Post Reply Lesson 4 ~ Going on a date
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Lesson 4: Vocabulary


えいが   > 映画 > eiga > movie
おんがく  > 音楽 > ongaku > music
ざっし   > 雑誌 > zasshi > magazine
スポーツ  >    > supootsu > sports
デート   >    > deeto > date (romantic, not the calendar date)
テニス   >    > tenisu > tennis
サッカー  >    > sakkaa > soccer
テレビ   >    > terebi > TV
ラジオ   >    > rajio > radio

あさごはん  > 朝御飯 > asa gohan > breakfast
ばんごはん  > 晩御飯 > ban gohan > dinner; supper
ひるごはん  > 昼御飯 > hiru gohan > lunch
おさけ    > お酒  > o-sake > sake; alcohol
おちゃ    > お茶  > o-cha > tea
コーヒー   >     > koohii > coffee
みず     > 水   > mizu > water

いえ    > 家  > ie > home; house
うち    >    > uchi > my house; my place
がっこう  > 学校 > gakkou > school

あした  > 明日 > ashita > tomorrow
きょう  > 今日 > kyou > today
きのう  > 昨日 > kinou > yesterday
あさ   > 朝  > asa > morning
こんばん > 今晩 > konban > tonight


いく  > 行く > iku > to go (destination に/へ)
かえる > 帰る > kaeru > to go back; to return (destination に/へ)
きく  > 聞く > kiku > to listen; to hear (〜を)
のむ  > 飲む > nomu > to drink (〜を)
はなす > 話す > hanasu > to speak; to talk (language を/で)
よむ  > 読む > yomu > to read (〜を)
あう  > 会う > au > to meet (〜を)


おきる > 起きる > okiru > to get up; to wake up
たべる > 食べる > taberu > to eat (〜を)
ねる  > 寝る  > neru > to sleep; to go to sleep
みる  > 見る  > miru > to see; to look (at); to watch (〜を)

Irregular Verbs

くる      > 来る   > kuru > to come (destination に/へ)
する      >      > suru > to do (〜を)
べんきょうする > 勉強する > benkyousuru > to study (〜を)


いい     >  > ii > good


そうですね  >  > sou desu ne > That's right; Let me see...
いいですね  >  > ii desu ne > That sounds good
ちょっと   >  > chotto > That's a little...; that might be inconvenient for me...
もう     >  > mou > Already...
まだ     >  > mada > Yet... ; (with negative) not yet...
どうですか  >  > dou desu ka > How about...? ; how is...?
もちろん   >  > mochiron > Of course... ; No doubt about it
またあした  >  > mata ashita > See you tomorrow
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Posted 3/13/10 , edited 3/14/10
Verb Conjugation

There are three main kinds of verbs in Japanese. These are the U-Verbs, the Ru-Verbs, and the Irregular Verbs. When we conjugate verbs, we prepare them for different uses in sentences. In this lesson, we'll learn 1) the "dictionary form"; 2) the present tense affirmative form; and 3) the present tense negative form*. U-Verbs and Ru-Verbs both follow a normal pattern of conjugation, as we can see here:

           ru-verb      u-verb
verb base       tabe       ik
dictionary form     食べる (to eat)  行く (to go)
present, affirmative   食べます     行きます
present, negative    食べません    行きません
stem          食べ       行き

We'll now look at each class of verb individually to get a better idea as to how conjugating works.

As the name implies, these are verbs that end with a る, and we can break it down as adding a る after the verb base "tabe" as shown above. When forming the affirmative and negative with Ru-Verbs, we simply take off the る from the dictionary form (leaving behind the verb base) and attach masu for the affirmative and masen for the negative. We will learn four ru-verbs in this lesson:

食(た)べる    寝(ね)る    起(お)きる    見(み)る
食(た)べます   寝(ね)ます   起(お)きます   見(み)ます
食(た)べません  寝(ね)ません  起(お)きません  見(み)ません

U-verbs are verbs that are formed by adding u at the end of a verb base. 行く, for example, is formed by combining the verb base ik with the suffix u. To form the present tense forms, then, we simply remove the u and replace it with imasu and imasen to form the affirmative and negative, respectively. Conjugating U-verbs may be a little trickier given the extra i vowel (e.g. removing u from "su" and adding imasu will make "simasu", which is actually します). We will learn seven u-verbs in this lesson:

行(い)く    聞(き)く    飲(の)む    読(よ)む    話(はな)す
行(い)きます  聞(き)きます  飲(の)みます  読(よ)みます  話(はな)します
行(い)きません 聞(き)きません 飲(の)みません 読(よ)みません 話(はな)しません

会(あ)う    帰(かえ)る
会(あ)います  帰(かえ)ります
会(あ)いません 帰(かえ)りません

Irregular Verbs
The last class of verbs are called "irregular verbs" because their bases (as found in their dictionary forms) differ considerably from their conjugated forms, as we can see in this example:

             Irregular Verbs
dictionary form     する    くる
present, affirmative   します    きます
present, negative    しません   きません
stem          し      き

These verbs are also used to form "compound verbs", which include one that we learned in this lesson, 勉強(べんきょう)する. In this case, we replace the entire form する for shimasu and shimasen for the affirmative and negative, respectively.

To end this section, you may have noticed that there are also what are called "stem forms". These will also be used in future lessons, so it would be good to keep these in mind. To get the stem forms, we simply remove "masu" or "masen" from both conjugated ru-verbs and u-verbs.

In addition, it would be best to memorize the verbs based on what group of verbs they fall under. You may have noticed, for example, that the verb 帰る is an u-verb, but it just so happens to end with the hiragana る. Don't be mislead into thinking it's a ru-verb in this respect. If you know what group a certain verb belongs to, then you would know why it is incorrect to say 見ります and 帰えます.

Using verbs in the "present tense"

We learned several verbs in the vocabulary of this lesson, and these verbs basically describe human activity. Such verbs are called "action verbs", and in Japanese, the "present tense" of these verbs refer to either 1) things a person does habitually or regularly, and 2) things a person will or has planned to do in the future.

Habitual actions:
Tanaka-san reads the newspaper.

I don't eat natto.
(NB: "Natto" is a fermented soy bean dish.)

Future actions:
I will go to school tomorrow.

Kate will not come home today.

Using Particles

Nouns, in general, must be followed by particles. You may have noticed in the vocabulary listing that the verbs are described in terms of how to use them in a sentence. The verb 行く, for example, is described using (destination に/へ). The に and へ in this description are both particles, and these come after nouns in order to establish the relationship the noun has with the verb. We will learn four particles in this lesson: で, に, へ, and を.

- This particle indicates the noun before it as the place where the action (verb) takes place.

  I will play tennis at school.

  I will read a book at home.

- This particle has several meanings, but here we will learn two: 1) the goal to which things move; and 2) the time at which something takes place.

1) Goal of Movement
  I will not go to school today.

  Kate will come home tonight.

2) Time (NB: に is not needed for time words relative to the present, such as "today", "tomorrow", or "yesterday", or words relating to frequency, such as "every day", "every week", etc.)
  Akira sleeps at 11 o'clock.

  I go to school at 7 o'clock.

- This particle also indicates the goal of movement, just as に does. The sentences in 1) above, therefore, can be written using へ instead of に. Take note that this particle is pronounced as "e".

  I will not go to school today.

  Kate will come home tonight.

Take note, however, that this applies only to the goal-of-movement sense. You cannot use へ in reference to time.

- This particle refers to "direct objects". In other words, the noun preceding it is directly affected by the verb that follows it.

  I drink tea.

  I watch TV.

  I play tennis.


If you use the negative form of a verb and add the question particle か, you get an invitational sentence. These sentences invite the person you are speaking to join you in whatever activity you are presenting them with. Take note that this works only with the negative form of the verb. If you use the affirmative form and stick the か at the end, this can only be construed as a question, and not an invitation.

Would you like to watch a movie (with me)?

Would you like to have lunch (with me)?

Would you like to study Japanese at my place, tonight?


Take masu off the affirmative form of a verb and replace it with mashou and you get a sentence that suggests a course of action to the person you are talking to. It is similar to asking for an invitation, but the difference is in the level of commitment. A 〜ませんか sentence extends an invitation on the pretext that you are not sure whether or not the other party is willing to agree to it. A 〜ましょう sentence, on the other hand, extends a suggestion or course of action AFTER the party has already agreed. In English, you can think of it as a "Let's..." sentence. Take a look at the following example:

Let's watch a movie.
(NB: The two parties already agreed to going out. They're just deciding on what they want to do.)

Compare with:

Would you like to watch a movie (with me)?
(NB: The person asking the question isn't sure whether or not the other person would like to go out with them, yet.)

Let's go to tokyo.

Let's have dinner at my place.
78167 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
31 / M / Japan
Posted 3/13/10 , edited 3/14/10
Sample Dialogue

Akira met up with Kate after school.











78167 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
31 / M / Japan
Posted 3/13/10 , edited 3/14/10
Expression notes

This literally means "a little bit", but is used in the dialogue as a polite way of declining someone's offer to do something. It's like saying "that's a little bit..." in English, with the implied message, "that's inconvenient for me".

This phrase can mean "how is..." and is used to ask for a person's opinion regarding something that was said. It comes at the end of a sentence, and in the dialogue, in can mean "what about tomorrow?" or "how is tomorrow for you, then?". Another way of looking at this phrase is "what do you say to..."

もう is an adverb and is similar to the English "already..." To simplify things, it is used with a verb in the question form to ask whether or not something has already taken place. In the dialogue, もう見(み)ますか means "already seen" - which in this case is Akira's way of asking if Kate has seen the movie "AVATAR" yet.

まだ is another adverb, and it is equivalent to the English word "yet". It is usually used with the negative form of the verb to create "not yet..." In the dialogue, for example, まだ comes before 見(み)ません, which gives us the meaning, "not yet seen" - in this case, the movie. We will learn more about the uses of various adverbs in later lessons.

The particle は
Yet again, we see the particle は being used in a question. Recall that abridging the predicate of a sentence invites the listener to complete it - making the sentence a polite question. Kate uses this in asking Akira what they plan on having for dinner after the movie.

Word order
You may be wondering what the proper order of words are in a Japanese sentence. The truth is, so long as the proper particles are used to represent what functions a part of speech has in the sentence, the arrangement is totally arbitrary. On a basic note, however, it is advisable to keep the verb at the end of the sentence. All other elements relating to the verb can be arranged any so way you want, so long as they follow their respective particles. The following example shows what word groups can be alternated - a word group in this case being a noun or nouns with particles (Red - noun only; blue - two nouns with particles; green - single noun with a particle and verb).





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