Grammar page 5
The fifth page of the grammar lessons.
When giving advice this is useful.
CONSTRUCTION: ta form (#3) + ほう が いい hou ga ii
yasunda hou ga ii.
It would be better to rest.
kiita hou ga ii.
It would be better to ask (someone).
NOTE: The ta form is the past form. (But obviously no past meaning is intended here.) Observe that the English equivalent "It would be better" or "You had better" gramatically speaking uses the past tense as well, altough it expresses no past meaning.
better / worse than より、のほうがいい
This has the same hou ga ii as above. But here we using it to compare things. Also we will introduce yori (less than).
～のほうがいい ~no hou ga ii (more than),
～より ~yori (less than)
This is a little confusing if you think too much on this! But I suggest memorizing one or two examples and then you should be able to keep it straight.
watashi wa inu yori, neko no hou ga suki.
I like dogs less than cats. (I like cats more than dogs.)
You should spend some time studying the above example to understand how the ordering works.
Notice in English we use either "less than" or "more than" and the meaning is understood by the order of "dogs" and "cats" BUT in Japanese this is also ok:
watashi wa neko no hou ga inu, yori suki
For example たとえば
Anytime you want to make an illustration or give an example this is the phrase to use.
watashi wa washoku ga suki desu.
I like Japanese style food.
tatoeba, gohan to misoshiru.
For example, rice and miso soup.
You can also ask someone this to get more concrete information.
For example, what?
and (then) そして
そして soshite - connecting phrases. そして is generally used at the start of a sentence, and relates to the preceeding sentence.
watashi wa nihongo ga hanasemasu. soshite, doitsugo ga yomemasu.
I can speak Japanese and I can read German.
watashi wa kare no yuujin desu, soshite itsumademo sou deshou.
I am his friend and will remain so.
そして soshite - inside sentences. In the following example it connects two sub-clauses of a sentence with an 'and' like construction.
watashitachi wa nani o suru ka, soshite doko e iku ka ni tsuite hanashimashita.
We discussed what to do and where to go.
そして soshite - with lists.
watashitachi wa yuushoku no ato, utai, odori, soshite oshaberi o shimashita.
We sang, danced and chatted after dinner.
Here is a very useful question word -- どう dou -- Let's look at ways of using dou.
どうですか。 dou desu ka? How is (it)? [Use this for asking about food, or anything that is being done now] どうでしたか。 dou deshita ka? How was (it)? [Use this to find out about past experiences - movie, last night's date, molded pizza you just ate...]
どうやって？ dou yatte? How do you do it? [Ask this when you are not sure how to do something]
どうしましたか。 dou shimashita ka? What happened? [Ask this if someone looks sad or something has happened]
どうしよう dou shiyou What shall (I or we) do? [This is often used when you can't make a decision and want help... doushiyou, ne!]
どうするの？dou suru no? What will you do? [When you want to encourage someone to make a decision -- Well, what will you do?]
Isn't it? でしょう
If you want to state your opinion and then encourage someone to agree, use deshou.
フィリピンは暑いでしょう? firipin wa atsui deshou? The Philippines is hot, isn't it? 痛いでしょう？ itai deshou? It hurts, doesn't it? [You see someone who has just slammed their head in the low doorway]
But usually でしょう is used to mean 'probably':
雨が降るでしょうね。 Ame ga furu deshou ne. It will probably rain, don't you think?
And another common usage is どうでしょう meaning 'how about...' or 'what do you think about'
うどんはどうでしょう？ udon wa dou deshou? How about some Udon?
Meet the wonderful 'と to.' Mr. と can act as a quotation marker ("). Don't confuse this with the と that means 'and.' Very often if you are quoting someone or some source. This is best shown with examples:
「俺はスーパマン」と言いました。 ore wa su-paman to iimashita. He said, "I am Superman."
あの絵は十世紀に作ったと書いてあります。 ano e wa juu seiki ni tsukutta to kaite arimasu. The book says (it is written) that this painting was made in the 10th century.
It can also be used to mark sound effects of things or animals:
あの犬は「ワン」と言いました。 ano inu wa 'wan' to iimashita.
There are many other usages for 'to.' Paying attention to each usage will help you get a good grasp.
It isn't a sin to be negative. Interesting I should say that... 'sin' sounds like 'sen' which marks the negative in Japanese in the -masu form. (Ok, so I set that one up...)
話せます hanasemasu - can speak becomes...
私は、日本語が話せません。watashi wa nihongo ga hanasemasen. (I) can`t speak Japanese.
分かります wakarimasu - understand becomes...
私は、英語が分かりません。watashi wa eigoga wakarimasen. (I) don`t understand English.
If you can make the -masu form, just drop the す and add the せん。
Making negative verb endings.
To make the negative in the plain, or simple, form by taking the basic stem and adding ない to it.
With the `ru` verbs you simply drop the る and add ない as in 忘れる wasureru (to forget)...
日本語を忘れない。nihongo o wasurenai. (I) don`t forget Japanese.
And for the `u` verbs we change the ending `u` sound to a `a` sound as in 書く kaku -> 書か...
手紙を書かない。tegami o kakanai. (I) don`t write letters.
する and other irregular verbs
する is しない in the simple form and しません in the polite form
スカイダイビングをしません。sukaidaibingu o shimasen. (I) don`t do sky diving.
And 来る kuru is 来ない konai and 来ません kimasen in the formal...
ゴジラが来ない。gojira ga konai. Godzilla doesn`t come.
To review the 3 types of verbs click here.
Plan to 予定、つもり
If you plan on speaking Japanese these two words are very useful.予定 yotei and つもり tsumori
予定 yotei and つもり are very similar in meaning and usage. 予定 conveys more of a `schedule` feel whereas つもり is more of a `conviction of doing something. All you have to do is to stick either on the end of a verb (simple form)...
To add つもり or 予定 to any verb just find the simple form...
日本に行くつもり/予定です。nihon ni iku tsumori (or yotei) desu. I intend to go to Japan. [if you use tsumori, you `intend` to go one way or another; if you use yotei you already have a hard schedule set to leave at a certain time.]
Here is how you add it to a する verb
あなたと結婚するつもり/予定です。anata to kekkon suru tsumori (or yotei) desu. I intend to marry you.
You can also use it with nouns by sticking a の before the tsumori and after adjectives. But for now concentrate on the verb usage.
Punctuation 。 、「 」
Punctuation is in many ways similar to English. You have a comma, called a てんor とうてん(読点)and a period at the end of a sentence called a まる or くてん(句点)．The Japanese quotation mark 「 」 is called かぎカッコ(鉤括弧).
Let`s quickly go over some common Punctuation thingies:
|。 the まる acts just like our period by ending the sentence. It looks like a ball - maru|
|、 the てん acts like a comma. This is often found after は as in わたしは、あなたが好きです。 (I, like you)|
|「 and 」 These brackets（かぎカッコ） hold quotations and work like our "" marks．「ママ、早く来て」とその子は叫んだ。|
Particles Part 2
から from / because / after doing
から kara can be from (a starting point in time or place)
amerika kara kimashita.
(I) came from America.
kaigi wa hachiji kara desu. The meeting is from 8.
から kara can also be used after the -て form of a verb to mean after some action has been performed.
kao o aratte kara asameshi o tabemasu.
After washing my face I eat breakfast.
Last but not least から kara can be used after the plain form of a verb or adjective to mean _because_ (that verb/adjective).
mazukatta kara tabemasendeshita.
It tasted bad so I didn't eat it.
hashitte kara tsukareteimasu.
I ran so I'm tired.
なぜなら nazenara is used at the start of 'because' sentences, although it isn't essential.
なぜなら + reason or excuse + kara
nazenara hara ga hetta kara desu.
Because, (I'm) starving!
ので node is a 'because' that comes at the end of a phrase.
In English we start the phrase with `because` in Japanese you often say the reason first and then the because...
Just add it after an adjective...
sono kaban wa takai node, zutto tsukau tsumori desu.
Since that bag was expensive, I plan on using it for a long time.
Just add it to the simple form of any verb
gojira ga kuru node, toukyou wa kowai tokoro desu.
Since Godzilla comes, Tokyo is a scary place.
After a noun or a -na adjective add a NA before NODE...
watashi wa mada gakusei na node, okane ga nai.
Because I am still a student, I don`t have any money.
- even though, although
A close cousin to ので (above), is のに. Just add it after an plain verb or adjective (the の in のに acts as a nominalizer).
It has two main uses;
1. To show disappointment.
isshougenmei benkyou shita noni, tesuto o ochimashita.
Even though I studied really hard, I flunked the test.
2. To show where the main verb of the sentence was applied to.
A typical example would be
○○ suru no ni jikan ga kakarimashita.
It took time to do ○○.
Now a real example...
wareware no me wa an'yami ni nareru no ni jikan ga kakarimasu.
Our eyes take time to adjust to the darkness.
が (part 2)
Previously we dealt with the use of が as the subject particle. However it can also be used to join two sentences like 'but'.
kagakugijutsu no okagede watashitachi no seikatsu wa raku desu ga, kankyou mo taisetsu desu.
Our lives are easy thanks to technology but the environment is also important.
- が is primarily used in written/formal language
けど, けれど etc are better in casual/normal spoken Japanese.
- が is not a very strong 'but'.
In other words it can be used like 'and' as well without the sense of contrast.
- ですが, だが can be used at the start of sentences.
kanojo no te wa chiisai desu. daga piano ga hikenai hodo chiisaku wa nai desu.
Her hands are small, but not so small that she can't play the piano.