Chapter 3

  1. Making the て form
  2. "to do, play" - する・します
  3. "more, ~er" - もっと
  4. "can" - できる
  5. "~ing" - ている
  6. "for example" - たとえば
  7. "this" - これ・この
  8. "that" - それ・その
  9. "that over there" - あれ・あの
  10. "must do" - なければなりません
  11. "better do..." - ほうがいい
  12. "better/worse than" - のほうが〜より

Making the て form

If you know how to make this form, you can do a lot!  Later we will look at other grammar points that are based on the te form.  By itself the te form makes a verb a request (or demand) 

1. のむ nomu (to drink) Arrow Image のん nonde (drink)
2. たべる taberu (to eat) Arrow Imageたべtabete (eat)
3. する suru (to do) Arrow Image shite (do)

These are the ways to make the te form for each of the 3 types of verbs.  If you are new to the "types of verbs" thing, don't worry. 

Now I know there are many grammarians out there that would argue against what I am about to say, but here's my advice.  Don't worry about learning all the confusing rules about how to make this verb do that (just yet).  Just say it as you feel it should be.  Of course you will make many mistakes, but if you keep your ears open and learn from your mistakes you will get a feel for how the verbs work. 

Take the te form for an example.  If you memorize the 3 examples at the top you should be able to guess what other verbs may change to.  Or even if you guess wrong, the correct form should be at least familiar to you.

To do, play する・します

Suru is a very useful verb thingy.  It is used where no other verb dares to go! (Foreign words, nouns, and other scary things...) Think of it as "to do..."
ジョギング する jogingu suru - to (do) jogging
ショッピング する shoppingu suru - to (do) shopping
サイン する sain suru - to sign (autograph) 



勉強 する benkyou suru - to study
毎日、 日本語 を 勉強 します
mainichi, nihongo o benkyou shimasu.
Everyday, (I) am studying Japanese.

The を o is the direct object marker.  You will notice it moves around sometimes.  Don't worry about this now, just concentrate on suru.


Another usage of する -or- します is "to play" as in sports or games

野球 を する yakyuu o suru. To play baseball.
相撲 を する sumou o suru. To play (do) Sumo. 
バスケットバール を する basuketto ba-ru o suru. To play basketball. 
将棋 を するshougi o suru. To play shogi (Japanese chess)

more, ~er もっと

One easy way to say "MORE" or "-er" is to add a もっと motto before the thing you want to emphasis. This is one of the rare times that the word order is the same with English - or at least with the more part! Relish the moment (while you can

{ motto ~ = more ~ }

bullet もっと ピーマン を 食べなさい。 motto pi-man o tabenasai. Eat more green peppers. 
[~nasai is like the te form in that it gives commands, but it is stronger. ]



{ motto ~ =  ~er }

bullet もっと 早く 言って 下さい。 motto hayaku itte kudasai. (Next time) please say (it) a little earlier
[Useful when someone tells you NOT to cut the yellow wire of the bomb after you have done that...]

Can できます

There are a couple of ways to say "I can..." in Japanese.  The easiest is できます dekimasu.  Let's look at how to form some sentences. 

CAN + NOUN [できます]


日本語 が できます。 nihongo ga dekimasu.
I can (speak) Japanese. [I can do Japanese.]


漢字 が できます。 kanji ga dekimasu.
I can (read/write) kanji. [I can do kanji.]


スカイダイビング が できます。 sukaidaibingu ga dekimasu.
I can skydive.

CAN + VERB [こと が できます]

Actually, the above are all shortened versions without the verb.  Let's add the verb.  koto means thing, but here it is used to make a verb a noun so it will work with dekimasu.


日本語 を 話す こと が できます。 nihongo o hanasu koto ga dekimasu.
I can speak Japanese.


漢字 を 読む こと が できます。 kanji o yomu koto ga dekimasu.
I can read kanji. 

Be creative and come up with things you can do!


30. "~ing" - ている

This is a very important grammar point. It corresponds to the English "~ing" form

  • form + います or いる
  • たべます → 食べて います
  • eat → eating (now)

Use this to describe things happening now.

  • 今 あなた に 話して います。
  • ima anata ni hanashite imasu.
  • I am talking to you now.
  • 今 ごはん を 食べて います。
  • ima gohan o tabete imasu.
  • I am eating rice (food) now.
  • 今 スカイダイビング を して います。
  • ima sukaidaibingu o shite imasu.
  • I am skydiving now.

To make a question just add か to the end. (See here for more on using か for asking questions.)

  • あなた は 勉強 して います か?
  • anata wa benkyou shite imasu ka?
  • Are you studying?

For example たとえば

Anytime you want to make an illustration or give an example this is the phrase to use.

私 は 和食 が 好き です。
watashi wa washoku ga suki desu.
I like Japanese style food.

たとえば、ごはん と  みそ汁。
tatoeba, gohan to misoshiru .
For example, rice and miso soup .


You can also ask someone this to get more concrete information.

たとえば、 何?
tatoeba, nani?
For example, what?


This これ・この

This and that. Actually Japanese also has one more.  They also have "that over there" - but we will get at that later.

There are 2 words in Japanese that are translated as "this" in English:

これ kore - When "this" is not connected to a noun - hang on you will get it in a minute

これ は 何 です か?
kore wa nan desu ka?
What is this?

これ は ねこ です。
kore wa neko desu.
This is a cat.

To say "This is" or "is this" the kore will probably be followed by a

この kono - When you put "this" before a noun, it changes to kono

この ねこ は ポチ です か?
kono neko wa pochi desu ka?
Is this cat, Pochi?.

いいえ。 この 犬 は ポチ です。
iie kono inu wa pochi desu.
No. This dog is Pochi.

It may seem strange at first, but after a while This and That become second nature!

That それ・その

This and that. Now we are on the THAT part.  So this THAT refers to objects near the listener (not the speaker)

それ sore - when "that" is not connected to a noun

それ は 何 です か?
sore wa nan desu ka?
What is that?

それ は ねこ です。
sore wa neko desu.
That is a cat.

Begin to think of the words starting with K's as "this" and the S's as "that" words  

その sono - When you put "that" before a noun, it changes to sono

その ねこ は ポチ です か?
sono neko wa pochi desu ka?
Is that cat, Pochi?.

いいえ。 その たこ は ポチ です。
iie sono tako wa pochi desu.
No. That octopus is Pochi.

This is used in the same way as kono

That over there あれ・あの

This and that. Now we are on the THAT OVER THERE part.  So this THAT refers to objects not near the listener or the speaker.

あれ are - when "that" is not connected to a noun

あれ は 何 です か?
are wa nan desu ka?
What is that over there?

あれ は ねこ です。
are wa neko desu.
That over there is a cat.

And now recognize A's mean That over there    


あの ano - When you put "that" before a noun, it changes to ano

あの ねこ は ポチ です か?
ano neko wa pochi desu ka?
Is that cat over there, Pochi?.

いいえ。 あの くじら は ポチ です。
iie ano kujira wa pochi desu.
No. That whale over there is Pochi.

Again they ALL are used in the same way.

Must do なければなりません