Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com

View topic - Japanese "since" cause and time reference

Japanese "since" cause and time reference

Have a Question about some Grammar point? Share it with the world!

Japanese "since" cause and time reference

Postby スーゼン » Mon 09.07.2009 3:59 am

Hi!

I'm trying to practice for a text chat appointment I have this afternoon and I need some help.

I use ので a lot when I write. Would I use ので for this sentence, "since the semester started I haven't had much time for chat"? This is kind of confusing because I feel like I'm giving a reason for being busy AND a time reference at the same time!!

*sigh* I think I compare Japanese with English too much :?

新学期 (しんがっき) 始めたので、チャットをするのはもう時間がありません。 is this correct? What about using から??

what if I want to say "since" to refer to a point in time? "since I started studying Japanese it's gotten harder!"

日本語の勉強をするの始めた、だんだん難しくなってきました! is this correct?

I think I'll be using "since" a lot, so any variations (written and spoken), corrections and/or comments are much appreciated! (thank you for reading!)
スーゼン
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun 09.06.2009 11:15 am
Native language: English

Re: Japanese "since" cause and time reference

Postby keatonatron » Mon 09.07.2009 5:13 am

スーゼン wrote:...I feel like I'm giving a reason for being busy AND a time reference at the same time!!


Unfortunately, you aren't. You are either giving a time reference (since the start of the semester) or a reason (because the semester started). The same sentence can have both meanings depending on context, but it is not meant to have both meanings at the same time (I don't think many native speakers [besides yourself! :P ] would interpret it as such).

In Japanese, those two meanings are created with completely different constructions. You can use ので for the "because" meaning, or change the verb to the te-form and add から for the "since" meaning.

新学期が始まってからチャットの時間はもうありません。
User avatar
keatonatron
 
Posts: 4838
Joined: Sat 02.04.2006 3:31 am
Location: Tokyo (Via Seattle)
Native language: English
Gender: Male

Re: Japanese "since" cause and time reference

Postby NileCat » Mon 09.07.2009 5:19 am

Hello, スーゼン.

新学期 (しんがっき) 始めたので、チャットをするのはもう時間がありません。 is this correct?

The usage of ので is fine.
But the usage of 始めた is incorrect.
It should be "新学期が始まったので".

About the second sentence, ...well, you are saying that it's gotten harder to make time for chat, correct?
In that case, if you want to use から,
日本語の勉強を始めてから、チャットをする時間があまりとれません。or
日本語の勉強を始めてから、チャットをする暇(ひま)がありません。would be natural. 
You're refering to a point in time here.

In terms of the second part of the second sentence, if your line is a reply to someone's question like this:
「最近、チャットする時間がとれないのですか?」
Your answer should be like this as you wrote:
「日本語の勉強を始めてから、だんだん難しくなってきました!」

EDIT:
Omg, I was too late!
I obviously took it as 'because' in the first one, and as 'time-line' in the second one.
User avatar
NileCat
 
Posts: 1168
Joined: Sat 08.01.2009 2:11 pm
Location: Tokyo
Native language: Japanese

Re: Japanese "since" cause and time reference

Postby スーゼン » Mon 09.07.2009 7:51 am

That clears things up a little, thanks!

..and thanks for that heads-up on the transitive verb...

[quote="NileCat"]「最近、チャットする時間がとれないのですか?」

I've never seen 時間がとる before. That means (roughly) "time is not able to take~~", right?

Are there other examples of とる used this way?

EDIT (I tried to google "to take time" and I got this 手間どる)
スーゼン
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun 09.06.2009 11:15 am
Native language: English

Re: Japanese "since" cause and time reference

Postby NileCat » Mon 09.07.2009 10:20 am

Ah..sorry, it might not have been a good example. But I couldn't come up with any other appropriate expression which could be followed by the answer using 難しくなってきました.

時間をとる is the basic form which means "take time"
時間をつくる is similar which means "make time"

So grammatically the example sentence should have been:
「最近、チャットする時間をとることができないのですか?」or
「最近、チャットする時間をつくることができないのですか?」

時間がとれる is...like..a kind of...passive form, I think.(I don't know the grammar term)
Grammatically, it is more complicated. (which I didn't realize)

"とる" --- (take/catch)  e.g. 私は魚(fish)をとる。休み(rest)をとる。
"とれる" --- be (able to) taken/be (able to) caught e.g. 魚がとれる。休みがとれる。

In your sentence 「だんだん難しくなってきました」, the hidden subject word(phrase) is not "I" or "You" but "Making time". That's why I made up the question sentence to make it clear. But sorry, it was too complicated.

Does it make any sense to you?

EDIT:
スーゼン wrote:(I tried to google "to take time" and I got this 手間どる)

手間取る(てまどる) has a negative feeling. Like...being stuck at work..or something. And it is a...what do you call it? ...complex verb?
Last edited by NileCat on Tue 09.08.2009 3:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
NileCat
 
Posts: 1168
Joined: Sat 08.01.2009 2:11 pm
Location: Tokyo
Native language: Japanese

Re: Japanese "since" cause and time reference

Postby スーゼン » Mon 09.07.2009 2:21 pm

It makes sense :) Those two phrases are interesting. I didn't see that 手間 is like "labor". Now that I know that I think I can tell the two apart. Thank you ^^
スーゼン
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun 09.06.2009 11:15 am
Native language: English

Re: Japanese "since" cause and time reference

Postby keatonatron » Mon 09.07.2009 11:36 pm

スーゼン wrote:I've never seen 時間がとる before. That means (roughly) "time is not able to take~~", right?


The standard form is 時間をとる(取る) which is literally translated as "take time" :wink: When the verb is conjugated to the "be able to" form (e.g. とれる), it is common for the を article to be changed to が. You can think of that conjugation as acting passively (e.g. とれる - be able to be taken) which is why it uses が instead of を.

Also, it's important to note that this "take time" means "set aside time [for your studies]", "take the time [to return a phone call]", and is different from "It takes time [to send an e-mail]"
User avatar
keatonatron
 
Posts: 4838
Joined: Sat 02.04.2006 3:31 am
Location: Tokyo (Via Seattle)
Native language: English
Gender: Male

Re: Japanese "since" cause and time reference

Postby スーゼン » Tue 09.08.2009 4:35 am

I see, and "to take time" would be 時間掛かる  right?

Can you explain the difference between these sentences, if I wanted to write

メールの時間は1時間が掛かる the time it takes for the email is one hour?
メールは1時間だけ掛かる the email takes only one hour (to write)?

Thanks for your help!
スーゼン
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun 09.06.2009 11:15 am
Native language: English

Re: Japanese "since" cause and time reference

Postby keatonatron » Tue 09.08.2009 4:42 am

スーゼン wrote:I see, and "to take time" would be 時間掛かる  right?


Yes, but don't forget to include your articles, they're more important than you may think! The (more) correct way to say it is 時間がかかる (for "it takes time to XXX") and 時間をかける (for "to spend time on XXX")

Can you explain the difference between these sentences, if I wanted to write

メールの時間は1時間が掛かる the time it takes for the email is one hour?
メールは1時間だけ掛かる the email takes only one hour (to write)?

Thanks for your help!


Saying 時間 twice is redundant! Just メールは1時間がかかる is fine. You could even say メールは1時間かかる to show that you think 1 hour is a long time. (comparable to "it takes one whole hour")

Your second sentence is fine.

I'll also provide another example you might be able to use:
メールを書くのに1時間をかけた。
"I spent 1 hour [on] writing an e-mail."

Note that this isn't the conjunction のに, but the article の (like adding -ing) plus に.
User avatar
keatonatron
 
Posts: 4838
Joined: Sat 02.04.2006 3:31 am
Location: Tokyo (Via Seattle)
Native language: English
Gender: Male

Re: Japanese "since" cause and time reference

Postby NocturnalOcean » Tue 09.08.2009 2:02 pm

keatonatron wrote:
I'll also provide another example you might be able to use:
メールを書くのに1時間をかけた。
"I spent 1 hour [on] writing an e-mail."

Note that this isn't the conjunction のに, but the article の (like adding -ing) plus に.


Actually I think メールを書くのに1時間がかかった sounds more natural.
失敗は成功の元
NocturnalOcean
 
Posts: 688
Joined: Mon 03.12.2007 12:43 pm
Native language: Norwegian

Re: Japanese "since" cause and time reference

Postby NileCat » Tue 09.08.2009 3:55 pm

NocturnalOcean wrote:
keatonatron wrote:
I'll also provide another example you might be able to use:
メールを書くのに1時間をかけた。
"I spent 1 hour [on] writing an e-mail."

Note that this isn't the conjunction のに, but the article の (like adding -ing) plus に.


Actually I think メールを書くのに1時間がかかった sounds more natural.

メールを書くのに1時間をかけた。
...The mail was so important that you took it seriously.
メールを書くのに1時間がかかった。
...Although it was not a long mail, you were sleepy when you wrote it.

Both sound natural. Only the nuance is slightly defferent.
User avatar
NileCat
 
Posts: 1168
Joined: Sat 08.01.2009 2:11 pm
Location: Tokyo
Native language: Japanese

Re: Japanese "since" cause and time reference

Postby JaySee » Tue 09.08.2009 4:03 pm

I think the constructions and their nuances are probably very similar to English:

"I took an hour to write the e-mail" (voluntary) vs. "It took me an hour to write the e-mail" (involuntary).
JaySee
 
Posts: 314
Joined: Sat 08.04.2007 12:04 am
Location: Tokyo
Native language: Dutch
Gender: Male

Re: Japanese "since" cause and time reference

Postby keatonatron » Wed 09.09.2009 2:04 am

Yes, that is correct. I wanted to show an example of a voluntary action.
User avatar
keatonatron
 
Posts: 4838
Joined: Sat 02.04.2006 3:31 am
Location: Tokyo (Via Seattle)
Native language: English
Gender: Male

Re: Japanese "since" cause and time reference

Postby スーゼン » Wed 09.09.2009 2:39 am

wow, okay I think I understand the meanings but I'm a little confused about the verbs...

"1時間がかかた  is the plain past form of かかる not かかった  :?: (かかる、かかって、かかった)

1時間をかけた  is this the passive form? My verb list shows the the passive form to be かかられる

I googled かけた and got something like "applied"....
スーゼン
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun 09.06.2009 11:15 am
Native language: English

Re: Japanese "since" cause and time reference

Postby furrykef » Wed 09.09.2009 3:35 am

スーゼン wrote:"1時間がかかた  is the plain past form of かかる not かかった  :?: (かかる、かかって、かかった)


Huh? Where did you get this from? The past form of かかる is definitely かかった。 The past tense form of every single verb that ends with -aru is -atta.

1時間をかけた  is this the passive form? My verb list shows the the passive form to be かかられる


かけた is formed from the verb かける, not かかる. It's considered a separate form. The difference is that かかる is intransitive (takes no object) and かける is transitive (takes an object). That's why the sentence with かかる has no particle after 1時間 (instead, 1時間 is functioning as an adverb), and the sentence with かける has 1時間を.

かかられる is indeed the passive form of かかる, by the way. (The passive form of かける is かけられる.)

I googled かけた and got something like "applied"....


It's pretty difficult to really get the sense of a meaning of a word by googling it (unless you're lucky and you stumble upon a lesson about that word or something). Using WWWJDIC may yield better results, but it still won't go into any details.

- Kef
Founder of Learning Languages Through Video Games.
Also see my lang-8 journal, where you can help me practice Japanese (and Spanish, and Italian!)
User avatar
furrykef
 
Posts: 1572
Joined: Thu 01.10.2008 9:20 pm
Native language: Eggo (ワッフル語の方言)
Gender: Male

Next

Return to Grammar Questions and Problems

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests

cron