The Japanese page is a collection of Japanese study notes.
This is an edited version on Tad Perry's "Quick & Dirty Guide to Japanese". I have formatted this guide to be a study tool prior to moving to Japan a few years ago, it requires the knowledge to read Hiragana, Katakana and basic kanjis.
Sentence Word Order
In general, the main verb is found at the end of the sentence. Subjects are shown in grey as they are very often omitted. The preposition follows the noun, it is more properly called a postposition(て、に、お、は). They are not independent words but particles by which the case of nouns is determined.
I'm going to give a present to my teacher tomorrow at school.
- Use は after the subject, if a new subject is introduced where another had been previously understood. If a subject is understood, but for some reason not deleted use が, or nothing.
- Use に to indicate a specific points in time, a word like "tomorrow"（明日） can only be understood by context and does not need the particle added. Like "In October", or 十月に — or like "On March 3rd", or 三月三日に. Indirect objects are also followed by に, similar to the english expression "to you", as seen in the following sentence "I'm going to give this book to you.", or この本をあなたに上げる.
- Use で after the place you do something or the thing you use to do something. For example, "Going by car", is 車で行く.
- Use を after a noun to declare an object, as seen in the following sentence "I'm reading a book", or 本を読んでいる.
- Use も to add extra info on top of what has already been declared, not unlike the english word "too", as in "me too". For example, "I'm going too", is ぼくも行く.
- Use の to indicate possession after an object, similarly to the english possession particle "'s", as in "Alex's". For example, "This is my book" is これはぼくの本です.
- Use か at the end of a sentence to create a question, as in "What time is it?", or 何時ですか? Or, between choices, each choice is also followed by か. As in "Today or tomorrow?", or 今日か明日？
- Use ね after a verb to create a sort of agreement with the listener, not unlike the english expression "isn't?", in "It's fun isn't it?", or たのうしいですね.
Nouns have no inflection to indicate singularity or plurality, for example, こども means both child and children. When wishing to show the plural of a noun, an indicator such as ーら、ーたち are attached, as in こどもたち, meaning children. Generally, the plural distinction is not made, but is left to be understood from the context.
Adjectives always end in あい, いい, うい or おい, never in えい that would be a noun. Basically, you replace the ending い to inflect.
|優しくない||やさしくない||It's not nice|
|優しかった||やさしかった||It was nice|
|優しかったら||やさしかったら||If it's nice|
The ーる verbs that end in like たべる and いれる. There is always an い or an え before ーる. For these verbs, everything is done by dropping or replacing ーる with something else.
|食べた||I ate it.|
|食べやすい||This is easy to eat.|
|食べたら||If I/someone eats.|
|食べたり||I did things like eating|
|食べれば||If I/someone eats.|
|食べないでよ||Don't eat that!|
|食べられる||I can eat|
|食べられるない||I can't eat this!|
|食べさせる||Make someone do|
|食べさせない で よ||Don't make me eat this!|
|食べさせられる||Be made to eat|
These verbs end in う, く, ぐ, ぶ, む, ぬ, す, つ, or ある・いる・うる・える・おる. Typically you drop ーう and add something else. The problem is that there might be a phonetic change, such as when は becomes ぱ, or た becomes だ.
There are some ーう verbs that end in ーる like ある(to be), おる(to break) and うる(to sell) are ーう verbs as they do not have an い or え sound before ーる.
If you see one that ends in ーいる or ーえる, and ーう changes to add ーます, or the "t" doubles to get a gerund (入る「はいる」 ＞ 入って「はいって」), then you're dealing with an ーう verb.
Most books say that there are only two irregular verbs in all of Japanese: する and 来る「くる」. Those you have to memorize separately, but they kind of make sense when you look at them.
|来る||will come||する||will do|
|来て||come here||して||do this|
|来た||someone came||した||someone did|
|来たら||if someone comes||したら||if someone does|
|来たり||do things like come||したり||do things like doing|
|来れば||if someone comes||すれば||if someone does|
|来よう||let's come||しよう||let's do|
|来い||come here you||しろ||do this dammit!|
|来ない||won't come, or doesn't come||しない||won't do, or doesn't do|
|来らせる||can come||できる||can do|
|来させる||make someone come||させる||make someone do|
|来させられる||be made to come by someone||させられる||be made to do by someone|
A trick to remember する conjugations is that they often match what you would get if you conjugated a lone す. Like はなした, はなせる, はなさせる.
02I08— Learning Japanese
incoming thousand rooms alphavetist solresol