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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

Must do なければなりません

This is a mouthful! But it is so useful. Learn it well

TO MAKE IT: plain negative form - i +  ければ なりません kereba narimasen

ピーマンを食べなければなりません。 [Would be 食べない for the plain negative form ]
pi-man o tabenakereba narimasen.
(I) must eat green peppers. (Many Japanese children don't like green peppers)

Say that 5 times fast with your mouth full!

Perhaps the most useful usage is:

The し shi is from suru (to do)

benkyou shinakereba narimasen.
(I) must (have to) study.

shinakereba narimasen.
(I) must (have to) do (it).

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
furorida ni itta toki ni kore wo kaimashita.
When I went to Florida, I bought this.

furorida ni iku toki wa omiyage wo kaimasu.
When I go to Florida, I will buy souvenirs.

neru toki itsumo futon de nemasu.
When I sleep, I always sleep on a futon.

For more information on time related words, click here

When I was ... ころ / ごろ

This is used very simiarly to とき

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

However it is generally used for larger stretches of time, further in the past.

For events of short duration とき is better.

事故の(とき ○ / ころ ×)、なにが起こったかわかりませんでした。
jiko no (toki ○ / koro ×), nani ga okotta ka wakarimasen deshita
At the time of the accident, I didn't know what had happened.

Using 何

This is a very useful add-on.

Use it as a counter:

何人 nan nin

how many people 来るのは何人ですか。kuru no wa nan nin desu ka? - How many people are coming?

何年 nan nen

how many years 何年アメリカに住んでいましたか。 nan nen amerika ni sunde imashita ka? - How many years did you live in America?

何番 nan ban

what number 次は何番ですか。 tsugi wa nan ban desu ka? - What is the next number?

何度 nan do

what`s the temperature 温度は何度ですか。 ondo wa nando desu ka? - What is the temperature at?

何曜日 nan you bi

what day of the week 今日は何曜日ですか。 kyou wa nan youbi desu ka? - What is the day of the week?

何日 nan nichi

which day パーティーは何日ですか。 pa-ti wa nan nichi desu ka. - What day is the party?

何個 nan ko

how many pieces ジェリービーンを何個ほしいですか。 jeri-bi-n o nanko hoshii desu ka? - How many jelly beans do you want?

Some adverbial usages of 何

何か nani ka

something 何か飲みたい。 nanika nomitai - I want something to drink

何でも nan demo

anything, whatever 何でもいいです。 nandemo ii desu. - Anything is fine.

何と nan to

how...! 何とすばらしい日。 nan to subarashii hi. - What a wonderful day!

何のため nan no tame

what for ここに来たのは、何のためですか。 koko ni kita no wa nan no tame desu ka? - Why did you come here?

何となく nantonaku

somehow, in some way

何となく分かる。 nantonaku wakaru. - I somehow understand.

Continue to lesson 6 Go back and review lesson 4

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