Japanese I-8

Kanjis: 1st grade + JLPT N5; Additional kanjis for lessons 1-8:

わたし – I/me ぼく – I/me きみ – you

Sample Conversation

This is not a transcript of the dialog in the recording.

Two co-workers, Mr. Ueda and Mrs. Mori, are talking.


English
1: Mr. Ueda; 2: Mrs. Mori

1: Mrs. Mori, what are you going to do.
2: Later I’ll buy something.
1: Later, what are you going to buy?
2: uhm… coffee or juice.
1: Ah, is that so?
2: However, now I’m going to eat lunch.
    Won’t you eat with me?
1: Now? That’s fine. Where?
2: At the restaurant of the hotel?
1: Yes, thank you.


romaji
1: ueda shi; 2: mori fujin

1: mori san, nani wo shi-masu ka?
2: ato de nani-ka kai-masu.
1: ato de, nani wo kai-masu ka?
2: eeto… kouhee ka juusu.
1: aa. sou desu ka.
2: demo ima hiru-gohan wo tabemasu.
    watashi to tabe-masen ka?
1: ima? i-i desu ne. doko de?
2: hoteru no resutoran de?
1: hai, arigatou gozai-masu.



kana
1: うえだ し; 2: もり ふじん

1: もりさん、なにを しますか。
2: あとで なにか かいます。
1: あとで、なにを かいますか。
2: ええと…コーヒーか ジュース。
1: ああ、そうですか。
2: でも いま ひるごはんを たべます。
    もりさんは わたしと たべませんか。
1: いま?いい ですね。どこで?
2: ホテルの レストランで?
1: はい、ありがとう ございます。


kanji (show me)
1: 上田氏; 2: 森夫人

1: 森さん、何をしますか。
2: あとで何か買います。
1: あとで、何を買いますか。
2: ええと…コーヒーかジュース。
1: ああ、そうですか。
2: でも今昼ご飯を食べます。
    森さんは私と食べませんか。
1: いま?いいですね。どこで?
2: ホテルのレストランで?
1: はい、ありがとうございます。


Vocabulary


English
noon
cooked rice; meal
lunch (noon’s rice)

two
counter for bottles
two bottles

Mr., Mrs., Ms.
Tanaka
Sato

who?
with
with whom?

or
hotel

request
favor
do (me) the favor

to buy
masu (formal)
dict (casual)

to do
masu (formal)
dict (casual)


romaji
hiru
go-han
hiru-go-han

ni
hon
ni hon

san
tanaka
satou

dare
to
dare to

ka
hoteru

negai
o-negai
o-negai shi-masu

 
kai-masu
kau

 
shi-masu
suru


kana
ひる
ごはん
ひるごはん


ほん
にほん

さん
たなか
さとう

だれ

だれと


ホテル

ねがい
おねがい
おねがいします

 
かいます
かう

 
します
する


kanji

ご飯
昼ご飯



二本

 
田中
 

 
 
 

 
 

 
 
 

 
買います
買う

 
 
 


  • rice used to be so frequent in the Japanese diet that it became a synonymous for ‘meal’; breakfast, lunch, and dinner are ‘morning-rice’, ‘noon-rice’ and ‘evening-rice’.

Sample sentences

Eng: Are you going to drink beer or sake?

lit: You? Are you going to drink beer or sake?


formal
anata wa biiru ka o-sake wo nomi-masu ka?

あなたは ビールか おさけを のみますか。

あなたはビールかお酒を飲みますか。


casual
kimi… biiru ka o-sake nomu?

きみ ビールか おさけ のむ?

君ビールか酒飲む?



Eng: Are you going to drink something?
         What are you going to drink?


formal
nani-ka nomi-masu ka?
nani wo nomi-masu ka?

なにか のみますか。
なにを のみますか。

何か飲みますか。
何を飲みますか。


casual
nanka nomu?
nani nomu?

なんか のむ?
なに のむ?

なんか飲む?
何飲む?



Comments

The following comments explain some of the grammar in more detail.

Prefixes and suffixes

san – さん

‘san’ (さん) is an honorific for a person, equivalent to any of Mr., Mrs., Miss, and Ms.


English
Mr./Mrs. Tanaka
MIss/Ms. Sato


romaji
tanaka san
satou san


kana
たなかさん
さとうさん


kanji
田中さん


‘sama’ is a much more formal honorific than ‘san’, while ‘chan’ and ‘kun’ are more casual (see Japanese I-9-6).

hon – ほん, 本

‘hon’ (本) is the counter for things that are thin and long, e.g., bottles, pencils, straws, cigarettes, arrows, etc.

The counter sometimes changes from ‘hon’ to ‘bon’ or ‘ppon’, but the kanji remains 本:

romaji kana kanji
ippon いっぽん 一本
ni hon にほん 日本
san bon さんぼん 三本
yon hon よんぼん 四本
go hon ごほん 五本
roppon / roku hon ろっぽん・ろくほん 六本
nana hon ななほん 七本
happon / hachi hon はっぽん・はちほん 八本
kyuu hon きゅうほん 九本
juppon じゅっぽん 十本
hyappon ひゃっぽん 百本
nan bon なんぼん 何本
  • We can pronounce 六本 as either ろっぽん (roppon), or ろくほん (roku hon)
  • We can pronounce 八本 as either はっぽん (happon), or はちほん (hachi hon)

Particles

ka – か

‘ka’ (か) means ‘or’ for a list of objects, like ‘beer or sake’.


I’ll drink beer or sake.


biiru ka o-sake wo nomi-masu.


This means that I will only drink beer or sake, nothing else. However, there is the issue of how to offer beer or sake as examples of possible choices:


beer or sake? (nothing else)
beer? sake? (…or maybe something else?)


biiru ka o-sake?
biiru? o-sake?


In the second case, the choice is not given with an ‘or’ but instead we repeat the whole question with each choice:


Will you drink beer or sake? (nothing else)
Will you drink beer, or sake? (or maybe something else?)


biiru ka o-sake wo nomi-masu ka?
biiru wo nomi-masu ka? o-sake wo nomi-masu ka?


Or, we can simply add the option explicitly:


beer or sake or something else?
Will you drink beer, or sake, or something else?


biiru ka o-sake ka nani-ka?
biiru ka o-sake ka nani-ka nomi-masu ka?


to – と

と means ‘with’, or ‘in the company of’:


English
Won’t you eat with me?
I am going to drink with you.
I am going to converse with Ms. Tanaka.


romaji
watashi to tabe-masen ka?
anata to nomi-masu.
tanaka san to hanashi-masu.


Although the translation of ‘Tanaka san to hanashi-masu’ is ‘I’m going to converse with Mr. Tanaka’, in English we would normally say ‘I am going to talk to Mr. Tanaka’.

Verbs

suru – する

‘suru’ (to do) is one of the two Japanese irregular verbs; the other one is ‘kuru’ (to go). The non-past conjugations of ‘suru’ are:


suru
non-past


formal
shi-masu


casual
suru


For example,


what are you going to do?
formal
casual


nani wo shi-masu ka?
nani suru?


‘suru’ is also the verb used in a very similar and common expression:


what are you doing?
formal
casual


nani wo shite imasu ka?
nani shite iru no?


‘shi-masu’ is useful to turn nouns into verbs (let’s alternate formal and casual forms):


noun
tennis
job

dishes
telephone


romaji
tenisu
shigoto

ryouri
denwa


verb
to play tennis
to work

to cook
to telephone


romaji
tenisu wo shi-masu
shigoto suru

ryouri wo shi-masu
denwa suru


In the United States some people say ‘Let’s do lunch’ instead of ‘let’s have lunch’; the idea is the same: the examples above are something like ‘do the job’, ‘do tennis’, ‘do cooking’ and ‘do phone’.

We can remove the ‘wo’ particle without changing the meaning of the sentence [livinglanguage]. The following verbs mean exactly the same:


verb
to play tennis
to work

to cook
to telephone


with wo
tenisu wo shi-masu
shigoto wo shi-masu

ryouri wo shi-masu
denwa wo shi-masu


without wo
tenisu shi-masu
shigoto shi-masu

ryouri shi-masu
denwa shi-masu


However, while most particles can appear many times in a sentence:


I am going to drink your Japanese beer
I eat sushi with chopsticks at the restaurant
I’m going to buy beer for you at 10:00 o’clock


anata no ni-hon no biiru wo nomi-masu
hashi de resutoran de sushi wo tabe-masu
anata ni juu ji ni biiru wo kai-masu


there can only be one ‘wo’ per sentence because there can only be one direct object per sentence. Thus, if our sentence uses a ‘… wo shimasu’ verb and has a direct object, then we have to remove the ‘wo’ from the verb and use instead ‘… shimasu’:


no direct object
I eat at home
I cook at home

direct object
I eat sushi at home
I cook sushi at home


‘… suru’ verb form
uchi de taberu
uchi de ryori suru

 
uchi de sushi wo taberu
uchi de sushi wo ryori suru


‘… wo suru’ verb form
N/A
uchi de ryori wo suru

 
N/A
uchi de sushi wo ryori wo suru


So ‘uchi de ryori suru’ and ‘uchi de ryori wo suru’ mean exactly the same thing, but when we add the direct object ‘sushi’ we can only use ‘uchi de sushi wo ryori suru’, to keep a single ‘wo’ in the sentence.