To “neng” or not to “neng’?

Discuss the Chinese language.
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To “neng” or not to “neng’?

Postby layinfalls » Wed Jan 10, 2007 6:19 am

To “neng” or not to “neng’?
This is absolutely not a question from Hamlet, but it confuses a lot of learners of Chinese language.
能 implies something is possible or allowed.
不能 indicates something is either not possible or not allowed for some reason.
For example. 不能右转 means “can’t turn right”. ( This could be because of a one-way street or construction.)
能 goes before the verb. 他们不能去美国, 你能吗?They can’t go to America. Can you?

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Postby 盛会 » Sun Feb 25, 2007 5:06 pm

天生的能力(inborn ability <----is it true?),
客观因素的制约(objective factor <----is it true?)

1.人不能飞.man can't fly..

2.我不能去美国. I can't go to USA.

Tom Higgins
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Location: Shanghai

Postby Tom Higgins » Mon Dec 10, 2007 11:28 am

That's just like "can" in English.

e.g. Can you tell me what time it is? is the same with "Will" you tell me what time it is? instead of "are you able to" tell me what time it is? - Secrets of learning Chinese easily, quickly and inexpensively

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Postby Chap » Wed Dec 12, 2007 3:41 am

能 also means energy(能量), a kind of inside power.

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