Grammar page 1

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(Practice Text 1)
 
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*ポール:しつれいしました。ひとちがいです。
*ポール:しつれいしました。ひとちがいです。
----
----
 +
'''Vocabulary'''<br>
 +
すみません (exp) (uk) sorry; excuse me; (P)<br>
 +
女性 【じょせい】 (n) woman; (P)<br>
 +
いいえ(P); いえ(P); いや (int) no; nay(P)<br>
 +
失礼 【しつれい】 (n,vs,adj-na,exp) (1) discourtesy; impoliteness; (2) Excuse me; Goodbye; (P)<br>
 +
する(plain) します(polite) (vs-i) (uk) to do; to try; to play (game) (P)<br>
 +
人違い 【ひとちがい】 (n,vs) mistaking one person for another; (P)
 +
----
 +
'''Transliteration'''
*po-ru:sumimasenga, tanakasan desu ka.
*po-ru:sumimasenga, tanakasan desu ka.
*josei:iie, yamamoto desu ga...
*josei:iie, yamamoto desu ga...
*po-ru:shitsurei shimashita. hitochigai desu.
*po-ru:shitsurei shimashita. hitochigai desu.
----
----
 +
'''Translation'''
*Paul : Excuse me, are you Mrs Tanaka?
*Paul : Excuse me, are you Mrs Tanaka?
*Woman : No, I'm Mrs Yamamoto ...
*Woman : No, I'm Mrs Yamamoto ...
*Paul : Excuse me.  I mistook you for someone else.
*Paul : Excuse me.  I mistook you for someone else.
----
----
-
'''Vocabulary'''<br>
 
-
すみません (exp) (uk) sorry; excuse me; (P)<br>
 
-
女性 【じょせい】 (n) woman; (P)
 
-
いいえ(P); いえ(P); いや (int) no; nay(P)<br>
 
-
失礼 【しつれい】 (n,vs,adj-na,exp) (1) discourtesy; impoliteness; (2) Excuse me; Goodbye; (P)<br>
 
-
する(plain) します(polite) (vs-i) (uk) to do; to try; to play (game) (P)<br>
 
-
人違い 【ひとちがい】 (n,vs) mistaking one person for another; (P)
 
== Basic Word Order ==
== Basic Word Order ==
Line 35: Line 38:
(ENGLISH) S V O <br>
(ENGLISH) S V O <br>
-
I eat bread.  
+
Cats eat mice.  
(JAPANESE) S O V<br>
(JAPANESE) S O V<br>
-
わたしはペンをたべます。
+
ねこはネズミをたべます。
-
watashi wa pan o tabemasu.  
+
neko wa nezumi o tabemasu.  
Don't worry!  It isn't as bad as it seems.  You will get used to it.
Don't worry!  It isn't as bad as it seems.  You will get used to it.
 +
 +
== です DESU ==
== です DESU ==
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{| border=1
{| border=1
|-
|-
-
| わたしはクレイです。
+
| ゾウは大きいです。
-
| watashi wa kurei desu.
+
| zou wa ookii desu.
-
| I am Clay.
+
| Elephants are large.
|-
|-
| これはねこです。
| これはねこです。
Line 65: Line 70:
*always at the end   
*always at the end   
*In the present tense the final 'u' is usually [[devoiced]], sounding a little like "dess"  [http://www.thejapanesepage.com/wav/desu.wav HEAR IT!]  WAV 11 k
*In the present tense the final 'u' is usually [[devoiced]], sounding a little like "dess"  [http://www.thejapanesepage.com/wav/desu.wav HEAR IT!]  WAV 11 k
 +
[[です]]
== Existance あります and います ==
== Existance あります and います ==
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ケーキがあります。<br>
ケーキがあります。<br>
-
ke-ki ga armasu.<br>
+
ke-ki ga arimasu.<br>
There is a cake (lit. a cake exists).
There is a cake (lit. a cake exists).
-
With nothing else specified you can assume (like in English) that it 'exists' somewhere near to hand.  You'd only say "There is a cake" if you'd seen one in the cuboard (or similar).
+
With nothing else specified you can assume (like in English) that it 'exists' somewhere near to hand.  You'd only say "There is a cake" if you'd seen one in the cupboard (or similar).
ねこがいます。<br>
ねこがいます。<br>
Line 103: Line 109:
In other words です ''defines'' something to be something else while あります states that something exists (and brings it to people's attention).
In other words です ''defines'' something to be something else while あります states that something exists (and brings it to people's attention).
 +
 +
Advanced students may want to look at [[Aru vs Iru|ある vs いる]].
== Two Basic verb forms ~dictionary、~ます ==
== Two Basic verb forms ~dictionary、~ます ==
Line 128: Line 136:
===Irregular verbs dictionary vs ~masu===
===Irregular verbs dictionary vs ~masu===
-
する suru, 来る kuru and 行く are special cases. They are amoung the irregular verbs in Japanese (at this level the only irregular verbs you will encounter).
+
する suru, 来る kuru and 行く are special cases. They are among the irregular verbs in Japanese (at this level the only irregular verbs you will encounter).
The ~masu form of する suru is します shimasu.
The ~masu form of する suru is します shimasu.
Line 178: Line 186:
病気ではありませんでした。<br>
病気ではありませんでした。<br>
-
byouki dewa arimasen desita. <br>
+
byouki dewa arimasen deshita. <br>
(I) wasn't ill.
(I) wasn't ill.
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Making questions in Japanese is easy! -- REALLY! Usually you can change a statement into a question by just adding a か ka to the end!
Making questions in Japanese is easy! -- REALLY! Usually you can change a statement into a question by just adding a か ka to the end!
-
あなたはアメリカ人です。<br>
+
アメリカ人です。<br>
-
anata wa amerikajin desu.<br>
+
amerikajin desu.<br>
-
You are an American.
+
(I am) American.
   
   
-
あなたはアメリカ人ですか。<br>
+
アメリカ人ですか。<br>
-
anata wa amerikajin desu ka.<br>
+
amerikajin desu ka.<br>
-
Are you an American?
+
(Are you) an American?
   
   
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ka is added to the end of statements.<br>
ka is added to the end of statements.<br>
Word order is not changed as in English <br>
Word order is not changed as in English <br>
-
In Japanese (see right example) the ? (Question mark) is not required (optional) <br>
+
In Japanese (see second example) the ? (Question mark) is not required (optional) <br>
Just like in English, the last syllable goes up in intonation <br>
Just like in English, the last syllable goes up in intonation <br>
In spoken Japanese sometimes the ka can be dropped if you have the upwards intonation at the end. But for now, let's stick to using ka
In spoken Japanese sometimes the ka can be dropped if you have the upwards intonation at the end. But for now, let's stick to using ka
Line 205: Line 213:
By mastering these question words, your conversational skills will be much stronger!
By mastering these question words, your conversational skills will be much stronger!
-
*いつ itsu - when<br>
+
*いつ ''itsu'' - when<br>
-
いつきましたか。 itsu kimashita ka. When did you come?<br>
+
いつきましたか。 ''itsu kimashita ka''. When did you come?<br>
-
*どこ doko - where<br>
+
*どこ ''doko'' - where<br>
-
どこからきましたか。 doko kara kimashita ka. Where did you come from?<br>
+
どこからきましたか。 ''doko kara kimashita ka.'' Where did you come from?<br>
-
*どうして doushite - why<br>
+
*どうして ''doushite'' - why<br>
-
どうしてきましたか。 doushite kimashita ka. Why did you come?<br>
+
どうしてきましたか。 ''doushite kimashita ka.'' Why did you come?<br>
-
*なぜ naze- why<br>
+
*なぜ ''naze'' - why<br>
-
なぜ naze? Why? [used in the same way as doushite]<br>
+
なぜ ''naze?'' Why? [used in the same way as doushite]<br>
-
*だれ dare - who<br>
+
*だれ ''dare'' - who<br>
-
だれがきましたか。 dare ga kimashita ka. Who came?<br>
+
だれがきましたか。 ''dare ga kimashita ka.'' Who came?<br>
And last, but certainly not least
And last, but certainly not least
-
*何 nani what<br>
+
*何 ''nani'' - what<br>
-
なにを買いましたか。nani o kaimashita ka. What did you buy?<br>
+
なにを買いましたか。''nani o kaimashita ka.'' What did you buy?<br>
You can do a lot more with 何, see later lessons.
You can do a lot more with 何, see later lessons.
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*Even with the question word a か ka is used. (Except in casual spoken Japanese).
*Even with the question word a か ka is used. (Except in casual spoken Japanese).
*The question word is at the beginning, but after the は wa if there is one.
*The question word is at the beginning, but after the は wa if there is one.
-
あなたはだれですか?<br>
+
ひるめしはなんですか?<br>
-
anata wa dare desu ka?<br>
+
hirumeshi wa nan desu ka?<br>
-
Who are you?  (the question word dare is after the wa) <br>
+
What is for lunch?  (the question word dare is after the wa) <br>
-
[http://thejapanesepage.com/question.htm more on this]
+
[http://thejapanesepage.com/question.htm more on this]<br>
-
 
+
[[Using か after plain form.]]<br>
-
 
+
[[かな]]
-
 
+
-
 
+
-
 
+
-
 
+
== Honorifics ==
== Honorifics ==
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For more detail see this article on [http://www.thejapanesepage.com/readarticle.php?article_id=210 敬称 keishou].
For more detail see this article on [http://www.thejapanesepage.com/readarticle.php?article_id=210 敬称 keishou].
-
For now just use san.  It is the most common.
+
For now just use san.  It is the most common.  More advanced students may want to check out [[Keigo]] for more on this.
'''STOP and [[Quiz 3|test yourself]].'''
'''STOP and [[Quiz 3|test yourself]].'''
-
 
-
== Practice Text 2 ==
 
-
 
-
'''This text uses more concepts explained in this page'''
 
-
 
-
Paul is still at the airport and has been sitting and waiting for some time when a man comes up to him.
 
-
 
-
*じょせい:すみませんが、ブレイさんですか。
 
-
*ポール:はい、ポール・ブレイです。田中さんですか。
 
-
*田中:はい、田中です。日本へようこそ。
 
-
*ポール:どうしておくれましたか。何かありましたか。
 
-
*田中:ごめんね、事故で道がじゅうたいでした。
 
-
 
-
----
 
-
*josei:sumimasenga, bureisan desuka.
 
-
*po-ru:hai, po-ru burei desu. tanakasan desu ka.
 
-
*tanaka:hai tanaka desu. nihon e youkoso.
 
-
*po-ru : doushite okuremashita ka. nanika arimashitaka.
 
-
*tanaka : gomen ne, jiko de michi ga juutai deshita.
 
-
----
 
-
*Woman : Excuse me, are you Mr Blay?
 
-
*Paul:Yes. I'm Paul Blay. Are you Mrs Tanaka?
 
-
*Tanaka:Yes, I'm Mrs Tanaka. Welcome to Japan.
 
-
*Paul : Why were you late?  Did something happen?
 
-
*Tanaka : Sorry, the road was jammed by an accident.
 
-
----
 
-
'''Vocabulary'''<br>
 
-
はい (int) yes<br>
 
-
日本 【にほん(P); にっぽん】 (n) Japan; (P)<br>
 
-
(N.B. にほん is the normal way to say Japan but にっぽん is still often used in some circumstances). <br>
 
-
ようこそ (int) welcome!; nice to see you!; (P)<br>
 
-
遅れる(P) 【おくれる】 (v1,vi) to be late; to be delayed; to fall behind schedule; to be overdue; (P)<br>
 
-
ごめん (int,n) (uk) your pardon; declining (something); dismissal (P)<br>
 
-
事故 【じこ】 (n) accident; incident; trouble (P)<br>
 
-
道 【みち】 (n) road; street; way; (P)<br>
 
-
じゅうたい (n,vs) congestion (e.g., traffic); delay; stagnation; (P)
 
'''Continue to [[Grammar page 2|lesson 2]]'''
'''Continue to [[Grammar page 2|lesson 2]]'''

Current revision as of 08:44, 7 July 2008

The first page of the grammar lessons.

Before you start you may want to learn the Kana, see Learn Hiragana and Katakana lesson 1 (and later lessons).

Contents

Practice Text 1

This text uses some concepts explained in this page

Paul is at the airport having just arrived in Japan and approaches someone while holding a photograph.

  • ポール:すみませんが、田中さんですか。
  • じょせい:いいえ、山本ですが・・・。
  • ポール:しつれいしました。ひとちがいです。

Vocabulary
すみません (exp) (uk) sorry; excuse me; (P)
女性 【じょせい】 (n) woman; (P)
いいえ(P); いえ(P); いや (int) no; nay(P)
失礼 【しつれい】 (n,vs,adj-na,exp) (1) discourtesy; impoliteness; (2) Excuse me; Goodbye; (P)
する(plain) します(polite) (vs-i) (uk) to do; to try; to play (game) (P)
人違い 【ひとちがい】 (n,vs) mistaking one person for another; (P)


Transliteration

  • po-ru:sumimasenga, tanakasan desu ka.
  • josei:iie, yamamoto desu ga...
  • po-ru:shitsurei shimashita. hitochigai desu.

Translation

  • Paul : Excuse me, are you Mrs Tanaka?
  • Woman : No, I'm Mrs Yamamoto ...
  • Paul : Excuse me. I mistook you for someone else.

Basic Word Order

The sentence order is different from English. In English we use Subject-Verb-Object (SVO) but in Japanese it is usually Subject-Object-Verb (SOV) - observe:

(ENGLISH) S V O
Cats eat mice.

(JAPANESE) S O V
ねこはネズミをたべます。 neko wa nezumi o tabemasu.

Don't worry! It isn't as bad as it seems. You will get used to it.


です DESU

Desu is a copula - a grammatical form that can act like to be (You know - is, are, am...) in English in the sense of explaining who or what something / one is or equating one thing with another. Let's take a look:

ゾウは大きいです。 zou wa ookii desu. Elephants are large.
これはねこです。 kore wa neko desu. This is a cat.

Most of the time you want to use the to be verb you will use desu. Later we will learn other forms to show existence.

MAIN POINTS:

  • is, are, am
  • always at the end
  • In the present tense the final 'u' is usually devoiced, sounding a little like "dess" HEAR IT! WAV 11 k

です

Existance あります and います

います is the verb for (animate) existance. That is to say "Something (that is alive) exists".

あります is the verb for (inanimate) existance. That is to say "Something (that is not alive) exists".

Both are used in the same way ○○が(あります / います) = ○○ exists.

ケーキがあります。
ke-ki ga arimasu.
There is a cake (lit. a cake exists).

With nothing else specified you can assume (like in English) that it 'exists' somewhere near to hand. You'd only say "There is a cake" if you'd seen one in the cupboard (or similar).

ねこがいます。
neko ga imasu.
There is a cat.

Now that should remind you of the previous section on です. It is quite easy for new learners to confuse です and います / あります so I will go over the difference again.

Imagine you are walking to school with a friend and she suddenly stops and says

ねこがいます。

you can assume that she has just seen a cat nearby (and if you look round you should see it too).

Next imagine the following day you are walking to school again and your friend sees something moving in the bushes, points to it and says

ねこです。

You've already been 'introduced' to the topic of "something in the bushes" and she is defining what is in the bushes.

ねこです。
neko desu.
It is a cat.

In other words です defines something to be something else while あります states that something exists (and brings it to people's attention).

Advanced students may want to look at ある vs いる.

Two Basic verb forms ~dictionary、~ます

There are many ways to change verbs, but here we will focus on 2 present tense forms "dictionary form" (also known as 'plain form') and "~masu form" (also known as 'polite form'). Note that these do not change the meaning of the verb but that the dictionary form is a more casual.

The dictionary form gets its name because it is what is found in the dictionary. Dictionary form verbs ends in -u (many end in -ru). ~Masu form verbs are so called because they always end in -masu in the present tense.

The way to transform between dictionary form and ~masu form depends on whether you are dealing with a godan verb or an ichidan verb.

Godan verb dictionary vs ~masu

Final 'u' (when written in romaji) is changed to 'i' and 'masu' added.

(To walk) 歩く aruku -> 歩きます arukimasu.

Ichidan verb dictionary vs ~masu

Final 'ru' is removed and 'masu' added.

(To eat) 食べる taberu -> 食べます tabemasu.

All ichidan verbs end in 'iru' or 'eru' when written in romaji but not all verbs ending in 'iru' or 'eru' are ichidan verbs.

  • (To run) 走る hashiru (Ends in 'iru' but is a godan verb).
  • (To go down e.g. a slope) 下りる oriru (Ends in 'iru' and is an ichidan verb).

Irregular verbs dictionary vs ~masu

する suru, 来る kuru and 行く are special cases. They are among the irregular verbs in Japanese (at this level the only irregular verbs you will encounter).

The ~masu form of する suru is します shimasu.

The ~masu form of くる kuru is きます kimasu

The ~masu form of いく iku is いきます ikimasu

The copula desu

です desu is the '~masu' form. That sounds odd because there is no ~masu in desu, so instead I'll say です desu is the polite form. The plain form of the copula is だ da. There are nuances to the use of だ that don't apply to other plain forms but those will be dealt with later. For now ...

The polite form of だ da is です desu.

STOP and test yourself.

To keep this page as simple as possible, I am writing all examples (for other grammar points) in the masu form.

Conjugating ~masu verbs

  • Present ~ます (MASU) -> Past ~ました (MASHITA)

たべます tabemasu (to eat) -> たべました tabemashita (ate)
のみます nomimasu (to drink) -> のみました nomimashita (drank)

  • Positive ~ます (MASU) -> Negative ~ません (MASEN)

たべます tabemasu (to eat) -> たべません tabemasen (to not eat)

  • Present positive ~ます (MASU) -> Past Negative ~ませんでした (MASEN DESHITA)

たべます tabemasu (to eat) -> たべません でした tabemasen deshita (didn't eat)
のみます nomimasu (to drink) -> のみません でした nomimasen deshita (didn't drink)

Note that でした is the same as the past tense of です (see next section).

Conjugating Desu

です doesn't conjugate like normal Japanese verbs.

  • です desu present tense.
  • でした deshita past tense.
  • ではありません negative.
  • ではありませんでした negative past tense.

前の車はボルボでした。
mae no kuruma wa borubo deshita.
(My) previous car was a Volvo.

病気ではありませんでした。
byouki dewa arimasen deshita.
(I) wasn't ill.

Making questions か

Making questions in Japanese is easy! -- REALLY! Usually you can change a statement into a question by just adding a か ka to the end!

アメリカ人です。
amerikajin desu.
(I am) American.

アメリカ人ですか。
amerikajin desu ka.
(Are you) an American?


  • MAIN POINTS

ka is added to the end of statements.
Word order is not changed as in English
In Japanese (see second example) the ? (Question mark) is not required (optional)
Just like in English, the last syllable goes up in intonation
In spoken Japanese sometimes the ka can be dropped if you have the upwards intonation at the end. But for now, let's stick to using ka

Question words

By mastering these question words, your conversational skills will be much stronger!

  • いつ itsu - when

いつきましたか。 itsu kimashita ka. When did you come?

  • どこ doko - where

どこからきましたか。 doko kara kimashita ka. Where did you come from?

  • どうして doushite - why

どうしてきましたか。 doushite kimashita ka. Why did you come?

  • なぜ naze - why

なぜ naze? Why? [used in the same way as doushite]

  • だれ dare - who

だれがきましたか。 dare ga kimashita ka. Who came?

And last, but certainly not least

  • nani - what

なにを買いましたか。nani o kaimashita ka. What did you buy?
You can do a lot more with 何, see later lessons.

MAIN POINTS:

  • Even with the question word a か ka is used. (Except in casual spoken Japanese).
  • The question word is at the beginning, but after the は wa if there is one.

ひるめしはなんですか?
hirumeshi wa nan desu ka?
What is for lunch? (the question word dare is after the wa)
more on this
Using か after plain form.
かな

Honorifics

The equivalent to Mr. or Mrs. or Miss. is ~さん

USAGE: Right after the name. It is often used even with friends, however you should never use it after your own name.

くれいさん kurei san - Mr. Clay
山田さん yamada san - Mr. (or Mrs...) Yamada

Other honorifics: (used the same way)

~さま sama - very polite - reserved for royalty, important people, and customers of stores
~ちゃん chan - used for young girls (kiti-chan = Hello Kitty)
~くん kun - used for young boys
~先生 sensei - used for teachers [クレイ先生 kurei sensei], doctors, and professionals

For more detail see this article on 敬称 keishou.

For now just use san. It is the most common. More advanced students may want to check out Keigo for more on this.

STOP and test yourself.

Continue to lesson 2

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