Home Forums The Japanese Language HOW DO I SAY "…." THREAD

This topic contains 372 replies, has 62 voices, and was last updated by  Charlie 7 years, 4 months ago.

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    Ahhh, I knew it had to just be me trying to be too literal, or thinking too much.


    Well, I never liked that expression anyways…


    Man, I just realised how retarded my answer was – it should have said “tomorrow” rather than yesterday >.< XD I only realised when I saw the kanji for "yesterday" just now…

    明日「あした」= tomorrow
    昨日「きのう」= yesterday



    How would I say “I started/finished doing X (at a certain time).”
    For example, “I started studying Japanese last September/10 months ago.”

    On a related note, can you use the を particle more than once in the same sentence? Like「今、朝ご飯 を 食べるの を 始めます。」. Can you use other particles like は/が and で more than once in the same sentence? It’s probably a stupid question, but I thought it’s better to ask anyway XD



    @Lemur:「明日の百より今日の五十」means basically “Rather than 100 tomorrow, 50 today”. Which makes sense in terms of that whole bush thing. It makes a lot more sense than the English version, which I had to google because I had no idea what it meant.

    「にほんご を べんきょう する のを きょねん の くがつ はじめた」
    literally: studying japanese, last year’s september, i started

    Something to that effect, I believe, Mister. I may have gotten the “去年の9月” part wrong, but I think the rest is sound. Other, more intelligent people may say I’m absolutely wrong, though. In your second sentence, though it’s completely okay. This is because 「朝ご飯をたべる」and 「始めます」 are separate sentences combined to make one. In that sort of format, it’s perfectly acceptable, but in other instances using は, が, and を multiple times in a sentence seems weird to me and I haven’t seen it.

    • This reply was modified 12 years, 11 months ago by  Swoosherz.


    You can also use 始める as a verb conjugation to mean start an action. (same with 終わる)

    ie) 30分前食べ終わった。(I finished eating 30 min ago)
    (it is added to the pre-ます form)
    For studying (勉強する), because the する verb is used, i am not 100% sure, but it would either be, 勉強し始めた or simply 勉強始めた。I will ask my friend to confirm.

    #5 – 信じられない! (means I can’t believe it)
    this is very common in many such situations

    As for particles, I think I have seen them used more than once in a sentence… Just like in English.
    ie) I went to the store to buy some milk. (“to” twice, but of course with different meaning)
    牛乳を買いにコンビニに行った。(However in Japanese, that same sentence doesn’t use を twice, but it does use に twice)



    Too late to edit, but I did ask my friend. She said
    “I started studying Japanese last September/10 months ago.”
    10ヶ月前日本語の勉強を始めた。 would be best

    Though she did say し始めた is also correct, but she would tend to use を始めた.

    *Full Disclosure* She is not a Japanese teacher, just a Japanese native. (and as you know, it’s not always easy to explain grammar that we use everyday but don’t exactly study nor know how to explain very well)



    Yeah the start/finish thing can be accomplished by taking the “pre-masu”/base-2/stem/ whatever you want to call it and adding おえる and はじめる. If fact you can add すづけく for continuing to do something.

    With する verbs (like study) you can use the base2 (し) or just drop the する all together as your friend said.

    I started reading a new book this morning.
    I continued reading until six.
    I will finish reading it tomorrow.

    For things that start, continue and finish on their own (like concerts or meetings or seasons) use the intransitive verbs はじまる, おわる and つづく.

    Yes, you can use particles more than once and it is in fact often necessary, especially with を and が. Things can get pretty crazy sometimes with noun-modifying phrases and conditionals and the like…



    How would I say want to go (verb)?
    If 食べに行きます is go to eat and 食べたい want to eat, would want to go eat be 食べに行きたい? If not how do you say, want to go (verb)?



    Yes, exactly.

    行きたい by itself is want to go.



    Silly question about 明日; sometimes I hear/see it pronounced あした and other times I’ll see it as あす. Is there a specific reason this is so? Or is it just preference?

    Edit: Also, apparently it can also be みょうにち, but I haven’t come across that yet.

    • This reply was modified 12 years, 11 months ago by  リンディ.


    あす is more polite. I tend to hear my staff use it at work on the phone w/ students/customers.

    あした is more common and casual.





    If 「私は学生なので、お金がないんです。」 means “Because I am a student, I have no money.”, how would I say it the other way around (i.e. “I have no money because I am a student.”). It’s essentially the same thing but I was just wondering anyway :)



    I don’t really know of a way that is is smooth as English but you can simply switch the clause order and say something like:
    You might be able to use the te form too (although I’m not sure about this one)



    So to say “only”…
    I only eat apples. りんごだけを食べます。

    Does anyone know how to say “only” for actions? The kids put on some song during the cleaning time this morning that kept repeating “just dance” and I realized I have no idea how to say it. If I wanted to say “I only swam last weekend.” (I didn’t do anything else) how would I? Any ideas?

    I think 先週末だけ泳ぎました。 means “I only swam last weekend.” (I didn’t swim at any other time.)

    EDIT: I think I found it although I’m still not sure about where the tense gets indicated.
    先週末 泳いだ だけ でした。 2x past tense
    先週末 泳ぐ だけ です。 verb non-past
    The example sentences I found seem to mix these up…
    彼 は ただ 肩 を すくめた だけ だった。 He just shrugged his shoulders.
    彼女 は ただ 微笑む だけ だった。 She just smiled.
    Any ideas?

    • This reply was modified 12 years, 10 months ago by  thisiskyle.
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