Thursday, April 26, 2018

まま

The word まま can be used in a sentence alongside nouns, verbs, and adjectives to express that the state of X remains unchanged, or that someone does something without changing X's state. Its exact translation is pretty heavily context dependent.

あのまま日本に残っていたら、もっと日本語が上手になっただろう。
If I had stayed in Japan as I was, I wonder if my Japanese would have gotten better.

このお菓子は、冷たいまま食べるより、電子レンジで温めた方がおいしく食べられますよ。
You can enjoy this candy more if you heat it up with an electric range, rather than eating it while still cold.

疲れていたので、電気をつけたまま寝てしまった。ネクタイもしたままだった。
Since I was sick, I went to sleep with the lights still on. My tie was still in place, too.

日本の家には、靴を履いたまま入ってはいけないということを知っていましたか。
Did you know that with Japanese houses, you must not enter them while still wearing your shoes?

ずっと

The word ずっと can be used to express that a state or action is ongoing or continuing in some state from one point in time to another. It often translates as "all the time", "all along", "throughout", or "ever since."

何年も前からずっと戦争が続いている。いったいいつ終わるだろうか。
War continues even through all these years. When on earth will it end?

リーさんは子供の時からずっとピアノをひくことが出来てるよな。
Lee-san has been able to play the piano all along, ever since he was a child.

私は彼のことが小学校の時からずっと好きだったんです。
I've liked him all along, ever since we were in elementary school.

夕べからずっと雪が降ってるんだな。
It's been snowing ever since last night.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

でもある

The structure X は Y でもある can be used to describe an additional property or trait that X has, where X has multiple such properties.

私と弟は年は3歳違うが、同じ日に生まれたので、今日は私の誕生日でもあり、弟の誕生日でもある。
My little brother and I are three years apart, but since we were born on the same day, today is my birthday, and also his birthday.

モールに行った時に、 プレッツェルのスタンドがあって、たくさんのセールでもあったんだ。
When I went to the mall, there were pretzel stands, and also lots of sales.

私が住んでいるアパートは周りが静かなだけでなく安全でもあるので、学生に人気がある。
The area around the apartment that I live in is not only quiet, but also safe, so it's popular with students.

結婚式では、たくさんの舞があった、美味しい食べ物でもあったんだよね。
At the wedding, there was a lot of dancing, and also a lot of delicious food.

さ(あ)

The word さ or its elongated form さあ can be used after phrases or entire sentences to catch the listener's attention. However, it can also be used as a filler word to give pause or provide a "you know" or "like" meaning.

A: あれっ、その足、どうしたの。
B: 実はさあ、昨日、階段でころんじゃってさあ、骨、折っちゃったんだよ。
A: Hey, what happened to your leg?
B: To tell you the truth, yesterday I fell down the stairs and fractured a bone.

おい、夕べ徹夜しちゃったんだからさあ、今朝は食べたくて寝たいんだな。
Hey, I was up all last night, so this morning I want to eat and sleep.

キムさんってさあ、フランス語がぺらぺらなんだけど、日本語も上手なんだってさ。すごいね。
Kim-san is fluent in French, but her Japanese is good too. It's amazing.

チキンかステーキはさ、どっちのほうがいいのが分からない。
Chicken or steak - I'm not sure which one's better.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

こそ

The particle こそ can be used to add emphasis to the previous word or phrase. It replaces the particles は, が, and を. It translates widely depending on context, but can often be read as "this is the X", "definitely", "only", or "it is X that..."

今年こそ日本に留学したいと思っている。
I think this is the year that I want to study abroad in Japan.

不動産屋に昨日見たアパートこそ買いたいんだと言ってたんだよ。
I told my real estate agent that the apartment I saw yesterday is definitely the one I want to buy.

サッカーの面白さはテレビで見ているだけでは分からない。スタジアムに行って実際に見てこそ本当の面白さが分かるのだ。
I don't understand the interest in just watching soccer on TV. I do understand the interest in going to the stadium and actually watching there.

結婚式でデザートはケーキとクッキーこそ欲しいんだな。
At our wedding, for desert I definitely want cake and cookies.

Verb stem + 込む

A verb stem + 込む can be used to mean a number of things. In general it tends to intensify the meaning or further express what is occurring with the original verb - to be deeply, thoroughly, or completely doing something. It can also express putting something into something else, or getting into something. It's best to learn the verbs individually and understand the meaning via context.

大きい音に驚いて、ガムを飲み込んでしまった。
I was surprised by a loud noise and ended up swallowing my gum.

日本の電車のアナウンスでは、よく「かけ込み乗車はおやめ下さい」という。
Japanese train announcements often say "Please do not rush aboard."

昨日は、久しぶりに会った友達と一晩中話し込んで、徹夜してしまった。
Yesterday in the evening I was deep in talk with a friend I hadn't met in awhile, and I ended up staying up all night.

自分は絶対に正しいと思い込んでいる人とは、あまり話したくない。
I don't really care to talk with people who are convinced that they are absolutely always right.

Monday, April 23, 2018

なし

なし can be added to words as a suffix to mean "without." It's used with で to modify verbs, with の to modify nouns, and with だ to form a predicate.

今はもうコンピュータなしの生活は考えられない。
Now, life without a computer is unimaginable.

犬と猫なしのリーさんはすごく悲しいよなぁ。
Lee-san without his cats and dogs is very sad.

あのレストランは週末は混んでいるけど、今日は水曜日だから、予約なしでも大丈夫だろう。
That restaurant is crowded on weekends, but since today is Wednesday, we'll probably be okay even without a reservation.

ヒントなしでBlue's Cluesのゲームをされるようになりたいんだよね。
I want to get to where I can do a game of Blue's Clues without any hints.