Category: Grammar

Various explanation for Japanese grammar

Japanese Lesson 25 – Japanese adjective doesn’t have the form of comparative and superlative

Japanese adjective doesn’t have the form of comparative and superlative like English. When you express them in Japanese, adverb or adverbial phrase modifying adjective is used. Comparative and “than” (Ex) Sapporo is colder than Tokyo. In English, adjective is changed to the form of comparative when two objects are compared. But Japanese adjective doesn’t have the form of comparative. So it is OK to use the original form of adjective. That’s very easy. The Japanese word for “than” is “yori” or “yorimo”. Because it is a particle, it is added after noun. The phrase including “yori” or “yorimo” is an adverbial phrase. You can put it into your favorite position […]

Japanese Lesson 24 – How to use adjective in Japanese

Let’s learn adjective which is an important part of speech in Japanese. You may feel that it is a little troublesome because it has the change at the end of the word like verb. Two types of adjective There are two types of adjective in Japanese. One type is the adjective that the last part is “i”. (I call it “i-adjective”.) Another type is the the adjective that the last part is “na”. (I call it “na-adjective”.) Each type of the adjective has different inflection. An adjective is either i-adjective or na-adjective, but there is no rule to fix the type. So you have only to learn each adjective with […]

Japanese Lesson 17 – Omission of the subject, Shift of subject and object

You can omit the subject of Japanese sentence Let’s look at the example in the page of Lesson-16. (I added a few words in the example.) (English) A: I was arrived at Tokyo yesterday. B: How long are you going to stay in Tokyo? A: Actually, I will go to Sapporo tomorrow. B: I went to Sapporo last month, too. A: What did you eat in Sapporo? B: I ate sushi. A: How long do you stay in Japan? B: I am in Japan until next month. (Japanese) [Actually = jitsuwa] A: Watashi wa kinoo Tookyoo ni tsuki mashita. B: Anata wa itsu made Tookyoo ni iru no desu ka? […]

Japanese Lesson 16 – Expression of the past and the future in Japanese

In English, there are clear sentence patterns expressing actions in the past and future. The grammatical structure is called as tense. Each verb has a past form, auxiliary verb “have” and past participle make the perfect tense, and “will” makes the future tense. But, Japanese don’t have concept of tense. The past form of Japanese In Japanese, the sentence of past tense is made by adding an auxiliary verb “ta” at the end of the sentence. You have learned Japanese by the frames with “masu” and “desu”. It is easy to make the sentence of past tense by the frames. But you must learn the case that “ta” is connected […]

Japanese Lesson 15 – Some types of verbs in Japanese

I have already explained the basic sentence patterns in Japanese. There is one thing I didn’t try to explain. It is Japanese verb. The verb group in the frames of Japanese sentence is put at the end of the sentence. It is a feature of Japanese. Now, you are learning Japanese sentence with “masu” which is an auxiliary verb of politeness to have a practical conversation. I have shown only the result of change by connecting a verb and “masu”. In this page, I explain the change of verbs summarily. Base form of Japanese verb The last character of Japanese verbs is always “u”. Let’s look at the examples I […]

Japanese Lesson 14 – Negative sentence in Japanese

When you make a negative sentence in English, you use an adverb “not”. In Japanese, there are two words for making a negative sentence , “nai” and “n”. These are auxiliary verbs which are used by connecting after verb. I explain negative sentences using “n” in this page. Because, only “n” comes after the auxiliary verb of politeness “masu”. About “nai”, I explain it when the need arises. The sentence frames for negative sentence In Frame-A, affirmative “masu” has changed to “masen”. “Masen” is made by connecting “masu” and negative auxiliary verb “n”. Because an auxiliary verb comes after “masu”, the end part of “masu” is changed to “mase”. But […]

Japanese Lesson 13 – Interrogative adverbs

I introduce interrogative adverbs in this page. Please check the page of Lesson-12 about interrogative pronoun and how to make interrogative sentence. Main interrogative adverbs are shown in the the lower half of below list. Interrogative adverb is a kind of common adverb. Therefore, you can put it at the position of the red arrows in the below frames freely. Unlike English, Interrogative adverb is often put in a sentence. When it is put at the head of a sentence, we feel strong emphasis of the question. When Japanese word equivalent to “when” in English is “itsu”. It is the word that time and date are asked. And “itsu” connecting […]

Japanese Lesson 12 – Yes-no question and interrogative pronouns

How to make interrogative sentence in Japanese In English, interrogative sentence differs from declarative sentence in the order of words. He is a teacher. ⇔ Is he a teacher? She loves him. ⇔ Does she love him? But when you make Japanese interrogative sentence, that is very easy. You only have to add “ka?” to the end of the declarative sentence. Let’s look at some examples. (DS=Declarative sentence, IS=Interrogative sentence) I eat sushi in Tokyo. [DS] Watashi wa Tookyoo de sushi o tabe masu. Do you eat sushi in Tokyo? [IS] Anata wa Tookyoo de sushi o tabe masu ka? I’m a nurse. [DS] Watashi wa kangoshi desu. Are you […]

Japanese Lesson 11 – Only a particle “no” is OK for making possessive case in Japanese

Possessive case is a method to modify a noun. It expresses the owner or a range of possession of the noun. In Japanese, particle “no” is used in most cases expressing possessive case. It is easy. So let’s learn now. Possessive case of personal pronoun In English, subject of the first person is “I” and the possessive pronoun is “my”. In the same manner, subject of the second person is “you” and the possessive pronoun is “your”. Like this, there are different words for possessive pronoun in English. But, possessive case in Japanese is very simple. You only have to put a particle “no” after pronoun. (About Japanese pronoun, see […]

Japanese Lesson 10 – Subject can have three type of nuances.

Subject in Japanese is basically made by connecting a particle “wa” after noun or pronoun. But subject with “ga” or “mo” is often used. In English, there is no variety like this. Each of them has a different nuance, but that’s quite expressive. Subject with “ga” As an example, I translate the following English sentence. She is a nurse. a) Kanojo wa kangoshi desu. b) Kanojo ga kangoshi desu. About the example, we can show these two Japanese sentences. a) is a normal sentence, but b) has a little unique nuance. When a speaker expresses an answer about the topic in the conversation, the answer is set up as the […]

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