1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Japanese
  4. >
  5. "I take the subway."

"I take the subway."


June 10, 2017





ありがとう、ヂョんさん‼ I was looking for the correct kanji to use for my Anki deck. Thank you


How are のります and つかい different?


According to the lesson, 乗り(ます) is "to ride" while 使い(ます) is "to use". Also, 乗ります has に after the object that is being ridden (that is where the riding takes place after all) while 使います has を after what is being used.

Of course, I could easily still be mistaken.


I think the latter verb (使う) is just more general. In this context, the underlying meanings would be basically the same.


It marked ちかてつはつかいます as wrong though. Is that usual?


I got the same. Yet it marked it as right before. What is the difference that makes it wrong in this instance?


Would it be wrong if I used で instead of に here? As to say that I am going (somewhere) by using the subway


乗る (noru) is an intransitive verb, so it usually takes に.


When you say (or imply) that you go somewhere by a vehicle of some kind, you always use に with the it (the mode of transport). で might be understandable, but に is the correct form to use.


That is so confusing...


Why would we use "de" in one of them, and "ni" with the other?? Because I saw on the lessons bycicle being the "vehicle" and even though they put "de" as the particle!!! Aaaaaaaarrrrgghhh!!!!


The short answer is, the particle depends on what verb you are using (and what kind of verb it is).

The longer answer is that the information above is not correct, which might be what's confusing you. If I say "I go to school by car", it's 車で学校に行きます (kuruma de gakkou ni ikimasu). "I go to school by bike" is 自転車で学校に行きます (jitensha de gakkou ni ikimasu). See some examples at weblio.

This sentence isn't saying that you are going somewhere by subway, it is saying that you take the subway. In English "the subway" would be the direct object of the verb, meaning the verb "take" is a transitive verb, a verb capable of taking a direct object. I take what? I take the subway.

Unfortunately, the Japanese verb 乗ります (norimasu) is an intransitive verb, meaning that it cannot take a direct object. It's more naturally translated as "take" in English, but it more literally means "ride". To say what you are riding in/on, you need the particle に. 地下鉄に乗ります (chikatetsu ni norimasu).


ちかてつ does not have sound, in fact only the に particle has sound in this sentence. Is it possible to read the whole sentence on completion or error instead of the broken pieces that are more often than not incorrect (e.g tbe は particle or 日 in days of weeks)


Why is it のりhere? What switches between this and thr otyer verb "to ride"?


乗ります (norimasu) means "to ride". By other verb, do you mean 使います (tsukaimasu)? That means "to use", which is a slightly difference nuance.


It only says take. It's very confusing


乗ります (norimasu) is often translated as "ride", e.g. 自転車に乗ります (jitensha ni normasu) is "ride a bike". When it comes to transportation like a subway, saying "ride the subway" is correct English, but it's more common to say "take the subway". The words are synonyms. "Use" has a similar meaning, but has an exact Japanese equivalent.


Chikatetsu ni norimasu.

I take the subway. / I ride the subway.


Chikatetsu o tsukaimasu.

I use the subway.


No I understand the difference between them. But there is two "I take the subway" and for one of them, Duolingo wants you to use Norimasu and for the other, it wants you to use Tsukaimasu. How do I know which is which? This is my issue, sorry if I wasn't clear enough


Sorry for misunderstanding, I see what you're saying now. I've never come across it, but I think the other sentence is an error and I would report it or submit a bug report.


Whats the difference between wo wa and ni?


I'll try to keep fancy grammar terms to a minimum here.

は、を、and に are all something called particles. A particle is a "word" (or word part) so basic that it carries no meaning on its own, and so always appears next to another word to give it meaning. An example of this is in English is apostrophe-S for possession--as in "John's book." Here, the apostrophe-S is meaningless unless it is paired with it's companion, John. When joined with John, it becomes and adjective meaning "belong to ___."

Japanese has a lot of particles, which is one part of what makes it so hard for European language natives to learn.

Let's break down は、を、に:

は is one of the most common particles. It's called the topic particle. It can be read as "as for (the thing before me)." For example: 電車は大きいです could be understood as "as for trains, they are big."

を is known as the object particle. It marks the thing before it as the receiver of the action in a sentence. やさいを好きです could be read as "vegetables are liked (by me)" because the vegetables are the things receiving the liking.

に is a particle that shows the intended audience of communication or means by which an action is carried out. あなたを電話にはきます means "to you, by (using) the telephone, i talk." The telephone uses に because it is the thing you use to talk.

I hope that clears up their differences a bit! :)


from obenkyo, it says を is a direct object indicator and に the indirect one. wa/は marks the topic of a setence.


を - pronounced 'o' when used as a particle - indicates that an object is the target of a verb. は - 'wa' when used as a particle - indicates that the preceding clause is the topic that we are speaking about. に - indicates that you do something 'by way of' the preceding thing, such as a place or a method of transport.


"に - indicates that you do something 'by way of' the preceding thing, such as a place or a method of transport."

Not quite. で is used (among its other uses) to indicate the method of transport. It's simply that 乗る(のる) is an intransitive verb in Japanese, so に needs to be used to indicate the thing you're getting in/on.


In Japan they use でんしゃ(電車) more often than ちかてつ(地下鉄) to describe train public transport. Not saying that it is wrong here. (i.e. train > subway). Also に is ALWAYS used when you ride on something (i.e. ~に乗(の)ります)


I was wondering what happened to "densha" thought it might have been made obsolete over the years since I learned it. Good to know it's still used. Gives me hope for the rest of my old Japanese textbooks not being completely useless:-)


Why do we use には for a taxi and に for the subway?


NIWA is used in negative sentences - タクシーには乗りません


It's switching from use 'nori' and ride 'tsuka' to take. I have no clue which of these should be used. take (nori) or (tsuka)?

Learn Japanese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.