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  5. "父と母の間で食べます。"


Translation:I eat between my father and mother.

June 8, 2017



間 here is pronounced あいだ in case anyone else was wondering.


Do you know why it's pronounced differently ?


Japan didn't have a writing system before the Chinese brought over their own, the character system called Hanzi. The Japanese had their spoken language and adopted the Chinese Hanzi that represented similar meaning(s) and concepts to their own languange. Kanji is the Japanese pronunciation of Hanzi characters. 間 pronunciation pretty much depends on where and what kanji it's used with.

時間 (Time/hour) = jikan

年間 year/during a period of one year - nenkan

人間 human being, man, person, character of a person -ningen

It's really no different than learning pronunciation of an English letter based on where it's placed next to other letters.. except English is bonkers and constantly inconsistent. bake, baked, take, took, boot, shake and shook (not taked and shaked.) Naked= nay-ked. small sample of the inconsistency. Any foreigner that is even slightly capable of understanding and talking with native speakers, even on basic things, deserves all the respect.


This did not actually answer the questions. You just explained how two or more kanji change pronunciation.


The Japanese didn't invent Kanji. They ADAPTED and used the Hanzi to represent meaning/words in their language. I repeat, they ADAPTED it. I will try to make an English equivalent of it. xD Oh jeez this will be bad.

A cord is a cord. A dog is a dog. Put the cord on a dog and go for a walk. What's the cord called now?.. A leash!

"Why not call it a dog cord? Why are you changing it to something else?"

Because "dog cord" is not the word or words used to describe what performs that function. Most people thought "leash" the moment it was put on the dog to walk. They knew without needing to have it spelled out.

Kanji is no different. You learn, you remember, you know the what they represent and the sounds that go with them. It just takes time and effort.


Is that the right pronunciation for this scenario?


Yes. That's how it's pronounced within this sentence


Haha at first i thought it was "I eat my father and mother" 0-0


I dont see the に particle in this senstence. Is there a reason why?


I think に is used to show where something is located, while で is used to show where an action takes place. Since 食べます is an action verb, で is used here ( 間で食べます).


Also, I think で is used to indicate "the means by which an action takes place" eg. I go to college by car 車で大学に行く


Because in this case, rather than travelling to some destination or just "being" in a specific location (in which cases you would use "ni"), you are doing something (eating) at a location, so the location serves as context for an action rather than the purpose of an action (so you use "de").


Does this sentence mean that the persons is sitting between their parents when they eat? Or that they are eating at a time between their parents? 


The person is sitting between their parents and eating.


In this case it means they are physically between their parents, but for example 何々の間... (naninani no aida...) can be used for both time and location.


This one I don't understand. Where does the inbetween show up?


の間で (のあいだで) means in between.


Ah! I wasn't catching that "aidade" part, thank you!


Me too. Duolingo should really teach us the pronunciation in advance and not just let us guess it!


The problem is that kanji usually have multiple pronunciations, depending on the context. If it's a compound word consisting of several kanji, a so-called on'yomi (sound reading) is often used. If the word stands as one kanji on its own (possibly surrounded by kana) it's often kun'yomi (meaning reading). For example: You have the word China. It consists of 2 kanji, 中(middle, inside) and 国(country). Put them together and you'll get on'yomi readings: chuugoku, meaning 'china'. But if you want them on their own to get their seperate meanings, the readings change drastically: 中 on its own becomes 'naka' and 国 becomes 'kuni'. Often kanji have several on'yomi and kun'yomi readings. That's why it would be very tedious and not a lot of fun to many to remember all the readings before leaning the meanings. So it's actually not a bad idea to get used to a meaning of a kanji and get a feel of how it might be read depending on context before actually learning the readings.


Noun と noun の間 means in between the two nouns. However, I would be careful of your understanding of で with verbs.

Location で verb means do the verb at the location. For example: 外で食べる (To eat outside.)

However, noun で verb can also mean to perform the verb by means of the noun. For example, 手で食べる (To eat with ones hands.)


As a mnemonic for this kanji I suggest Verdi's "Aida"...


It seemed a little strange even though my first unerstanding included "between", so I changed it to "with" because it sounded more natural. Marked wrong : (


I'm not an expert, but I think this sentence means physically between your parents. You can eat with them without actually being between them.


父と母の間で食べます(chichi to haha no aida de tabe masu)


Elsewhere, in time-related sentences, it was said that <something> の間 meant 'time gap'. Does that mean that this sentence is referring to a gap in time as well (i.e., 'my father eats first, then me, then my mom'), or can this の間 construct refer to a gap in space, too?


dictionary link

If you look at that, the kanji 間 means a gap or interval. Like in English, it's a concept you can apply to different kinds of things - time, space, relationships (in the sense of between, anyway)

So in this sentence, you have "father and mother's between" - the space between the two people, right? That's where you're eating. I'm not sure if it could imply "eating between Dad's mealtime and Mum's mealtime" if there's already some context (you're talking about when people eat), but with just this sentence alone it pretty much just reads "person A and person B, between them"

(remember の is the possessive particle for something belonging to or connected with another thing. So Xの間 means "the gap/interval etc of X" in a general sense)


Boy do i hate how the kanji fot "between" prompts a different pronunciation than the one used in the sentence. Really helps in lessons with topicsnot encountered yet.


"parents" wasn't accepted


It wouldn't be because it says father and mother. If it was parents it would use ryoushin.


I don't really get what implies the presence of "I" in this sentence.


Generally, if no other subject or topic is presented than the assumption is 'I' in Japanese. If its a question, then it is genrally assumed to be 'you'.


I put "I am eating between my parents" and got rejected with the correction of "mum and dad" over "my parents". I thought I remembered putting in "my parents" before and it worked. Either way, would this be an accurate translation, or are you not allowed to make the jump from father and mother to parents?


The word for parents is 両親 (りょうしん). This sentence specifically says 父 と はは - mum and dad so mum and dad is the correct translation. I think it is odd that Duo may have allowed parents as a correct translation previously.


I don't really get it. Is の a possessive particle?


It is, your right. It's saying that "between" belongs to "farther and mother". It is implied that you are talking about yourself. So "Farther and mother's between (I) eat."


Luckily i learned this kanji from the song nandemonaiya (radwimps) "futari no aida" between the two of us.


what's the purpose of の in the sentence?


の for Possession. In English we give direction possession and without possession.

"To my right. To your left." = possession.

" To the left of the building." "I sat between mom and dad= no possession.

In Japanese, the area around an object(s) is possessed by it/them. My left = 私の左

Above the desk? 机の上 (tsukue no ue)." to the left of the desk? 机の左 (tsukue no hidari). To the right of the desk? 机の右 (tsukue no migi). Below/under the desk? 机の下 (tsukue no shita). The 間 Kanji is "aida" in this case for "between, in between, a few other meanings/uses", the space between that belongs to the two things/objects.

父と母の間 = literal: dad and mom's space/in between. Their space in between them

で = particle to mark 父と母の間 as the location where the action takes place.

食べます = eat/will eat

You get used to it over time. I Only made this long in case others had thoughts on direction and such. Sorry.)


Think of it like this. 父と母の間 - my father and mother's middle/ in between で食べます - (I) eat. 父と母の間 で食べます - my father and mother's in between I eat. (I eat between my father and mother)


How do you know It's 'I am eating' instead of 'my father and mother are eating'? Is it just because of context (the sentence wouldnt make sense otherwise)


聞く『きく』 : to listen ー 間 『 ま 、あいだ』 : space


I'd like to thank fellow learners enlightening us for the lessons


How do you pronounce "between"? 間


I eat between my parents was wrong. I feel ripped off


The Japanese specifically states 父 と はは の 間 between dad and mum - if it was parents the Japanese would be 両親 (りょうしん).


Uh, how do you possess a direction? I legiy thought this read my father and mother are between eating like in the middle of eating.


Why are all the comments deleted...?


From the amount of comments I've been notified for that weren't here when I looked, people likely asking a question first before bothering to look at the comments that explained it numerous times.


Chichi to haha noaida de tabemasu ちち と はは のあいだ で たべます


I found this sentence is odd in both Japanese and English. I sit between my father and mother. is more suitable. or I sit between my father and mother. (父と母の間「に」すわります)because even for my Japanese ears, 父と母の間で食べます。is very unusual. i.e. 'It is eaten between my father and mother.' (iそれは/それを 父と母の間で食べます。) But I guess important thing is about learning 'between' 間.


I'm with boredomramsey above. Never mind all the fancy explanations. You can't even start to answer if the pronunciation is rubbish!


I thought that 間 meant a while but in this sentence now it means between.


It is strange, I don't understand the meaning of this sentence


父 - father
と - and (addition particle)
母 - mother
父と母 (father and mother)

の - noun linking/possession particle
間 - interval/space/gap
父と母の間 - The space of father and mother (the space between them)

で - means particle (marks the location of an action, "at")
父と母の間で - (In the space between father and mother I -verb-)
食べ ます - Eat

父と母の間で食べます - I eat between my father and mother


Think of it like this. 父と母の間 - my father and mother's middle/ in between で食べます - (I) eat. 父と母の間 で食べます - my father and mother's in between I eat. (I eat between my father and mother)


This entire lesson (position) is basically "if you speak Chinese this lesson is super easy" xD


does "i eat among my father and mother" sound too fancy? it was a second suggested translation of 間 (after 'between'), so i decided to try something new and got rejected


Why is is 間pronounced as ま in this case and not あいだ? I have tried the sentence on different text to speech pages on the net. Google translate says ま but many others says あいだ.


It should be あいだ here. Unfortunately automated systems are still imperfect at considering a word in their entire context. Google translate is also just notoriously bad at it.
The older voices on Duo pronounce it correctly, but the new voices will still need some fixing (especially since the new TTS is from google and the old TTS is from amazon so its differences and incorrect pronunciations are less predictable than in the past updates)

間・あいだ・means a gap or interval with a definitive starting and end point and can be thought of as "between". "Between my mother and father" "Between 8:00 and 10:00"

間・ま・is used for a span where the start and end is more flexible and can be thought of as "space". This can be used when talking about the floorplan of a room, or about a period of time. "There is a 12 year gap between the events" (there is a space that exists that is 12 years long but the start and end of that space is not mentioned),
It is also common in compound words and set expressions. 間に合う ma ni au - to be in time for (meet in the interval), 昼間 hiruma - daytime (noon/day + span)


I was confused with this sentence. Could you add

私は before 父と母?


Why is "no" needed here. I find all these extra particles really annoying in duoling because when youre soeaking with natives a lot of the time theyre excluded because theyre obvious/implied


Knowing a language by the book/proper and everyday talk are both important. Everyday talk vs professional. Plus, people can't imply something they don't understand or know about. If you don't learn how the の particle and possession work and are used, you have no concept of where it should be if it were excluded.

(I'm a bit under the weather. If that came out more garbled than I think it did, I apologize.)


Why do we use 間 instead of 中 (naka)? This hasn't been addressed here


My guess is that 間 means between, whilst 中 means inside.


Because the only time you eat inside someone is inside your mother before you're born


"My mother and father I eat between" got marked wrong, but I'm pretty sure it is not?


No - this doesn't work at all. What are your mother and father doing in this sentence? Whom are you eating between? The correct order is I eat between my mother and father. In this order we know whom you are eating between and mother and father are not seeming out of place and superfluous.


That's not correct word order in English. If duo is asking for an English answer you have to write the English with correct syntax and spelling etc.

In English we say: Y is between X and Z.


Why is 'I' necessary in the translation? It should be 僕は母と父の間に食べます or something in such case.


Japanese tends to drop words that are implied by context while English usually doesn't. The subject of a sentence is generally assumed to be "me" if not explicitly stated. Though I can imagine situations in English where "I am" might be dropped (posting a selfie on instagram captioned "eating between mum and dad") or situations in Japanese where the dropped subject is someone else (just been asked about a particular person etc.)


Stella - you have put the kanji for boku - this word for 'I' is only used by males.


I think it should be ni. Not de.


According to some other comments, is used to indicate either a location where something is/stays/stands or a destination, while is used to indicate where an action takes place.

When it is not referring to a place, で indicate the means by which something is done (for example, 手で食べる or "to eat with one's hands"). So, で is either "where something is done" or "by which means something is done".

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