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できない vs できかねる

pacerier

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Hi all, I was wondering what's the difference between these sentences:

謝ることはできない

謝ることはできかねる
 

pacerier

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Does it mean that 謝ることはできない is "I can't apologize (because if I do so he will be mistaken that he is correct)"

and 謝ることはできかねる is "It is hard for me to apologize (because he's my younger brother)" ?
 

nyouyaku

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oes it mean that 謝ることはできない is "I can't apologize (because if I do so he will be mistaken that he is correct)"

and 謝ることはできかねる is "It is hard for me to apologize (because he's my younger brother)" ?

日本に大分住んで日常的に日本語を使っていないとこう ゆう言葉の微妙な意味合いの違いを確り理解する事が出 来ないでしょう。
 

pacerier

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sry I still don't get the nuance at all.. what's an example use case where using one may be appropriate but not the other?
 

Toritoribe

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自分が間違っていないときに謝ることはできない。
I can't apporogize when I'm not wrong.

あなたの言い分もわかるが、私の立場上謝りかねる。
I see your point, but my position doesn't allow me to apporogize.


The second one can be replaced with 謝ることはできない. This is from what the verb 謝る expresses. In the example sentence 申し上げ兼ねますが思い違いをしておられます in the dictionary I linked above, you can't use 申し上げられませんが instead of 申し上げ兼ねますが.
 

Elizabeth

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Ok thanks for the help =D
It's all confusing to me as well because I believe "dekiru" and "wakaru" are the only potential verbs that can take a "kaneru" ending.

So 謝ることはできかねる should be OK as "cannot/unable" with 謝りにくい as a weaker version of "difficult to do"  

少なくとも、「謝ることはできにくい」という日本語は間違いと言っても良いでしょう. :)
 

nice gaijin

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The way I remember ~かねる explained to me was another form of softening a negative statement by avoiding a negative conjugation, but although the translations include "it's difficult to" or to "hesitate to," there isn't much question that the verb adjoining ~かねる cannot be done
 

Elizabeth

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The way I remember ~かねる explained to me was another form of softening a negative statement by avoiding a negative conjugation, but although the translations include "it's difficult to" or to "hesitate to," there isn't much question that the verb adjoining ~かねる cannot be done
Although there are situations when it is to be clear, not polite, that the translation is "hesitate" or "(apparently) finds it difficult to." For example, in the progressive form (kanete iru) when referring to a third party mindset or situation over which one has limited knowledge, etc.

Adding to the confusion, the opposite of ~かねる, is more often "liable to," "possibly" "likely to do" (something resulting in a negative outcome) than "can do" or "capable of doing." And not, I don't believe, when appended to "dekiru" which would relate to the OP's instance of "dekikaneru." :)
 

Mike Cash

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The simple way to think of it is as it being somewhat similar to "I'm afraid I can't (verb)" as opposed to "I can't (verb)" in English. The end result is exactly the same, but it comes across with quite a different feel to it.

It is important to also look at the negative form: ~かねない

A: 自分の息子を本当に警察に通報するかな?
B: あの頑固な親父ならやりかねない

where it conveys a sense of "there's no telling what he might do" or "I wouldn't put it past him". Even though the verb form is negative, it is expected that the action either will take place or is very likely to take place, sort of contrary to what we English speakers may tend to expect from a negative form.
 
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