaru, aru..)
Thanks again, hope to hear from you soon,
Ekimae ni atarashii depaato ga dekiteiru.
It is possible.
The difference between できている and できた is
できた ( = dekita) They finished the construction.
できている ( = dekiteiru) They are still working on the department building.
Hello Maggie Sensei!
Thank you for your great lessons! ^-^ I have been reading along silently for a while, but today I got a bit confused, so I hope you can help me out.
It’s probably a stupid question, but isn’t the expression “verb＋ことができる” the verb in noun form plus ができる? Because I accidentally wrote “verb+のができる” in my grammar exercise and it was (of course) wrong according to the answer sheet. But isn’t の also a very common way of converting a verb into a noun? Is it just that verb+ことができる is a set expression or is there a reason behind not using verb+のができる as well? Like, maybe using のができる gives it a completely different meaning? (Or did I just not find any examples with の in them? :D)
Thank you so much and thanks again for the effort you put into your lessons!
verb+ の / verb + こと both are used for nominalization and there are lots of cases that you can use them both but there are exception.
verb + ことができる is one of them
You don’t say verb+ のができる
Other patterns that you can’t use の
You can’t use Verb の＋が＋ある
Someone asked me to make a lesson on の and こと just recently and I added it to the request lesson.
Thank you so much for your nice encouragement. これからもがんばってレッスンを作ります！
Thank you so much for your answer! ^_^ 教えてくれてありがとうございました!
(And sorry for my late reply, somehow I thought I would get a notification … (o_o); ごめんなさい～)
Together with the other examples you gave, I am getting the feeling the reason might be that you cannot use two particles at the same time. And “の” plus が or に would end up squishing two particles together. I did not even think about this before …
Anyways, thanks again and I am looking forward to the next lessons! :)
私も頑張ります！Have a great weekend! <3
どういたしまして！ そしてありがとう！タニヤもいい週末を過ごしてくださいね！ 🐶💕
I was reading in your lessons ^_^. I found it very good, informative, colorful and easy to understand. I wanted to thank you for all the time and the efforts. The world is a good place, because of people like you. I am living and working in Japan. Thus, I am trying to learn more.
Thank you for your nice words. Your kind word made my day!
1. Please explain the difference between “dekiru dake” and “dekiru made”.
I understand “dekiru dake” means “as much as possible” but, since I think of “dake” to mean “only,” I mistakenly think of “dekiru dake” as “do only what you can”. It’s hard for me to shake this!
I think “dekiru made” means “do only what you can” but I think of “made” as “until,” so my intution is to (incorrectly) translate “dekiru made” as “do as much as you can” (like, “do until your stopping point”).
2. Is there a nmenonic for remembering the difference in usage?
3. There is a typo in this example — it’s missing the “e” in dekite: Ano futari wa dkite iru mitaida.
1) 2)できるだけ = dekirudake = as much as possible
だけ( = dake) means “only” but also “one’s limit” ( = かぎり） or as much as
verb potential form + だけ
= Taberareru dake tabete kudasai.
= Please eat as much as you can (eat)
= Nimotsu wo moteru dake mote iku.
= I will take luggage as much as I can (carry).
*できるまで = dekiru made = until one can do something/ until something is finished
= Pan ga dekriu made machimasu.
= I will wait until the bread is done.
3. Thank you!! I fixed it. :)
Hello Maggie sensei, it’s me again… Just wanted to say thank you so much. :)
I really wanted to travel to japan, but someone stole my passport. And i dont know why he really like to steal everything from me. He got money so he can litteraly get everything he wants but he was not contented.
Oh No…Sorry to hear that. I hope you get your passport back asap and come to Japan!
Good day/afternoon/evening/night Maggie sensei!
I have this question that what is 与えることだけはできたらしいさ in English?
I know that 与える means ‘to give’, ことだけ could mean ‘only thing’ but I have no idea how to translate this できたらしい.
I would be very happy if you could help me :D
With greetings, Karin.
I don’t know who gives what to whom.. So it is difficult to translate but
It seems like at least he/she/they/ I could give (something)
~さ is a casual male suffix.
~ さ: ~ , you know.
I can’t thank you enough. This is very helpful.
I’m looking forward to your next lesson.
Do you like video games? Or what’s your favorite manga?
Good to hear you found this lesson helpful.
I am not good at video games. I used to enjoy 銀魂.
I hope you are fine and in good health.
By the way, can you please tell me what is the most famous Japanese newspaper that most people like to read? Also, I’d appreciate it if you’d give me a link to read any newspaper online.
I have the following questions:
1.”服のサイズを直すことはできますか？and ” ドイツ語を話すことはできますか？” Why did you use the particle “は” instead of “が”?
2.”抱っこする” as I know this “抱っこ” is a child language. Is it acceptable to use it here? or adults also use it?
3. “しいたけ、まつけ、マシュルーム” They all mean “mushroom” but what is the difference? Does Japan have so many types of mushroom or what? I’m so confused.
Also, can you tell me what is the most common word for “mushroom” that people use?
4. Can you teach me the difference between “ただ”and “だけ”?
They both mean it’s just… But what exactly is the difference?
Thank you so much in advance.
The major Japanese newspaper?
This is not newspapers but I recommend NHKやさしい日本語
You can hear the news and also study the news with text.
1. You can also say が
You use は when you show the contrast.
You can probably do something else but how about this one? Can you do that?
2. Not really. However sometimes adults say that jokingly. お姫様だっこ = to hold a girl like a princess.
3. They are all different.
椎茸(=shiitake)Lentinula edodes、shiitake mushroom We use this for many different types of Japanese food.
松茸(=matsutake) The very expensive one that we have only in autumn
マッシュルーム(=mushroom) →This is the one is the most universal one.
I can’t post pictures here so Google the image of しいたけ and まつたけ. You will see the difference.
The most common word for mushroom in general is きのこ
4. This is on the request lesson so please wait for the full explanation.
I see. I’d be so thankful if you make a lesson about Japanese tenses Sensei.
And I hope I can more use Japanese correctly in every situation and condition.
Meanwhile, check this lesson V+たことがある(~ takotoga aru)
You can use this tense when you want to say “I have done something/I have ever done/been ~” (present perfect)
マッキー先生 の レッスンは最高です!私はそんなに学んだ! ありがとうございました！
We know in English there are about 12-16 tenses and we use each of them depending on the context and the situation are. But I still confuse how to use the Japanese tenses I’ve been learning about Godan Doushi, Ichidan Doushi and Fukisoku Doushi. On the comment section you explained about 食べます what I’m questioning about how many form of a verb in Japanese like: 食べます、行きます、飲みます、歩きます etc and how to use them using the rule of tenses in English language is it different because I still don’t get it how to use them.
I confused when should I use ‘tabete, tabemasu, tabete ita, tabete tabemashita.
I have been thinking about making a lesson on the tense comparing English.
(But I have no idea how deep I can get…)
Until I make that lesson.. just teach you the gist
*食べる／食べます= I will eat (near future)
*食べた／食べました= I ate / I have already eaten
*食べていた／食べていました= I was eating / I used to eat
*食べている／食べています= I am eating / I eat ((talking about one’s custom, habit) *
But of course, there are more… so please wait patiently until I make this lesson.
Hello sensei!! good lesson, it’s very explicative and even knowing the verb meanings it taught some new things!!
I know with dekiru wo is never used but, with the potential form of a verb I see both “kore wo taberareru” or “kore ga taberareru” (I see it more often with ga). According to my book this is common but it doesn’t mention anything about it being grammatically correct so, when doing an exam, should I avoid it or is it grammatically correct?
I know が is more common but we do say 〜を食べられます／食べられる
When you want to emphasize what you can eat use が
you can say
but you can’t say
You have to say