to be question

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to be question

Post by C0kaCoLa » Tue 12.20.2005 4:44 am

i read somehwere in a website that says this:
One of the trickiest part of Japanese is that there is no verb for the state-of-being like the verb "to be" in English. What Japanese has instead, is a way to declare that something is the way it is by attaching the hiragana character 「だ」 to a noun or na-adjective only.

then the example given is:
(1) 魚だった。- Was fish.
(2) 学生じゃなかった。- Was not student.
(3) 静かじゃなかった。- Was not quiet.

is it correct??Arent we suppose to use desu instead of da?And i dont quite get the past tense part...If i use desu then how do say was not fish?

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RE: to be question

Post by mandolin » Tue 12.20.2005 5:48 am

You're learning all that from Tae Kim's site, eh?

I have been going through his lessons myself.

Tae Kim starts out using plain speech, not polite. That is to say, you learn casual conversation, and he will get to polite conversation later. I think his method is excellent.

Forget you ever learned anything about japanese for the duration of your study at Take it one step at a time, or you will end up confusing yourself more.

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RE: to be question

Post by natemb » Tue 12.20.2005 9:16 am

Seems like a nice way to learn, since the plain form is useful and fundamental. But if you want to know the polite way to say the same thing:

だ => です (like you said)
じゃない => じゃ ありません or では ありません (じゃ is a contraction of では)
だった => でした
じゃなかった => じゃ ありません でした (quite the mouthful)

One more important point for だ vs です. You do not need だ after ーい stem adjectives. But in polite speech you do use です.

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