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Japanese Basic Grammar[1]

Japanese Basic Grammar[1]

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Published by: itsumoAoi on Nov 15, 2008
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05/09/2014

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BASIC GRAMMAR PAGE 1
 
BASIC WORD ORDER
 
T
he
sentence order is very different from English. In English we use Subject-Verb-Object (SVO) but in Japanese it is usually Subject-Object-Verb (SOV) - observe:
 
S
 
V
 
O
 
ENGLISH
 
I
 
eat
 
bread.
 
S
 
O
 
V
 
JAPANESE
 
watashi wa
 
pan o
 
tabemasu.
 
D
on't
worry! It isn't as bad as it seems. You will get used to it.
 
F
or
more on this
 go here
 
 
TOP
 
DESU
 
Desu 
is a grammatical form that can act like
to be 
(You know - is, are, am...)
 
inEnglish in the sense of
explaining who or what something / one is
or
equatingone thing with another
. Let's take a look:
 
??? ? ???
 
??
?
 
watashi wa kurei 
desu 
.
I
am
Clay.
 
 
?? ? ??
??
?
 
kore wa neko 
desu 
.
This
is
a cat.
 
Most of the time you want to use the
to be 
verb you will use
desu 
. Later we will learnother forms to show existence.
MAIN POINTS:
 
is, are, am
 
always at the endIt doesn't change like its English cousin (is, are, am) in the present tense
 
usually pronounced like "dess" HEAR IT! WAV
11 k
 
TOP
 
2 Basic verb forms
~
dictionary
?~??
 
T
here
are many ways to change verbs, but here we will focus on 2 present tenseforms
 
"dictionary form" and "
~masu 
form"
NOTE
: These 2 mean the same thing, butthe dictionary form is a little more casual and shorter.
 
The
dictionary form 
gets its name because it is what is found in the dictionary.
 
The dictionary form verbs ends in -
and many end in
-ru 
 
The
masu 
form verbs always ends in
-masu 
in the present tense
 
To keep this page as simple as possible, I am writing all examples (for othergrammar points) in the
masu 
form.EXAMPLES:
 
 
???
 
tabe
ru
 
????
 
tabe
masu
 
Both mean "to eat
 
??
 
nom
u
 
????
 
nomi
masu
 
to drink 
 
???
 
hashi
ru
 
?????
 
hashiri
masu
 
to run
 
??
 
su
ru
 
???
 
shi
masu
 
to do (this is one of tirregular verbs)
 
You will probably see some other letter changes between the 2 forms. I won't go intothis now. There is no need to complicate things. I think it is better to memorize theuseful verb changes and eventually once you get a feel for the verbs you can 'guess'the correct form for unknown verb! And remember: Mistake making is memorymaking!
 
TOP
 
q4Making questions
?
 
M
aking
questions in Japanese is easy! -- REALLY! Usually you can change astatement into a question by just adding a
?
 
ka 
 
to the end!
 
??? ? ????? ???
 
ata wa amerikajin desu.
You are an American.
 ??? ? ????? ?? ??
 
anata wa amerikajin desu ka 
Are you an American?
 
MAIN POINTS:
 
ka 
is added to the end of statements
 
Word order is not changed as in English
 
In Japanese (see right example) the ? (Question mark) is not required (optional)
 
Just like in English, the last syllable goes up in intonation
 

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