The ko-so-a-do may seem difficult to grasp, but they are very regular. Learning them early on will definitely help with your progress.
The key is to understand the three positions:
- Near the speaker [the "k" words]
- Near the listener [the "s" words]
- Away from both [the "a" words]
The fourth, "d" words," are the question words.
These mean the same as これ、それ、あれ、 and どれ. The only difference is these demonstratives must be attached to nouns. In English, we would translate both
これ and この as "this," but in Japanese, これ stands alone and この attaches to a noun.
This is a cat. これは、猫です。
This cat is black. この猫は、黒いです。
How to Use:
■ Attach to any noun.
This (something) [for objects near the speaker]
That (something) [for objects near the listener]
That (something) over there [for objects far from both people]
Is this book interesting?
[an object near the speaker]
Ah, that book is kinda interesting.
[Uses その because it is far from this speaker. まあまあ means "so-so."]
Well, how about that book over there?
[an object far from both speakers]