Dekiru - Are you able - 出来る

In today's article we will know the simple verb dekiru (出来る). Probably some already know how to use it, but in this article we will include some examples and useful information.

The verb dekiru it means "to be able", "to achieve" or a possibility to do something or not. It is a “power and not power in Japanese”. Like any Japanese verb it is conjugated as follows:

Form Japanese Romaji
Dictionary 出来る dekiru
Polished 出来ます dekimasu
Negative 出来ない dekinai
Polite negative 出来ません dekimasen
Past 出来なかった dekinakatta
Polished past tense 出来ませんでした dekimasendeshita
Passive 出来られる dekirareru
Polished passive 出来られます dekiraremasu
Causative 出来させる dekisaseru


  • 勉強をする (Benkyō o suru) = Studying 勉強
  • 勉強ができる = I am able to study

Note that when you use dekiru or some potential form in the verb, it is necessary to change the particle を (wo) for が (ga) or は (wa).

  • こんなうるさいところでは勉強ができません
  • Kon'na urusai tokorode wa benkyō ga dekimasen
  • I cannot study in such a noisy place;

You can also use dekiru to ask for permission by adding か (ka) and asking a question.できますか gives an idea of “Can i do something?”.

  • これ, 試着できますか?
  • Kore shichaku dekimasuka?
  • Can I try?

More formal phrases - You can make the sentence more formal using “ことができる (koto ga dekiru)”.

  • この漢字を読むことができます.
  • Kono kanji o yomu koto ga dekimasu;
  • I am able to read this kanji;

Remembering that there is another way to indicate the ability to do an action, which is using -eru. O dekiru is used to replace the verb "suru" and is more formal than just using the -eru form in the verb.

When you want to show some contrast you use the は (= wa) particle between こと and できる which is ことはできる

  • 返品することできません
  • Henpin suru koto wa dekimasen;
  • You cannot return the item;

When you want to say you’ve finished or completed something, you use 出来た!  / Dekita! / I finished! / I made it! / It's done!

  • やっと, 宿題ができた.
  • Yatto shukudai ga dekita;
  • I finally finished my homework;

Of course, there are many other principles within the verb 出来る, such as saying it was good or bad in something, example: 出来が悪い. (dekigawarui) I was bad, I was bad (on something). You simply need to know the verbal and grammatical functions of Japanese that you will automatically discover new things with できる。If you have an example, leave it in the comments to help readers.

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