"ごはんを食べます。"

Translation:I eat rice.

June 9, 2017

98 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/maehovland
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i just got the sentence ごはんは食べません, which uses は, whereas this sentence uses を. is that because, the first sentence means "i do not eat rice in general" and thos sentence means "i am currently eqting rice"? so if i wanted to say, i am not eating rice now, but i do other times, would it be "ごはんを食べません"?

June 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/anonamoose52

You've got a pretty good grasp of it, yes! A solid rule of thumb with は is to translate it "As for..." So ごはんは食べません comes across "As for rice, I do not eat it" which sounds very general, but ごはんを食べません feels more like "I will not eat rice." in the present sense.

June 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

Seconding this, I just want to point out that while 食べます and 食べません are defined as "present tense", they are not used to describe actions you are currently doing (or not doing). Those actions require present progressive tense, which in Japanese uses て-form with います.

Confusingly, present tense verbs in Japanese describe general actions, habitual actions, and near future actions. In our exercise, this means it can be roughly translated to "I eat rice as a matter of general principle", "I regularly eat rice", or "I am about to eat rice."

July 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JelisW
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Haha, not that confusing; we do this in English too; we just don't realise it most of the time. "The sun rises in the east" (simple present tense) means a different thing from "The sun is rising in the east" (present progressive tense)

September 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JelisW
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Oh whoops my bad, you were saying it was confusing that they don't separate simple present from simple future. Ignore me ^^"

September 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/egfrederic
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But we do that too! "I'm going to Japan next week"

November 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Aki-kun
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Personally, I feel it's better to think of it as a "non past tense" (I'm not even sure where I first heard that term) than a "present tense". While that term might be confusing at first, it's less misleading than "present tense".

November 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JelisW
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I agree in part, because the "masu" form in Japanese can be used for simple present tense ("I eat") and simple future tense ("I will eat") in English.

I personally prefer to use the exact terms above (specifically simple present and simple future tense) to describe it though, because just "non-past" still leaves leaves a host of other tenses that people could potentially confuse it with. This is especially the case with the present progressive tense ("is/am/are eating") that JoshuaLore9 mentioned above, and that needs to be conjugated in Japanese as 食べて います

November 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Tor_Heyerdal
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Progressive is an aspect, not a tense. That would be "present tense in progressive aspect." Although I suppose "present progressive tense" is less of a mouthful, if technically imprecise.

November 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/jesus129647
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Thanks to all the people writing in the comment section, otherwise i couldn't get anything

March 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/RenzoCrdov

を is a particle for "direct object", which means that the next verb is "done to" that object. So with "を" you're saying "I eat rice" as in "what are you doing?", "I eat rice" (note that it's not a continous action); with "は" you're saying "I eat rice" as in "I can eat rice". Now, I'm learning Japanese too, so CMIIW~~

January 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Desktop_General

In a sentence where you could have used を the idea is one of contrast. ごはんは 食べません. I won't/don't eat rice (but I will/do eat other things).

December 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Jason739088

"I eat rice" versus "I am eating rice" for this exercise?

June 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/anonamoose52

It has to be I eat. 食べます is the "to eat" conjugation. (I) am eating has the conjugation たべている

June 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Drog0n

So does it still imply that you are currently eating rice?

June 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

No, unless you use Mitch's second conjugation. ごはんを食べます is more of a general statement that has no relation to what you are currently doing.

July 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Vidar786589

I got correct for "I will eat rice".

June 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/anonamoose52

In Japanese you use the same tense for simple present and simple future in most cases

June 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Inhale7
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weird, i put it in present tense and it marked me wrong and told me it should be future

June 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Megan_J
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Why dont we pronounce 食 shoku but its pronounced ta ben

July 6, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/3Rton

Relating to this it is increasingly annoying how in the course when you however above kanji it gives different reading than when actually playing the audio for whole sentence. Combined with the lack of any real reference catalogue for the kanji you've been introduced to and all their different readings it is pretty confusing = _=

October 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Hallowdin
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ikr

February 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/kawaii-geekess

I think shoku is the chinese reading, maybe?

July 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

That's right, almost all kanji has multiple readings. I think the general rule is that the Chinese reading, or on'yomi, is usually used when the kanji is used in combination with other kanji, for example 食品 shokuhin. But on its own or in combination with hiragana (excluding particles), the Japanese reading, or kun'yomi, is used. Hence 食べます is tabemasu

July 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/RachelPlan4

Is it really incorrect to say "I eat the rice" versus "I eat rice"? That seems overally pedantic seeing as in English both translations mean the same thing

June 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/DaraSamali

No it's correct. As far as I'm aware Japanese doesn't have an indefinite or definite article so it would remain the same

June 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Tsunasama

There's no definite or indedinite article in Japanese.

June 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Kornellier
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Yet, I think that both translations (with the article and without) should both be correct.

It is true there are no articles in Japanese; however, the message of "gohan o tabemasu" is "I eat rice" with the "o" making "rice" the object of the action. Without a context, some important information is missing: thus, if this phrase would be said with a bowl of rice in front of me, we would assume I am making a reference to "the rice" I have in front of me. In English, I'd use a determined article; in Japanese, we'd assume the rice we're talking about by the context.

So, exact translations are always an issue, specially in two languages as different as English and Japanese. Thereby, I found more accurate to translate the message and get to know the meaning and proper usage of the language rather than learning how to translate word to word.

P.S: I've reported it to help improve this beta :)

July 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/tayjes16
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They don't mean the same in English. "I eat rice" can mean you eat rice in general, or you are currently eating rice. However, in "I eat the rice", there is some specific rice that is being referred to. This second phrase cannot be used to say that you eat rice in general.

October 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Steven642200

Is 食べます a different type of verb and that's why it ends with -ます and not -です?

June 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/_-Gus-_
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Every verb ends with ます as far as i know, the verb itself is たべる, ます is more like the conjugation

July 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Hallowdin
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So... I wrote 'food' instead of 'rice'. I'm Japanese and I know all this, but why can't I write 'food'? Cuz ごはん means both 'food' and 'rice'...

February 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/oOXx.Frank

How am i supposed to know when are we talking about me or talking about you or someone else? It may sound stupid but i thought the answer was eat rice, since i only saw gohan wo tabemasu

I ask cause im reading that watashi or anata can be somehow muted words in sentences like this i think?

June 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/deessee
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It's all about the context. In this case i think duolingo actually accepts "he eats rice", "they eat rice" etc as correct answers.

June 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Yuji460834

This should be お米を食べます to differentiate with "food".

July 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

True, but ごはん is also understood as "rice" in Japanese.

Fun fact: if rice is served to you in a bowl, it's ごはん and you eat it with chopsticks, but if it is served on a plate, it's ライス and you eat it with a spoon or fork.

July 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/TerrarianSpectre
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What is the difference between を and は?

July 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/MishMeesh

It's my understanding that を indicates object of a verb (example: "Tanaka drinks water" -> "water" would be the object of the verb). は indicates the subject, which in the example I just used would be Tanaka. I'm not a native speaker so I could be wrong.

November 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Ehekaton
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I thought the interpretation of the subject was contextual and since there is no context gohan o tabemasu could equally mean I eat rice, or you eat rice, or he eats rice for that matter. Please help to clarify...? Arigato.

July 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/LeviGreeff

If it is I who is eating the rice why isn't "watashi' used?

September 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/MishMeesh

The subject is often omitted in sentences when it is easily assumed who or what the subject is. When it is a person speaking about themselves, "watashi" is often omitted. This is also referenced in the info below this lesson.

November 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/DaftWarrior

At least, in my japanese school, they told me that "gohan" can also stand for "Dinner" or final meal of the day. That's why even though I knew "Wo" refered to rice. I still hada little doubt.

October 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Ash575730

It appears を is used for the verb 'to eat' in the positive (ます), While は is used for the negative (ません) 。。。

June 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

This is how Duo have chosen to introduce them, though personally I think it's unnecessarily complicated for a beginners' course. In fact, using は instead of を can be done with positive and negative sentences, where it adds emphasis to the object. Granted, this emphasis is much more common for negative sentences, since you're more likely to want to emphasize the exclusion of something than its inclusion, so Duo kind of gets it right, but both scenarios are fairly common and natural.

On the other hand, using を with negative sentences is also common and natural, if you don't particularly want to emphasize the negativeness of the sentence.

August 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/MatthieuLa84902

You eat rice is also good!

July 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Krypt1x
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Couldnt "i do eat rice also work"?

June 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/anonamoose52

Unfortunately, no. "to do" is a separate verb in and of itself (even in Japanese), and is not present in this sentence. Also, it's important for translations into English to themselves be grammatically good English, which "I do eat rice" is not. :)

June 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/deessee
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Except it is

June 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/kai19154

Yeah, I do eat rice makes sense. If someone said "he doesn't eat rice" he could say "actually, I do eat rice" to deny that.

June 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/MatsDahlst

Would this sentence also translate into "I am eating rice"? "I eat rice" gives the implication being able to eat rice when I read it.

June 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/deeptendu
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Soku is pronounced as ta in this sentence?

July 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/sfortun

Can't this also mean "I eat lunch"?

July 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/peter266781

What means tabe? Eat?

September 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

食べ (たべ) is the verb stem for the verb 食べる which means "to eat"

September 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/benjamin.brh

Why is 食べ pronounced as "tabe"? Why isn't it "shokube"?

October 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

Copied from one of my earlier answers:

「I think the general rule is that the Chinese reading, or on'yomi, is usually used when the kanji is used in combination with other kanji, for example 食品 shokuhin. But on its own or in combination with hiragana (excluding particles), the Japanese reading, or kun'yomi, is used. Hence 食べます is tabemasu」

November 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/IgnacioBrito

食 why is it pronounced "Ta"

November 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Berto29441
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Why not "the" rice? Thanks

November 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

This has already been answered in this discussion page. It should be acceptable with or without "the" because of a lack of context.

December 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/MishMeesh

"I am eating rice" should be a valid translation, but it was marked incorrect.

November 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

"I am eating rice" is incorrect because it isn't the appropriate tense for the simple present tense 食べます. This has already been discussed previously on this page.

December 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/U6LBnhhf

Hi, I probably am mistaken, but I thought '" Gohan" also means "lunch" besides "rice" .

December 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JelisW
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御飯 (gohan) can also mean meal

昼御飯 (hirugohan) = noon meal, i.e. lunch

朝御飯 (asagohan) = morning meal, i.e. breakfast

晩御飯 (bangohan) = night meal, i.e. dinner

December 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/kingpffury

"I am eating rice." Is also a good awnser too, right?

January 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

"I am eating rice" is incorrect because it isn't the appropriate tense for the simple present tense 食べます. This has already been discussed previously on this page.

January 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/daashandayo

Does ごはん also mean breakfast? Was watching "Kimi no na wa" the other day and I heard ごはん with "breakfast" in subtitle.

January 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

ごはん also means "meal", which in colloquial usage allows you to say ごはん in lieu of any meal of the day, if it is obvious which meal you mean from the situation.

Also, you may have heard あさごはん , which means "breakfast" or literally, "morning rice/meal".

January 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/53hako
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I wrote breakfast instead of rice and it didn't count it :(

January 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/53hako
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Nevermind, I just remembered that breakfast is あさごはん not ごはん

January 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Betamine

I'm french and I've been learning japanese in university and with an association for 10 years, and I always lean "gohan" means "the lunch" or "midday meal" I agree to say it can be translated by "rice" to, but translate this sentence only by "I eat rice" and not "I eat lunch" is incomplete.

February 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/AlissaPete2

たべる, this is eat, but I am a little confused on the conjunction of the verbs.

March 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

In Japanese, there are (at least) two "forms" for every verb; the "plain"/casual form (which is also called "dictionary" form since this is the form verbs appear in in the dictionary) and the "formal"/polite form. たべる is the plain form for "to eat".

When we conjugate to make the polite form, we first have to figure out which group of verbs it belongs to. There are two main groups, plus the "irregular" group. The two groups go by different names, depending on how you learned them, but I learned godan and ichidan (literally "5-step" and "1-step").

Luckily for us, たべる is an ichidan verb so to get the polite form, we make the verb stem たべ, by simply dropping the る. Then all that's left is the add ます back on the end of the verb stem, and we get たべます, the polite form of たべる.

March 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/agrawal.nam

When should i use "masu" vs "desu" ?

May 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

Well, the first thing you have to realize is that the two are not simply interchangeable.

"Desu" is a bon fide, fully-fledged verb, all on its own. It is typically translated as "is/am/are" because it is a copula which fulfills a similar role as those words do in English. If you want to say "A is B" in Japanese, it's AはBです. For example: "John is American" would be ジョンさんはアメリカ人です. (The は is there to indicate the direction of the verb: it's "John is American", not "American is John".)

"Masu" on the other hand, isn't a complete verb on its own. Rather, it is one way to conjugate verbs, specifically to turn verbs into their polite present/non-past tense form. So, "masu" only tells you half the story, the tense. The other half of the story, the meaning, comes from the other part of the verb, the verb stem.

In this exercise, 食べ- is the verb stem which comes from the root verb 食べる. There are a bunch of complicated rules for how to get the verb stem from the root verb and how to conjugate verbs into different verb forms, but suffice it to say that 食べ- carries with it the idea of "eat". When you conjugate it with -ます, you complete the verb so it conveys meaning and tense.

For all other verbs besides です (which is a special verb that doesn't have a verb stem), when you conjugate them into their respective polite present/non-past tense form, you will always end up with [verb stem]+ます.

As a beginner, you don't have to worry too much about how to figure out the verb stem yet, and can learn the -ます form of the verb as "the verb", but keep in mind that "masu" is only one part of the verb.

July 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ender0703
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would it not be "ご飯を食べます" instead

July 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

It can be, but ごはん is just as valid as ご飯 which is just as valid as 御飯. None are "more correct" than any other.

If you got marked incorrect for using ご飯, then you should report that for the clurse developers to fix.

November 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/tu853
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Can anyone break the sentence for me please

July 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Zuvium
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How would you break a sentence?

October 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/DEE255780

while gohan is rice, the word gohan is also used for dinner.. Sometimes with the word ban in front of it but not always. Your questions always leave me wondering why both are not given.

September 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/bllehhhhh

"I eat ashes"

November 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Dylan_Nicholson

Does the audio sound like "wo" for を for anyone else?

November 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/CayKav100

I could be wrong but i think "wo" is pronounced more like "o" in Japanese.

December 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Dylan_Nicholson

If it's the object particle (as it is here) then yes, exactly. So the fact it sounds like "wo" is wrong...suspect it's an error in the auto-generated audio.

December 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/BlueBug5

Isn't ごはん food?

December 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/D00M_2k7

I love how this "learning program" is just a clicker game without explanation what so ever...

December 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/UkLB79PN

what is this を for?

December 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/KaganMacTane

Given the difference between 米 「こめ」 and ご飯 「ごはん」, it should really take "cooked rice" as well. I gave it "I eat cooked rice" and got marked incorrect.

January 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Emmanuelca558625

ごはん can be described as meal, doesn't it?

July 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/shiratheyuki

I heard ohayou gozaimasu instead lmao.

March 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Dylan_Nicholson

Any reason "I eat the rice" should be considered wrong? (not even an "almost"!)

May 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Yahpp1

Videl did too

June 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Ryuzakev

why ''を''?

December 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaLore9

Please try to read the other comments first.

を is a particle for "direct object", which means the next verb is "done to" that object.

December 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JayMilkshake
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Alternatively, say: (I) わご飯お食べる。I is different depending on gender: Female is 私 (watashi), Male is 僕 (boku), and more mature male is 俺 (ore)

September 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Jamie_binn

I eat the rice should be a valid translation

October 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/iamthesleepeater

OKAY BUT LIKE WHY ISNT "I EAT THE RICE" A CORRECT ANSWER ;-;

June 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Chris319610
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It's because "the rice" isn't proper English. You would say "I eat rice" instead.

July 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JaMTherese

Join mee hohoho SZHRMT

June 20, 2017
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