March 28, 2014 at 12:06 pm #44622
I don’t understand the translation for these two sentences. There’s the A is B pattern in the beginning but then it connects with the verb at the end.
How would this translate?
わたし は にほんご を おしえます。
わたし は えいご を ならいます。
Thanks.March 29, 2014 at 7:09 am #44637
“I am teaching Japanese”
“I am learning English”
Have you learnt verbs yet? を is the direct object marker – marks the object of the verb (that is, the thing that has the verb done to it).March 29, 2014 at 8:06 am #44638
The “is” in the “A is B” pattern is not the は in the middle, but the です or だ at the end.
The は just indicates what you are talking about.
The two sentences translate to:
I teach Japanese.
I learn English.April 3, 2014 at 8:00 am #44733
Oh right… I was really confused back there as I thought the は was strictly for A is B pattern. The です or だ makes that pattern transitive and not the は. Got it.
So it would not be grammatically correct then to have “わたし にほんご を おしえます”. No は particle. Since the main subject is “I”.
In Japanese, the grammatically correct sentence contains the は particle in:
わたし は にほんご を おしえます。 Because you need to identify the “I” as the main subject. So a sentence will always need the は to identify the main subject when speaking regardless of what comes after– in this case more grammar like を for verbs?
Am I understanding this correctly?
Thanks.April 3, 2014 at 11:38 am #44736
Just to confuse matters, it’s fairly common to drop particles in casual speech, usually starting with the は. You’ll usually find it’s replaced by a comma (or a brief pause, in speaking). But yeah, in polite speech, the は stays. =)
Also, particles modify the word that comes before. That is, を designates the object of the verb, but doesn’t do anything to the verb itself.April 4, 2014 at 6:39 pm #44758
Can you please give an example of what the comma looks like in speech if dropping the は? So in the future…if I see it, I’ll know what to make of it.
Thanks.April 5, 2014 at 9:07 am #44761
この ほん は いくら です か。
この ほん、 いくら の？
I think that’s what Joel is referring to. The first is like “How much is this book?” while the second is like “This book, how much?”.April 5, 2014 at 12:33 pm #44763
Thanks for the example. Will look into it some more. :)April 5, 2014 at 1:35 pm #44764
Yeah, that’s basically it. IME’s being funny on my computer at the moment, otherwise I would have answered sooner. Casual speech tends to leave out all sorts of grammar bits – however, it’s kind of important to know the grammar that’s being left out first, so don’t concentrate too much on being casual until you’ve learnt how it works in the first place. =)April 6, 2014 at 7:51 am #44776
Ok will do. I know Japanese is somewhat of a compact language… in order to sound more Native anyway so hopefully later on once I hear casual Japanese conversation, your tips will come to mind. Thanks! :)April 6, 2014 at 4:16 pm #44781
For the fun of it, here’s an example of things being dropped in casual speech: 行かなきゃ is an abbreviation of 行かなければ, which means “if you don’t go”. On its own, it doesn’t make a great deal of sense, but it’s actually a kind of verbal shorthand for 行かなければならない, which means “you must go” (or literally, “if you don’t go, that’d be bad”). If you forget the grammar it represents, though, and you’re presented with 行かなきゃ, you’ll be left going “Do go? Don’t go? Must go? Musn’t go?”April 7, 2014 at 1:58 pm #44789
“it’s kind of important to know the grammar that’s being left out first”
In other words, you have to know the rules before you can break them.
“I know Japanese is somewhat of a compact language”
It’s actually kinda the opposite. Japanese takes way more syllables (on average) to convey a certain piece of information than many other languages; they just speak faster to make up for it :P
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