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Grammar page 6

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The fifth page of the grammar lessons.


Looks like ~みたい

Looks like we made it - as Barry Manilow would say - at least we made it half way!

台風が来るみたい。taifuu ga kuru mitai. It looks like a hurricane. [This could mean you are looking at storm clouds, OR someone told you a hurricane is coming and you are reporting that possibility]

And just stick it after a noun

この景色は夢みたい。 kono keshiki wa yume mitai. This scenery looks like a dream. [Useful if visiting Mt. Fuji - or, alternatively, if you have bad dreams, a garbage heap...]

あの人は日本人みたい。 ano hito WA nihonjin mitai. That person looks like he's [or she's] Japanese.

There is another usage of -mitai where it can mean 'try and see' when added to the て form of a verb: やってみたい yatte mitai - I'll give it a shot. 食べてみたい tabete mitai - I'll taste and see.

That is a bit different from the above, but it is also very useful!

I heard...; They say ~そう

While みたい can convey info you have heard as well as what you see, ~そう is mainly used for info that originated elsewhere. - I heard...

Construction: 1) simple verb + ~sou + desu/da

ゆきちゃんは 肉を 食べない そう だ。 yuki chan WA niku o tabenai sou DA I heard Yuki doesn't eat meat.

2) -i adjective + ~sou + desu/DA

田中さんの新しいパソコンはとても高いそうです。 tanaka san no atarashii pasokon wa totemo takai sou desu. I heard Tanaka's new computer is very expensive. [This info could have come from Tanaka himself, or someone else]

Like, as... ~ように

Here is a useful tag which means 'just as...' or 'like this...'

Construction: 1) simple verb + ~you ni

私が言うようにして。 watashi ga iu you ni shite. Do as I say.

2) noun + ~ no you ni

あなたは熊のプーさんのようにかわいいです。 anata wa kuma no pu-san no you ni kawaii desu. You are as cute as Winnie the Pooh

like, as if, apparently らしい

This is similar to ~sou where the speaker is repeating info heard from another source. The only difference may be ~rashii may be based on more reliable information.

Construction: 1) simple verb + ~rashii 山田さんは帰ったらしいです。 yamada san wa kaetta rashii desu. It sounds like Mr. Yamada has come home.

2) noun + ~rashii

There are a few nouns with rashii that you can remember as a word in itself. This meaning is slighly different from the above verb construction. Instead of meaning info heard elsewhere, when added to a noun it means the speaker thinks something looks like something. Here are a few:

男らしい otokorashii - manly (like a man)
女らしい onnarashii - girly (but perhaps 女っぽい onnappoi is used more)
犬らしい inurashii - like a dog (substitute any animal here. This is useful when you see an animal at night and are not sure what it is, but it looks like..)
アメリカらしい amerikarashii - American-ish (substitute any country)

Another similar construction with nouns is ~ppoi - as seen above with onnappoi. When added to nouns to mean 'looks like...' ~ppoi is the same as ~rashii

Let's... ~しましょう

Construction: 1) ~masu verb - masu + mashou

Here are a few quick and useful examples:

行きましょう。 ikimashou. Let's go.

遊びましょう。 asobimashou. Let's play.

先生と話しましょう。 sensei to hanashimashou. Let's talk to the teacher.

日本語を勉強しましょう。 nihongo o benkyou shimashou. Let's study Japanese. This example uses suru. Another example would be:

スカイダイビングしましょう。 sukai daibingu shimashou. Let's go sky diving.

This construction is very easy if you know the masu (formal) form of the verb. If you are a beginner, you probably want to stick with the ~masu form anyway.

Won't you...? ~ませんか?

Why don't we study Japanese grammar?

ok. Since we have the above construction (using a negative to suggest doing something) in English, this grammar point isn't too difficult to grasp

Construction: 1) ~masu verb - masu + mashou

どこか行きませんか。 dokoka ikimasen.
Why don't we go already? [notice I have the English as 'we.' It could be 'you' if you are angry at the person and wish him to leave...]

映画を見ませんか。 eiga o mimasen ka. Why don't we see a movie.

何か飲みませんか。 nanika nomimasen ka.
Wouldn't you like to drink something? [In this case you are asking someone individually if they would like something to drink.]

Power ender "ね"

This is used at the end of a sentence and contains a variety of meanings. We will look at it as a question tag.

As a question tag: don't you... isn't it...

あなたはにんじんが嫌いですね。 anata wa ninjin ga kirai desu ne. You don't like carrots, don't you? その映画はとてもいい映画だったね。 sono eiga wa totemo ii eiga datta ne. Don't you think that was a good movie? 今日は暑いですね。 kyou wa atsui desu ne. Today is very hot, isn't it?

If you want to use ne as a question tag, it helps to nod your head, or change the inflection to let the listener know you would like a response. It is usually used when the speaker feels fairly certain his listeners agree with what was said.

A very useful phrase for whenever something good happens is:

いいね。 ii ne. Isn't that great!

When, that time とき

If you don't know when to say something, you will never say it!

Using とき toki - at the time when...

With a noun add a の

[Looking at a photo] 私は学生のときにはとても若かったね。 watashi wa gakusei no toki ni wa totemo wakakatta ne. [looking at a photo] When I was a student, I was very young, wasn't I?

And with verbs...

simple past フロリダに行ったときにこれを買いました。 furorida ni itta toki ni kore wo kaimashita. When I went to Florida, I bought this.

non-past フロリダに行くときはおみやげを買います。 furorida ni iku toki wa omiyage wo kaimasu. When I go to Florida, I will buy souvenirs.

continuing 寝るときいつも布団で寝ます。 neru toki itsumo futon de nemasu. When I sleep, I always sleep on a futon.

For more information on time related words, click here

Continue to lesson 6

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