Need Help Understanding A Sentence


I’m trying to translate “I will see if I can come”.

That was what I got from the translations I checked. I need some help understanding it.

First off, でき is in its stem form and I’m unsure why.

Next, どうか I know that どう means how but the translator translates どうか into “please”. Is that just the way it is or is there a reason for it? Also, is the か particle just a question marker there or is it like in 何か where it makes a new word? Seeing か and を back to back like that is a bit confusing for me.

I also am somewhat confused as to why the conditional (えば/たら) or presumptive (だろう/でしょう) tenses aren’t used in there. Would it be more correct to do so?


Where did you get this sentence from? Google Translate?

Yeah, this reads a lot like you’ve run it through Google Translate, and you’re now running it back through the other way to make sense of it. The most glaring thing is the literal translation of “see” as 見ます, because Japanese doesn’t use “see” like that.

どうか is how it’s rendering the “if”. Means “somehow or other”.

Even more largely, できどうか. It’s almost like it was going for a かどうか type of thing.

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Yeah, I got the impression that it was going for an embedded question with かどうか, but I haven’t seen that done with the verb stem, plus all the other weird stuff in this sentence.

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I find your responses relieving because I had no idea what was going on there hah.

As for 見ます, I assumed it was just the polite form and that it was being used like the verb+te miru form which from what I understand means to try to do. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

Can you clarify where the sentence came from?

It came from a friend I was speaking with online to practice. I agree with what was said earlier, I believe it was most likely google translate. A quick test produced the same output.

I had to put it in a translator myself to understand it and who knows if that’s even totally correct. As I find seems to happen a lot now, I know a good amount of the words in the sentence but I’m not sure about the specific usage and grammar for parts of it. And as the replies have said, it’s not really correct so I guess it’s okay I was confused. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

As they mention above. You wouldn’t use 見る like that (there is the form of 〜てみる but that has the meaning of “to attempt something” etc.)

Also I wouldn’t say 来る for myself, but 行く. Or in this case 行ける (can go).

I think the most natural thing would be to say:
(I don’t know whether I can go or not)

or you could build on that:
(I don’t know whether I can go or not, but I will check)

Or maybe the below is more what you are looking for:
(If I am able to go, I will go)
*I think for a Japanese, this sounds like you probably won’t come though.


Funnily enough, there’s an article about this:

But if someone gives you this non-committal response to an invitation, can you count on him actually showing up? People in Kanto, the east Japan region that includes Tokyo, seem to think you can. Japanese TV talk show Chichin Puipui surveyed people in Kanto about the phrase iketara iku, and 80 percent of respondents said that they’d take those words to mean the person is probably going to be present at the event in question.

However, Chichin Puipui got very different results when performing the survey in Japan’s central Kansai region, of which Osaka is a part. Only 10 percent of the people in Kansai said that iketara iku would have them expecting the speaker to make an appearance. In other words, most of them would be ready to write you off if they said “Let’s go get some drinks on Saturday!” and you said “Iketara iku.”


haha, funny! I am in Kansai so seems to be accurate ^^

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I agree with what DerRittmeister said. There usually isn’t an exact Japanese equivalent for a lot of English grammar, and even if there is I can almost guarantee the nuances will be different. I usually just stick with improvising and playing around with grammar I know is correct in order to figure out the closest Japanese equivalent, because more likely than not you won’t find a direct translation. Google translate tries its hardest, and…doesn’t work.

Also, this is a very nitpicky and tangential (but important) point! 皆さん (みなさん) or みんな (with no honorific) is correct, but みんなさん is not. I only mention it because I got called out pretty hard once upon a time. ^^;


Oh, indeed. Bugs me so much that WaniKani accepts みんなさん as a correct answer for 皆さん.

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It’s funny. We were having this exact discussion in my Japanese class a few months ago, with one teacher being from Nagoya and the other from Osaka. They agreed that that they’d interpret it differently from each other with the 大阪人 using it to avoid saying a more direct 行けません or some such, and the 名古屋人 using it to mean literally, “I’ll come if I can”.

(Moral of the story: never invite someone from Kansai to your party. They won’t come even if they can.) :wink:

This is true! I’ve lived in Nagoya before, and most times someone said that they actually came. I haven’t tried it out in Aomori yet, but I guess we’ll see…regional differences are super cool here.

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Thanks for pointing that out. I had no idea about that detail.

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