「Expressing Ability, Preference, Desire, Intention, Resolution, and Experience」
Hiru-san wa chūgokugo o hanasu koto ga dekiru/ dekimasu.
The dictionary form of a verb, followed by the phrase koto ka dekiru ("can," "be able to"), expresses ability or potential. Grammatically, the noun koto ("thing") in this pattern functions to turn the verb coming before it into a gerund, so that the sentence above, with the topic, means, literally, "As for Mr. Hill, speaking Chinese is possible."
A shorter potential form also exists in Japanese. The shorter forms for the three verb types are obtained as follows.
NOTE：A gerund is a form that is derived from a verb but that functions as a noun, in English ending in -ing, e.g., asking in do you mind my asking you?.
Regular I verbs: The final syllable of the dictionary form changes from one ending in u to one ending in eru.
au ("meet") aeru ("can meet")
iku ("go") ikeru ("can go")
oyogu ("swim") oyogeru ("can swim")
hanasu ("speak") hanaseru ("can speak")
matsu ("wait") materu ("can wait")
asobu ("play") asoberu ("can play")
yomu ("read") yomeru ("can read")
kaeru ("return") kaereru ("can return")
Regular II verrbs: The final ru of the dictionary form changes to rareru.
miru ("see") mirareru ("can see")
taberu ("meet") taberareru ("can eat")
kuru ("come") korareru ("can come")
suru ("do") dekiru ("can do")
The direct object of a potential verb is marked by o with the koto ga dekiru pattern, but by ga with the shorter potential form.
Kanojo wa Shopan o hiku koto ga dekiru/ Shopan ga hajikeru.
She can play Chopin.
Hakubutsukan made kuruma de juppun de iku koto ga dekimasu/ ikemasu.
You can get to the museum in ten minutes by car.
Buraun-san wa nihongo de enzetsu suru koto ga dekiru/ enzetsu ga dekiru.
Mr. Brown can make speeches in Japanese.
8-Ji made ni kuru koto ga dekimasu ka/ koraremasu ka.
Can you come by 8 o'clock？
Hope this helps!
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