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

日本人は丁寧で親切だ。そういう話をよく聞く。
Japanese people are really polite and kind. I often hear that kind of story.

面白くて元気が出る、そういう本を探しています。
Something interesting and lively - that's the kind of book I'm looking for.

動物園でパンダの赤ちゃんが3匹生まれたそうだ。こういうニュースはうれしい。
I hear that three baby pandas were born at the zoo. I'm so glad to hear that kind of news.

トム:日本のスポーツクラブの先輩と後輩の関係って面白いね。
山田:うん、ああいう関係って、他の国ではあまり見られないだろうね。
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.

辞書を見ずに新聞が読めるようになりたいです。
I want to get to where I can read a newspaper without looking at a dictionary.

妹が晩ご飯を食べずに、部屋に行って泣いたんだ。
My little sister went to her room without eating dinner and cried.

両親に相談せずに、留学することを決めてしまった。
Without consulting my parents, I've decided that I'm going to study abroad.

スバルは何も言わずに笑った、プレゼントをくれた。
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...?"

地球温暖化問題はもっと大きくなっていくのではないでしょうか。
Global warming will continue to become a bigger problem, will it not?

もっと日本語を勉強したほうがいいんじゃないかな。
I guess maybe I should do more Japanese studying.

あのクラスは、毎日宿題や小テストがあるので、大変なのではないだろうか。
I think that this class is tough, since we have homework and quizzes every day.

猫と住んでるはいいんじゃないかな。
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.

ある日、突然、日本人が話す普通の日本語が分かるようになった。
One day, I suddenly got to where I could understand normal Japanese that Japanese people speak.

今ある子が外に庭で立ってるんだよ。
Some kid is standing outside in the garden right now.

昔、昔、ある所に、おじいさんとおばあさんが住んでいました。
Once upon a time in a faraway land, there lived an old man and old woman.

クリスマスに友達がある有名人の抱き枕をくれた。
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:

新しい車を買うために、お金をためています。
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.

朝寝坊をしないように、目覚まし時計をセットしておきます。
I set my alarm clock (in preparation) so that I don't oversleep.

先生は、学生が分かるようにやさしい単語を使って説明した。
Sensei gave an explanation using simple language so that the students would understand.

日本で働きたいのなら、日本の会社に就職できるように、日本語をもっと練習しておいた方がいいですよ。
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."

この問題について、グループで話し合って下さい。
Discuss this problem in groups, please.

毎日学校で、リーさんとアリスお互いにほめ合うんだなぁ。
Every day at school, Lee-san and Alice compliment each other.

大きな災害の時は、みんなで助け合うことが大切だ。
When there's a major disaster, it's important for everyone to help one another.

アヤトとライトはずっと見詰め合ってるんだね。
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!

朝、起きたら、私はまずコーヒーを飲む。
When I get up in the morning, the first thing I do is drink coffee.

学校に着いたら、まず先生に話さなくちゃよ。
When you get to school, you need to talk to your teacher first-thing.

今日はみそ汁を作ります。まず、次の材料を準備して下さい。
I'm going to make miso soup today. To begin, please prepare these ingredients.

まず、お兄さんに謝らなきゃんだよ。
First of all, you need to apologize to your brother.