"Her older brother is a fifth grader."


June 8, 2017

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why do I need 小学


someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but my Japanese teacher (born and raised in Japan) said they say what year of what level schooling they're in. so, for example, a freshman in high school would be 高校一年生です。and a sophomore would be 高校二年生です。 and so on. "middle school" starts at 6th grade but it would be 中学一年生 up to 中学三年生。


is it required to say what level of schooling they are in?


Yes. The exact translation is more like "middle school, 2nd year" or "high school, 1st year".

The Japanese school system doesn't have grades K - 12 like America does; they have 6 years of elementary school, 3 years of middle school, and 3 years of high school. School starts in the spring and goes year round with a 4 to 5 week break during the summer.


Sorry, can't see when you posted this on mobile, but I omitted it and it was accepted for me



【かのじょの・おにいさんは・しょうがく -ごねん -せいです】

「小学」"elementary school"

「~5年」"year five"

「~生」suffix for "student"

"speaking of her brother, (he) is a student of fifth grade in elementary school"


Weird, mine says "he is a fifth grader" and I answered correct without using 小


You can get away with it because no Japanese school system has "fifth year students" except an elementary school. So it's implied by context


How do you say it in Japanese without specifying the school? I've tried a couple but it won't accept it unless I put 小学


It normally accepts 彼女のお兄さんは五年生です for me, just omitting the 小学.


Damn Duo mark me wrong because I use 5 instead of 五. And I'm really confused about when we use a number and when use Kanji character... Can anyone explain for me?


I have this issue too. Every time i speak into my japanese keyboard to type the answers it uses the number instead of the kanji. Sometimes this is fine and other times it is not accepted.


I have this same issue. I've been marking them as answer should have been accepted.


I've been doing that for years. I've been ignored for years


Someone with more knowledge of Japanese should probably correct me but I believe you're more likely to see kanji in vertical text and the arabic in horizontal text. You'd probably see the kanji in textbooks too, so that students can learn it. That said I don't think there's any rules about this and I'm baffled about why some questions are fine with the arabic numbers and others want the kanji. They should accept both.


How do we know whether it's 小学 or 中学 when the English is fifth grader?


I think they expect you to know the Japanese schooling system. Grades 1-6 are [小学], Grades 7-9 are [中学], Grades 10-12 are [高校] and Grade 13 onwards are all considered [大学]


The problem is not about knowledge of Japan. The problem is that Americans say that someone is a "fifth grader" without explicitly answering the question, "Fifth grade of what?" We are just expected to know that Duolingo means "in the fifth year of primary school" here, without being told. If it had said "in the fifth year of primary school" in the English sentence, it would have been immediately clear that it would be 小学, and not 中学. So the problem is not a lack of knowledge of the Japanese schooling system but a lack of clarity in the English sentence.


Thanks for the outline. This is a bit confusing because my country we use Primary School 1-6 , Secondary School 1-5. We don't follow grades or year ...


oh oops, maybe I'm wrong lol. you might be correct.


Could someone explain me when to use 'ha' and when to use 'no'?


I'm glad you asked this, because this is one of the features of Japanese that makes the language beautiful.

So in attempting to read a string of complicated characters, some of the questions one would like to answer is "What is this sentence talking about? What is the subject of this sentence? What is the subject doing? What is the subject doing something to?" and "What are the relationships between subject/noun and objects in the sentence?"

In Japanese some Hiragana symbols are used syntactically in ways which help clarify these questions, and are referred to as "particles." So far up to this point in Duolingo you've seen quite a few of them. Namely:

ね - used when looking for agreement or confirming a statement

Example: 寒いです! "It is cold!" そおうですね "Yes it is."

は and が are used to mark the "topic" and "subject" of the sentence respectively. It is important to note that the "subject" of a sentence has a grammatical relationship only to the verb, while the topic is a non grammatical context for the whole sentence.

The difference between these two is highly nontrivial, and a good explanation is given here: https://japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/22/whats-the-difference-between-wa-は-and-ga-が?newreg=3675ce533daa412aa5ae1676a45f834d

But for now, a good heuristic is to think of は as marking something already familiar to both speakers in the conversation.

For example, if a friend visits your family and sees your brother, both speakers would know who "he" is in the following sentence

彼は私のおにさんです "He is my older brother."

Now suppose while in the conversation, you observed a cat outside behind the person you are talking to eating a bird. In this situation if you mention a cat with は, this is assuming the speaker already knows which cat you are referring to and would be incorrect. Here we would say:

猫が鳥を食べます "The cat eats the bird"

More detail about these including other uses for both か and が can be found at this link: https://thoughtco.com/japanese-particles-wa-vs-ga-4091105

の - In the beginning contexts here is used to indicate possesion. When you see "AのB," just think of the grammatically correct way to say "A's B."

For example:

彼女の猫 "Her cat"

ブランドノの犬 "Brandon's dog"

の also has various other uses which are explained here: https://thoughtco.com/particles-o-and-no-2027923

[deactivated user]

    This deserves double upvote


    This was seriously so helpful to me. Thank you so much!!!


    Could you then change the order of the sentence, like the "word-ha" with the "word-no" somehow?


    The word order in any Japanese sentence realistically doesn't matter due to particles. However, you MUST put the object and verb at the end.


    Well that is mostly true I feel like for most of the new learners telling them that is wrong because they never figure out the specifics. It's like saying there's no rules so then you can't actually explain it when you need to.... I would say that this language is flexible but not without parameters. I honestly I don't know how people get this far in the lessons without a basic understanding of wa and ga


    What a beautiful explanation!


    私の弟の名前はブランドノです!彼は犬います。(I'm not sure if that's correct but it's supposed to say my brother's name is brandon and he has a dog! he's actually my twin but I dont know the word for that)


    Thank you so much


    Ha is when you want to specify the topic. No is used to discribe the possessiveness of something. Try the youtube. Lot of interesting material there.


    Since the subject of the sentence is the older brother, the 'ha' comes after him.


    Would a native speaker understand you if you left out 小学?

    It was counted correct when I typed 「彼女のお兄さんは五年生です」, but I'm curious if that sounds weird to a native.


    If context is clear, it's absolutely natural to drop 小学. I worked in an elementary school and we always just said 五年生.


    You're really going to penalize me for leaving out the characters for Elementary School when your chosen English translation doesn't include them? Ok weirdo


    Since the latest update, when placing a word, it does no longer pronounce it, which makes it a lot harder to verify what you are doing.


    Why it no support 5年生です


    Because Duolingo ignores reports


    What does the "お" do?


    It's a polite prefix to add to many nouns (お皿、お兄さん, etc) which is actually a form of keigo.


    Why is it a fifth grader not year five


    Something seems to be going on with the program for me. "Desu" was not available, but it marked me correct without it. This is the third time I've had a sentence dealing with younger or older brother that is missing the pieces I need to answer the question correctly.


    can't write shogaku in kanji, plz help, all i get is 書学


    You gotta visualize the romaji for this one.

    Rather than saying "shogaku", it's written (and pronounced) as "shougaku".

    So the kana looks like しょうがく and if you hit space or enter afterwards, it should come out as 小学。

    As a side note, I had to hit spacebar twice to shuffle to the correct kanji.


    小学 You have to type it out in hiragana しょうがく it will then turn into 小学. Try it again. Make sure ょ is small not よ.


    I used が instead of は in my response, which was otherwise the same as the translation given, and it was marked incorrect. Should my translation have been accepted, or is が wrong in this case? And if it's wrong, does someone know the reason why?


    I find it helpful to think of は as the primary/main topic marker, and が as a secondary/supplemental topic marker. What I mean by that is that in many cases where が is used, there is another "hidden" topic which is assumed (often 私は).

    For example 日本語が話せます has a "hidden" or assumed topic (let's just say 私は), as to who the ultimate topic pertains to. Same with counting an item, liking an item, etc. (A specific topic location contains a number of items, which are counted; a specific person has an opinion on an item, which is liked).

    I would say が is incorrect in this case because there is no other topic that could be assumed or specified. The topic is "her older brother." Theoretically , if you're talking about "her" and "her older brother" is supplemental you COULD use が, but it would look something like 彼女は彼女の兄が and that gets cumbersome.

    I've found that that が functions very similarly to reflexive verbs in Spanish. That won't help if you're unfamiliar with Spanish, but might help if you are...

    I'm learning too, so feel free to correct me if im wrong. :)


    Why does it suggest 小学? Is there no fifth grade in 中学 or 高校?


    I think this is because the Duolingo courses follow the American school system. Apparently that one continues on counting throughout schools, except for college and university.


    The correct answer was just straight up not accepted. I got it 100% right and it's literally my answer in the box that popped up to correct me :/ I'm cancelling duo plus this is the 5th time this has happened this month


    I answered 彼女のお兄さんは小学5年生です。but it says I'm wrong. Can someone point me out where did I do wrong?


    It's correct. It just doesn't accept 5 instead of ご. I had exact same problem due to using speech to text input (which is infinitely better than selecting the words or typing in my opinion). It mostly accepts numerals as correct but randomly doesn't.


    Is there any valid reason why 5年生 isn't accepted? I've been reporting this for years and I keep getting ignored


    Does かのじょ usually imply an older female? I have never heard it in reference to younger girls before. Any clarification is appreciated, thanks!


    It's also important to remember that in the vast majority of cases, Japanese doesn't use pronouns. Since かのじょ also means "girlfriend" (and かれ = "boyfriend") you may hear the word more in that context. Duolingo seems to just be using it for the sake of convenience.


    It's for both younger and older females. (As for me, I usually hear older males refer to younger girls as kanojo.)


    Great explanation!


    Can someone write the romaji of the answer am unable to pronounce the sentences


    彼女のお兄さんは小学五年生です。 kanojo no onīsan wa shōgaku go nenseidesu .


    This is getting hard tho


    I thought honorifics weren't necessary when speaking of someone who isn't part of the conversation (her and her brother). Correct me if I'm wrong?


    I guessed it was "[五年生] [小学]", but I was wrong....


    I almost but 中学生(ちゅうがくせい) instead of 小学生(しょうがくせい) because my middle school has fifth grade lol.


    I wrote "彼女の兄貴は小学五年生です" but I don't understand why it's considered wrong. Is 兄貴 not usable here?


    What exactly does this have to do with telling time? I'm finding more and more out of place segments that are in the wrong lesson. This was in this lesson https://www.duolingo.com/skill/ja/Time/practice .


    That's what I wrote! It was rejected, so what shouls I do? I am not very skillful with computers so that I don't know how to make a screen shot.


    彼女のお兄さんは小学5年生です ❌ですか⁉️


    彼女の兄は~ is not accepted


    I remember someone telling me that 彼女 meant 'girlfriend.' does it mean both 'girlfriend' and 'her?' Or just 'her?'


    It literally means 'her'. People refer to their girlfriends as 'her' in Japan. Same way wives refer to their husbands as あなた, 'You'


    Can you put the grade first and elementary school after?


    why 彼女のお兄さんは小学校五年生です isn't accepted?


    I think I've found a mistake. My answer is exactly the same as the required one, yet duolingo still claims that my input is false.

    I typed 彼女のお兄さんは小学五年生です. If I encounter it again, I'll just skip that question.


    Update: 彼女の兄さん is accepted by duo, but it tells me that 彼女のお兄さん is another correct answer.


    I still have no idea when to use は or が.


    Why is it は after her older brother and not が?


    why oniisan and not ani


    Ani is only used when it's your brother, not someone else's.

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