Lesson 10 Shopping and Money

Introduction

 

This lesson will teach you all about shopping in Japanese. It will also cover money and how to talk about different amounts of money in Japanese. There are some mock conversations that will help you understand how a transaction can take place in Japanese, and you will also learn some very important pronouns!

 

Vocabulary

 

A lot of the vocabulary in the table below probably won’t make much sense you yet, but you should still look them over before beginning the lesson.

 

Japanese

English

これ

This

それ

That

あれ

That over there

この

This (noun)

その

That (noun)

あの

That (noun) over there

えん

Yen

いくら

How much

たかい

Expensive

やすい

Inexpensive

ひゃくえん

100 yen

にひゃくえん

200 yen

さんびゃくえん

300 yen

よんひゃくえん

400 yen

ごひゃくえん

500 yen

ろっぴゃくえん

600 yen

ななひゃくえん

700 yen

はっぴゃくえん

800 yen

きゅうひゃくえん

900 yen

せんえん

1000 yen

にせんえん

2000 yen

さんぜんえん

3000 yen

よんせんえん

4000 yen

ごせんえん

5000 yen

ろくせんえん

6000 yen

ななせんえん

7000 yen

はっせんえん

8000 yen

きゅうせんえん

9000 yen

いちまんえん

10,000 yen

にまんえん

20,000 yen

さんまんえん

30,000 yen

ペン

Pen

かばん

Bag/purse

じしょ

Dictionary

かさ

Umbrella

とけい

Watch

ほん

Book

ぼうし

Hat

 

 

 

Grammar and Sentence Structure

 

First off, the first six words in this vocabulary list need some explanation! They are demonstrative pronouns, meaning the Japanese equivalents for English words such as “this” and “that.” There are two sets. The first set in the list can be used alone to refer to a noun. For example, a friend of yours may point to an item and ask “これはなんですか?” (What is this?) Then you can respond with what the noun is, for example: それはかばんです. (That is a bag). You should note that your friend used これ while you used それ in this exchange. Which pronoun you use depends on where the item is located in relation to you. If the item is closer to you and further away from the listener, you use これ. If the item is closer to the listener and not close to you, you then use それ. If the item you are speaking about is far away from both the speaker (you) and the listener, then you use あれ.

 

The second set of words is used when you want to name the noun directly after the pronoun. For example, このかばんmeans “this bag.”  そのかばんmeans “that bag.” あのかばんmeans “that bag over there.” The same speaker/listener rules apply here (see above). Just remember that one set is used on its own and the other set is used in conjunction with a noun.

 

Next, note that the word for Japanese currency is “yen” in English but えん in Japanese. This marker will go after the amount of currency like this: 50えん (and this is read ごじゅうえん).

 

いくら is the word to use when asking “how much?” Simply place it before ですか, and you’ve got the correct structure! You can also use words like これ and この with いくら. For example: これはいくらですか? And このかばんはいくらですか? These mean “How much is this?” and “How much is this bag?” respectively.

 

The adjectives たかい and やすいcan be used to describe the price of an item. Just place です or ですね after them!

 

Finally, how to count money is listed in the vocabulary list. This starts with 100, but you should already know how to say the numbers prior to 100. Notice that there are some difference in pronunciation with さんびゃく ろっぴゃく はっぴゃく さんぜん and はっせん. The rest of them follow the normal pattern of adding ひゃく or せん after the number. Notice that for 10,000 and up, all you do is add まん after the number. This works for 40-90,000 too.

 

Another quick grammar note: When you are inquiring about the price of something and you decide you want to buy it, use the following form: これをください. Replace これ as needed. をください functions as “please give me ___.” This means you wish to purchase something.

 

Verb Conjugations

 

In case you are unfamiliar with the verb “to buy,” here is its present affirmative/negative and past affirmative/negative forms.

 

Dictionary form: かう

 

Present affirmative: かいます

 

Present negative: かいません

 

Past affirmative: かいました

 

Past negative: かいませんでした

 

Kanji

 

Hiragana

Kanji

ひゃく

せん

まん

えん

ほん

 

 

 

Practice

 

1.      Translate the following conversations into English.

 

a.      すみません、このかばんはいくらですか。
三万円です。
たかいですね!

 

b.      すみません、これはいくらですか。
それは五百円です。
これをください。

 

c.       この本はいくらですか。
千円です。
やすいですね!これをください。

 

d.      そのかさはいくらですか。
このかさは九百円です。

 

e.      あのぼうしはいくらですか。
三千円です。
あのぼうしをください。

 

f.        このペンはいくらですか。
五十円です。

 

2.      Write your own short conversations like the ones above. Practice reading the numbers of the yen out loud!

 

Answer Key

 

1.       

 

a.      Excuse me, how much is this bag?
It’s 30,000 yen.
That’s expensive, isn’t it!

 

b.      Excuse me, how much is this?
That is 500 yen.
I’ll take it. (Please give me this).

 

c.       How much is this book?
It’s 1000 yen.
It’s inexpensive, isn’t it! I’ll take it. (Please give me this).

 

d.      How much is that umbrella?
This umbrella is 900 yen.

 

e.      How much is that hat over there?
It’s 3000 yen.
I’ll take that hat over there. (Please give me that hat over there).

 

f.        How much is this pen?
It’s 50 yen.

 

Lesson 09 All About Time

Introduction

 

In the last lesson, we focused on the days of the week and the months in Japanese. Now it’s time to learn how to talk about time in a different way. This lesson will focus on how to tell time from a clock. You can use this lesson to help you describe when you have to do something or just to answer the question “What time is it?”

 

Vocabulary

 

Below in the table you will find each hour translated into Japanese. Listed below that is another table with how to tell minutes after the hour in Japanese.

 

Time

Japanese

1

いちじ

2

にじ

3

さんじ

4

よじ

5

ごじ

6

ろくじ

7

しちじ

8

はちじ

9

くじ

10

じゅうじ

11

じゅういちじ

12

じゅうにじ

 

 

 

Minute

Japanese

1

いっぷん

2

にふん

3

さんぷん

4

よんぷん

5

ごふん

6

ろっぷん

7

ななふん

8

はちふん

9

きゅうふん

10

じゅっぷん

 

 

 

Grammar and Sentence Structure

 

There are a few important notes to make here. First, notice that both 4 and 9 change when you are talking about time. 4 becomes よじ instead of よんじ and 9 becomes くじ instead of きゅうじ.

 

The ending stands for “o’clock.” You can add another ending after to say that it is half past the hour. This ending is はん. If you want to say half past a certain hour, say the number, then , then はん.

 

For minutes past the hour, notice that the ending for each is either ぷん or ふん. You just have to memorize which ending goes with which number, because there really isn’t a set pattern. However, once you have the basic pattern down, you can say any minute after the hour. The chart above only goes to 10, but in order to get 20, 30, etc., you just add the appropriate number in front of 10. For example, 10 minutes past 1 is いちじじゅっぷん. 20 minutes past 1 then becomes いちじにじゅっぷん.

 

One final construction to note is that you can also say 15 minutes until ___ o’clock instead of saying 45 minutes after ___o’clock. This construction follows the pattern of ___じじゅうごふんまえ. If you want to say 8:45, you say くじじゅうごふんまえ. If you rather just say 8:45 literally, then you can say はちじよんじゅうごふん。

 

To ask someone the time, you should use this structure: なんじですか. You can also replace なんじ with a specific time and ask for confirmation of that time. A response would either tell you the time or tell you whether or not you got the time correct.

 

Finally, you may need to differentiate between AM and PM sometimes. You can do this by placing the appropriate word in front of the time. AM is ごぜん and PM is ごご.

 

Kanji

 

Time

Japanese

1

一時

2

二時

3

三時

4

四時

5

五時

6

六時

7

七時

8

八時

9

九時

10

十時

11

十一時

12

十二時

Half past

Before

 

 

 

Minute

Japanese

1

一分

2

二分

3

三分

4

四分

5

五分

6

六分

7

七分

8

八分

9

九分

10

十分

 

 

 

Practice

 

1.      Translate the times listed below into Japanese.

 

a.      12:00 PM

 

b.      7:30 AM

 

c.       1:00 AM

 

d.      8:30 PM

 

e.      10:45 AM

 

f.        2:45 PM

 

g.      5:15 AM

 

h.      9:23 PM

 

i.        7:47 AM

 

2.      Translate these sentences from Japanese into English.

 

a.      いまなんじですか。

 

b.      ごご四時十七分です。

 

c.       いま五時半ですか。

 

d.      いいえ。五時です。

 

e.      七時十五分前ですか。

 

f.        はい。七時十五分前です。

 

g.      なんじにクラスがありますか。

 

h.      ごぜん八時十五分前です。

 

Answer Key

 

1.       

 

a.      ごご十二時

 

b.      ごぜん七時半

 

c.       ごぜん一時

 

d.      ごご八時半

 

e.      ごぜん十一時十五分前

 

f.        ごご三時十五分前

 

g.      ごぜん五時十五分

 

h.      ごご九時二十三分

 

i.        ごぜん七時四十七分

 

2.       

 

a.      What time is it now?

 

b.      4:17 PM

 

c.       Is it 5:30 now?

 

d.      No, it’s 5 o’clock.

 

e.      Is it a quarter ‘til 7?

 

f.        Yes. It’s a quarter ‘til 7. (Or 15 minutes before 7:00).

 

g.      What time do you have class?

 

h.      7:45 AM.

 

Lesson 08 Days and Months

Introduction

In this lesson, we will begin learning how to tell different types of time. First, we will start with days of the week and months of the year. In the next lesson, we will focus more on telling time. There is also a very specific way to read the date in Japanese, but this will be saved for a later lesson!

Vocabulary

The table below lists both the days of the week and the months of the year. Notice that each day of the week ends in ようび and each month ends in がつ. Further, the months all correspond to a number, so this makes learning the months very simple!

English

Japanese

Sunday

にちようび

Monday

げつようび

Tuesday

かようび

Wednesday

すいようび

Thursday

もくようび

Friday

きんようび

Saturday

どようび

January

いちがつ

February

にがつ

March

さんがつ

April

しがつ

May

ごがつ

June

ろくがつ

July

しちがつ

August

はちがつ

September

くがつ

October

じゅうがつ

November

じゅういちがつ

December

じゅうにがつ

 

Grammar and Sentence Structure

You can use the days of the week and the months to talk about when you do certain activities. They are also useful if someone asks you when a specific event is occurring. Here are some new sentences you need to learn in order to use the days and the months.

If you want to ask someone if they are free to do something on a certain day, you need to use the word どう. You would use it in sentence form like this:  かようびはどうですか。 This means “How is Tuesday (for you)?” Use this when you want to invite someone to do something with you. (Remember Lesson 4? This works well with what you learned in that lesson!)

To answer that the day in question works for you, you can simply say “かようびはいいです.” If Tuesday is an inconvenient day, say “かようびはちょっと….” This literally means “Tuesday is a little…” and trails off, but the sentence has the effect of “Tuesday is not a good day for me.”

Days of the week are also convenient for describing your schedule. For example, you can say that you have class on a certain day or have to go to work. This can greatly facilitate your discussion of plans in Japanese!

 

Kanji

Hiragana

Kanji

にちようび

日曜日

げつようび

月曜日

かようび

火曜日

すいようび

水曜日

もくようび

木曜日

きんようび

金曜日

どようび

土曜日

いちがつ

一月

にがつ

二月

さんがつ

三月

しがつ

四月

ごがつ

五月

ろくがつ

六月

しちがつ

七月

はちがつ

八月

くがつ

九月

じゅうがつ

十月

じゅういちがつ

十一月

じゅうにがつ

十二月

 

Practice

1.      Translate the following from Japanese to English.

a.      八月                           

b.      二月

c.       五月   

d.      十月

e.      一月

f.        十一月

g.      三月

h.      九月

i.        七月               

j.        四月

k.       十二月

l.        六月

m.    土曜日

n.      水曜日

o.      月曜日

p.      日曜日

q.      金曜日

r.       木曜日

s.       火曜日

2.      Translate the short conversations from Japanese to English.

a.      いっしょにえいがをみましょうか。

はい、みましょう。いつですか。
木曜日はどうですか。
木曜日はちょっと。
じゃ、土曜日はどうですか。
土曜日はいいです。

b.      月曜日になにをしましたか。
にほんごをべんきょうしました。

c.       いっしょにばんごはんをたべましょう。
日曜日はどうですか。
日曜日はいいです。

3.      Translate the following from English to Japanese.

a.      Let’s study Japanese together. How is Wednesday?

b.      Wednesday is not a good day.

c.       How is Thursday?

d.      Thursday is good.

e.      I went to my part time job on Saturday.

f.        I went to class on Monday.

g.      What did you do yesterday?

Answer Key

1.      August

February

May

October

January

November

March

September

July

April

December

June

Saturday

Wednesday

Monday

Sunday

Friday

Thursday

Tuesday

2.      Should we go see a movie together?

Yes, we should. When?

How is Thursday?

Thursday is a little...

Then, how is Saturday?

Saturday is good.

 

What did you do on Monday?

I studied Japanese.

 

Let’s eat dinner together.

How is Sunday?

Sunday is good.

3.      いっしょににほんごをべんきょうしましょう。水曜日はどうですか。

水曜日はちょっと。

木曜日はどうですか。

木曜日はいいです。

土曜日にアルバイトにいきました。

月曜日にクラスにいきました。

きのうなにをしましたか。

                                                                                                                                                                                  

Lesson 07 - Talking About Yourself

Introduction

 

In the previous lesson you learned about Japanese numbers. Now it is time to start synthesizing some of the material you have learned so far. This lesson will teach you how to talk about yourself! In future lessons, we will continue to fit the pieces together to form sentences and conversations about people, places, and things. As you continue working through these lessons, try to let them build upon one another and remember to backtrack if you need to review! It is better to review the lessons bit by bit as you progress instead of trying to memorize them all immediately! Work towards not having to look up things you have previously learned, but don’t be too hard on yourself!

 

Vocabulary

 

The vocabulary in the table below will help you talk about yourself in Japanese. Some of this vocabulary you will already know, but it is placed here for you to review. Study this vocabulary list (as well as how to write the word in Japanese). Make flash cards if you need to! If you are from a country that is not listed in the table below, you can look it up in a Japanese dictionary or online!

 

English

Japanese

I

わたし

To be

です

To come from

くる

Where

どこ

___ years old

____さい

America

アメリカ

Canada

カナダ

Australia

オーストラリア

England

イギリス

Japan

にっぽん

China

ちゅうごく

Korea

かんこく

Russia

ロシア

Student

がくせい

Freshman

いちねんせい

Sophomore

にねんせい

Junior

さんねんせい

Senior

よねんせい

College student

だいがくせい

High school student

こうこうせい

Major (in college)

せんもん

History

れきしがく

Literature

べんがく

English

えいご

Japanese

にほんご

Science

かがく

Politics

せいじ

Asian studies

アジアけんきゅう

Part time job

アルバイト

Job

しごと

Professor/teacher

せんせい

College

だいがく

 


This vocabulary list is not meant to be exhaustive; it is only here to get you acclimated to talking about yourself in Japanese. If you need additional words to talk about yourself (such as different types of jobs or other majors in college), please look the appropriate words up in your Japanese dictionary or online dictionary! Make a list of the words that are relevant to you. This will help you better understand how to convey yourself to someone in Japanese.

 

For more information about how to tell someone your age, please refer back to Lesson 6 on Japanese Numbers. There is a section in this lesson that will tell you how to figure out your age.

 

Grammar and Sentence Structure

 

For this section, there are not any new forms to learn. In order to talk about yourself, you can use grammar institutions and sentence structures that you previously learned.

 

The biggest new part of this lesson is telling someone where you come from, what you are studying in school, and possibly where/if you work. Take a look at the structures below to see how to do this. These structures should be familiar to you (they are similar to past structures, just with new words)!

 

Where are you from? = どこからきましたか。

 

Notice that くる is conjugated into the past affirmative tense. To reply, you would say:

 

______ からきました。This means “I am from_____.” Fill in the appropriate country!

 

If you are in college, one might ask you: せんもんはなんですか。This means “What is your major?”

 

You can answer in this format: せんもんは______ です. Fill the blank in with your major.

 

Someone may also ask you what year you are in college. This is translated as “なんねんせいですか。” You can then answer with the appropriate year, such as さんねんせいです。(I am a junior).

 

If you aren’t in school, you can say がくせいでわありません. しごとがあります。This means you are not a student but you have a job. Then someone may ask you what that job is. (Check your dictionary for your job title or look it up online!)

 

Verb conjugations

 

It is useful to know how to negate です for this lesson.

 

です is the present affirmative form. If you want to make it negative, it does not follow a set pattern like and verbs do. You must change the です to でわ and add ありません. This is the formal way to conjugate です into the present negative. You can also use the more casual じゃないよ in place of でわありません.

 

For example: I am not a college student. I am a high school student.

 

わたしはだいがくせいでわありません. (わたしはだいがくせいじゃないよ).

 

こうこうせいです.

 

You can use the negative form of です for many other sentences as well! Choose でわありませんfor more formal conversations.

 

Kanji

 

Hiragana

Kanji

わたし

くる

来る

がくせい

学生

だいがくせい

大学生

だいがく

大学

にっぽん

日本

えいご

英語

 

 

 

Practice

 

1.      Answer the following questions about yourself. (There are no specific answers for this since everyone’s answers will differ!)

 

a.      どこから来ましたか。

 

b.      大学生ですか。せんもんはなんですか。

 

c.       なんねんせいですか。(If applicable).

 

d.      しごとはなんですか。(If applicable).

 

e.      なんさいですか。

 

2.      Translate the following from Japanese to English.

 

a.      私は大学生です。よねんせいです。せんもんはれきしがくです。

 

b.      かんこくから来ました。

 

c.       こうこうせいじゃないよ。私は大学生です。

 

d.      学生でわありません。しごとがあります。

 

Answer Key

 

2.  a. I am a college student. I’m a senior. My major is history.

 

b. I’m from Korea.

 

c. I’m not a high school student. I am a college student.

 

d. I’m not a student. I have a job.

 

 

Lesson 06 - Numbers

Introduction

 

In this lesson, you will learn how to count from 0 to 100 in Japanese! You will also learn how to write numbers in Japanese kanji.

 

Many Japanese people use the Arabic numbers for writing information such as prices, dates, ages, and more. Even if you write the numbers in the Arabic style, you still need to know how to read them in Japanese. It is also good practice to write out the Japanese numbers; not all Japanese people will write in Arabic numerals. If you should ever visit Japan, you should not expect all numbers to be written in Arabic numerals.

 

*Tip: A good way to practice numbers in Japanese is to remember to count in Japanese every time you must count something!

 

Vocabulary

 

This table contains the numbers 0 through 10. Focus on these first, and then move on to the next set.

 

Arabic Numeral

Japanese (Hiragana only)

0

ゼロ(note: this is katakana only)

1

いち

2

3

さん

4

よん

5

6

ろく

7

なな

8

はち

9

きゅう

10

じゅう

 

 

 

Once you have the basic numbers down, it’s time to learn how to count higher. In order to make numbers 11 through 19, you must combine the word for 10 and the word for the second digit. The word for 10 will go first. Check the chart below!

 

Arabic Numeral

Japanese (Hiragana only)

11

じゅういち

12

じゅうに

13

じゅうさん

14

じゅうよん

15

じゅうご

16

じゅうろく

17

じゅうなな

18

じゅうはち

19

じゅうきゅう

 

 

 

Now, when you get to numbers 20 through 99, you must place the Japanese word for the left digit first, then the Japanese word for 10, and finally the right digit of the number. See the chart below for 20-29. The rest of the numbers, through 99, work like this. The Japanese word for 100 is ひゃく.

 

Arabic Numeral

Japanese

20

にじゅう

21

にじゅういち

22

にじゅうに

23

にじゅうさん

24

にじゅうよん

25

にじゅうご

26

にじゅうろく

27

にじゅうなな

28

にじゅうはち

29

にじゅうきゅう

 

 

 

Grammar and Sentence Structure

 

There are many ways for you to use numbers in Japanese. For now, we will learn how to tell your age and phone number. We will learn other things like dates and times in later lessons!

 

In order to tell someone your age, you must pick the correct number and add さいto it. Then you must place it in the correct sentence format. If you are, for example, 35 years old, you would say わたしはさんじゅうごです. The only exception to this format is if you are 20 years old. Instead of saying わたしはにじゅうさいです, you must say わたしははたちです。This is because age 20 is a special age in Japan. It is kind of like turning 21 in the United States—it’s like the “coming of age” age.

 

If you want to ask someone how old he or she is, you can say なんさいですか.

 

Now let’s move on to phone numbers. To ask someone for his or her phone number, you can say でんわばんごうはなんばんですか.

 

If you are giving a phone number, you must read off each digit individually. Where there would be a dash, you should say . Here is an example:

 

555-398-5849 = ごごごのさんきゅうはちのごはちよんきゅう

 

When asking someone for a phone number, you should repeat the number back to them and add ですかto the end of it. Then he or she can confirm whether or not you have the correct number.

 

Kanji

 

Below in the chart is the kanji for numbers 1 through 10. 100 is also added at the end. These kanji are the only ones you will need to write all of the numbers listed above!

 

Arabic Numeral

Kanji

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

100

 

 

 

Practice

 

1.       Translate the following conversation into Japanese. Be sure to write out all numbers in Japanese!

 

A: What is your phone number?

 

B: It’s 894-4367-8234.

 

A: 894-4367-8234?

 

B: Yes.

 

2.       Write out all of the kanji you learned. It is also good to write some numbers that aren’t in the kanji chart. This way, you are learning how to put the different number kanji together.

 

3.       Translate the following conversation into English.

 

A: なんさいですか。

 

B: わたしははたちさいです。あなたはなんさいですか。

 

A:わたしは二十二さいです。

 

 

 

Answer Key

 

1.       A: でんわばんごうはなんばんですか。

 

B: 八九四の四三六七の八二三四です。

 

A: 八九四の四三六七の八二三四ですか。

 

B: はい。

 

 

 

3. A: How old are you?

 

    B: I am 20 years old. How old are you?

 

    A: I am 22 years old. 

 

Lesson 05 - Past Tense Verbs

Introduction

 

In one of the previous lessons, you learned ten basic Japanese verbs and how to conjugate them into present tense. Now we will take those same ten verbs and learn how to conjugate them in the past affirmative and past negative forms.

 

Past tense verbs are actually fairly easy to conjugate, especially if you already know if the verb is a verb or a verb and what it means. Once you become familiar with a verb, you will be able to remember the conjugations without much effort.

 

Vocabulary

 

You should already know what these verbs mean in English. If you don’t remember, go back a couple of lessons and practice some more!

 

Dictionary Form

Past Affirmative

Past Negative

みる

みました

みませんでした

たべる

たべました

たべませんでした

ねる

ねました

ねませんでした

する

しました

しませんでした

くる

きました

きませんでした

かえる

かえりました

かえりませんでした

いく

いきました

いきませんでした

かう

かいました

かいませんでした

かく

かきました

かきませんでした

きく

ききました

ききませんでした

 

 

 

Grammar

 

You must use particles in the same way that you would for present tense verbs. The grammatical structure does not change!

 

Sentence Structure

 

You will still use the same types of sentence structures that you used when you were learning present tense verbs. Remember that the particle will come before the noun.

 

In the chart above, there is no past tense example for X Y です. There is, however, a past tense and past tense negative form of です. The past tense of です is でした. In order to negate this verb, you must say じゃありません. This is the present tense form. If you wish to negate です (meaning, you wish to say something isn’t something else, or wasn’t something else), then you need to say じゃありませんでした。

 

For example, take the sentence わたしはがくせいです(I am a student). If you want to say “I am not a student,” you would say わたしはがくせいじゃありません. If you wanted to say you were a student, meaning you are no longer a student, you would say わたしはがくせいでした. If you wish to say you were not a student, you would say わたしはがくせいじゃありませんでした.

 

Verb Conjugations

 

As you can see from the chart above, conjugating for past tense verbs is similar across the board. For the past affirmative form, you must change the ます ending to ました. This is what makes the verb past tense. Anytime you see an ending on a verb that is ました, interpret that as something that happened in the past.

 

To get the past tense negative form, take the ません form of the verb and simply add on でした to the end of it. This should always let you know that the verb is being negated and in the past tense. 

 

Kanji

 

Below are the same kanji from the previous verb lesson. This time, see if you can translate them into English without checking the previous lesson! Practice writing them a few times as well. The answers are in the answer key at the bottom of the lesson.

 

買う

 

帰る

 

見る

 

寝る

 

食べる               

 

行く

 

書く

 

聞く

 

 

 

Practice

 

1. Conjugate each verb you learned. Use kanji where appropriate. Conjugate into both the past affirmative and the past negative. Check your answers by looking back through the lesson!

 

2. Translate the following sentences into English. If you are not sure of a word, look it up in a Japanese dictionary.

 

1.       きのうえいがをみました。

 

2.       きょうがっこうにいきません。

 

3.       てがみをかきませんでした。

 

4.       にほんごのクラスでにほんごをべんきょうしました。

 

5.       ばんごはんをたべませんでした。

 

6.       わたしはせんせいじゃありません。

 

7.       にほんにいきました。

 

8.       うちでおんがくをききませんでした。

 

9.       としょかんでにほんごをべんきょうしました。

 

10.   いっしょにレストランでばんごはんをたべませんか。

 

 

 

Answer Key

 

1.       To buy

 

2.       To return

 

3.       To watch/look/see

 

4.       To sleep

 

5.       To eat

 

6.       To go

 

7.       To write

 

8.       To hear

 

 

 

1.       I watched a movie yesterday.

 

2.       I’m not going to school today.

 

3.       I didn’t write a letter.

 

4.       I studied Japanese in Japanese class.

 

5.       I didn’t eat dinner.

 

6.       I am not a teacher.

 

7.       I went to Japan.

 

8.       I didn’t listen to music at home.

 

9.       I studied Japanese at the library.

 

10.   Would you like to eat dinner at a restaurant with me?

 

 

 

Lesson 04 - Questions, Invitations, and Shou Form

Introduction

 

Let’s take a short break from the verbs by learning about some additional ways to use verbs. This lesson will teach you how to manipulate verbs so that you can ask questions or invite someone to do something. Also in this lesson is the SHOU form of verbs.

 

Vocabulary

 

Japanese

English

ちょっと。。。

It’s a little inconvenient for me.

いいですね

Sounds great!

テレビ

TV

おんがく

Music

にほんご

Japanese language

えいご

English language

ゲーム

Game

ほん

Book

スポーツ

Sports

えいが

Movie

テニス

Tennis

べんきょうする

To study (dictionary form)

よむ

To read (dictionary form, U verb)

おげんきですか。

How are you?

のむ

To drink (dictionary form, U verb)

きっさてん

Coffee shop

なん/なに

What

いっしょに

Together

なんで

Why

ばんごはん

dinner

 

 

 

Grammar

 

The question particle is needed in order for you to ask a question. The only other way to ask a question is when you are speaking—you can raise the tone of the ending of the sentence when you speak to someone in person. This makes it sound like you are asking a question instead of telling someone something. In writing, and for more formal conversations, you should use the particle .

 

will always go at the end of the sentence. Look at the example below.

 

テレビをみます.

 

This sentence is a statement. The subject is implied. For this sentence, we will assume the subject is “I.” So the sentence means “I watch TV” or “I am watching TV.” It can also mean “I will watch TV” since there are no future tenses in Japanese.

 

Now, you can make this sentence a question just by sticking on the end. (If we do this, we will have to assume the subject is someone else, since you can’t say “I am watching TV?”) If we assume the subject is a person to whom you are speaking, you can say テレビをみますか. Now you are asking the person if he or she is watching TV.

 

Verb Conjugations

 

ませんか form

 

This verb form is what you should use if you are trying to invite someone to do something. For example, say you want to invite your friend to go to a restaurant with you. You would say this: いっしょにレストランにいきませんか。This means something like “Will you go to a restaurant with me?” Even though this form uses the negative form ません, because it has the question particle , it is understood that this is an invitation.

 

You can answer an invitation with phrases such as いいですね (Sounds great!) or ちょっと… (It’s kind of inconvenient for me).

 

ましょう and ましょうか form

 

These forms are used to suggest an activity. Instead of ending your verbs with ます, end with ましょう. If you rather ask it as a question, add ましょうか. For example, you can say ゲームをしましょう. This means “Let’s play a game.” You could also say ゲームをしましょうか. This means “Should we play a game?” Each conjugation is a form of suggestion.

 

Kanji

 

Below are some kanji that are relevant to this lesson. Practice writing them!

 

*Tip: Flashcards are great for helping you learn new kanji symbols or Japanese vocabulary! You can make them by hand or online!

 

映画                     えいが

 

英語                     えいご

 

日本語                                にほんご

 

                           ほん                    

 

音楽                     おんがく

 

勉強する           べんきょうする

 

読む                     よむ

 

飲む                     のむ

 

喫茶店                                きっさてん

 

                           なん/なに

 

 

 

Practice

 

Try to translate the following conversations into English. Use the vocabulary you have learned from all of the lessons!

 

Conversation 1:

 

A: こんばんは。おげんきですか。

 

B: こんばんは。はい、げんきです。げんきですか。

 

A: はい。レストランにいきませんか。

 

B: はい、いきましょう。

 


Conversation 2:

 

A: なにをしますか。

 

B: おんがくをききます。なんで。

 

A: いっしょにばんごはんをたべませんか。

 

B: はい、たべましょう。

 


Conversation 3:

 

A: なにをしましょうか。

 

B: テニスをしましょうか。

 

A: はい、しましょう。

 

 

 

Make five sentences by using the vocabulary and verbs you have learned so far. Make at least one of the sentences a ませんかform and at least one of them a ましょう form. The others should be normal questions and statements.

 

 

 

Answer Key:

 

Conversation 1:
A: Good evening. How are you?

 

B: Good evening. I am fine. How are you?

 

A: I am well. Would you like to go to a restaurant with me?

 

B: Yes, let’s go.

 


Conversation 2:
A: What are you doing?

 

B: Listing to music. Why?

 

A: Would you like to eat dinner with me?

 

B: Yes, let’s eat together.

 


Conversation 3:
A: What should we do?

 

B: Should we play tennis?

 

A: Yes, let’s play. 

 

Lesson 03 - Present Tense Verbs

Introduction

 

In the previous lesson, you were taught the basics of Japanese. Now it is important that you learn how to conjugate Japanese verbs. Verbs are a very important part of Japanese, especially since some sentences can be made up entirely of verbs! This can happen in many languages, but in Japanese, it is very common (more common than in English). 

 

First we will learn how to conjugate verbs in the present tense (both affirmative and negative conjugations).

 

Vocabulary

 

In the chart below, you will find ten basic, common verbs that you will need to learn. Study the chart before moving on.

 

Japanese

English

みる

To watch/see/look

たべる

To eat

ねる

To sleep

する

To do

くる

To come

かえる

To return

いく

To go

かう

To buy

かく

To write

きく

To listen/hear

 

 

 

Grammar

 

In order to use some verbs correctly, you must use particles. Particles will mark the object of the sentence. For now, we will focus on the particles , , and . You should use when you use the verbsみる, たべる, する, かう, かく, and きく. is used when the verbs いく, かえる, and くるare used. can be used with multiple verbs, but it is for when you want to say you did something at a specific location. You will see this particle used more later. Some verbs, such as ねる, don’t need particles.

 

Sentence Structure

 

Let’s look at the basic sentence structure again: X Y です. Now that you are learning verbs, you can replace the です in this basic sentence with whichever verb is relevant. You must conjugate the verb, but then you can plug it into this sentence and add the necessary particles in order to make a coherent sentence. Whichever particle corresponds to the verb you are using should appear before the verb in the sentence. In most cases, it should go after the object and before the verb.

 

Verb Conjugations

 

When conjugating verbs, it is important to know that there are three types of verbs: verbs, verbs, and irregular verbs. The explanations below will describe how to conjugate each type of verb into the present affirmative and present negative types.

 

To conjugate a verb, you must first remove the from the dictionary form of the verb. After this, you add ます for the present affirmative. If you want to make the verb negative, you would add ません after removing the instead of adding ます.

 

The verbs in the chart above are: みる, たべる, and ねる. Each is conjugated in the table below.

 

Dictionary Form

Present Affirmative

Present Negative

みる

みます

みません

たべる

たべます

たべません

ねる

ねます

ねません

 

 

 

To conjugate a verb, you must look at the last syllable. Change that last syllable to the syllable with the same consonant but “i” as the vowel. If there is no consonant, change it to “i” like this:  changes to and changes to . Some verbs can actually end in , so they can look like verbs. You must be careful with this! Each time you learn a new verb, learn whether or not it is a verb or a verb. You should also look at a conjugation table, just so you can get used to thinking of how to conjugate that verb.

 

After you change the syllable, add ます or ません appropriately.

 

The verbs in the chart above are: かえる, いく, かう, かく, and きく. Each in conjugated in the table below.

 

Dictionary Form

Present Affirmative

Present Negative

かえる

かえります

かえりません

いく

いきます

いきません

かう

かいます

かいません

かく

かきます

かきません

きく

ききます

ききません

 

 

 

Next are the irregular verbs. These two verbs are called irregular because they don’t follow either pattern for conjugation. The two verbs are する and くる. Any verb that ends in する will conjugate as if it were just する (there are longer verbs that end in する, such as べんきょうする). Look at the table below and memorize their forms.

 

Dictionary Form

Present Affirmative

Present Negative

する

します

しません

くる

きます

きません

 

 

 

Study the above charts and you will be well on your way to using Japanese verbs!

 

Kanji

 

Below are the kanji for the verbs you learned above. Each verb has been Romanized so that you can tell which symbols were replaced by the kanji. Practice these by writing them over and over again until you have mastered them!

 

買うkau

 

帰るkaeru

 

見るmiru

 

寝るneru

 

食べる                taberu

 

行くiku

 

書くkaku

 

聞くkiku

 

 

 

Practice—Conjugate each verb you learned. Use kanji where appropriate. Conjugate into both the present affirmative and the present negative. Check your answers by looking back through the lesson!

 

*Tip: It may be easiest to practice writing kanji on grid paper. As you get more comfortable with it, you can make the symbols smaller. Sometimes writing the kanji much bigger than you would normally write is easier. Some kanji have many strokes, so it helps to learn like this.

Lesson 02 - Basics

Introduction

 

The last lesson introduced you to learning Japanese as well as taught you how to write hiragana and katakana. From now on, you will need to be able to read hiragana and katakana. There may be some occasions where words and sentences are Romanized for you, especially in these first few lessons. However, you will have a much easier time learning Japanese if you learn the alphabets now! If you still do not feel comfortable with hiragana and katakana, go back to lesson 1 and keep practicing. You can also find additional practice online by looking for hiragana and katakana worksheets. You can also find these in workbook form in bookstores. When you are ready, move on to this lesson where you will learn the basics of Japanese!

 

Each lesson will have five sections (sometimes less if a certain section is not relevant to that particular lesson). This will ensure you are getting a well-rounded lesson. The five sections will usually be vocabulary, sentence structure, grammar, verb conjugations, and kanji. Some lessons may have homework and answer key sections attached to the end.

 

Let’s get started!

 

Vocabulary

 

In the table below, you will find some of the most basic Japanese words. Study the table before you move on to the rest of the lesson!

 

Japanese

English

わたし

I (gender neutral, most common form)

ぼく

I (males only)

おれ

I (males only)

Subject particle marker

です

“to be”

はい

Yes

いいえ

No

こんにちは

Good afternoon/hello

こんばんは

Good evening

おはようございます

Good morning

おやすみなさい

Good night

じゃあまた  じゃね

See you later/See you

さようなら

Goodbye (said if parting for a longer period of time)

ごめんなさい

I’m sorry.

すみません

Excuse me/I’m sorry.

はじめまして

How do you do?

どうぞよろしく

Let’s be friends/treat each other well. (Said after introducing yourself).

おねがいします

Please

ありがとうございます

Thank you.

どういたしまして

You’re welcome.

 

 

 

Sentence Structure

 

The first sentence structure you will usually learn in Japanese is the X Y です form. This is the most basic of sentences and can be used to say many things. As you learn more and more sentence forms, you will see how they all build off of this basic one.

 

X Y です means “X is Y.” X is always the subject of the sentence in this form.

 

Using the vocabulary above, we can form an X Y です sentence. The easiest one to form is this one: わたしは_です. This means “I am __.” Where the blank is, you could fill in any number of things, but for now you should just fill in your name. You can even choose a Japanese name to go by for when you are practicing Japanese if you want!

 

Grammar

 

The first type of grammar we will focus on is particles. The very first of those particles is . This particle is used to mark the subject of the sentence. This means that the particle will come after whatever the subject is in the sentence. There are other uses for , but for now just remember this one.

 

It is important to note that , when it is used as a subject particle and used to write the words こんばんは and こんにちは, is actually pronounced as “wa” and not “ha.” Also, the verb です looks like it would be pronounced “desu,” but it is in fact pronounced “dess.” These are two rules that don’t really have reasons, so you just have to memorize them!

 

One additional grammar point to remember is that Japanese is “backwards” from English. In regards to how sentences are grammatically structured, English is in SVO order (subject, verb, object) and Japanese is in SOV form (subject, object, verb). In English, one would say “I am 20 years old.” In Japanese, you would have to literally say “I 20 years old am.” This form is correct in Japanese, so don’t feel like you’re saying something wrong! It is weird to begin with for native English speakers, but it just takes some getting used to.

 

Verb Conjugations

 

Since there has not been a lesson on verbs yet, the only verb we will learn in this section is です. The conjugations for です do not follow the same patterns as most verbs do.

 

The dictionary form of the verb です is. This form can be used, but it is usually only used when speaking very informally to someone. You can add to the end of and make it more polite, but with the majority of people you speak to, you should say です. です is the present form of the verb. The past tense form is でした.

 

Kanji

 

It is best to start learning kanji sooner rather than later! You should start now—there are not many kanji relevant to this lesson, but you should still study the ones below. Get used to writing them. It helps to practice on grid paper! You can also find and print worksheets from different websites online.

 

The left side of this chart shows the kanji symbols in context. Kanji symbols don’t have to stand for an entire word, so in some of the phrases below, only a few symbols are replaced by kanji. The right column shows the hiragana version of the word so you can see what has been replaced by kanji.

 

わたし

お休みなさい

おやすみなさい

おれ

ぼく

お願いします

おねがいします

ご免なさい

ごめんなさい

 

 

 

Example of how to introduce yourself:

 

はじめまして。わたしはみうらちなつです。どうぞよろしく。

 

For the middle sentence, you would replace the name みうらちなつwith your own name.

 

Remember to go over this lesson a couple of times until you feel comfortable with the information. Don’t move on until you’re comfortable!

 

 

Lesson 01 - Introduction to Japanese

 

Introduction & Learning Tips

So you have decided to learn Japanese. Congratulations on your decision and upcoming commitment to the language!

Many people will probably tell you that Japanese is a very difficult language to learn, especially if your first language is not an East Asian language. Although learning Japanese, or any language, may seem like a daunting task at first, rest assured that you can succeed! All you need to do is put in some time and effort, and you too can learn to speak Japanese!

Before you begin learning Japanese, you should ask yourself a couple of questions. First, why are you learning the language? Are you learning for business? For your degree or career? Just for fun? Determining your reasons for learning Japanese is important—this will help you determine how serious of a student you must become! You need to decide how much time you wish to devote to studying Japanese. While learning Japanese gets easier with practice, it will always take a lot of time! Learning a language can be a difficult routine to maintain. So make sure you are sure of why you want to learn and how important it is to you.

Next, you should decide how much time you wish to spend learning Japanese. It is a good idea to make a schedule for learning. For example, if you are learning in order to reach fluency, you should probably study Japanese almost every day, for at least half an hour or an hour. Doing this will keep what you have learned fresh in your mind. If you do not have a lot of time or are learning just for fun, you could set aside a specific day of the week for studying.

After you are clear on your reasons, goals, and time management, you can start learning Japanese! Keep in mind that there are several components to learning to speak Japanese:

  1. Vocabulary
  2. Grammar
  3. Sentence structure
  4. Verb conjugations
  5. Hiragana and katakana
  6. Kanji

You will need to study each of these components alongside one another in order to get the most out of your learning Japanese experience. Not every lesson will have each of these components; however, the components that are relevant will be discussed. Even if you study outside of the lessons on this website, you should still try to balance your learning by incorporating all of the components above.

You are probably excited about learning Japanese! Even though you are ready to dive right in, you really should learn the alphabets first! This will ease you into the language and help you with your future studies. Struggling through lessons when you do not properly know both alphabets will just make things unnecessarily hard on you.

First off, you should understand that Japanese has three writing systems. They are the kana alphabets and kanji. Kana alphabets are divided into hiragana and katakana. Hiragana symbols each stand for a syllable in Japanese. By putting these syllables together, you can form words. All Japanese words can be written in hiragana. Katakana, on the other hand, is used mostly to write “loan words.” Loan words are words that have been borrowed from other languages and absorbed into Japanese. Most of these loan words actually come from English.

Hiragana and katana are normally transcribed into Roman characters so that English speakers have an easier time learning Japanese. This type of writing is called romaji. Japanese people do not use romaji, it is only a tool for helping beginners get used to Japanese. You should use the romaji transliteration of the hiragana and katakana symbols while you are memorizing these symbols.

For now, just focus on memorizing hiragana and katakana. Save the kanji for later!

Look at the charts below. The first set deals with hiragana, and the second set deals with katakana. After you have memorized the charts, you can move on to the next lesson!

Hiragana

 

 

 

Katakana

 

 

 

 

*Note: If you see a small っ character (or ッin katakana), that means that you double the consonant that appears after the っ. Example: in がっこう, you would Romanize the symbols as “gakkou.”

You should practice writing each symbol until you have it memorized. Remember to practice by using the correct stroke orders!

Use the exercises below to practice as well!

Practice #1

Romanize the following Japanese words. Some of these are in hiragana and some are in katakana!

  1. おげんき
  2. こんにちは
  3. デパート
  4. くも
  5. アルバイト
  6. そら
  7. ゲーム
  8. テニス
  9. うち
  10. うどん
  11. いっしょに
  12. がっこう

Practice #2

Transliterate this romaji into hiragana!

  1. Watashi
  2. Konbanwa
  3. Hai
  4. Iie
  5. Arigatou
  6. Domo
  7. Gakkou
  8. Daigaku
  9. Inu
  10. Katana

Practice #3

Transliterate this romaji into katakana!

  1. Tesuto
  2. Supo-tsu
  3. Ko-hi-
  4. Ko-ra
  5. Amerika
  6. Igirisu
  7. Resutoran
  8. Pen
  9. Takushi-
  10. Konpyu-ta

 

Answer Key

Practice #1

  1. Ogenki
  2. Konnichiwa (*Note: the last syllable here doesn’t really Romanize as “wa,” but when はis used as a particle or in the words “konnichiwa” and “konbanwa,” it is pronounced as “wa” even though it is written as “ha” in Japanese).
  3. Depa-to (*Note: the line means you draw out the vowel sound!)
  4. Kumo
  5. Arubaito
  6. Sora
  7. Ge-mu
  8. Tenisu
  9. Uchi
  10. Udon
  11. Isshoni
  12. Gakkou

Practice #2

  1. わたし
  2. こんばんは
  3. はい
  4. いいえ
  5. ありがとう
  6. ども
  7. がっこう
  8. だいがく
  9. いぬ
  10. かたな

Practice #3

  1. テスト
  2. スポーツ
  3. コーヒー
  4. コーラ
  5. アメリカ
  6. イギリス
  7. レストラン
  8. ペン
  9. タクシー
  10. コンピュータ

 

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