Grammar Power Words from JLPT N4

Grammatical Patterns for the JLPT 3 kyuu Test

あとで

あとで
atode
Meaning: later, after this, after
JLPT Level: 3
Examples

今は忙しいので、あとでします。
ima wa isogashii node, atode shimasu.
now-(topic particle)-busy-therefore-later-do
I am busy now, so I will do it later .

あとでゆっくり話しましょう。
atode yukkuri hanashimashou.
later-take time-let's speak
Let's catch up later.

Comments
A) あとで~する atode~suru - Used to mean "after doing this, I will..."

B) Past Tense + あとで - past tense sentences meaning "after that, I did..."

おかげ

おかげ
おかげ
okage
Meaning: thanks to, because of
JLPT Level: 3
Examples

薬のおかげで元気になった。
kusuri no okage de genki ni natta.
medicine-(possessive marker)-thanks to-healthy-became
Thanks to the medicine, I have recovered.

Comments
おかげ can have a positive or negative meaning. You can tell by the context.

おかげさまで is a set phrase meaning "thanks to you." and is often used to show gratitude for help or concern.

かもしれない

かもしれない
kamo shirenai
Meaning: it's possible that.., perhaps
JLPT Level: 3
Examples

彼はすぐ日本に行くかもしれません。
kare wa sugu nihon ni iku kamoshiremasen.
he-(topic particle)-soon-Japan-to-go-perhaps
It's possible he will go to Japan soon.

Comments

Something that one cannot be sure of, but is a possibility. X may be true.

かもしれません kamo shiremasen

See also だろう

ください

ください
kudasai
Meaning: please, please give me...
JLPT Level: 3
Examples

リモコンをください。
rimokon o kudasai.
remote control-(direct object marker)-please give.
Please pass me the remote control.

Comments

nouns + を + ください
verb て form + ください
(Negative) verb ない form + で form +ください

けれど

けれど
keredo
Meaning: but, however
JLPT Level: 3
Examples

雨が降っているけれども、店に行きます。
ame ga futteiru keredomo, mise ni ikimasu.
rain-(subject marker)-falling-but-store-to-go
It's raining, but I will go to the store.

外は暑いけれど、家の中は涼しい。
soto wa atsui keredo, ie no naka wa suzushii.
outside-(topic particle)-hot-but-house-(possessive marker)-inside-(topic marker)-cool
Outside is hot, but inside the house is cool.

Comments

The three versions けど、けれど、and けれども go in increasing politeness. けれども being the most formal.

See also (な)のに

ずつ

ずつ
zutsu
Meaning: little by little; dividing by; each
JLPT Level: 3
Examples

一日漢字を10個ずつ勉強しましょう!
ichi nichi kanji o juu ko zutsu benkyou shimashou!
a day-kanji-(direct object)-ten-units-a piece-study-let's
Let's study 10 kanji a day.

Notes: This is an example of ずつ adding to a total.

赤組と白組に二人ずつ分かれてください。
aka gumi to shiro gumi ni futari zutsu wakarete kudasai.
red-group-and-white-group-to-2 people-each-divide-please
Red team and white team, Please group into pairs.

Notes: This is an example of dividing with ずつ

Comments

with counting, measurements, or language.

A) Add little by little
B) separate a group by a certain amount.

hihlordjp from the forums wrote:
I have a little comment regarding 「ずつ」. I was taught it's づつ, which I believe is an older form. I'm not certain of the usage guidelines regarding the two variants, but I think it's generally safe to conclude that the former is the more modern, preferred form. ...Just thought to impart that.

Clay's Response:
I am glad it will be of help. Please do let me know if you find any corrections or find good examples. There is a submit link there.

I had never heard that. But I did look it up in a dictionary and it does give づつ as an alternate reading. I asked Yumi and she said she used both forms as a child, but was taught the ずつ form was correct in school.

After doing a google search, I found someone who has done all the research for us: http://blog.so-net.ne.jp/yuukok/2005-02-01 Great page. That person like Yumi was taught ずつ was the correct form but have seen づつ especially on old signs. The page says in Showa 61 (1983 - I think) the government settled on the ずつ reading.

たとえば

たとえば
tatoeba
Meaning: For example
JLPT Level: 3
Examples

何が食べたいですか?たとえば、ピザはどうですか?
nani ga tabetai desu ka? tatoeba, piza wa dou desu ka?
what-(subject marker)-want to eat-question? for example-pizza-(topic marker)-how about it.
What would you like to eat? For example, how about pizza?

Comments

.

ために

ために
tame ni
Meaning: for..., goal, cause, sake of
JLPT Level: 3
Examples

将来のためによく勉強してください。
shourai no tame ni yoku benkyou shite kudasai
future-(possessive)-sake-well-study-do-please.
Study hard for your future.

お金のためなら何でもします。
okane no tame nara nandemo shimasu.
money-(possessive)-for-if-anything-do.
I will do anything for money.

Notes: Not a very good statement, but a good example :)

Comments

 

だろう

だろう
darou
Meaning: perhaps, maybe, I wonder
JLPT Level: 3
Examples

何だろう?
nan darou?
what-?
What's this? What could this be?

この冬は寒くなるだろう。
kono fuyu wa samuku naru darou.
this-winter-(topic particle)-cold-become-I wonder
I wonder if it will be cold this winter.

Comments

Not sure but perhaps.

でしょう deshou is a more polite form.

つもり

つもり
tsumori
Meaning: planning on, intend to
JLPT Level: 3
Examples

彼は、来月日本に行くつもりだそうです。
kare wa, raigetsu nihon ni iku tsumori da sou desu.
he-(topic particle)-next month-Japan-to-go-plan-appears to be
It looks like he is planning on going to Japan next month.

Comments

 

という

という
toiu
Meaning: called, such as, that
JLPT Level: 3
Examples

クレヨンしんちゃんという漫画は面白いですよ。
kureyon shin chan to iu manga wa omoshiroi desu yo.
Crayon Shinchan-called-manga-(topic particle)-interesting-is-(emphatic)
A manga called Crayon Shinchan is really interesting.

Notes: The speaker assumes the listener hasn't heard of Crayon Shinchan.

Comments
と is used like a quotation marker and いう is say, call.

Placed before a noun that describes or defines the phrase before it.

Used when either you or the person you are speaking with are not too familiar with the phrase or is something new to the speaker or listener.

どうも

どうも
doumo
Meaning: 1) truly, really, very much 2) I'm not sure
JLPT Level: 3
Examples

どうもありがとうございます。
doumo arigatou gozaimasu.
very much-thanks-(polite)
Thank you very much.

うちの子がお世話になったそうで、どうもすみません。
uchi no ko ga osewa ni natta sou de, doumo sumimasen.
within-(possessive)-child-(subject marker)-aid-became-appears to have-very-sorry
I want to thank you for troubling to help our child.

Notes: The speaker probably didn't realize person had helped his child while he was helping.
Example of usage #1

どうも分かりませんので、もう一度言ってください。
doumo wakarimasen node, mou ichi do itte kudasai.
not sure-not understand-therefore-more-one-time-speak-please
I simply can't get it, Could you say it one more time?

Notes: Example of usage #2

Comments
A) Used to emphasize the statement - truly, really, very much: Mainly used with ありがとう and すみません. Note: often どうもありがとう is shortened to just どうも. Another varient is saying どうも twice - どうもどうも

B) Said when the speaker hears something not understood when the speaker wants to understand

はず

はず
hazu
Meaning: must be, should be, supposed to
JLPT Level: 3
Examples

クレイさんはアメリカ人だから、英語が分かるはずです。
kurei san wa amerika jin dakara, eigo ga wakaru hazu desu.
Clay-mr.-American-therefore-English-(subject marker)-understand-should-is
Since Clay is an American, he should understand English.

この山の中に一億円が隠してあるはずです。
kono yama no naka ni ichi oku en ga kakushite aru hazu desu.
this-mountain-'s-middle-in-one-billion (hundred million)-yen-(subject)-hidden-there is-should be
That mountain is supposed to have a billion Yen hidden inside.

Comments

The statement may or may not be true, but it is expected to be true.

Construction:
Verbs: Plain form of verb + はず
2) Nouns: Noun + の + はず

ばかり

ばかり
bakari
Meaning: 1) often, a lot, much, only doing... 2) about, around
JLPT Level: 3
Examples

あんた、毎日、食べてばかりだ。
anta, mainichi, tabete bakari da.
you (not polite)-every day-eat-only
You simply eat all day.

Notes: あんた is a impolite version of あなた.

だ is a casual form of です.

私は食べたばかりなので、おなかがいっぱいです。
watashi wa tabeta bakari na node, onaka ga ippai desu.
I-(topic marker)-ate-only-therefore-stomach-(subject marker)-full-is
I just ate so I'm full.

Notes: Here we have the past tense 食べた therefore ばかり means the event just happened.

Comments

Basically ばかり means there is nothing but what is stated. When the verb is in the past tense it takes the meaning of "just happened" which really means "since that time nothing else has happened."

または

または
mata wa
Meaning: or, choice between A or B
JLPT Level: 3
Examples

コーヒまたはお茶からお選びください。
ko-hi mata wa ocha kara oerabi kudasai.
coffee-or-tea-between-choose-please
You have a choice of coffee or tea.

Notes: Said by a waiter. the O in oerabi is the polite form of 選びます erabimasu - to choose.

日記を日本語、または英語で書いてください。
nikki o nihongo, mata wa eigo de kaite kudasai.
diary-(direct object)-Japanese-or-English-with-write
Write your diary in Japanese or English.
Comments
A または B

A formal way to say "or"

まま

まま
mama
Meaning: same, doesn't change
JLPT Level: 3
Examples

靴をはいたままどうぞ。
kutsu o haita mama douzo.
shoes-(direct object)-enter-without change-please go ahead
Feel free to keep your shoes on.

Notes: Some buildings (like libraries) in Japan don't require taking off shoes.

コタツをつけたまま出掛けました。
kotatsu o tsuketa mama dekakemashita.
kotatsu-(direct object)-on-without change-left
I left with the kotatsu on still.

Notes: Kotatsu is a (usually low) table with a heater in the inside and a heavy blanket drapped over to keep the inside warm for cold feet. Cats love 'em.

Comments

Condition didn't change

た form of a verb + まま

It is often used with sono or kono:
このままでいい。 kono mama de ii. It is ok just like this.

chuu
Meaning: 1) while, 2) throughout
JLPT Level: 3
Examples

店は準備中なので帰りましょう。
mise wa junbi chuu na node kaerimashou.
store-(topic marker)-preparation-still continuing-therefore-return home
The store isn't open, so let's go home.

年中無休
nen juu mu kyuu
year-long-not-rest
Open year long.

Comments

1) while, during 電話中 denwa chuu - While on the phone
2) throughout 世界中 sekai juu - throughout the world; all the world (notice the sound change with juu instead of chuu)

Also see [[~ながら]]

出来る

出来る
dekiru
Meaning: 1) can, able to, ability to, 2) finished
JLPT Level: 3
Examples

日本語ができます。
nihongo ga dekimasu.
Japanese-(subject marker)-can
(I) know Japanese.

最近できたレストランに行きましょう。
saikin dekita resutoran ni ikimashou.
recent-finished-restaurant-to-let's go
Let's go to the new restaurant.

Comments
A) ability

B) finished, complete - this is usually found in the past tense but you can use it in the future meaning "when done..." できたら教えて。 dekitara oshiete - Let me know when you are done.

場合

場合
ba ai
Meaning: condition, in the case of...
JLPT Level: 3
Examples

非常の場合、このボタンを押してください。
hijou no baai, kono botan o oshite kudasai.
emergency-'s-condition-this-button-(direct object)-push-please.
In case of emergency, press this button.

お金がない場合はアルバイトしてください。
okane ga nai baai wa arubaito shite kudasai.
money-(subject marker)-not-case-(topic marker)-part time job-please do.
If you don't have money, then get a job!

Comments

About something that may happen in the future

1) Noun + の + 場合
2) Verb (simple form) + 場合

(な)のに

(な)のに
(na) noni
Meaning: although, but
JLPT Level: 3
Examples

全部読んだのにぜんぜん分かりません。
zenbu yonda noni zenzen wakarimasen.
all-read-although-at all-don't understand.
I read the entire thing, and still don't get it.

犬なのに「ニャー」となきました。
inu nanoni nya- to nakimashita.
dog-although-meow-(question marker)-barked
Even though its a dog, it meowed.

Comments
You need the な with な adjectives or nouns.

~っぱなし

っぱなし
~ppanashi
Meaning: 1) left as is; unchanged 2) continue an action
JLPT Level: 3
Examples

一晩中、ラジオをつけっぱなしだった。
hitobanjuu, rajio o tsukeppanashi datta.
all night long-radio-(direct object)-left on-was
The radio was left on all night long.

ふられたあと、彼女は泣きっぱなしだった。
furareta ato, kanojo wa nakippanashi datta.
dumped-after-she-(topic marker)-cry-continued-did
After being dumped, she cried and cried.

Notes: This is an example of continuing an action.

Comments

Add to the stem of the masu form of any verb.

The kanji is 放し (hanashi) from 放す (hanasu) which means to "set free"

~ながら

~ながら
~nagara
Meaning: while doing A also doing B
JLPT Level: 3
Examples

音楽を聴きながら宿題をしました。
ongaku o kikinagara shukudai o shimashita
music-(direct object marker)-listen while-homework-did
While listening to music, (I) did homework.

Comments
It is formed by taking the stem from the -masu form of a verb and adding ながら

聞く ->  聞き ます -> 聞きながら
する ->  ます -> しながら

Note that the first verb (the one with ながら has no tense (not past or present).

A useful set phrase using ながら is 残念ながら zannen nagara - That's too bad, but...:
残念ながら、ピーマンを全部食べなさい。
zannen nagara, pi-man o zenbu tabenasai.
That's too bad-green pepper-(direct object)-all-eat(command).
It's a cryin' shame, but eat all your veggies!

~にくい

にくい
~nikui
Meaning: difficult to...; hard to
JLPT Level: 3
Examples

この仕事はやりにくいです。
kono shigoto wa yarinikui desu.
this-work-(topic)-do-difficult-is
This work is difficult to do.

Comments

Opposite of ~やすい

Add to the -masu form of a verb:

食べる ->  食べ ます -> 食べにくい
taberu -> tabe masu -> tabenikui
to eat -> eat -> difficult to eat

~ほうがいい

~ほうがいい
~hou ga ii
Meaning: this is better than that
JLPT Level: 3
Examples

休んだほうがいい。
yasunda hou ga ii.
rest-better to
It's better to rest.

Notes: It is better to rest (than not to rest)

Comments

verb: TA/DA form (past tense form) of a verb + ほうがいい
noun: noun + の + ほうがいい

for offering advice; comparing two items; It is better to...

See also our Free ほうがいい PDF lesson at our downloads page » Vocabulary Builders

~ませんか

~ませんか