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んです。 Chapter 12

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んです。 Chapter 12

Postby ピーター » Sun 04.25.2010 7:45 am

Greetings all. I've just reached Chapter 12 of Genki I, and I'm having an issue with the んです explanation.

The book states that んです is invariant and 'does not usually appear in the negative or the past tense forms.' But, it doesn't seem to say what you do when you have a noun before the んです but need to make it past tense. For instance, using Question 4 in the first practice exercise of that chapter, which is what highlighted the issue for me:

4) きのうは誕生日でした。

 And it wants me to make it into an んです explanation sentence, but I don't really understand how to do that.

If it were present tense, it would be:

きのうは誕生日なんです。

 What would the past tense be? Would it just be:
 
 きのうは誕生日だったんです。 (including the -datta in this case, like a verb)?

Thanks for any help and clarification.
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Re: んです。 Chapter 12

Postby pmt7ar » Sun 04.25.2010 12:12 pm

I don't know in the げんき series, but I've learn んだ as a contraction of のだ. Usually gives more emphasis to the expression, or make it more formal/explanatory (in newspaper shows often as のである)

I've found on internet a tutorial that has a table of different tenses, maybe it is of help.
http://www.guidetojapanese.org/particles3.html
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Re: んです。 Chapter 12

Postby ピーター » Sun 04.25.2010 12:33 pm

Ah, ありがとうございます!
That's cleared it up nicely thanks. :D

It seems to me a bit of an omission that Genki's conjugation table doesn't cover that though, the book is normally so very thorough.

Thanks once again.
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Re: んです。 Chapter 12

Postby ss » Sun 04.25.2010 8:30 pm

ピーター さん、はじめまして。

Did you notice a small "1" there? Refer to the explanation footnote below. It's explaining to you 「んです」 goes after the short form of a predicate. The predicate can be either in the affirmative or in the negative, either in the present tense or in the past tense. ** But in writing, it is more common to find のです instead of んです。In casual exchanges, instead of んです, you'll see んだ or のだ。

Did you see the table on page 231? >>> When it follows a noun or a na-adjective, な comes in between:
noun > 学生です → 学生なんです
I'm a student > 学生です → 学生なんです = 学生なのです

So, on page 236 練習, they want you to repeat asking どうしたんですか, and you explain them using んです。
Your answer is correct. Just keep in mind, when you're using んです, you are actually explaining something, it express the speaker's personal, explanation tone or mode.

You will get used to Genki as you move on, I find Genki series very systematic and well organized, the books do give good explanation and provide footnotes for further clarification, they just don't keep repeating what you've already learned.

Just FYI, you add んです or んだ like this:

飲む (to drink)
飲みます → 飲むんです
飲みません → 飲まないんです
飲みました → 飲んだんです
飲みませんでした → 飲まなかったんです
飲みたいです → 飲みたいんです
飲みたくないです → 飲みたくないんです
飲みたかった → 飲みたかったんです
飲みたくなかったです → 飲みたくなかったんです
 
学生じゃない → 学生じゃないんです
学生じゃなかった → 学生じゃなかったんです

雨でした → 雨だった → 雨だったんです
暇でした → 暇だった → 暇だったんです

Hope that helps.
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Re: んです。 Chapter 12

Postby ピーター » Mon 04.26.2010 10:46 am

Thanks for the clarification.
I did read the footnote, but somehow misunderstood that. It seems obvious now you've pointed it out. :blush:

Thanks once again. :)
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Re: んです。 Chapter 12

Postby ss » Tue 04.27.2010 8:12 pm

You're welcome.

Please feel free to post your questions should you have any doubts. There are many people here use Genki, I'm sure they are happy to help you clarifying doubts as well.

Good luck in your studies. :)
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