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  5. "日本人の友だちに英語をおしえます。"


Translation:I teach English to my Japanese friends.

June 5, 2017



I misinterpreted this as "my japanese friends teach English". How would you say this in Japanese? Just want to compare the phrases since I have a hard time with particles




so the only difference would be 友達が instead of 友達に, wouldn't it?


Yes. が makes whatever is before it the subject; for this sentence, に makes the thing before it the indirect object.


Wouldn't that be "the Japanese person's friend" though?


I think it could be but it probably depends on context. 日本人の友達 and 日本の友達 can both translate to "Japanese friend".


"no" does not have to be possessive. It can turn the first part into an adjective.
ピンク色の車 for example does not mean "Pink's car".

  • 1043

No, but a perfectly natural way to say it in English is "car of color pink," which isn't very different to what the phrase means in Japanese.


No native speaker ever says "car of color pink"!


In English one can say "a car of pink color," but it is more normal to say "a car pink in color," and even more natural to say "a pink car" with no "of" at all. Some Japanese words for colors are not Japanese, so the word 色 is added to the foreign word. I don't think that it always needs to be translated.


As always, it all depends on context, so I concur with sneku-chan that it could be; nevertheless, I think the interpretation that is meant here is that of 日本人 (にほんじん, nihonjin) as “(all) Japanese people”, and thus 日本人の友だち would be “friends among the Japanese” — which is but a circumlocution for “Japanese friends”.
My comment needs double-checking, but this is how I understand this part of the sentence.


達 does make things plurual....but not here. Tomodachi is both singular and plural as is the case with al Japanese nouns. So neko is cat and cats.


Wait, isn't tomo both singular and plural but if you put -dachi it becomes just plural? Or is it like if you say かれは僕の友達です that you mean like "he's [one of] my friends"?


友 and 友だち can both be either singular or plural. たち does not mean plural here. It is an exception.


Duolingo marked “I teach English to japanese friends.“ as wrong. To they have to be “my“ friends? Can't they be friends of eachother?


It would be weird to say that sentence like that in english, you would have to add the subject, in the japanese sentence it is omitted as we've discussed before


DL marked wrong my "I teach English to Japanese friends." Perhaps the students are friends to each other--I don't see "my" here anywhere. The reason DL marked my translation wrong was I used "I" instead of "we". Is this due to the beta testing phase being incomplete or can someone tell me what is truly wrong with the translation? Arigato. (and I don't agree with Gasezefe's comment here).


That is not necessarily "the reason" -- rather, it was marked wrong because it wasn't in the list of accepted answers, and the suggestion given was the "closest" one (by some metric). This will often show you what is wrong, but not always. (For example, if you've forgotten to write "a" or "the" in front of a singular noun, Duolingo often suggests the plural -- which doesn't need them, that is true, but the error is not the choice of the singular.)

I can't actually say if "my" is technically needed here or not, but if Duolingo accepts its absence with the subject "we", it should do so with the subject "I". You may want to report it. That said, I do think the version with "my" is more natural, and the reason there is no "my" in the Japanese is the same reason there is no "I" -- it is implied.




Question: why に?


In terms of English grammar, one of the functions of the particle に is marking the indirect object. In this sentence, we have a direct object - the subject that is being taught to someone - and, an indirect object - whomever is being taught it. In this regard, Japanese is not far from English, as we use "to" to indicate indirect objects in careful, grammatically correct, speech, and that's one of the meanings of に.

"I teach English to my friend" vs "I teach my friend English".


に is commonly referred to as the "target particle". Basically, it indicates whatever the target of the action is (in this case, who is being taught).


Is there a plural or a singular for "友達" ? How can we know if he is teaching to one or many friends?


友達たち would be definitively plural, but you're not required to add the たち.


Isn't 友達 already plural? I thought that 友 is singular and 友達 is plural.


ともだち is both singular and plural. We don't quite use とも in everyday.

If you want really to stress plural, maybe 友人たち(ゆうじんたち)


"I teach English to a Japanese friend" rejected?


Is there a difference in Japanese between : - I teach English to my friend, and - I teach English to a friend ??


Even in English I am not sure whether "a friend" and "my friend" would differ in this context. If you want to stress "my" friend, then 私の日本人の友だち. If you want to stress "some" friend then ある日本人の友だち


As you pointed out, if you said "a friend" in English without context, it would be implied to be your own friend.


Is 日本の友だ correct for Japanese friends too?


Yes except that you missed a ち at the end


What is the use of の in this sentence?


It's used to make 日本人 an adjective.


Duolingo doesn't accept 日本人の友達に英語を教えます as an answer for the "Type what you hear" task and even doesn't have an option "My answer should be accepted" in the report window! Nice.


can anybody explain the use of を?


Is it acceptable, if not too weird, to interpret 日本人の友達に as "to a friend of Japanese people/ a Japanese person"?


i wrote " i am teaching my japanese friend english". Is that grammatically wrong in english? English is not my first language, so..sorry and thank you in advance.


There is no problem with it grammatically, but it is clearer if structured as "I am teaching English to my Japanese friend." I think the reason you got it wrong though is because you used "teaching" instead "teach". おしえます is "teach", whereas "am teaching" would be おしえています.


When I learned Japanese in school, I only remember the の particle as possessive. It's the "'s". So there has to be another way its used or else 日本人の友達 would be the Japanese person's friend. Please explain.


"I teach English to a Japanese friend" is not accepted.


I said "I teach" instead of "We teach" and was marked wrong, but here it says the answer should be I. Not that I know how to differentiate I and we yet, but I reported it.


There is neither "I" nor "we" in this sentence, it would be decided by context. Your problem was not that you chose the wrong pronoun, but something else (possibly missing "my", see above) that made your sentence not fit the list of accepted answers. There was, however, one with "we" there, and that one was considered to be the closest to your answer and was therefore displayed as the "correct" answer. The reason that that one was in the database, and not yours, is probably that it had been flagged by a user and accepted as correct by the development team, but they didn't take the time to look for variants of it to include as well (or at least they didn't think of your variant). So if it happens again, and you're sure that your sentence is otherwise correct, just report it. If it is, it will eventually be accepted.


Where is the indicator for "we" as the subject, please?


Please remember, if you have not already, that Japanese tends to omit parts of a sentence when the context is known. So any subject that make sense should be accepted because English complete sentence needs a subject but it is impossible to know through the Japanese sentence alone.


Can we use へ instead of に? I learn from youtube that you use particle へ for subject as recipient of an action.


No. へ ia for movement. Recipient of an action is に.


Any tips on how to pronounce the triple "o" in "eigo o oeshimasu"


I think you typed an extra "e" in the verb--oshieru. Without it the last "o" nis easier to pronounce. The "wo" character/2d 'o'" sound gets kind of hiccupped after the preceding object, and then you say the verb as a whole word.


Simply enlengthen the ご with 3x the time. No need to separate them.

[deactivated user]

    本人の友だち <--- it's unclear whether this means "japanese friend" or "friend in japan" as it differs from question to question


    I believe that "日本人の友だち" means that you are talking about some one who is Japanese (that is, "日本人"). To talk more generally about a friend in Japan, I think that would be expressed as "日本の友だち" (that is, a friend that somehow relates to "日本." Maybe they live there or you met them there, but they aren't necessarily Japanese).


    How would the sentence sound if there was "I will teach" instead of just "I teach". Up until now duolingo didn't make any difference between present simple and future tense so I used them more or less interchangeably but this time it marked the future tense as incorrect. Can somebody explain this to me?


    I will teach should be correct. You might be wrong in another part of the sentence but the Duolingo suggestion showed the present tense solution.


    Is 'English language ' really wrong? I thought 英語 means ...


    It's difficult for me to hear the double "o" in をおしえます。Do native speakers separate them or is it pronounced the same as a long vowel?


    The pitch accent changes but the sound is linked as a long one. In this case を is high pitch and お is low pitch so you should hear a subtle drop of the pitch while the o sound is linked.


    So how do you tell if friend is singular or plural in that sentence? Read through the comments and I feel like I missed the answer...


    It is not clear in the Japanese sentence. So both can be used.


    is it me or is this particular "type what you hear" question super strict about what kanji it will or won't accept?


    doesn't "日本人の" mean something belonging to a Japanese person?


    Not in this case. Someone has already asked this question. To clarify, の makes 日本人 a property to 友達. (It is the 11th use case described https://ejje.weblio.jp/content/%E3%81%AE)


    My first guess: "Japanese person's friend at English word I don't know masu." I managed to figure it out, but my first guess was so laughable that I had to share it. XD

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