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.

"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 means studying in a foreign country.

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
  • 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.

Suffer, suffer more!

Don't touch me!

Be patient.

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.

Kyoto not only has old temples, but it's also famous for its beautiful scenery.

Not only is this apartment close to the station and convenient, but it also has cheap rent, so I decided to rent it.

Not only is this movie interesting, but it also has good music.

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.

I heard there wasn't a test tomorrow, but is that true?

Ayato said he was going to go sleep in the graveyard.

My name is Tsutomu, but my friends call me Tom.

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.

On weekends I usually do things like laundry and cleaning.

At work I like to do things like play games.

Finnish and Turkish are languages that no one has studied very much, but that I want to try studying.

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.

Who's Lee-san's girlfriend?

Kanato's mother was not a nice person.

Where do you want to go for next month's break?

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.