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  1. Member
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    #11

    Re: She canít speak both English and French.

    Thanks so much for your help, teachers.

    I wonder if my following understanding is correct.

    Although ‘she can’t speak both English and French’, ‘I can’t both swim and skate’ and ‘it’s not that I can do both’ are grammatically correct and understandable, there isn't a possible context for native speakers to say them.

  2. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #12

    Re: She canít speak both English and French.

    I've heard that you can both swim and skate.

    You heard wrong.

    I can swim, but I can't skate.

    I can skate, but I can't swim.

    Yes, I can do both.

    Some possibilities. (Note that I didn't include your sentence.)
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  3. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #13

    Re: She canít speak both English and French.

    Diamondcutter, you seem stuck.
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    #14

    Re: She canít speak both English and French.

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    I suspect you have two separate questions in mind concerning these sentences.

    1) Are they natural?
    2) Are they logical?

    Is that right? If so, you may well get different answers, depending on what you mean.
    Yes. Now I know that my replies--Ďshe canít speak both English and Frenchí and ĎI canít both swim and skateí--are logical but not natural. And I already know what native speakers usually say in that context.

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    #15

    Re: She canít speak both English and French.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel View Post
    Diamondcutter, you seem stuck.
    Sorry to keep troubling you. It's my students to continue to ask me those questions.

  6. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #16

    Re: She canít speak both English and French.

    Quote Originally Posted by diamondcutter View Post
    Sorry to keep troubling you. It's my students that keep asking me these questions.
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  7. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #17

    Re: She canít speak both English and French.

    Quote Originally Posted by diamondcutter View Post
    Although ‘she can’t speak both English and French’, ‘I can’t both swim and skate’ and ‘it’s not that I can do both’ are grammatically correct and understandable, there isn't a possible context for native speakers to say them.
    There are contexts, yes, of course. Is that really what you mean, though? Are you actually asking how likely they would be? Or how natural they are?

  8. Member
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    #18

    Re: She canít speak both English and French.

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    There are contexts, yes, of course. Is that really what you mean, though? Are you actually asking how likely they would be? Or how natural they are?
    Teacher: Ive heard you can both swim and skate, Tom.
    Tom: I cant both swim and skate, sir. I can only swim.

    In China, when this conversation happens between a teacher and a little boy, the boy’s reply usually goes like what has been typed above, which is looked as a polite reply. If the boy just says “I can’t skate”, that will be regarded as bad manners.

    The problem is that I don’t know how to translate the boy’s words into English properly. I just guess it may be the sentences I’ve already posted.

    I don’t know if I’ve made myself understood. If so, would you please teach me what’s the proper way to put the Chinese boy’s reply into English.

    Jutfrank says “There are contexts”, I wonder if I could trouble you to provide me the contexts for my sentences as follows.
    She can’t speak both English and French.
    I can’t both swim and skate.
    It’s not that I can do both.

  9. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #19

    Re: She canít speak both English and French.

    Quote Originally Posted by diamondcutter View Post
    Teacher: Iíve heard you can both swim and skate, Tom.
    Tom: I canít both swim and skate, sir. I can only swim.

    In China, when this conversation happens between a teacher and a little boy, the boyís reply usually goes like what has been typed above, which is looked as a polite reply.
    That exchange does not 'usually' happen anywhere in the world, not between anybody, and not in any language. In fact, that conversation has never happened in the entire history of conversations.

    The problem is that I donít know how to translate the boyís words into English properly.
    If you want to translate a particular text that you have written from Chinese into English, you might try to post it in the original language in the Other Languages section of this forum. We have several other Chinese speakers who may be able to help.

    would you please teach me whatís the proper way to put the Chinese boyís reply into English.
    It's already in English! You obviously mean the Chinese language version that you've invented. Like I say, the non-Chinese-speakers here would have no idea how to do that, even if you told us what it was.

    If you just want to ask about a natural way to express a particular thought in English, then that's a different matter, but stop thinking about trying to translate from Chinese. It does not matter how you would say it in Chinese.

    The exchange you've written above, despite being not very likely to happen, is a reasonable enough way to say what you're trying to say, I think.

  10. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #20

    Re: She canít speak both English and French.

    Quote Originally Posted by diamondcutter View Post
    Teacher: Iíve heard you can both swim and skate, Tom.
    Tom: I canít both swim and skate, sir. I can only swim.

    In China, when this conversation happens between a teacher and a little boy, the boyís reply usually goes like what has been typed above, which is regarded as a polite reply. If the boy just says ďI canít skateĒ, that would be regarded as bad manners.
    I can't imagine the teacher saying that. (Why would he do so?)
    Not a professional teacher

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