"Your car is small."


June 9, 2017

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I agree that most other questions up till here include です. Feels inconsistent to omit it suddenly.


The expected answer was changed to include です (desu).


Sounds logic to omit it here. The tone of the sentence is insulting. あなた is quite rude and "your car is small" sounds like something you'd say to mock the other one. So, using です sounds uncannily polite.


I find from a learning perspective that sentence tend to include あなた for structural purposes (you should replace あなた with the person's name if you know it). The Tips and Notes for Intro 2 say:

Pronouns are relatively rare in Japanese, but they are sometimes used to explicitly specify the subject or topic of a sentence. Below are some of the most common ones.

あなた is used in polite settings, however, if you know someone's name, it's best to call them by their name, typically followed by さん or せんせい。

Maybe the speaker is mocking someone for having a small car, but since Japan is the land of the kei car, driving a small car is usually more convenient than a big car for driving down narrow streets, parking, and even for tax purposes (kei cars are taxed at a lower rate). There are different contexts, so different answers are possible.




What is going on with this lesson? It has a lot of contradicions


The omission of desu here is informal, and they don't know their name if they're using anata. I can only conclude that they're using the rude sense of anata and being all snobby. "Your car is so small. My car costs more than your salary for 4 years. Do people actually use this sad excuse for a car? Did I mention that my car is expensive and I have money? My car is expensive. I have money. "

your car is smol


LOL That actually made me laugh


You have answered this 2 years ago, but I'm laughing at it so I gave you a lingot and don't regret.


I'm just thinking of the Simpsons episode where Nelson is laughing at the tall guy in the small car.


This is a really rude statement you don't know them well enough to know their name but don't use even です.


It would be helpful if some of the translation options indicated the level of formality of the statement, or to whom one would say the given phrase. I remember this way of posing questions on some of my assignments and exams.


Maggie-sensei has a good article about when and when not to use anata.

I think people take "it's more polite to use a person's name than anata" to the extreme to mean that using anata is always rude, and that is not true. To me this sounds like something my friends would say to me if we were planning a car trip and I offered to drive. I wouldn't be offended to be called anata, and I drive a kei car, so I'd have to agree with them that my car is in fact small.


あなた(の) should not be necessary in my opinion. Isn't it usually somewhat rude?


It does sometimes have a very personal feeling in Japanese, in a bad way.

One way or the other, the Japanese tend to specify by name etc rather than saying you, he, she, the person there etc...

It would be very normal in Japanese to ask Wolfgang what Wolfgang is doing, by name.


What? That's so weird! So if I want to ask your age, I say 「フョンゼイ さん の おいくつですか?」?


Yes, although you would say フォンジーさん, not の ;)


Oh thanks! By the way, you just katakanized "Fonzie" into "Fonjee"! xD


ジャ、ジ、ジュ、ジェ、ジョ can be used in words that have the letter 'z'. It's actually pretty common.

Read it as 'fonzjii' with a weaker 'j'.


Furthermore, I was under the impresson it implies gender (female adressing male), or did I get this wrong?


There is a stereotype of wives calling the husband あなた, especially the older generation. (Not sure how much truth there is in it.) But for the same reason, a single woman would probably be very careful to not use it toward a male friend or coworker even in the least formal situations.


あなた is gender-neutral, afaik


Can we gey a less formal you for dissing car size?


お前 (omae) this will sound really rude


Dawg, yo car sure is small (that's how I thought about the situation xD)


(aka meh needs more です)


What is wrong with 自動車 instead of 車?


There's nothing wrong with 自動車、but it would suit more for "automobile" rather than "car"


Somehow my instinct would tell me to say お車は小さいです – i.e. to use the respectful お車 ([your] venerable car?) and ditch the pronoun. Native speakers, what do you think?


Not a native speaker, but I think that is a type of speech called "bikago" and the お- prefix more or less refers to an opinion of the object itself and not directly referential to the 2nd person.


Shouldn't it be が instead of は since the car is being described with an adjective?


you can sort of think of は as 'in terms of' if you'd like to do it literally. so 'in terms of your car, it is small.' using が when は hasn't been used previously in the sentence is like saying your car is /small/ (italics). putting emphasis on it sort of.


Why does the kanji for train contain the kanji for car? Asking for a friend...


They both function because of wheels.

馬車(ばしゃ) is the carriage pulled by one or more horses, 自転車 (じてんしゃ) is a bicycle, 台車 (だいしゃ) is that flat, wheeled thing used to move heavy stuff, and 人力車(じんりきしゃ) is called rikša here where I live, a vehicle pulled by a man. 水車(すいしゃ) is a watermill, 風車(ふうしゃ) is a windmill. 歯車 (はぐるま) is this thing ⚙, I don't know the English word for it.


The thing you don't know the English word for: do you mean a gear? It looks like a gear. Could be a round saw (not sure if this is a compound word or not), though? You can use these sample words to see if one of them is what you were looking for. :)

Thanks for breaking all that down for us!


The riksa thing there (I can't type the symbol above the s) might be a rickshaw.

Also, it is most likely a gear cog because they have "teeth", and that's probably why the kanji for teeth is there, as well as car; maybe it's because it is part of a car, or it has a circular motion like a wheel....


Shouldn't there be a verb?


The verb in this sentence would probably be です, or "is".


Technically, an i-adjective is the equivalent of the verb in this sentence. The "です" only adds politness, but it is not the actual copula.


I had to look up what an i-adjective is. In this sentence it would be 小さい, correct?

Good to know though. Thanks!


Ah yes, exactly! 小さい would be the i-adjective in this sentence.


It was kind of mentioned, but not phrased in the question I have, so... When talking about something that belongs to someone else, can't you just replace "(name) no/anatano" with "o?" Like, in this case, "Okuruma."


I did more research, and it seems like car dealers use お車 a lot, and Weblio gives several examples using it, so I think it should be accepted. I wouldn't say that using お車 has to do so much with it belonging to someone else, but rather it's a very formal way to speak. Several of those Weblio examples are translations from The Great Gatsby, a book about wealth and high society, while others use sonkeigo, the next level up in politeness from what Duolingo teaches. In normal polite conversation, I think most people would just say 車.


I placed kuruma wa before anata no and was marked wrong.


Usually Japanese word order can be pretty free as long as you keep the words attached to their particles, but with words attached to the の particle this is not true. あなたの has to come in front of くるま, because that is the word it is describing. If you wrote くるまはあなたのちいさいです (kuruma wa anata no chiisai desu), then あなたの describes the word that comes after it, which is ちいさい. You're saying, "car is your small", so in order to say "your car is small", you have to say あなたのくるまはちいさいです.


This is the first thing my American cousin told me when visiting me in Japan.


I thought it meant train car! NOOOOOOO




My answer was 君の車は小さいだ。It was marked wrong. Should I report that?


小さい is an i-adjective, which means you don't use だ with it, so the correct casual form would just be 君の車は小さい


Is "君" or "君の" considered rude?


From Nihon Shock:

It’s important to remember that in Japanese, to politely address someone you should use their name with a suffix or their title. The broad catch-all “you” words range mostly between overtly familiar and offensive, and require caution when used.

Informal “you”:

君 (kimi): used by men toward people of lower status. Typically not rude. (not inherently formal/informal, but makes the status hierarchy explicit, and is therefore better suited to formal situations)

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