Is my sentence grammatically correct?

“Why can’t you tell me your true intentions?”

君の - your (possessive particle)
本音は - true intentions/ feelings (topic particle)
どうして - for what reason/ how come
言って - to say (て form)
くれられない - to give (present potential negative form) ~I’m still confused on the difference between all the give verbs…
の - ? (question ending particle)

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I don’t think there is any issue with any of the grammar.

But I’m not sure I’ve ever seen てくれる portion of such a sentence put into potential form like that. So I can’t say that it’s definitely a natural sentence.

I know it would cease to be a direct translation, but I feel like 言ってくれない (“won’t tell me” rather than “can’t tell me”) is more likely to be said by a Japanese person.

Or to keep the nuance of “can’t”, you could drop くれる and just say 言えない “can’t say,” and you could specify 私に if it’s necessary to emphasize that it’s you that they can’t say it to.

That’s just my hunch, but I can ask natives later.

EDIT: A native I asked agreed that they can understand the idea of the original sentence, but that the other options are more natural choices.


I was making an example sentence with the use of 本音 for some flashcards. I did want to say “won’t” instead of “can’t” but I don’t think I thought it through correctly. I struggle the most when conjugating verbs and trying to get off the right meaning. I probably was over thinking the use of くれる in that instance but it seems like it can mean “to give me” in a non-polite conversation. I’ll use 言ってくれない instead.

Thanks for the quick reply! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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