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Particles in Japanese act like the "cement" of a structure, holding the major components together and serving as indicators for the words they follow or are stuck between. There are even times when they have their own meaning, usually as prepositions. They can be friendly at times and pesky at others, and some can even be omitted in familiar conversation when they convey no real meaning. This is a general guide for using the particles. I trust that it will serve nicely for daily conversation and writing, but I really must emphasize general here because of the many exceptions and surprises that do exist. In fact, there are some exceptions that defy all reason. While some particles more or less follow certain rules regarding use, others don't and must be learned "case by case" and remembered as such. I have spent hours with native speakers trying to get straight, logical answers concerning the strange behavior of some of the particles, but I often just get blank stares and the "case by case" answer. I will do my best to point these out, but it will be impossible to cover everything here. One thing that is nice about Japanese is that it's not as "grammatically fussy" as English: If you happen to omit or make a mistake concerning particles, you won't sound as ridiculous or illiterate speaking this "broken Japanese" as you would if you did the same thing in English. (That's not meant to be an excuse; it's just to assure you that it's okay to make mistakes along the way.)
Subject indicators wa and ga Wa and ga indicate subjects by coming after them. You could say that wa is the "standard" subject indicator. It indicates the general topic and, if anything, emphasizes what comes after it:
Nihon no natsu wa atsui desu. (Summers in Japan are hot.)
In this example, wa tells us that the topic of conversation is summers in Japan, and that the important thing about them is the fact that they are hot.
Kimiko wa mainichi eigo o benkyou shite imasu. (Kimiko studies English every day.)
Here, we're talking about Kimiko, and want her diligence concerning English studies to be made known. Ga points to "active" subjects, emphasized subjects, and subjects within a larger topic:
John ga suru shigoto wa muzukashii desu. (The job that John does is difficult.)
In this one, wa tells us that we're talking about a job, and that it's a difficult one, and ga tells us that it's not just any job we're talking about, but the job that John does.
Ima Seiko ga shite imasu. (Seiko is doing it now.)
This one, which is a reply, needs to point to Seiko as the person doing whatever, so ga is used. The thing she is doing is already known, so it needs no emphasis. Ga is used with simple question subjects in many cases:
• • •
Dare ga kono gyuunyuu o koboshita? (Who spilled this milk?) Nani ga tabetai no? (What do you want to eat?) Itsu ga ii? (When is a good time?)
And ga is used to emphasize the answers to those questions:
• • •
Tommy ga shita. (Tommy did it.) Gyouza ga tabetai. (I want to eat gyouza.) Sanji ga ii. (Three o'clock's good.)
...unless there's something still indefinite about it:
• • •
Gyouza o tabemashou ka. (Shall we have some gyouza?) Gyouza wa dou desu ka. (How about some gyouza?) Rokuji wa dou? (How about six o'clock?)
As you can see, it can really get confusing. More than trying to remember set rules, I've found that memorizing "set phrases" is the safest way to go, even though it does take some time. Here's where learning "case by case" becomes necessary, because the particle used will sometimes change depending on what is being emphasized, and the verb tense and conjugation used. Ga sometimes indicates "but," and nothing else:
Watashitachi wa pikuniku o tanoshimi ni shite ita ga, ame ga futta. (We looked forward to the picnic, but it rained.)
Notice how the three ga's are used here:
Keeki ga tabetakatta ga, onaka ga ippai datta. (I wanted to have some cake, but I was too full.)
Wa could replace the third ga here. As a strange particle quirk, subject indicator wa is always written using the hiragana ha. For reference, please see my hiragana table here.
Direct object indicator o You could call o a "limited use" particle. Its only job is to show us what the direct object is:
• • •
Jisho o kashite kureru? (Would you please loan me your dictionary?) Atarashii kamera o katta. (I bought a new camera.) Pizza o tabemashou ka. (Shall we get a pizza?)
However, ga is usually preferred when using the -tai ending:
Ramen ga tabetai. (I want to eat ramen.)
Also, use ga, not o, before the verbs iru (to be present; to exist), iru (to need), aru, wakaru, dekiru, and the weird quasiverb/adjectives suki, kirai and hoshii:
• • • • • •
Bob no heya ni tokage ga iru. (There's a lizard in Bob's room.) Boku wa atarashii kasa ga iranai. (I don't need a new umbrella.) Shizu wa jitensha ga arimasu ka. (Does Shizu have a bicycle?) Kenji no itte iru koto ga wakaranai. (I don't understand what Kenji's saying.) Emiko wa ryouri ga dekiru? (Can Emiko cook?) Chuuka ryouri ga suki desu ka. (Do you like Chinese food?)
Tom wa hikouki ga kirai. (Tom hates airplanes.) Ano nuigurumi ga hoshii! (I want that stuffed animal!)
It is sometimes easy to confuse the particle o with the o- prefix which is used as an honorific indicator for some selected nouns, so be careful. Some of these are:
• • • • •
o-cha: tea o-mizu: water o-niku: meat o-naka: stomach o-kuruma: car
These are very interesting, and evolve with society. Some use the o- prefix only in some instances and not in others. For example, if talking about your own car or cars in general, you'd never use the o- prefix. You'll probably only hear it when salespeople or servicepeople are talking about the car you're going to buy or have bought from them. Some, like o-cha, are almost always used with the honorific prefix. I might as well mention here that there is a verb conjugation that uses this honorific prefix. It's o- + Base 2, and has several endings. Here are examples of two:
Douzo, o-cha o o-nomi kudasai. (Please, have some tea.) O-niku o o-tabe ni narimashita ka. (Did you have some meat?)
These are very polite constructions. Can you sense the honor and respect oozing from them?
Indirect object indicator ni Ni shows us what the indirect object is — who or what an action is directed to:
• • •
John ni jisho o kashite kureru? (Would you please loan John your dictionary?) Susan ni atarashii kamera o ageta. (I gave Susan a new camera.) Inu ni esa o yarinasai. (Feed the dog.)
Ni is also a preposition which indicates destinations, places, dates and times:
• • • • • •
Nihon ni kono hako o okuritai desu. (I want to send this box to Japan.) John wa Okayama ni ikimashita. (John went to Okayama.) Neko wa isu no shita ni iru. (The cat is under the chair.) Kare wa suiyoubi ni kuru. (He'll come on Wednesday.) Kaigi wa shichi gatsu touka ni arimasu. (The meeting will be on July 10.) Bob wa rokuji han ni tsuku. (Bob will arrive at six thirty.)
Ni, not o, is used with the verbs noru (to ride) and noboru (to climb):
• • • •
Hayaku! Densha ni notte! (Hurry! Get on the train!) Kenji wa jitensha ni noru koto ga dekiru. (Kenji can ride a bicycle.) Ki ni noborimashou. (Let's climb up the tree.) Kinou kodomotachi wa yama ni nobotta. (The kids climbed the mountain yesterday.)
Ni is often combined with wa to show that something exists or is included in the subject:
Nihon niwa chiisai shima ga takusan arimasu. (There are many small islands in Japan.)
Suzuki-san niwa san nin no kodomo ga imasu. (Mrs. Suzuki has three children.)
Destination indicator e While not as flexible as ni, e is sometimes used in place of it to emphasize a destination:
• • •
Soto e ikitai. (I want to go outside.) Kyou wa doko e? (Where are you going today?) (Yes, the verb can be omitted here.) Ashita bijutsukan e ikimasu. (We're going to the art museum tomorrow.)
As another strange particle quirk, destination indicator e is always written using the hiragana he. For reference, please see my hiragana table here.
Action indicator de Particle de is a preposition that shows us where an action takes place:
Kyou ie de taberu. (I'll eat at home today.) Kodomotachi wa kouen de asonde imasu. (The kids are playing in the park.)
Some exceptions are: Use ni when the verb shows attachment to an object or place, and o when the action passes a place or intentionally covers a wide area:
• • • •
Kana wa ano isu ni suwatte iru. (Kana is sitting in that chair over there.) Bill wa Nagoya ni sunde imasu. (Bill lives in Nagoya.) Futatsu me no kado o magatte kudasai. (Please turn at the second corner.) Kouen o sanpo shimashou. (Let's take a walk in the park.)
De is used for "among":
Watashi no yuujin de, piano o hikeru hito ga inai. (There is no one among my friends that can play the piano.)
De also indicates a method:
• • •
Onamae wa pen de kaite kudasai. (Please write your name with a pen.) Genkin de haraimashou. (Let's pay with cash.) Eigo de hanashite kureru? (Would you please speak English?)
De is sometimes used before ii to say that something is good or sufficient as it is:
Kore de ii. (This is okay. [It's good enough.]) Ashita de ii. (Tomorrow will be okay.)
De is sometimes combined with wa to show that something is done within the subject:
Tokushima dewa maitoshi yuumei na matsuri ga okonawareru. (A famous festival is held in Tokushima every year.)
Possession indicator no This one also has many roles in Japanese grammar. It shows possession:
Sore wa Keiko no kasa desu. (That's Keiko's umbrella.) Jack no inu no namae wa Aki desu. (Jack's dog's name is Aki.)
It can sometimes replace ga, and is used especially in clauses that modify a noun:
Hontou ni mondai no nai tabi deshita. (It really was a trouble-free trip.) Watashi no oshieru gakusei wa, eigo no dekinai ko bakari desu. (None of the kids that I teach can speak English.)
It comes after some adjectives:
Hiroshima no matsuri ni takusan no hito ga ita. (Many people were at the festival in Hiroshima.) Kumi wa midori no fuusen ga hoshii. (Kumi wants a green balloon.)
It makes informal questions:
Yuushoku wa tabenai no? (Aren't you going to eat dinner?) Nanji ni kuru no? (What time will you come?)
And it is also used between prepositions and nouns to make the noun the object of the preposition. Compare the following sentences:
Kono tegami wa Yuuko kara kita. (This letter came from Yuuko.) Kore wa Yuuko kara no tegami desu. (This is a letter from Yuuko.)
Kono tegami o Yuuko ni okuru. (I'm going to send this letter to Yuuko.) Kore wa Yuuko e no tegami desu. (This is a letter to Yuuko.)
Note: Ni is not used with no in this way.
Connectors to and ya: These work like "and" in English. Use to to include only what is actually mentioned, and ya to include other things which are not mentioned but may be relevant or supposed:
Ashita boushi to undou gutsu o motte kite kudasai. (Bring a hat and athletic shoes tomorrow.) Gakkou ga hajimattara, pen ya nooto ya jisho ga hitsuyo desu. (When school starts, you'll need things like a pen, a notebook, and a dictionary.)
To also indicates quotes and thoughts, whether they are direct or indirect:
Jane wa konban gaishoku shitai to itta. (Jane said she wants to eat out tonight.) Sore wa totemo ii keikaku da to omoimasu. (I think that's a very good plan.)
Some oddball adverbs use to optionally:
Ken wa hakkiri (to) kotowatta. (Ken flatly refused.) Motto yukkuri (to) hanashite kureru? (Would you please speak more slowly?)
Sometimes to is used to mean "with":
Dare to kouen ni iku? (Who are you going with to the park?) Kimiko wa Sally to issho ni kaimono ni ikimashita. (Kimiko went shopping with Sally.)
Note: Issho (ni) means "together (with)" and is often used after to. Use it when there's a chance that to alone might not be clearly understood. After verbs, to often means "if" or "when":
Massugu iku to Ritsurin Kouen ga miemasu. (If you go straight you'll see Ritsurin Park.) Sashimi o taberu to byouki ni naru. (I get sick whenever I eat raw fish.)
Please see Lesson 39 of my Japanese Verbs for more.
Includer mo Forgive me for making up my own English, but "includer" just works perfectly here because mo includes things, like "also" and "too" do:
Watashi mo ikitai! (I want to go, too!) Sazae mo atarashii PC o katta. (Sazae also bought a new PC.)
Mo is also used to emphasize "any," sometimes being combined with other particles:
• • •
Ima watashi wa nani mo taberenai. (I can't eat anything now.) Kare wa doko nimo ikitakunai. (He doesn't want to go anywhere.) Paul wa nan demo dekimasu. (Paul can do anything.)
Note: There are also elongated mou's that have totally different usages. One is used to mean "already," and another is used for whining about something:
Watashi mou shimashita. (I already did it.) Mou, anata itsumo osoi! (Oh, you're always slow!)
By the way, mou is what Japanese cows say.
Question maker ka Ka makes questions, both plain and polite:
Kodomotachi wa mou tabemashita ka. (Have the kids already eaten?) Jennie no kasa o karita ka. (Did you borrow Jennie's umbrella?)
When it comes to making questions, there are both written and unwritten rules that will keep you wondering. While ka can be used in most instances, there are times when no is preferred. These can be interchangeable in some cases, not in
(Nice weather.) Note: As in English. (Anyone can do it easily. Don't let it become a bad habit. you have to keep a straight.) Oki na inu desu ne. goukaku shita yo.others. there are "true" and "quasi" types. where it is used to check or request the agreement of the listener: • • Ashita watashitachi to issho ni ikimasu ne. Terribly overused ne The correct place for ne is at the end of a sentence. Empasizer yo I wouldn't call yo a "true particle. matter-of-fact. ([Of course] I passed the English exam. (That store's in a convenient place. like "y'know" in English.) Eigo no shiken. [with dropping intonation]) Changing na to ni converts quasi-adjectives to adverbs: • Dare demo kantan ni dekimasu yo." but let's take a look at it anyway. right?) Ii otenki desu ne. (I DID clean the room. [with dropping intonation]) However. It's added to the end of a sentence. Both of them — no ka — are even used together sometimes. This is considered impolite at best. to correctly use the "brag" version. Its nuances are not easy to define. 7 . (That's a big dog. When a "quasi-adjective" modifies a noun in a straightforward manner. but it generally has two purposes: to emphasize an action. (You're going with us tomorrow. too many people grossly overuse ne. isn't it. Na may sometimes be heard here and there in familiar situations as a substitute for ne. isn't it. Quasi-adjective indicator na In the world of Japanese adjectives. For more about questions. and should be avoided. or to brag about one: • • Heya o souji shimashita yo. I've even heard speeches where it was put between almost every word. see Lesson 12 of my Japanese Verbs. na goes in between: • • Sono mise wa benri na basho ni aru. "no big deal" face.) See my Japanese Adjectives for more.
) Neko o soto ni dashite kureru? (Would you let the cat out?) Ayako wa taiikukan no soto de taberu no ga suki.) Ushiro or ura is used for behind: • • Kuruma wa ie no ura ni aru. Be sure to see my page on particles. (Wait in front of the station.) Kono kasa no naka kara erande kudasai.) Tokei wa tsukue no ue ni kakemashou.) Hasami wa hikidashi no naka ni aru. okay?) Jitensha wa ie no mae ni oite kudasai.) Ue is for things sitting on things. (Ayako likes eating outside the gym. (There's a mouse behind the box.) Naka is also used for among: • • Yamamoto Sensei wa gakusei no naka de ninkimono desu. (The cake is inside that bag.) Ano hon no shita ni sen en satsu ga aru.) Keeki wa sono fukuro no naka ni aru. (Bob's in the library. (There's a thousand-yen bill under that book. the no naka is usually omitted: • • Bob wa toshokan ni iru.) When a large room or building is referred to. (Let's hang the clock [on the wall] above the desk.) Mae is used for in front of: • • Eki no mae de matte ne. the top of things.) Shita is the opposite of ue: • • Inu wa teeburu no shita ni iru. (Please park your bicycle in front of the house. as well as above things: • • • Jisho wa tsukue no ue ni aru.) Ki no ue made nobotta. yoko. (Mr. but please contact me if you can think of any not listed here.) Hako no ushiro ni nezumi ga iru. (The kids are playing outside. for example ni and de. I have put together this overview of Japanese prepositions.) Bideo dekki wa san maru nana kyoushitsu ni aru.) Soto is used for the outside of things or places: • • • Kodomotachi wa soto de asonde iru. (We climbed to the top of the tree. and tonari are used for next to: 8 ." and it will help explain the difference between the particles used on this page. (The VCR is in Room 307. (The car is behind the house. (The dog is under the table.) Soba. (The dictionary is on the desk. because many of them also have "prepositional attributes. (The scissors are in the drawer. Yamamoto is popular among the students.Japanese Prepositions Due to several recent requests. (Please choose from among these umbrellas. Naka is used to express inside: • • • Neko wa hako no naka ni iru. (The cat is in the box. This should cover the main ones.
at specific times. on.) Bokutachi wa Takamatsu no mawari o doraibu shita.) Tooi (pronounced like "toy") or tooku ni is used for far: • • Eki wa koko kara tooi.) Chikai or chikaku ni is used for near: • • Kuukou wa chikai.) Mawari is used for around a thing or area: • • Kare no ie no mawari ni tambo ga aru. (Please take an apple from that box.• • • Shako wa ie no soba ni aru. (The harbor is beyond the hotel. (The train station is far from here. (She lives across from the school. (There are rice paddies around his house. (Miki lives in the house next door.) 9 .) Kara shows motion from something: • • Kono hon o amerika kara motte kita. okay?) Senshuu no kayoubi ni tsuita. okay?) Ashita Osaka ni iku. dates. etc: • • • Rokuji ni kite ne.) Mukai is used for opposite something: • • Honya wa kouen no mukai ni aru.) Kanojo wa gakkou no mukai ni sunde imasu. (The bookstore is opposite the park. seasons. (My umbrella was between the refrigerator and the wall.) While mukou is used for beyond: • Minato wa hoteru no mukou ni aru.) Ni is also used for in.) Please note that in the second example above mawari does not mean "around the perimeter of Takamatsu" only. days. (I came to Japan in 1981. (The post office is between the library and the movie theater. (Put that money in the envelope. but "in and around.) Aida shows that something is between two other things: • • Yuubinkyoku wa toshokan to eigakan no aida ni aru.) Sen kyuuhyaku hachijuu ichi nen ni nihon ni kita. (I brought this book from America.) Kare wa tooki ni sunde imasu. Ni shows motion directed towards something: • • • Kouen ni ikimashou. (Near our house are many stores.) Ano hako kara ringo o totte kudasai.) Watashi no kasa wa reizouko to kabe no aida ni atta. (He lives far away. (I arrived last Tuesday. (Let's go to the park. (Come at 6:00. (We drove around Takamatsu. (I'm going to Osaka tomorrow.) Gakkou no yoko ni kouba ga aru.) Miki wa tonari no ie ni sunde imasu. (The airport is nearby.) Sono okane wa fuutou no naka ni irete ne. (There's a factory next to the school.) Watashitachi no ie no chikaku ni takusan no mise ga aru. (The garage is next to the house." just the same as the English equivalent.
early osoi: slow. painful isogashii: busy (This is Japan's most popular adjective — you'll hear it used several times an hour here. Some examples of true adjectives are: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • ii: good yoi: good warui: bad takai: expensive. a cold reply." as in flavors.) hiroi: wide. etc. late omoshiroi: interesting Many true adjectives end in shii: • • • • • • • • • • • oishii: delicious muzukashii: difficult utsukushii: beautiful tanoshii: fun ureshii: happy kanashii: sad kurushii: hard. etc. cramped tsuyoi: strong (used for things which are powerful or sturdy. I prefer calling them "true" and "quasi" and will do so throughout these lessons. tall yasui: cheap hikui: low nagai: long mijikai: short katai: hard yawarakai: soft atsui: hot samui: cold (used for weather or room temperature) tsumetai: cold (used for tangible objects. medicines.) abunai: dangerous akarui: bright kurai: dark karui: light omoi: heavy furui: old (not used with people or animals) hayai: fast. Nevertheless. food.) yowai: weak (used for the opposite of the above) kitsui: strong (usually used for "too strong. (The cafeteria is on the other side of the conference room. personalities. drinks. high. spacious semai: narrow. glaring 10 . etc.) Lesson Introduction to Japanese Adjectives 1 Japanese adjectives come in two basic flavors: "true" and "quasi." In some circles they are also known as "i adjectives" and "na adjectives" because those are the suffixes they get when they're followed by a noun. and unfriendly feelings between people: a cold look. severe yakamashii: noisy mabushii: too bright.) kibishii: strict.• Shokudou wa kaigishitsu no mukou ni arimasu.
which is why I avoid calling them "i adjectives" and "na adjectives. quick-tempered ganko na: stubborn byouki na: sick genki na: healthy. comfortable kara na: empty kirei na: pretty. abundant anzen na: safe kanzen na: perfect As you can see.) Douzo. (Please. With both true and quasi you include the final i or na when placing them before a noun. destitute hinpan na: frequent benri na: convenient fuben na: inconvenient busaiku na: clumsy.) 11 . there are quasis that end in i when the na is omitted. have some cold milk." It could be too confusing at first. to be feeling well shizen na: natural yutaka na: full. as in easy to do raku na: easy. adjective use in Japanese is very similar to English. as in an easy situation. There are even a few adjectives that can be used as true or quasi. desolate hazukashii: shy atarashii: new The basic colors are often used as true adjectives: • • • • • akai: red aoi: blue kiiroi: yellow shiroi: white kuroi: black And now let's look at some good quasi-adjectives: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • kantan na: easy. Here are some with true adjectives: • • Sore wa ii hon desu. tsumetai gyuunyuu o nonde kudasai. clean kechi na: stingy (not generous) binbou na: poor. like: • • ookii / oki na: big chiisai / chiisa na: small Many quasi-adjectives are made by adding teki na to a noun: • • • • • kokusaiteki na: international kagakuteki na: scientific rekishiteki na: historical ippanteki na: general rakkanteki na: optimistic It's time for some examples. awkward tanki na: impatient. (That's a good book. From a grammatical angle.• • • sabishii: lonely.
the "adjectival idea" is conveyed through verbs." and. isn't it. most do. there are some strange quasi. isn't it.) Ichiban kantan na houhou o oshiete ageru. right?) (Ta Form for the present) O-naka (ga) suite inai. [with dropping intonation]) Kare wa ganko! (He's stubborn!) Kore wa kantan. vague However. as such. (I'm not hungry. [with dropping intonation]) But. colors which use no and never na after them when modifying a noun: • • • midori no kasa: a green umbrella murasaki no hana: a purple flower nezumiiro no boushi: a gray hat It's only natural to think that adjectives which exist in English should exist in Japanese. leave off the na: • • • Sono inu wa kirei desu ne.) Now it's time to introduce the quirks. which will be a bit confusing to beginners because this form is normally used for the plain past. Some examples of these are: • • o-naka (ga) suita: hungry nodo (ga) kawaita: thirsty Naka literally means "middle. First. There are. (Is this milk cold?) Kono hako wa omoi desu ne.(quasi-quasi?) adjectives that. when a true adjective comes after the noun it modifies it usually does not change: • • • Sono hon wa ii desu." and suku means "to be empty. Note the verb changes: • • • O-naka (ga) suku deshou.) Kare wa ganko na hito desu. Nodo is "throat. (That book is good. When I ask about the discrepancy. In these. (We'll probably get hungry. I have heard native speakers use na with these. (He's a stubborn person. (I'll show you the easiest way to do it. the rules slightly change. (This box is heavy. isn't it. so don't concern yourself with it until you have to be official." so these together equal "I'm thirsty. (That dog is pretty. Just do what I do: think of this as "a verb in an adjective's role." and kawaku means "to be dry. the ta form of the verb is used for the present. in everyday "unofficial" life it is perfectly acceptable — even preferred — to use na. (This is a heavy box. I am told that na is normal.• Omoi hako desu ne. (This is easy.) (Base 3 for infinitives and the future tense) O-naka (ga) suita deshou? (You're hungry. Using "hungry." let's take a look at the different popular tenses." Here. [with dropping intonation]) And here are some examples using quasi-adjectives: • • • Sore wa kirei na inu desu.) Now. when a quasi-adjective comes after its noun. and official documents use no. according to the dictionaries and grammar books. but many don't. however. (That's a pretty dog. while it's true that the books say no.) (Te Form + inai / imasen for the negative present) 12 . use the multi-purpose no particle instead of na: • • • tokubetsu no: special tokutei no: specific fumei no: unclear." so you're saying "my middle is empty" when you put these together. Sure.) Kono gyuunyuu wa tsumetai desu ka. So.
) Yasemashita ka. become fat There are true adjectives for "fat" and "thin" (futoi and hosoi). Actually. [delicious]) Atsui. and is usually omitted in familiar situations.• • O-naka (ga) suite ita. nemutai and omotai are used the most in daily conversation. Here are some true adjectives: • • • Oishii. Note also how naka gets the honorable o. Here are two more that are often used: • • yaseru: to lose weight. use the verbs: • • Sukoshi futotta mitai. they are: • • nemui: sleepy omoi: heavy However.) (Te Form + inakatta / imasen deshita for the negative past) The ga is optional. (It's difficult. colloquial "-tai adjectives" that I should mention: nemutai and omotai. these are the only adjectives that can do this. like their English counterparts. but they. using Japanese adjectives in plain positive statements is simple — just say the adjective. The next time you're at a party with native speakers and run out of topics to discuss. (It's hot.) And here are some quasi-adjectives: • • • Benri. (Have you lost weight?) There are a couple of strange. (I wasn't hungry.prefix and nodo doesn't. become thin futoru: to gain weight. (It's easy. (It's comfortable. (Looks like you've put on a little weight.) (Te Form + ita for the past) O-naka (ga) suite inakatta. when used as simple exclamations. As far as I know. have to be used carefully because they can be offensive. It will keep them hemming and hawing for a while. Finally. I guess our throats aren't as honorable as our stomachs.) 13 .) Raku. ask about this.) Kantan.) Muzukashii. When commenting about others. this -tai ending on these two adjectives has nothing to do with the "want to do" -tai ending used on Base 2 verbs. By the way. (I was hungry. "Want to sleep" is netai. (It's good. native speakers will often leave the final i off of some adjectives: • • • • • Samu! (It's cold!) Atsu! (It's hot!) Uma! (It's delicious!) Mazu! (It's nasty!) Ita! (Ouch!) 2 Lesson Plain Positive and Plain Negative As in English. (It's convenient.
(It's not convenient. dewa or ja can be used instead. (It's not easy. but these are the most used in my opinion. (It's not difficult. right? (request for agreement) deshou: it probably is ka dou ka: whether or not it is kamo shirenai / shiremasen: it may be nara: if it is rashii: it seems to be. (It's not good. Now let's look at some endings and combinations which can be added to plain adjectives.. (It's not comfortable. Quasis add de and then nai: • • • Benri de nai. isn't it?) Muzukashii rashii.) Note: Although de is standard after quasis in negative constructions.) Kantan de nai.) If you've already been through my Japanese Verbs.Now let's make all these negative. Any add-on from any group above can be added after a true adjective without changing it: • • • Oishii.) Muzukashiku nai. (I hear it's difficult. some positive examples. We'll get to those a little later. It is always used as it is and never conjugated. (It's not hot. Use ja only in familiar settings.) Shiroi hazu. [not delicious]) Atsuku nai. deshou? (It's good. these should look familiar. Like the verbs. I hear it is Group B • • • • • hazu: it is supposed to be hou ga ii: it would be better if it were no: one(s) (used in place of noun[s] when it/they are known) node: because it is noni: in spite of the fact that it is Group C • • • kara: because it is keredomo / kedo: although it is to omou: I think it is You may want to call the above three groups "quasi handling groups" because they only apply to quasi-adjectives. Group A • • • • • • deshou?: . adjectives use nai to do this.) 14 .) Raku de nai. True adjectives drop their final i and add ku before adding nai: • • • Oishiku nai. First.) Note: The exception is ii (good). (It's supposed to be white. (There are others...
Chiisai no wa Keiko no.. [with dropping intonation]) Shirokunai hou ga ii deshou. please see Lesson 78 of my Japanese Verbs. (It's probably not empty. (It's not supposed to be easy. it won't do") nakute mo ii: it doesn't need to be (literally. (If you're sick. seikaku ga ii. is it. (It might be convenient. (It might not be convenient. but he has a good personality." Those in Group B are added after first adding na: • • • Motto kantan na hazu.) Benri de nai kamo shirenai.) Carl wa byouki na noni gakkou ni kita. (It might not be cheap.) Kono mondai wa kantan da to omou. Now let's do some negative ones.) Benri kamo shirenai.) 15 . (It's probably empty. (Carl came to school even though he's sick. (A relaxing trip is best. For more about desu.) Da is actually the plain form of desu. it gets a bit trickier. which could be used with kara or kedo (keredomo) instead of da to make it more polite. but he has a difficult personality..) Mari no kaban wa ookikunai to omou..) Mari no kaban wa ookii to omou. it's good") Here they are with a true adjective: • Ookiku nakereba naranai.) Note: In Japan you don't "go see a doctor. "even if it's not. The small one is Keiko's. (Ron's not stubborn. They are: • • nakereba naranai / narimasen: it must be (literally. (She's popular because she's pretty.) Yasukunai kamo shirenai.) And add da before adding those in Group C: • • • Kirei da kara. (It would probably be best if it weren't white. Those in Group A are added without any particle: • • • Kara deshou. "if it's not.) Kantan de nai hazu. seikaku ga muzukashii. (Ron's stubborn. go to the hospital. (I bought it because it was cheap. kanojo wa ninkimono desu.) There are two more handy negative add-ons that I'd like to introduce here." you "go to the hospital. (Carl didn't come to school even though he's not sick.) Muzukashikunai rashii.) Ron wa ganko da kedo. (I don't know if it's good or not. (It has to be big.) Ryokou wa raku na hou ga ii. First some with true adjectives: • • • • • Oishikunai deshou? (It's not very good.• • • Yoi ka dou ka wakaranai. (I think Mari's bag is big.) Carl wa byouki de nai noni gakkou ni konakatta.. (It's supposed to be easier..) With quasis. (I think this problem is easy. (I hear it's not difficult.) Byouki nara byouin ni ikinasai.) And here are some with quasi-adjectives: • • • • • Kara de nai deshou. (I don't think Mari's bag is big.) Yasui kara katta.) Ron wa ganko de nai kedo..
This is why there will sometimes be inconsistencies. Lesson Colors 3 Because colors are usually used as adjectives.) Kantan de nakute mo ii. but may add spaces for clarification in long constructions.) Again. etc." In my lessons I usually use what is most common for romanized Japanese. (Rick's car is red. (The next time I buy a bicycle I want a blue one. this is how these colors are used most of the time. It is also possible to add iro to the others which usually don't use it: midori iro (green. When you want to put a color directly before the object. add i to aka. shiro and kuro. shiro iro (white. Here are ten popular colors as they are used when not preceding a noun. (Look at her beautiful black hair. (It has to be simple." and that four of the above are made by adding iro to a noun: • • • • kiiro: yellow (ki [sulfur] + iro [color]) daidaiiro: orange (daidai [a kind of orange] + iro [color]) chairo: brown (cha [tea] + iro [color]) nezumiiro: gray (nezumi [mouse] + iro [color]) While it is possible to leave off the iro in some instances. (Junko's holding a yellow umbrella. ao. whitish). greenish).) Junko wa kiiroi kasa o motte iru. and because Japanese colors have their own strange set of rules.• Ookiku nakute mo ii.) Watashi no inu wa shiro to chairo.) Kondo jitensha o kattara ao ga ii.) Note: In written Japanese there are no spaces between "words. Here are a few examples where the color comes after the noun it modifies: • • • Rick no kuruma wa aka. murasaki.) Watashi wa shiroi kutsu o kaitai. (It doesn't have to be simple. it's after the subject or object in question. daidaiiro and nezumiiro. most of the time the color of something is mentioned in Japanese. (I want to buy some white shoes.) 16 . which is most of the time: • • • • • • • • • • aka: red ao: blue kiiro: yellow midori: green murasaki: purple daidaiiro: orange chairo: brown shiro: white kuro: black nezumiiro: gray Please keep in mind that iro means "color. add no — not na — to midori. like in the above examples. (My dog's white and brown.) And with a quasi: • • Kantan de nakereba naranai. (It doesn't have to be big. and you can add either i or no to kiiro and chairo: • • • Kanojo no utsukushii kuroi kami o mite. I thought I'd make a separate lesson out of them.
hoshii.) Bob wa ooki na nezumiiro no tsukue o katta. straightforward talk about what you and others like and don't like. jouzu & heta 4 These five adjectives play by their own set of rules. (Everyone hates cockroaches. (Bob bought a big gray desk. those with no behave like quasis.) Nihon no natsu wa mushiatsui kara suki dewa nai . Suki means "to like" and kirai means "to dislike. Aka can mean anything from dark orange to copper or reddish purple. (I don't like summer in Japan because it's hot and humid. They are regular quasi-adjectives. and go when it's ao. (I got this purple balloon at the store. It's ma. You can put dai (a lot. I think it would be good to get used to their weird ways as soon as possible. ao from green to bluish purple. you will find that the names for colors in Japanese. and use na: • Ano makka na hana ga kirei desu ne. the reverse is also true. If you'll check your dictionary. (That bright red flower is pretty. that's right — just as there are ideas conveyed through verbs in Japanese where adjectives would be used in English.• • • Kono akai jisho wa dare no? (Whose red dictionary is this?) Kono murasaki no fuusen wa mise de moratta. you never add i to these. you stop when the light's aka.) For regular. (That yellowish sushi is nasty. Since they are used regularly. (Kazuko is liked wherever she goes. It works like "-ish" in English. however. like: • • Kazuko wa doko ni itte mo sukareru.) Sono kiiroppoi sushi wa mazui.) By the way.) Colors with i added become and behave the same as true adjectives. as mentioned in Lesson 1. and kiiro from light orange to pale yellow. (She wore a greenish hat. hear them used in passive constructions.) Mina gokiburi ga kirai. have a more abstract role than their English counterparts. nor do you add no. (Nattou [fermented soybeans] is disliked by many people.) Note that ga is used to link suki or kirai to their object when there is no other necessary element between them.) Nattou wa takusan no hito kara kirawarete iru. you'll see that both of these exist in verb form: suku and kirau. isn't it?) And here's a useful suffix: -ppoi. In Japan." Note how the pronunciation changes with ma added: • • • makka: bright red masshiro: pure white makkuro: jet black Strangely." Yes. and comes in handy when you don't know what to call a color. Lesson Adjectives suki. You will. There's a handy prefix that works especially well with three colors. especially the primary ones. All colors become true adjectives with it attached: • • Kanojo wa midorippoi boushi o kabutta. but the chances are very slim that you'll ever hear them used that way. and it means "true. (I like autumn in Japan. use suki and kirai in quasi-adjective form: • • • Nihon no aki ga suki. very much) before suki or kirai to emphasize them: 17 . kirai.
isn't she. it's used to represent the English verb "want.) While hoshii is a true adjective. They also use ga before or na after in the same manner. (There are many kids who want a red balloon. Tanaka makes is the stuff I don't like. isn't she?) Lesson Adverbial Forms 5 Making adverbs from adjectives is quite easy. and mainly colloquially." It also uses ga when following its object. [with falling intonation]) Sore wa jouzu na e. With true adjectives. use the quasi indicator na: • • Sore wa boku no suki na ongaku. (Beth really hates spiders.) Beth wa kumo ga dai kirai. (That's a nicely done painting. (Grampa always eats slowly. these can also be used to modify the indirect object: • • Yasai no suki na kodomo ga sukunai. (She's a good cook. jouzu and heta are quasi-adjective opposites that fill the role of ideas usually expressed by verbs in English.) When you put the object in question after suki or kirai.) Akai fuusen no hoshii kodomo ga ooi.) Hayaku shinasai! (Do it quickly!) Kazuya wa e o jouzu ni kakeru.) 18 . just add ni: • • • Ojii-san wa itsumo osoku taberu.• • Linda wa ichigo ga dai suki.) Watashi no piano ga hontou ni heta desu. Jouzu means "to be good at.) Sashimi ga kirai na hito ga takusan imasu. (There aren't many people who are good at karaoke. just replace the final i with ku before adding the verb. With quasis.) Sachi wa ryouri jouzu deshou? (Sachi's a great cook. (Linda loves strawberries. (That's the music that I like.) Tanaka-san wa boku no kirai na tabemono bakari tsukuru. (They don't have the color I want. outside of familiar circles it could make you sound like one when expressing your own desires. (I'm really bad at playing the piano. (There are few kids that like vegetables.) Although hoshii isn't necessarily a kid's word.) Heta na uta! (What a poorly done song!) Karaoke ga jouzu na hito ga sukunai.) Interestingly. but remains alone when preceding it: • • • Fuusen ga hoshii! (I want a balloon!) Watashi no hoshii iro ga nai. (Kazuya can draw pictures well. (All the food Mrs. so you'll want to be careful with it. (There are many people that don't like raw fish.) There are a few expressions with jouzu where the ga is often omitted: • • Kare wa eigo jouzu. (He's knows English well. well done." and heta means the exact opposite: • • • • • Kanojo wa ryouri ga jouzu desu ne. Like suki and kirai.
) Mai toshi boku no shigoto wa muzukashiku narimasu. betsu no mise ni ikimashou.) Inu wa byouki nara. a similar ending meaning "I don't mind if.) Note: Naraba can also be used after quasi-adjectives. (I don't want to go out if it's hot outside. Johnson's strict. (Don't worry! You'll gradually become better at it.) Kare wa heta de mo ii. it probably won't get many customers. but nara is more common." remove the final i and add kute.) Kono PC ga hoshiku nakereba.) Mise no basho wa benri de nakereba.. let's go to another store. (If it's not cold tomorrow. and add nara to quasis: • • • Yasukereba kaimashou.. (We must make it safe. (If the store isn't in a convenient location. let's take him to the vet.) Sukoshi furukute mo ii. which means "it's okay if. (It's all right if it's a little old. The first is mo ii. Here are a few examples: • • • • • Ookikute mo ii.") Sono mise wa fuben de mo kamawanai no? (Don't you mind that store being inconveniently located?) 19 . quasis just need a de.) Johnson sensei wa kibishikute mo kamawanai.. Lesson Te Form + mo 7 There are just two adjective "te form" endings that I hear used often enough to mention." and the second is mo kamawanai.• Kono shigoto wa kantan ni dekiru yo. (Lisa always gets sick after returning from overseas. (It's okay if he's not good at it. (If you don't want this PC. (I'll make it warmer for you. (You'll be able to do this job easily. For negative conditionals. let's buy it. replace the final i with kereba in true adjectives.) Please see Lesson 2 for more about negative structures. let's go.) The verb naru (to become) is often used with adverbs: • • • Shinpai shinaide! Dandan jouzu ni naru yo." To convert true adjectives to the "te form. (My job gets more difficult every year. (If it's large that's okay.. kyaku ga sukunai deshou. (I don't mind if Mr. (If the dog's sick. (If it's inexpensive.) Lisa wa kaigai kara kaeru to.) Soto wa atsukereba detakunai. juui ni tsurete ikou.) Watashitachi wa anzen ni shinakereba naranai... and de nakereba (the negative-forming de nai + kereba) with quasis: • • • Ashita wa samuku nakereba ikimashou.) (Note: Sensei is the name suffix for "teacher.) 6 Lesson Conditional Forms To make positive conditionals.) Use suru with descriptive adverbs for "to make": • • • Ookiku shite kureru? (Would you make it bigger?) Atatakaku shite agemashou. itsumo byouki ni naru. use ku nakereba (the negative-forming ku nai + kereba) with true adjectives.
and use deshita instead of datta with quasis: • • Kaigi wa nagakatta desu. (I don't mind if it's cold out. (I was sick yesterday. (The meal was perfect. just add desu after katta in true adjectives.) The negative forms of -kute mo ii and de mo ii were covered at the bottom of Lesson 2. add desu to ii and use kamaimasen instead of kamawanai: • • Suzu wa tanki de mo ii desu. (Ten years ago John was poor. having done this." Lesson Adjectives with sou and sugiru 9 This lesson should clarify sou (I hear that [something] is [adjective]) and sou ([something] looks/sounds/seems [adjective]). (Yesterday's trip was fun. Lesson Plain Past 8 Use katta and datta to make adjectives plain and past. and can be used at the end of many sentences to make them plain and past. you can further conjugate using the endings and combinations applicable to other plain forms. Datta is the universal plain form of deshita. (The history homework was easy.To make these polite. Katta is for true adjectives only. however. (The meeting was long. and is added after removing the final i.) Now.) Rekishi no shukudai wa kantan datta. (It was supposed to be small.) Finally. It is added after both true and quasi-adjectives with no change to the adjective itself: 20 .) Soto wa samukute mo kamaimasen. like those in Lesson 2: • • • Samukatta deshou? (It was cold. (The math test was very difficult.) Note: The adjective ii (good) is not conjugated into the past tense. (It's okay if Suzu has a quick temper. if you're ending a sentence with an adjective and want to make it past and polite. Use yokatta to say that something "was good. wasn't it?) Chiisakatta hazu. Here are a few true adjective examples: • • • Kyou wa atsukatta! (It was hot today!) Suugaku no shiken wa totemo muzukashikatta.) And here are some quasi examples: • • • Kinou byouki datta.) Kinou no ryokou wa tanoshikatta.) Juu nen mae ni John wa binbou datta. (It seems he was very stubborn.) Kare wa totemo ganko datta rashii.) Shokuji wa kanzen deshita. Here's how they work: Sou (I hear that [something] is [adjective]) is basically used to report hearsay or the reports of others without the involvement of your personal senses or opinion.
) Lesson Adjective Modifiers 10 In this last lesson we will look at the bits and pieces needed to adjust the meaning of adjectives so they convey exactly what we mean. Also. I've noticed that native speakers will usually add desu or da after it. and is added after quasis. (That's why I added desu in the examples. This one takes the place of the final i in true adjectives. (That bicycle looks expensive.) The second sou is stressed and drawn out. You need to add sa first: yosasou (sounds good). Everything on this page applies to either true or quasi-adjectives. use yori after the object which is used for comparison. (She doesn't have any friends because she's too stingy. (He seems like a hard-headed old man. It is often used as a simple exclamation: • • • • • Tanoshisou! (Sounds fun!) Samusou! (Looks cold! [as might be said while watching a program about Alaska]) Mazusou! (Sounds nasty! [not good to eat]) Kantan sou! (Looks easy!) Raku sou! (Looks comfortable!) Note: The adjective yoi is an exception with this sou. and said with at least a little excitement if it's describing something good.) The other sou ([something] looks/sounds/seems [adjective]) is used to express your own impression of something based on hearsay. seeing a picture. for example: yoi (good) + nai = yokunai (not good) + sou = yokunasasou (doesn't sound good). these two sous are fairly easy to keep straight. is how you add sou to the negative nai as well.) Sono hon wa takai sou desu. This.) Kare wa ganko sou na ojii-san desu ne. Comparatives In sentences where an adjective is used to compare two things. (I hear that the new store is in an inconvenient location. tomodachi ga inai. (I hear that book's expensive. just like the other sou: • • • Oishisou! (Sounds delicious!) Sono jitensha wa takasou. (I hear that that university's entrance exam is difficult." and is also used a lot. etc. Note how the compared object (in blue) sits between the subject and adjective of the main idea: 21 . doesn't he?) Thanks to various unwritten rules.) Kore wa kantan sugiru! (This is too easy!) Kanojo wa kechi sugiru kara. (Today's test was too difficult. by the way. In the first sou outlined above. It works like the second sou above.) Ano atarashii mise no basho wa fuben sou desu. meaning it replaces the final i of true adjectives: • • • • • Kono o-cha wa atsusugiru! (This tea is too hot!) Ano hako wa omosugiru! (That box is too heavy!) Kyou no shiken wa muzukashisugita. Sugiru means "too (much of something). sou is said without stress. in a matter-of-fact kind of way.• • • Ano daigaku no nyuugaku shiken wa muzukashii sou desu.
) Kyou no shiken wa kinou no hodo kantan dewa nakatta.) Kyou no shiken wa kinou no yori kantan datta. as in: • • Kore wa mottomo warui. You must also make the adjective negative. (This is the cheapest PC in this store. Let's do this to the first two examples used in the Comparatives section above: • • Ken no inu wa Shizuka no inu hodo ookikunai. (That's my favorite book. It is placed directly before the adjective it modifies. Ichiban without an adjective can be used to simply mean "the best": • • • Kore wa kono mise no mottomo yasui PC desu.) Kore wa ichiban takakunai. (This is the most inexpensive. but Ken's dog is bigger. or make the adjective negative. (I like fried rice more than fried noodles. In fact. but they say it's going to get hotter tomorrow. you can put hodo. there is no equivalent to the least.) Kyou wa atsukatta kedo. (This is the worst. which is roughly the equivalent of "more" in English. just use an adjective with that meaning. (Today was hot. Another popular way to compare things is to use motto. Ken no inu wa motto ookii. Ken no inu wa yori ookii.• • • Ken no inu wa Shizuka no inu yori ookii. (Today was hot. (Shizuka's dog is big.) Superlatives Mottomo or the well-known ichiban ("number one") can be placed before adjectives to make them superlative. and could be used to replace yori in the last set of examples above: • • Shizuka no inu wa ookii desu ga. ashita wa motto atsukunaru sou desu.) Watashi wa yakisoba yori yakimeshi ga suki.) Note: Mo is sometimes added to yori — yorimo. Nakajima makes is the best!) Negative Comparatives and Superlatives Negative comparatives and superlatives are not used that much in Japanese. which means "to the extent of. It's completely optional and does not change the meaning of the sentence. ashita wa yori atsukunaru sou desu. but Ken's dog is bigger. To convey something in a negative superlative way. (Today's exam was easier than yesterday's.) Sore wa boku no ichiban suki na hon desu.) Alternately. but they say it's going to get hotter tomorrow.) 22 . (Shizuka's dog is big.) Nakajima-san no ramen wa ichiban! (The ramen Ms.) Kyou wa atsukatta kedo. (Ken's dog isn't as big as Shizuka's dog. (Today's exam wasn't as easy as yesterday's. (Ken's dog is bigger than Shizuka's dog. yori can be placed before the subject in structures that follow other finalized statements: • • Shizuka no inu wa ookii desu ga." after the object of comparison.) For negative comparatives where "less" is implied.
Two More There are two other handy modifiers I'll mention here because they're used a lot: toku ni and amari. Here's how they're used: • • • • Kyou wa toku ni isogashikatta. is it. [with dropping intonation]) 23 . ne.) Kenji no seiseki wa toku ni warui. (That movie is not really that interesting. (Today was especially busy.) Ano eiga wa amari omoshirokunai.) Kyou wa amari atsukunai. Toku ni means "especially" and amari means about the opposite of that. (Kenji's grades are particularly bad. (Today's not that hot.
Base 1 + nakereba narimasen 18. Base 1 + seru / saseru 19. Base 2 + mashita 6. Base 1 + nakereba 16.The Plain Form 2. Forming Questions with ka 13. Base 2 + takunai / takunai desu 9. Base 3 + hazu desu 21. Base 3 + hou ga ii 22.Japanese Verbs Table of Contents 1. Base 3 + deshou 20. Base 2 + tai / tai desu 8. Base 2 + masen deshita 7. Base 2 + nasai 11. Japanese Verbs . Base 3 + ka dou ka 23. Base 3 + kamo shiremasen 24. Base 2 + masen 5. Base 2 + mashou 10. Irregular Verbs kuru and suru 12. Base 1 + nai deshou 15. Base 1 + nai . Yodan Verbs with Base 2 + masu 3. Ichidan Verbs with Base 2 + masu 4.The Plain Negative Form 14. Base 3 + kara 24 . About You and Name Suffixes 17.
Base 4 + ru 47. Base 4 + reba 49. Base 3 + (any noun) 32. Base 3 + nara 31. Base 4 + ba 44. Base 3 + you desu 43. Base 3 + keredomo 26. Te Form + ageru 25 . Base 3 + tsumori desu 42. Base 3 + to omoimasu 41.25. Te Form + kudasai 51. Base 3 + node 36. Base 3 + noni 37. Base 3 + no ni 34. Base 3 + tame ni 39. Base 3 + na 30. Base 5 50. Base 3 + sou desu 38. Base 3 + koto ga dekimasu 27. Base 3 + made 29. Base 3 + to 40. Base 4 + nai 48. Base 3 + koto ni shimasu 28. Base 3 + no wa 35. Base 3 + no desu 33. Base 4 + ba ii 45. Base 4 by itself: the plain imperative 46.
Te Form + inai 55. Te Form + mo ii 62. desu. Ta Form + koto ga aru 71. Ta Form: The Plain Past 68. Te Form + shimau 64. Ta Form + Various Combinations Shared With Base 3 69. Ta Form + bakari 70. Ta Form + to shite mo 76. Ta Form + toki 77. Te Form + itadaku / morau 57. Te Form + kuru / iku 60.52. Ta Form + to shitara 75. Te Form + oku 63. Te Form + wa ikaga / dou desu ka 65. Ta Form + ri 74. Te Form + ita 56. Te Form + goran nasai 53. Te Form + miru 61. Te Form + iru 54. Ta Form + rashii 73. Te Form + kureru 59. Te Form for Continuing Statements 67. iru and aru 26 . Ta Form + tokoro 78. Te Form + kara 58. Te Form + wa ikemasen 66. Ta Form + ra 72.
tsu.1 First we will look at only some simple yodan verbs. which can end in u. Let's take the verb aruku. and irregular." Only kids or people speaking with family or friends would use this plain form. not u. (Grandpa will return soon. and also very juvenile or "familiar. ichidan. Word Check mise: a store manga: comic book ojii-san: grandfather sugu: soon watashi: I ringo: apple terebi: TV 27 . nu. or ru: • • • • • • • • • kau (buy) aruku (walk) isogu (hurry) kasu (lend) matsu (wait) shinu (die) asobu (play) yomu (read) kaeru (return) Let's try some in sentences: • • • Mama wa mise de banana o kau. but to be more precise.) Naomi wa terebi o miru. bu. (Mom buys/will buy bananas at the store.) Ichidan verbs all end in either eru or iru. ku. gu. which means "to walk. Remembering this will make further study much easier.) Jim wa manga o yomu. su. (Jim will read a comic book.Lesson 1 The Plain Form Please remember that all Japanese verbs end in u. Some frequently used ones are: • • • • taberu (eat) kimeru (decide) miru (look. watch) kariru (borrow) Example sentences: • • Watashi wa ringo o taberu. mu.) Ojii-san wa sugu kaeru. it's the last syllable of the plain form that ends in u. Before actually trying out the language you need to learn the "Base 2" forms and the polite endings that go with them.) This is very simple Japanese. There are 3 types of verbs in Japanese: yodan. (Naomi will watch TV." for example: it ends in ku. (I'll eat an apple.
Let's convert the plain yodan verb example sentences in Lesson 1 to polite sentences by converting them to Base 2 and adding masu: • • • Mama wa mise de banana o kaimasu. Since masu requires the Base 2 form.) 28 . the present polite ending.Notes 1. unless it was from another foreigner. Especially notice how verbs ending in su and tsu change: Plain Verb (English) kau (buy) aruku (walk) isogu (hurry) kasu (lend) matsu (wait) shinu (die) asobu (play) yomu (read) kaeru (return) Base 2 Form kai aruki isogi kashi machi shini asobi yomi kaeri Polite Verb Form kaimasu arukimasu isogimasu kashimasu machimasu shinimasu asobimasu yomimasu kaerimasu Now we're ready to speak polite. I use the term yodan because it was the term used when I began studying Japanese thirty years ago. Asking your native-speaking Japanese friends about these will not help: they have never heard of them. (Mom buys/will buy bananas at the store.) Ojii-san wa sugu kaerimasu. (Grandpa will return soon.their "Base 2" form -. Lesson 2 Yodan Verbs with Base 2 + masu The first ending you'll want to master is the polite form masu. yodan verbs are changed so they end in i -.before the masu ending is added. the Japanese learn their own language in a completely different way. many Japanese schools in Japan just call them "Type 1" and "Type 2. "adult" Japanese. Because of the difficulty in explaining the logic behind the names yodan and ichidan. Some sources call these verbs godan. but there is no difference. (Jim will read a comic book. The yodan/godan/ichidan method of verb instruction only remains today as one method to teach Japanese verb forms to non-native speakers.) Jim wa manga o yomimasu. and do not use the terms yodan or ichidan when teaching or learning verbs." Interestingly. Notice how the following yodan verbs change in order to add masu.
A mistake made from not knowing whether a verb is yodan or ichidan is a very minor one. (I'm not going to eat now. but with practice and experience they will gradually be mastered.) And some ichidan: • • Watashi wa ima tabemasen.) Kanojo wa kasa o karimasen.) Ayako wa mainichi terebi o mimasu. (Kimiko isn't going to Osaka.) Kare wa machimasen.) 29 . Word Check ashita: tomorrow mainichi: every day Lesson 4 Base 2 + masen Now that you're a little familiar with Base 2. which is the negative form of masu.) Kimiko wa Osaka ni ikimasen. I'm sure you're thinking: How can I tell ichidan verbs from yodan? True.) Jerry wa sugu demasu. watch) Here are some examples: • • • Base 2 Form tabe oboe kime de kari mi Polite Verb Form tabemasu oboemasu kimemasu demasu karimasu mimasu Watashi wa ashita kimemasu. because you change them to Base 2 by just dropping the ru at the end. (Ayako watches the TV every day. there are also yodan verbs that end in eru or iru.Lesson 3 Ichidan Verbs with Base 2 + masu Ichidan verbs are a snap. let's try masen. and should not be worried about at this stage. (Jerry will come out soon. (I'm not going to buy an umbrella. (She isn't going to borrow an umbrella. come out) kariru (borrow) miru (look. and notice how they differ from the yodan group covered in Lesson 2: Plain Verb (English) taberu (eat) oboeru (remember) kimeru (decide) deru (leave. Look carefully at these ichidan verbs and how they conjugate. (He won't wait.) Now. Look at these yodan examples: • • • Watashi wa kasa o kaimasen. (I'll decide tomorrow.
(Yoshi ate an apple.) Yoshi wa ringo o tabemashita.) Bob wa sono eiga o mimashita.) Shizu wa manga o kaimashita.) Kodomotachi wa kouen de asobimashita.) There are yodan and ichidan verbs in the examples above. (Bob saw that movie. Can you tell them apart? Word Check kodomotachi: children kouen: a park asobu: to play ringo: apple taberu: to eat manga: a comic book kau: to buy sono: that eiga: movie miru: to see 30 . Let's make some examples: • • • • • John wa Hiroshima ni ikimashita. Word Check kasa: umbrella kau: to buy kare: he (him) matsu: to wait iku: to go ima: now taberu: to eat kanojo: she (her) kariru: to borrow Lesson 5 Base 2 + mashita Mashita is used to change verbs to their past polite form.Easy enough. right? In the next lesson we'll try past tense. (Shizu bought a comic book. (The children played at the park. (John went to Hiroshima.
(Yoshi didn't eat an apple.) Lesson 7 Base 2 + tai / tai desu Another very useful Base 2 ending is tai. Lesson 8 Base 2 + takunai / takunai desu These are used to show the opposite of tai and tai desu covered in the last lesson: that you don't want to do something. We'll make the first two plain: • • Watakushi wa kasa o kaitakunai.) Yoshi wa ringo o tabemasen deshita. (The children don't want to play. etc. "Watakushi wa inu ga hoshii desu. right? Two of these examples use yodan verbs.) Kodomotachi wa asobitakunai. (The children want to play. To make them polite.Lesson 6 Base 2 + masen deshita As you recall from Lesson 4. Let's change a few of the examples shown in Lesson 5: • • • John wa Hiroshima ni ikimasen deshita. Add desu to make it polite. (John didn't go to Hiroshima. (I want to buy an umbrella. (Miki wants to see that movie." you would use the adjective hoshii and say. add desu: Watashi wa kasa o kaitai desu. and is never used alone with an object. (Bob wants to eat tempura.) Simple enough.) The above examples are plain forms. For example.) Kodomotachi wa kouen de asobimasen deshita. To make that negative past tense we just add deshita. (I don't want to buy an umbrella." This structure will be covered later on. Please note that tai is only used with verbs. you wouldn't say watashi wa inu o tai for "I want a dog. (Bob doesn't want to eat tempura.) Miki wa sono eiga o mitakunai desu. which is used to show that you want to do something: • • • • Watashi wa kasa o kaitai. Let's make the examples in Lesson 7 negative. and two use ichidan. Can you still tell them apart? 31 .) Kodomotachi wa asobitai. (Miki doesn't want to see that movie. (The children didn't play at the park.) Now let's make the next two polite: • • Bob wa tempura o tabetakunai desu.) Miki wa sono eiga o mitai.) Bob wa tempura o tabetai. masen shows negative tense.
(Let's eat. It simply means "let's (do something)." as in: • • • Watashi wa hakobimashou. but either way this one is easy to remember./I'll help you fix your bicycle. to take a break. (I'll carry this/these [for you]. In fact. (Let's go. in this example.) Tabemashou.) As in English. to take/have a day off hakobu: to carry esa: pet food ageru: to give anata: you jitensha: bicycle naosu: to repair Lesson 10 Base 2 + nasai Add nasai to verbs in Base 2 form for simple commands: • • • • • • Tabenasai! (Eat!) Minasai! (Look!) Yominasai! (Read it!) Iinasai! (Tell me!) Suwarinasai! (Sit down!) Koko ni kinasai! (Come here!) Word Check taberu: to eat miru: to look yomu: to read iu: to say suwaru: to sit kuru: to come 32 ." For example: • • • Ikimashou. (Let's get you some food. (I'll fix your bicycle.) * In Japanese.)* (to a pet) Esa o agemashou.) Anata no jitensha o naoshimashou. hakobimashou would be both natural and grammatically sufficient.Lesson 9 Base 2 + mashou Sometimes it's written masho with a line above the o. the object (as well as the subject) can be omitted when it is known or obvious.) Yasumimashou. Word Check iku: to go taberu: to eat yasumu: to rest. this is also used to mean "I'll do (something) (for you)/Let me do (something) (for you). (Let's take a break.
just slap ka on the end and you've turned it into a question: "Ojii-san wa sugu kaerimasu ka. (He won't do it. but since both are used frequently they can be mastered quickly and naturally. but the good news is that there are only two: kuru. Lesson 12 Forming Questions with ka Making questions in Japanese is easy. You will see it used often. but is also used to make countless nouns into verbs: benkyou suru (study). usually in advertisements or trendy one-liners. (Hiromi didn't worry. which means "to do. but real Japanese literature does not use it.Lesson 11 Irregular Verbs kuru and suru Did something seem amiss with the last example in Lesson 10? I hope so. (Shall we take a break?) By the way.) John wa kimashita. do you remember "Ojii-san wa sugu kaerimasu" from Lesson 2? (Grandpa will return soon. For example. (Does Miki want to see that movie?) Yasumimashou ka. Let's use it to review some of the endings already learned: • • • • • Bob wa kimasu. In a sense. phrase.) This should be enough about kuru and suru for the time being. (John came. 33 . (Did Yoshi eat an apple?) Miki wa sono eiga o mitai desu ka. where you have that silliness of subjects and verbs trading places.) Sue wa kimasen. true Japanese doesn't use a question mark.) Well. The Base 2 form of suru is shi. yakusoku suru (promise). because it means you noticed that while it looks like a yodan verb.) Yumi wa kitai desu. Now that they've been introduced you'll see them pop up from time to time in future lessons. which means "to come". (I'll do it.) Bill wa ashita benkyou shitai desu." (Will Grandpa return soon?) Let's make questions out of some of our other previous examples: • • • Yoshi wa ringo o tabemashita ka. It is now time to introduce the irregular verbs kuru and suru. (Sue won't come/won't be coming.) Kare wa shimasen. (Bob will come. ka is the question mark. in Japanese all you do is stick ka on the end of a word. and suru. chuumon suru (place an order). Unlike English. (You promised.) Anata wa yakusoku shimashita. Besides these are the irregulars. (Ken didn't come.) Ken wa kimasen deshita. shimpai suru (worry). Just remember that they are irregular and don't follow the same rules as the other verbs. it conjugated like an ichidan." These two have their own set of rules when it comes to conjugating. We have already practiced using yodan and ichidan verbs.) Hiromi wa shimpai shimasen deshita. (Yumi wants to come. The Base 2 form of kuru is just ki. Look at these examples: • • • • • Watashi wa shimasu. (Bill wants to study tomorrow. or sentence to turn it into a question.) Suru is not only a handy "stand alone" verb.
unconjugated root form. yomu to yoma. let's quickly review the types of verbs. and yomu. There are yodan. and how they will usually look in a dictionary. which happen to be Base 3.Lesson 13 Base 1 + nai . is their true. ichidan. iku. and suru to shi. The yodan group are changed so they end in a: iku changes to ika. just change the u to wa. but all the verbs introduced in Lesson 1 were in their Base 3 forms.The Plain Negative Form Before we look at Base 1. matsu to mata. Below are some tables to help clarify the way the three types of verbs are converted into Bases 1 and 2 from their plain forms. like kau. and the two irregulars kuru and suru. If the verb ends in u with another vowel before it. again. In other words. If you don't remember the meanings of these please go back and review them. which. so kau becomes kawa. their Base 1 is the same as their Base 2. Please note the changes carefully. Ichidan are easy to convert into Base 1 because you just knock off the ru. like kau. The irregular kuru changes to ko. Yodan verbs: Base 3 (root form) kau aruku isogu kasu matsu shinu asobu yomu kaeru Ichidan verbs: Base 2 kaiarukiisogikashimachishiniasobiyomikaeri Base 1 kawaarukaisogakasamatashinaasobayomakaera- Base 3 (root form) taberu oboeru kimeru deru kariru miru Irregular verbs: Base 2 tabeoboekimedekarimi- Base 1 tabeoboekimedekarimi- Base 3 (root form) Base 2 Base 1 34 . just like its Base 2 form. like taberu and miru. For the sake of simplification I didn't mention it then. and etc. matsu.
) Watashi wa terebi o minai. Depending on the situation.) Sachiko wa kuru deshou. (Grandpa isn't going to return soon. konai (won't come). (It probably won't snow.) Jim wa manga o yomanai. (John probably isn't going to buy an umbrella." as a matter of personal policy. (Sachiko will probably come. (I'm not going to watch TV.) 35 .) Ojii-san wa sugu kaeranai. (or) John wa kasa o kawanai desu. (Jim probably doesn't read comic books. Look at these example sentences: • • • • • John wa kasa o kawanai. or that he just isn't going to read a comic book now or in the near future. (Jim doesn't read comic books.) Yuki wa furanai deshou.) Actually. kariru (borrow) becomes karinai (won't borrow).) Bill wa ika o tabemasen deshou. Japanese used in actual conversation would be modified as needed in order to make meanings clearer. Please remember that the ending nai by itself is plain. deshou is a handy add-on that works with other endings. or by simply adding desu on the end after nai: • • John wa kasa o kaimasen. Jim wa manga o yomimasen. Etc. Jim wa manga o yomanai could mean that Jim never reads comic books. As in English. (John isn't going to buy an umbrella. which we already covered in Lesson 4. Can you get a good feel for the changeover between Base 2 + masen and Base 1 + nai here? Lesson 14 Base 1 + nai deshou Here's an easy one. and should only be used in very informal settings. (Grandpa will probably return soon. (or) Jim wa manga o yomanai desu. kuru (come).kuru suru kishi- koshi- Now what we want to do is use Base 1 + nai to change some verbs into their plain negative form: kau (buy) becomes kawanai (won't buy). and suru (do).) It will be noticed that this ending can be used to mean "not going to do (something) for the time being" as well as "don't do at all. you may want to upgrade it to a polite form.) Jim wa manga o yomanai deshou. (Sachiko won't be coming. For example. like Base 2 + masen. Adding deshou after nai means that somebody is probably not going to do something. shinai (won't do). like plain positive (Base 3) verbs and the Base 2 polite masu/masen: • • • Ojii-san wa sugu kaeru deshou.) Sachiko wa konai. or that something is not likely to happen: • • • John wa kasa o kawanai deshou. (Bill probably won't/doesn't eat squid.
when speaking to that person.) Naoko wa kasa o karinakereba (kanojo wa) koukai suru deshou. 36 . Once a person's name is known." Actually. Please remember that the na in nakereba comes from nai and is the negative element.) Miki wa heya o tsukawanakereba Junko wa tsukaitai desu. the word "you" is not used in Japanese as often as in English. snow. Look at these examples: • • • Ojii-san wa sugu kaeranakereba watashi wa makudonarudo ni ikimasu. as in English. "What does Bob want to eat for lunch?" but in Japanese that's exactly how it's done. hail. (If Grandpa doesn't return soon I'm going to McDonald's.you don't have to retain them for the sake of good grammar. (If Naoko doesn't borrow an umbrella she'll probably regret it. etc.) ojii-san: grandfather sugu: soon kaeru: to return kuru: to come ika: squid taberu: to eat Lesson 15 Base 1 + nakereba Base 1 + nakereba is used to make negative conditional sentences -.what will happen if something doesn't happen. Word Check iku: to go heya: room tsukau: to use kariru: to borrow koukai suru: to regret Lesson 16 About You and Name Suffixes In Lesson 9 anata was introduced as meaning "you. (If Miki isn't going to use the room Junko wants to use it.) A very convenient thing about Japanese is the fact that you can omit subjects that are understood or obvious -.Word Check kasa: umbrella kau: to buy manga: comic book yomu: to read yuki: snow furu: to fall (from the sky: rain. an English speaker wouldn't turn to his friend Bob and ask. it is usually used in place of "you" (as a native English speaker would consider it). which may sound a bit childish until you get used to it. Remembering this will come in handy in future studies. In the last example above there is no question that kanojo wa (she) is Naoko. especially when talking to an individual. The kereba is the conditional ("if") element. For example. so it is omitted.
these are commonly used: • • • • • • • • otou-chan (dad) okaa-chan (mom) ojii-chan (grandpa) obaa-chan (grandma) onii-chan (elder brother. names are usually not used alone. time passes. san is the "default" suffix for a person when none of the others are suitable. Generally speaking. where the name of the person is used in place of the subject you. The ones you'll hear the most are san. You most likely won't use sama unless you meet a company president or owner. Among male friends kun is used as the name suffix.anata becomes the necessary "default" subject of the sentence. San denotes friendliness and perhaps even familiarity while still including at least a touch of respectful distance. It's when speaking to groups that "you" becomes useful. where anata is used for "you. When I first came to Japan and was only several years older than my students. and chan with girls. names are often shortened before adding chan. and kun. even though I introduced anata in Lesson 9. Teachers add kun to the names of male students. you can always ask. a more trusting) relationship has been created between customer and service provider. chan to female students. formal. use san with colleague's names. And. the customer will find that he or she is no longer a "sama.Additionally. but it conveys a certain distance. grandfather. As a safe rule. Family. grandmother. aunt. Customarily. even displeasure: a teacher reprimanding a class might use this. in problem #4 of C of Mini Test 5 because there is no name connected with the "you" -. and playmates. After the sale is made. and personal preferences all come into play when choosing these suffixes. there's no problem. Also. For those older. but as long as the situation warrants it and the relationship between speaker and listener(s) makes it sound natural. If I wanted to ask my student Hiroki if he did his homework. etc. unless an individual prefers chan. Again. but now that I'm old enough to be their father it feels very natural and fitting. hopefully. older brother or sister (but not younger). A native Japanese speaker would never use this kind of construction. and the car is brought in for routine checks or service. a girl named Emiko would probably be called Emiko-chan or Emi-chan by older family members. as well as classmates and co-workers later in life. older neighbor girl) oji-chan (uncle. friend's mother) Chan is also used with the names of pets. chan. but to the title of those older. adult male neighbor. and children add it to the words for father. but would also sound very stiff. adult female neighbor. uncle. A boy named Hiroki might go by Hiro-chan unless he's going by Hiroki-kun or Hiro-kun. though san is probably more common for females. For example. suffixes are attached depending on the person and situation. toward the group concerned. the fact is that it is very rarely used. It works fine." but is now a "san. kun with boys. There may be a certain feeling of "being talked down to" when kimi or kimitachi are used. even some affection. So. company. real or pretended. did you do your homework?" would be: "Hiroki. at any rate. the one left would be kimitachi. more familiar (and. because san shows that a closer. which shows familiarity. however. older neighbor boy) onee-chan (elder sister. Anatatachi could be used. mother. "you" normally wouldn't be used when speaking to an individual when his or her name is known. friend's father) oba-chan (aunt.for a while." This Japanese would be understood. Now. Among close friends and family members chan is usually heard. sama. So." This is normal and good. anata wa anata no shukudai o shimashita ka". I 37 . cousins. You will most likely want to use san with neighbors and business associates that you see regularly but perhaps not every day. The natural Japanese would be:"Hiroki-kun wa shukudai o shimashita ka". Customers who go into new car dealerships will have the luxury of hearing sama added to their names -. of course. Parents add chan to their children's names. the literal translation of the English sentence "Hiroki. however. and very odd. Sama is an "honorific" suffix which is attached to the names of superiors or people you want to show special respect to. Bosses add these to the names of subordinates sometimes. Being observant and attentive will be the best guide for mastering name suffixes for the people you work with or know. within families chan is added to the first names of those younger than yourself and to the names of cousins. I really didn't feel comfortable using kimitachi. let's get back to you.
for yodan verbs. the ending becomes nakereba naranai. mixed groups. (Laura probably needs to buy an umbrella.would not use this with a class of people my age or older." can be conveyed. (Grandpa lets the children play. (I have to go. which is the best choice when talking to large.) Looking at it literally. the nakereba means "if one does not. because it means "must do. Accordingly.) As you grow accustomed to Japanese verb usage and ending patterns." Let's take iku (to go). or feelings.) Okaa-chan wa Kimiko ni kasa o kawaseru. but the above should suffice for most students of Japanese for the first year or so. In Japanese. which changes the whole sentence to its plain form. this is a verb within a verb ending: naru (to become) is the root word here. change it to Base 1 ika.". are used for all of these.. as you'll remember from Lesson 15. and saseru." Let's look at some more examples: • • • Jim wa ima kaeranakereba narimasen. "I'll let him go to the store". (Jim has to return now. like this: • • Ojii-san wa kodomotachi ni asobaseru. and "I'll make him go to the store" all have different nuances.) You're probably clever enough to notice that the polite negative ending masen is stuck on the end here. I may as well say here that much. and add nakereba narimasen to make this simple example sentence: Watashi wa ikanakereba narimasen. however. "I'll have him go to the store".) Laura wa kasa o kawanakereba naranai deshou. (The children must eat. In English we fortunately have these three different words to conveniently adjust the meaning which we want to convey.) Kodomotachi wa tabenakereba naranai deshou. Lesson 18 Base 1 + seru / saseru These are used when you want to let/have/make someone do something. much more could be said concerning all the various words and "levels" used when addressing others. (Jim probably has to return now. Let's use this ending with the three examples above and see how the meanings are "softened": • • • Jim wa ima kaeranakereba naranai deshou.) Laura wa kasa o kawanakereba narimasen. Lesson 17 Base 1 + nakereba narimasen This verb ending is not only a long one.) Kodomotachi wa tabenakereba narimasen. By the overall context and by using other "helper" words the different meanings. (The children probably need to eat.) 38 . Accordingly. you will see how the entire meaning or "feeling" of a sentence can be adjusted or "fine tuned" at will by combining the right ending components as you finish the sentence up. seru. This can be handy when adding other endings. like deshou from Lesson 14. Yes. (Mom will have Kimiko buy an umbrella. for the others. and narimasen means "will not become". as in "let him" or "make him.. (Laura has to buy an umbrella. I'd probably use mina-san (everyone). which is in its Base 2 form with masen added on (narimasen). The important thing to remember is that yodan verbs use seru. It's used quite a lot. so in the example above you're saying "If I don't go it won't do. if we use the the plain negative form of naru instead (naranai). it's a bit of a tongue twister.
(I want to have Kenji study English. although miru is an ichidan verb.) John ni raishuu made ni kimesaseru.) Watashi wa Kenji ni eigo o benkyou sasetai desu. by tomorrow. Now for the easy part: Since seru and saseru can be conjugated like any other ichidan verb.) With "suru verbs.) Kare ni ashita kosaseru. (The teacher makes the students read the newspaper every day. (Grandpa won't let the children eat candy.• Sensei wa gakusei ni mainichi shimbun o yomaseru. it should be easy for you to apply what has been learned in the previous lessons to make them negative. Another tricky thing is that some verbs already have a set form to convey this meaning.) And ichidan verbs and the irregular kuru use saseru : • • • Roku ji ni kodomotachi ni yuushoku o tabesaseru. (I'll have her do it." As you get used to more and more natural Japanese expressions. (Ritsuko had Kumi buy a pen.) Kanojo ni saseru. in these constructions the person being let or made to do something becomes the indirect object. (I'll have John decide by next week. him ashita: tomorrow kuru: to come benkyou suru: to study kanojo: she. (I'll have him come tomorrow. kimeru: to decide kare: he. past tense." suru is simply replaced with saseru : • • Otou-san wa Bob ni benkyou saseru. you will know which verbs are conjugated as outlined above and which have their own "set forms" which are used instead. and etc: • • • • • Ritsuko wa Kumi ni pen o kawasemashita. (Dad will make Bob study. (Let's have John go to the store. like miseru. (He lets them watch TV every day. etc. which means "to show" or "to let see. which is signified by adding ni afterwards.) Kodomotachi ni terebi o misemashou ka.) John ni mise ni ikasemashou." as in: • Kare wa karera ni mainichi terebi o miseru.) Ojii-san wa kodomotachi ni candy o tabesasemasen.) So. (Shall we let the kids watch TV?) Word Check kodomotachi: children asobu: to play sensei: teacher gakusei: student(s) mainichi: every day shimbun: newspaper yomu: to read yuushoku: dinner taberu: to eat raishuu: next week made ni: by (a deadline): by 5:00. polite.) As you can see. (I'll have the kids eat dinner at 6:00. them eigo: the English language 39 . you won't hear or see "misaseru. her karera: they.
but I suppose we must allow each language its quirks. Ojii-san wa sugu kaeru. (To my mind it would make more sense to call this form Base 1." but only if it's rain or snow that's doing the falling (a falling object uses the verb ochiru). Another use for this form is questioning or confirming something already assumed.the plain.mise: a store. a shop iku: to go Lesson 19 Base 3 + deshou Even though deshou has already been mentioned in Lesson 14. Let's do a few more: • • • Raishuu watashi wa Kurashiki ni iku deshou. (I'll probably go to Kurashiki next week. so it is often omitted. please remember that Base 3 is actually the root or "dictionary" form of the verb -. As in English. Use it when you don't want to take full responsibility for an outcome. Please note that ka is not added at the end. Mama wa mise de banana o kau. as explained in Lesson 1. you should know which are ichidan and which are yodan. add it to kau (buy) in Mama wa mise de banana o kau and you have Mama wa mise de banana o kau deshou (Mom will probably buy some bananas at the store). unconjugated form used by kids or in very familiar situations. Watashi wa ringo o taberu. I thought it would be a nice and easy way to begin the Base 3 verb endings.) Kenji wa atarashii kuruma o kau deshou. means "to fall." For example. That's why you'll hear it used at the end of practically every sentence of a weather forecast in Japan. shown in the last example above.) Ashita wa ame (ga furu) deshou. (Kenji will probably buy a new car. But before we begin. This is an easy add-on which means "perhaps" or "probably. Base 3 + deshou is very handy when you aren't sure of something. isn't she?) Tomoko wa eigo no shukudai o suru deshou? (Tomoko will do her English homework. making the verb unnecessary. a rising intonation is used instead: • • • Osaka ni iku deshou? (You're going to Osaka. (It will probably rain tomorrow.) The verb furu.) Remember these examples? • • • • • Jim wa manga o yomu. the fact that the rain will fall is understood. Naomi wa terebi o miru. Not only should you be able to translate these. right?) Word Check raishuu: next week atarashii: new kuruma: car ashita: tomorrow ame: rain 40 . as we would use tag questions in English. Let's get back to deshou. Please review Lesson 1 if necessary. aren't you?) Sue wa kuru deshou? (Sue's coming.
) John wa sugu kuru hazu.) (Watashitachi wa) sukoshi yasumu hou ga ii. "would rather do. (We had better rest a little.) Hawaii no hou ga ii.way is good/better.) Anata wa motto eigo o benkyou suru hazu desu. As you gain experience in how these are used in natural conversation and literature you'll get a feel for them. (I'd rather get a dog." Examples: • • • (Watashi wa) kanojo ni denwa suru hou ga ii.) Inu no hou ga ii.) (Anata wa) motto nihongo o benkyou suru hou ga ii. (I'm supposed to go to Osaka.) Hazu can also be added to some conjugated forms: • • Bob mo ikitai hazu. (I'd rather have barbequed meat and vegetables. (Am I supposed to make Keiko study French?) While hazu can be used for "supposed to" in most straightforward situations as conveyed in the above examples. (You ought to study English more." etc.. (It would be better to go by train today.) (Watashi wa) Keiko ni furansugo o benkyou saseru hazu desu ka.) When showing personal preference." Actually. (I should call her. (It would be better to eat later. (I'd rather go to Hawaii. the hou means "way" or "method. (John should be coming soon. snow.. I hope to cover them in more detail later on.) eigo: the English language shukudai: homework Lesson 20 Base 3 + hazu desu When something is "supposed to be" or "ought to be. like ni natte iru or beki. you can skip the verb and use hou ga ii right after a noun with no: • • • Yakiniku no hou ga ii.) 41 . (Bob will probably also want to go. As usual. Lesson 21 Base 3 + hou ga ii This one is used for "should do". the fundamental differences between Japanese and English may cause you to run into some structures where something other than hazu is preferred." so when you use hou ga ii you're literally saying ".. (You should study Japanese more. practice makes perfect. "had better do".) Hou ga ii is especially fitting when expressing a preferred choice or method: • • • Kyou densha de iku hou ga ii.) Raishuu suru hou ga ii. we use the Base 3 form of the verb with hazu desu (polite) or hazu (plain) added on: • • • (Watashi wa) Osaka ni iku hazu desu.) Ato de taberu hou ga ii.furu: to fall (rain." and ii means "good" or "better. (It would be better to do it next week. etc.
only the component order is opposite in Japanese. watch 42 . I have yet to actually hear hou ga ii desu in daily conversation. (I'll ask him whether or not he can do it. prefer -. which makes it easier to catch than many other endings. frankly.) Inu wa ima tabetai ka dou ka mimashou. him dekiru: can.) Watashitachi wa iku ka dou ka mada wakarimasen.should do.should be. which was covered in Lesson 20.while hazu is more passive -. (Let's see if the dog wants to eat now. When you hear it. the sentence will usually end with hou ga ii. If there is any confusion between hou ga ii and hazu. Word Check kare: he. It's like using "whether or not" in English. but connects two phrases which contain verbs. but. (I don't know yet if we are going. to be able to kiku: to ask mada: not yet wakaru: to know. and according to the grammar books. to understand inu: dog ima: now taberu: to eat miru: to see." It's straightforward enough and easy to use: • • • Kare wa dekiru ka dou ka kikimashou. should happen. Word Check kanojo: she. just remember that hou ga ii is generally active -.As with most verb endings. her denwa suru: call (someone) on a telephone sukoshi: a little yasumu: to rest motto: more nihongo: the Japanese language benkyou suru: to study kyou: today densha: train iku: to go raishuu: next week suru: to do ato de: later taberu: to eat yakiniku: Japanese-style grilled meat with vegetables inu: dog Lesson 22 Base 3 + ka dou ka Ka dou ka is the Japanese equivalent of the English "whether or not.) As can be seen in the examples above. desu can be added to hou ga ii to make it more polite. look. The color coding used in the examples above should make this clear. ka dou ka does not end a sentence.
and familiar enough with the culture to know whether or not it's appropriate.) As you sharp ones have noticed. it is common for foreigners to slip when using kamo shirenai or kamo shiremasen and say "kamo shiranai" or "kamo shirimasen. (It might rain tomorrow. that you don't abbreviate it in this way until you are familiar enough with the language to make it sound natural. Actually (for those who appreciate the technical aspect of things). (Perhaps we'll get an e-mail from Bob tomorrow. denwa shimasu. Kamo shiremasen means "maybe. Word Check komban: this evening.) Because nai follows shiru (to know) after it has been changed to its Base 1 form for plain negative (shiranai). Simply put. this one is used frequently. tonight soto: outside kara: from Lesson 24 Base 3 + kara Kara is the often-used equivalent to our "because" or "since." Since this verb ending is rather long. the shire in this conjugation does come from shiru: it's its "conditional" Base 4 form.) 43 . people sometimes shorten it to just kamo. perhaps. (We may eat out tonight. and is conjugated accordingly. so please be careful when pronouncing. you can change it to the plain form nai if you don't need to be polite: • • Ashita ame ga furu kamo shirenai. (Jack may also come. so I'll call her.) Ashita yuki ga furu kamo shiremasen. meaning that.Lesson 23 Base 3 + kamo shiremasen Though a bit of a tongue twister. let's take umbrellas. (It might snow tomorrow. it is handled the same as an ichidan verb (please review Lesson 1 if necessary). so you'll want to master it right away. shirenai and shiremasen are the Base 1 and 2 forms of shireru with the plain negative nai or the polite negative masen added on. Therefore. however." It comes at the end of the phrase it modifies." These are incorrect.) I suggest. the reason or cause of the action: • • Tabun ame ga furu kara. (Maybe I'll go to Osaka next week.) Jack mo kuru kamo shiremasen. and because masen follows shiru after it has been changed to its Base 2 form for polite negative (shirimasen). when you say kamo shirenai or kamo shiremasen you are saying "cannot be known. this conjugation ends with the polite negative ending masen.) Beth wa itsumo okureru kara.) Komban watashitachi wa soto de taberu kamo shirenai. (Since it will probably rain." Let's look at a few examples: • • • Watashi wa raishuu Osaka ni iku kamo shiremasen. as in: • Ashita Bob kara e-mail ga kuru kamo. As such. kasa o motte ikimashou. yes. (Beth is always late. where it is converted to shireru (can know).
(I'm going to listen to music because I don't want to watch TV.) Keiko wa piano o yoku renshuu suru keredomo. home iya na: bad. no problem. grammatically speaking. just like English.) You may remember a different kara from Lesson 23. stuff ongaku: music kiku: to listen kanada: Canada gakkou: school eigo: the English language jouzu: be good at. snow. eigo ga jouzu desu. Japanese has many words that are written and pronounced the same as others while having a different meaning.) Suzuki-san no ie ni ikitakunai! Itsumo iya na mono o tabesaseru kara. heta desu.) motte iku: to take (something with you) itsumo: always okureru: to be late gyuunyuu: milk mise: store jisho: dictionary honya: bookstore ie: house.) Watashi wa Beth ni denwa suru. Let's look at a few examples: • • • • • Gyuunyuu ga nai kara. Let's try some examples: • • Kare wa nihongo o hanasu keredomo. Itsumo okureru kara. In this case. (I'm going to the bookstore because I want to buy a dictionary. (Keiko practices the piano a lot. Kara is very handy and can be used with many other verb forms and endings. you'll often hear the action stated first. Let's do this to the above examples: • • Kasa o motte ikimashou. disgusting mono: thing." so.) Kenji wa kanada no gakkou ni ikimashita kara. helping to make the study of languages the wonderfully complicated pain that it is! But. it comes between the contrasting phrases. honya ni ikimasu. which means "from. Suzuki's place because he always makes me eat nasty stuff. they each become separate sentences.In spoken Japanese. with its reason. so his English is good. signified by kara at the end. Again. it's used a lot. context and experience with sentence structure will eventually make it all very easy.) 44 . (We don't have any milk.) Ongaku o kikimasu. (He speaks Japanese. but he's not good at it. but she doesn't get any better. so I'm going to the store. (I don't want to go to Mr. (I'll call Beth because she's always late. mise ni ikimasu.) Jisho o kaitai kara. Word Check tabun: probably ame: rain furu: to fall (rain. jouzu ni narimasen. nasty." Just like English. as you can imagine. given after. (Let's take umbrellas since it'll probably rain. Terebi o mitakunai kara. Tabun ame ga furu kara. Like "but" in English. skilled Lesson 25 Base 3 + keredomo This one is used for "although" or "but. (Kenji went to a Canadian school. etc.
• Jack wa kenkou ni ki o tsukeru keredomo. "the thing of" is probably the closest you can get. no problem. First is koto. skilled (direct opposite of heta) . (If you need to review ichidan verbs with masu go back to Lesson 3. (Keiko can play the piano. But first. yoku byouki shimasu. Better than all this talk would be an example.) Finally." In this lesson it is shown in its polite form dekimasu. like reading in the sentence I like reading. he gets sick a lot. If you have to have a translation. in Japanese we do the same thing by adding koto after a plain verb form.) Keredomo is easy to master because you'll hear it used often. as well as its shorter forms.) Keiko wa piano o hiku koto ga dekimasu. Like our ing.no. (Remember studying "gerunds" in school?) Anyway. reading as a noun [gerund]) • Watashi wa yomu koto ga suki.) Ashita Jack wa Tokushima ni iku koto ga dekimasu. be sick Lesson 26 Base 3 + koto ga dekimasu Koto ga dekimasu is a long one. but dekiru is also fine when you don't need to be polite. a lot. (Although Jack is careful about his health..) The literal translation of the above example would be "I like the thing of reading. Just think of koto ga dekimasu as a set phrase. the verb dekiru means "can" or "be able to. and is added to the plain (Base 3) form of a verb to simply show ability to do that verb. It'll come.let's try some other endings on dekiru. keredo and kedo." Does this help? If not.. and see what happens: 45 .ni naru: to become (something) kenkou: health ki o tsukeru: to take care byouki suru: to get sick. (I like reading. (Jack can go to Tokushima tomorrow. in order to make this lesson as uncomplicated as possible. let's look at each part. Well. koto has no practical use by itself. I like reading as a thing to do. the particle ga is what you use to join koto and dekimasu. it really doesn't change the verb. Let's move on. for kicks -. unskilled yoku: (used before a verb) often. actually for review -. frequently renshuu suru: to practice jouzu: be good at something. Next. This is the mundane koto that gets lots of daily wear and tear changing Japanese verbs to nouns. not good at something. In English. (I can read Japanese. No. we add ing to make a noun out of a verb.) Now. Word Check nihongo: the Japanese language hanasu: to speak heta: be poor at. this isn't the well-known instrument of Japanese classical music. Here are some examples: • • • Watashi wa nihongo o yomu koto ga dekimasu. Watch carefully: yomu (to read) + koto (the thing of) = yomu koto (the thing of reading. it is added after the verb so that it can be used like a noun.
Kinou. Matsu koto ga dekimasu ka. it's a long ending for just "can. (John wasn't able to study yesterday. you can drop the suru and just add dekiru. (I can translate French into Japanese." It generally means intangible "things": ideas. meanings. Here are a couple more: • • Furansugo o nihongo ni honyaku dekimasu. but that'll have to wait until we get into the Base 4 endings. expressions.) Richard wa ika o taberu koto ga dekimasen deshita. After verbs you add koto ga before dekiru. dekiru or one of its forms can directly follow a noun as long as it's one that uses suru to change it to a verb.) Either way. It does not mean "thing" in money is a good thing to have.) Bob wa Junko ni denwa suru koto ga dekimashita." but please don't think that koto can mean any "thing. (I can't read French." but there are a few shortcuts and alternatives. "Bob wa Junko ni denwa suru koto ga dekimashita. With "suru verbs. essences. There is another word in Japanese which is used for physical things: mono. One last thing: I described the meaning of koto as "the thing of. It is generally not used for physical things or objects. There is a short alternative for other verbs. (Bob was able to call Junko. you can just omit suru. Again. but we'll have to save that one for a future lesson. and adding the suru makes it a verb. long or short. so instead of adding koto to make it a noun again (and long one).) And let's throw in one with a plain ending: • (one boy to another) Boku wa jitensha ni noru koto ga dekiru! (I can ride a bicycle!) Yes. John wa benkyou dekimasen deshita. in that case the suru is omitted. to be able to do something nihongo: the Japanese language hiku: to play (a stringed instrument) ashita: tomorrow iku: to go furansugo: the French language denwa: a telephone denwa suru: to call someone using a telephone ika: squid taberu: to eat boku: I (masculine familiar) jitensha: bicycle noru: to ride honyaku suru: to translate kinou: yesterday 46 . (Richard couldn't eat the squid. (Can you wait?) Word Check koto: the "thing" or idea of something done yomu: to read suki: to like something dekiru: can. actions." Denwa is a noun. etc. For example." like denwa suru used in one of the above examples. they're both used.• • • Watashi wa furansugo o yomu koto ga dekimasen." can be shortened to: "Bob wa Junko ni denwa dekimashita. but the shorter version is more common in daily conversation. It means "thing" as used in the sentence saving money is a good thing.
koto ni suru is the plain. Jones decided to prepare for tomorrow's math class.) Jones sensei wa ashita no suugaku no jugyou o junbi suru koto ni shimashita. It shows that you have made a decision.) suugaku: mathematics jugyou: a class or lesson in a particular subject junbi suru: to prepare mainichi: every day benkyou suru: to study Lesson 28 Base 3 + made This one is very easy. periods.benkyou suru: to study matsu: to wait Lesson 27 Base 3 + koto ni shimasu The ending koto ni shimasu has essentially the same meaning as the verb kimeru.) As in English." and is added after the plain form of a verb: • • • Yukiko wa kuru made taberu koto ga dekimasen. etc.) Shukudai ga owaru made terebi o misemasen. Made means "until. koto ni shimasu is the polite form.) Word Check kimeru: to decide kaimono ni iku: to go shopping sensei: teacher (used as a title to replace san. made may be used with nouns which refer to times. or seasons: • • • Yuushoku made machinasai.) Watashi wa mainichi nihongo o benkyou suru koto ni shimashita. (Mr. (We have to wait until Bob calls. (I'll go shopping tomorrow. (It'll probably be best to wait until spring. (I won't let you watch TV until you've finished your homework. Here are some polite present and past tense examples: • • • Watashi wa ashita kaimono ni iku koto ni shimasu. and it shows that the decision was yours. which was introduced long ago in Lesson 1. (It's two weeks until summer vacation.) 47 .) Natsu yasumi made ato ni shuu kan desu. As I'm sure you know by now. (I've decided to study Japanese every day.) Bob wa denwa suru made matanakereba narimasen. (Wait until dinner. (We can't eat until Yukiko comes.) Haru made matsu hou ga ii deshou.
In Lesson 10 we created short positive commands using Base 2 + nasai.Word Check matsu: to wait shukudai: homework owaru: to end. First.") ni: two shuu kan: a week. be finished terebi: TV miseru: to show. This is one that will probably not be used very often. watch (something) yuushoku: dinner natsu yasumi: summer vacation ato: after. you use it."don't do's" -. in (as in "It'll be spring in 2 months. It usually conveys displeasure or even anger. as with English. 48 . However. let's make the above examples negative: • • • Taberu na! (Don't eat!) Suwaru na! (Don't sit down!) Koko ni kuru na! (Don't come here!. Stay away from here!. be careful how. to let (someone) see. is the counterpart to Lesson 10. a week-long period haru: spring Lesson 29 Base 3 + na This.by simply adding na to plain (Base 3) verbs. but if you do. like: • • • Tabenasai! (Eat!) Suwarinasai! (Sit down!) Koko ni kinasai! (Come here!) In this lesson we will make short negative commands -. It is generally used as a "last resort" after more polite requests are tried and ignored. you could say. and to whom. it can be "softened" or used jokingly with the right intonation and facial expression. Stay away from me!) Now let's add a few more: • • • Terebi o miru na! (Don't watch TV!) Sawaru na! (Don't touch!) Enki suru na! (Don't put it off!) And two which are very useful to teachers in Japan: • • Shaberu na! (Don't talk!) Neru na! (Don't sleep!) This is a command form with no politeness whatsoever connected to it.
(If it rains we're sure to get wet.) yuushoku: dinner 49 . (If we hurry we'll be able to make the next train. We've all heard (here in Japan) of the gaijin who got on the train and asked if he could sit next to the girl. "Mind if I sit down?" when he actually asked. watch suwaru: to sit sawaru: to touch Note: Be careful with suwaru and sawaru! They are very similar and can be easily mistaken. kuru deshou. tsugi no densha ni noru koto ga dekimasu. (If he sees Yuko.) Ame ga furu nara. "Mind if I touch?" enki suru: to postpone. Japanese English.Word Check taberu: to eat miru: to look.) Kare wa Yuko o miru nara. he'll let me know. watashi ni shirasemasu.) Sooner or later you will run into naraba. (If the kids eat a snack now.sentences with "if. put off kuru: to come shaberu: to talk neru: to sleep gaijin: foreigner Lesson 30 Base 3 + nara This is one of several ways to make conditional sentences -." We've already covered negative conditionals in Lesson 15.) Kodomotachi wa ima sunakku o taberu nara. which is just a slight variation. yuushoku o tabenai deshou. but nara is more common. They are used the same way and mean the same thing.) John ni denwa suru nara. Word Check isogu: to hurry tsugi: next densha: train noru: to ride shiraseru: to notify nureru: to get wet kodomotachi: children ima: now sunakku: snack (This is wasei eigo. they probably won't eat dinner. He thought he said. Now let's use nara to make some positive ones: • • • • • Isogu nara. watashitachi wa nureru deshou. (If you call John he'll probably come.
there are no "relative pronouns. to offer very general. Please remember that no also has another job as the indicator for possessives. and is handled by the final verb. since he or she will surely be hearing both. a time. and deru (to leave) tells us what it will do." Ga indicates a subject within a phrase. especially in informal spoken Japanese.Lesson 31 Base 3 + (any noun) In English we have what are officially called relative pronouns. which is why I decided to leave it as it is in the example above. And. (That is Kimiko's umbrella.) Since this is natural Japanese. as I sit here and look at these four phrases. In Japanese. words that connect a noun to an action. (This is the dictionary I'll buy for my [younger] brother's birthday present. let's translate the first example at the top of the page: • Kore wa watashi no otouto no tanjoubi purezento ni kau jisho desu.) Now. watashi ga noru densha simply pinning it down as the "train I will take" or "my train. they are like: • • • which in "This is the dictionary which I'll buy for my brother's birthday present. a new learner may well ask: why ga after the subjects above. (My train leaves at eight o'clock." Of course." (This is why teaching about these pesky words and the grammar related to them is so difficult in Japan. If you can 50 . explanations. so I feel that the learner may as well get used to both. respectively.. For example. page. The watashi in the sentence is actually a part of the possessive pronoun watashi no (my). a "sub-subject. things I'd like to explain. as in Sore wa Kimiko no kasa desu. the watashi (I) telling who'll buy the dictionary is obviously understood as the speaker. watashi ga noru just gives us more information about the train. Let's look at these simple phrases: • • • • watashi ga noru densha (the train I'll take) kare ga iku tokoro (the place he'll go) kanojo no deru jikan (the time she'll leave) watashitachi ga au kyaku (the customer we'll meet) Now. or omit them completely when they can get away with it. like our 's. ga tells us who will take the train. I can see several things which need to be explained. which are examples involving a thing." that in "Spring is the season that brings new life. and therefore omitted. the entire phrase watashi ga noru densha above could be the subject in: Watashi ga noru densha wa hachi ji ni demasu. No is often used in place of ga." where in "Kobe is where she will take the exam. the way English grammar books used in the schools here are written gives you the impression that mastering all aspects and usages of relative pronouns is the most important thing one needs to learn about English. and a person. As a quick review. to make matters worse. But. densha (train) is the main subject. but can't without going off on a tangent which would warrant a completely new. that's another story. but hopefully sufficient for the present. or a noun which needs emphasis. and lengthy." you might say. Ga or no could be used here. back to the lesson: First. For example. a place. instead of the usual wa? Why no after kanojo instead of ga? Well. Continuing with the above example.) In this sentence..) All you do is simply add the noun in question to the plain form of the verb in question. like in the first example above. most native English speakers tend to simply use that for all of them. we'll go off on just a tiny tangent here: Wa indicates the main subject or topic of the whole sentence.
and vice versa. what applies to one doesn't necessarily apply to the other. produce. I've colored the main subject blue and the main verb red to help show how the Base 3 verb + noun relationship works. Kobe is a place.keep these things straight now it will really be a big help later. to cause to happen kisetsu: season 51 . I hope this lesson was clear enough. Please come back regularly to review as necessary. As you may have noticed. Tokoro and where are roughly equivalent here in only a grammatical sense. These "relative pronoun substitution" sentences can be difficult.) In this one. the English "where. and so it would most likely be omitted. One more point of interest is the word purezento here. which is yet another example of wasei eigo: words borrowed from English and twisted to serve in the Japanese language." but "the place" is redundant and unnecessary in English. automatically designates a place. both English and Japanese have their own set of rules concerning what and when something is unnecessary and can be omitted. (Spring is the season that brings new life. a truer English translation would be. a substitute noun must be used. guest otouto: younger brother tanjoubi: birthday purezento: a present shiken: examination ukeru: to receive. you must forget all the rules of the other. Finally. but since Japanese has no equivalent. so tokoro is used after the verb. semiaccurate rule. depart jikan: time au: to meet kyaku: customer.) This one is pretty straightforward. (Kobe is where she'll take the exam. "Kobe is the place where she'll take the exam. Now let's do the second example shown at the top of this page: • Kobe wa kanojo ga shiken o ukeru tokoro desu. to take a test haru: (the season of) spring atarashii: new inochi: life motarasu: to bring about. the last example from the top: • Haru wa atarashii inochi o motarasu kisetsu desu. and when trying to make sense of one." as a relative pronoun.to high-intermediate Japanese. Practice makes perfect! Word Check noru: to ride densha: train tokoro: a place deru: to leave. As you can see. As a general. English and Japanese are on opposite ends from each other on the "language spectrum". they do not mean the same thing. and shouldn't be too difficult. The problem is that the rules are totally different in each language. and are in the realm of mid.
(Mom buys/will buy bananas at the store. you put stress on the verb before no desu: • • • Ashita watashi wa Kyoto ni IKU no desu! (I AM going to Kyoto tomorrow!) Anta wa kono sashimi o TABERU no desu! (You WILL eat this raw fish!) Bokutachi no chiimu wa KATSU no desu! (Our team WILL win!) A variant of this is to leave out the no and instead attach an "n" sound onto the stressed verb. (Jim will read a comic book.) The meanings are the same as long as they're said using a regular.) Ojii-san wa sugu kaeru no desu.) Jim wa manga o yomimasu. (Mom buys/will buy bananas at the store. (Grandpa will return soon. it IS going to rain tomorrow. Word Check anta: familiar form of "you". (I tell you. like this: • • • Watashi wa IKUN desu! (I AM going!) Kanojo wa KURUN desu. etc. writhing.) Jim wa manga o yomu no desu. the level of emphasis can vary greatly depending on the situation. unexcited intonation. and the other is a way to make emphatic ones. However. (Jim will read a comic book. need. and may be fine-tuned by using certain voice inflections and facial expressions. Here are the examples used in Lesson 2: • • • Mama wa mise de banana o kaimasu. or habits of the speaker. Care must be taken with this because it can be considered rude in some situations. stomping around.Lesson 32 Base 3 + no desu There is two ways to look at this ending: one is simply another way to create polite sentences. fist pounding.) Ashita wa ame ga FURUN desu. Japanese English. (She IS coming. We have already learned how to use Base 2 + masu to make polite sentences way back in Lessons 2 and 3.) As in any other language. especially something you're sure of (or think you're sure of). (Grandpa will return soon. if you want to emphasize something. Now we will end these same sentences by using Base 3 with no desu instead: • • • Mama wa mise de banana o kau no desu. as well as supporting body language like hand waving. you need to review. If not.) katsu: to win 52 . sashimi: raw fish bokutachi: familiar form of "we" or "us" (boku + tachi) chiimu: team (This is wasei eigo.) Ojii-san wa sugu kaerimasu.) Remember these? I hope so.
) Please keep in mind that there is also a noni. (It takes quite a long time to learn all of the necessary kanji. There's nothing really tricky about it. Wa is the subject indicator. the characters which were adopted from the Chinese then modified to be used in modern Japanese subete: all oboeru: to learn. Takamatsu-yuki. Look at these examples: • • Yomu no wa tanoshii desu. meaning "in spite of. to cost (money): Kakaru actually has many meanings and uses.) Nihongo o hanasu no wa kantan desu.) Hitsuyou na kanji o subete oboeru no ni daibun jikan ga kakaru. specifically. Lesson 34 Base 3 + no wa Do you remember koto. Please consult a dictionary for more. Word Check kono: this tegami: letter okuru: to send ikura: how much? -yuki: bound for (This is added after the destination: Osaka-yuki.) 53 . where it helps to establish certain conditions concerning the verb in question. A look at some examples would probably be the best way to see how it works: • • • Kono tegami o okuru no ni ikura desu ka? (How much will it cost to send this letter?) Tokyo yuki no densha ni noru no ni asu hayaku okinakereba narimasen." which we will cover later on. essential kanji: Chinese characters. (Speaking Japanese is easy. which was introduced back in Lesson 26? The no in no wa plays the same role. (We'll have to get up early tomorrow in order to make the train for Tokyo. (Reading is enjoyable. get on (a mode of transportation) asu: tomorrow hayaku: early (quickly) okiru: to get up hitsuyou (na): necessary. it's usually found somewhere near the middle. remember daibun (or daibu): quite. except that instead of being found at the end of a sentence.Lesson 33 Base 3 + no ni No ni is added to plain verb forms to mean "in order to" (do whatever). rather.) densha: train noru: to ride. etc. and is the easiest way to make a noun out of a verb: yomu (to read) + no (wa) (the thing of) = yomu no wa ([the thing of] reading [is]). These are easy to keep straight when used in context. considerably jikan: time kakaru: to take (time).
what's the difference between node and kara? Good question. My grammar book says that node simply states a fact while kara emphasizes the reason. the best jisho: dictionary ao: blue aka: red hontou (ni): real(ly) mondai: problem nai: to not be. to not exist tabi: trip Lesson 35 Base 3 + node Back in Lesson 24 we met kara. and the one used with aru or nai to show the existence or non-existence of something. which is used to show reasons or causes. (A guest is coming so I can't go out now. and is therefore preferred when people are involved. For example. she'll probably find a good job. (Jim's dictionary is blue. impossible saikou: great. in the first example sentence above a person (the guest) is concerned. it could imply that the speaker would like to go out but can't because of an expected guest whose visit is not 54 . mine is red.• • • Hayaku okiru no wa tokidoki muzukashii desu. enjoyable hanasu: to speak kantan: easy tokidoki: sometimes muzukashii: hard. mainly the one used for possessives. like our 's. (Living on Mars is not yet possible.) Eiko wa eigo o hanasu koto ga dekiru node ii shigoto o mitsukeru deshou. (I have to get up early tomorrow so I'm going to bed early. In this lesson we will take a look at node.) Hawaii ni iku no wa saikou desu! (Going to Hawaii is great!) Please remember that there are other no's. boku no wa aka desu. still not fukanou: not possible. If kara was used instead. (It really was a problem-free trip. as in: • Jim no jisho wa ao de. From native speakers I have heard that node sounds "softer" and more polite. as in: • Hontou ni mondai no nai tabi deshita. (Since Eiko can speak English.) Ashita hayaku okiru node hayaku neru.) Kasei ni sumu no wa mada fukanou desu. difficult kasei: Mars sumu: to live mada: not yet.) So.). the greatest. and using node tells the listener(s) that there is respect and no displeasure regarding the visit. which is used for pretty much the same thing in pretty much the same way: • • • O-kyaku ga kuru node watashi wa ima deru koto ga dekimasen. (Getting up early is sometimes difficult.) Word Check tanoshii: fun.
Word Check o-kyaku: guest (Just kyaku is "guest" out of context. which is used to mean "in spite of": • • "Yamenasai" to iu noni.) Hayaku okita noni okureta. the o. Word Check yameru: to stop something. use node.") ima: now deru: go out ashita: tomorrow neru: to go to bed. In other words. It just depends on what you want to emphasize and the "feeling" you want to convey.) But remember that there's nothing grammatically wrong with using node here instead. to quit a job or habit iu: to say.) asoko: there. if you want to imply that a person is more than just a "reason" for something. to make efforts (Shita is the Base 7 form of suru. if you are talking about just a reason for something use kara. (Despite my telling her to stop. which is used for plain past structures. she won't listen. (It's going to rain tomorrow so I'm not going.prefix makes it "honorific. to heed advice okiru: to get up (Okita used in the example above is its Base 7 form. (I'm going to buy a dictionary because I don't have one.) annani: that much. (I was late even though I got up early.) Noni is also put at the end of sentences to express aggravation at an unexpected or undesirable outcome: • • Annani doryoku shita noni! (After all my efforts!) Asoko ni "iku na" to itta noni! (And after I told him not to go there!) Noni is used a lot. to sleep eigo: English hanasu: to speak ii: good shigoto: job mitsukeru: to find ame: rain Lesson 36 Base 3 + noni As promised in Lesson 33. so much doryoku suru: to work hard at something. as in: • • Jisho ga nai kara kaimasu.) kiku: to listen.exactly looked forward to.) okureru: to be late (This example also uses the Base 7 form.) Ashita ame ga furu kara ikimasen. tell (Itta used in the last example above is its Base 7 form [sometimes called the "ta form"]. kanojo wa kikimasen. to follow rules or orders. Keep an ear out for it and you'll catch it. this short lesson is about noni. for the plain past. over there (usually emphasizes distance) 55 .
tickets whose purpose is going to Hawaii.]) Kore wa nan no tame no kaigi? (What is the purpose of this meeting? [plain]) 56 . understand to be. Japanese German. (I heard that Kayo's going to start working parttime at a restaurant next week. that's right. For example: • • • Hiru kara ame ga furu sou desu. meaning "my part-time job I'm doing while going to school". It shows the thing which has the purpose of something.]) Hai. meaning "my regular job as a bona fide company employee". [Use no when putting a noun after tame. the Japanese will rarely use the equivalent Japanese hataraita. In this case. Hawaii ni iku tame no koukuuken desu.) Please remember that sou desu by itself has nothing to do with hearsay.) As you have probably guessed. in order to. Word Check hiru kara: from noon. Mom. (Okay. and a housewife will use paato (Japanized part from part-time). While most English speakers who are asked what they did the day before will answer "I worked" if they worked. talking down or very familiar]) Kore wa okaa-san no tame desu. (This is for you. as in "Hai. They use a noun geared to their type of job. (Hiroko's going to Osaka for an interview. (This is for you. and can also be used in various expressions with nouns. (I heard that Mr.) Nihongo o benkyou suru tame ni atarashii jisho o kaimashita. Japanese English." (Yes. A full-time employee will use shigoto.) Nyuujouken o kau tame ni daibun machimashita. sou da can be used when you don't feel like being polite.) Kayo wa raishuu kara resutoran de baito o hajimeru sou desu. [plain. which means "the job I do as a parttimer along with being a housewife." and is often followed by the optional ni. it usually means "for the purpose of.) baito: a part-time job (This is wasei doitsugo. rumors. here are your air tickets to Hawaii. It means "that's right" and often follows hai.) Tame is a very handy word. sou desu. Here are some popular ones: • • • • • Kimi no tame ni shimashita yo! (I did it for you! [very familiar]) Kore wa kimi no tame ni.Lesson 37 Base 3 + sou desu Use sou desu after Base 3 for things you've heard. (I bought a new dictionary to study Japanese. (I waited quite a while to buy tickets.) Takada-san wa yameru sou desu. in the (early) afternoon resutoran: restaurant (This is wasei eigo. etc. The actual word is arubaito." hajimeru: to begin Lesson 38 Base 3 + tame ni When you see tame. Takada's quitting. Take a look at these: • • • Hiroko wa mensetsu o ukeru tame ni Osaka ni ikimasu.) Note: An interesting "culture" exists in the use of work-related words in Japan. (I hear it's going to rain in the afternoon. but is more often than not shortened to baito. [The ni is deleted when the polite desu is added. a student will say baito.
(When summer comes the kids want to go to the beach. (I get sick whenever I eat raw fish.) Natsu ni naru to kodomotachi wa umi ni ikitakunarimasu. but it is not generally used.) Note that kaeru is left in its plain form. etc. or if. unchanging. sugu shukudai o shimashita. take (an exam) nyuujouken: an addmission ticket daibun: quite (a lot. or routine things: Ritsurin Park is always there. (I did my homework as soon as I got home.• Nan no tame no dougu? (What's this tool for? [very plain]) Tame is used a lot. that's pronounced "toh.) Please keep in mind that to is used in this sense to show absolute. 57 . receive. when. (Kimiko came with Bob. (If you go straight you'll see Ritsurin Park. When referring to the beach in Japanese.") It can mean and. (Remember. use umi. past occurrences: • Ie ni kaeru to. After a plain (Base 3) verb it is roughly the same as when or if. with. (Kimiko and Bob came to the birthday party. It can also be used to mean "soon after" in constructions which mention single. And here are sample sentences with to as and and with: • • Kimiko to Bob wa tanjou paateii ni kimashita.) Sashimi o taberu to byouki ni naru. the kids always want to go to the beach in the summer.) Word Check massugu: straight mieru: to be able to see (something) natsu: summer naru: to become kodomotachi: children umi: the sea Note: There is a Japanese word for beach (sunahama). Good luck with it! Word Check mensetsu: an interview ukeru: to get. have (an interview).) Kimiko wa Bob to kimashita. shukudai o suru is in the past tense. or even both: • • • Massugu iku to Ritsurin Kouen ga miemasu. a while) koukuuken: an air ticket nan/nani: what kaigi: a meeting dougu: a tool Lesson 39 Base 3 + to There are four basic uses for to.
) Kodomotachi wa umi ni ikitai to omou. and it did. as in the "I think it'll rain tomorrow" example above.ikitakunaru: to begin to feel like going (somewhere) Note: The above belongs to the branch of Base 2 + tai/taku (to want) endings which were covered in Lessons 7 and 8. to go/come back sugu: right away. to want to do. omou can be used for plain speech. The major difference is that deshou is used to show that you don't really know. Japan is a country where being reserved is a good thing. especially in the workplace. It's okay to have an opinion. sashimi: raw fish kaeru: to return. which was covered in Lesson 19. don't really care. meaning "come to want. this ending is a lot like deshou. like: • • Kyou densha de iku hou ga ii to omou. When promoting your own ideas or opinions.]) Kyou ame ga furu to omoimashita noni. but speaking as if you're dead sure about something is looked down on. Japanese English.) Kyou ame ga furu to omoimashita. 58 . It means simply "I think.) As you can see from the last examples. the other Base 2 endings also apply: • • • • Eiko wa eigo o hanasu koto ga dekiru to omoimasen.) Again. (I thought it would rain today [. of "party. or have some control. things you can do. Now that it's been explained. It's as simple as that. (I didn't think that Koji would be late. (I think Bob will come back at five o'clock. While not specifically covered. (I think Eiko can speak English.) Koji wa okureru to omoimasen deshita. People will use to omoimasu even when they know. care. (I thought/knew it would rain today [. Accordingly.) Ashita wa ame ga furu to omou. begin to want. to become to want to go. (I think it would be better to go by train today. I think it can be applied very easily: • • • • • Bob wa goji ni kaeru to omoimasu. takunaru puts tai and naru together." and shows that you admit that what you're talking about isn't a fact (even though it might be). (I think the kids want to go to the beach. Sasaki will call us soon. in Japan being reserved is a respected characteristic. while to omoimasu shows that you do know (to a certain degree). (I think it'll rain tomorrow. In the workplace you would always want to use to omoimasu concerning things you are responsible for because deshou would sound very irresponsible. and expected. (I think Koji will be late. using to omoimasu after plain verbs is one of the most socially acceptable. with the ku connector) + naru (to become) = ikitakunaru. (I think Ms.) Sasaki-san wa mou sugu kochira ni denwa suru to omou. omoimasu being simply its Base 2 form with polite masu added. but it didn't. to go) + taku (tai. soon shukudai: homework tanjou paateii: birthday party (Paateii is wasei eigo.) Eiko wa eigo o hanasu koto ga dekiru to omoimasu. To omoimasu can be used after some conjugations.]) In a way. (I don't think Eiko can speak English.) Koji wa okureru to omoimasu. or don't really have any control over something." Iki (Base 2 of iku.") Lesson 40 Base 3 + to omoimasu For better or worse.
(Keiko intends to go to Kyoto University. (I plan to be back by three o'clock.) daigaku: university Note: Unlike in the U. comes back) eigo: the English language hanasu: to speak okureru: to be late mou sugu: soon kochira: here. Word Check sanji: three o'clock (3:00) (san [three] + ji [time]) made ni: (do something) by (a certain time. towards me. especially in the winter when people talk about snow piling up: yuki ga tsumoru.) 59 . yes. You will. which means "to accumulate. In case you're wondering. that was a short one. add desu to make it polite. hairu: to go inside (a room). no! I meant to call Bob at five o'clock!) As usual. and other countries where the word college is used loosely. (It seems that Mary will be coming tomorrow. to join (a club) Lesson 42 Base 3 + you desu You desu after Base 3 verbs works like "seems to" in English: • Mary wa ashita kuru you desu. day. but you will never hear tsumoru (to intend) used. etc. technically speaking. While sounding alike. goes back. us Lesson 41 Base 3 + tsumori desu Base 3 plus tsumori is used to express an intention: • • • • Watashi wa sanji made ni kaeru tsumori. as you should know by now. Always use daigaku for university. Well. Deshita." used a lot.) Aa! Goji ni Bob ni denwa suru tsumori deshita! (Oh. to enter/enroll in (a school). College (karejji in romanized Japanese) is only used for junior colleges and vocational schools. tsumori is the Base 2 form of its plain form tsumoru. S. (I think Steve plans to go to Canada. however. is for past tense. in Japan it is never used when referring to a traditional four-year university. hear the other verb tsumoru. build up.Word Check omou: to think goji: five o'clock (5:00) (go [five] + ji [time]) kaeru: to return (intransitive: someone returns.) Keiko wa Kyoto Daigaku ni hairu tsumori desu. their meanings are completely different.) Steve wa Canada ni iku tsumori to omou. so please be careful not to confuse them.
2. that something is or will be. etc. "you look like an idiot. First. (It's going to rain [because it suddenly got dark outside and you can smell it coming]. sou desu means you heard." Word Check hiku: to play (the piano or other stringed instrument) dekiru: to be able to (do something) (If you need to review koto ga dekiru go to Lesson 26. Remember that Bases 1 through 5 basically follow the Japanese vowels in their alphabetical order : 1.) To be honest." If you watch TV or listen to young people talking you'll often hear baka mitai. (It looks like Sachiko is going to Canada. which is a kind of "catch all" for you/sou desu statements.) Ame ga furu you desu. a as in father EE. I might as well mention here that mitai can also be put after nouns to mean "looks like. said so]. o as in mode and that the verb changes to end with the vowel whose "base" it's of before anything is added to it. (There are some exceptions among the ichidan and irregular verbs. Simply put. Ame ga furu mitai would be heard often instead of either of the above examples." since that's the form you'll see when looking words up. let's borrow the tables used in Lesson 13 to review Bases 1 to 3. 4. Now. 5. (It looks like Ken can play the piano. directly or indirectly. while you desu means you sensed something is or will be: • • Ame ga furu sou desu. Also notice how the last letter of each "base" corresponds in order with the vowels outlined above. u as in mule EH. meaning "it's going to rain" (because someone said so or there are signs that it's going to). except those pesky troublemakers in Bases 1 and 2 of the ichidans and Base 1 of the irregulars: Yodan verbs: Base 1 kawa- Base 2 kai- Base 3 (plain form) kau Base 4 kae60 . e as in see OO. fool Lesson 43 Base 4 + ba After a long hike through many Base 3 verb forms." or "dictionary form.) mitai: it looks like. look at these tables and notice how the verbs change from their plain (Base 3) form. baka: idiot.) Ken wa piano o hiku koto ga dekiru you desu.. you desu is not really used that much in informal conversation. it's where you start. In its place you'll hear mitai a lot.) Think of Base 3 as the "root. AH.) You desu and sou desu (Lesson 37) are similar and sometimes easy to confuse. I think it's about time to start on Base 4. You change it into the other "bases" and add the endings or other stuff as necessary. Base 3 is the plain form of the verb.. 3.• • Sachiko wa Canada ni iku you desu. (It's going to rain [because the weatherman. and show what Base 4 looks like. e as in red OH.
Here. Base 4 + ba does the same thing for you while being shorter and simpler.]) This form of suggestion does not include the speaker. covered in Lesson 30? Well.) B: Sureba? (Why don't you? [Go ahead and call her.?": • • • Kyoto ni ikeba? (Why don't you go to Kyoto?) Shichiji han ni dereba? (Why don't you leave at 7:30?) A: Obaa-chan ni denwa shitai.. watashitachi wa nureru deshou. If you wanted to say "Why don't we go to Kyoto?" you would use mashou or something similar: Kyoto ni ikimashou ka? 61 . (If it rains we're sure to get wet. Here are the example sentences from Lesson 30. they probably won't eat dinner.) Kare wa Yuko o mireba. watashi ni shirasemasu. kuru deshou. he'll let me know. (If the kids eat a snack now. (If you call John he'll probably come. Do you remember Base 3 + nara. let's do a simple and useful conjugation. (If he sees Yuko.) John ni denwa sureba.arukaisogakasamatashinaasobayomakaeraIchidan verbs: arukiisogikashimachishiniasobiyomikaeri- aruku isogu kasu matsu shinu asobu yomu kaeru arukeisogekasemateshineasobeyomekaere- Base 1 tabeoboekimedekarimiIrregular verbs: Base 2 tabeoboekimedekarimi- Base 3 (plain form) taberu oboeru kimeru deru kariru miru Base 4 tabereoboerekimerederekariremire- Base 1 koshi- Base 2 kishi- Base 3 (plain form) kuru suru Base 4 kuresure- Now that we know how to make Base 4. it's the equivalent of "Why don't you.) Kodomotachi wa ima sunakku o tabereba. yuushoku o tabenai deshou.. tsugi no densha ni noru koto ga dekimasu.) Another use for this is to suggest doing something. (I want to call Grandma. (If we hurry we'll be able to make the next train. however.) Ame ga fureba. converted to Base 4 + ba: • • • • • Isogeba.
In those situations different constructions would be used. (It would be good if you played outside. (I wish we had gone to the park. (I think it would be good if we ate a light meal.very handy when you get used to it. soto de asobeba ii. and would not go over well when talking to superiors at work or anywhere where special respect is due..) Ima benkyou sureba ii.. yoi is not used with noni. yokatta. It's one of those things that feels okay in a grammatical sense but just isn't done.) Adding noni (covered briefly in Lesson 36) adds "in spite of the fact that" to ba ii. and therefore unnecessary in the sentence -. ba ii is for making suggestions or giving advice. (We want to watch TV.) Suteeki o chuumon sureba yokatta. In the actual situation the subject(s) would be implied and known to all concerned. quirky ii does not. Base 4 + ba gives you a conditional "if" meaning. (It'd be nice if you could come earlier. slightly disappointed: Motto hayaku kureba ii noni." as shown in these examples: • • • Soto de asobeba ii. (Even though it would be nice to play outside.Word Check shichiji han: 7:30 (shichi  + ji [hour. Ii is Japanese for "good. (I wish I had ordered the steak. no. (We should have come at 8:00. Please bear in mind that the above explanation applies to familiar settings. (The weather's nice.) Watashitachi wa karui shokuji o tabereba ii to omou.]) Naoko: Nanji ni kuru? (What time are you coming?) John: Goji goro. 62 . they both mean "good".) Naoko. (Around five.) Mom. (Now would be a good time to study. When showing regret for mistakes the past tense of yoi." and adding it to the Base 4 ba is a very easy way to convey the meaning "it would be good if. Adding noni shows your feelings regarding someone else's decision. [I still wish you would play outside.) • As you can see. However.) Kids: Terebi mitai. I trust that you are familiar with the wonderful convenience of being able to delete the subject when it is known. By this stage of Japanese study. While most adjectives in Japanese have a past tense. Yoi can be used with ba instead of ii: Ima benkyou sureba yoi is fine and sometimes used. is used after ba -. so it would be good to play outside.there is no such Japanese as ikatta. they are not completely interchangeable. as in these example conversations: • Mom: Tenki ga ii kara.) For those who may be wondering about the adjectives ii and yoi. and is usually used to show that you're bugged by someone or something not doing what you ask or wish. o'clock] + han [half]) Lesson 44 Base 4 + ba ii In this lesson we are actually going to cover three Base 4 endings: ba ii and its handy cousins ba ii noni and ba yokatta.) Kouen ni ikeba yokatta. especially when there's no chance of the decision being changed. I have done this with most of the examples on this page. As we learned in the last lesson. yes. Adding yokatta to Base + ba shows regret for a decision already made: • • • Hachiji ni kureba yokatta. in a slightly discouraged or angry voice: Soto de asobeba ii noni. like Base 3 + hou ga ii covered in Lesson 21 but not quite as strong.
hour]) goro: around (used with times and periods) motto: more hayaku: early (adjectival form of hayai [fast]) suteeki: beef steak (wasei eigo) chuumon suru: to place an order Lesson 45 Base 4 by itself: the plain imperative If you want to give orders without a hint of kindness." Word Check damaru: to be quiet yaru: to do (plain) hashiru: to run gambaru: to try hard. I remember when I first learned this one -.Word Check soto: outside ima: now benkyou suru: to study karui: (adj. It's simple: no subject or object needed. Simply put. if you look and act like you know what you're saying. and maybe even get into a fight.) terebi: TV nanji: what time (nan [what] + ji [time. to not give up Lesson 46 Base 4 + ru You are now going to learn one of the handiest verb forms in the book: Base 4 + ru. If you do. instead of the long Watashi wa iku koto ga dekiru (I can go) using Base 3 + koto ga dekiru. Or. just use Base 4. 63 . It shows ability to do something. Base 4 + ru is like a super shortcut to Base 3 + koto ga dekiru. just the Base 4 form of the verb yelled out: • • • Damare! (Shut up!) Ike! (Go!) Yare! (Do it!) One situation where it can be used without offense is when you are cheering for someone during a sports event. you will definitely become unpopular quickly. You wouldn't say sure for "do it" or mire for "look. please remember that this one only applies to yodan verbs. For example. a meal tenki: the weather (This is sometimes used with the honorific o-: otenki. you'll probably be thought of as someone who has only limited and unconventional language ability.) light shokuji: food. Actually. which was covered back in Lesson 26. There you will hear many yelling hashire! (Run!) or gambare! (Hang in there! / Go for it!) Finally. this is a form you really don't want to use.it was like opening a new door. You'll hear this form mostly while watching Japanese TV and movies. you can use Base 4 + ru and say the same thing with a much shorter expression: Watashi wa ikeru.
/ Watashi wa nihongo o yomeru. Base 4 + ru makes verbs end in eru. (Keiko can't play the piano. they can be treated like plain ichidans. (Keiko can play the piano. It's very. (Keiko can't play the violin. just like most ichidans. / Ashita Jack wa Tokushima ni ikeru.) raigetsu: next month Lesson 47 Base 4 + nai In the last lesson we saw how verbs in the Base 4 + ru "can do" plain form can be treated the same as Base 3 ichidan verbs ending in eru. And most of the other Base 3 endings or combinations which work with ichidans can be applied in the same way. Please keep in mind that while grammar books state that this is only to be used with yodan verbs. For example.) Keiko wa piano o hikenai. As such.) Ashita Jack wa Tokushima ni ikenai. you will hear taberemasen for "I can't eat it. (Keiko can play the piano. too. (I can't read Japanese.) Now. I only mention the above because they act just like ichidans in many ways. which was covered in Lesson 13. (He wasn't able to go to Osaka. this is wasei eigo.) Have you got it? Great! You should be able to see how this form will make life in Japanese easier. the "cannot do" plain form. let's take three examples from Lesson 26 and shorten them using Base 4 + ru: • • • Watashi wa nihongo o yomu koto ga dekimasu.) Please keep in mind that these are yodan verbs in Base 4 + nai.) These you'll just have to pick up as you go along.) Jack wa Tokushima ni ikemashita. In this lesson we will use Base 4 + nai. It made sense to me. (He might be able to go next month. Here we realize an important point -. (Jack can go to Tokushima tomorrow. there are many exceptions among the ichidans. [polite]) Keiko wa baiorin o hikemasen. and I hope it will make sense to you. Bases 1 and 2 are the same for ichidans. which makes the logic behind converting them easier to most people. you should know that the original sentences are more polite with the masu ending. No problem. (As you remember.Now. very useful. Let's take the same examples from the last lesson and change them to plain negative: • • • Watashi wa nihongo o yomenai.) Kare wa Osaka ni ikemasen deshita. Let's look at some possibilities using endings already learned: • • • • • Keiko wa piano o hikemasu. Word Check hiku: to play a stringed instrument baiorin: violin (Yes. / Keiko wa piano o hikeru. If it helps.) Keiko wa piano o hiku koto ga dekimasu. (Jack can't go to Tokushima tomorrow. you can pretend that we are converting ichidan verbs to Base 1 and adding nai for the plain negative ending. (Jack was able to go to Tokushima. We looked at some examples which use polite endings just as if they were ichidan verbs in Base 2 form." but you won't hear miremasen for "I can't see it. We can put the masu ending on the others and make them polite.) 64 . Take a good look.) Kare wa raigetsu ikeru kamo shiremasen. The irregulars kuru and suru cannot use this form." (There's a "set verb" for "able to see": mieru. (I can read Japanese.so important I'm going to underline it: Verbs in the Base 4 + ru form can be treated the same as Base 3 (plain) ichidan verbs.) Ashita Jack wa Tokushima ni iku koto ga dekimasu.
See how that works? As mentioned last time. As you may have guessed. you may wonder. I have yet to find grammatical verification for this. Word Check shichiji: seven o'clock au: to meet.) Again. (If you can go at seven o'clock you'll be able to meet Mark. but there are exceptions like taberenai (I can't eat it) and nerenai (I can't sleep). Base 4 + reba is used to express "if someone can": • • • Watashi wa nihongo o yomereba ii. energetic. (If I can sleep eight hours I'll probably feel better. as in Iketara iku yo (I'll go if I can). this form is mainly for yodans. to see (someone) hachi: eight jikan: hour neru: to sleep genki: healthy.) Jitensha ni norenakereba arukimashou. at first I thought I wouldn't do this one because it's really not used that often. So.) Word Check neru: to sleep koreru: to be able to come (This is a specialized verb. But then I decided to do it because there just might be parts of Japan where it's used more than in my neck of the woods. what do people use around here to express this? I usually hear Base 4 + tara. Here are two we've already covered: • Jack wa korenai deshou. there are other nai-related endings that will work here. (If you can't ride a bicycle let's walk. an example of which was included in the last lesson. (physically) well (adjective or noun) ni naru: to get/become (adjective or noun) 65 . so I do too.) Hachi jikan nerereba genki ni naru deshou.) noru: to ride aruku: to walk Lesson 48 Base 4 + reba To be frank. (Jack probably won't be able to come. but who cares? Everyone uses it. (It would be nice if I could read Japanese. this form is only meant for yodans. The negative companion to this is Base 4 + nakereba (if someone can't).) Shichiji ni ikereba Mark ni aeru. but there are exceptions like the last example above.
the fifth vowel in the Japanese "alphabetical order": ah. 66 .. I think we'll cover them all in this lesson.. First. oo.Lesson 49 Base 5 I'm afraid there isn't much you can do with Base 5. ee. oh. let's get out the tables from Lesson 43 and add Base 5 to them: Yodan verbs: Base 1 kawaarukaisogakasamatashinaasobayomakaeraIchidan verbs: Base 2 kaiarukiisogikashimachishiniasobiyomikaeri- Base 3 (plain form) kau aruku isogu kasu matsu shinu asobu yomu kaeru Base 4 kaearukeisogekasemateshineasobeyomekaere- Base 5 kaou arukou isogou kasou matou shinou asobou yomou kaerou Base 1 tabeoboekimedekarimiIrregular verbs: Base 2 tabeoboekimedekarimi- Base 3 (plain form) taberu oboeru kimeru deru kariru miru Base 4 tabereoboerekimerederekariremire- Base 5 tabeyou oboeyou kimeyou deyou kariyou miyou Base 1 koshi- Base 2 kishi- Base 3 (plain form) kuru suru Base 4 kuresure- Base 5 koyou shiyou As you can see. Looking over my list of Base 5 possibilities. so stretch it out a bit when you use it. I just made that up.) by changing verbs to end in an "oh" sound. Base 5 obediently follows the "vowel order rule" (Don't quote me. I saw four that I feel are somewhat useful. Also. eh. If you don't mind. in Base 5 the "oh" is elongated.
You probably won't hear any others unless you watch samurai dramas or talk with people who don't get out very often. (Shall we go?) Tabeyou ka.. (Maybe I'll watch TV.) ii: good aruku: to walk hikouki: airplane mieru: to be able to see (something) 67 . It'll give you the plain form for "let's do (something)." Ka na usually means the mind is pretty much made up. (Naoto tried to see the airplane. I'm sure you'll be able to get them memorized quickly. (I think I'll go shopping.. Word Check kaimono: shopping denwa suru: to call (on the telephone) tenki: the weather (The honorific prefix o is often added.) Terebi o miyou ka na.) Naoto wa hikouki o miyou to shimashita ga. but is converted as necessary: • • John wa koyou to suru to omou. (Let's go.Base 5 Alone The first handy thing needs no attachments. arukou ka na. (I think I'll walk today since the weather's nice.) Tabeyou. Use Base 5 when you don't need to be polite: • • • Ikou. (I wonder if I should call Bob. the drawn out ka naa means someone is still not sure: • • • • • Kaimono ni ikou ka na. miemasen deshita. (I wonder if I should go shopping.) Base 5 + ka Adding question-forming ka (Lesson 12) quickly changes these to suggestions: • • • Ikou ka. (Do you want to take a break?) Base 5 + ka na / ka naa This gives you the equivalent of "I wonder if I should.) These are the more useful Base 5 forms." Suru is shown plain.) Bob ni denwa shiyou ka naa.) Kaimono ni ikou ka naa." The polite form is Base 2 + mashou. which we already mastered back in Lesson 9. (Shall we eat?) Yasumou ka.) Base 5 + to suru This one is to express "try to do (something). (Let's take a break.) Kyou wa o-tenki ga ii kara.) Yasumou. but he couldn't. (Let's eat. (I think John will try to come.
but the yodans can be tricky and may take some time to memorize. Let's take a closer look: • Yodan verbs that end in a vowel + u. right? I still remember the headache I got trying to sort them out. nuu (to sew): replace the final u with tte -atte. like au (to meet). As you have most likely guessed. I have decided to begin the Te Form with it. Let's take a look at the tables and see how verbs change into the Te Form: Yodan verbs: Base 3 (plain form) kau aruku isogu kasu matsu shinu asobu yomu kaeru Ichidan verbs: Te Form katte aruite isoide kashite matte shinde asonde yonde kaette Base 3 (plain form) taberu oboeru kimeru deru kariru miru Irregular verbs: Te Form tabete oboete kimete dete karite mite Base 3 (plain form) kuru suru Te Form kite shite Those yodans look pretty scary. but there are also some that are "softened" to de instead. the Te Form changes verbs so they end in te. katte.Lesson 50 Te Form + kudasai Since kudasai is one of the most useful Te Form endings. But first we need to get a better look at this Te Form and see what it does to verbs. one that is indispensable for polite and proper speech. kau (to buy). 68 . Ichidan verbs are a snap because you just change the final ru to te. nutte.
Please remember that while most verbs that end in eru or iru are ichidans. tabete. yobu (to call out). Please note this one important exception: iku.shinde. not tsu)." "to lower (something). (Go ahead and eat. kiku (to listen). So when you say chotto matte kudasai. technically you're saying something like "Please bring yourself down to wait a bit for lowly. For practice let's use kuru (to come). it also puts the person you're talking to above yourself. katsu (to win): replace the final tsu with tte -matte. tonde. The Te Form of iku (to go) is itte.yonde..) 69 . tabete kudasai. hataraite." "to go down.aruite. (Wait. there are some yodan exceptions like the two used here. like isogu (to hurry).) Kore o kiite. the ichidans are easy and there are only the two irregulars. not iite. like asobu (to play). which was introduced back in Lesson 10. please eat. It's important because it's used a lot. tsutsunde.isoide. tsutsumu (to wrap): replace the final mu with nde -. like matsu (to wait). (Go ahead. keshite. yonde. The basic rule is simple: give each sound equal time. kiite.) Kudasai not only adds a "please"-like effect. (Come here. Yodan verbs that end in a vowel + su (i. (Won't you please come at six o'clock?) I must add here that verbs in the Te Form can also be used without kudasai or anything else for plain. When you start learning kanji. like kaeru (to return). kiku (to listen. (Please come at six o'clock. motsu (to hold). tsunaide. Yodan verbs that end in bu." etc.) Rokuji ni kite kudasai. depending on the tone of voice used. Adding masu or masen further softens it and gives the listener room to reply.) Chotto matte kudasai." There are several handy variations of kudasai. monde. These examples should clearly illustrate the possibilities: • • • • Rokuji ni kite kudasai. (Come at six o'clock. totte. (Cut this. kesu (to turn off. (Please wait a bit. (Please come at six o'clock. Yodan verbs that end in tsu. nuide. momu (to massage).) Kore o kitte. motte. and kiru (to cut). As you can see. tobu (to fly): replace the final bu with nde -asonde. (Will you please come at six o'clock? [polite]) Rokuji ni kite kudasaimasen ka. Kudasai itself is actually a mild command form used to ask or even tell someone to do something. (Listen to this. It means "under. tashite. and kitte: • • • Koko ni kite. kiite. you'll soon run into the very simple one from which kudasai was hatched. mild commands in familiar settings: • • • Rokuji ni kite.kashite.) Rokuji ni kite kudasaru? (Will you please come at six o'clock? [plain]) Rokuji ni kite kudasaimasu ka. but in Japanese we do.) In English we (thankfully) don't have to give any attention to double vowels or consonants.e. nugu (to take off [clothing or accessories]): replace the final gu with ide -. Yodan verbs that end in ru. toru (to take): replace the final ru with tte -kaette. shinu (to die): replace the final u with de -.• • • • • • • • Yodan verbs that end in ku. like kasu (to lend). We'll cover pronunciation a little later. like yomu (to read). The only yodan verb that ends in nu.) Douzo. Yodan verbs that end in mu. hairu (to enter). tasu (to add): replace the final su with shite -. to put out [a fire]). It combines the elements of its plain form kudasaru and the order-giving nasai. like aruku (to walk). humble me.) Matte. Now we'll add kudasai for a polite request: • • • Douzo. Put these three verbs into the Te Form and they become kite. tsunagu (to connect). to ask). katte. haitte. hataraku (to work): replace the final ku with ite -. Yodan verbs that end in gu.
a moment rokuji: six o'clock (roku [six] + ji [hour]) Lesson 51 Te Form + ageru In Lesson 50 we learned how kudasai means "to give (down to me). showing a "humbler" position. which are chosen depending on the situation. it works the same way with verbs in Te Form. Word Check douzo: go ahead chotto: a little." but kudasai is used with "me" and brings the giving direction down. while holding the tongue silently for a half second in the "T position" between syllables. I'll eat it for you. kudasai and ageru (made polite here with the Base 2 + masu ending) both work with a noun (a pen) as "give. and will work nicely in most cases. so that's what I've decided to call it throughout these lessons. (Tie Shizuka's shoelaces. and. while making each syllable as short as possible (Some Japanese make them so short they're barely discernible.) Tabetakunakereba.) In Japanese. (Please give me that pen. Remember to use agemasu in situations where politeness is needed. (Lend Bob your pen. to give (up to someone). 1 70 .) Shizuka no kutsu no himo o musunde agete. Please note that the Te Form is also sometimes called Base 6.) Ato de denwa shite ageru. showing that someone is going to do something for someone else." putting the receiver on a higher level than the giver.) Kono pen o agemasu. kudasai and ageru are the most basic and useful of them all. tabete ageru. giving each equal time while making them short. Finally. (If you don't want to eat it. whether or not he or she is in hearing range. you use the Te Form + kudasai. I believe that I have heard it referred to as the Te Form more often. it's a great convenience besides. as covered in the last lesson. However.) There are many more verbs and combinations that express "giving / doing for" in Japanese.). If you ask someone to do something for you. the position of the giver or receiver. to show respect. just like counting 1-2-3. you use the Te Form + ageru: • • • Matte ageru. (I'll give you this pen. and kitte: KEET-TEH. but when you want to state that you'll do something for someone. while ageru is used with "you" to take the giving direction up. as these examples show. (I'll wait for you. use agete — the Te Form of ageru with nothing attached — when asking someone to do something for someone else: • • Bob ni pen o kashite agete. (I'll call you later. verbs and their conjugations are truly 80% of the language. kiite: KEE-EE-TEH. as a general rule.The pronunciation goes like this: kite: KEE-TEH." Ageru also means "to give. Let's set aside the Te Form for a minute and confirm the kudasai / ageru relationship with these simple examples: • • Sono pen o kudasai.) As you can see." but it means "to raise. in cases where there's a third person. Now. The ability to omit understood subjects and objects not only helps to make this possible.
You never use it on yourself. the Japanese used in manga is no model for everyday Japanese. Just as the English used in R-rated American movies cannot be thought of as a model for everyday speech in daily conversation in mixed company in America or elsewhere. Itte goran nasai. I have received inquiries about the Te Form with yaru as an alternative for ageru. See for yourself. laces musubu: to tie. You will not make any friends or impress anyone (except negatively) if you were to use it in Japan. to exist]) yomu: to read tana: shelf ue ni: on/above (the top of) something shio: salt yo: (This is added to the end of sentences to emphasize something. but not in daily conversation except maybe among guys "talking tough. Mite goran nasai. It's for "talking down" to.) Word Check kiku: to ask denwa suru: to call (on the phone) sanjuu hachi: thirty-eight (38) kaite aru: is written (Te Form of kaku [to write] + aru [to be.) Tabete goran. to connect Notes 1. Yonde goran nasai.) Kouen no kouyou wa ima kirei yo. (Try calling Sanae. (Ask Bob and see what he says. (Taste it and see if you like it. which is used to prove a point. and goran nasai when proving you're right about something (or think you are): • • • • • • • Bob ni kiite goran. Go and see for yourself.) Mite goran.) Tana no ue ni shio ga aru yo.) Sanae ni denwa shite goran. Use goran by itself to ask someone to try something or look at something when you're not certain about the outcome." You use it to ask someone to try something. mild command-like sentences. (Take a look. (The autumn leaves in the park are beautiful now.) kouen: a park kouyou: autumn leaves ima: now kirei: beautiful. and showing contempt for others. usually in short. (There is salt on the shelf. Read it for yourself. string.Word Check sono: that kono: this ato de: later kutsu: shoe(s) himo: rope. (It says he's 38. Adding nasai gives it a stronger command element. Lesson 52 Te Form + goran nasai Goran literally means "to honorably take a look. It can be heard in Japanese manga (comics and cartoons) and samurai movies. Don't use it." It is disrespectful at best.) Kare wa sanjuu hachi to kaite aru. pretty 71 .
we can get away with using just "live" in English. (Bill is studying Japanese. [We are living in Takamatsu. it is even written this way -. Sunahama de asonde iru inu wa boku no desu. (I am here.").) Bill wa nihongo o benkyou shite iru. (I am walking.) Kinou nete imashita.) 72 .) Kyou terebi o mite imasen deshita.) Watashi wa aruite iru. Iru by itself is an ichidan verb meaning "to be. it can be conjugated as such and some of the other endings applied.]) It should be mentioned here that the Japanese use the past progressive tense much more than we use it in English. "What did you do last night?" and not "What were you doing last night?" In Japanese it's the opposite." and when connected to another verb using the Te Form means "to be doing (something). (She is eating sushi. (I'm reading the newspaper. which were covered in the Base 2 endings. Note how Japanese is more "grammatically true" than English in some cases. Even though living in a place is present and progressive. [Yesterday I was sleeping all day.) Another thing that needs to be mentioned about the Te Form + iru is that it is often "slurred" together. (He's not studying French. and provides an important grammatical base from which many other relevant forms can be made. (I was watching TV.in comics and novels where the writer wants to show characters using everyday conversational Japanese. and not shiru." but in Japanese we say shitte iru (literally. When you stop making this mistake you'll know that you're starting to think in Japanese. (We live in Takamatsu. (The kid [who is] playing tennis is Bob's [younger] sister.) These examples should help you get a good idea as to how this form works. This is probably the most used verb form of them all.) Karera wa zasshi o yonde iru. (Shizuko is eating.Lesson 53 Te Form + iru A verb's te form with iru is used to show present progressive tense. (I didn't watch TV today. these are polite endings and should be used in all but familiar settings.]) Shizuko wa tabete iru. the answer will be in the same tense: Terebi o mite imashita. [I wasn't watching TV today. "I'm knowing [it]. yonde iru (reading) will sound like yonderu. masen.with the i in iru omitted -. (They are reading a magazine.) Watashitachi wa Takamatsu ni sunde iru. (What were you doing last night?) Accordingly. Another easy slip for foreigners is the simple phrase "I know. As you already know. in a way.) Kanojo wa sushi o tabete iru. Because of this. Finally." When someone tries in English to dazzle us with some bit of information we've already heard. it is natural for foreigners to slip and directly translate that to sumu in Japanese. in English we would normally ask a person. we say "I know. Since iru is a plain ichidan verb. it works like English. and masen deshita. It's common to use the past progressive tense: Sakuban nani o shite imashita ka. but thankfully doesn't change according to the subject like English does. this form also plays a vital role in sentences where a relative pronoun would be used in English: • • Tennis o shite iru ko wa Bob no imouto desu. For example. In fact. when they really should use sunde iru. to exist. as in the fourth example above. like when using the verb sumu (to live [somewhere]). (The dog [that's] playing on the beach is mine.]) Kare wa furansugo o benkyou shite imasen. (Yesterday I slept all day." So. Let's review these through some Te Form examples: • • • • Watashi wa shimbun o yonde imasu. Especially important are masu. Look at these examples: • • • • • • • Watashi wa koko ni iru. mashita. For example.
) Karera wa zasshi o yonde inai. there is no single. simple word in Japanese for "girl" or "boy. (They aren't reading a magazine. to exist. imouto: little (younger) sister Note: In Japanese." As such. These can be shortened to ko in many situations. to do (something) ko: kid. ane for older sister. as a small child or animal does) inu: dog boku: I (familiar form used by males) Lesson 54 Te Form + inai As mentioned in the last lesson. (The child who isn't eating is Shizuko. First let's do some plain negative examples.) Remember to use masen for polite speech: 73 . which makes them present or past progressive. which are based on those used in the last lesson: • • • • • Sam wa koko ni inai. there may be times when this will not be appreciated if used in front of the parents. "to know" (shitte iru) should sound like SHEET-TEH-EERU or SHEET-TERU. Listening carefully becomes the best teacher here. (We don't live in Okayama. child Note: Strangely. but.) Tabete inai ko wa Shizuko desu. Word Check koko: here aruku: to walk karera: they zasshi: magazine sumu: to live (somewhere) nihongo: the Japanese language shiru: to know neru: to sleep furansugo: the French language sakuban: last night nani: what suru: to play a sport or game. and imouto for younger sister. different words are used for older siblings than younger ones: ani for older brother. there are many that can. so I'll tell you: "to play. iru is an ichidan verb meaning "to be. "woman-child" / "man-child").I know you're wondering. sunahama: beach asobu: to play (without any particular purpose or object. like "kid" in English. it can be changed into a negative and take the various negative Base 1 endings just like other verbs.) Watashitachi wa Okayama ni sunde inai. (Bill isn't studying Japanese.) Bill wa nihongo o benkyou shite inai. While there are some negative endings that can't be used when it's combined with the Te Form. We'll take a look at some useful negative forms of this in the next lesson." The correct way to say "girl" is onna no ko and "boy" is otoko no ko (literally. to do" (shite iru) should sound like SHTEH-EERU or SHTERU. (Sam's not here. otouto for younger brother.
" depending on the actual situation. (Seiko hasn't gone shopping yet." as in: • • • Watashi wa mada tabete inai. which were covered in the Base 1 endings: • • Kodomotachi wa benkyou shite inai deshou. which can be convenient at times. is the Ta Form of dekiru (can. (I'm not eating [now]. vague and troublesome at others. (The kids probably aren't studying. infinitive and progressive: • • • • • • • • Watashi wa ringo o tabenakatta. [plain]) Watashi wa tabete imasen. [polite]) Sono toki tabete inakatta. In either. [plain]) Sono toki tabete imasen deshita.) Bob wa benkyou shite inakattara yakyuu o suru koto ga dekita deshou. (I didn't eat an apple. (They aren't reading a magazine. and adding ra makes it conditional. (If they're not studying. "we could" could be "he could. (I wasn't eating then. (I didn't eat an apple. The last two above are good examples of this. [polite]) Bob wa benkyou shite inakereba yakyuu o suru koto ga dekiru deshou.) Please remember that Japanese lets you leave out the subject when it's understood (or thought to be). what are they doing?) Now I think it's time to introduce two other closely related negative endings. which were purposely not covered in the original Base 1 endings: nakatta and nakattara. (If Bob hadn't been studying we could have played baseball. Word Check sono: that toki: time yakyuu: baseball mada: yet (used with negatives) kaimono: shopping denwa suru: to telephone (someone) 74 . It's for asking questions. and goes especially well with plain ones.) Benkyou shite inakereba. to be able). nani o shite iru deshou ka. Another handy use for the Te Form + inai is to express "not yet.• • • Sam wa koko ni imasen. which appears in the last example. (I wasn't eating then. Please look at the following examples.) We can easily apply nai deshou and nakereba. present and past. We'll get into the Ta Form after covering the Te Form. To make the meaning perfectly clear. [plain]) Watashi wa ringo o tabemasen deshita.) Karera wa zasshi o yonde imasen. Nakatta is used for plain negative past. (I haven't eaten yet. (I'm not eating [now].) Watashitachi wa Okayama ni sunde imasen. we would have to add watashitachi wa or kare wa before yakyuu.) Seiko wa mada kaimono ni itte inai. carefully noting and confirming the differences between plain and polite. (Sam's not here. Dekita. [polite]) Watashi wa tabete inai.) Mada Yumi ni denwa shite inai no? (Haven't you called Yumi yet?) The no in the last example above plays the same role as ka. (If Bob wasn't studying we could play baseball. (We don't live in Okayama.
Lesson 55 Te Form + ita Since ita is the Ta Form of iru. Females usually use watashi or sometimes atashi. Put simply. here is the same conversation as it would actually sound: A: Kinou nani shiteta? (Whaja do yesterday?) B: Kaimono shiteta. upgrade ita to imashita. (Really? I was washing my car. (I went shopping. I decided to go ahead and cover it here. since it is not only a Te Form ending. Males usually use boku in familiar settings. [Really? I washed my car. Just for the fun of it.) That's real Japanese. (Bill was studying. Soshite terebi o mite ita.]) A: Hontou? Boku wa kuruma o aratte ita.at least those who are at a familiar enough level to use plain endings in the first place -. To illustrate this I have made up a short yet very natural conversation. and expresses the past progressive tense when added to verbs in the Te Form: • • • John wa terebi o mite ita. [I went shopping. (I was doing shopping. there are cases where it would sound odd if translated directly into English in the same tense and used that way. I include the usual English translation. (They were reading a magazine.) Karera wa zasshi o yonde ita. Also.]) Yes. They are important because they are used constantly in daily conversation. As I'm sure you know by now. and then what I believe would be the natural English actually used between native speakers in black: A: Kinou wa nani o shite ita? (What were you doing yesterday? [What did you do yesterday?]) B: Kaimono o shite ita.are going to speak so grammatically correct.) Bill wa benkyou shite ita. but no real friends or family members -. Word Check soshite: also hontou: really kuruma: car arau: to wash 75 .) A: Hontou? Boku kuruma aratteta. that's actually how Japanese speak of past everyday events with friends and family: the past progressive Te Form + ita is often used.) There were two points mentioned in Lesson 53 that we'll review here. but have added what would be the direct translation from Japanese in blue type. teenagers and old men occasionally use washi. ita is the plain past form of iru. Soshite terebi miteta. However. in settings where polite speech is called for. In fact. but also a much-used element of conversational Japanese. (John was watching TV. The second point is that in actual conversation the verb and ita are often jammed together. this would be two males speaking. (Really? I washed my car. The first is that in Japanese the past progressive tense is used much more than it is in English. I first thought I'd wait until we got into the Ta Form before introducing it. The above example conversation looks all proper when written.
Don't you remember?) (If necessary. Ken ni itte moratte." it will almost always be used with one of the masu endings.as itadakimasu.) This creates a very nice "may I humbly partake of your doing (something) for me" request. Actually being present in a situation where this stuff is being used helps a lot." When there's no need to be very polite. I realize that all of this sounds complicated.) This is a family situation. adding a masu ending makes it polite. it's not easy to define the full "essence" of itadaku in English. as covered in Lesson 50. Morau is okay when referring to other things. the rule of thumb is to make the request more polite as its level of difficulty or ridiculousness increases. Johnson?) O-namae o oshiete itadakemasu ka. No particular reservations are needed here. the important difference has to do with subject emphasis. even when the giver is not present. (I want you [Kimiko] to go to the store for me. While "I humbly partake" serves as a general translation and starting point. While kudasai and itadakimasu and their relevant forms are often interchangeable. (I had you [Murai-san] go to the bank for me last week.) As in English. 76 . one that conveys certain traditional cultural points. use morau instead of itadaku. Because itadaku is a very polite word. morau is not impolite. however. meaning something like "I humbly partake.Lesson 56 Te Form + itadaku / morau Please forget that itadaku is shown in its plain form in the title of this lesson. (I'm doing homework now. (Please review Lesson 46 if necessary. With kudasai. and it can also be used to show appreciation for favors received. However. As usual. Here are some examples. Itadakimasu! by itself is the standard salutation used in Japan before eating a meal. be gradually understood by osmosis as one gets accustomed to the culture of Japan. Also. (Won't you please call me tomorrow?) Kono shorui o kinyuu shite itadakemasen deshou ka. itadaku is often converted to Base 4 and masu ka added. (May I please have your name?) Niji ni kite itadakemasu ka. so all the plain forms are perfectly normal. but since we can't do that now. morau works best when talking about a third party. you automatically becomes the understood subject and you're asking "please give down to me. (Would you please come at two o'clock?) And here are a few more variations that are often used: • • • Ashita watashi ni denwa shite itadakemasen ka. The literal "humbly partake" nonsense will be replaced with a more natural English translation: • • • Johnson-san ni denwa shite itadakemasu ka. please review Lesson 16 concerning subject name use and suffixes. we'll look at some more examples: Mom: Kimiko: Kimiko ni mise ni itte moraitai. Make no mistake. It can. and it can be at times." With itadakimasu. The Te Form + itadaku can be used like the Te Form + kudasai to ask favors. Oboete imasen ka. but not quite as polite -. itadakimasu is always used with food. particularly giving and receiving and the levels occupied by giver and receiver. it's just plain.not as "respectful" -. (Could I possibly get you to fill out these forms?) Murai-san ni senshuu ginkou ni itte itadakimashita. I have always considered itadaku to be a "true Japanese" word. (Would you please call Mr. When asking for something in the workplace or other "non-familiar" settings.) Ima shukudai o shite iru. I automatically becomes the understood subject and you're saying "I humbly receive from you. and can be used when receiving or taking something from someone. Get Ken to go.
Ojii-chan ni itte moraimasu. office. If they belonged to a close-knit group that worked together every day by themselves they would probably use plain forms. (Did you get a pen?) Hai. I got one. (I'm doing homework now. (Sure. Traditionally. I'll get Grandpa to go. Kimiko: Grandpa: Pen moraimashita ka. (I want you [Kimiko] to go to the store for me.) This is the same family. each home. Moraimashita shows ample respect between these two. (I'll give you a pen. Shall I get Grandpa to go?) (not wanting to bother Grandpa) Ken ni itte moraou ka naa. even if all you're taking is a potato chip.) Kimiko and her grandfather are at a shopping center where they're handing out free pens. this would be the best way to go. and region will have its own "atmosphere" and certain unwritten rules pertaining to language use. if Grandpa deserves respect and is in earshot. Sales Clerk: Kimiko: Pen o agemasu. (I got one [already].) This is at the office.) Ima shukudai o shite iru. (May I please have your name?) Hai.) Itadakimashita.Mom: Kimiko: Mom: Kimiko: Kimiko ni mise ni itte moraitai. They probably don't see each other every day. company.) Here the sales clerk offers a free pen to Kimiko. Suzuki-san: Customer: O-namae o oshiete itadakemasu ka. itadakimashita is the nicest reply. Since the clerk represents the store that's giving them out.) Itadakimasu is always used with food. Murai go. moraimashita. It would be impossible to cover all the possibilities. (I wonder if I should get Ken to go. and these two are being courteous. but she already has one and doesn't want another. but this should cover the main questions and suffice as a guide. but note how verbs connected with Grandpa are made polite with masu. Ojii-chan ni itte moraimashou ka. Just like anywhere else.) (thinking that Grandpa needs to get out more) Ken wa ima inai. (Shall I go to the bank?) Murai-san ni itte moraimashita. (I had Ms. Mom: Everyone: Tabemashou! (Let's eat!) Itadakimasu! (I "humbly receive" this.) Customers are always treated like royalty and get the most polite forms. 77 . or they may be in an area where customers or clients are and want to make a good impression with their polite speech. Suzuki-san: Tanaka-san: Ginkou ni ikimashou ka. (Yes. (Ken's not here now.
) Shigoto ga owatte kara eiga o mi ni ikimashou. (Let's go see a movie after work.prefix is used with strangers. a job eiga: movie mi ni iku: go (and) see (This is the Base 2 form of miru [to see] with the directional indicator ni and iku [to go]. Word Check kaeru: to return. (Let's eat after Naomi comes back. (Let's play baseball after school['s over].) Please also remember that there's another kara that means "because" which is used with Base 3 (Lesson 24) and the Ta Form (coming later). such as summer to mean "after summer.. (After I eat I'm going shopping. With nouns that require the active participation of the subject. to play (games or sports) shigoto: work (noun).) Naomi ga kaette kara tabemashou.) Please keep in mind that this one only works after verbs in the Te Form. Simple and useful." There are other ways to do that. etc. you just make them the subject/object with ga..Word Check namae: name (The honorific o. to be over gakkou: school yakyuu: baseball yaru: to do (plain). which means "to finish": • • Gakkou ga owatte kara yakyuu o yarou. to come home owaru: to end. such as those two common ones work and school." as in: • • • Tabete kara kaimono ni iku. tell shorui: forms.) John wa shukudai o shite kara kuru. the Te Form + kara means "after (doing something). You can't use it directly after nouns. customers. (John's coming over after he does his homework.) 78 .) oshieru: to teach.. documents. then add the Te Form of owaru. paperwork kinyuu suru: to fill out (forms) senshuu: last week ginkou: bank oboeru: remember mise: store shukudai: homework ima: now Lesson 57 Te Form + kara This one's a snap. clients.
with matsu: to wait 79 . which literally means "Oh. (Won't you please let me take a break?) Watashitachi to issho ni kite kurenai no. you'll see what I mean. (You could say that it takes all the "please" out of kureru. (Please come here. depending on intonation.Lesson 58 Te Form + kureru In Lesson 50 we did kudasai. and it's used constantly in familiar daily conversation when rank or greatness doesn't need to be worried about. a verb in Te Form with nothing after it can sound nicer than with kure. to teach heya: a room souji suru: to clean kyuukei suru: to take a break issho ni: together.) There may not be a big difference between kudasaimashita and kuremashita. This is also often used as a way to confirm something which appears to be obvious but wasn't expected. (Will you please tell me your phone number?) Ritsuko wa heya o souji shite kuremashita. Kureru is used in generally the same way. are you kindly going to pay for mine?" When using kureru without no for a sincere request. (Please wait. In fact. ogotte kureru no?. Let's plug kureru into some example sentences: • • Rokuji ni kite kureru? (Will you please come at six o'clock?) Jitensha o kashite kureru? (Would you please loan me your bicycle?) You'll hear plain kureru after the Te Form a lot. (Ritsuko kindly cleaned the room. especially one that's already been turned down: • • Kyuukei sasete kurenai ka. this is the "command" form of kureru. and works great when talking to colleagues or about others: • • Denwa bangou o oshiete kuremasu ka. Again. but I wouldn't use it on my boss or the emperor when he's in town.) Use plain negative nai for an urgent. you might say Ah. A masu ending always makes verbs sound nicer. Some people add the question-forming no on the end. it’s customary to say kureru with a rising "pretty please" kind of intonation. This is the simplest way to ask a favor. After watching enough Japanese TV or movies.) Matte kure. Word Check jitensha: a bicycle kasu: to lend ogoru: to treat (someone) to a meal denwa bangou: telephone number oshieru: to tell. repeated request.) And finally. (Won't you please come with us?) (Kurenai no is softer than kurenai ka. For example. the polite "please" or "kindly" used for favors requested or received. and it would be offensive in some cases. but there is a huge difference between kudasai and kure. if someone appears to be getting ready to pay for your lunch (and you don't mind).) I recommend avoiding this one until you get a feel for its various nuances according to intonation used. It's good for family members and close friends. the "kure command": • • Kite kure.
) Doubutsuen no tora o mi ni ikimashita. combined with sha: person) fueru: to increase omou: to think (used after to to mean "[I] think that.) shiraberu: to check (something). to examine. dreams. kuru and iku mean "to come" and "to go. (Let's go eat Chinese food. One very good example of this form being used to express a physical going and coming is itte kuru.) PC wa yasuku natte iku deshou. inexpensive. Just as kuru and iku mean to come to or leave a given place.) Word Check sukoshi zutsu: little by little nihongo: the Japanese language wakaru: to understand doitsu: Germany rekishi: history benkyou suru: to study yasuku naru: to become less expensive (yasui (adj.) As can be seen.): cheap.) Kyoukasho o kari ni kimashita. We'll finish up with a few examples of these: • • • • Chuuka ryouri o tabe ni ikimashou. to grow) sono tame: due to that shiyousha: user (shiyou suru: to use." (If you say just ikimasu.) Accordingly.Lesson 59 Te Form + kuru / iku As you already know. etc.) Sono tame. I think that the number of PC users will increase. which emphasize the purpose in going or coming. (Please come over [sometime]. assumptions." it's considered unlucky because it will be interpreted as "going away and not coming back. (I'll go check it [then come back].) Shirabete kuru." Usually upgraded with masu. asobi ni kite kudasai. PC no shiyousha ga fuete iku to omou.. (I ate before coming over. to look up (as in a dictionary or telephone book) chuuka ryouri: Chinese food 80 . after the Te Form they can also mean to come up to or start from a given time. while iku takes off from the present or another point in time. but should be easily understood. (PCs will most likely get less and less expensive. expresses future plans. Itte kimasu! is the traditional expression one uses when going out.." but when used after the Te Form they take on a whole new dimension which may have nothing to do with physical movement. (Because of that. These were not covered in the Base 2 lessons. the literal equivalent of "I'm going. people will sometimes use this to ask others where they went: Doko e itte kita? (Where did you go [and come back from]?) Other simple examples of this are: • • Tabete kita." See Lesson 40. (I went to see the tiger in the zoo. the Te Form + kuru points to results or events leading up to the present or another point in time.) Doitsu no rekishi o benkyou shite kimashita. the Te Form of "to go" followed by "to come. Notice how kuru comes up to a point and iku takes off or continues from one: • • • • Ron wa sukoshi zutsu nihongo ga wakatte kimashita. and means exactly what it's supposed to: "I'm going out and coming back.) Please be careful not to confuse these with Base 2 + ni kuru / ni iku.) Douzo." so avoid saying that unless you really mean it. combined with naru: to become. (Little by little Ron came to understand Japanese. (I have been studying German history. (I came to borrow a textbook.
but he wasn't in. There are several "set combinations" where it is used. (I tried calling him.) Kare ni denwa shite mimashita ga. but don't take it literally. go ahead asobu: to play. you can use it like an adjective by adding something from the desu group after it: Bob wa ima rusu desu. It's one of those words that reside on the pile of irregulars. Either way. you can use it as a verb if you add ni suru after it. In Japanese grammar. (Let's give this new PC a try. For example." but technically it's not one of those either. to speak to (someone) denwa suru: to telephone (someone) rusu: to be out Note: Rusu looks and acts like a verb. to enjoy oneself Note: asobi ni kuru is a set phrase used to invite someone "to come for a pleasure visit. it acts like a "quasi adjective. The word ryouri by itself means a certain type of cooking. use the country name chuugoku followed by the possessive no.) Word Check kanji: Chinese characters adapted for use in writing Japanese yomu: to read atarashii: new tsukau: to use taberu: to eat hanasu: to talk. In English we sometimes say "I'll see if I can. Lesson 60 Te Form + miru As you know. as in chuugoku no rekishi (Chinese history).) Kono atarashii PC o tsukatte miyou. but when uncertain. or cuisine.Note: Please don't assume that chuuka can be used to mean "Chinese" in general." You may hear it often..) Sushi o tabete minai no? (Won't you try some sushi?) John ni hanashite mimasu. doubutsuen: zoo tora: tiger miru: to see kyoukasho: textbook kariru: to borrow douzo: please. (I'll try to read these kanji. the meaning is the same: "Bob's not in now. which can also be converted to suit the needs of the occasion: • • • • • Kono kanji o yonde miru.. to entertain oneself. food." 81 . with its own set phrases. miru means "to see. Or. Most of the time it is just a polite nothing. as in Bob wa ima rusu ni shite imasu. Well." meaning that we'll give something a try. (I'll try to talk to John. rusu deshita. made obvious by having no date or time attached to it. and adding miru.. but it's not." which makes this one easy to remember. you can do the same thing in Japanese by putting the verb you want to try in the Te Form.
Lesson 61 Te Form + mo ii
This one is used to ask or give permission. We have already looked at ii in other verb forms and combinations (Lessons 21 and 44), so you should be a little familiar with it. It's an adjective which means "good," "fine," "okay," etc. The mo after a verb in its Te Form means something like "if (someone) were to...." Accordingly, adding the ii makes it "if (someone) were to (do something) it would be okay," "it's okay if (someone does something)," etc., as in:
• • •
Boku no PC o tsukatte mo ii yo. (You can use my PC.) Gohan o tabete kara terebi o mite mo ii. (You can watch TV after you've eaten your dinner.) Jisho o karite mo ii? (Can I borrow your dictionary?)
There are a couple of things the grammar books won't tell you. The ones I have checked give you the impression that desu is used after ii to make it polite. Yes, that is the way it works grammatically, as with all adjectives, but I've never heard desu by itself used after ii for a polite, positive response. There's usually something else added on, like yo: ii desu yo (Sure you can...); or ka: ii desu ka (May I...?). In the workplace, ii is often upgraded to the more formal yoroshii, a word you'll hear a lot if you watch the samurai dramas:
Raishuu no getsuyoubi o yasunde mo yoroshii desu ka. (May I take off next Monday?) Kyou, hayaku kaette mo yoroshii. (You may go home early today.)
You'll really sound like you're talking down to people if you use this to give permission, so I'd advise avoiding it unless you're a big boss or want to pretend you're one. As with most Japanese, however, the right intonation with desu yo after it can soften it for more informal use. Another handy thing to know is that it's perfectly okay to omit the mo in familiar conversation:
Watashi no jisho o tsukatte ii yo. (Sure, you can use my dictionary.) Hai, terebi mite ii. (Yeah, you can watch TV.)
(Yes, you can also get away with omitting particles, like the object indicator o, in familiar situations as in the last example above. As I've probably mentioned before, Japanese is much more forgiving and "grammatically unfussy" than English.) Now, I said above that I've never heard desu used by itself after ii for a polite, positive reply. It is used a lot, however, but has a different and negative meaning. If you hear people arguing, you may hear an II desu yelled out by one of the arguers. In this expression, the ii is always yelled much louder than the desu. Sometimes you may hear a long mou before the ii: mou II desu. Either way, it's equivalent to our "Enough already! Just forget it!" Word Check boku: I (used only by males in familiar settings) tsukau: to use yo: You bet I mean that... (...or something like that. It's added to the end of sentences for overall emphasis.) gohan: food Note: Gohan actually means "cooked rice," but is often used to loosely mean "food," especially "a meal" in general. When the time of day can be guessed, gohan will usually be used instead of the words for "breakfast," "lunch," or "dinner": Bokutachi wa shichiji ni kaette, gohan o tabeta. (We got back at seven, then ate a meal [=dinner]).
jisho: dictionary kariru: to borrow raishuu: next week getsuyoubi: Monday yasumu: to rest; to take a break; to have time off from work (of a short or long duration) kyou: today hayaku: quickly kaeru: to go home; to return
Lesson 62 Te Form + oku
By itself, oku means "to put," but after a verb in the Te Form it means "will certainly do (that verb)," or "will go ahead and do (that verb)." There isn't a whole lot of difference between shite oku and plain old suru to express "will do," but shite oku, or any verb in the Te Form with oku, expresses the fact that someone will definitely do that something right away or in the very near future. Also, it is normally used for things which can be done in a relatively short amount of time. It can even be used in the past tense to state that you went ahead and did something. It isn't used in the negative; we don't use it to say that we won't or didn't do something. Remember to convert oku to Base 2 with a masu ending to make it polite. All right. We've got all that talk out of the way, so let's make some sentences:
• • • • •
Ron ni denwa shite oku. (I'll call Ron.) Mado o akete oku. (I'll open the window.) Kasa o katte okimasu. (I'm going to buy an umbrella.) Kanojo ni ki o tsukeru you ni itte okimasu. (I'll tell her to be careful.) Shukudai o shite okimashita. (I [went ahead and] did my homework.)
Again, when not following a verb in the Te Form, oku means "to put," as in: Hon wa, tsukue no ue ni oite kudasai (Please put the books on the desk), so please don't confuse them. Word Check oku: to put mado: window akeru: to open kasa: umbrella kau: to buy kanojo: she, her; (a steady) girlfriend ki o tsukeru: to be careful; to take care Note: Ki is a noun with many meanings, like "heart," "mind," and "energy." In this idiom it means "attention." Tsukeru means "to attach" or "apply," so the overall meaning becomes clear: to pay attention; to be careful. You'll hear it often. you ni: in order to; in order that; for (a certain purpose or result); so (something will take effect or happen) iu: to say; to tell shukudai: homework hon: book(s) tsukue: desk (no) ue: the top (of something)
Lesson 63 Te Form + shimau
Shimau alone means "to finish" or "put away (something)," and it retains the same general meaning when combined with a verb in the Te Form, pointing towards the completion of a task. Since shimau is a standard verb, you can also conjugate it in a dozen different ways. A few examples are:
• • •
Shukudai o shite shimaimashou. (Let's finish up our homework.) Choushoku o tabete shimaimashita. (I've finished eating breakfast.) Heya o souji shite shimau hou ga ii yo. (You should finish cleaning up your room.)
One other role that this Te Form + shimau plays is to express the doing of something which was hard to decide to do, doing something unexpected, or the happening of something unexpected:
• • •
Kuruma o katte shimaimashita. (I bought a car.) Bob wa ude no hone o orete shimaimashita. (Bob broke his arm.) Kanojo wa Osaka ni itte shimaimashita. (She [up and] went to Osaka.)
And that's not all. Shimau is also used for expressing concern about the possibility of something negative happening and/or the dismay at finding out that something negative happened:
• • • •
Watashi no fuku wa yogorete shimau! (My clothes'll get dirty!) Ah! Fuku wa yogorete shimaimashita. (Oh, no! My clothes got dirty.) Densha ni noriokurete shimau yo! (We'll miss the train!) Ah! Kippu wa nakushite shimaimashita! (Oh, no! I lost my ticket!)
Finally, I guess I'll mention that in everyday, familiar settings a "slang" form of shimau is often used. I'll confess that at first I decided to leave this point out because I felt that it would just complicate things, but then one of my readers mentioned it, which made me think it over again; and, since it is used a lot, I've decided to go ahead with it. It's "chau," and, borrowing two examples from above, it sounds like this:
Densha ni noriokuretchau yo! (We'll miss the train!) Ah! Kippu wa nakuschaimashita! (Oh, no! I lost my ticket!)
Yes, this slang form takes the hite out of shite and really compresses things: shite + chau = schau. The others are: -te + chau = -tchau and -nde + chau = -njau. Again, I realize that this complicates things, which is why I advise not even thinking about it until you've been learning Japanese for a while and feel comfortable with the old standard shimau and its uses. Also, I should mention that the last example above is a bit unnatural -- grammatically fine (in a slangy kind of way), just unnatural -- because you've got the slang with a polite masu ending. The way to make this natural would be to put it in the plain past Ta Form: nakuschatta! We'll be getting into the Ta Form soon. Word Check shimau: to put away; to finish choushoku: breakfast heya: a room souji suru: to clean kuruma: car ude: arm hone: bone oreru: to break
" fuku: clothes yogoreru: to get dirty densha: train noriokureru: to miss (a mode of scheduled transportation. When placed after the Te Form with wa. ikemasen or ikenai point to what's forbidden before the temptation arises: • • • Shashin o totte wa ikemasen. If you break a bone in Japanese. You can't just say "I broke my arm. etc. Word Check ima: now chuushoku: lunch taberu: to eat ashita: tomorrow iku: to go atarashii: new terebi: TV (wasei eigo created from "television") kau: to buy Lesson 65 Te Form + wa ikemasen Polite ikemasen or plain ikenai are used alone to mean "Don't do that!". if you're going to use it in this way. You can say dou ka. do not add the plain. You can omit the desu ka for plain. "You mustn't do that!". everyday setting. used in a normal.) Okurete wa ikemasen yo. but not ikaga ka.these don't use it. familiar talk. especially ikenai. questionforming no -. (How about having lunch now?) Ashita Ritsurin Kouen ni itte wa ikaga desu ka.) kippu: ticket (usually for a train or other type of ride) nakusu: to lose (something) Lesson 64 Te Form + wa ikaga / dou desu ka These are a couple of simple ways to say "How about (doing something)?": • • • Ima chuushoku o tabete wa ikaga desu ka. dou ka is not really used that often after -te wa. put in the desu: Ikaga desu ka and Dou desu ka sound so much better.) Actually. (You can't take pictures. and you're bound to hear either of these. at the very end make the intonation fall a little then return. you have to include the word hone (bone) in the expression.) Boku no PC o sawatte wa ikenai! (Don't touch my PC!) 85 . but I doubt that you'll ever hear it. If you do. polite. (What do you think about buying a new TV?) These are. This is a compound from the verbs noru [to ride] and okureru [to be late]. but usually alone. Just go to a shopping center where mothers and kids are together." you have to say "I broke my arm's bone. (Well. (Don't be late. meaning "What do you think?" or "How is it going?" However. you can say it. (What do you think about going to Ritsurin Park tomorrow?) Atarashii terebi o katte wa dou desu ka. of course. "Naughty!". Instead.Note: Here we must give English the nod for being smart.
ikenai will often be put into a dialectal form. hachiji ni ie o demashita. to make it even more colorful. chances are good that you'll have the opportunity to learn a new way to say this. to take (steal) something from someone. only the final verb is conjugated to give the intended meaning. A very popular substitute for -te wa ikenai in familiar settings is -te wa dame (-tcha dame). there are actions that use take in English but not toru in Japanese. some simple ones. no! Kimiko forgot to take her umbrella!) Getting back to -te wa ikenai / ikemasen. like ikan (Takamatsu). to carry away (This is a combination of motsu [to hold] and iku [to go]. like "take a bath. Word Check shashin: a photograph toru: to take Note: The verb toru has many different usages. kaimono ni ikanakereba narimasen. there are other ways to say the same thing that you may hear. In fact. because tooru is a totally different vowel. then go shopping. So. plain ikenai will be heard more often than ikemasen. and left home at eight. heya o katazukete.." so please don't assume that toru can be used universally for take. However. (Because of this it is often just written in hiragana these days.) As you can see.. the kanji used for each meaning are different. choushoku o tabete.) Be careful not to elongate the o in toru when pronouncing it. iken (Okayama). and a more formal one is -te wa naranai / narimasen. many which parallel its English counterpart: to take something from a place or person.) Lesson 66 Te Form for Continuing Statements Let's wrap up the Te Form with one of its basic and very convenient uses: talking about multiple or further actions. First. etc. if you move to a new area or make a new friend from one. Also. (I got up at seven o'clock. which is easy to do.Since statements like these are mainly used in familiar situations. when a conjugation applies to all verbs in a construction." okureru: to be late boku no: my (male familiar) sawaru: to touch joushaken: a train ticket wasureru: to forget kasa: umbrella motte iku: to take (something away with you or for someone else to do so). straighten up the room. the ones preceding it in the Te Form will automatically assume the same conjugation. no! I forgot my ticket!) Ikenai! Kimiko wa kasa o motte iku koto o wasuremashita! (Oh.) Also. meaning "to pass (by/over something). ate breakfast. the -te wa element is often "crushed" into a colloquial form that sounds like "-tcha": Boku no PC o sawatcha ikenai! Also." in the Japanese version of the Ten Commandments in the Old Testament is translated (-te) wa naranai. so keep that in mind when you start studying kanji. to take a picture with a camera.) Kesa watashi wa shichiji ni okite. akan (Osaka). To end a 86 . (In Japanese you get into the bath: ofuuro ni hairu. (I've got to call Shizu. Ikenai! by itself is also handy for expressing your aggravation at realizing that something has been forgotten: • • Ikenai! Joushaken o wasurete shimaimashita! (Oh. "Thou shalt not. Let's combine three actions into one statement: • • Shizu ni denwa shite.
watashi wa kaimono ni iku. bait ataeru: to give jibun: self yuushoku: dinner tsukuru: to make Lesson 67 Ta Form: The Plain Past We finally arrive at the Ta Form. esa o ataete.) Kinou watashi wa inu ni soto de asobasete. just put that conjugation in the Te Form and continue: • • Bob ni Shizu ni denwa shite. (Yesterday I let the dog play outside. a house deru: to leave. whose major purpose is to make things plain. and I'm going shopping. because the Ta Form is the same except that the final e is instead an a.) Please keep in mind that not all conjugations have or use the Te Form. and simple. which can happen in Japanese as easily as it can in English. You don't want to get into the habit of making run-on sentences. Let's first make sure we can convert all the verb types into the Ta Form. to put in order kaimono: shopping kesa: this morning okiru: to get up choushoku: breakfast ie: home. Just for a quick check. let's drag out the tables used to introduce the Te Form and convert them to show the Ta Form: Yodan verbs: Base 3 (plain form) kau aruku isogu kasu matsu shinu Ta Form katta aruita isoida kashita matta shinda 87 .particular conjugation (intended meaning) and continue with a new one. It will be a snap if you have mastered converting into the Te Form. jibun no yuushoku o tsukurimashita. just start a new sentence. When you're not sure. to go/come out kinou: yesterday inu: dog soto: outside asobu: to play esa: pet food. fed him. to straighten up. (I'm going to have Bob call Shizu and straighten up the room. and [then] made my dinner. heya o katazukete moratte. Word Check heya: a room katazukeru: to clean up. past.
roku nen mae ni katta. the Ta Form's major role is to make things plain and to put them in the past tense. juu hachi man en deshita. In the long run.) Bob ga benkyou shita koto wa totemo yakudatta. even by the fastest-talking Japanese. It's what you use when you don't need the politeness of Base 2 with mashita. (I went to the bank.) Boku ga katta PC wa. (The PC I bought was one hundred eighty thousand yen. (I ate lunch.) Shinda kingyo wa. (I did it.asobu yomu kaeru Ichidan verbs: Base 3 (plain form) taberu oboeru kimeru deru kariru miru Irregular verbs: Base 3 (plain form) kuru suru asonda yonda kaetta Ta Form tabeta oboeta kimeta deta karita mita Ta Form kita shita As with the Te Form. Let's do some real basic. There are cases where particles would never be cut. (The cake Joy made was delicious. (I got a haircut. yonda modifies hon like an adjective. Also. and only omit them when everyone else does." If we switch these around to yonda hon.) Joy ga tsukutta keeki wa oishikatta.) 88 . Once again. everyday phrases — ones so familiar that the particles are left out: • • • • • • • Shita.) Terebi mita. you will impress far more Japanese friends and associates by speaking proper Japanese than by using shortcuts and slang. there are a few weird ones among the yodans.) Ohiru tabeta. Please be sure to learn the particles and get comfortable using them.) Boku no kingyo shinda. right? Let's do some more: • • • • • Watashi ga karita kasa wa Kimiko no.) Hon yonda. there are limits. The Ta Form is also used as a noun modifier. (My goldfish died.) Let me say here that even though certain particles have been omitted in the above examples. hon becomes the subject.) Ginkou itta. (The goldfish that died I bought six years ago. and the meaning becomes "the book I (or someone) read. iku (to go) remains an oddball: it becomes itta. (I watched TV. For example. hon yonda means "I (or someone else) read a book. (The things Bob studied were very helpful. (I read a book.) Kami kitta." Very handy. (The umbrella I borrowed is Kimiko's.
Instead. You could call it an understood and accepted inaccuracy. (Caterpillar in Japanese is kemushi. I had someone cut my hair. where it's acceptable to say you did something that you actually had someone else do. please click the lesson links." it is used for "I got a haircut. literally "hairbug.") To refer to your hairstyle or the hair on your head as a whole. Word Check kami: the hair on one's head Note: Kami no ke is the literally correct and complete way to refer to the hair on your head. and the same form converted to the Ta Form for plain past. that's what I'll be calling it throughout these lessons.) juu hachi: eighteen (juu [ten] + hachi [eight]) man: (a unit of) ten thousand en: Japanese yen benkyou suru: to study koto: thing(s) (usually intangible ones) totemo: very yakudatsu: to be helpful or useful Lesson 68 Ta Form + Various Combinations Shared With Base 3 Now that we've seen how the Ta Form works. the Ta Form is sometimes called Base 7. Another commonly used one is ie o tatete iru for "I'm having a house built.) You could think of the Ta Form as a very close relative. Although it literally means "I cut my hair. For a more detailed review. There are a few "ta form only" combinations. the rest really isn't too difficult. I've decided to cover some of them here along with corresponding Base 3 plain future constructions. Base 3 is used for the plain future. anywhere. to wear Note: Kami kitta is always a puzzler to students of Japanese. these are not all of the verb add-ons and endings shared by Base 3 and the Ta Form. Since we have already covered these. 89 . these two share many add-ons and endings. Carefully note the similarities and differences." ohiru: lunch (This is the honorific o combined with "midday. (If necessary. use kami. please see Lesson 1 for a quick review. Due to this. but there are many more that we have already become familiar with back in the Base 3 section. They are some of the more useful ones which have already been introduced in my Base 3 lessons." and is less formal than chuushoku. beforehand.As the Te Form is sometimes called Base 6.) ginkou: bank kingyo: goldfish roku: six nen: year(s) mae (ni): before. which will serve as a nice review. Ke alone is hair — any hair. Each one will have an example of a Base 3 form for the plain future tense. I feel that separate lessons just to show them in the past tense are unnecessary. Again. but since I hear it called the Ta Form more often. even on a caterpillar. the major difference being that while it expresses the plain past. kiru: to cut. ago tsukuru: to make keeki: cake (wasei eigo) oishikatta: was delicious (This is the adjective oishii [delicious] combined with its past tense-forming conjugation -katta. I trust you remember that Base 3 is the plain. root form of Japanese verbs." There are a few of these.
) Yumiko wa Kyoto ni itta deshou. The bottom example in past tense can easily be mistaken for expressing regret: "It would have been better if. (He was supposed to come at six. » hou ga ii (Lesson 21): • • Kyou densha de iku hou ga ii.) Beth wa okureta kara.) » noni (Lesson 36): • • Hayaku okiru noni mainichi okureru.) Note: This sense of sou is not used without desu.) » ka dou ka (Lesson 22): • • Kare wa dekiru ka dou ka kikimashou. whether you use present or past with hou ga ii. (It would be better to go by train today. Jun wa The Lord of the Rings o mita kamo shirenai.) Hayaku okita noni okureta.) Kyou densha de itta hou ga ii. (Maybe Jun saw The Lord of the Rings last night. (I should have taken the train today.. (I'll ask him whether or not he was able to do it. sensei ga okoru. Where the action verb is changed to the Ta Form to make the structure past tense.) Kare wa dekita ka dou ka kikimashou. use desu to make it polite. (I heard that Mr. Takada's quitting. use Base 4 + ba yokatta: Kyou densha de ikeba yokatta. (Jun might see The Lord of the Rings tonight. 90 . it is easy to make the mistake of adding it to past tense sentences although it is unnecessary. (Even though I got up early.» deshou (Lesson 19): • • Yumiko wa Kyoto ni iku deshou.) » kara (Lesson 24): • • Beth wa itsumo okureru kara.) Kare wa rokuji ni kita hazu. because deshita is the past form of desu. not deshita." Please don't make this mistake. Takada quit. sensei ga okotta. (The teacher gets angry because Beth is always late.) » kamo shirenai / shiremasen (Lesson 23): • • Konban. One past tense element is enough. For expressing regret. and some examples in Lesson 20 included it. (He's supposed to come at six. (It would be better to go by train today. (Yumiko probably went to Kyoto. I'm late every day. And. I was late. Jun wa The Lord of the Rings o miru kamo shirenai. (The teacher was angry because Beth was late.) » hazu desu (Lesson 20): • • Kare wa rokuji ni kuru hazu.) » sou desu (Lesson 37): • • Takada-san wa yameru sou desu. as in the last example above. (I'll ask him whether or not he can do it.) Note: We already know that desu can be added to various structures to make them polite. the meaning — the tense of the meaning — is the same.) Note: Yes.. (Yumiko will probably go to Kyoto.) Kinou no ban. (I heard that Mr. (Even though I get up early.) Takada-san wa yameta sou desu.
) Watashi wa tabeta bakari.) » mitai (you desu) (Lesson 42): • • Ame ga furu mitai.) In fact. etc.) yameru: to quit a job.» to omoimasu (Lesson 40): • • Bob wa goji ni kaeru to omoimasu. to be able to (do something) konban: this evening (kon [now. like this: • • • Tabete bakari.) John wa deta bakari.) Ame ga futta mitai.. the present] + ban [evening]) kinou: yesterday itsumo: always sensei: teacher okureru: to be late okoru: to get angry hayaku: (adverb) quickly.) As you can see.) Shizuka wa eigo o benkyou shite bakari.. It's a colloquial expression that means "all (someone) ever does is. This is used after the Te Form. snow.. (All Shizuka ever does is study English. (It looks like it rained. (I just ate.) Kono heya o souji shita bakari. like something memorized from a grammar book. (Mom just got back. (I think Bob will come back at five o'clock. now that I think of it. the meaning of -ta bakari is quite different than -te bakari. to quit or end a task (Note to advanced learners: These two "quits" use different kanji. Once you get these sorted and memorized. early okiru: to get up mainichi: every day (mai [every] + nichi [day].) Bob wa goji ni kaetta to omoimasu.) Ano ko wa terebi geemu o yatte bakari. There is another flavor of bakari that I'll introduce here. it's more common in Japanese to use katta bakari to say that something is new than to use the adjective atarashii. not with people or objects. while the direct translation sore wa atarashii kasa desu sounds awkward. if you wanted to say "that's a new umbrella." sono kasa o katta bakari would be the natural way to say it.) furu: to fall as precipitation (rain." usually as a complaint." put bakari after a verb in its ta form: • • • • • Okaa-chan wa kaetta bakari. In other words. (I just cleaned this room. (I just bought that umbrella. (All that kid does is play computer games. you'll find them very useful.) Lesson 69 Ta Form + bakari To express "(did something) just now. (I think Bob came back at five o'clock. (It looks like it's going to rain.) Word Check kyou: today dekiru: can. (John just left. (All you ever do is eat. mai is used with units of time. 91 .) Sono kasa o katta bakari.
you use the verb iku (to go) and literally ask "have you gone to. most common form is used: A: Nihonshoku o tabeta koto ga aru? (Have you ever eaten Japanese food?) B: Hai. you're admitting having experienced something at least once. I'd like to try it. First. The second is that in using this form.) There are two things about this conversation that I would especially like to point out.Word Check okaa-chan: Mom. in Japanese you don't say "I've been twice. If you want to mention how many times you've done that something. The first is that when you ask "have you been to.) kedo: however. you should know that in everyday familiar conversation the ga is often omitted: A: Kono hon yonda koto aru? (Have you read this book?) B: Iie.]) (The Te Form + inai conjugation for "not yet" was mentioned at the bottom of Lesson 54. (Have you ever been to Okinawa?) B: Hai.. I've eaten sushi and sukiyaki. Nikai ikimashita.) A: Tako o tabeta koto ga aru? (Have you ever eaten octopus?) B: Iie. to go/come out heya: a room souji suru: to clean ano: that (over there). mother (familiar) kaeru: to return.. not yet. I haven't. [No. mada yonde inai.) And here is one using polite arimasu: A: Okinawa ni itta koto ga arimasu ka. sushi to sukiyaki o tabeta koto ga aru. you don't use this form. though. not as polite as suru) eigo: the English language Lesson 70 Ta Form + koto ga aru To talk about things you or others have experienced. to do (familiar. See Lessons 7 and 60..) nikai: twice (This is a compound of ni [two] + kai [times]) mada: (not) yet 92 .) Word Check nihonshoku: Japanese food (This is a simple compound: nihon [Japan] + shoku [food]) tako: octopus -te mitai: want to try (Base 2 + tai form of the Te Form + miru. As in B's reply above. to me. although (This is an abbreviated form of keredomo. that (subject we're talking about) ko: child." which. I have. (No. tabeta koto ga nai. makes more sense than our English use of the past participle been. (No." Finally. arimasu.. kid (familiar) terebi geemu: computer game(s) (wasei eigo for "TV games") yaru: to play (games or sports)." but "I went twice.. Tabete mitai kedo. but regular past tense." in Japanese. I've been twice. (Yes. use koto ga aru after a ta form verb. (Yes. let's look at a couple of sample conversations where the plain. to go/come back deru: to leave. I haven't read it yet.
kare wa kuru deshou.) 93 .) John ni denwa shitara. kare wa kuru deshou. rashii is often used as the informal substitute for sou desu (Lesson 37).) Kodomotachi wa sunakku o tabetara. let's review Base 3 + nara: • • • Yukiko o miru nara oshiete kudasai.) Again.) Kodomotachi wa sunakku o tabereba.) Desu is usually used after sou. they probably won't eat lunch. to inform." "I hear that. (Please tell me if you see Yukiko.. (I heard that Mr.. familiar conversation. we'll convert these to Base 4 + ba: • • • Yukiko o mireba oshiete kudasai. (Please tell me if you see Yukiko.) John ni denwa suru nara. but most native speakers will just use rashii if they want to be informal. (Please tell me if you see Yukiko. (If the kids eat a snack. Takada's quitting. making it more formal than rashii. Now that all the explaining is out of the way. (If you call John he'll probably come. meaning "It seems that.. chuushoku o tabenai deshou. but I personally have never heard it. First. (I hear that Sachiko went to Canada. chuushoku o tabenai deshou. (If you call John he'll probably come. Yes. Let's make some examples showing each of these three conditional structures. desu can added after rashii to make it polite. you can make it plain by using da instead of desu. (I heard that Mr. Takada's quitting." etc. this one seems to be preferred in everyday. to teach sunakku: a snack (wasei eigo) chuushoku: lunch Lesson 72 Ta Form + rashii Just as mitai is often used colloquially as the informal substitute for you desu (Lesson 42). (If the kids eat a snack. but is used more frequently in familiar settings than the other two.Lesson 71 Ta Form + ra Simply said. According to the books.) And here's what they look like using the Ta Form + ra: • • • Yukiko o mitara oshiete kudasai.) Tanaka-san wa yameru rashii. I think you'll find it easy enough to master. Rashii was not introduced in the Base 3 group. (If the kids eat a snack.. kare wa kuru deshou. oshieru: to tell. they probably won't eat lunch.) John ni denwa sureba.) Kodomotachi wa sunakku o taberu nara. but it does essentially the same thing as Base 3 + sou desu: • • Takada-san wa yameru sou desu. the Ta Form + ra does the same thing as Base 3 + nara (Lesson 30) or Base 4 + ba (Lesson 43): it provides the "if" element for conditionals... chuushoku o tabenai deshou. they probably won't eat lunch. (If you call John he'll probably come.) Next. let's get back to the Ta Form and make some plain past examples: • Sachiko wa Canada ni itta rashii.
(I read comics and stuff. (Last night I watched TV. then she made dinner. then ate dinner. just because the Ta Form is mainly used to convey the past tense. (Last night after dinner I watched TV.) If you need to add more detail or emphasize the order of actions. sore kara yuushoku o tsukutte kureta. chuushoku o tabete. but it just so happens that they happily survive in great numbers in the Japanese language. and also implies that other things were done that don't need to be mentioned. please don't think that this conjugation can only refer to the past. (I hear that Ken bought a new PC. ni jikan gurai ongaku o kiite.) I realize that this is a run-on sentence. Above I said to be sure to add a form of suru. If you want. Structures which use two or more verbs are most common. listened to music for about two hours. you can use just one action verb for a quick answer: • • Watashi wa terebi o mitari shite ita.)* This form is used to give the listener a general idea of actions done without particularly emphasizing the order of things done. yuushoku o tabeta. Be sure to add a form of suru after the last one: • Kinou no ban watashi wa terebi o mitari. to a great degree futoru: to gain weight atarashii: new Lesson 73 Ta Form + ri Add ri to verbs in the Ta Form to mention various actions where accuracy or detail isn't necessary. (Tomorrow I'll probably do some studying.• • Bob wa daibun futotta rashii.) How about a complex combination to wrap this up? I think you're ready: • Kyou Sachiko wa heya o souji shitari kaimono ni ittari shite. hiru kara tomodachi no ie ni ittari piano o renshuu shitari shite. some cleaning. practiced the piano and things.) Ken wa atarashii PC o katta rashii.) Watashi wa manga o yondari shite. use the Te Form for multiple statements as covered in Lesson 66): • Kinou no ban watashi wa yuushoku o tabete kara terebi o mite. then in the afternoon went to a friend's house. ate lunch. and did some homework. and watch TV. listened to some music. ichi ji made shukudai o shimashita. then did homework until one o'clock. (Today Sachiko cleaned her room and did some shopping. ongaku o kiitari. souji shitari. 94 . shukudai o shitari shite imashita.) Ashita watashi wa benkyou shitari. right? This is where you control the tense: • • Jim wa furui mono o kattari uttari suru.) Now. (I hear that Bob has gained a lot of weight. (Jim buys and sells old things. It can also be used for present or future happenings. terebi o mitari suru deshou.) Word Check daibun: considerably. (I watched TV and stuff.
) To sureba and to suru to are also suppositional and are often used as substitutes for to shitara. etc. it is common practice to use the past progressive shite ita / shite imashita in Japanese in constructions like this. without doubt komaru: to be confused.* Note: While unnatural in English. snow. tabun koukai suru deshou. (If you were to go swimming now. Please review Lessons 53 and 55. use the Ta Form with to shitara: • • • Ashita Bob ga kita to shitara. what shall we do?) Ima oyogi ni itta to shitara. Word Check ongaku: music shukudai: homework manga: a comic book furui: old mono: thing(s) (physical. tangible things) kau: to buy uru: to sell -te kara: after (doing something) (Lesson 57) gurai: about. (If Bob were to come tomorrow.) Gogo kara ame ga futta to shitara. perplexed gogo: afternoon ame: rain furu: to fall naturally from the sky (rain.) ima: now oyogu: to swim tabun: probably koukai suru: to regret 95 . watashi wa hontou ni komaru. dou shimashou ka. I'd really be at a loss. you'd probably regret it. Word Check hontou ni: really. (Supposing it rains this afternoon. approximately tomodachi: friend ie: house renshuu suru: to practice tsukuru: to make -te kureru: to kindly (do something) (Lesson 58) Lesson 74 Ta Form + to shitara For suppositional statements.
but it adds a light warning or something extra to consider to the supposed idea..Lesson 75 Ta Form + to shite mo This combination is closely related to the Ta Form + to shitara covered in the last lesson. undou shinakereba imi ga nai deshou. (No matter how much he eats. it would be meaningless if you didn't exercise. zenzen ippai ni naranai. In fact. I wouldn't be able to see him until the day after tomorrow. let's look at some examples to help make it clear: • • • Ashita Bob ga kita to shite mo.. a manual (setsumei [explanation] + sho [handbook. document]) sofuto: software (wasei eigo) wakaru: to understand ikura: how much/many zenzen: not at all. one's work tsukau: to use kenkou: health shokuhin: food items. you must remember that (something else). this combination is created by adding mo to suru in the Te Form. he never gets full. I can't understand this software..) Anata wa supeingo o benkyou shita to shite mo.) Kenkou shokuhin o takusan tabeta to shite mo. the Japanese have one convenient word for that!) made: until au: to meet. groceries takusan: a lot undou suru: to (get) exercise imi: a meaning setsumeisho: an instruction book. shigoto de tsukaenai deshou. (Even if you studied Spanish. mo can be added to any verb in the Te Form for that "although" meaning: • • Setsumeisho o yonde mo. to see (someone for an appointment) supeingo: Spanish (supein [Spain] + go [language]) shigoto: a job. watashi wa asatte made au koto ga dekimasen. In English it would probably go something like "even IF (something were to happen). never (used to emphasize or exaggerate negatives) ippai: full -ni naru: to become (something [noun] or some condition [adjective]) 96 .) As you can see. you probably wouldn't be able to use it in your work." As usual.) Word Check ashita: tomorrow asatte: the day after tomorrow (Yes. (Even if Bob were to come tomorrow. kono sofuto ga wakarimasen.) Kare wa ikura tabete mo. (Even if I read the manual. (Even if you were to eat lots of health food.
(I just cleaned this room. After the Ta Form. (The kids just finished eating. For example. One similar to this. while tokoro really means just now. Ima (now) is often placed before the verb to emphasize the freshness of the event: • • • Watashi wa ima kaetta tokoro. Word Check totemo: very odoroku: to be surprised warau: to laugh kokeru: to fall (as in to stumble and fall. toki will also work with Base 3 for future events or infinitives.Lesson 76 Ta Form + toki There are several ways to translate time into Japanese.) Sore o kiita toki waratta. 97 . it can be used in place of to in the third example given in Lesson 39: • Sashimi o taberu toki byouki ni naru.) Kono heya o souji shita tokoro desu.) While not covered before. that the person had just arrived home from buying it. or. The major difference between these two is that bakari has a kind of "relatively speaking" sense to it. to trip and fall) zubon: pants yabureru: to get torn sashimi: specially prepared edible raw fish byouki: to be sick. (When I read that. was already covered in Lesson 69. it would mean that the person had just bought the umbrella a moment ago. if tokoro were used in this sentence instead of bakari.. However.. Here are some examples where tokoro can be used naturally. (I laughed when I heard that. add desu to make a statement polite. but toki is used when talking about the time that certain events occurred. (I just got back now. the Ta Form + bakari. (I get sick whenever I eat raw fish. it is equivalent to "when" in "when I saw that. in the least recent sense..) John wa koketa toki zubon ga yabureta. sickness Lesson 77 Ta Form + tokoro This is a simple add-on that states that you (or someone else) have done something just now. (John's pants were torn when he fell. it's still brandnew.) Kodomotachi wa ima tabeta tokoro. to is usually used because of its flexibility. For example. I was very surprised. sono kasa o katta bakari (I just bought that umbrella) could be used even if the umbrella was bought a week ago — relatively speaking.) As usual." Here are some examples: • • • Watashi wa sore o yonda toki totemo odorokimashita.) However.
ima Tom wa inai. aru is a yodan. (The dictionary is on the desk.. Tom's here. to go/come back kodomotachi: children (kodomo [child] + tachi [plural maker for people-related nouns]) taberu: to eat heya: a room souji suru: to clean Lesson 78 desu.) You can make these polite by using Base 2 + masu: • • Tom wa imasu ka? (Is Tom there?) Kouen ni ookina ki ga arimasu. (Bob's sick.]) Sono gakkou wa furui desu. are.) Carol wa nijuu go sai desu. Tanaka. like something from the masu group. iru and aru As you know. (There's a spider on the wall. desu makes things polite. [The weather forecast for tomorrow is rain. (There's a big tree in the park. (There's a big tree in the park. (Sorry. including ones that end in plain verb forms or their conjugations. is.) and states that something (a noun) is something (a noun or adjective): • • • • • Kare wa Tanaka-san desu.) The plain form of desu is da. After nouns and adjectives. etc.) Ashita wa ame desu.) Kabe ni kumo ga iru. desu acts like English "be verbs" (am." Generally speaking.) Jisho wa tsukue no ue ni aru. and aru for everything else: • • • • • Tom wa iru? (Is Tom here/there?) Hai..) (Iru is an ichidan verb.) The plain negative forms of these are inai and nai: • Sumimasen.) Kouen ni ookina ki ga aru. Tom's not here now.]) Iru and aru mean "to be (in a certain place)" or "to exist.) Bob wa byouki desu. (Yes. (That school is old.Word Check kasa: umbrella kau: to buy ima: now kaeru: to return.) 98 . You can add it to many statements to make them polite. Do not add it to verbs that are already in a polite form. (Tomorrow it will rain. iru is used for people and animals. (Carol is 25 years old. [I don't want to. Tom wa iru yo. (He is Mr. (No. which is used by kids and adults in familiar settings: • • Mite! Hikouki da! (Look! An airplaine!) Iya da.
" So. unpleasant. The purpose of this page is to introduce certain patterns and exceptions among the verbs which will hopefully help to streamline the memorization process and shorten the road leading to correct usage.) Jisho wa arimasen. Word Check gakkou: school furui: old hikouki: airplane iya: (adjective) disagreeable.) Now. What makes it worse is the fact that very. ima Tom wa imasen.• Jisho wa nai. one is "as.. even when you make it clear that you'd appreciate it. They are "specialized verbs" with "set suffixes" added to the root kanji. (Sorry. Japanese is no exception. very rarely will they correct you. The only time you'll hear it is on historical dramas or documentary programs. if you were to say John wa gakusei de aru. You could go "by the book" and choose structures and verb forms which will convert your English into Japanese in order to make yourself understood well enough. getting back to desu. They are not conjugations. Use desu instead. » -aru / -eru 99 . Accordingly..) kabe: wall kumo: spider tsukue: desk ue: the top (of something) ookina: big ki: tree sumimasen: sorry. If you're really interested in the technical background. Again. here it is: Among the several roles of de. even though the words you choose are not what native Japanese speakers would use. It only represents the tip of the iceberg. So that there is no misunderstanding. and is especially used by children. Tom's not here now." as in being in a certain position. (I don't have a dictionary. but it should help you get a better idea of what the whole iceberg is like. This is one that is rarely used these days. No! (Iya da! is used as a simple reply to reject something. there is another form that I've been asked about: de aru. it is rarely used these days. you're technically saying "John presently exists as a student" (John is a student). You really don't need to concern yourself with it at all unless you decide to study Japanese literature. they are already divided into transitive/intransitive. active/passive forms. (I don't have a dictionary. the verbs listed in bold black are in their plain (Base 3) form. Connected with aru it means "to exist as. state or condition..) And the polite forms would be: • • Sumimasen. excuse me jisho: dictionary Notes on Japanese Verbs In any language there are always certain little things that are nice to know which are not mentioned in grammar books or dictionaries — things which can only be figured out by living among native speakers and carefully listening to them for years. This is certainly not a complete list.
. It's usually used in life-or-death matters and when helping people in real trouble. etc. which is intransitive (has no direct object). to deliver (something to someone) todoku: to be delivered. and the other is an ichidan ending in -eru. agaru is used for "come inside. (Let's all meet at seven thirty. Also. atsumaru: to get/come together atsumeru: to bring together. which is transitive (acting on a direct object): agaru: to rise.. (Please come in. to collect • • Shichiji han ni atsumarimashou. ageru.) kimaru: to be decided kimeru: to decide • • Sore wa ashita no kaigi de kimaru deshou. Use sagashite iru (sagasu: to look for). Use mitsukeru for things that you find unintentionally. you always receive downwardly and give upwardly (see Lesson 51). (Here. when you find something that was lost. like helping in the kitchen.) Dareka tasukete! (Someone help me!) Note: Deciding where tasukeru is suitable can sometimes be tricky.) Wendy wa furui kitte o atsumete iru. (I found a pimple." it's not. to be rescued tasukeru: to rescue. to help • • Arigatou. agaru and ageru. (Wendy collects old stamps. have close ties with Japanese culture.) Note: These two cause a lot of stumbling. You were really a great help. Because Japanese houses have a genkan (the space just inside the door which "shares dirt" with the outside) where you take off your shoes before stepping up into the house. I'll give you this. Hontou ni tasukarimashita. one is a yodan verb ending in -aru. Strangely. use tetsudau. as if it just found itself. (That will probably be decided at tomorrow's meeting. For routine helping. to give • • Agatte kudasai. not a person) 100 . to go/come up ageru: to raise up. (Thank you." When exchanging gifts. (Please make up your mind quickly. even though it seems natural to use mitsuketai for "I'd like to find.) Note: These two.) mitsukaru: to be found mitsukeru: to find • • Boku no jisho ga mitsukatta! (I found my dictionary!) Nikibi mitsuketa.) Hai. to arrive (a package..) Hayaku kimete kudasai. in Japanese you use mitsukaru. tasukaru: to be of help.. » -eru / -u There are other pairs like the ones above where the intransitive ends in something else: todokeru: to send.In these pairs.
(The copier is broken.) Kouen no hato ga daibun herimashita. (The number of pigeons in the park has greatly decreased. use okiwasureru (oku: to put. to place + wasureru: to forget): 101 . (Grandpa went outside. Please don't leave any. (Let the dog out. (Eat all this. chotto nokotte kudasaimasu ka. to force out deru: to come/go out • • Inu o dashinasai.) nokosu: to leave (something) behind nokoru: to stay behind • • Zenbu tabete. to continue doing (whatever the Base 2 verb is). (Would you please stay a little after the meeting?) Note: Don't use nokosu for something you accidentally left behind. (Please cut down on your spending.• • Jim no tokoro ni kore o todokete kureru? (Would you take this over to Jim's place?) Boku no imouto kara tegami ga todoita! (I got a letter from my sister!) tsuzukeru: to continue (doing something) tsuzuku: to continue (seemingly on its own) • • Sagashi tsuzukete kudasai. (Please continue looking for it.) Note: Heru is one good example of a yodan verb that ends in eru. kaesu: to return (something to someone) kaeru: to return (home or where you belong) • • Raishuu kaeshite mo ii? (Is it okay if I return it next week?) Juuji made ni kaette ne.) Kaigi ga owattara. (Be back by ten o'clock. to lessen (something) heru: to decrease (on its own) • • Shuppi o herashite kudasai. okay?) kowasu: to break kowareru: to be broken • • Dare ga boku no jitensha o kowashita? (Who broke my bicycle?) Kopiiki ga kowareta. » -su / -u And there are pairs where the one ending in su is transitive and the other one is intransitive: dasu: to send out.) Kono bangumi wa itsu made tsuzuku no? (How long is this program going to run?) Note: Here's a handy verb form for you to add to your list of extra goodies: Base 2 + tsuzukeru.) herasu: to decrease.) Ojii-chan wa soto e deta. Nokosanaide kudasai.
like a belt. Thank you for making it a part of your Japanese studies. like a name tag or pin Besides these. no! I left my umbrella at the bookstore!) orosu: to lower. socks. Here they are: • • • • • • • kiru: to wear around one's body.) Kemushi ga ugoita. hameru: to wear on a finger. My best wishes and gambatte kudasai! 102 . (Don't move that machine. like a hat or cap kakeru: to wear (literally "hang") on one's face. (Please get off at Takamatsu Station. (The caterpillar moved. etc.) Takamatsu eki ni orite kudasai. a skirt. like glasses shimeru: to wear (literally "tie around") around one's waist or neck.) yogosu: to make dirty yogoreru: to get dirty • • Atarashii kutsu o yogosanaide ne. etc. (Which PC is the one that was repaired?) Note: One area where Japanese is much more complicated than English is in the "wear verbs. (This cake probably won't be eaten.) ugokasu: to move something or cause something to be moved ugoku: to move (on its own) • • Sono kikai o ugokashite wa ikenai.) Kono keeki wa taberarenai deshou.) Of course there are others. kimono. okay?) Boku no boushi ga yogoreta. and especially when talking about accessories. conversion can be done by: • • • yodan verbs: Base 1 + reru ichidan verbs: Base 1 + rareru suru verbs: change suru to sareru and then conjugate accordingly. like a shirt. (Put it down here. like pants. kaburu: to wear (literally "cover") on one's head. where there is no special intransitive or passive form. shoes. you'll probably be laughed at. jacket.) Shuuri sareta PC wa dochira desu ka. necktie. as in: • • • Sono megane o kaketara. (Don't get your new shoes dirty. This completes Japanese Verbs. warawareru deshou. For most standard verbs. like a ring tsukeru: to wear (literally "attach") on one's clothes. dress. (If you wear those glasses. but these should give you a good start. to put down oriru: to go/come down. suru is often used instead of the bottom four. (My hat got dirty.• Ah! Honya ni kasa o okiwasurete shimatta! (Oh. haku: to wear on or around one's lower body or feet. obi. to get off or get out of a vehicle • • Koko ni oroshite. etc." The verb used depends on where and how something is worn.
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