Grammar page 6

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The sixth page of the grammar lessons.


Should/Must はず/べきです

You should know はず hazu. It is easy and useful, therefore you have no excuse :) But do not confuse it with べきです, which is why we will treat it too. But first はず, whose kanji form is 筈

To add はず to any adjective just add it...
sono kaban wa, takai hazu desu.
That bag must be expensive.
(It is expected to be expensive)

Just add it to the simple form of any verb
anata wa, gojira o shitteiru hazu desu.
You should/must know Godzilla.

はず can also be used as if it was a noun with の to modify other words. (Actually, it kind of IS a noun.)

kuru hazu no otouto wa kekkyoku kimasen deshita.
My brother, who I expected to come, didn't arrive in the end.

はず can also be used in the two useful constructions はずはない and はずがない.

Both mean "not expected" but はずはない is a plain statement of fact "I don't expect ..." while はずがない is an emphatic denial "There's no way that ...".

aitsu ga yuushou suru hazu ga nai!
There's no way he'll win!

Now on to べきです. This comes from the classical adverb 可し, which is a bit hard to understand. You will often only need it in the form of べきです, so don`t have to explain it here and now.

Whereas はず expresses a logical expectation, べきです expresses a social expectation. Let's take a look:

"I think that "you knowing Godzilla" is indeed the case."
"[As Godzilla is so well known] You should know Godzilla [as well]." 

べきです is added to the simple form of a verb, with one "excpetion"

tomodachi no kaiwa no kawari ni, benkyou subeki desu.
Instead of talking do friends, you had better study.

Historically, べきです is added to the no longer existing verb form 終止形 (shuushikei). Today you just add it to the simple form of a verb. Only suru still uses this classical formation. And the 終止形 of する happens to be す.

Easy to... ~やすい

やすい is an auxillary adjective. Auxillary because it attaches to verbs. Adjective so it behaves and conjugates like an i-adjective.

It's easy to add "easy to" to verbs! Consider the following verbs in the masu form:

たべます tabe masu [to eat]>  たべやすい tabe yasui [easy to eat]

Did you see that? If you know the -masu form of the verb, you can easily drop the -masu and add a yasui.

わかります wakari masu [to understand] > わかりやすい wakari yasui [easy to understand]

Some examples showing how to use ~やすい in sentences. It behaves just like an ordinary i-adjective so you can use it before nouns.

kore wa wakariyasui hon desu.
This is an easy-to-understand book.

It also conjugates like a normal i-adjective.

hirumeshi wa tabeyasukatta desu.
Lunch was easy to eat.

Hard to... ~にくい

If "easy to" is easy to use (see above) then you would think that "hard to" would be hard to use. Well, they had to go and make it easy. Usage is the same as -yasui (easy to)

たべます tabe masu [to eat] > たべにくい tabe nikui [hard to eat]

If you know the -masu form of the verb, you can easily drop the -masu and add a nikui.

わかります wakari masu [to understand] > わかりにくい wakari nikui [hard to understand]

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!
てみる + たい = てみたい

See also Conjecture.

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...

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高かったそうです。 tanaka san no atarashii pasokon wa takatta sou desu.
I heard Tanaka's new computer was 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...'

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.

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 <br<

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.

ころ is used, like とき, directly after verbs or adjectives but with a の no after nouns.
子供のころ kodomo no koro = when I was a child
若かったころ wakakatta koro = when I was young

Related words

一頃 【ひところ】 (n-adv,n-t) once; some time ago
先頃; 先ごろ 【さきごろ】 (n-adv,n-t) recently; the other day; (P)
頃合; 頃合い 【ころあい】 (n) (1) suitable time; good time; (2) propriety; moderation
日ごろ; 日頃 【ひごろ】 (n-adv,n-t) normally; habitually; (P)
近頃(P); 近ごろ 【ちかごろ】 (n-adv,n-t) lately; recently; nowadays; (P)
この頃(P); 此の頃 【このごろ】 (n-adv,n-t) recently; nowadays; these days; (P)
年頃 【としごろ】 (adv,n) age; marriageable age; age of puberty; adolescence; for some years; (P)

Continue to lesson 7 Go back and review lesson 5

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