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japanese

Last updated 2018-07-27 23:01:58

Nouns

Pronouns

  sg. pl.
1 (わたし) (わたし)たち
2 あなた
3m (かれ)

Demonstratives

this that over there
こちら、これ、ここ そちら、それ、そこ あちら、あれ、あそこ

Words like これ or それ become この or その when modifying a noun, ex. この地図(ちず):this map. Xちら are "X way", such as こちら:this way.

Verbs

Present Tense

There is no conjugation of verbs in the present tense. Negation of ます verbs is done with ません, ex. 話しません. When negating a noun or adjective ("It is not a book"), then じゃありません is used.

The form of verbs sometimes give an indication of what type of action is being performed. For example, verbs with せ indicate that subject is having someone do something, ex. 見せる:to show (you are making someone see). Verbs with え are the potential form, such as 見える:to be visible.

  1. 英語(えいご)(はな)しますか?
    Do you speak English?
  2. いいえ、そうじゃありません。
    No, that's not right.
    Contrast with そうです。:That's right.
  3. 店に学生がいます。
    There are students in the store.
    います, rather than あります, is used with animate nouns

Past Tense

  1. 鈴木さんは学生でした。
    Suzuki-san was a student.

Dictionary Form

To find the 辞書形(じしょけい) for different verbs, follow the notes below.MJC

Godan verbs

五段(ごだん)活用(かつよう), lit. class-5 conjugation. Also known as, -u, Type I verbs, or consonant-stem verbs.

form stem ending meaning
ない ない (do not write)
ます ます (to write, pol.)
辞書 (to write, neut.)

Notice how the vowels go from aiu.

Ichidan verbs

一段(いちだん)活用(かつよ), lit. class-1 conjugation. Also known as, -ru, Type II verbs, or vowel-stem verbs.

Change ます into る. Thus, たべます→食べる.

Irregular

Particles

question particle
かんこうですか?:are you going sightseeing?
existential particle, used with あります to indicate what exists. DBJG describes these as the objects of stative transitive verbs (ex. to have) and transitive adjectives.DBJG, 120 7e
a subject marker, for subject which are not the topic. In particular, for WH-words, such as 何, since they can never be topics.DBJG, 119
locative particle
locative particleDBJG, 299, used with time phrases, ex. 月曜日に:on Monday and あります。
locative particle, このちずの:on this map
number of things
9つ:nine things
object particle, follows the object of the clause
topic particle, pronounced "wa" rather than "ha"
connector between two nouns (like "and"), comitative particle (i.e. "with X")
attached to the end of sentences to inform the listener of something or assure them of somethingDBJG, 543
  1. 本屋(ほんや)があります
    There is a bookstore
    が follows what exists, in this case a 本屋.
  2. この(へん)本屋(ほんや)がありますか?
    Is there a bookstore near here?
  3. 東京ホテルは、この地図(ちず)のどこですか?
    Where is the Tokyo Hotel on this map?
    の functions both as the possessive and as the locative particle in this example
  4. 家で映画を見ます。
    I watch movies at home.
  5. 私は友達と店に行きました。
    I, with my friend, went to the store.

Prepositions

Location prepositions (such as 'in front of') occur after the noun. So I guess they're actually postpositions. For example, 店の前:in front of the store.

から
from
  1. どちらから?
    Where are you from?

Question Words

(だれ)
who
どれ
which
どちら/どこ
where (pol., inf.)
どうして
why
どう
how
どんな
what kind of
いくら
how much
いかが
how
either なに if standalone or なん if attached to something (ex, 何時?:what time?)
ありますか
not really a question word, per se, but used to ask the equivalent of "do you have...?" questions
  1. お手ありいはどこですか?
    Where is the toilet?
  2. そのペンはいくら?
    How much is that pen?
  3. 地図がありますから?
    Do you have maps?
  4. いかがですか?
    How is it?
  5. デザートはいかがですか?
    Would you like dessert?

Adjectives

Note: this is not comprehensive of all possible politeness forms. Instead, it is just the default politeness that my learning materials have been using.

i-adjectives

All i-adjectives end in an explicit い, such as 高い, but not all adjectives ending in い are i-adjectives, such as 嫌い. These exceptions are few. They can be used in front of a noun without change, ex. 高いシャツ:an expensive t-shirt.

Negation
Negation occurs with くない, ex. 面白い→面白くない (interesting→uninteresting).
Past tense
Past tense is done with かった, ex. 高い→高かった (expensive→was expensive). This can also be done with negated adjectives, ex. 高くない→高くなかった (inexpensive→was inexpensive).Tae Kim, State of Being - Past

na-adjectives

These adjectives require a な between the adjective and the noun, ex. 綺麗な人:a pretty person.

Miscellaneous

(のま)
indicates the preceding kanji should be repeated, ex. 日々:daily. More formally called 同じ(おなじ).

Sentences

"I like..."
Uses ()き, which is like a na-adjective.
  1. 君のおっぱいが好きです。
    I like your bosom ;)

Time

time in the day: (number) + ()
years old: (number) + (さい)

now
今日
today
明日
tomorrow
昨日
yesterday
  1. 今は一時です
    It is now one o'clock

Politeness

(ねが)いします:please (when asking a favor or when you want something). A response may be どうぞ{noun}:here is {noun}.

(くだ)さい:please, following を.

Measure Words

Measure words and quantity appear after the noun, the opposite of Chinese. That is, (5円絵葉書)(3)(枚), rather than (3)(张)(5元明信片).

Typing

On Mac:

Bibliography

Dictionary

le flaneur's japanese dictionary