1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Japanese
  4. >
  5. "四月一日から大学でつとめます。"


Translation:I will work at the university starting April first.

June 2, 2017



Too stringent. "I start working at a university on the first of April." is a valid interpretation.


Report it if it's not accepted.


It corrected my “First OF April” to just “First April”. Personally, that doesn’t sound right. [08-02-2018]


Same with me too. Is this correct in English? That really doesn't sound correct to me (not a native speaker).


both first of april and april first are correct.


"First April" isn't correct English when it's referring to the date of April 1st. "First, April" is fine, but that phrase isn't about the date of April 1st.

The date can be said and written in the following ways: April 1st/first, the 1st/first of April, and April the 1st/first.

I'd encourage anyone else who was corrected to "First April" to report that.


Definitely not. Either "first of April" or "April first" works, but now "first April".


It's correct in America. In Australia it's 'the first of April' or maybe (less common) "April the first", so your English is good. XD


A date would be written as "the 1st April" but you read/speak this phrase as "the 1st of April". The 'of' if dropped when written but still read/spoken. That is why it does not sound right. You would also not really write 'first' but 1st. 'First' doesn't look right.


Not where I come from - it's written out.


The first April means the first ever April - not 1st April/April 1st.


The spoken form of 四月一日 was really tripping me up when listening to the audio clip. In case it helps anyone else, 四月 is しがつ and 一日 is ついたち.


I dont know why people were downvoting you for helping, when multiple peope, like myself, had trouble catching exactly how 一日 was. Thank you!


Thanks, I was in the same "state"!


大学でつとめる is unnatural. Should be 大学に勤める




Can anyone explain to me how you know this is future tense? I get that ~ました is past tense compared to ます but I don't understand how Japanese distinguishes present/future tense. It probably doesn't help that the hint for でつとめ is "worked" rather than "[will] work". For that matter, how can you tell when the present particle "working" is used instead? Or is this just a weirdness of English that Japanese doesn't have.


The Japanese language does not have a real conjugation for a future tense. However, it has several ways to express expectations, desires, or guesses of future events. As far as I have seen from the course, most of them are beyond the scope of this Duolingo course (but it might be incorrect; I finished the tree rapidly with tests, skipping most of the sentences).

In this sentence, the verb つとめる means 'to work', 'to serve' etc. The hover should not regard でつとめ as a whole: it is 大学で + つとめ. This verb is 下一段動詞, whose conjugation is め・め・める・める・めれ・めよ --- this is to say, to use ます, just drop the る and say つとめます. (As I am checking it now, the hover hint is somehow corrected to exclude で. However, it explains つとめ per kana: つ as in 一つ・二つ, と as the conjunction 'and', め as the noun 'eye'. It is not correct at all and do not get confused. )

Shortly, there is no future tense in the verb form here.

The future tense is probably translated in the sense / context from this sentence. There is a prescribed / arranged date (1 April), and there is a new workplace (university). In such contexts the bare present tense can express the future plans.

However, if one is hired and working in a firm etc., a progressive form つとめている or つとめています might be used.  


In Japan, planned years such as fiscal years, school years begin on 1 April. The date is regarded as beginning of new careers / new stages of life.


The way I see it is that the combination of "...から" and "ます” is what makes it future tense. ”から” can be used to refer to the past as well, but when there is also a verb used that ends in ”ます”, that means it's future.


"I am currently verb-ing" would be verbています.. Here, (つとめ)ています. I suggest looking up a te-form verb conjugation chart for your reference. There's a method to it, and a song exists out there somewhere to help remember the verb endings. Anyway, since ます could be either present or future, context kind of fills it in. "Starting April 1st," or more literally, "From April 1st," kinda means it has to be future tense, since past tense would be ました.


We know, in this instance, that it's supposed to be translated as future because the speaker says shigatsu kara (from April), that distinction could with the "present" tense tells us that this event is yet to happen and therefore is in the future. The verb is tsutomeru or tsutomemasu in polite form. I think you mean participle, not particle. The te form plus imasu is similar to a present participle. So tsutomete imasu for tsutomeru. Hope I've answered everything.


How would you translate "I've been working at the university since April 1"? Would it just be the regular past tense?


"Been working" would be つとめていました, using the て + います form to indicate progressive ("ing" form) and ました instead of ます to indicate past.


"I work at the university since April 1st" isn't being accepted...


It isn't accepted because the Japanese present/future tense tells us this event is yet to happen - so, I will work ...from April 1st.


The audio talks too fast. I can't catch the date pronounciation, since there is no romanization as well. I think its important that duo puts romanization for languages such as east asian's.


Since the other person didnt actually answer your question, and i had difficulty as well, 一日 is ついたち.

This is the first time I encountered it, I'm pretty sure, so it would be nice if there was always a regular and slow speed button.

Furigana eould of course solve this and other issues.


Can anyone explain why this cannot mean an event that is already happening? I know it was asked before, but never explained. In every language I know (except English with present perfect), the present tense is used to express a present action 'since date X'. Is this not the case in Japanese? Some guidance / examples would be appreciated.


Because it says from April 1st (ie. NOT since April 1st but FROM) hence implying this is something YET to happen - in the future. Japanese has a present/future tense - it can be used for present or future.


I am not sure such a distinction exists. Every source I have checked says that から is the default option for saying since, including with a present-tense verb. It also fits with my prior knowledge, although admittedly I haven't touched Japanese for years before doing this course. Do you have an external source explaining the distinction?


It does exist. How many sources have you checked? Since with a present tense verb doesn't make sense - since needs to be used with a past tense verb - since implies something that has already happened ie. in the past. My external source is studying Japanese, reading, writing, speaking it and using the language whilst living in Japan. Also since + present tense or future tense doesn't make sense in English either.

一時から 3時まで 勉強するつもりです I plan to study from 1-3.

この本 の 3章から 7章まで 読んで下さい Please read from chapter 3 to chapter 7 of this book.

NZには 小学校のがくせいが 月曜日から 金曜日まで 学校に 行くべきです In NZ primary school students should go to school monday to friday.

NZの夏休みは クリスマスの前から 一月の終わりまで NZ's Summer holidays are from before Christmas until the end of January.


"I will do work at the university starting April 1" is what I put together from the word bank. Is there any reason why that shouldn't be accepted?


Do work is probably something more like shigotowo shimasu




"I will work at the university AT april first" was marked qrong. So, is it?


As ESL I struggle more with which English sentence is acceptable and which is not rather than with the original Japanese sentence


This one could do with being a little less strict on the answers needed to get it right. "From the 1st of April i will start work at the University" "I will start working at the University from the 1st of April" Seems to me like those should be accepted answers.


Why is "I work at the university since April first" wrong?


Because 'work' is present tense, and this is something that clearly hasn't happened yet - it is set in the future so the verb should be translated in the future tense.


Can’t it be present tense though? ます can be both present and future, isn’t it?


It is either depending what is applicable according to the context of the sentence. This sentence tells us the events described are set in the future, hence it should be translated s future. If it was an event that was currently happening then it should be translated as present tense. Translating this particular sentence in the present tense makes it sound like the person is currently working at the University - but that is not the case. The speaker is yet to start working at the University. The speaker will start work at the University at the future date specified.


Sorry, but I still don’t understand how the sentence tells us the events described are set in the future.


Because if the date April 1st was in the past then the verb - to work - would be in the past tense. It is not in the past tense - hence it must not be April yet, hence April must be in the future, hence the verb must be translated as future tense in this instance - not present tense.


Also, when you say "I work at the University since April 1st" you're giving conflicting information again. You're describing an event that happened in the past ie. Working at the University since April - before the current date BUT you're talking about this past event in the present tense. It doesn't work and it doesn't make sense.


"Starting/From April 1st I will work for a university" not accepted :-(


(The reverse form "I will work for a university starting/From April 1st" is accepted, and is completely equivalent in my book)


"From the first of April i will work at the college." Can't see what is wrong with that. "Starting'' is a reasonable interpretation but is hardly definitive.


The English word order sounds a little odd.


What's odd about the word order? It does sound a bit stiff/dated (maybe something you'd read in a 100-year old letter), but if you abbreviate "I will" to "I'll" it wouldn't sound totally out of place in a modern conversation.


It sounds awkward - it would be more common for the sentence to end with the time period.


If anything I'd say the opposite - "I'll work at the college from the 1st of April" comes across as less likely.

Learn Japanese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.