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  5. Japanese Lesson 41: Compound …


Japanese Lesson 41: Compound Sentences Part 2


Whenever: Itsudemo: いつだも: 何時でも

While: Aida: あいだ: 間

Or: Ka: か
Or: Matawa: または
Or: Soretomo: それとも

When: Itsu: いつ: 何時
When: toki (ni): とき (に): 時 (に)

That: Sore: それ (that over there)
That: Are: あれ (that over there)
NOTE: Japanese doesn't HAVE an actual conjunction version of "that". We'll be using "Dato" if anything.

If that's the case: Dato: だと


Japanese compound sentences are interesting, and there's two ways to go about most of them.

The first way is to try and keep them two separate sentences as best as possible and put in something to function as a conjunction. These are quite a bit different than the last lesson though... these words don't actually function as conjugations per-se. They're not connecting two FULL sentences together after all... which leads us to the second way to put these sentences together

And the second way I find much more fun and interesting. You wrench open your first sentence and shove your second sentence in the middle of that first sentence and tell the world to deal with it.

No really that's what you do.

EG: When I cook he eats.
Watashi ga ryouri suru toki, kare wa tabemasu.
Kare wa watashi ga ryouri suru toki, tabemasu.

The first sentence reads like the English one. The second one reads "He, when I cook, eats"

This act of putting sentence fragments in other sentences thing works for the majority of these "When/While/That" sentences but should NOT be employed when putting together two FULL sentences with "but" "and" or "because"

I wouldn't really call these compound sentences at all... these are more 1.5 sentences.

Anyway. When going the route of sticking sentences in other sentences the subject of your first sentence generally always gets the "wa" particle. And the subject of your second sentence gets the particle "ga"

EG: I drink when I want.
1) I drink (when) 2) I want
1) Watashi wa nomu. (toki) 2) watashi ga nomitai

Now put "toki" at the end of sentence 2

1) Watashi wa nomu 2) watashi ga nomitai

Now wrench open sentence 1 just after the particle "wa" and shove sentence two in.

Watashi wa watashi ga nomitai toki nomu.
Translation: I, when I want, drink.

The good news is, if you just can't quite get the hang of that most of these sentences can be set up both ways and be grammatically correct. So I'll try to give you guys both possible translations of each sentence. Don't worry if it doesn't click. These are still really hard for me too!


Yes or no?

Note: oh I almost forgot. "or" questions can be pretty interesting. So for these we can use the particle "ka" which in this sense, inbetween two options, can mean "or". ... or I suppose you can even still think of it as a question mark. EG: Yes? No? (hai ka iie ka?). I actually learned this method from Hellsing when Integra answers the phone and asks Alucard "Teki ka mikata ka?" ([are you] enemy or ally?)

Yes or no?
Hai ka iie ka.
はい か いいえ か。

I drink when I want.
Watashi wa watashi ga nomitai toki nomimasu.
わたし は わたし が のみたい とき のみます。

I drink when I want.
Watashi ga nomitai toki, watashi wa nomimasu.
わたし が のみたい とき、 わたし は のみます。
(lit: When I want to drink, I drink.)

You'll notice in this instance the 2nd sentence now comes first... so we have "watashi GA nomitai" and then "Watashi WA nomimasu".

Tea or coffee?
Koucha desu ka soretomo ko-hi- desu ka?
こうちゃ です か それとも コーヒー です か。
紅茶ですか、 それともコーヒーですか?

(you can also use "ocha" 「お茶」 instead of "koucha" 「紅茶」but they use "koucha")

Tea or coffee?
Ocha ka, ko-hi- ka?
おちゃ か、 コーヒー か。

It took me a long time to remember "soretomo" so I'd generally just use the above sentence.

He eats chicken or fish.
Kare wa niwatori niku ka sakana o tabemasu.
かれ は にわとり にく か さかな を たべます。

He eats chicken or fish.
Kare wa niwatori niku mataha sakana o tabemasu.
かれ は にわとり にく または さかな を たべます。

You know that I love dogs.
Anata wa watashi ga inu ga daisuki to shitteimasu.
あなた は わたし が いぬ が だいすき と しっています。
あなたは私が犬が大好きと知っています。 (Lit: You know I love dogs)

NOTE: You'll notice we're using "to" like we do with direct quotes in this instance. They use the word "that" in the duolingo example... but it's neither used nor needed. There is no Japanese conjugation form of the word "that".

You know that I love dogs.
Watashi wa inu ga daisuki dato, anata wa shitteimasu.
わたし は いぬ が だいすき だと あなた は しっています

When I cook he eats.
Kare wa watashi ga ryouri suru toki, tabemasu.
かれ は わたし が りょうり する とき、 たべます。

When I cook he eats.
Watashi ga ryouri suru toki, kare ha tabemasu.
わたし が りょうり する とき、 かれ は たべます。

When I write you write.
Watashi ga kaku toki, anata ha kakimasu.
わたし が かく とき、 あなた は かきます。

When I write you write.
Anata wa watashi ga kaku toki, kakimasu.
あなた は わたし が かく とき、 かきます。

They read when we read.
watashitachi ga yomu toki, kare wa yomimasu.
わたしたち が よむ とき、 かれ は よみます。

I read a book while I eat.
Watashi wa watashi ga taberu aida hon o yomimasu.
わたし は わたし が たべる あいだ ほん を よみます。

I tell her that I eat fish.
Watashi wa kanojo ni watashi ga sakana o taberu to iimasu.
わたし は かのじょ に わたし が さかな を たべる と いいます。

.......... sorry to leave you all with that mouthful.

So as usual, and definitely on this lesson, If you have anything to add, or if I made any mistakes, or... anything really. Please comment and let me know. :)

The next several lessons are more vocabulary and less grammar! So things will be easier for a while.

Until next time!!

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April 24, 2016



too much watashi makes it look like alien speech


He eats chicken or fish. Kare wa niwatori niku ka sakana o tabemasu. かれ は にわとり にく か さかな を たべます。 彼は鶏肉か魚を食べます。 にわとりにく ではなく とりにく です。

↑だとHe is chicken. He eats meet or fish. みたいな意味になります。

ちなみに 鶏卵 は けいらん です。材料を書くときに使います。 普通は卵←調理前 玉子←調理後 たまご タマゴ を使います。

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