1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Japanese
  4. >
  5. "I am also American."

"I am also American."

Translation:私もアメリカ人です。

June 11, 2017

90 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KeanuLinke

Is "アメリカ人もです。" correct as well?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AbunPang

Well that would mean "I am [not only nationality x but] also American" rather than "I am also American [just like somebody else we have been talking about]". Maybe a less likely interpretation of the English sentence, but as far as I (as a learner myself) can see it should be valid.

[EDIT: Having learned a bit more, I discovered that this meaning is better expressed as アメリカ人でもあります (literally: “[I] exist also as an American”). I’m not sure if アメリカ人もです would be flat out ungrammatical – I think it would at the very least be understandable –, but at the very least it doesn’t seem very idiomatic. Thanks toJorgeLozan389514 for pointing it out.]


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/namnatulco

Yeah, I'd say the English sentence leaves the interpretation open


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ClassiDuo

In English, it would be clearer in spoken form rather than written form, because we'd tend to give extra stress/emphasis (linguistic focus) to the word that "also" is modifying.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/smithkmgeo

Yes English "X is also Y" is ambiguous whether X or Y is being added. In context it's always clear, but we don't have that context in Duolingo.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Flynn431167

I was about to disagree, but I realised what you meant when typing my example. For example: "the wall is also red" could mean that the wall, in addition to other things, is red or it could mean that the wall is red in addition to also being other colors.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JorgeLozan389514

According to the book Genki 1 pag 65, も cannot be used this way, [not only nationality x but], it mentions that, if you want to say that someone also has another nationality, it should be : "someone" はアメリカ人でもあります。that is what the book explains, but i haven't studied a lesson that states the same yet (as a learnes myself as well hehe)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AbunPang

You’re right, I discovered that later on as well and tried to find and correct the places where I was talking about this structure, but apparently some slipped past me. Thanks for pointing this one out to me! I made an edit to the original comment.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AikiNinja

As a British English native speaker, I find that saying "I am also American" to mean that somebody is American and I am American like him/her is quite ambiguous.

"I am American too" would be a better choice of wording.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BlackStag7

「アメリカ人でもあります」Wasn't accepted (Nov. 2020) I would've thought that the Japanese sentence they wanted me to write would be closer to the English "I, too, am American"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andrea76008

Made the exact same mistake. Still don't get why it is wrong...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AbunPang

アメリカ人もです is not wrong, but it would require an interpretation of the English sentence which probably isn’t the first to come to mind (i.e. “besides some other nationality, I am also American”). Report it using the flag button if it isn’t accepted.

EDIT: Actually for that meaning アメリカ人でもあります (literally “[I] exist also as an American”) seems to be preferred. アメリカ人もです might be misunderstood as “the American as well”.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Electronic2174

I understand that "は" indicates the subject... But "も" is used here instead. Does "mo", used as a sentence particle, mean "also" or "likewise"? That's what makes sense to me, at least.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/itsbecca

Yes, that is correct! And it replaces the ha because they are serving the same function.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NoorHasan

Why do we use "watashi" in this sentence? Why can't it be excluded?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/itsbecca

While the subject can often be implied in Japanese sentences, here we are using a modifier, the も, so it should be included. If you said アメリカ人です then you would simply be stating you're American, not that you are American too. もアメリカ人です or アメリカ人もです are not grammatically correct.

The more casual, shortened version of the sentence would be わたしも. Which would essentially be like saying "Me too."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AbunPang

If アメリカ人もです is incorrect, how do you say “[implied topic] is American, too” (as in, they are American besides some other nationality)?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/itsbecca

You're right, I should say rather that アメリカ人もです is not correct for this translation. Since も is modifying the word directly proceeding it, changing the position changes the meaning of the sentence. It can modify adjectives.

Perhaps it would be an okay response if, for example, someone was Half Japanese and Half American, and they were asked "Are you Japanese?" and they replied "Yes... but アメリカ人もです"

To demonstrate も with adjectives, the half person above could say (わたしは)アメリカ人も 日本人もです.

He could use と to express this thought, but the も emphasizes that he is equally American and Japanese.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KestrelSB

人 audio is not saying jin, sounds like its saying shito or shto or something :/ only for male voice tho, female says jin, this normal?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Leandri872728

These are 2 different readings of the same Kanji. ひと (hito) is the Kun (Japanese) reading and じん (jin) is the On (Chinese) reading.

When used on it's own it is pronounced "hito".

For eg. この人はだれですか? (Who is this person?)

But, when it is used in conjunction with another word, it's pronunciation changes.

For eg. 日本人 (Japanese person) it is pronounced "jin" and when counting さん人 (Three people) it's pronounced as "nin"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KyleighX

Pretty much all Kanji can be pronounced multiple ways, but in this case I think it is a problem with Duolingo. I took Japanese for 2 years in college, and my professor was American but he lived in Japan for 8 years and married a Japanese lady professor who also taught the language. The correct pronunciation for describing nationality is "じん" (jin), not "ひと" (hito). I just submitted that as a correction/ suggestion before I saw your question.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AkaXstar

Kanji has to ways to pronounce. As far as I know Hito is the chinese pronunciation and Jin is the japanese pronounciation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AbunPang

The other way around I’m afraid ;)

Generally speaking, On'yomi (readings imported from Chinese) are quite restricted in their form. They are always one of these:

  1. Single syllable with a short vowel (i.e. either a single Kana or something like きょ – an i-series kana plus a small ya-row kana)
  2. Single syllable with a short vowel and an -ん at the end (e.g. じん, かん, じゅん)
  3. Single syllable with a long ē, ō or ū – but not long ­ā or ī – and no final -ん (e.g. せい, きょう, くう)
  4. Two syllables, both with short vowels and the second is one of つ, ち, く, き (these come from final -t’s and -k’s in the original Middle Chinese, but Japanese people couldn’t pronounce those finals without a vowel, so they became full syllables). Careful, sometimes this second syllable becomes reduced to small っ in compounds. For example 一 is いち, but the compound 一分 is read as いっぷん.

ひと has two syllables and both with a short vowel, but the second one is not one of つ, ち, く, き, so it cannot be an on'yomi reading.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Amawaku

I forgot to click on "です", therfore leaving my sentence as "私もアメリカ人"... And it was accepted! Is it correct as well or did Duo consider it a simple omission rather than a mistake?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AbunPang

It’s also a correct sentence, just not in polite form.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Amranium

Couldn't you also use 米国人(beikokujin) for American?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vworks

Why is "僕もアメリカ人ではあります。" incorrect?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

であります isn't really a structure that is used outside of formal/literary text. It is formal and polite but not very humble so a bit strange to use when referring to yourself and clashes a bit with the informal 僕. It's also unnatural with the contrasting marker は in positive form that puts a strange emphasis on the verb "I also AM American".

である is only necessary if that specific contrast is needed (such as in the negative form) or if you need to place a particle before the copula (such as in "I'm american also" アメリカ人であります


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EduardoGCxD

I don't understand that well the role of 私 in this sentences


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

私・わたし is the first-person pronoun "I"
も is the inclusion particle "too, also"
So 私も is "me too" or "I also"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MrMcJaggers

Is there no ha particle because mo is there?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AbunPang

Yes, 〜は and 〜も exclude each other. In fact they are opposite concepts in some respect: 〜は elevates a constituent to the topic, saying “as for x” – and implying that what I’m saying is true for x, but not necessarily for other things. 〜も on the other hand means “x too, x as well”, i.e. it integrates the x into a group of things that we have been talking about.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/carlos.val755414

So to say "You are also American" would you say あなたもアメリカ人です?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BrianBleynolds

Yeah, that would be my guess.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/poku929847

i think you'd have to add 「か」to the end since its a question


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dimaas

could someone please explain how this sentence is composed? I'm struggling here lol


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BrianBleynolds

What do you mean? わたしもアメリカ人です: literally would be "I also america person am" わたし ( watashi = I ) も ( mo = too/also ) アメリカ ( amerika ) 人 ( jin = person ) です ( desu = am/to be)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MamaLuigi17

So is, 「私もアメリカです。」NOT acceptable?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YassirBer

The correct translation of your sentence is " I am also America"!!? Not like はたし も アメリカ人 です "I am also American"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Luisfer682023

I notice there are times you don't use "I", like sentences such as "I am american". Then, why is "I" necessary when saying "I am also american"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AbunPang

Unlike English “also”, Japanese -も is not an independent word but rather a particle that attaches to something, much like -は. It cannot stand by itself; it needs わたし to attach to, which means that it can’t be omitted here. At least not unless you use the alternative interpretation where “also” refers to “American”: “I am also American [as well as other nationalities].” In that case -も attaches to アメリカ人, so the subject (technically topic) can be left out again: アメリカ人もです。


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/suraj_sama

i know that japanese often omit subject 私 in sentences. When context is around you or if you are talking about yourself or your action 私 is often omitted. I even 'found out' that people think of you as egocentric if you are caught using 私 in some contexts. May i know the conditions to use and not use 私.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AbunPang

In this case you can’t omit it because -も is not an independent word but a particle just like -は which has to attach to whatever is “also”. So if you left out -も you wouldn’t have anything to attach -も to.

You would also use 私 if it can’t be inferred from context. For example, if you were just talking about your best friend and then said アメリカ人です, the listener would assume you’re still talking about that friend (after all, how would they know you’re suddenly talking about yourself again). So you would have to make that change explicit by saying 私はアメリカ人です. Only after you signalled that change and established yourself as the topic once again, you could start omitting it again.

But if there is no topic specified yet, the other person will usually make the reasonable assumption that, if you expect them to assume a person as the topic, it will be yourself in a declarative clause and “you” in a question. After all, that’s a reasonable assumption: You can’t be talking about somebody who is not present because the listener would have no way of knowing who that person is. So it has to be either “I” or “you”. And since it usually makes much more sense to give the listener information about yourself rather than the listener themselves (and the other way around in questions), that’s what the listener will assume.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Angelica431442

Could someone help me understand how to sentences are formatted? (verbs, nouns, pronouns, etc.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IceIce400683

I think its subject (usually omitted) adverb — object — verb


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PatrickBra289091

Watashi mo amerikahitodesu.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AbunPang

人 is read じん when used as a suffix to place names. Alternatively, アメリカ人 (Amerika no hito) would also work, but that would technically be “a person from America” so I don’t know if it’s accepted.

Also be aware that -も is not a free-standing word. Instead it works just like -は: It attaches to the end of the phrase that comes before it, after any case particles (except the subject and object markers -が and -を are deleted). This is why you can’t leave out 私 here because that would leave -も stranded without anything to attach to.


[deactivated user]

    What is the purpose of 私?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AbunPang

    Unlike English “also”, Japanese -も is not an independent word but a particle, much like -は. You always attach it to the noun which “also” is. For example, “also an American” (besides other people/nationalities) is アメリカ人も, “I also” (besides other people) is 私も etc. Therefore, if you want to say “I (besides other people) am also American”, you cannot omit 私 because that would leave -も stranded without a host to attach to.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/argiris564207

    Isn't "America jin des" correct? I thought it was


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AbunPang

    That’s just “I am American”, not “I am also American” ;)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NichoHan

    Is there a kanji for america?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AbunPang

    There are usually only Kanji for words which are either native Japanese or Chinese ones which got loaned during premodern times. Other loans – especially those from languages outside of the East Asian cultural sphere – usually only use Kana today. There used to be a phonetic Kanji spelling 亜米利加 but I believe it’s pretty much completely fallen out of use. After all if you spell it phonetically anyway, why use Kanji at all.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dane742639

    Does duolingo teach keigo and non-keigo. If they don't then why? Isn't that really important?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MokiSable

    も is like a particle that says WAIT THERE MO, where the subject that its attached too is suddenly the thing that is MO (or ALSO).

    Correct me if I'm wrong


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RheaSamantha

    What is the sense of the word "mo(also)"? Does it mean, for example,"I am Japanese and I am also American" or "John is American and I am also American", or can it be used in either case?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AbunPang

    -も is not an independent word in and of itself like English “also”. It’s an ending just like -は and attaches to whatever is ”also”. So 私もアメリカ人です means “I also (besides other people) am American”. This is also the reason why 私 cannot be omitted here because then -も wouldn’t have anything to attach to.

    If you wanted to say “I am also American (besides other nationalities)”, you would have to attach -も to アメリカ人. (私は)アメリカ人もです sort of works I believe but my intuition tells me that for this situation you would probably use a slightly different construction: (私は)アメリカ人でもあります, which literally translated would be something like “I exist also (besides other things) as an American.” But I’m not a native speaker, so native speakers please correct me, if you disagree!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ErinBurke276998

    Pronunciation should Americajin not Americahito??


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AbunPang

    Yes. Many Kanji have multiple readings depending on the context. 人 as a suffix for place names to express “person from …” is read じん. However if you inserted a の (アメリカの人), then アメリカ and 人 are separate words 人 is read as ひと.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tanner1357

    Why is 人 pronnounced "hito" instead of "jin"?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AbunPang

    Did you get ひと in the full-sentence pronunciation or when you moused/tapped on the character? In the latter case, the issue might be that the text-to-speech engine only gets this one character without context and has no way to know that in this particular case it should be pronounced じん rather than ひと. If you let it read out the full sentence, it should read じん (and at least for me it does).


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OmmieFergu

    If someone (in casual conversation) said "私はアメリカ人", to say "me too" would be "私も", right?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/suraj_sama

    Can anyone explain me when is 人(hito) used?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

    人 as hito is used when by itself to mean "person"
    その人はアメリカ人です sono hito wa amerikajin desu - That person is American
    人々 hitobito (々means "repeat this kanji", it is a short form of 人人, the sound of the second kanji changes slightly due to rendaku) - each person, everyone
    人ごみ hitogomi - a crowd of people
    人目 hitome (person - eye) - public gaze


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/suraj_sama

    thank you once again...super informative:)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bruno_gomes2012

    why I can use "a student" and not "a American". what does happen to the article?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DanielMarq666974

    I didnt put the です and that considered as wrong. Whatahell


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

    Grammatically you can't end a sentence with a noun; you need some form of copula or other verb. Without a verb it's like saying "I also American". It may be passable in some colloquial speech, but it isn't correct.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/maiab151

    would もアメリカ人です be correct as well?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AbunPang

    No. -も is not an independent word by itself; it always has to attach to the end of something (the part which is “too”), much in the same way as -は does.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TaylorGray444771

    It says "mo america jin desu" is wrong


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

    Particles act like suffixes and require a word to attach to
    It isn't modifying anything in your sentence, it's just there not serving a purpose.
    も is an inclusion particle; here you are introducing "me too" as new important information. You can omit the already understood through context "-am American" but you can't omit the "Me too" or you wouldn't make sense.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/3Qzyl

    Would it be correct if youd say 私もはアメリカ人です?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AbunPang

    I’m afraid not. -も fills the same slot as -は, so you can only have one or the other on the same noun, never both at the same time.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

    No, も would replace は
    は marks old/known information and would be used for the original topic of the conversation, the first person who is stated to be American. も then introduces new information applied to the previous statement, "me too" or "I also [am American]"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Martim447566

    Why do we use the 人?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FrostDirt

    To keep it simple, 人 means person. So this sentence should literally translates to "(I am) America person"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AbunPang

    It’s basically a suffix which means “a person from…”. アメリカ without the 人 is talking about a country, not a person from that country, so 私もアメリカです means something along the lines of “As for me, it’s America”. That sentence is not completely devoid of sense but it requires a lot of additional information from context (e.g. as an answer on the question 一番好きな国はどれですか “which country is it that you like the most”), and it definitely doesn’t mean “I’m American.”


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ArtistryHM

    So possessive sentences do not require a subject marker?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AbunPang

    There is no possessive here. But I guess you’re talking about -も “also, too”?

    -も works much like -は in that it’s a sort of “super case”: It doesn’t mark a syntactic relationship but puts whatever it attaches to in a larger context of some sort. Therefore, you can have both a normal case and -は/-も on the same noun:

    • 私は東京にも生きます。 “I’m going to Tokyo, too [as well as to some other place].”
    • 田中さんとも一緒に生きましょう。 “Let’s go with Mr Tanaka, too [as well as with some other person].”

    The exception (for both -も and -は) are the subject particle -が and the object particle -を. You can’t have them and -は/-も on the same noun, so -は/-も replaces those markers rather than attaching behind them. This is why you get sentences like 私はお寿司を食べます rather than *私がは, which would be ungrammatical.

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