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What's the best way to say...

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Re: What's the best way to say...

Postby lonelytraveler8 » Sun 11.01.2009 11:43 am

I suppose, that in the strictest sense of the phrase, I'm definitely not a "grammar person." But I definitely need to understand what's taking place behind the various things I learn. I appreciate everyone's input, so it's all good.

NileCat wrote:That's why I recommended to get familiar with the expression which always works and sounds natural.
学校に行きはじめる/勉強しはじめる/笑いはじめる...Once you get accustomed to the usage, it's very easy and very convenient!


Ok. This is actually much simpler to me than the other form. I have a couple of final questions about it, though. Does this form apply to most/all verbs and not just はじめる? Also is the のが thing still preferred for like/dislike/good at/bad at?

NileCat wrote:~ことがある is a good and handy expression. And you can apply it like:
たけしさんが授業を休んだことはおどろきです。(it was surprising)
たけしさんが授業を休んだことも2回あります。(he missed the class twice as well)
たけしさんが授業を休んだことが問題になりました。(it became a big problem)


So I was right in assuming that this type of structure can be used with particles and verbs other than が and ある?
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Re: What's the best way to say...

Postby coco » Sun 11.01.2009 11:44 am

lonelytraveler8 wrote:Let me ask this about your examples, NileCat:

--->本を読みはじめる (Using a verb stem here, you just put the verb you want right after. Is this meant to be a correct example or incorrect? I couldn't really tell based on what you wrote)
--->本を読むのをはじめる (This appears to be what my book says. Is this also correct? What is the best and most natural form of all of these?)


At this stage, as NileCat-san says, it is more useful to understand the grammar ~Vはじめる/~Vだす rather than V+[こと/の]をはじめる to you.

Both ~Vはじめる and ~Vだす, ます form of V is used, are categorized as JLPT 3 grammar.  
For example;
その女の子は泣きはじめ(まし)た。
その女の子は泣きだしました。
The girl began [to cry/crying].
The girl stated to cry.

-- ~V(ますform )+はじめる
-- 泣く→ 泣き(ますform)+はじめる=泣きはじめる
-- past tense →泣きはじめ(まし)た
-- 泣き(ますform)+だす=泣きだす
-- past tense → 泣きだし(まし)た
Let's review NileCat-san's examples.
NileCat wrote:読みはじめる/走りはじる/歌いはじめる/行きはじめる


"その女の子は泣く[の/こと]をはじめ(まし)た" is hardly used in a daily conversation. (When the verb is neither an intentional nor a conscious action, V ことをはじめる is an inappropriate usage.)

An inanimate subject works as well in both usage.

その電車は動きはじめ(まし)た。
その電車は動きだし(まし)た。
The train began [to move/ moving].
The train started moving.

If the subject of a sentence is inanimate, Vことをはじめました is weird in most cases unless it has a poetic/rhetorical intention. At least その電車は動くことをはじめた won't be replaced with その電車は動きはじめた.

In either case, grammar Vはじめる/Vだす is much more common and has a natural tone than Vことをはじめる.  
As for your original, 本を読みはじめる is natural, whereas 本を読むのをはじめる is uncommon.  

Hope this helps.  :)
--
Edit: It seemed that I had taken too long to write this post. :mrgreen:

Now I'm guessing your book might say 本を読むのをやめた. ( not 本を読むのをはじめた。) 
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Re: What's the best way to say...

Postby lonelytraveler8 » Mon 11.02.2009 5:59 pm

Actually, my book doesn't mention anything about using はじめる this way at all. I came up with the idea on my own while doing practice exercises and just wanted to make sure I was doing it right. I think I have a much better handle on it now. Thanks, everyone, for taking so much time to help me understand. :D

Edit:

Ok, as you can probably tell, I'm trying to make more complicated sentences with what I know, so here's another sentence I came up with while doing an exercise. Actually, it's something a friend said and I tried to translate it into Japanese (since the exercise was to report on what they had to say):

A: よく何をしましたか。
B: そとであそんで、見たテレビゲームをふけました。
C: リーズさんはそとであそんで、見たテレビゲームをふけたと言っていました。

She literally said (in English): "Play outside, obsessing over video games I saw." It's not really proper English (who uses proper English when IMing?) so I took it as "I played outside and obsessed over video games that I saw." It's still an awkward sentence, but it's what she said and, thus, what I used. Do I have the right idea? Did I make any big mistakes or sound unnatural?
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Re: What's the best way to say...

Postby becki_kanou » Mon 11.02.2009 11:16 pm

What was the question intended to be?
よく何をしました? doesn't quite make sense.
そうだ、嬉しいんだ、生きる喜び!
例え胸の傷が痛んでも。
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Re: What's the best way to say...

Postby lonelytraveler8 » Tue 11.03.2009 12:12 am

Oh, oops. That's the actual question but the directions before it are "Ask a question about your partner's childhood." So, modified, the entire question would have been:

子供のときよく何をしましたか。
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Re: What's the best way to say...

Postby coco » Wed 11.04.2009 8:01 am

lonelytraveler8 wrote:
Ok, as you can probably tell, I'm trying to make more complicated sentences with what I know, so here's another sentence I came up with while doing an exercise. Actually, it's something a friend said and I tried to translate it into Japanese (since the exercise was to report on what they had to say):

A: よく何をしましたか。
B: そとであそんで、見たテレビゲームをふけました。
C: リーズさんはそとであそんで、見たテレビゲームをふけたと言っていました。

She literally said (in English): "Play outside, obsessing over video games I saw." It's not really proper English (who uses proper English when IMing?) so I took it as "I played outside and obsessed over video games that I saw." It's still an awkward sentence, but it's what she said and, thus, what I used. Do I have the right idea? Did I make any big mistakes or sound unnatural?


lonelytraveler8 wrote:Oh, oops. That's the actual question but the directions before it are "Ask a question about your partner's childhood." So, modified, the entire question would have been:

子供のときよく何をしましたか。

I think you did well about how to report on what they said. :)

Have you learned "~たり、~たりする" form?
You can use this grammar in this situation.

A: 子どものとき、よく[何を/どんなことを]しましたか。
B: 外であそんだり、 テレビゲームをしたりし(てい)ました。

C: リーズさんは子どものとき、そとであそんだり、テレビゲームをしたりし(てい)たと言っていました

Regarding ふける(耽る), generally a particle に is placed before ふける as "be obsessed with", but I'm not sure whether it is a good choice or not.
"I played outside and obsessed over video games that I saw."

I couldn't understand this sentence due to my lack ability to comprehend English. 

I thought it might mean "When I was a child, I used to play outside, but actually I always thought about the video games that I saw and couldn't think anything else even when I played outside". :P

I was confused by the meaning "obsessed over"and "I saw".

If the sentence would be something like
"(I used to) play outside, (also) used to be deeply absorbed in playing video games that my mother bought for me",
I think it could be
外であそんだり、母が買ってくれたテレビゲームに熱中したりしていました。

Although テレビゲームにふけったりしていました is not wrong, テレビゲームに熱中していました here sounds much more natural to me.
ふける(耽る)is a JLPT 1 vocabulary, while 熱中する is JLPT2.

Hope my poor English makes sense. :)
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Re: What's the best way to say...

Postby furrykef » Wed 11.04.2009 9:53 am

coco wrote:I couldn't understand this sentence due to my lack ability to comprehend English.


Don't worry, I'm not that sure about what it means either... ^^;
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Re: What's the best way to say...

Postby coco » Wed 11.04.2009 10:23 am

furrykef wrote:Don't worry, I'm not that sure about what it means either... ^^;

どうもです。 :D

lonelytraveler8 wrote: Also is the のが thing still preferred for like/dislike/good at/bad at?

This の is used to nominalize the previous clause.
Thus, のが is not only used for "like/dislike/good at/bad", it can be also used as が usage that is combined with perceptional verbs. You can express a perceptional condition or ability by using this usage.

For instance,

飛行機見える。 I can see a plane.
飛行機が飛んでいるのが見える。 I can see a plane flying.(?) 

母の声聞こえた。 I heard my mother's voice.
母が私を呼んでいるのが聞こえた。 I heard my mother calling my name. (?)
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Re: What's the best way to say...

Postby lonelytraveler8 » Wed 11.04.2009 12:39 pm

I'm going to re-read your posts later. I just woke up haha.

As for the confusing sentence. Let it be known that I also did not completely understand what she was trying to say. She said she "obsessed over video games," which is fine, but then she corrected herself to "obsessed over video games that I saw." So I honestly wasn't completely sure what she meant, but tried to pretend that the sentence had been conveyed equally as awkward in Japanese.

My guess at the meaning was:

"I played outside when I was a kid. I also thought a lot about video games that I saw (even when I couldn't buy or play them)." In this case, obsessed isn't really meant in the literal sense of the word. It's a hyperbole that's often used to describe something like "I really liked" or "I spent a lot of time thinking about."

It's actually kind of hard to explain beyond that :?

Edit:

Thanks, cocoさん. I went back through the posts and appreciate your links and explanations, especially the explanation of の/こと. The thread you linked helped clarify that pretty well. As far as ~たり/~たりする, I've seen it when I was doing a quick read of all the chapters in my Genki book, but I haven't practiced it yet. It seems like a pretty simple concept, so I think I can safely say it wasn't necessary for this particular situation. Now that I think about it, though, even though she didn't specify, it really should have been considered an in-exhaustive list.
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Re: What's the best way to say...

Postby coco » Wed 11.04.2009 9:48 pm

lonelytraveler8 wrote:
"I played outside when I was a kid. I also thought a lot about video games that I saw (even when I couldn't buy or play them)." In this case, obsessed isn't really meant in the literal sense of the word. It's a hyperbole that's often used to describe something like "I really liked" or "I spent a lot of time thinking about."

It's actually kind of hard to explain beyond that :?


Thank you for your explanation. Now it became more clear even to me.
Then, it would be something like:
子どものときは、よく外であそびました。また、いつもテレビゲームのことを考えていました。

I omitted the "I saw" part because it will need a more precise description that you have mentioned. I believe the simpler one is better at this stage.

~のことを考える is also a useful expression. :)
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Re: What's the best way to say...

Postby lonelytraveler8 » Wed 11.04.2009 11:08 pm

coco wrote:~のことを考える is also a useful expression. :)


Haha, I was going to ask you about that, but it seems pretty easy to understand.

I have another question. I'm practicing comparison right now (~のほうが、~より、どちら, etc) and I'm a bit stumped on one of the practice exercises. I'm making sentences like this one:

すしと天ぷらとどちらのほうが好きですか。 (Which of sushi or tempura is more delicious?)

The problem is that one of the examples asks me to use 人気がある, which, as far as I know, is a verb and not an adjective. I could guess at the proper way to use it, but I can't be sure I'm right:

やきゅうとサッカーとどちらのほうが人気がありますか。 (Which, of baseball or soccer, is more popular?)

Is it really this simple? Can you think of any other verbs that might be used like this? Maybe "Which (class), history or biology, starts first?" Would 「れきしのクラスとバイオロジのクラスとどちら(のほう)が前にはじまりましたか。」 be about right? I honestly have no idea how to say "first" in this situation so I tried using 前に, but that's not the main purpose of my question, so I'm not terribly concerned with it.

Thanks again!
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Re: What's the best way to say...

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Wed 11.04.2009 11:53 pm

lonelytraveler8 wrote:
coco wrote:~のことを考える is also a useful expression. :)


Haha, I was going to ask you about that, but it seems pretty easy to understand.

I have another question. I'm practicing comparison right now (~のほうが、~より、どちら, etc) and I'm a bit stumped on one of the practice exercises. I'm making sentences like this one:

すしと天ぷらとどちらのほうが好きですか。 (Which of sushi or tempura is more delicious?)

The problem is that one of the examples asks me to use 人気がある, which, as far as I know, is a verb and not an adjective.


One thing that is not immediately evident about Japanese grammar is that "verbs" and "adjectives" are not all that different in terms of grammatical structure. Generally, if you can put an adjective somewhere, you can also put a verb there as well (or a noun, though usually with の or な or だ after it).

I could guess at the proper way to use it, but I can't be sure I'm right:

やきゅうとサッカーとどちらのほうが人気がありますか。 (Which, of baseball or soccer, is more popular?)


Perfect.

Also it might be worth remembering that in all these examples, the のほう is optional.
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Re: What's the best way to say...

Postby lonelytraveler8 » Thu 11.05.2009 12:11 am

Yudan Taiteki wrote:Also it might be worth remembering that in all these examples, the のほう is optional.


Yep, that's why in my last question/example, I put it in parenthesis :)

Thanks! Yeah, I'm starting to pick up what you said about adjectives and verbs. I just wanted to make sure because there weren't any example sentences using verbs.
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