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My Practice Sentences and Questions #1

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My Practice Sentences and Questions #1

Postby The_Jesster » Wed 05.25.2011 4:52 pm

Hello,
I'm currently learning Hiragana, Japanese grammar, and a few Japanese words (most of which I can only write in romaji). I really want to learn Japanese, and I think making posts like this will help. Is writing posts like this one permissible? Is it annoying?


Practice Sentences and Questions: (If there are any errors, please correct them!)

ou desu // I am king.
ou desu ka // Are you king?
watashi wa ou desu ka // Am I king?

anata no aoi e kirei desu //Your blue drawing is beautiful. (I read that "ao" can be blue or green -- is that true?)

naze watashi no ke-ki o tabemashita ka? // Why did you eat my cake?
naze kare ga watashi no ke-ki o tabemashita ka? // Why did he eat my cake? (I'm still kind of confused about ga/wa; should this sentence have a "wa" somewhere? It seems like the emphasis of the sentence (the "topic"?) is on "cake" and not "he", but maybe that doesn't matter....)
watashi wa anata no ke-ki o tabemasen deshita // I didn't eat your cake.
anata no ke-ki o tabemasen deshita // Does this mean "You didn't eat your cake"? Or does it depend on the context (the topic of the conversation, or something?)

Do past tense verb endings replace "desu"?

pan o tabetai desu //I want to eat bread.

I read that "desu" is can act like a state of being verb (is, are, am) and can show that the subject in the sentence is equal to something else. What does "desu" do in sentences like this one and the previous one?
nanika nomitai desu //I want to drink something.

What does the presence of either "wa" or "ga" change in these sentences?(or are they even grammatically correct?)
kanojo wa pan o tabetai desu // She wants to eat bread. (emphasis on "she" or "eat"?)
kanojo ga pan o tabetai desu // She wants to eat bread. (emphasis on "bread" or "eat"?)

Thank you very much! :)
Jess
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Re: My Practice Sentences and Questions #1

Postby Shiroisan » Wed 05.25.2011 10:00 pm

Hey Jess.

I find it odd that you've gotten as far as constructing sentences in Japanese without knowing Kana. What are you using to learn Japanese? Whatever it is, I suggest you switch to an alternate method, and fast, because the order in which you learn this is pretty important. You need a foundation of the bare basics before moving on, otherwise your Japanese is going to be a mess..

But yeah, just wondering, what are you using to study?
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Re: My Practice Sentences and Questions #1

Postby The_Jesster » Wed 05.25.2011 10:24 pm

:shock: Oh.... I am using this site almost exclusively, but I suppose, based on your comment, that I'm using it incorrectly....

Thanks. I guess I'll have to rethink my plan to learn Japanese. :)
Jess
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Re: My Practice Sentences and Questions #1

Postby Shiroisan » Wed 05.25.2011 10:53 pm

I see I see. Well, even on this website you'll notice that the hiragana/katakana charts are the very first thing listed for beginniners. But regardless I definitely would not recommend learning japanese just from this site. I believe this site is meant as a resource when you want to touch up on / look up certain areas, but it is certainly not structured to learn the language itself.

This reminds me of when I first started, and I decided to use "My Japanese Coach" for Ipod/Nintendo DS :sweatdrop: It got me motivated and going but I soon realized what I was learning was not good...


Have you considered purchasing a textbook :think: ?
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Re: My Practice Sentences and Questions #1

Postby Dustin » Thu 05.26.2011 1:32 am

While I agree that it is best to learn hiragana and katakana in the beginning stages, it's not going to have THAT big of an effect overall to learn it after the beginning stages of sentence construction.

So far what I see is fairly basic sentence constructions, and there is nothing wrong with learning some of these and some vocab before the kana.

I actually learned several greetings, sentence constructions, and was making some of my own on the fly before I even looked at the kana, and it had no ill longterm effects. Now if you got to advanced grammar and were still using and romaji I'd probably tell you to rethink your strategy a bit ( unless of course you care nothing about the written language, in which case kana is pretty well a moot point anyways ) The earlier you can get started with kana, and get some kanji in, the better off your written japanese, and reading of japanese will be long term :)

This site is great for learning the basics, but of course has it's limitations. I have used a combination of thejapanesepage as well as http://www.guidetojapanese.org/learn/grammar and a few books. thejapanshop has some great books for affordable prices if you decide to go that route ( and it supports this site! )

Good luck in your studies and keep up the hard work. And remember, do what you enjoy, and keep it fun :)
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Re: My Practice Sentences and Questions #1

Postby chikara » Thu 05.26.2011 3:37 am

The_Jesster wrote:.... I read that "ao" can be blue or green -- is that true? ...

Yes, although midori also means green.

The_Jesster wrote:.... Do past tense verb endings replace "desu"? .....

No, the past tense of "desu" is "deshita".

The_Jesster wrote:.... pan o tabetai desu //I want to eat bread.

I read that "desu" is can act like a state of being verb (is, are, am) and can show that the subject in the sentence is equal to something else. What does "desu" do in sentences like this one and the previous one? ...

It makes it more polite. You could just say "pan o tabetai" but that is informal and could be considered rude in some circumstances.

The ~tai form of verbs conjugate the same as i-adjectives and are effectively (??) i-adjectives hence they can be followed by desu.

You may find this link helpful, Japanese Verbs - Base 2 + tai. It uses romaji so not knowing kana isn't an issue but as Dustin-san posted above the sooner you drop romaji and use kana the easier it will be in the long run.

Sorry I didn't answer all your questions but it was a long post and I only had time to skim it. :blush:
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Re: My Practice Sentences and Questions #1

Postby phreadom » Thu 05.26.2011 4:25 am

Shiroisan wrote:This reminds me of when I first started, and I decided to use "My Japanese Coach" for Ipod/Nintendo DS :sweatdrop: It got me motivated and going but I soon realized what I was learning was not good...

Have you considered purchasing a textbook :think: ?


Following up on what Shiroisan and Dustin said, I think learning at least the basic kana as early as possible is great thing if you plan on reading (or writing) Japanese. The sooner you learn it, the sooner a LOT more material opens up to you to practice with and learn from. :)

That said, I wrote a post on here awhile back comparing two of the most popular beginner textbooks...

"Genki I" and "Japanese For Everyone" textbook comparisons.

And also, in case you're wondering what Shiroisan meant about "My Japanese Coach", I wrote a post about that too, since I ran into the exact same problems...

"My Japanese Coach" Nintendo DS game errors and bugs.

I hope these are informative! I'm not sure how much help I can be with your original questions though, as I'm still just a beginner myself. :colonthree:

がんばってね! (Ganbatte ne!) :wave:
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Re: My Practice Sentences and Questions #1

Postby OitaFish » Thu 05.26.2011 9:53 am

The_Jesster wrote:anata no aoi e kirei desu //Your blue drawing is beautiful. (I read that "ao" can be blue or green -- is that true?)

I think you need a "ga". anata no aoi e ga kirei desu
あなたのあおいえがきれいです。

The_Jesster wrote:anata no ke-ki o tabemasen deshita // Does this mean "You didn't eat your cake"? Or does it depend on the context (the topic of the conversation, or something?)


It depends on context but when there is no other context and the subject or topic is not given, if you assume the subject is the speaker, you would be right most of the time. Therefore, I read that sentence as "I didn't eat your cake". By the way, you made that exact assumption here:

The_Jesster wrote:pan o tabetai desu //I want to eat bread.
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Re: My Practice Sentences and Questions #1

Postby The_Jesster » Thu 05.26.2011 12:33 pm

Thank you very much, everyone! :bow:
Sorry for my ignorance. :P

I am going ahead at full-speed to tackle the remaining Hiragana, and I think I'll buy the Genki 1 Second Edition (from thejapanshop, of course). :) I'll also probably continue through some of the beginner grammar and vocabulary, because I like them -- but maybe I won't try to "learn" the material as much as just get familiar with it.

Thanks again; you all helped a lot. I'm glad I joined TJP. :D

Jess
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Re: My Practice Sentences and Questions #1

Postby Shiroisan » Thu 05.26.2011 2:15 pm

You wont regret using Genki!

@dustin although its true that its not the end of the world, if the hiragana is learned out of order you can usually bet they're also skipping grammer rules out of order as well. I mean, conjugating verbs before you even know how "desu" works? Yikes. O.o
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