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Note that the suffix 'san'
was added to the end
of John when it became a question. This is
because you are reffering to someone else, rather than
yourself.
It is considered polite to add -san
to people's names other than your
own. Be very
carefull not to add it to the end of your own name
though, as it is considered very rude and unusual.
To say "It's not a cat." or "I'm not John." you have to use
the
form dewa arimasen or janai desu. Either
form means the same thing, but dewa arimasen is more
formal.
Lesson 1 Vocabulary :
hai – yes, iie – no
If you want to ask someone's name, you say "Onamae wa nan
desu ka?" Namae means 'name'. The 'o' is added
to make it honorific (used only for other people, not
yourself).
Remember from lesson one that ' nan
desu ka 'means what is it?'
So the sentence
literally means "As for your honorific name, what
is it?" To tell someone your name, you can use the above
replies or you can say 'Namae
wa Hana desu.' or
'Watashi no namae wa hana desu.' The shorter form
is usually used in less formal situations. The particle
'no' in
this case is similar to the English " 's
". It indicates
ownership. Watashi no namae means
"my name". Anata
no namae would be 'your name.'
To ask " Who is it? " you say
" Dare desu ka? "
Dare means 'who.' To ask "Whose is it?" you say "Dare
no desu ka?"
Dare
no inu desu
ka?
Watashi no inu desu.
Dare no neko desu ka?
Watashi no desu.
Dare no neko desu ka?
Susan-san no neko desu.
Anata no desu ka?
Iie, Mike-san no desu.
Whose dog is it?
It's my dog.
Whose cat is it?
It's mine.
Whose cat is it?
It's Susan's cat.
Is this yours?
No, it's Mike's.
There are several words for 'person' in Japanese. Hito is
the
noun 'person.' If you wanted to say "Who is
that person?"
you would say " Ano hito wa dare
desu
ka ?" Ano means 'that over there.' (This
will be discussed more in Lesson
4.) Likewise,
one says onna no
hito for 'woman' and otoko
no hito for 'man.' These mean 'female person' and 'male
person' and are
much more polite than just
saying onna or otoko which sound insulting alone.
The other two ways of indicating people are the
suffixes -nin and -jin. Adding
the suffix -jin
to the name of a country makes the name of the nationality
of that country. Nihon-jin means 'Japanese person.' We
will discuss the use of -nin later.
Similarly, one can add the suffix -go to the end of a
country word and it becomes the language of the country.
Note that there are exceptions to this as some countries
share common
languages.
Japan
Nihon
Nihonjin
Nihongo
The
U.S.
Amerika
Amerikajin
Eigo
Germany
Doitsu
Doitsujin
Doitsugo
France
Furansu
Furansujin
Furansugo
Italy - Itaria, Australia – Oosutoraria, Canada – Kanada,
England – Igirisu, Mexico – Mekishiko, Spain – Supein,
Portugal – Porutogaru, Brazil – Burajiru, Korea - Kankoku
One
can also describe objects given their
location. If you want to indicate
a pencil you are
holding or one near to you 'this pencil' (as opposed
to a pen near someone else) you say kono enpitsu . If you
are indicating
a pencil near the person you are
speaking to (and not yourself) you say sono enpitsu . And
finally, if you are indicating a pencil away
from
both of you, you say ano enpitsu . To ask which pencil (out
of more than one indicated pencil), you say dono enpitsu
.NOTE :
Kono, sono, ano, and dono must be followed
by a noun that they are describing.
They cannot
stand alone.
The numbers from 11 to 19
are formed by putting
the appropriate number after ten. Thus 11 is juu
+ ichi = juuichi. The numbers from 20 to 90
are
formed by putting the appropriate number before ten. Thus
20 is
ni + juu = nijuu. Think of it like saying
'two tens. Other numbers can be formed in ways similar to
the 1-19 and 20-90 ways.
For example, 21 is
formed by making twenty, then adding one. 21 = ni
+ juu + ichi = nijuuichi. Or, 'two tens and one' is twenty
one. One hundred is hyaku .
The numbers from 200
to 900 are formed like the numbers from 20-90.
Be careful as there are some exceptions in pronunciation
This
lesson is about the Japanese particle wo. Wo
is pronounced 'o' and will
be spelled 'o' in
romanized Japanese but should not be confused with the
vowel o. (W)o is only used as a particle. It is used to
mark the object
of a sentence. The particle comes
after the object and before the verb.
Basically,
you have "noun o action verb" which means: "do/does
the action verb to the noun."
nihongo
o benkyou shimasu
study Japanese language
hon
read
zasshi
read
o yomimasu
a book
o yomimasu
a magazine
niku
eat
o tabemasu
meat
ringo
eat
o tabemasu
an apple
terebi
watch
o mimasu
TV
koora
drink
o nomimasu
cola
ongaku
listen
o kikimasu
to music
Well, that's all well and good, but what if you want to say
you don't eat meat? or don't drink coffee? Notice that all
of the verbs above
end in masu . That is called
the masu ending. (It's pronounced like
the 'moss'
that grows on the ground.) That is the positive present (or
future) form of the verb in polite form. If you want to use
the negative
present form of the verb you change
the masu to masen . So
"I listen", "Watashi wa
kikimasu" , becomes
"I don't listen", "Watashi wa
kikimasen."
T his lesson is about direction
verbs. For our
purposes, a direction verb is one that indicates movement
to or from somewhere. In example: Igo to the store.
In other words, you are moving from somewhere to the store
. In order to say "to
the store" you have to use
the particle ni or e. Ni and e mean 'to' when they come
before
a direction verb. (Note that the particle
e is only pronounced as e;
it is spelled with
the character he .)
to go – ikimasu, to come – kimasu, to return home –
kaerimasu
Gakkou e kimasu ka.
Hai gakkou e ikimasu.
Iie, gakkou e ikimasen.
Will you come to school?
Yes, I'll go to school.
No, I won't go to school.
It should be remembered that
the response to
"will you come?" should be "I will go."
or "I
won't go." because the two people speaking are assumed
to be in different locations.
One
can then add time to indicate when one will
go or come.
This is generally more useful
information that "I will go."
Recall that the
basic Japanese sentence structure is TTOPV. This stands
for Topic/Time Object Place Verb. Our sentences will use
T/TPV as there
is no object in these sentences.
Konya, mise e ikimasu ka.
Hai, mise e ikimasu.
Will you go to the store tonight?
Yes, I'll go to the store.
Note
that the above examples are all in future
tense in English. In
Japanese, there is no
difference between future tense and present tense.
ikimasu
kimasu
kaerimasu
to go
to come
to return home
kyou
today
ashita
konya
tomorrow
tonight
gakkou
mise
paati
daidokoro
uchi
school
store/shop
party
kitchen
house
The word for school is gakkou. Teachers are sensei and
students are gakusei
(or seito). College is
daigaku (literally "big school"). A college
student is daigakusei. In order to say what grade you are
in, or whether
you're a freshman-senior, you say
"I'm a --year student." Where
-- is replaced with
the correct year.
To say "I am a student
at the University of ---" you say: ---- daigaku no gakusei
desu . or --- daigaku no seito desu . This also works for
other types of schools like high schools, junior highs and
elementary
schools. Just insert the name of the
school in place of ---- and the
type of school
in place of daigaku .
West koutougakkou no seito
School student
mainichi
kinou
asatte
benkyou shimasu
renshuu shimasu
desu. I'm a West High
every day
yesterday
the day after tomorrow
to study
to practice
Japanese verbs are roughly divided into three groups
according to their dictionary form (basic form).
Group 1: ~ U ending Verbs
The basic form of Group 1 verbs end with "~ u". This group
is also called Consonant-stem verbs or Godan-doushi (Godan
verbs).
Group
hanasu
to speak
1 Verbs
kaku
to write
kiku
to listen
matsu
to wait
Group 2: ~ Iru and ~ Eru ending Verbs
nomu
to drink
The basic form of Group 2 verbs end with either "~iru" or
"~ eru". This group is also called Vowel-stem-verbs or
Ichidan-doushi (Ichidan verbs).
Group
kiru
to wear
akeru
to open
2 Verbs
miru
to see
ageru
to give
okiru
to get up
deru
to go out
oriru
to get off
neru
to sleep
shinjiru
to believe
taberu
to eat
There are some exceptions. The following verbs belong to
Group 1, though they end with "~ iru" or "~ eru".
hairu
to enter
iru
to need
kagiru
to limit
shaberu
to chatter
hashiru
to run
kaeru
to return
kiru
to cut
shiru
to know
Group 3: Irregular Verbs
There are only two irregular verbs, kuru (to come) and suru
(to do).
The verb "suru" is probably the most often used verb in
Japanese. It is used as "to do," "to make," or "to cost".
It is also combined with many nouns (of Chinese or Western
origin) to make them into verbs. Here are some examples.
benkyousuru ryokousuru
to study
to travel
yushutsusuru dansusuru
to export
to dance
shanpuusuru
to shampoo
Dictionary Form
The dictionary form (basic form) of all Japanese verbs end
with "u". This is the form listed in the dictionary, and is
the informal, present affirmative form of the verb. This
form is used among close friends and family in informal
situations.
The ~ masu Form (Formal Form)
The suffix "~ masu" is added to the dictionary form of the
verbs to make sentence polite. Aside from changing the
tone, it has no meaning. This form is used in situations
required politeness or a degree of formality, and is more
appropriate for general use. Click here to check out the ~
masu form of the basic verbs.
The
~ masu Form
Group
1
Take
off the final ~u , and add ~ imasu
kak u--- kak imasu ,nom u--- nom imasu
Group
2
Take
off the final ~ru , and add ~ masu
mi ru --- mi masu ,tabe ru --tabe masu
Group
kuru
3
--- kimasu ,
suru --- shimasu
The ~ masu Form minus "~ masu" is the stem of the verb. The
verb stems are useful since many verb suffixes are attached
to them.
~
The
Masu Form
stem of the verb
kaki masu
kaki
nomi masu
nomi
mi masu
mi
tabe masu
tabe
Present Tense
Japanese verb forms have two main tenses, the present and
the past. There is no future tense. The present tense is
used for future and habitual action as well. The informal
form of the present tense is the same as the dictionary
form. The ~ masu form is used in formal situations.
Past Tense
The past tense is used to express actions completed in the
past (I saw, I bought etc.) and present perfect tense (I
have read, I have done etc.). Forming the informal past
tense is simpler for Group 2 verbs, but more complicated
for Group 1 verbs. The conjugation of Group 1 verbs varies
depending on the consonant of the last syllable on the
dictionary form. All Group 2 verbs have the same
conjugation pattern.
Group
1
Formal
Replace
~ uwith ~ imashita
kak u--- kak imashita
nom u--- nom imashita
Informal
(1)
Verb ending with ~ ku :
replace ~ ku with ~ ita
ka ku --- ka ita
ki ku --- ki ita
(2)
Verb ending with ~ gu :
replace ~ gu with ~ ida
iso gu --- iso ida
oyo gu --- oyo ida
(3)
Verb ending with ~ u, ~ tsu and ~ ru :
replace them with ~ tta
uta u--- uta tta
ma tsu --- ma tta
kae ru --- kae tta
(4)
Verb ending with ~ nu , ~ bu
and ~ mu :
replace them with ~ nda
shi nu --- shi nda
aso bu --- aso nd a
no mu --- no nda
(5)
Verb ending with ~ su :
replace ~ su with ~ shita
hana su --- hana shita
da su --- da shita
Group
2
Formal
Take
off ~ru , and add ~ mashita
mi ru --- mi mashita
tabe ru ---tabe mashita
Informal
Take
off ~ ru , and add ~ ta
mi ru --- mi ta
tabe ru --- tabe ta
Group
3
Formal
kuru
--- kimashita ,suru --- shimashita
Informal
kuru
--- kita ,suru ---shita
Present Negative
To make sentence negative, verb endings are changed into
negative forms (The ~ nai Form).
Formal
All
Verbs (Group 1, 2, 3)
Replace ~ masu with ~ masen
nomi masu --- nomi masen
tabe masu --- tabe masen
ki masu --- ki masen
shi masu --- shi masen
Informal
Group
1
Replace
the final ~ u with ~anai
(If verb ending is a vowel + ~ u,
replace with ~ wanai )
kik u--- kik anai
nom u--- nom anai
au--- a wanai
Group
2
Replace ~ ru with ~ nai
mi ru --- mi nai
tabe ru --- tabe nai
Group
kuru
3
--- konai ,suru ---shinai
Past Negative
Formal
All
Verbs (Group 1, 2, 3)
Add
~ deshita to
the formal present negative form
nomimasen --- nomimasen deshita
tabemasen --- tabemasen deshita
kimasen --- kimasen deshita
shimasen --- shimasen deshita
Informal
All
Verbs (Group 1, 2, 3)
Replace ~ nai
with ~ nakatta
noma nai --- noma nakatta
tabe nai --- tabe nakatta
ko nai --- ko nakatta
shi nai ---shi nakatta
The ~ te form is a useful form of the Japanese verb. It
does not indicate tense by itself, however it combines with
other verb forms to create other tenses. It has many other
uses as well. To make the ~ te form, replace the final ~ ta
of the informal past tense of the verb with ~ te, and ~ da
with ~ de. Click here to check out the ~ te form of the
basic verbs.
Informal
The
Past
~ te form
non da
non de
tabe ta
tabe te
ki ta
ki te
Here are some other functions of the ~ te form.
(1) Request: the ~ te form + kudasai
Mite kudasai.
Please
look.
Kiite kudasai.
Please
listen.
(2) The present progressive: the ~ te form + iru or imasu
(formal)
Hirugohan
o tabete iru.
I
am having lunch.
Terebi
I
o mite imasu.
am watching TV.
It is also used to describe a habitual action and a
condition.
(3) Listing successive actions
It is used to connect two or more verbs. The ~ te form is
used after all but the last sentence in a sequence.
Hachi-ji
I
ni okite gakkou ni itta.
got up at eight and went to school.
Depaato
ni itte kutsu o katta.
I
went to department store
and bought shoes.
(4) Asking permission: the ~ te form + mo ii desu ka.
Terebi
May
o mite mo ii desu ka.
I watch TV?
Tabako
May
o sutte mo ii desu ka.
I smoke?
This
lesson is about the "let's" or "mashou" form
of verbs.
Recall that 'masu' is the polite present
ending for verbs. Taking off
the masu and
replacing it with mashou changes it to "let's --",
where the -- is replaced by whatever the verb means.
Examples :
to
to
to
to
to
to
to
to
eat - tabemasu
drink - nomimasu
read - yomimasu
write - kakimasu
go - ikimasu
buy - kaimasu
watch/see - mimasu
listen/hear - kikimasu
let's
let's
let's
let's
let's
let's
let's
let's
eat - tabemashou
drink - nomimashou
read - yomimashou
write - kakimashou
go - ikimashou
buy - kaimashou
watch - mimashou
listen – kikimashou
The
mashou form is also a nice way to ask people
if they want to do something
with you. Just add
the particle ka to the end of the sentence to make
it shall we?
A more formal way to ask if someone will do something with
you is to
use the masen ka ending. This is more
like asking "Won't you do
this?"
Zasshi
o yomimasen
ka.
Gakkou e ikimasen ka.
Won't you read a magazine?
Won't you go to school?
Recall
from Lesson 4 that we learned how to say
that the location of something
is here, there, or
over there. This is useful information if you can see
something or are pointing at something. However, what if
you can't see
the location you are talking about,
or you want to explain where something
is in
relation to something else?
First, there are two different
ways of saying
something exists. One is for animate things (people and
animals) and one is for inanimate things. These are the
verbs imasu
and arimasu. These both mean "to
exist." Imasu is used for
animate things and
arimasu is used for inanimate things.
To ask where a place or inanimate
can use the form:
XX wa doko ni arimasu
object is, one
ka. Where is XX?
For people and animals, imasu
XX wa doko ni imasu ka.
is used instead:
Where is XX?
Note the use of ni. Ni was
previously shown in
lesson
7 ; its meaning here is slightly
different. Ni in this case
means 'at.' Doko ni
means 'at what location.' Similarly, koko ni would
mean 'at this location.' The above sentences literally
translate as
'As for XX, at what location does
it exist?'
In order to say where something
or someone is,
just replace the 'doko' with the location.
front
mae
top, above
ue
back,
ushiro
behind
next to,
yoko
under
inside,
naka
middle
left side
hidari
gawa
interval
next door,
tonari
right
migi
beyond
mukou
along side
bottom,
shita
between,
aida
outside
soto
neighboring
side
gawa
Now that we have more location
words to work
with, we can make more location sentences. Just place
the correct location word in the sentence.
ecall from Lesson
7 that "I go to the store." is
"Watashi wa
mise e ikimasu." This means that "I
went to the store."
is "Mise e ikimashita." To
add a bit more information to this,
we can say
how we got to the store. To do this, we need to use
the particle de . De roughly means "by means of", "at"
or "in" depending upon how it's used. In this lesson, we'll
be using the 'by means of' meaning.
De is a particle and therefore
term it modifies.
it follows the
Examples :
kuruma de
jitensha de
basu de
densha de
by
by
by
by
car
bike
bus
train
Now
we can insert these new phrases into our
direction sentences.
Examples :
(Watashi wa) kuruma de mise
I went to the store by car.
e ikimashita.
Basu
de kouen e ikimasu.
I'll go to the
park by bus.
Jitensha
Let's go to the
Watashitachi
We came by bus.
de ginkou e ikimashou.
bank by bicycle.
wa basu de kimashita.
This lesson is about adjectives. There are two types of
adjectives in Japanese. These are 'i' adjectives
and 'na' adjectives. 'I' adjectives have an extra 'i' at
the end which
can be used to modify their form.
Na adjectives usually do not
have the 'i' ending
and must be followed by na if they come in
front
of a noun. Na adjectives have a different way of being
modified.
It is also possible to make adjectives
out of other nouns as in English.
This lesson will introduce
the 'i' adjective.
Examples of i adjectives :
old
furui
new
atarashii
big
small
ookii
chiisai
red
blue
black
white
akai
aoi
kuroi
shiroi
Notice that all the adjectives
above end in i.
I adjectives can be used
like adjectives in
English. They come before the noun they modify.
his lesson is a continuation of the previous lesson about
adjectives.
There are two types of adjectives in
Japanese. Lesson
14 deals with 'i' adjectives.
'I' adjectives are also called 'true' adjectives. This
lesson will introduce
the 'na' adjectives. Na
adjectives are not considered adjectives in Japanese
(although in English they are in fact adjectives). This is
because they
are formed from nouns. 'I' adjectives
have an extra 'i' at the end which
can be used to
modify their form. Na adjectives usually do not have the
'i' ending and must be followed by na if they come in front
of a noun.
Examples of na adjectives :
quiet
cool/nice
healthy/energetic
easy/brief/simple
clean/pretty
strange
shizuka (na)
suteki (na)
genki (na)
kantan (na)
kirei (na)
hen (na)
First, we need to start off
with a bit about
one of the differences between English and Japanese.
In English adjectives usually stay in their affirmative
form and 'not'
is added when changing to the
negative. In Japanese, however, i adjectives
all
have an affirmative and a negative form. Thus, 'black' and
'not
black' are both adjectives.
In order to change an i adjective
from
affirmative to negative form, change the last i to kunai.
Tsukau – use, omoi – heavy, karui – light (weight),
omoshiroi – interesting
This lesson is a continuation
of Lesson 15.
Recall that Lesson 15 dealt with na adjectives. First let's
review some na adjectives.
quiet
shizuka (na)
healthy/energetic
genki (na)
easy/brief/simple
kantan (na)
strange
hen (na)
So, for example we can make the following sentence:
Shizuka desu. It's quiet.
Now we need to think back to Lesson 1 . Recall that we
introduced two forms for negating nouns.
For example :
Neko dewa arimasen.
It's not a cat.
Neko janai desu.
It's not a cat.
The way to negate na adjectives is the same as for nouns.
Examples :
Shizuka dewa arimasen.
It's not quiet.
Kantan janai desu.
It's not simple.
Easy enough? Now let's go back again; this time we need to
go to Lesson 8 . Recall that we introduced the way to say
'was' and 'wasn't.'
Example from Lesson 8 :
Hon deshita.
It was a book.
Hon dewa arimasen deshita.
It wasn't a book.
Again, the way to make na adjectives past tense or negative
past tense is the same as nouns.
Examples :
Shizuka dewa arimasen deshita.
It's wasn't quiet.
Kantan deshita.
It's was simple.
These adjectives can still be used to modify nouns. Recall
from Lesson 15 that when na adjectives come before a noun
they need to have na after them.
Examples :
shizuka na heya
quiet room
kantan na mondai
simple problem
Now we can make our sentences as we normally would with
plain nouns.
Examples :
Shizuka na heya deshita.
It was a quiet room.
Kantan na mondai dewa arimasen deshita.
It was not a simple problem.
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