"I am American."


June 10, 2017



Thanks for making me feel like an idiot. This thing suddenly went from hiragana to light speed.

August 1, 2017


An expansion of the course to have some katakana only lessons would probably be helpful actually

I'm just kind've staring at them and seeing which hirigana they look like to try and memorize them via association right now, it's not horrible but a katakana only lesson would still be nice.

February 13, 2019


I agree. Now I've got the hang of it after reading the Duolingo text to the lesson at least ten times (and searching Japanese grammar on the internet xd), but at first it kind of discouraged me from learning Japanese.

June 2, 2019


Duolingo just went from 1 to 60. Moving from simple hiragana to full sentences like that with no prior knowledge of rules or sentence structure can be disheartening and confusing to people who genuinely want to learn.

May 4, 2018


(For the sake of newcomers, rather than the poster)

Tip: In Japanese, the default context assumes you're talking about yourself, unless you specify someone/something else.

December 10, 2018


Thats what I was thinking

April 23, 2019


What's the difference between です and である?

June 23, 2017


"dearu" is a formal version of "desu"

July 8, 2017


From what I understand "desu" is the formal, "da" is the informal and "degozaimasu" is the very very formal one. I never heard "dearu"

July 19, 2017

  • 1378

"De aru/De arimasu" is used in formal writing (newspapers, articles, etc.). It is often used to convey that something is being explained rather than just stated as fact (like with 'Da/Desu'). You will seldom here it spoken though, except for in very formal speeches.

August 14, 2017


だ and です are the contracted form of である and であります as far I know.

September 7, 2017


I just encountered an alternate correct answer that ended with "da" instead of "desu." Never seen that before.

July 7, 2017


'da' is simply the more informal version of 'desu'. 'desu' however is the one that's taught more commonly since 'da' can be a bit rude in certain situations therefore 'desu' is more safe to use.

Hope that helps!

July 8, 2017


Same here, except duolingo counted using "desu" as wrong.

July 9, 2017


What is 人 doing?

March 22, 2018

  • 1378

人 (じん/Jin) denotes nationality when appended to the name of a country.

March 22, 2018


Dude thanks I forgot that that meant Jin

May 1, 2019


です was not an option. I put in アメリカ人 and hit enter because the other possibilities made no sense. Duolingo said it was right. Isn't what i typed just "American?" Why was this correct?

September 21, 2017


Same thing I came to the comments to try and work out, I'm reaching the conclusion this course is missing a rather large chunk of information pretty much required to learn properly.

December 10, 2017


Japanese relies heavily upon context. The I is implied.

October 13, 2018


Usually i get です, but today I did not. None of the correct answers were possible for me with the parts given. I didn't try to omit the part not possible because I assumed I was wrong.

February 10, 2018


Can the desu be omitted?

June 10, 2017


Basically, no. です is the verb.

June 10, 2017


But there was a question where there was no です card and it accepted the sentence without it

June 10, 2017


I believe です can indeed be omitted in casual Japanese (which explains why your sentence was accepted) however keep in mind that this is quite informal and could be considered rude if not used properly. There are also different versions of です like:

•だ (informal) •でございます (very formal)

When in doubt just stick with です.

June 11, 2017


Yes this just happened to me too

October 7, 2017


Yes? If there wasn't a different verb or a different form of です and the question was a sentence and not just a phrase, then it was probably an error of some sort.

June 11, 2017


Mines telling me である is the correct answer

June 10, 2017


Both should be acceptable. である is another form of です。

June 11, 2017


I wrote "Amerika jin" and it was right...

July 13, 2017


Same, i was looking for "desu" but that option wasnt there

July 19, 2017


Same for me, is it actually correct?

August 14, 2017


I believe it is but I also believe it's really informal so you should probably stick with using です whenever possible

February 13, 2019


アメリカ人 (amerikahito) is just "American"

October 11, 2017


That doesn't mean anything, as there are languages in which you can omit the verb, and in fact there are situations where you can omit です in Japanese. If you're giving your name though, I'd wager you'd probably want to include a subject to be understood (and you should probably just include です anyway if you're in a situation in which you're giving someone your name to avoid being rude).

October 4, 2017


What is difference between しゅうしん and 人?

March 25, 2018


しゅっしん - your homeland, where you were born/are from

Amerika shusshin - Homeland is america

人 - literally: "person"

Amerika jin - American person

There's also から来ました

から - from 来ました - came

Amerika kara kimashita - Came from America

April 10, 2018


Can anyone please tell me where that 5th symbol came from? (the one that looks kinda like a wishbone)

October 3, 2018


That symbol is the kanji 人 pronounced here "jin" but can also be pronounced "hito" or "nin" and means "Person". It is one of over 2000 chinese characters used in japanese.

アメリカ Amerika 人 Jin - "America Person" or "American"

October 3, 2018


Can someone please explain why '人' is sometimes pronounced 'jin' and sometimes 'hito'?

March 29, 2019


Kanji have multiple readings
Their on-yomi (sino-japanese reading) is most often used in compound words. 人 (Jin, Nin)
外国人 - gaikokujin - foreigner,
人形 - ningyou - puppet/doll

Kun-yomi are the traditional Japanese readings, most often used when a kanji is by itself or when part of name.
人 - hito - person.

Don't stress out memorizing all of the readings like another syllabary, you'll lose your mind. (Some kanji can have over 10+ readings depending on context and many have totally irregular readings you won't see in a dictionary like the 日 "Ni" in 日本 Nihon - Japan). Just treat them like vocabulary and learn the word as a whole.

March 29, 2019


Sometimes for the "人" they'll pronounce it like hito and sometimes they'll pronounce it like jin...is there a reason why they say it differently? How to know when to say it one way or another?

April 3, 2019


Copy-pasted from my response right above this:
Kanji have multiple readings
Their on-yomi (sino-japanese reading) is most often used in compound words. 人 (Jin, Nin) 外国人 - gaikokujin - foreigner, 人形 - ningyou - puppet/doll

Kun-yomi are the traditional Japanese readings, most often used when a kanji is by itself or when part of name. 人 - hito - person.

Don't stress out memorizing all of the readings like another syllabary, you'll lose your mind. (Some kanji can have over 10+ readings depending on context and many have totally irregular readings you won't see in a dictionary like the 日 "Ni" in 日本 Nihon - Japan). Just treat them like vocabulary and learn the word as a whole.

April 3, 2019


thank you so much it's very well explained! sorry for making you reply the same thing I'll search more next time :)

April 3, 2019


You all should use tae kims guide to Japanese as a Supplement when learning japanese and it focuses on grammar which is something duolingo should do more

April 17, 2019


Why is the answer だ? Even here it says it's です. Are both acceptable?

July 18, 2017


I have a similar problem. In the comments above people say "da", "dearu" and others can be used instead of "desu".

August 9, 2017


In this sentence is better to say です, because when you are introducing yourself or you are talking with others that aren't your friends or family you have to say です is more formal than だ.

Be polite and use ます form.

September 24, 2017



March 19, 2018


Why is the male voice pronouncing 人 as "sto" and not Shin?

April 27, 2019


You're taught the Jin is also spelled with the arrow up symbol, but why is it when you hover over it for the sound, it says "Hito"?

May 6, 2019


Where is the subject "I" in this sentence? If you use desu by itself is it just implied?

July 23, 2017

  • 1378

Yes, pronouns are often omitted in Japanese. The context helps determine who is being referred to.

August 14, 2017


They are not necessary. The かのじょ and かれ from duolingo seems so unnatural to me since you would not use them so extensively in a real conversation. The main point here is that Japanese is a topic sensitive language, which means the topic of a conversation becomes part of the grammar. Unlike a subject Germanic languages like English, a topic can "live" longer than only one sentence, so you don't need a pronoun in the next sentence. In a Germanic language you would have to say the word again or use a short word to replace it (= pronoun), so when talking about your sister, you might mention that you are talking about her in the first sentence and use "she" (or "her" or ... if it's not the subject) as long as you are continuing talking about her. Japanese you would make her the topic using the は particle and then you don't even have to mention that you are still talking about her in the next sentence. When talking about another person, you usually only use their name (which you would do anyway at the beginning of the conversation because he/she does not say about whom you actually talk). Therefore, using replacement words Is uncommon and depending on the situation is might even be rude (please don't call your boss, customer or a business partner あなた even if the dictionary says that is the formal way of saying "you"). Unfortunately, I often get "wrong" because I use I/you/we in the English translation and duolingo says it's another of them although the sentence is out of context and has not mentioned who is being talked about.

December 26, 2017


Heyyyy.... I said わたし、アメリカ人です。 and it marked me wrong. It's technically correct!! And I was on my way to 5 tests in a row without errors! ☹

November 26, 2017


It marked you wrong because it's wrong. If you're using the word わたし you have to follow it with the particle "wa" so it would have to be わたしは ("ha" is pronounced "wa" here)

August 31, 2018


It's correct but o don't belive its natural

April 11, 2018


It would be better if you learned how to say what country you are actually from (I think the app asks you when you first download it where you are from..?) Instead of learning how to say i am American when i am not.

June 11, 2019


My name isn't "John" or "Maria", either, but you don't see me kvetching about it, now, do ya?

June 11, 2019


アメリカ(あめりか)(america)人(じん)(jine)(another pronunciation=hito)※in this casu…america jin =one word) です(desu)(when you politely say word)put on

March 19, 2018


Would'nt わたしわ アメリカ 人 です。Actually be correct?

April 24, 2018


I think it would, but the spelling of "watashiwa" would be わたしは ("ha" is pronounced "wa" here)

August 31, 2018


But, where is the subject of prayer?


July 9, 2018


In japanese the subject is omitted. Você é brasileiro? "Oração" kkkk

November 2, 2018


does "jin" mean i am?

January 3, 2019


人 "jin" means "Person"
The copula です at the end is the part that translates to "to be/am/are/is"
アメリカ 人 です
Amerika Jin Desu
America Person Am
"I am American"

January 3, 2019


thank you !!

January 3, 2019


こにちは。I'm a bit stumped on when I should use "は” in a sentence that states my ethnicity. And, I haven't really found a post that answered my question (unless I haven't been looking hard enough?)

Please, explain it to me as if I were an idiot. I get lost easily.

February 26, 2019


は is a topic marker in a sentence and is used to mark what a conversation will be about. Often this is information that can be dropped if it is understood through context.
In sentences like this the speaker (you/I) is (usually) the topic. The full sentence would read as
(I) (topic marker) (America) (Person) (am)
"On the topic of me - I am American"

Since the listener probably already understands that you are talking about yourself though you can drop the 私は portion of the sentence to a much shorter and easier アメリカ人です "(I) Am American"

You will mainly use は when clarification of a new topic is needed. If you were previously talking about someone else, saying アメリカ人です may lead the listener to believe you are still talking about that original person; so you would require a 私は "On the topic of me-" at the beginning to alert the listener that you are now talking about yourself instead. Or another noun/pronoun like 彼は "on the topic of him-" to change the conversation to be about someone else.

February 26, 2019


Why does "人" have two different pronunciations​ when it's the man or the woman?

June 3, 2019


So this can with only 人 without です?

June 9, 2019


You should search up and learn all hirigana and katakana . Its not that many and if you know them it will be so much easier to learn. Helps me so much when i can read the most sentence and kinda figure out the meaning of the word

June 12, 2019


Don't forget punctuation, ya'll.

July 14, 2019


Why is Duolingo treating me like this? It wants to jump straight to katakana and kanji without telling us about grammer in japan, ect. And when i get it wrong it wants to take my hearts away and make me feel like an idiot :{

August 6, 2019


i think that for this, you can add 私が before since japanese is a topic-prominent language so it doesnt matter if you add 私が before the verb and noun if you're talking to one other person, if you're talking to a group of people and stating something, you add 私が at the start of the semtence. i typed that at the start of the sentence and it said i was wrong but i'm pretty sure i was right.

August 11, 2019


You'd more likely use 私は with the topic marker は rather than the subject marker が here. Though が wouldn't be incorrect, it changes the emphasis a bit.
私はアメリカ人です - (on the topic of me) I am American
私がアメリカ人です - I (am the one who is) American (and not someone else)

August 12, 2019



August 14, 2019
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