The equivalent to Mr. or Mrs. or Miss. is ～さん
Right after the name. It is used even with friends. (Even when in English we wouldn't use "Mr.")
For now just use san. As you know from watching all the Karate Kid movies, it is the most common.
For more on this see our article on keishou, "敬称 Name Titles".
There are 2 types of adjectives:
-i adjectives - adjectives that end in -i
-na adjectives - adjectives that add -na when placed before nouns
The -i adjectives change:
あつい atsui - (It's) hot || +i
Learn this and you can use all -i adjectives!
The -na adjectives don't change! But when placed before nouns they add a -na
げんき genki (healthy, active, fine) げんきな子 genki na ko (healthy child)
For now let's stick with the -masu form of verbs
PAST = MASU MASHITA
たべます tabemasu (to eat) たべました tabemashita (ate)
のみます nomimasu (to drink) のみました nomimashita (drank)
PAST NEGATIVE = MASU MASEN DESHITA
たべます tabemasu (to eat) たべません でした tabemasen deshita (didn't eat)
のみます nomimasu (to drink) のみません でした nomimasen deshita (didn't drink)
The "-masen" is the negative part
Sometimes mom's cooking isn't just oishii (delicious) it is VERY OISHII!
Add とても totemo before adjectives to say "very"
とても おいしい です。
totemo oishii desu.
It's very delicious!
totemo ookina ki.
A very big tree.
OTHER VERY WORDS: You can ignore this if you like...
非常に hijou ni
超 chou (kind of slang - chou means "super-")
Saying "I want (something)" is pretty easy. Just say the thing you want and add ga hoshii to it.
のみもの が ほしい です。
nomimono ga hoshii desu.
(I) want a drink.
NOTE: The desu is optional and is usually dropped. nomimono ga hoshii. is perfectly fine in spoken Japanese.
Next, let's ask a question. Can you figure out how to do it? That's right add a ka REVIEW HERE
ケーキ が ほしい です か？
ke-ki ga hoshii desu ka?
Do you want cake?
First get the ～ます masu form of the verb you want to do. Then drop the ～ます masu and add ～たい tai.
|たべます tabemasu (to eat)||たべ tabe||たべたい tabetai (want to eat)|
|のみます nomimasu (to drink)||のみ nomi||のみたい nomitai (want to drink)|
|します shimasu (to do)||し shi||したい shitai (want to do)|
Of course if you want to say "do you want to..." Just add ka
ケーキ を たべたい です か？
ke-ki o tabetai desu ka?
Do you want to eat cake?
These 2 particles は wa & が ga both do what in English is the subject, but は wa is greater in scope than が ga
は wa - the main topic particle of the conversation
ga - the subject particle of the sentence
わたしは クレイ です。
watashi wa kurei desu.
I am Clay.
[Clay is the topic and now this is known, it won't be repeated unless the topic changes]
ねこが すき です。
neko ga suki desu.
(I) like cats.
["cats" are actually the 'subject' here. Maybe this is easier to see "Cats are liked (by me). Note you could say "watashi wa neko ga suki desu." but it is unnecessary because we have already said "watashi wa" (The overall topic is already known)]
if both are in a sentence, the wa is first
the wa is written with a hiragana ha but pronounced as wa
For inanimate objects (objects, plants...), end the sentence with ～が あります ga arimasu
It's a tree. [lit. tree is.]
木 が あります。
ki ga arimasu.
There is a tree(s).
For living things (people and animals) use ～が います ga imasu.
ねこ が います。
neko ga imasu.
There is a cat(s).
To show the negative just add -sen to the end
あります arimasu ありません arimasen
Another more casual form of arimasu that you don't have to learn now is...
ある aru ない nai
います imasu いません imasen
Another more casual form of imasu that you don't have to learn now is...
いる iru いない inai
Maybe you know these useful phrases:
お願い が あります。 onegai ga arimasu. I have a favor to ask.
問題ない。 mondai nai. No problem! [this is the casual form of arimasen]
It is easy to like something and to say it! Just add ga suki after the object that you like:
ねこ が すき です。
neko ga suki desu.
I like cats.
[note: Nouns don't change in number (no s) so it could mean "a cat". Also note the desu if dropped makes the sentence more casual - "neko ga suki."]
2 ways to say "why" are:
1. なぜ naze
2. どうして doushite - why
They are basically interchangeable and start at the beginning of the sentence and are followed by the question
なぜ（どうして） 私 の ケーキ を たべました か？
naze (doushite) watashi no ke-ki o tabemashita ka?
Why did you eat my cake?
[There isn't a "you" but obviously you wouldn't be asking yourself this question.]
なぜなら + reason or excuse + kara
なぜなら はら が へった から。
nazenara hara ga hetta kara.
Because, (I'm) starving!
[lit. because stomach is diminished]
This goes at the end to show that you believe what you say, but are not 100% sure. It is also used to show one's opinion. If there is a desu change it to da which is the more casual form and add to omoimasu
1. The speaker is not totally sure of the accuracy of his info...
熊のプーさん は くま だ と 思います。
kuma no pu-san wa kuma da to omoimasu.
Winnie the Pooh is a bear, I think...
Next is an example of showing one's opinion. It is true for the speaker, but may not be so for the listener.
なっとう は おいしい と 思います。
nattou wa oishii to omoimasu.
I think Natto is delicious.
Basically you can say any sentence and if you want to soften it or show you are not sure, or show your opinion add to omoimasu
To show the state of becoming... something, use ～に なります ni narimasu.
The ni is placed after what something is becoming (or became, or might become... depending on the conjugation used, as the examples illustrate below).
The narimasu means to become. Nouns and -na adjectives use ni narimasu. -i adjectives are different, but for now there are enough useful nouns to look at:
* ~mashita shows past