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In this unit, you will learn how to make sentences using noun predicates.
Try It[edit | edit source]
Duration: 2 minutes
Say the following sentences in Japanese by simply adding desu です to each word in parentheses. Then do the same in informal Japanese by adding da だ to each word.
- I am Japanese. (
- That is a box. (
- This is a book. (
- You are a genius. (
- He is a friend. (
- We are students. (
- They are doctors. (
- Those are donuts. (ドーナツ doonatsu)
- These are chestnuts. (
- She is a police officer. (
- It is Monday. (
- I'll have coffee. (コーヒー koohii)
- There's a car. (
Note: Using da だ to end your sentences can convey a somewhat masculine tone. Often women will drop the da だ entirely in informal speech, so that the noun itself becomes the predicate.
Watch and Listen[edit | edit source]
Duration: 2 minutes
Listen to the following conversation while reading along and see how much you understand.
Japanese with Furigana[edit | edit source]
幸一: はじめまして。 松井 幸一です。 智子: 野口 智子です。よろしくお 願いします。 幸一: よろしくお 願いします。 学生さんですか？ 智子: はい、そうです。 四 年生です。 幸一さんは？ 幸一: 三 年生です。
English Translation[edit | edit source]
- Kouichi: Pleased to meet you. I'm Kouichi Matsui.
- Tomoko: I'm Tomoko Noguchi. I hope everything goes well.
- Kouichi: I hope everything goes well. Are you a student?
- Tomoko: Yes, I am. I'm Grade 4. And you, Kouichi?
- Kouichi: I'm Grade 3.
Explain[edit | edit source]
Duration: 5 minutes
Predicates[edit | edit source]
English Predicates[edit | edit source]
In English, we learn that a sentence consists of a subject and a predicate. The predicate of a sentence indicates what the subject is, what the subject does, or what happens to the subject. For example, in the English sentence:
- John is a baseball player.
The subject is "John", and the predicate is "is a baseball player". The sentence is about John, but it states that John is something, namely he "is a baseball player." In English, the predicate of a simple sentence starts with the verb and continues to the end of the sentence.
Japanese Predicates[edit | edit source]
In Japanese, a complete sentence must have a predicate, but the subject can be implied rather than stated, which is exactly the case more often than not. The Japanese equivalent of the above sentence would be (informal/formal ending):
- Jon wa yakyuu senshu da / desu.
However, if you were already talking about John, his name would not be mentioned again and the sentence would be shortened to:
- Yakyuu senshu da / desu.
In Japanese, when you want to form a predicate with a noun, the structure to use is:
|Type of speech||Japanese||Roomaji|
|Formal||NOUN です||NOUN desu|
|Informal||NOUN だ||NOUN da|
Vocabulary[edit | edit source]
The following lists contain nouns which may be useful in your study.
Practice[edit | edit source]
- Practice: Using formal speech, do the following exercises. Follow the links provided or ask the teacher for any necessary vocabulary.
- State your name.
- State your vocation.
- State your nationality by adding
人-jin to the name of your country.
- Point at three different objects, and state what they are.
- Suu desu.
- I am Sue.
- Daigakusei desu.
- I am a university student.
- Igirisu-jin desu.
- I'm from the U.K. (lit. I'm a British)
- いすです。 えんぴつです。 テレビです。
- Isu desu. Enpitsu desu. Terebi desu.
- That is a chair. That is a pencil. That is a TV.
- Practice: Repeat the previous exercise, this time using informal speech.
- Tomu da.
- I am Tom.
- Bengoshi da.
- I am a lawyer.
- Amerikajin da.
- I'm an American.
窓だ。 机だ。 木だ。
- Mado da. Tsukue da. Ki da.
- That is a window. That is a desk. That is a tree.
- Conversation: Have a conversation similar to the one in the Watch and Listen section with a neighbor, only substitute your own words in.
Discuss[edit | edit source]
Duration: 2 minutes
Please post any questions you may have here, and a contributor will answer them.
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