Sunday, September 24, 2017

というのは to Explain Meaning

A noun or phrase + というのは, followed by another noun/phrase/sentence + のこと or ということ means something like "X means..." or "The meaning of X is..." It's used to provide the meaning or definition of a word or phrase.

パソコンというのは、パーソナルコンピュータのことです。
"PC" means "personal computer."

A: あのう、すみません。学生証というのは何ことですか?
B: 学生証というのは、Student ID のことですよ。

A: Um, excuse me. What does 学生証 mean?
B: 学生証 means your Student ID.

A: 子猫というのは、何ことですか?
B: 子猫というのは、赤ちゃんの猫のことです。

A: What does 子猫 mean?
B: It means a baby cat.

留学するというのは、外国で勉強するということだ。
留学 means studying in a foreign country.

「話せる」というのは、「話すことができる」という意味だ。
The meaning of 話せる is "being able to speak."

Friday, September 22, 2017

Imperative Form

I find it kind of odd that I haven't formally done a lesson on this yet, considering how common imperative speech is in things like anime and manga. But it's time now, because this is a fun verb form.

The imperative form can be classified as rude Japanese, because it's an intentionally rude way to command someone to do something. It is indeed more rude than a command given with なさい. For the positive form, the following conjugations are used:

Ichidan Verbs
  • Change the final る to ろ
  • 食べる -> 食べろ
  • 覚える -> 覚えろ
Godan Verbs
  • Change the final sound to the え equivalent
  • 走る -> 走れ
  • 行く -> 行け
Exceptions
  • する -> しろ
  • くる -> こい

For the negative form, simply add な to the end of the verb. This is for any type of verb - ichidan, godan, or exceptions.

苦しめ、もっと苦しめ!
Suffer, suffer more!

触るな、貴様!
Don't touch me!

我慢しろ。
Be patient.

ねぇ、死ぬな!
Don't die!

だけでなく to Express "Not Only..."

The structure [Noun/sentence + だけでなく, Noun/sentence も] can be used to express something like "Not only X, but also Y." The だけでなく portion can be either that or だけじゃなくて. The second noun or sentence can also have a particle paired with it before the も.

京都は古いお寺があるだけでなく、きれいな景色でも有名です。
Kyoto not only has old temples, but it's also famous for its beautiful scenery.

このアパートは駅から近くて便利なだけじゃなくて、家賃も安いから、借りることにした。
Not only is this apartment close to the station and convenient, but it also has cheap rent, so I decided to rent it.

その映画は面白いだけじゃなくて、音楽もいいよ。
Not only is this movie interesting, but it also has good music.

日本語はひらがなだけでなく、カタカナや漢字も覚えなくてはいけません。
With Japanese, you must learn not only hiragana, but also katakana and kanji.

One note about that last sentence there. Notice the 覚えなくてはいけません part? I was initially confused because I mistook it for the grammar used to say "you must not do X." In reality, it means "you must do X." Why?

Verb's て form + はいけません = "You must not do X"

Verb's negative て form + はいけません = "You must do X"

Confusing, isn't it? The double negative results in the positive meaning for "you must do." It's just like the other "have to" verb conjugations I learned in Genki.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

って as a Quotation Particle

Another reappearance of って. It can also be used in place of と, which is typically used with verbs like 言う and 聞く to express saying or hearing something. This is the colloquial form, so it's commonly used in daily conversation.

明日はテストがないって聞いたけど、本当?
I heard there wasn't a test tomorrow, but is that true?

アヤトは墓場で寝に行くって言ってたんだよ。
Ayato said he was going to go sleep in the graveyard.

僕の名前は「つとむ」だけど、友達は「トム」って呼ぶんだ。
My name is Tsutomu, but my friends call me Tom.

アリスは昨日リーさん林で迷ったって聞いたんだ。
Alice heard that Lee-san got lost in the woods yesterday.

More on とか

When used with nouns, とか is similar to や in that it can express a non-exhaustive list of things. However, とか can be used with both single items and verb phrases, while や cannot.

In addition, if とか is used to list two or more items, it is mandatory to place it after each item. The only exception is that it can be dropped if the final item is followed by a particle.

週末はたいてい洗濯とか掃除(とか)をします。
On weekends I usually do things like laundry and cleaning.

仕事でゲームするとかのが好きだよ。
At work I like to do things like play games.

フィンランド語とかトルコ語とか、皆があまり勉強していない言葉を勉強してみたい。
Finnish and Turkish are languages that no one has studied very much, but that I want to try studying.

弟を殴るとかなら、おもちゃを取るだよ。
If you do something like hit your brother, I'm going to take your toys.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

って as a Topic Particle

The easily spoken って is frequently used as a colloquial topic marker. It often appears in questions, where a sentence is spoken, followed by って, followed by a question word like どこ. It can also appear in statements, of course. In written text, the eternally common は is used instead.

リーさんの彼女って、誰?
Who's Lee-san's girlfriend?

カナトのお母さんって、優しくなかった人だろう。
Kanato's mother was not a nice person.

来月の休みって、どこに行きたいね?
Where do you want to go for next month's break?

冷蔵庫の中の血って、飲まないで。
Don't drink the blood that's in the fridge.

Noun + と言えば

A noun or noun phrase + と言えば can be used to express something like "Speaking of..." It literally means "if you say that" and is used to present something that the other person just mentioned as the topic.

A: 今日バス亭で犬を見つけたんだよ。*写真を出す*
B: かわいいね。犬と言えば、アリスの犬は先日死んじゃった。悲しいね。

A: I found a dog today at the bus stop. *pulls out photo*
B: Aw, cute. Speaking of dogs, Alice's dog died the other day. Sad, huh?

A: 最近スティーヴンキングのキャリーを読んでいます。
B: スティーヴンキングと言えば、明日新しい映画「It]見に行きませんか?

A: Recently I was reading Stephen King's "Carrie."
B: Speaking of Stephen King, want to go see the new movie "It" tomorrow?

A: 姉は来月東京に行くつもりだよ。うらやましいね。
B: えぇ。東京と言えば、両親は十二月行くんだよ。

A: My older sister is planning on going to Tokyo next month. I'm so jealous.
B: Yeah. Speaking of Tokyo, my parents are going there in December.