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Japanese is Possible!
Week 16

Part 16

  • Sentences are Important
  • Example Sentences
  • Words to Learn

Sentences are Important

A lot of you have been waiting for this one! You've learned quite a few words, and quite a few articles of grammar. Now you're wondering how to use them in your own sentences.

When learning Japanese (or any language), it is very important to read 100's of example sentences. This is so that you can get a feel for exactly how the words and bits of grammar are put together. You then get a feel for how to make your own sentences. Beleive it or not, it IS possible for an English speaker to get a "feel" for whether or not a Japanese sentence sounds right. Just like English speakers have an "ear" for good English, you will also acquire an "ear" for Japanese. It will take a while, but it will happen for sure if you keep moving toward that goal.

When you begin learning all the grammar, there are always a ton of questions in the back (or front) of your mind:

"Would I use this word for this sentence?"
"What if I want to say..."
"...does that sound right?"

You won't be able to answer those questions yourself until you become familiar with Japanese . A lot of this type of knowledge can be acquired by reading tons of actual Japanese sentences. Seeing the various words and grammar pieces used together gives you an idea of how they are used. Many sentences have a lot in common, which you come to realize.


X wa Y desu.
X is Y.

X wa Y ni iru.
X is in the Y.

X no Y ni wa Z ga aru.
There is a Z in X's Y.

If you replace the X's and Y's with actual nouns (or even names), the sentences will become MUCH more interesting, and easy to remember:

ore wa baka desu.
I'm an idiot.

ore wa honou ni iru.
I'm in the fire.

boku no boushi ni wa mikan ga aru.
Inside my hat, there is an orange.

Do you notice a similarity between these sentences?

boku no tomodachi wa hashitte iru.
omae no niisan wa nagutte iru.
kanojo no kareshi wa unten shite iru.

They all have a 'NO' at the beginning, and they all have a verb in its -ing form. This is what I mean by sentences being similar. Even though the sentences have totally different topics, the structure of the sentence is identical. Some of you may remember "diagramming" sentences in English class. That's basically what I'm referring to here.

Incidentally, the 3 sentences above translate to:

My friend is running.
Your big brother is hitting.
Her boyfriend is driving.

Example Sentences

kore wa ichiban daiji na mono da.
this (subject) number one important thing is.
This is the most important thing.

If 2 fighters met in a ring, and one of them pulled out a rubber duck and squeezed it...the other fighter might say:

nan no mane da?
what 's imitation is?
What lunacy is this?
What are you trying to do?

ittai nani o shiteiru ndesu ka?
in the world what (answers what) are doing ?
What in the world are you doing?

koko made ka?
here up to ?
Is this the end?

kanojo wa boku no airashii ryoko chan desu.
she (subject) I ('s) lovely ryoko (term of affection) is.
She's my lovely little Ryoko.

Darou is the let's form of DESU. It is used where something isn't set in stone. If someone is guessing something to be true, or something is probably true, use this.

mamono o korosu to katsu darou.
monster (who, what) kill and win probably.
If the monster is killed, you'd probably win.

boku no kachi da!
I ('s) win is!
It's my win!

juu o tsukaeba ii nda.
gun (what) if use good is.
You can use the gun if you want.

omae no saigo da!
you ('s) end is!
It's the end of you!

In the next sentence, remember that "shika" is pronounced "SHKA".

tako shika tabenai yo!
octopus besides don't eat !
You can only eat octopus!

sore wa atarimae da.
that (subject) natural is
That's only to be expected.

Words to Learn

juu - gun
atarimae - natural, to be expected
shika - besides
ittai - "What in the world"
airashii - lovely
mane - imitation, farce
katsu - to win
saigo - end, last

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