Chapter 6

  1. "how about ...?" - どう
  2. しまった・ちゃった
  3. "please do..." - 〜てください
  4. "please give me..." - をください
  5. on, in, above, behind...
  6. "why don't we...?" - 〜ませんか
  7. Closer look at を
  8. Closer look at に
  9. Closer look at で
  10. Closer look at が
  11. "if" II - たら
  12. "soft ender" II - ちょっと
  13. The power ender "よ"

How about ...? どう

To ask the state of something (how something is doing) use the useful dou (desu ka).

You can used it with or without the final 'desu ka' in conversation.

最近はどうですか?
saikin wa dou desu ka?

How's it going recently?

コーヒーはどう
ko-hi- wa dou?

How's
the coffee?
or it could mean How about some coffee?

天気予報はどう
tenki yohou wa dou?

How's
the weather forecast looking?

Of course when the context is understood you can simply say, 'dou' (Like returning from a doctor's appointment, or after your friend gets off an important phone call)

しまった、ちゃった

This literally means 'to complete, finish' but can (and usually does) involve a regret over having done something. Also it can be used sarcastically to mean the speaker really wanted to do something, but gives a halfhearted apology. For example, 最後のクーキーを食べてしまった。 I unfortunately ate the last cookie. Of course there really wasn't anything unfortunate about it.

The construction is usually after the ~te form of any verb

全部のお金を使ってしまいました
zenbu no okane o tsukatte shimaimashita.

Unfortunately,
I spent all my money.

私は完全に日本語を忘れてしまった
watashi wa kanzen ni nihongo o wasurete shimatta.

Unfortunately, I have completely forgotten Japanese.

Another very useful variation is ~chatta. This is informal and is used by both male and female speakers. chau is made by combining te shimau -> chau

試験に落ちちゃった
shiken ni ochichatta.

I flunked the test unfortunately.

or in the present tense

ケーキを全部食べちゃう。 
ke-ki o zenbu tabechau.

I will eat all the cake.


An important point by Mukade in the forums:
In the Kansai area, the use of ちゃった is limited to female speakers.

I learned both in the classroom, of course, since they are standard dialect. But when I moved here to Osaka, people started asking me if I was gay, since I kept using ちゃった all the time.

If I could help prevent someone else from having to go through the same "hard knocks" learning process that I did, it would make me very happy.


So be careful if you are in the Kansai area! But in most areas it should be fine.

Please do... ~てください

Here's how you boss people around. Well, in a nice way...

add kudasai (please) after the ~te form of any verb

ゆっくり話してください
yukkuri hanashite kudasai.

Please
speak slowly.

もっと大人らしくしてください
motto otona rashiku shite kudasai.

Please
act more grown-up.

ここで右に曲がってください
koko de migi ni magatte kudasai.

Please
turn right here.

Please give me... ~をください

Another use for kudasai is "please give me..."

その本をください
sono hon o kudasai.

Please
give me that book.

500円をください
go hyaku en o kudasai.

Please
give me 500 yen.

In spoken Japanese, the 'o' is usually dropped.

On, In, Above, Behind

A good knowledge of position particles will help glue everything together. にni - on
本があります。 tsukue ni hon ga arimasu. There is a book on the desk.

のうえに no ue ni - on top of
のうえに本があります。 tsukue no ue ni hon ga arimasu. There is a book on (top of) the desk.

のしたに no shita ni - under...
のしたに本があります。 tsukue no shita ni hon ga arimasu. There is a book under the desk.

の後ろに no ushiro ni - behind...
の後ろに本があります。 tsukue no ushiro ni hon ga arimasu. There is a book behind the desk.

Why don't we...? ~ませんか?

Why don't we study a little more?

どこかで食べませんか? 
dokoka de tabemasen ka?

Why don't we
eat somewhere.

何か飲みませんか? 
nanika nomimasen ka?

Would you like
something to drink. or Why don't we have a drink.

The context decides if the meaning should be 'why don't WE' or 'Would YOU.'

A Closer look at を

Pronounced o but written in Japanese as wo. Simply put, を is the 'direct object marker or particle' which indicates the previous word is the direct object. There are cases when the English would not consider it a direct object, though. Learn some examples and give it a try. This particle is one of the easier ones...

私はりんご食べました。 
watashi wa ringo o tabemashita.
I ate an apple. (apple is the を)

音楽聞きたいです。 
ongaku
o kikitai desu.
I want to listen to music. (music is the を)

テレビ買うつもりです。 
terebi
o kau tsumori desu .
I intend to buy a TV. (tsumori means'intend to'; TV is the を)

A Closer look at に

In most cases the particle へ can be used interchangeably with に. But に has a wider application so for now just stick with に

Showing movement toward... Like 'to'

日本行きたい。 
nihon
ni ikitai.
I want to go to Japan. (direction TO Japan)

どこ行きたいですか。 
doko
ni ikitai desu ka.
Where do you want to go?

Meaning 'on' or 'in'

絵を描きました。 
kami
ni e o kakimashita.
I drew a picture on a piece of paper.

In time - 'at'

六時会いましょう。 
roku ji
ni aimashou.
Let's meet at 6.

A Closer look at で

This is used mainly for location.

Used for location of where something happens

デパート帽子を買いました。 
depa-to
de boushi o kaimashita.
I bought a hat at the Department store.

日本何をしましたか? 
nihon
de nani o shimashita ka.
In Japan, what did you do?

Observe the difference between に and で:

マクドナルド行きたい。 
makudonarudo
ni ikitai.
I want to go to McDonalds.

マクドナルド食べたい。 
makudonarudo
de tabetai.
I want to eat at McDonalds.

A Closer look at が

This is the 'subject marker / particle'.

降っています。 
ame
ga futteimasu.
It's raining.

There is a subtile difference between WA and GA and I don't pretend to try to completely explain it. Years from now, you will still make WA/GA mistakes. Still, in general you can say WA is the main TOPIC and GA is the more specific SUBJECT at hand. In the above example we say it is raining. The topic isn't about rain. We are simply stating the circumstances at the moment and the subject of that particular sentence is rain. If we were to talk all about rain, we would probably start with WA as in:

空から降ってくる水です。 
ame
wa sora kara futte kuru mizu desu.
As for rain, it is water that falls from the sky. (You may go on to say more about the overall topic of rain.)

Used with SUKI

わたしは猫好き。 
watashi wa neko
ga suki.
I like cats.

Question words always use GA

おいしい? 
nani
ga oishii?
What tastes good?

来ました? 
dare
ga kimashita?
Who came?

どこ一番いいところですか? 
doko
ga ichi ban ii tokoro desu ka?
Where is the best place?

If II たら

A while back we found もし as the word that means 'if'. たら is added to the end of verbs to give the meaning of 'if this is done, then this will happen'

It is formed by finding the simple past form and adding a ら

あなたが来たら、彼は帰る。 
anata ga kitara
kare wa kaeru
If you are coming, he will go home.

The simple past form of 来る is 来た.The 2nd phrase is conditional on the たら phrase.

ゴジラに会ったら、どうしよう? 
gojira ni at
tara doushiyou.
What should I do if I meet Godzilla?

You can also use it with nouns by using the simple past form of desu: だった

お金持ちだったら、大きな家が買えるのに。 
okanemochi da
tara ookina ie ga kaeru noni.
If only I were rich, I could buy a large house.

Softener ちょっと

Many years ago I found an example in a book of how Japanese can be direct or politely indirect. For example you can say:

1) こい! koi

or

2) あのう、すみません、たいへん恐れいれますが、ちょっとこちらへいらっしゃってくださいませんでしょうか?

both mean 'come here' but #2 is much more polite being cushioned by many soft, indirect words. One of these words is ちょっと.

ちょっと means 'little' or 'small amount' but it is often used to soften an otherwise painful 'no' or 'your request is impossible; live with it'

ちょっと難しいですが。 
chotto
muzukashi desu ga.
That's a little difficult. (this may be said when the request is impossible)

ちょっと出来ないです。 
chotto
dekinai desu.
It can't be done.

ちょっと分からないです。 
chotto
wakaranai desu.
I'm not really sure.

I have been told the sound 'chotto' is a bad word in Korean. If that is the case, chotto may not be that soft of a word...

 

The power ender "