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  5. what it means?


what it means?

I have been using the Android version since yesterday, it helped me a lot having learned Hiragana and Katakana, and particles as ''wa'' and ''ga'' are not a big problem for me. There is just something who I cant understand yet. why sometimes I found an ''o'' at the beginning of some sentences. To be clearer:

お魚は食べません -- what that ''o'' means? And also-

お ふろ で は ありません -- why it has two particles? (de and ha) is it normal? are the same particle?

and for you how it's doing your learning?

June 5, 2017


  1. The 'o' in 'o-sakana' is a prefix for politeness. If the fish is being eaten, or cooked, or caught by you, it is common to express the politeness in the sentence.

  2. ...ではありません = It is not ... . It is a common sentence structure. If you are not interested in grammar and sentence structure, this is all what you need to know. It is enough for learning Japanese, even if you want to pass JLPT N1. If you are curious, read below.

2a. If the sentence is positive, it would be 'おふろです'. The final 'です' in modern spoken Japanese conjugates in this way: 'で' remains unchanged, and 'す' as the classic Japanese verb 'す'. 'です' is something made of two parts.

2b. If we say the positive in a straight (or somehow rude / familiar) way, it is 'おふろだ'. The final 'だ' conjugate irregularly.

2c. If we say the positive in an academic style, it is 'おふろである'. Now we understand. 'である' = 'で' + 'ある'. Acutally, the fore-mentioned (in 2b) 'だ' used to = 'で' + 'あり', and later 'り' disappeared and 'で' + 'あ' merged into 'だ'. (de + a - da)

2d. The 'は' accents the part before it. That is why we have two particles. They are not same at all.

2e. The complexness is well hidden in positive structures, but it appeared in 'ではありません'. However, beginner courses usually evade the annoying explanations, but they must introduce this structure. Thence, you just remember it and make yourself proficient about it.


so technically ではありません is a mix of different forms to say ''it is not'' in japanese? and they are really polite 'til the animals they eat xd? that's really weird.


Technically, it is ではありません one common way to say 'it is not'. The further explanations are only for those who wonder why there are two particles next to each other.

As to the polite forms, it is not meant for the animals. It is meant for the listener. Japanese speakers distinguish 'Your fish' from any fish in the sea.


0-0 I didn't have idea about it, thank you so much


and in the case of ''おふろ'' it applies as well? how can I know when I have to use it?


Yes, but in the case of おふろ, it seems more to be a part of the word (though ふろ itself still makes sense but sounds a little harsh). The more obvious cases are お金・お客・お茶 (money / customer / tea), where when お is dropped, the word become too hard and too general for daily spoken usage.

Grammar rules only teach us what the お means. How to use it in a decent, polite way is the hardest part.


I wonder why they're going with ではありません instead of じゃありません。


If one speaks clearly and slowly, it is では. If one speaks quickly and carelessly, the sounds seem to merge, and becomes じゃ. Such merges are indeed often seen in spoken Japanese, yet they are considered colloquial and informal (by formal language purists), or something used only among close friends (perhaps generally received). If there is a textbook, the ではありません form is preferred to cover, though some textbooks also introduce じゃありません.


Actually, the textbook we used in college (Genki, by Japan Times) taught じゃ and not では。Not doubting you, what you're saying makes perfect sense, just thought you might like to know since you brought up textbooks.


the お is called a "beautifier" it is added before a noun to show one's appreciation for the object. お金 - money (okane) お酒 - sake, alcohol (osake)

the beautifier cannot be used for any words written in katakana.

ご can also be used as a beautifier for some words.

ごはん - rice

typically, women tend to over use this

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