Japanese I: 9-16, summary

# pronouns nouns adverbs verbs adject. particles pre/suffix. conjun.
9 nanji -masu (past) ni (at) -ji (o'clock) soretomo
10 kaiwa chotto -te (non-past) -ji (counter)
tsugi -tai (non-past)
kiku
kudasaru
11 kyou kurikaesu kon- (this)
ashita
ban
kouhii
12 en ikura soshite
sen
13 o-kane douzo iru/aru
doru motsu
14 takusan ageru
15 sushi zenzen potential he (to)
iku to (and)
kiku ni (for)
16 sutoppu sugiru juubun-na ga/kedo (but)
denwa

verbs

The verb ‘to be’ – desu, is special. Its formal form is ‘desu’ and its casual form is ‘da’.
For the other verbs, the ‘masu’ form is formal, and the dictionary form is casual.

Lessons 1-8

English dict kanji masu -te
to understand/know wakaru 分かる wakarimasu wakatte
to finish sumu 済む sumimasu sunde
to speak/talk hanasu 話す hanashimasu hanashite
to eat taberu 食べる tabemasu tabete
to drink nomu 飲む nomimasu nonde
to do suru する shimasu shite
to buy kau 買う kaimasu katte

Lessons 9-16

English dict kanji masu -te
to exist iru 居る imasu ite
to exist aru 有る arimasu atte
to have motsu 持つ mochimasu motte
to give ageru 上げる agemasu あげて
to go iku 行く ikimasu itte
to come kuru 来る kimasu kite
to be too much sugiru 過ぎる sugimasu sugite

From instructions:

English dict kanji masu -te
to listen kiku 聞く kimasu kiite
to do for one kudasaru 下さる kudasaimasu kudasatte
to repeat kurikaesu 繰り返す kurikaeshimasu kurikaeshite

dict. → tai

To change the form of a verb from dictionary to -tai, we do exactly the same changes that we use to go to -masu [Patrick Chauny]:

  • group 1 – u verbs: replace -u with -itai
    exceptions: there is no ‘tsi’ nor ‘si’, so -tsu → -chitai, and -su → -shitai.

    • hanasu → hanashitai (exception: -su → -shitai)
    • wakaru → wakaritai
    • nomu → nomitai
    • kau → kaitai
    • aru → aritai
  • group 2 – ru verbs: -ru → -tai
    • taberu → tabetai
    • miru → mitai
  • group 3 – irregular verbs: no rule, memorize them
    • kuru → kitai
    • suru → shitai

With respect to stating one’s wishes and desires, we find that in Japanese instead of saying ‘I want a beer’ we say ‘A beer is desirable’ (biiru ga hoshi-i). Something similar happens with verbs: instead of saying ‘I want to eat’, we use the -tai to say ‘eating is desirable’ (tabe-tai). In a sense, the -tai ending makes the verb behave like an i-adjective – tabeta-i, and now all the rules of i-adjectives apply:


eating is desirable (I want to eat)
formal
casual

eating is not desirable (I do not want to eat)
more formal
formal
casual


 
tabeta-i desu
tabeta-i

 
tabeta-ku arimasen
tabeta-ku nai desu
tabeta-ku nai


Direct object of a -tai form

Since the -tai form is the form of a verb, we can mark its direct object with ‘wo’ (を), same as with any other verb form. However, the -tai form makes the verb behave like an i-adjective, so we can also mark its direct object with ‘ga’ (が), same as with any other adjective; even Japanese people cannot pin-point if there is any difference between marking the direct object of a -tai form using ‘wo’ or ‘ga’; for all purposes, they are interchangeable:


English
I want to eat sushi
I don’t want to eat sushi


marking as an adjective
sushi ga tabeta-i desu
sushi ga tabeta-ku nai


marking as a verb
sushi wo tabeta-i desu
sushi wo tabeta-ku nai


Although it makes no difference whether we use ‘ga’ or ‘wo’ to mark the direct object, there is one case where we should use ‘ga’ instead of ‘wo’. So far we have seen two of the functions of ‘ga’: as the subject marker, and as the direct object marker of an adjective. We should always choose ‘ga’ if we want it to play, not the role of direct object marker of an adjective, but the role of the subject marker of the sentence, emphasizing the subject. Let’s see this with an example:


‘ga’ or ‘wo’ as direct object marker
I want to eat sushi

‘ga’ as subject marker
sushi! That’s what I want to eat


 
sushi ga/wo tabeta-i desu
 
 
sushi ga tabeta-i desu


‘sushi ga tabeta-i desu’ is written exactly the same whether we are using ‘ga’ as the direct object marker, or as the subject marker, but the meaning (and probably the spoken intonation) would be quite different, because the function of ‘ga’ as the subject marker is to emphasize the subject. Let’s see this again, in a more descriptive manner:


‘ga’ as direct object marker
I want to eat sushi (yawn)

‘ga’ as subject marker
SUSHI!!!!!! That’s what I want to eat


 
sushi ga tabeta-i desu
 
 
sushi ga tabeta-i desu


So a reply to using ‘ga’ as a direct object marker could be ‘(yawn…) I guess I could have sushi too’, while a reply to using ‘ga’ as the subject marker could be ‘Calm down… calm down… we’ll find sushi, if it’s that important, ok? geez…’.

dict. → -te

This is the gentle imperative form, e.g., ‘ki-ite, kudasai’ (listen, please) or ‘i-tte, kudasai’ (come, please). We also use it to connect sentences, e.g., ‘sushi wo tabe-te, o-sake wo no-nde, kaeri-mashita’ (I ate sushi, drank sake, and went home).

To change the form of a verb from dictionary to -te [Patrick Chauny]:

  • group 1 – u verbs:
    • -u/ru/tsu → -tte
    • -mu/nu/bu → -nde
    • -ku → ite, exception: i-ku (to go) does not become i-ite, but i-tte
    • -gu → ide
    • -su → shite
      For example:

    • hanasu → hanashite
    • wakaru → wakatte
    • kau → katte
    • nomu → nonde
  • group 2 – ru verbs: -ru → -te
    • taberu → tabete
    • miru → mite
  • group 3 – irregular verbs: no rule, memorize them
    • kuru → kite
    • suru → shite

dict. → -ta

While -mashita is the formal past form of a verb (e.g., tabe-masu → tabe-mashita, nomi-masu → nomi-mashita), the -ta form is the casual past form of a verb (e.g., tabe-ru → tabe-ta, no-mu → no-nda).

Learning the -te form is painful, but the reward is that the -te and the -ta forms are identical: all we need to do is change every ‘e’ in the ‘-te’ form for an ‘a’.

To change the form of a verb from dictionary to -ta [Patrick Chauny]:

  • group 1 – u verbs:
    • -u/ru/tsu → -tta
    • -mu/nu/bu → -nda
    • -ku → ita, exception: i-ku (to go) does not become i-ita, but i-tta
    • -gu → ida
    • -su → shita
      For example:

    • hanasu → hanashita
    • wakaru → wakatta
    • kau → katta
    • nomu → nonda
  • group 2 – ru verbs: -ru → -ta
    • taberu → tabeta
    • miru → mita
  • group 3 – irregular verbs: no rule, memorize them
    • kuru → kita
    • suru → shita

dict. → potential (can)

The potential form plays the role of the English auxiliary verb ‘can’, use to say things like ‘I can eat’.

To change the form of a verb from dictionary to potential [Patrick Chauny]:

  • For group I verbs, u → e[ru/e-masu]
  • For group II verbs, ru → (ra)re[ru/-masu]
  • For group III, suru → deki[ru/-masu], kuru → ko(ra)re[ru/-masu]
  • group 1 – u verbs: replace -u with -eru
    exceptions: there is no ‘tse’, so -tsu → -te.

    • hanasu → hanae-ru
    • wakaru → wakare-ru
    • nom → nome-ru
    • kau → kae-ru
    • aru → are-ru
  • group 2 – ru verbs: -ru → -(ra)reru
    • taberu → tabe-(ra)re-ru
    • miru → mi-(ra)re-ru
  • group 3 – irregular verbs: no rule, memorize them
    • kuru → ko-(ra)re-ru
    • suru → deki-ru

The termination -(ra)reru indicates that both are used, i.e., ‘I can eat’ is ‘tabe-rareru’ but many people drop the ‘ra’ and simply say ‘tabe-reru’.

All potential verbs will conjugate as -ru verbs (group 2).

dict. → -nai/(-masu/-tai)/-t(e/a)/pot

With the above knowledge under our belt, let’s see the masu and casual negative forms of the verbs in units 1-16:

group casual (dict) casual neg (-nai) -masu*/-tai -t(e/a) potential
1 wakaru wakaranai wakari- waka-tt(e/a) wakare-ru
1 sumu sumanai sumi- su-nd(e/a) sume-ru
1 hanasu hanasanai hanashi- hana-shit(e/a) hanase-ru
2 taberu tabenai tabe- tabe-t(e/a) tabe-(ra)re-ru
1 nomu nomanai nomi- no-nd(e/a) nome-ru
3 suru shinai shi- shi-t(e/a) deki-ru
1 kau kawanai kai- ka-tt(e/a) kae-ru
2 iru inai i- i-t(e/a) i-(ra)re-ru
1 aru nai ari- a-tt(e/a) are-ru
1 motsu motanai mochi- mo-tt(e/a) mote-ru
2 ageru agenai age- age-t(e/a) age-(ra)re-ru
1 iku ikanai iki- i-tt(e/a) ike-ru
3 kuru konai ki- ki-t(e/a) ko-(ra)re-ru
2 sugiru suginai sugi- sugi-t(e/a) suri-(ra)re-ru
1 kiku kikanai ki- ki-it(e/a) kike-ru
1 kudasaru kudasaranai kudasai- kudasa-tt(e/a) kudasare-ru
1 kurikaesu kurikaesanai kurikaeshi- kurikae-shit(e/a) kurikaese-ru

*: to obtain other tenses of the formal -masu form, we replace -masu as follows:

  • non-past negative: -masu → -masen, e.g., don’t eat: tabe-masen
  • past positive: -masu → -mashita, e.g., ate: tabe-mashita
  • past negative: -masu → -masen deshita, e.g., didn’t eat: tabe-masen deshita

Kanjis

1st grade + JLPT N5 kanjis

Additonal 1-8

わたし – I/me きみ – you 所・処 ところ – place
ぼく – I/me さけ – sake 欲しい ほしい – wanted

‘boku and ‘kimi’ do not appear in the recordings, but we use them as the casual forms of ‘watashi’ and ‘anata’.

Additonal 9-16

はん – meal ひる – noon 明日 あした – tomorrow
ばん – evening つぎ – next 一寸 ちょっと – a little