Tuesday, November 21, 2017

そういう / こういう / ああいう

そういう, こういう, and ああいう can be used to refer to someone/something the speaker sees or perceives. The first is for something near the listener, the second is for something near the speaker, and the third is for something further away from both.

These words can also be used to refer to someone/something that the speaker has just mentioned. Here are some guidelines:

  • そういう - used when the speaker has just mentioned someone/something
  •  こういう - used when the speaker has stated something factual about someone/something
  •  ああいう - used when the information that either party mentioned is known to both

Japanese people are really polite and kind. I often hear that kind of story.

Something interesting and lively - that's the kind of book I'm looking for.

I hear that three baby pandas were born at the zoo. I'm so glad to hear that kind of news.

Tom: The relationship between senpai and kouhai in Japanese sports clubs is interesting.
Yamada: Yeah, that kind of relationship isn't seen very much in other countries.

In this case I wrote out all the examples Tobira gave for this grammar point so I can better understand the usage for each one. I also need to research why the verb 出る is used in that second sentence, because that confused me initially.

Verbs Ending in ずに

If you take a verb and conjugate it to the plain negative form, then drop the ない and add ずに, the meaning becomes "without [verb-ing]" or "instead of [verb-ing]." This form is synonymous with the verb form ないで, and the に is sometimes dropped. Of course, する is an exception verb here, and it becomes せずに.

I want to get to where I can read a newspaper without looking at a dictionary.

My little sister went to her room without eating dinner and cried.

Without consulting my parents, I've decided that I'm going to study abroad.

Without saying anything, Subaru laughed and gave me a present.

Monday, November 20, 2017

のではないでしょう / だろうか and じゃないかな

Adding one of the following phrases at the end of a sentence can express the speaker's/writer's conjecture or opinion on a matter in an indecisive fashion:

  • のではないでしょうか
  • のではないだろうか
  • んじゃないかな

The first two are only used in written language, with the second being the more formal of them. The third is obviously more casual. It often translates as something like "I think that..." or "Isn't it that...?"

Global warming will continue to become a bigger problem, will it not?

I guess maybe I should do more Japanese studying.

I think that this class is tough, since we have homework and quizzes every day.

Living with a cat is nice, I think.

ある + Noun

ある + noun can be used to refer to a specific instance of something, without actually naming that instance. For example, if I'm complaining about "some celebrity that's on TV", I could use ある有名人 in my sentence.

One day, I suddenly got to where I could understand normal Japanese that Japanese people speak.

Some kid is standing outside in the garden right now.

Once upon a time in a faraway land, there lived an old man and old woman.

For Christmas, my friend gave me some celebrity body pillow.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Non-Past Verb + ように

A non-past verb + ように can be used to state a purpose or the manner in which something is to be done. It often translates as "so that", in the sense of "You need to speak loudly so that people can hear you."

This is quite similar to ために, although there are instances where ために can be used and ように cannot. One example is the following sentence:

I'm saving money in order to buy a new car.

In this case, ために is used because both 新しい車を買う and お金をためています are actions that can be controlled by the same subject. ように is to be used in the case that a certain consequence will arise as the result of an action, where there is not direct control. Thus ように cannot be used above, but both ために and ように can be used in the sentence below:

学生が勉強する ( ために / ように )、先生は毎日宿題を出します。
Sensei gives homework every day so that the students study.

I set my alarm clock (in preparation) so that I don't oversleep.

Sensei gave an explanation using simple language so that the students would understand.

If you want to work in Japan, then in order to be able to get a job with a Japanese company, you should practice your Japanese more.

Verb Stem + 合う

A verb stem + 合う forms a compound verb with the added meaning of "to each other." The exact translation will depend on the original verb used, like 話し合う as "to talk to each other" or "to discuss." Sentences with this type of verb often also use お互いに which also means "each other" or "one another."

Discuss this problem in groups, please.

Every day at school, Lee-san and Alice compliment each other.

When there's a major disaster, it's important for everyone to help one another.

Ayato and Laito have been staring at each other for a long time.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

まず - First of All

The word まず is used at the beginning of a sentence or phrase to mean "first of all", "to begin with", or simply "first." How simple!

When I get up in the morning, the first thing I do is drink coffee.

When you get to school, you need to talk to your teacher first-thing.

I'm going to make miso soup today. To begin, please prepare these ingredients.

First of all, you need to apologize to your brother.