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  1. Nightmare85's Avatar
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    #1

    "I hope you can this language."

    Hello,
    Is it correct just to use can when you speak about a language?
    Example:
    Can you English?
    I hope you can this language.

    Usually I would say:
    Can you write English?
    Can you speak English?
    Can you read English?

    Would just can be enough?
    Does it contain everything (writing, speaking, reading etc.)?
    (It would not be illogical in my opinion, but logics and language do not always matter.)

    Cheers!

  2. buggles's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: "I hope you can this language."

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare85 View Post
    Hello,
    Is it correct just to use can when you speak about a language?
    Example:
    Can you English?
    I hope you can this language.

    Usually I would say:
    Can you write English?
    Can you speak English?
    Can you read English?

    Would just can be enough?
    Does it contain everything (writing, speaking, reading etc.)?
    (It would not be illogical in my opinion, but logics and language do not always matter.)

    Cheers!

    No- you'd always have to use "speak/write/read/understand" etc.

    buggles (not a teacher)

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    #3

    Re: "I hope you can this language."

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare85 View Post
    Hello,

    Would just can be enough?
    Does it contain everything (writing, speaking, reading etc.)?
    (It would not be illogical in my opinion, but logics and language do not always matter.)

    Cheers!
    I think you know well about it , but you want to try in different way, don't you?
    As you know (can, must etc) are auxiliary verb. They help sentence to be meaningfull. That's why it is impossible without verb. You use "can" without verb when you answer or response something. We know that "CAN" sometimes imply : ability, permission or possibility. So it needs verb.

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: "I hope you can this language."

    Quote Originally Posted by buggles View Post
    No- you'd always have to use "speak/write/read/understand" etc.

    buggles (not a teacher)
    . Buggles is right, as is Gilnetter - nor are you wrong when you say the mistake would not be illogical! In English, for example, we say 'I can swim'; in French they say je sais nager (sais='know'). There's a long relationship in many languages between knowing and being able.

    b

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    #5

    Re: "I hope you can this language."

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    . Buggles is right, as is Gilnetter - nor are you wrong when you say the mistake would not be illogical! In English, for example, we say 'I can swim'; in French they say je sais nager (sais='know'). There's a long relationship in many languages between knowing and being able.

    b
    And in German, which is related to English, you can do precisely what the original question asked:

    "Ich kann Englisch" - I can speak English / I know English.

    (Edit: sorry, I have just noticed that the original poster is German :/)

    Incidentally you can also have sentences like these in English:

    "I can't speak German but I can English."
    "I can't speak German as well as I can English."

    - but here of course the verb "speak" is understood again in the second part of the sentence.

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