Chapter 5

  1. "looks like" - 〜みたい
  2. "I've heard" - 〜そう
  3. "like, as..." - 〜ように
  4. "like, as if" - らしい
  5. "let's..." - しましょう
  6. "won't you...?" - 〜ませんか
  7. Power ender "ね"
  8. "when, that time" - とき
  9. Using こと・もの
  10. "situation, case" - 場合
  11. "etc... and..." - など、とか
  12. "about" - くらい・ぐらい

Looks like ~みたい

Looks like
we made it - as Barry Manilow would say - at least we made it half way!

台風が 来る みたい。taifuu
ga kuru mitai. It looks
like a hurricane. [This could mean
you are looking at storm clouds, OR someone told you a hurricane is coming
and you are reporting that possibility]

And just stick it after a noun

この 景色は 夢 みたい。
kono keshiki wa yume mitai.
This scenery looks like
a dream. [Useful if visiting Mt. Fuji - or, alternatively, if you have
bad dreams, a garbage heap...]
あの 人は 日本人 みたい。
ano hito WA nihonjin mitai.
That person looks like
he's [or she's] Japanese.

There is another usage of -mitai where it can mean 'try and see' when added
to the て form of a verb:
やってみたい yatte mitai - I'll give
it a shot.
食べてみたい tabete mitai - I'll taste
and see.
That is a bit different from the above, but it is also very useful!

I've heard ~そう

While みたい can convey info you have heard as well as what you see, ~そう is mainly used for info that originated elsewhere. - I heard...

1) simple verb + ~sou + desu/da

ゆきちゃんは 肉を 食べない そう だ。
yuki chan WA niku o tabenai sou DA
I heard Yuki doesn't eat meat.

2) -i adjective + ~sou + desu/DA

田中さんの新しいパソコンは とても 高い そう です。
tanaka san no atarashii pasokon wa totemo takai sou desu.
I heard Tanaka's new computer is very expensive. [This info could have come from Tanaka himself, or someone else]

Like, as... ~ように

Here is a useful tag which means 'just as...' or 'like this...'

1) simple verb + ~you ni

私が言う ように して。
watashi ga iu you ni shite.

Do as I say.

2) noun + ~ no you ni

あなた は 熊のプーさん のように かわいい です。
anata wa kuma no pu-san no you ni kawaii desu.

You are as cute as Winnie the Pooh

like, as if, apparently らしい

This is similar to ~sou where the speaker is repeating info heard from another source. The only difference may be ~rashii may be based on more reliable information.

1) simple verb + ~rashii

山田さん は 帰った らしい です。
yamada san wa kaetta rashii desu.
It sounds like Mr. Yamada has come home.

2) noun + ~rashii

There are a few nouns with rashii that you can remember as a word in itself. This meaning is slighly different from the above verb construction. Instead of meaning info heard elsewhere, when added to a noun it means the speaker thinks something looks like something. Here are a few:

男らしい otokorashii - manly (like a man)
女らしい onnarashii - girly (but perhaps 女っぽい onnappoi is used more)
犬らしい inurashii - like a dog (substitute any animal here. This is useful when you see an animal at night and are not sure what it is, but it looks like...)
アメリカらしい amerikarashii - American-ish (substitute any country)

Another similar construction with nouns is ~ppoi - as seen above with onnappoi. When added to nouns to mean 'looks like...' ~ppoi is the same as ~rashii

Let's... ~しましょう

Maybe this should be bumped up since it is so useful. Let`s start...

1) ~masu verb - masu + mashou

Here are a few quick and useful examples:


Let's go.



sensei to hanashimashou.

Let's talk to the teacher.

nihongo o benkyou shimashou.
Let's study Japanese.

This example uses suru. Another example would be:

スカイダイビングしましょう sukai daibingu shimashou. Let's go sky diving.

This construction is very easy if you know the masu (formal) form of the verb. If you are a beginner, you probably want to stick with the ~masu form anyway.

Won't you...? ~ませんか?

Why don't we study Japanese grammar?

ok. Since we have the above construction (using a negative to suggest doing something) in English, this grammar point isn't too difficult to grasp.

1) ~masu verb - masu + masen ka

dokoka ikimasen ka.
Why don't we go already?
[notice I have the English as 'we.' It could be 'you' if you are angry at the person and wish him to leave...]

eiga o mimasen ka .
Why don't we see a movie.

nanika nomimasen ka.
Wouldn't you like to drink something?
[In this case you are asking someone individually if they would like something to drink. ]

Power ender "ね"

This is used at the end of a sentence and contains a variety of meanings. We will look at it as a question tag.

As a question tag: don't you... isn't it...

あなたはにんじんが嫌いです anata wa ninjin ga kirai desu ne. You don't like carrots, don't you?

その映画はとてもいい映画だった sono eiga wa totemo ii eiga datta ne. Don't you think that was a good movie?

今日は暑いです kyou wa atsui desu ne. Today is very hot, isn't it?

If you want to use ne as a question tag, it helps to nod your head, or change the inflection to let the listener know you would like a response. It is usually used when the speaker feels fairly certain his listeners agree with what was said.

A very useful phrase for whenever something good happens is:

いい ii ne. Isn't that great!

When, that time とき

If you don't know when to say something, you will never say it!

Using とき toki - at the time when...

With a noun add a の

[Looking at a photo]
私は 学生 の ときには とても 若かったね。

watashi wa gakusei no toki ni wa totemo wakakatta ne. [looking at a photo] When I was a student, I was very young, wasn't I?

And with verbs...

simple past
フロリダに 行った ときに これを 買いました。
furorida ni itta toki ni kore wo kaimashita. When I went to Florida, I bought this.

フロリダに 行く ときは おみやげを 買います。
furorida ni iku toki wa omiyage wo kaimasu. When I go to Florida, I will buy souvenirs.

寝る とき いつも 布団で 寝ます。
neru toki itsumo futon de nemasu. When I sleep, I always sleep on a futon.

For more information on time related words, click here

Using こと、もの

This is how you say 'thing'

Koto - intangible things

ii koto wa arimasen.

There isn't anything good.

daiji na koto o oshiemasu.

I will tell you an important thing.

kinou no koto wa sumimasen deshita.

I am sorry about what happened yesterday. (yesterday's thing)

Mono - tangible things

sono kuroi mono wa neko kanaa.

I wonder if that black thing is a cat?

oishii mono ga tabetai.
I want to eat
something good.

One useful phrase using koto is:

dou iu koto?
What is the meaning of this?

This phrase is used whenever the listener isn't sure of the motive of the speaker.

situation, case 場合

This is one that should be learned by useful examples

hijou no ba ai wa botan o oshite kudasai.

In case of emergency push the button.

sono ba ai wa dou sureba ii?
In that situation, what should I do?

tesuto ga atta ba ai, watashi wa byouki ni narimasu.
Should a test be given , I will get sick.

Etc... and... など、とか

Sometimes you have to say more than one thing. Whoever invented 'etc.' was a genius. Let's see how to do this in Japanese...

First a few ways to list multiple items:

や ya - and, and so forth

pi-man ya hourensou ga kirai desu.
I don't like green peppers, spinach and the like.


とか toka - or, and, and so forth

kuma no pu-san toka doraemon toka kiti chan ga suki desu.
I like things like Winnie the Pooh and Doraemon and Hello Kitty.


And now for nado to wrap things up.

tabemono no naka dewa piza toka furaido poteto nado ga suki desu.

As for foods, I like things like pizza or french fries.

About くらい or ぐらい

About how m