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if not "masu", then what?? -_-;;

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if not "masu", then what?? -_-;;

Postby nativsweetie » Sat 10.15.2005 11:04 pm

hey. hmm. i'm confused...

well, my japanese friend tells me that teenagers don't normally use "masu" or "desu". well, my question is what would you use in place of "masu" or "desu"?

thanks for the time.
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RE: if not "masu", then what?? -_-;;

Postby AJBryant » Sun 10.16.2005 12:26 am

The "dictionary" (i.e., "plain form") of the verb, and "da." (Note: Teenagers DO use "-masu" and "desu" if they have any manners when talking to strangers or adults.)

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RE: if not "masu", then what?? -_-;;

Postby skrhgh3b » Sun 10.16.2005 1:49 pm

the "-masu" in the verbs you're learning is actually an auxiliary attached to the actual verbs to make your speech more polite. i think it's absurd to try to teach learners the "-masu" form of verbs before the "dictionary" form of verbs, but that seems to be the way it's universally done. but when they do finally get to the "dictionary" form of verbs, it's a major hurdle of confusion.

見[small](み)[/small]る (to see) = 見[small](み)[/small]ます (to see)
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RE: if not "masu", then what?? -_-;;

Postby nprz » Sun 10.16.2005 2:27 pm

It isn't universally done. My teacher gave us all the dictionary form of the verbs and taught us how to conjugate it to the masu form. It made it easier to lookup in a dictionary and in the book. I don't know what teachers are thinking if they teach only masu forms.
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RE: if not "masu", then what?? -_-;;

Postby Spaztick » Sun 10.16.2005 4:09 pm

It's easy to convert to the dict. form:

Drop the ます and change the last vowel sound remaining to a u (ie り becomes る).
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RE: if not "masu", then what?? -_-;;

Postby skrhgh3b » Sun 10.16.2005 4:43 pm

i think the reason most textbooks (that i've come across) teach the "-masu" form of verbs before anything else is because it's the safest style of speech in most social situations, but that still doesn't make it the most appropriate foundation for learning. besides, if you can only communicate in "-masu" and "desu" style of speech, chances are you can't communicate much of anything, so i don't think the social danger (of rudeness) is all that great. but my point is, it seems strange to teach verbs that appear with an auxilary before teaching actually the verbs themselves. besides, learning to conjugate plain form verbs is one of the most difficult challenges in the beginning, and the most challenging stuff should come first because it sets the foundation to build on. there's my three yen.
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RE: if not "masu", then what?? -_-;;

Postby sparky » Sun 10.16.2005 5:13 pm

I started learning with "masu", and to be truthful, it wasn't that hard to then change it to the "dictionary" form. And I'm not saying this only for myself, my classmates, too. They picked it up pretty quickly (and we're not exactly "straight A" students! :p).

Both forms are important to learn: the "masu" form so that you won't end up being rude, and the "dictionary" form so that you can use the grammar correctly. Plus, my teacher also said it's pretty important to know when to use the "dictionary" form also, since if somebody talks to you using the "dictionary" form and you reply using the polite formal, you end up sending the person a message that you don't actually have that intimacy with said person yet. *lol*
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RE: if not "masu", then what?? -_-;;

Postby nprz » Sun 10.16.2005 8:39 pm

Spaztick: So something like おります becomes おる eventhough the verb might truly be おりる
Differentiation between 一段動詞 and 五段動詞 can become complex without ever learning the plain form.
This is just my experience of watching other people struggle going backwards.

I agree with sparky on formal/informal differences. In an episode of (I think) Beautiful Life, the woman wrote a thank you letter and it said ありがとうございます and the guy was like 「ございます」??? Thinking they were closer than that because they spent a whole day together doing a lot of things.
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RE: if not "masu", then what?? -_-;;

Postby Supergrunch » Mon 10.17.2005 2:11 pm

Spaztick wrote:
It's easy to convert to the dict. form:

Drop the ます and change the last vowel sound remaining to a u (ie り becomes る).


Now do that with します...;)
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RE: if not "masu", then what?? -_-;;

Postby Infidel » Mon 10.17.2005 6:17 pm

sparky wrote:
I started learning with "masu", and to be truthful, it wasn't that hard to then change it to the "dictionary" form. And I'm not saying this only for myself, my classmates, too. They picked it up pretty quickly (and we're not exactly "straight A" students! :p).


Right now your vocabulary is pretty small (not that mine is huge) so you haven't really got a handle on all the words that don't backwards convert.

Trust me. From the dictionary form you can figure out the masu form of pretty much everything because the exceptions are pretty few. Going reverse is not the same. There are plenty of words with the exact same masu form with different dictionary forms. Clearly you can't always convert backwards.
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RE: if not "masu", then what?? -_-;;

Postby lomagu » Tue 10.18.2005 6:32 am

I agree with what a few other people have said already. You should learn the dictionary form first. Then you can convert to any other form (not just ます) pretty easy. In Japanese, you change the verb form a lot depending on what you're saying. Whereas in English, you might add words instead of changing the verb.
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RE: if not "masu", then what?? -_-;;

Postby Spaztick » Tue 10.18.2005 10:53 am

Supergrunch wrote:
Spaztick wrote:
It's easy to convert to the dict. form:

Drop the ます and change the last vowel sound remaining to a u (ie り becomes る).


Now do that with します...;)


Heh, yea I know. That works for most verbs, except for the most common (and therefore the exception) words, する and 来る. Such a pain to learn the exceptions, but when you do you appreciate the others for thier almost systematic conjugation.
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RE: if not "masu", then what?? -_-;;

Postby nprz » Tue 10.18.2005 5:45 pm

I already stated that it doesn't work on any level 1 verb. You have to know which verbs are level 1 and 5 to do conjugations and it is easier to differentiate them if they are in plain form.
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RE: if not "masu", then what?? -_-;;

Postby InsanityRanch » Tue 10.18.2005 6:01 pm

I distinctly remember seeing in a blue book a chart illustrating the fact that verb conjugations for v5 verbs follow the a/i/u/e/o pattern -- that is, the negative stem, masu stem, plain form, conditional stem and er, er, intentional (?) stem are formed just like the syllabary column of the verb's last syllable.

Maybe I am weird, but for me this INSTANTLY made the whole system much more understandable. Then of course, I had to learn v1 verbs like taberu, but I thought of them as just a simplified version of the v5 pattern.

I have no idea if conjugation is commonly taught this way, since I've never taken an organized class in Japanese. But for me it turned chaos into order in a single instant.

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RE: if not "masu", then what?? -_-;;

Postby Mukade » Tue 10.18.2005 9:18 pm

InsanityRanch wrote:
I distinctly remember seeing in a blue book a chart illustrating the fact that verb conjugations for v5 verbs follow the a/i/u/e/o pattern -- that is, the negative stem, masu stem, plain form, conditional stem and er, er, intentional (?) stem are formed just like the syllabary column of the verb's last syllable.

Maybe I am weird, but for me this INSTANTLY made the whole system much more understandable. Then of course, I had to learn v1 verbs like taberu, but I thought of them as just a simplified version of the v5 pattern.

I have no idea if conjugation is commonly taught this way, since I've never taken an organized class in Japanese. But for me it turned chaos into order in a single instant.

Shira


This is how I taught Japanese verb conjugation back in the U.S. It made sense to me, too, when I was learning Japanese. But some of my students got it when I explained it this way, others didn't.

Everyone's learning style is different.

----

In general, although I agree that learning the dictionary form first provides a good foundation, knowing only dictionary form is bad mojo. Walking around speaking in plain form all the time will only offend people left and right.

Most language classes are structured to follow this simple pattern:

1) Get the student speaking simple, polite phrases as quickly as possible so that they can survive basic conversations.

2) Start to build a more solid foundation for a more in-depth understanding of the language.

3) Build on that foundation.

Although it may not make much linguistic sense to approach it this way, you have to realize that most people give up on language study rather quickly. If all they had ever been exposed to is plain speech, you'd have a lot of rude people walking around...
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