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Grammar page 8

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The eigth page of the grammar lessons.


Why don't we...? ~ませんか?

Why don't we study a little more?

どこかで食べませんか? dokoka de tabemasen ka? Why don't we eat somewhere. 
何か飲みませんか? nanika nomimasen ka? Would you like something to drink. or Why don't we have a drink. 

The context decides if the meaning should be 'why don't WE' or 'Would YOU.'

A Closer look at を

Pronounced o but written in Japanese as wo. Simply put, を is the 'direct object marker or particle' which indicates the previous word is the direct object. There are cases when the English would not consider it a direct object, though. Learn some examples and give it a try. This particle is one of the easier ones...

私はりんごを食べました。 watashi wa ringo o tabemashita. I ate an apple. (apple is the を) 
音楽を聞きたいです。 ongaku o kikitai desu. I want to listen to music. (music is the を) 
テレビを買うつもりです。 terebi o kau tsumori desu . I intend to buy a TV. (tsumori means'intend to'; TV is the を)

A Closer look at に

In most cases the particle へ can be used interchangeably with に. But に has a wider application so for now just stick with に

Showing movement toward... Like 'to'

日本に行きたい。 nihon ni ikitai. I want to go to Japan. (direction TO Japan) 
どこに行きたいですか。 doko ni ikitai desu ka. Where do you want to go? 

Meaning 'on' or 'in'

紙に絵を書きました。 kami ni e o kakimashita. I drew a picture on a piece of paper. 

In time - 'at'

六時に会いましょう。 roku ji ni aimashou . Let's meet at 6.

A Closer look at で

This is used mainly for location.

Used for location of where something happens

デパートで帽子を買いました。 depa-to de boushi o kaimashita. I bought a hat at the Department store. 
日本で何をしましたか? nihon de nani o shimashita ka . In Japan, what did you do? 

Observe the difference between に and で:

マクドナルドに行きたい。 makudonarudo ni ikitai. I want to go to McDonalds.
マクドナルドで食べたい。 makudonarudo de tabetai. I want to eat at McDonalds.

A Closer look at が

This is the 'subject marker / particle'.

雨が降っています。 ame ga futteimasu. It's raining.

There is a subtile difference between WA and GA and I don't pretend to try to completely explain it. Years from now, you will still make WA/GA mistakes. Still, in general you can say WA is the main TOPIC and GA is the more specific SUBJECT at hand. In the above example we say it is raining. The topic isn't about rain. We are simply stating the circumstances at the moment and the subject of that particular sentence is rain. If we were to talk all about rain, we would probably start with WA as in:

雨は空から降ってくる水です。 ame wa sora kara futte kuru mizu desu.
As for rain, it is water that falls from the sky. (You may go on to say more about the overall topic of rain.)

Used with SUKI

わたしは猫が好き。 watashi wa neko ga suki. I like cats.

Question words always use GA

何がおいしい? nani ga oishii? What tastes good? 誰が来ました? dare ga kimashita? Who came? どこが一番いいところですか? doko ga ichi ban ii tokoro desu ka? Where is the best place?

If II たら

A while back we found もし as the word that means 'if'. たら is added to the end of verbs to give the meaning of 'if this is done, then this will happen'

It is formed by finding the simple past form and adding a ら

あなたが来たら、彼は帰る。 anata ga kitara kare wa kaeru If you are coming, he will go home.

The simple past form of 来る is 来た.The 2nd phrase is conditional on the たら phrase.

ゴジラに会ったら、どうしよう? gojira ni attara doushiyou. What should I do if I meet Godzilla?

You can also use it with nouns by using the simple past form of desu: だった

お金持ちだったら、大きな家が買えるのに。 okanemochi da tara ookina ie ga kaeru noni. If only I were rich, I could buy a large house.

Softener ちょっと

Many years ago I found an example in a book of how Japanese can be direct or politely indirect. For example you can say:

1) こい! koi


2) あのう、すみません、たいへん恐れいれますが、ちょっとこちらへいらっしゃってくださいませんでしょうか?

both mean 'come here' but #2 is much more polite being cushioned by many soft, indirect words. One of these words is ちょっと.

ちょっと means 'little' or 'small amount' but it is often used to soften an otherwise painful 'no' or 'your request is impossible; live with it'
ちょっと難しいですが。 chotto muzukashi desu ga. That's a little difficult. (this may be said when the request is impossible)
ちょっと出来ないです。 chotto dekinai desu. It can't be done.
ちょっと分からないです。 chotto wakaranai desu. I'm not really sure.

I have been told the sound 'chotto' is a bad word in Korean. If that is the case, chotto may not be that soft of a word...

The power ender "よ"

When you want to impress upon your listener the importance or truth of what you are saying stick a よ at the end of the sentence.

本当ですよ。 hontou desu yo. It's the truth!
I tell ya! (Perhaps the speaker suspects the listener doesn't believe what he just said)

フロリダの12月は暑いですか? fururida no juu ni gatsu wa atsui desu ka? Is December in Florida is pretty hot?
結構寒いですよ。 kekkou samui desu yo. Actually, it is pretty cold.

It is very useful for rumors or explaining a truth you know someone may not swallow at first:
鈴木さんは宇宙人ですよ。 suzuki san wa uchuujin desu yo. Suzuki is an alien, you know.

Now you've finished

That red "lesson 9" link down there is a hint for somebody else to write it. ;-)

Apart from that this is the last of the 'Grammar Page' series but there are other Lessons. Having got this far you might want to look into more advanced subjects like Keigo or test your skills with Online Tests. In any case Good Luck learning Japanese and がんばって!

Continue to lesson 9 Go back and review lesson 7

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