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Struggling through Minna no Nihongo 2!

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Struggling through Minna no Nihongo 2!

Postby hadouken! » Tue 11.22.2011 9:36 am

Hey there again everyone! Hope someone can help me with this sentence. It should be straight forward but the use of を is confusing me!

どうしてかいしゃをやすんだんですか
Why did you take a vacation from work?

どうして= why
かいし = company
やすんだ = past affirmative of やすむ to rest

Why is it not かいしゃやすんだ ?

Thank you! :)
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Re: Struggling through Minna no Nihongo 2!

Postby SomeCallMeChris » Tue 11.22.2011 5:23 pm

I'm not really sure why you would even think it -could- be の... The only time の can mark one of the nouns that go with a verb, it does so as a replacement for が and with the same 'subject marker' meaning (and usually in a sub-clause, not the main sentence). Clearly, it can't be this because the かいしゃ is not the one resting and needs to be marked as some kind of object or location, not the subject.

You probably haven't even gotten to that, and the 'possessive' の links two noun phrases together. You don't have two noun phrases. What you have, stripping off the frills, is かいしゃ を やすむ - noun, object marker, verb. It's a perfectly normal verb with a perfectly normal object.

It takes a little getting used to only because やすむ doesn't have an exact parallel in English, we don't have a verb that means 'to take a break from (school, work, etc)', we string together several small words for the same meaning. The Japanese grammar is actually entirely straightforward.

Anyway, the どうして at the front just makes the sentence into the question 'why', and the んですか at the end makes that question a polite, explanation-seeking question. They don't have any impact at all on the structure of かいしゃをやすんだ
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Re: Struggling through Minna no Nihongo 2!

Postby CardinalGuy724 » Wed 11.23.2011 12:01 am

I don't quite get why you are confused. Can you elaborate a bit more? Why do you think that の is an appropriate particle in this case?
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Re: Struggling through Minna no Nihongo 2!

Postby hadouken! » Wed 11.23.2011 6:15 am

Thanks, SomeCallMeChris,

This is what confused me I think:

It takes a little getting used to only because やすむ doesn't have an exact parallel in English, we don't have a verb that means 'to take a break from (school, work, etc)', we string together several small words for the same meaning. The Japanese grammar is actually entirely straightforward.


I was wondering why if it's a work holiday, it isn't called a holiday of work (or work holiday). Obviously as 'to rest' is a verb, かいしゃ receives the action of resting. Just seems a funny way of doing it to me!
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Re: Struggling through Minna no Nihongo 2!

Postby furrykef » Thu 11.24.2011 4:34 pm

I think your problem is you're not parsing やすんだんです correctly. It's やすんだ (past tense of やすむ) + ん (contraction of の) + です.
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Re: Struggling through Minna no Nihongo 2!

Postby Shiroisan » Sat 11.26.2011 2:53 am

hadouken! wrote:Thanks, SomeCallMeChris,

This is what confused me I think:

It takes a little getting used to only because やすむ doesn't have an exact parallel in English, we don't have a verb that means 'to take a break from (school, work, etc)', we string together several small words for the same meaning. The Japanese grammar is actually entirely straightforward.


I was wondering why if it's a work holiday, it isn't called a holiday of work (or work holiday). Obviously as 'to rest' is a verb, かいしゃ receives the action of resting. Just seems a funny way of doing it to me!



you could easily say holiday of work if you wanted to. It just probably wouldn't sound natural-sounding because やすむ would be more efficient to use alone; It's taking the place of both the noun (holiday/break) and the verb (to take a).

どうしてかいしゃのやすみを[insert verb of choice]たんですか?
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Re: Struggling through Minna no Nihongo 2!

Postby SomeCallMeChris » Sat 11.26.2011 4:06 am

Well, when it comes to that, there's tons of ways of expressing the general idea.
In fact, the original sentence looks to me more like 'Why did you take yesterday off?' than 'Why did you take a vacation from work?'.
There's 休暇 that can be 'taken' if it's really a vacation (planned time off from work), and 休日 for holidays (and I think for fixed days off in a schedule).

The original sentence is the natural way of asking why someone was absent from work, that may or may not have actually been 'vacation' (but probably wasn't if the question is even being asked, since Japanese vacations seem to involve quite a bit of planning and negotiation).

(The answer, I would expect, is something like 'I was sick', 'I had to go to a parent-teacher meeting', 'jury duty', etc.)
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