Chapter Five: Explanation


  • いきましょう! ikimashou! - [Let's go!] We first saw this in Chapter 3, but it is ve
  • ry useful. The plain "go" is ikimasu (normal - polite) or iku (normal). The first (ikimasu) is in what's called the -masu form because it ends in masu. (easy right?) The masu form is considered polite, but is used very often. Just plain iku (sometimes called dictionary form) is also used often. To say "LET'S ..." simply add mashou to the end of the masu form.
  • どこに? doko ni? - [Where to?] We saw doko (where) in Chapter 3, but now we have a strange little ni added after the doko. As you can see from the translation, the ni adds a direction (to). Obaasan said "Let's go" so Frank asks "Where TO?"
  • となりうちに。 tonari no uchi ni. - [To the next door neighbors' house.] 1st point: notice the ni is added again to show direction. 2nd point: to say next-door-neighbors, simply say "tonari no..." to say the "The Brown's next door" would be "tonari no buraun" OR to just say "neighbor" in general say "tonari no hito" (next's person = next door person) 3rd point: tonari can also be used for objects. kuruma no tonari (next to the car) || neko no tonari (next to the cat) but saying "tonari no neko" would mean "the next door's cat" -- do you follow?
  • いいよ。 ii yo - [That's fine.] Often used when giving permission to do something. "May I eat your pizza?" "ii yo." || "May I have your car?" "ii yo."
  • こんばんは! konban wa - [Good evening.] This is a set phrase. It actually means "As for this night"
  • こんばんは、 あら、 その人は だれですか? konban wa, ara, sono hito wa dare desu ka? - [Good evening, oh and who is this person?] 1st point: The answer to konban wa is konban wa. 2nd point: ara is not a word, but a sound showing some level of surprise. Japanese uses a number of sounds like ara. eeto (let me think...) is another one that you have encountered. 3rd point: Do you remember sore (that) from Chapter 3. Both sono and sore are actually the same, but the usage is different. sore stands alone and is usually followed by wa (the topic particle "as for...") as in "sore wa sushi desu." (That is sushi) BUT!! sono is always connected with a noun. sono sushi wa oishi desu. (That sushi is delicious.) sono hito (that person) NOTE: sore's partner in crime, I mean, Japanese is kore (this (not that)) and kore's noun-brother is kono. kono hito (this person)
  • フランクと もうします。 はじめまして。 furanku to moushimasu. hajimemashite. - [I am called "Frank." Nice to meet you.] 1st point: Think of the to as "quotation marks" 2nd point: moushimasu is a very humble (that means Frank is a nice guy) way of introducing oneself. You could also say more abruptly "furanku desu." (I'm Frank.) 3rd point: hajimemashite (nice to meet you - lit. Let's start...) is said when meeting for the first time.
  • はじめまして、いらっしゃい! hajimemashite, irasshai - [Nice to meet you, welcome.] 1st point: hajimemashite's answer is hajimemashite. 2nd point: irasshai is a shortened form of irasshaimase (welcome) - a good rule is the longer the word the more polite it becomes. Both irasshai and irasshaimase are yelled by store clerks at every supermarket, shop, and store when you enter their doors.
  • おじゃまします! ojamashimasu! - [Sorry for disturbing you] 1st point: jama means "thing in the way" "a bother" so literally you are saying "sorry for being a thing-in-your-way" 2nd point: the o added at the beginning is for politeness. You will see more of it later.
  • いいうち です ね。 ii uchi desu ne. - [You have a nice house] 1st point: I put "you" in the translation, but in Japanese this is not natural. It is obvious the house belongs to "you" so it is not said. 2nd point: add ii to any noun that you like. "ii hito" (nice person) "ii neko" (nice cat) 3rd point: the ne is added for stress and to presupose that everyone would agree. ne has many usages and I don't think they can be explained well. If you listen to the different ways it is used, you will catch on.
  • ねえねえ、 となり 山田さん