Chapter 7

  1. The non-but "even if" - でも・ても
  2. "the best, ~est" - いちばん
  3. "about..." - について
  4. "can't, not allowed" - いけません
  5. Easy kanji prefixes
  6. Easy counters
  7. The Explanatory んです
  8. の as a pronoun
  9. "how to..." - 〜かた
  10. "please don't" - 〜ないでください
  11. "have done..." - ことがあります
  12. "to decide to have..." - にします

The non-but でも/ても Even if、although

We have studied も which means 'also'. When added after the て form of a verb or adjective it brings on the meaning of 'even if'. Let's investigate:

冗談を言って、彼は笑いません。
joudan wo ittemo, kare wa waraimasen.
Even if
you tell a joke, he won't laugh.

And an adjective:

冷たくても、食べられます。
tsumetakutemo taberaremasu.

Even if
it is cold, I can eat it.

And just stick it after a noun

スーパマンでも、そんなことはできないよ。
su-paman demo sonna koto wa dekinai yo.

Even Superman can't do that!

The best, -est いちばん

While it means #1, it is also used as a superlative- most or -est

食べ物の中で何が一番好きですか?
tabemono no naka wa nani ga ichiban
suki desu ka?
Out of all foods, what do you like the best?

富士山は、世界で一番高い山じゃない。
fujisan wa sekai de ichiban takai yama ja nai.
Mt. Fuji isn't the tallest mountain in the world.

About... ~について

This is added to mean 'this sentence is ABOUT the previous word'. Simply stick it after the noun you want to talk about.

番組についてのお知らせです。
bangumi ni tsuite
no oshirase desu.
This is an annoucement about the program (TV for example).

あの映画についてどう思う?
ano eiga ni tsuite dou omou?

What do you think about that movie?

Can't, not allowed いけません/いけない

This is how to say something is forbidden to do. Perhaps easiest way to us this is to stick it after the て form of a verb and は (wa - topic particle).

知らない人と話してはいけません
shiranai hito to hanashite wa ikemasen.

Don't speak to strangers.

Often in casual speech, the ては becomes ちゃ (or じゃ) as in:

その映画を見ちゃいけませんよ。
sono eiga o micha ikemasen yo.
You are not allowed to watch this movie - or You shouldn't watch this movie.

You can also use だめ for a similar effect: 私の本を読んじゃだめ。watashi no hon o yonja dame. You can't read my book!

Easy kanji prefixes

There are a number of fairly easy kanji that will help dramatically increase your vocabulary. These kanji have specific meanings that when added to other kanji or words, it changes the whole meaning in a logical way.

大 - dai, oo - big

好き
suki
to like
大好き
dai suki
to really like, love
  嫌い
kirai
to dislike
大嫌い
daikirai
to really dislike, hate
         
地震
ji shin
earthquake
大地震
dai jishin
a huge earthquake
 
ame
rain
大雨
oo ame
heavy rain

Another similar word is: 小 (small)

毎- mai - every (attached to time words)


asa
morning
毎朝
mai asa
every morning
 
toshi
year
毎年
mai toshi
every year
         

ban
evening
毎晩
mai ban
every evening
     

会- kai - to meet (a suffix)

音楽
ongaku
music
音楽会
ongaku kai
concert/recital
  運動
un dou
exercise, sports
運動会
undou kai
athletic meet
         
         

Easy Counters

In English, we just take a number (1,2,3...) add a noun and an "s" to count items. But in Japanese different types of objects have different counters. Plus some numbers change pronunciation slightly when added with their counter. Don't worry too much about the pronunciation changes since you will be understood. And even if you mess up and count with the wrong counter, you should be understood, but just a tip... don't count people with "pikki" (used with animals!)

First, there are 2 ways to count numbers - the 'native' and the 'Chinese' way. Actually the 'native' counting system only goes up to 10 and is pretty much only used for counting up to two people and for counting general things. If you are feeling lazy, just learn the "Chinese" numbers for now.

If you haven't studied numbers yet, go to this page to learn all about them before proceeding: How to Count

Here is a quick review::

Native

一つ ひとつ
二つ ふたつ
三つ みっつ
四つ よっつ
五つ いつつ
六つ むっつ
七つ ななつ
八つ やっつ
九つ ここのつ
十 と

Chinese

一 いち
二 に
三 さん
四 し、よん
五 ご
六 ろく
七 しち、なな
八 はち
九 きゅう、く
十 じゅう

Note the two red alternate readings on the "Chinese" side. These are pronunciations based on the "native" readings but are often used in conjunction when counting other "Chinese" numbers.

Ok, now for counters.

Let's go through some common counters one by one and then I will give a list of many other counters:

Counter: nin | Usage: people [pay attention to the red lines.]
一人 (ひとり) 1 person [irregular]
二人 (ふたり) 2 people [irregular]

三人 (さん にん) 3 people [now we simply add the Chinese numbers to にん]
四人 (よ にん) [し にん is NOT used. Probably because し means death... Also notice the dropped ん from よん; hihlordjp from the discussion forums on this site brought up an interesting but obscure (I think) pronunciation - よったり or よたり. It is in the dictionaries although I had never heard it. ]
五人 (ご にん)
六人 (ろく にん)
七人 (しち にん OR なな にん) [It seems しちにん is used more often, but ななにん is also used]
八人 (はち にん)
九人 (きゅう にん or く にん)
十人 (じゅう にん)
十一人  (じゅう いち にん) etc...

Counter: hiki | Usage: most animals
一匹 (いっぴき) [notice the H changes to a P]
二匹 (にひき)
三匹 (さん びき) [notice the H changes to a B this time.]
四匹 (よんひき)
五匹 (ごひき)
六匹 (ろっぴき) [notice the H changes to a P AND the く becomes a small っ]
七匹 (なな ひき or しち ひき) [probably ななひき is most used]
八匹 (はっぴき or はち ひき)
九匹 (きゅう ひき)
十匹 (じゅっぴき) [notice the small っ - this occurs when there is a soft sound after like H]

Counter: hon | Usage: long, slender objects like pencils, bottles, arms...
一本 (いっぽん)
二本 (に ほん)
三本 (さん ぼん)
四本 (よん ほん)
五本 (ご ほん)
六本 (ろっぽん)
七本 (なな ほん)
八本 (はっぽん or はち ほん)
九本 (きゅう ほん)
十本 (じゅっぽん)

Other Counters:

satsu
books and magazines
fun
minutes
hai
cups of liquids, drinks
mai
sheets of paper; flat objects

一冊 (いっさつ) one book
二冊 (に さつ)
三冊 (さん さつ)
四冊 (よん さつ)
五冊 (ご さつ)
六冊 (ろく さつ)
七冊 (なな さつ or しち さつ)
八冊 (はち さつ or はっさつ)
九冊 (きゅう さつ)
十冊 (じゅっさつ or じっさつ*

一分 (いっぷん) one minute
二分 (に ふん)
三分 (さん ぷん)
四分 (よん ぷん)
五分 (ご ふん)
六分 (ろっぷん)
七分 (なな ふん)
八分 (はち ふん)
九分 (きゅう ふん)
十分 (じゅっぷん or じっぷん*
一杯 (いっぱい) one cup
二杯 (に はい)
三杯 (さん ばい)
四杯 (よん はい)
五杯 (ご はい)
六杯 (ろっぱい)
七杯 (なな はい)
八杯 (はっぱい)
九杯 (きゅう はい)
十杯 (じゅっぱい or じっぱい*
一枚 (いち まい) one piece
二枚 (に まい)
三枚 (さん まい)
四枚 (よん まい)
五枚 (ご まい)
六枚 (ろく まい)
七枚 (なな まい)
八枚 (はち まい)
九枚 (きゅう まい)
十枚 (じゅう まい)

* notice this can be pronounced as じっ instead of じゅっ. This is to make it clearer and is often used in broadcasting. You may also encounter this with hon and hiki. For now, you can just say, じゅっ...

The Explanatory "んです"

You may have heard this quite a lot and wondered what it's all about! It is most often used, informally, when:

1) To explain something
2) To show emphasis

んです is short for のです; Informal usage;

plain form verb + んです

何をしているんですか。
nani o shite iru n desu ka .
Whatcha doing?

テレビを見ているんです。
terebi o mite iru n desu.
Watching TV.

-i Adjective + んです

この映画は面白いんです。
kono eiga wa omoshiroi n desu.
This movie was great!

And it can be used as a way to stress a point

パーティに行かないでしょう。
pa-ti ni ikanai deshou
You won't be able to make it to the party, right?

いいえ、僕は行くんです。
iie, boku wa iku n desu.
No, I'm going!


いったい、どうしたんですか?
ittai, doushita n desu ka.
Just what exactly happened (to you)!!!?

の as a Pronoun

の can be used in place of a noun (indefinite pronoun) to mean "one" or "some."

Construction: 
arrow Use in place of noun


青い
aoi no.
The blue one.


安いがほしい。
yasui no ga hoshii.
I want the cheap one.
(computer, car, book, anything)

How to... ~かた

Attach かた to the stem of verbs to change it into a noun to mean: Way or Manner of doing or how to do...

Construction:
Take the ~ます form of a verb minus the ます and then add かた.



漢字の読み方
kanji no yomi kata
How/Way to read (a) kanji



漢字の書き方
kanji no kaki kata
How/Way to write (a) kanji

NOTE: Since it becomes a noun phrase, you should use の as above.

Let's ask, "Please teach me how to use chopsticks correctly."



はしの正しい使いを教えてください。
hashi no tadashii tsukai kata o oshiete kudasai.
Please teach me how to
use chopsticks correctly

Please don't しないでください

Sometimes you have to tell/ask people to not do something.

Construction:
arrow Take the ます form of a verb and drop the ます
arrow Add ないで ください

ケーキを食べないでください
ke-ki o tabe naide kudasai.
Please don't
eat the cake.

スカイダイビングをしないでください
sukaidaibingu o shinaide kudasai.
Please don't
go skydiving.

Have Done ことがあります

This is a very useful construction. Simply add it after a simple past form of a verb:

Construction:
arrow Take the simple past form of a verb
arrow Add ことがあります

アメリカに行ったことがありますか?
amerika ni itta koto ga arimasu ka?
Have you been
to America?


納豆を食べたことがあります
nattou o tabeta koto ga arimasu.

(I) have eaten natto before.

I'll Have... にします

To decide to have... にします

Very often this phrase is used to say, "I'll have (some food or drink)." Next time you go to a Japanese restaurant, give this a try.

なに