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Help, please

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Help, please

Postby eb2114 » Sun 08.07.2005 7:13 pm

Hi, I've just started to learn Japanese (on my own) and I came across a peculiar (well, to me) use of the "も" particle, which has pretty much thrown me for a loop. The sentence is:

来週は英語のテストですね。今週の金曜日に勉強会をするんですが、上田さんも来ませんか。

I'm pretty sure that the (basic) translation is "There's an English test next week, right? This Friday there is a study session. Would you like to come with me, Ueda-san?" But I'm not sure if that's correct, by and large because I don't understand the role the も particle is playing in the last part of the second sentence. Any adivce/help you could give me would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
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RE: Help, please

Postby skrhgh3b » Sun 08.07.2005 8:42 pm

please correct me if i'm wrong, but this particle も still means what it usually means: "also." so, "this friday there's a study session, but will ueda-san come too?" or, more loosely, "will ueda-san be joining us?" there's a book published by kodansha international and written by sue a. kawashima called "a dictionary of japanese particles." of the 20 or so books on japanese i own, it's by far the most useful book i've ever bought.
Last edited by skrhgh3b on Sun 08.07.2005 8:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Help, please

Postby eb2114 » Mon 08.08.2005 4:29 am

It's the fact that the も is follwed by 来ませんか that I'm having problems with; by and large because most V-ませんか constructions I've seen so far have been used in conjunction with (と) いっしょに to express the whole "do something together" aspect of the invitation. So, basically, I'm having difficulty figuring out where to put the "also" in the invitation since, to me, it seems like there's a difference between saying "would you like to do X together" and "would you like to do X, too" even though they both have (to me, at least) the fundamental meaning of "let's both do X". Of course, my troubles may just be because I'm prejudiced against the whole "would you like to do X, too" construction because in my mind it sounds sort of like I'm inviting Ueda to study with me as an after thought, having already invited the friends I like better to go do this with me. (To me it has a sort of an "Oh well, I guess you can come too" kind of a feel) :)

I've also found Kodansha's "Dictionary of Japanese Particles" very helpful, although I must admit that some of their entries are a bit incomplete. For example, in the "koto" entry, there's no mention of the fact that "koto" can be used as a nominalizer -- and having run across this particular use of "koto" a couple of times I really would have appreciated knowing that. If you can find it, "A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar" (and the follow up "A Dicitonary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar") which is published by the Japan Times (authors are Seiichi Makino and Michio Tsutsui) is a very handy book.
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RE: Help, please

Postby skrhgh3b » Mon 08.08.2005 4:49 am

you know, i've learned that japanse can be rhetorical too. but unless someone more knowledgable than myself can tell you otherwise, i don't think there's another way to read that sentence.
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RE: Help, please

Postby aoeuaoeuaoeu » Mon 08.08.2005 10:15 am

I agree with you, skrhgh3b. The sentence really means something we 'we are having a study session. Wouldn't mister ueada -also- want to come?' Or 'don't you -also- want to come?'
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