Easter Sale
Get a huge 60% off
- limited time only

See Offer!

Average Rating: 4.7

Can せる be added to a any verb to convey what someone can do?

Andrew-N33 August 19, 2015, 1:16 am
In the module I've stumbled upon this sentence.
えいご を はなせる ひと は います か

Here  はなす has been changed to はなせる to mean "someone who can speak". 

How does this verb ending せる apply to other words? 

Could I say for example: スーさんはりょうりせるいます。
Sue is a person who can cook? 

Can せる be added to a any verb to convey what someone can do?
Shirakawa-T September 10, 2015, 8:51 pm

seru is actually the causative. Meaning making someone do something.

In your earlier example, the seru is a potential form. Someone is able to do something.

Ryouri is a noun so it can't take seru, it can take suru koto ga dekiru, form of structure.

Note that no and koto makes verbs into nouns.

Ryouri o suru no ga tanoshii, cooking is fun
Ryouri o suru koto ga muzukashiku nai, it isn't hard to cook.

With the verb you could use seru/reru

Hanaseru> able to speak
Hashireru> able to run
tabereru> able to eat. mase will be: taberemasu extended form: taberu koto ga dekiru/masu.

The causative and passive is for advanced students. Better to keep that for last.
Can せる be added to a any verb to convey what someone can do?

Ask a question or a post a response

If you want to ask a question or post a response you need to be a member.

  • If you are already a member login here.

  • If you are not a member you can become one by taking the free Rocket Japanese trial here.

Over 1,200,000 people love Rocket Languages

Here's what Rocket Languages members have to say:

Andrei Freeman - Pennsylvania, USA


Pennsylvania, USA

Rudi Kopp - USA



Carmen Franceschino - Pennsylvania, USA


Pennsylvania, USA

Kelly Scali - Chicago, USA


Chicago, USA

Mark Waddel - Auckland, NZ


Auckland, NZ

William McGill - Florida, USA


Florida, USA

Probably the best language tool I've come across. Actually love it more than Rosetta Stone and Duolingo

Try our award-winning online Japanese course for FREE 受賞歴ありの英語学習ソフトウェアを無料でお試しください Pruebe nuestro galardonado software del idioma inglés GRATIS

(And see how easy it actually is to learn Japanese... even if you've tried and failed before) (そして英語学習がどれだけ簡単か、肌で感じてみてください…今までに失敗したことのある人でもそれが分かるでしょう) (Y vea qué tan fácil es en realidad aprender inglés… aún si lo ha intentado y fallado antes)