ga, Watashi wa, Tanaka san wa, Torako, Takahashi san wa, ka, Mr. Tanaka, Tanaka san tachi Mr. Tanaka, Japanese nouns, Maiku san wa, Japanese Grammar, san wa, Tanaka Hiromi Hiromi Tanaka, irregular verbs, kawaii desu, dictionary form, stem, Haruko
Some Notes on Japanese Grammar Keith Smillie No claim is made for either originality or completeness in these notes. Most of the examples have been taken from, or have been suggested by, the references given at the end. The topics chosen are those which may benefit a person who is beginning to study Japanese and who would like a quick reference to supplement more complete and authoritative sources.
April 2000Table of Contents
Word Order Nouns Pronouns Demonstratives and Interrogatives Particles Verbs Introduction Present and past polite forms Expressing "to be" Uses of deshф Present and past plain forms The gerund or -te form Progressive tense Desiderative form passive form
Causative form Conditional form
Giving and receiving Starting an action Nominalization Adjectives Describing nouns Adverbs Comparisons Numbers Specific Time Relative Time Counters Calendar Family Acknowledgements References Appendix. A few verbs
Word Order Japanese is a Subject-Object-Verb language as compared with English which is a SubjectVerb-Object language. Torako wa neko desu. Torako is a cat. (Literally, "Torako as for cat is.") Torako ga nezumi o mimashita. Torako saw a mouse (Literally, "Torako [subject] mouse [object] saw.") A sentence is made into a question by placing the particle ka at the end. Torako ga nezumi o mimashita ka. Did Torako see a mouse?
Nouns Japanese nouns do not have gender, they may not be modified by definite or indefinite article
s because none exist in Japanese, and the singular and plural forms are usually the same. In romaji the names of persons and places are capitalized as are the names of languages except English (eigo).
hon book, books, a book, the book, the books
For nouns referring to people, the suffix -tachi may be used to indicate the plural.
kodomo child, children
Tanaka san tachi Mr. Tanaka and his family or others
Japanese give the family name first followed by the given name.
Tanaka Hiromi Hiromi Tanaka
The suffix -ya means the store where the objects are sold or the person who sells them. The suffix -ka means a person who is is an expert or specialist in the designated subject.
hanaya flower shop, florist
nikuya butcher shop, butcher
When referring to a clerk or shopkeeper, the honorific san is used.
honya san bookstore clerk, bookseller
Two nouns used together as a compound noun are joined by the particle no.
nihongo no kurasu Japanese language class
apвto no biru
watashi anata kare kanojo ano hito
I, me you he, him she, her that person
watashitachi we, us
kanojotachi they, them
ano hitotachi those persons
Avoid using anata whenever possible, and use the person's name with san instead. Similarly, when referring to a third person, use the person's name.
Sumisu san wa eigo o mimashita ka. Did you (Mr. Smith) see the movie?
Tanaka san wa nani o kaimashita ka. What did she (Mrs. Tanaka) buy?
The indefinite pronouns are the following:
dareka someone doreka something dokaka somewhere nanika something ikuraka some, a little nandemo anything
daremo no one doremo nothing dokomo nowhere nanimo nothing ikuramo not much nannimo nothing
The negative indefinite pronouns take a negative verb.
Dareka kimashita. Someone came.
Daremo kimasen deshita. No one came.
The one reflexive pronoun is jibun (myself, yourself, etc.).
Jibun de hatarakimasu. I am working by myself. 3
There are no Relative pronouns
in Japanese, and the relative clause precedes the word it modifies. Asoko ni suwatte iru wakai josei wa musume desu. That young lady sitting over there is my daughter.
Demonstratives and Interrogatives
The demonstrative and iterrogative words, which are either pronouns, adjectives or adverbs, may be divided into four groups depending on the prefix:
ko- Something near the speaker. so- Something nearer the listener than the speaker. a- Something at a distance from both speaker and listener. do- Question
kore this one
konna this kind of sonna
kф in this manner sф
kochirathis way sochira
are that one
dore which one
that kind of anna that kind of donna what kind of
in that manner в in that manner dф in which way
asoko over there doko where
achira that way
Other interrogative pronouns are the following:
nan, nani what
nannin how many people
ikura how much
ikutsu how many
Particles wa Topic Yфko san wa daigakuin no gakusei desu. Yфko is a graduate student
. (Literally, "As for Yфko, she is a graduate student.")
Watashi wa sushi ga suki desu. I like sushi. (Literally, As for me, sushi is likeable.")
o direct object
Torako wa kasasagi o mite imasu. Torako is looking at the magpie.
no Possession, noun modification, apposition
Simon wa musume no neko desu. Simon is my daughter's cat.
Nihon no tabemono wa oishii desu. Japanese food is delicious.
Tomodachi no Tanaka san wa sensei desu. My friend Mr. Tanaka is a teacher.
ni Indirect object, location, direction, specific time
Watashi wa Tanaka san ni hon o kasimashita. I loaned Mr. Tanaka a book.
Hiromi san wa Tфkyф ni imasu. Hiromi is in Tokyo.
Kinф watashi wa hayaku uchi ni kaerimashita. Yesterday I went home early.
gogo jыji ni at 10 p.m.
nichiyфbi ni on Sunday
shichigatsu ni 1998 nen ni
de Place of action, means, total, material
Watashi wa honya de hon o sansatsu kaimashita. I bought three books at the bookstore.
Tanaka san wa basu de kaisha ni ikimasu. Mr. Tanaka goes to the office by bus.
Ashita eiga ni futari de ikimasu. Tomorrow the two of us are going to a movie.
Tкburu wa ki de dekite imasu. The table is made of wood. e Direction Nihon e ikimasu ka Are you going to Japan? kara Origin, starting time Ano hito wa Nihon kara kimashita. He is from Japan. Depвto wa jыji kara desu. The department store opens at 10:00 o'clock. made Target time Depвto wa rokuji made desu. The department store closes at 6:00 o'clock. Depвto wa jыji kara rokuji made desu. The department store is open from 10:00 o'clock until 6:00 o'clock. mo Also, both ... and, neither ... nor Watashi wa ocha ga suki desu. Kohii mo suki desu. I like tea. I also like coffee. Ocha mo kohii mo nomimasu. I drink both tea and coffee. Ocha mo kohii mo nomimasen. I drink neither tea nor coffee. to Complete listing (and), involvement Sono gakusei wa pen to enpitsu o motte imasu. That student has a pen and a pencil. Watashi wa yoku tomodachi to hirugohan o tabemasu. I often have lunch with my friends. 6
ya Partial listing (and) Watashitachi wa Kyфto ya Фsaka (nado) e ikimashita. We went to Kyoto, Osaka, etc. ga but Tanaka san wa kimasu ga, Watanabe san wa kimasen. Mr. Tanaka is coming, but Mr. Watanabe isn't. ka Enumeration (or) Ocha ka kфhо ikaga desu ka. How about tea or coffee? kara Reason Isogashii kara, eiga ni ikimasen deshita. Because I was busy, I didn't go to the movie. nagara Simultaneous action Aruki nagara, mondai ni tsuite kangaemashita. While walking, I thought about the problem. ka Question marker Gakusei desu ka. Are you a student? ne Confirmation Gakusei desu ne. You are a student, aren't you? yo Emphasis Gakusei desu yo. So you're a student! Verbs Introduction Japanese verbs do not have different forms for person, number or gender. Verbs are listed in what is known as the "dictionary" or "plain" form. All Japanese verbs, except for two irregular verbs
, can be divided into two groups or conjugations which differ only in the way in which they 7
form their stems and infinitives. The stem may change or have a suffix added to show tense, mood and politeness.
Type I or Group 1 verbs are all verbs whose dictionary form does not end in -eru or -iru, together with a few which have these endings. The stem is formed by dropping the final -u; the infinitive is formed by adding -i to the stem. Type I verbs are also called consonant or c-stem verbs or u-stem or u-dropping verbs.
Dictionary kaku iku yomu matsu hanasu omou *
Meaning to write to go to read to wait to speak to believe
* Verbs ending in -au, -iu and -ou are considered to be c-stem verbs as they formerly ended in -awa, -iwa and -owa, respectively.
Type II or Group 2 verbs, a much smaller group than the first, are most of the verbs which end in -eru or -iru in the dictionary form. The stem is formed by dropping the final -ru; the infinitive is the same as the stem. Type II verbs are also called vowel or v-stem verbs or rudropping verbs.
Dictionary hajimeru miru taberu
Meaning to begin to see, to look at to eat
The two irregular verb
s, sometimes known as Type III or Group 3 verbs, are kuru and suru.
Meaning to come to do
Present and past polite forms To form the present polite form add -masu to the infinitive for the positive and -masen for the negative. For the past polite form add -mashita to the infinitive for the positive and -masen deshita for the negative.
Tokidoki eiga o mimasu. I sometimes watch movies.
Takahashi san wa sakana o tabemasen. Ms. Takahashi doesn't eat fish.
Mainichi kanji no benkyф o shimashita ga, sugu wasuremashita. I studied kanji every day, but I soon forgot them.
Ichi-jikan machimashita ga, tomodachi wa kimasen deshita. I waited an hour, but my friend didn't come. Expressing "to be" The meaning "is" or "are" may be expressed by the copula desu, and by the verbs arimasu and imasu. The copula desu is used when one thing is, or equals, another; arimasu refers to the existence of inanimate objects (including plants, which don't move about); and imasu refers to the existence of animate objects. The negative of desu is dewa arimasen or ja arimasen or dewa nai desu or ja nai desu. When describing the location of something, ni arimasu can often be replaced by desu. The verb arimasu can often be translated as "there is", "are" or "have". Koko wa Yokahama eki desu. This is Yokahama station. Kissaten wa ginkф to yыbinkyoku no aida ni arimasu. The coffee shop
is between the bank and the post office. Watanabe san wa doko ni imasu ka. Where's Mr. Watanabe? Ginkф wa doko ni arimasu ka. Where's the bank? Amerikajin dewa arimasen. Igirisujin desu. I'm not American. I'm English. In situations demanding a high degree of courtesy, e.g., a sales clerk in a department store talking to a customer, the speaker is likely to use the formal and humble gozaimasu instead of arimasu and irasshaimasu instead of iru. Kono hoteru ni wa, fakkusu ga arimasu ka. Hai, gozaimasu. Do you have a fax in this hotel? Yes, we do. Sumimasen, kono sкtв wa ikura desu ka. Sore wa kyы-sen en de gozaimasu. Excuse me, how much is this sweater? It's Ґ9,000. Moshi, moshi. Tanaka san wa irasshaimasu ka. Hello. Is Mr. Tanaka there? Uses of deshф The word deshф, which comes from desu, when used in a question followed by ka, is the equivalent of "I wonder...". When used with a rising intonation, it is asking for agreement so it is similar to ne but softer and less direct. Used with a falling intonation, the sentence is often translated using "probably", "must be" or "almost certainly". Also deshф may be used in place of desu for extra politeness. 9
Kore wa nan desu ka. Kore wa nan deshф ka. What's this? I wonder what this is?
Are wa Watanabe san no uchi deshф. [Rising intonation] That's Mr. Watanabe's house, right?
Hokkaidф wa ima samui deshф. [Falling intonation] It's probably cold in Hokkaido now.
Sumimasen ga, Tanaka san deshф ka. Excuse me, but would you be Mr. Tanaka?
Present and past plain forms The plain form of verbs are used with immediate family and close friends and associates. The polite forms are more appropriate for general use. However, the plain forms function in various ways in a sentence other than as the main verb and so must be learned.
The plain form of the present tense
is the dictionary form. For the negative add -nai to the stem for v-stem verbs, and -anai for c-stem verbs except for those verbs ending in -au, -iu and -ou where -wanai is added. The plain negatives of kuru and suru are konai and shinai, respectively. Also the plain negative of aru is nai.
Tokidoki eiga o miru. I sometimes watch movies.
Takahashi san wa sakana o tabenai. Ms. Takahashi doesn't eat fish.
Kotae wa nai deshф. There isn't an answer, is there?
To form the plain past tense for v-stem verbs add -ta to the stem. For c-stem verbs use the appropriate change in the following list:
- su => - ku => - gu => - ru => - tsu => - u => - bu => - mu => - nu =>
- shita - ita - ida - tta - tta - tta - nda - nda - nda
hanasu kiku oyogu nuru motsu omou tobu nomu shinu
hanashita kiita oyoida nutta motta omotta tonda nonda shinda
talked asked swam painted held thought flew drank died
The plain past tense of kuru and suru are kita and shita, respectively.
To form the negative of the plain past test, add -nakatta to the stem of v-stem verbs and 10
-anakatta to the stem of c-stem verbs. taberu tabenakatta didn't eat yomu yomanakatta didn't read As long as the verb at the end of a sentence is in the polite form, any verbs in the middle can be in the plain form without affecting the overall tone. This means that the plain form can be used when sentences are joined with kedo, for example, or when they finish with deshф. Taiiku no sensei wa ii hito da kedo, chotto hen desu ne. The physical education
teacher is nice, but he's a bit strange, isn't he! Takahashi san wa eigo ga wakaru deshф ka. I wonder if Ms. Takahashi understands English? Ani wa ikanai kedo, watashi wa ikimasu. My older brother is not coming, but I am. Kyф wa kinyфbi da to omotta kedo, chigaimasu ne. I thought it was Friday today, but it isn't, is it! To give a reason for something, use either kara after the plain form of the verb or an -i adjective. Shinkansen de itta kara, jikan ga amari kakarimasen deshita. We went by Shinkansen, so it didn't take very long. Shitsumon ga mada фi kara, mф ichido setsumei shimashф . There are still a lot of questions, so let me explain again. To express an opinion, use the phrase to omoimasu at the end of a sentence and put all verbs in the plain form. To express what someone else is thinking, use omotte imasu. The verb kangaeru also means "to think" but implies "to consider" whereas omou implies opinion or feeling. Takahashi san wa kimasen. Takahashi san wa konai to omoimasu. Ms. Takahashi is not coming. I don't think Ms. Takahashi is coming. Maiku san wa, Nihon wa ii kuni da to omotte imasu. Mike thinks that Japan is a great country. Chiimu no koto o kangaete imashita. I was thinking about the team. The noun tsumori means "intention", so the sentence ending tsumori desu after the plain form of the verb can usually be translated as "intend to" or "mean to do". 11
Sore wa mondai desu ne. Dф suru tsumori desu ka. That's a problem, isn't it? What do you intend to do? Donna kuruma o kau tsumori desu ka. What kind of car do you intend to buy? To express being able to do something, add koto ga dekimasu to the plain form of the verb. The plain past tense followed by koto ga arimasu ka is equivalent to "Have you ever ...". Maiku san wa kanji o kaku koto ga dekimasu ka. (Maiku san wa kanji o kakemasu ka.) Mike, can you write kanji characters? Nihongo o hanasu koto ga dekimasu ka. (Nihongo ga hanasemasu ka.) Can you speak Japanese? Sashimi o tabeta koto ga arimasu ka. Have you ever eaten raw fish? A sentence in the plain form ending in no desu or n' desu indicates that the speaker is explaining something, asking for an explanation, or giving empahasis. Iroirona mondai ga arimasu ne. Dф suru n' desu ka. There are all sorts of problems, aren't there? What are you going to do? Nani o shite iru n' desu ka. What are you doing? Totemo takai n' desu yo. Dakara kawanai n' desu. It's really expensive! That's why I'm not buying it To quote someone, follow the quotation by to iimasu (or whatever tense and form is appropriate). To say what someone has said without making a quotation, use to iimasu but put what was said into the plain form. It's common to omit da when reporting on questions. The verb iimasu may be used to ask how to say something in English or Japanese. Maiku san wa, "Hayaku hashiru koto ga dekimasen," to iimashita. Mike said, "I can't run fast". Maiku san wa, "Ashita yakyы o shimasu," to iimashita. Mike said, "I'm playing baseball tomorrow". Maiku san wa, ashita yakyы o suru to iimashita. Mike said he's playing baseball tomorrow. 12
Watashi wa Amerikajin ka to kikimashita. He asked if I was American. "Autumn" wa Nihongo de nan to iimasu ka. "Aki" to iimasu. How do you say "autumn" in Japanese? It's "aki". The gerund or -te form The -te form of a verb which does not have a tense or mood combines with other verb forms. It may be formed from the plain past tense by changing the ending -ta to -te. When the -te form is used to link two sentences where it may be translated as "and", the verb at the end of the sentence shows the overall tense of the sentence. Doyфbi no asa ni Tфkyф e ikimahita. Atarashii sыtsu o kaimashita. On Saturday morning I went to Tokyo. I bought a new suit. Doyфbi no asa ni Tфkyф e itte, atarashii sыtsu o kaimashita. On Saturday morning I went to Tokyo, and bought a new suit To ask permission to do something, add mo ii desu ka to the -te form. To ask if it's alright not to do something, change the negative -nai form to -nakute and then add mo ii desu ka. Sumimasen ga, koko ni suwatte mo ii desu ka. Ii desu. Dфzo. Excuse me, but is it alright if I sit here? Yes, please go ahead. Kore o zenbu tabenakute mo ii desu ka. Hai, (tabenakute mo) ii desu yo. Is it alright if I don't eat all of this? Yes, it's alright (if you don't eat it). The same form may be used to give permission. Namae to jыsho o kakanakute mo ii desu. It's alright not to write your name and address. To refuse permission, use the -te form of the verb followed by wa ikemasen. Sono heya ni haitte wa ikemasen. You musn't go into that room. Progressive tense To describe an event that is presently happening or not happening, use the appropriate form of the verb iru or imasu after the -te form. Tomoko san wa ima nani o shite imasu ka. What is Tomoko doing at the moment? Sono kaisha de mф hataraite imasen. Ima ginkф de hataraite imasu. I don't work at that company any more. Now I am working at a bank. 13
Ima eigo o benkyф shite imasen. I am not studying English now. The past progressive is formed by using the -te formed followed by the past or the past negative. Torako ga isu no ue de nete imashita. Torako was sleeping on the chair. Kinф no ban watashi wa terebi o mite imasen deshita. I wasn't watching television last night. Desiderative form To express one's own wish to do something, add -tai to the infinitive followed by desu. Verbs ending in -tai are like -i adjectives, and so have a negative form ending in -taku arimasen and a past form ending in -takatta desu. To express a desire for a thing, use the -i adjective hoshii. Ocha ga nomitai. I would like some tea. Kinф yasumi o toritakatta kedo, taihen isogashikute, toru koto ga dekimasen deshita. I wanted to take yesterday off, but I couldn't because I was extremely busy. Kanojo wa, bфifurendo ga hoshii to iimashita. She said she wants a boyfriend. Passive form To form the passive, add -rareru, raremasu to the stems of v-stem verbs, and -areru, -aremasu to the stems of c-stem verbs. For the negative, add -rarenai, -raremasen to the stems of v-stem verbs, and -arenai, -aremasen to the stems of c-stem verbs. Torako wa nezumi o tabemashita. Torako ate the mouse. Nezumi wa Torako ni taberaremashita. The mouse was eaten by Torako. Nezumi wa Torako ni taberaremasen deshita. The mouse was not eaten by Torako. Torako wa nezumi to asobimashita. Torako played with the mouse. Nezumi wa Torako ni asobaremashita. The mouse was played with by Torako. 14
Causative form Add -saseru, -sasemasu to the stem of v-stem verbs (-sasenai, -sasemasen for the negative), and add -aseru, -asemasu to the stem of c-stem verbs (-asenai, -asemasen for the negative).
Torako o daidokoro no tкberu kara orisasemashita. I made Torako get off the kitchen table.
Conditional form Drop the final -u from the plain form of the verb and add -eba. To form the negative, drop the -i from the negative plain form and add -kereba. With -i adjectives, drop the final -i and add -kereba; with negatives, drop the final -i from nai and add -kereba.
Moshi dekireba, kotoshi gaikoku e ikitai n' desu. If I can, I want to go abroad this year.
Jisho o tsukawanakereba, kono Nihongo no shukudai ga dekimasen. If I don't use a dictionary, I can't do this Japanese homework.
Ashita tenki ga yokereba, dokoka e ikimashф ka. If the weather's nice tomorrow, shall we go somewhere?
Takaku nakereba, kaimasu. If it's not too expensive, I'll buy it.
The expression -nakereba narimasen, where naru is the verb "to become", means literally "if you don't..., it's no good" or in other words "you must" or "you have to". The negative "don't have to ..." is expressed with -nakute mo ii desu.
Jiko shфkai wa Nihongo de nakereba narimasen. Your self-introduction must be in Japanese.
Kyф owaranakute mo ii desu. You don't have to finish it today. Giving and receiving There are several verbs to expressing giving and receiving depending on the relative status of the giver and receiver and the diection of the action:
ageru sashiageru yaru kureru kudasaru morau itadaku
Give Give to superiors Give (informal) Give to speaker Give to speaker from superior Receive Receive from superiors
Watashi wa Hы-san ni hon o agemashita. I gave Hugh a book. Watashi wa sensei ni hon o sashiagemashita. I gave the teacher a book. Watashi wa Torako ni omocha o yarimashita. I gave Torako the toy. Hы-san wa watashi ni hon o kuremashita. Hugh gave me the book. Sensei wa watashi ni hon o kudasaimashita. The teacher gave me a book. Watashi wa Hы-san ni hon o moraimashita. I received the book from Hugh. Watashi wa sensei ni hon o itadakimashita. I received a book from the teacher. Starting an action To express starting an action, use the stem of the verb expressing the action followed by the appropriate form of the verb hajimeru: Senshы hon o yomihajimemashita. I started reading the book last week. Nominalization Verbs may be made into nouns, or gerunds to use the English expression, by following the plain form with no or koto, although no cannot be used in the predicate. Watashi wa yomu no ga suki desu. I like reading. Miru koto wa shinjiru koto desu. Seeing is believing. Adjectives Japanese adjectives are either verbal adjectives or adjectival nouns. Those in the first group, in their dictionary form, end only in -ai, -ii, -oi, or -ui, and are therefore sometimes called -i adjectives. Those in the second group have noun-like characteristics and when they modify nouns have the suffix -na and are sometimes called -na adjectives. An -i adjective can modify a following noun. 16
Watashi wa chiisai neko o katte imasu. I have a small cat.
The stem of an -i adjective is formed by dropping the final -i, so that, for example, the stem of chisaii is chisai-. An -i adjective may be conjugated to give different tenses:
Present: Past: Negative:
[stem] + -i [stem] + -katta [stem] + -kunai
Negative past: [stem] + -kunakatta
[stem] + -kute
The associated verb is in the present tense.
Kono hon wa omoshiroi desu. This book is interesting.
Ano hon mo omoshirokatta desu. That book was interesting too.
Kyф wa samukunai desu. Today it's not cold.
Kinф mo samukunakatta desu. Yesterday it wasn't cold either.
Kono hon wa omoshirokute tanoshii desu. This book is interesting and enjoyable.
The -na adjectives can be used as predicates or as noun modifiers.
Ano hito wa yыmei desu. He is famous.
Kфen wa shizuka dewa arimasen deshita. The park wasn't quiet.
Shizukana heya ga hoshii desu. I want a quiet room.
The following colour words may be used alone as adjectives:
akai aoi chairoi
red blue, green brown
kiiroi kuroi shiroi
yellow black white
When these words are used as nouns, the final i is dropped:
Kuruma wa akai desu. The car is red.
Aka was ii iro desu. Red is a nice colour.
The following colour words are nouns and must be followed with no:
chairo no giniro no haiiro no kiiro no kiniro no
brown silver gray yellow gold
midoriiro no murasaki no nezumiiro no orenji no
green purple gray orange
Describing Nouns Nouns may be modified in various ways. However as there are no relative pronouns for constructing relative clauses, the relative clause ending with the plain form of the verb comes before the word it modifies. Haruko wa me ga kirei desu. Haruko has beautiful eyes. Haruko wa goshujin ga isha desu. Haruko's husband is a medical doctor
. Haruko wa onaka ga sukimashita. Haruko was hungry. Haruko wa eigo ga dekimasu. Haruko knows English. (Haruko is good at English.) Watashi wa me ga kireina Haruko o mimasu. I am looking at Haruko with the beautiful eyes. Ano hito wa goshujin ga isha no Haruko desu. That person over there is Haruko whose husband is a medical doctor. Ano hito wa onaka ga suita Haruko desu. That person over there is Haruko who is hungry. Ano hito wa eigo ga dekiru no Haruko desu. That person over there is Haruko who can speak English.
To form an adverb from an -i adjective, add -ku to the stem.
yasui cheap hayai quick ii good
yasuku cheaply hayaku quickly yoku well [Irregular]
Kinф no ban Torako wa yoku nemashita. Torako slept well last night.
To form an adverb from a -na adjective, use ni after the adjective.
shizuka quiet kantan simple
shizuka ni quietly kantan ni simply
Torako wa shizuka ni arukimasu. Torako walks quietly.
Of course, there are many adverbs which are not derived from verbs.
mainichi every day
maiasa every morning
mada yet, still
amari not much
chotto a little
sukoshi tabun taihen takusan tokidoki totemo yukkuri zenzen
a little perhaps very a lot sometimes very slowly at all (with neg. verbs)
Comparisons Kanada wa Nihon yori фkii desu. Canada is larger than Japan. Nihon yori Kanada wa фkii desu. Canada is larger than Japan. Nihon yori Kanada no hф ga фkii desu. Canada is larger than Japan. Nihon wa Kanada hodo фkikunai desu. Japan is not as large as Canada. 19
Kanada to Nihon to dewa dochira ga фkii desu ka. Which is larger, Canada or Japan? Torako wa neko no naka de ichiban kawaii desu. Torako is the most beautiful of all cats. Torako wa Edomonton de ichiban kawaii desu. Torako is the most beautiful (cat) in Edmonton. Nezumi to inu to dewa dochira ga kawaii desu ka. Which are the more attractive, mice or dogs? Mae no rei wa baka deshita ne. The last example was silly, wasn't it?
0 rei (zero)
30 sanjы 300
40 yonjы 400
60 rokujы 600
7 shichi/nana 70 nanajы 700
80 hachijы 800
90 kyыjы 900
hyaku nihyaku sanbyaku yonhyaku gohyaku roppyaku nanahyaku happyaku kyыhyaku
1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000 8000 9000
sen nisen sanzen yonsen gosen rokusen nanasen hassen kyыsen
10,000 100,000 1,000,000 10,000,000 100,000,000 1,000,000,000
man/ichiman jыman hyakuman senman/issenman oku/ichioku jыoku
The ordinal numbers
are formed by adding banme to the cardinal numbers.
ichibanme first nibanme second
1 o'clock 2 o'clock
1 minute 2 minutes
3 o'clock 4 o'clock 5 o'clock 6 o'clock 7 o'clock 8 o'clock 9 o'clock 10 o'clock 11 o'clock 12 o'clock
sanji yoji goji rokuji shichiji hachiji kuji jыji jыichiji jыniji
3 minutes 4 minutes 5 minutes 6 minutes 7 minutes 8 minutes 9 minutes 10 minutes
sanpun yonpun gofun roppun nanafun happun kyыfun juppun
han half sugi after mae before
Goji han desu.
Jыji jыgofun sugi desu. It's 10:15.
Jыji jыgofun mae desu. It's a quarter to ten.
gozen a.m. gogo p.m.
Gozen hachiji desu. Gogo jыji desu.
It's 8 a.m. It's 10 p.m.
ototo kinф kyф ashita asatte
day before yesterday yesterday today tomorrow day after tomorrow
asa hiru gogo yыgata
morning noon afternoon evening
ototoshi year before last kyonen last year kotoshi this year rainen next year sarainen year after next
sensenshы senshы konshы raishы saraishы
week before last last week this week next week week after next
sensengetsu sengetsu kongetsu raigetsu saraigetsu
month before last last month this month next month month after next
General 1 hitotsu 2 futatsu 3 mittsu 4 yottsu 5 itsutsu
People hitori futari sannin yonin gonin
Stamps ichimai nimai sanmai yomai gomai
Pencils ippon nihon sanbon yonhon gohon 21
Books Cats issatsu ippiki nisatsu nihiki sansatsu sanbiki yonsatsu yonhiki gosatsu gohiki
Floors ikkai nikai sangai yonkai gokai
6 muttsu 7 nanatsu 8 yattsu 9 kokonotsu 10 tф ? ikutsu
rokunin nananin hachinin kyыnin jыnin nannin
rokumai nanamai hachimai kyыmai jыmai nanmai
roppon rokusatsu roppiki rokai nanahon nanasatsu nanahiki nanakai happon hassatsu happiki hakkai kyыhon kyыsatsu kyыhiki kyыkai juppon jussatsu jupiki jukkai nanbon nansatsu nanbiki nankai
1st tsuitachi 2nd futsuka 3rd mikka 4th yokka 5th itsuka 6th muika 7th nanoka 8th yфka 9th kokonoka 10th tфka
11th jыichinichi 21st nijыichinichi
12th jыninichi 22nd nijыninichi
13th jыsannichi 23rd nijыsannichi
14th jыyokka 24th nijыyokka
15th jыgonichi 25th nijыgonichi
16th jыrokunichi 26th nijыrokunichi
17th jыshichinichi 27th nijыshichinichi
18th jыhachinichi 28th nijыhachinichi
19th jыkunichi 29th nijыkunichi
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
getsuyфbi kayфbi suiyфbi mokuyфbi kinyфbi doyфbi nichiyфbi
January February March April May June July August September October November December
ichigatsu nigatsu sangatsu shigatsu gogatsu rokugatsu shichigatsu hachigatsu kugatsu jыgatsu jыichigatsu jыnigatsu
haru spring natsu summer
aki autumn fuyu winter
Japanese use different words for members of their own family and for members of someone else's family:
Relation grandmother grandfather mother
My family sobo sofu haha
Your family obвsan ojоsan okвsan
father wife husband daughter son older sister younger sister older brother younger brother aunt uncle niece nephew cousin child grandchild family sibling
chichi kanai shujin musume musuko ane imфto ani otфto oba oji mei oi itoko kodomo mago kazoku kyфdai
otфsan okusan goshujin musumesan musukosan onкsan imфtosan oniisan otфtosan obasan ojisan meigosan oigosan itoko kodomosan omagosan gokazoku gokyфdai
The adjective giri no means related by marriage:
giri no musuko son-in-law
Acknowledgements I would like to thank Kenji Yoshimi, David Young and Hugh Woods for their helpful comments on a first draft of these notes.
References Akiyama, Nobuo and Carol Akiyama, 1995. Master the Basics. Japanese. Barron's Educational Series, Inc., Hauppauge, N. Y. Association for Japanese Language Teaching
, 1984. Japanese for Busy People I. Kodansha International, Tokyo. The Hirф Japanese Center, 1989. The Complete Japanese Verb Guide. Charles E. Tuttle
Company, Rutland, Vermont. Nakao, Seigo, 1995. Random House
Japanese-English English-Japanese Dictionary. Ballantine Books
, New York. Strugnell, Lynne, 1994. Essential Japanese. Berlitz Publishing Company, Inc., Princeton, N. J. Yoshimi, Kenji, 1999. Class Notes. 23
Dictionary ageru akeru aru asobu au chigau da dekakeru dekiru deru furu gozaru hairu hajimaru hanasu hashiru hataraku iku ikiru irassharu ireru iru itadaku iu kaeru kakaru kakeru kaku kangaeru kariru kasu kau kayou kiku kimeru kudasaru kudaru kuraberu kureru kuru magaru matsu miru
Appendix. A few verbs
-masu form agemasu akemasu arimasu asobimasu aimasu chigaimasu desu dekakemasu dekimasu demasu furimasu gozaimasu hairimasu hajimarimasu hanashimasu hashirimasu hatarakimasu ikimasu ikimasu irasshaimasu iremasu imasu itadakimasu iimasu kareimasu kakarimasu kakemasu kakimasu kangaemasu karimasu kashimasu kaimasu kayoimasu kikimasu kimemasu kudasaimasu kudarimasu kurabemasu kuremasu kimasu magarimasu machimasu mimasu
-te form agete akete atte asonde atte chigatte de dekakete dekite dete futte gozatte haitte hajimatte hanashite hashitte hataraite itte ikite irasshatte irete ite itadaite itte kaette kakatte kakete kaite kangaete karite kashite katte kayotte kiite kimete kudasatte kudatte kurabete kurete kite magatte matte mite
Meaning give, raise open be, exist, have play meet differ, be mistaken be (copula) go out can, be able, made of go out, appear fall (rain, snow) be, exist, have (formal) go in, enter begin speak, talk run work go live, become alive go, come, be (formal) put in be, exist receive (polite) say, relate return take (time) telephone write think about, consider borrow, rent lend buy, possess (animals) commute hear, ask decide, fix, choose give to speaker (polite) descend, go down compare give to speaker come turn wait see, watch
morau motsu mukeru naru neru noboru nomu nuru okiru omou oriru oshieru owaru oyogu sagasu saku sashiageru shimeru shinjiru shinu sumu suru suwaru taberu tobu tomaru toru tsukareru tsukau tsukuru tsutomeru ugoku umu uru wakaru wasureru yaru yasumu yobu yomu
moraimasu mochimasu mukemasu narimasu nemasu noborimasu nomimasu nurimasu okimasu omoimasu orimasu oshiemasu owarimasu oyogimasu sagashimasu sakimasu sashiagemasu shimemasu shinjimasu shinimasu sumimasu shimasu suwarimasu tabemasu tobimasu tomarimasu torimasu tsukaremasu tsukaimasu tsukurimasu tsutomemasu ugokimasu umimasu urimasu wakarimasu wasuremasu yarimasu yasumimasu yobimasu yomimasu
moratte motte mukete natte nete nobotte nonde nutte okite omotte orite oshiete owatte oyoide sagashite saite sashiagete shimete shinjite shinde sunde shite suwatte tabete tonde tomatte totte tsukarete tsukatte tsukutte tsutomete ugoite unde utte wakatte wasurete yatte yasunde yonde yonde
receive have, hold turn become, get go to bed, sleep rise, go up, climb drink paint get up, wake up think get off teach, tell end, finish swim look for bloom give (polite) close believe die live do sit down eat fly, jump stay overnight, stop, halt get, win become tired use make be employed move, change give birth, produce sell understand forget give (informal) rest call read