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  5. "くだもの"



June 11, 2017



I don't get it, what is this.


Its fruit in Japanese written in a different way. (In a more appropriate way, to be exact).


could you tell, why is it more appropriate?


One simplified answer is that it helps reduce ambiguity in a language full of homophones. There's more to it than that, of course. An interesting read about it is here: https://japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/51756/if-kanji-are-necessary-to-disambiguate-homophones-how-come-its-still-used-bei


There are actually not that many true homophones as it might seem, but there are a lot of words written the same way. The thing is that Japanese has what you call accent tone. Words can be written the same way, but differ in intonation, and thus be identifiable as different words in spoken Japanese. In writing, however, this is not shown directly, and by showing the kanji you would know the meaning of the word, and then the pronunciation. This is also why I try to learn the basic meanings of the kanji and not every single reading. Not sure how that would work out, but it's worth a shot.


Words like 'hi' & 'high'; 'there', their' & 'they're'; 'wait' & 'weight'; 'hight' & 'height'; 'your' & 'you're'; 'no' & 'know'; 'hay' & 'hey'; 'none' & nun; '-phile' & 'file' and perhaps a myriad of other homophones are often heard in English I have noticed


Perhaps because it's in kanji


@KTKee-EnglishEng I'm sorry for your downvotes, but here is the deal. The Japanese language uses 3 main writing systems (+1 if you count romanization)

  1. Hiragana - basic orthographs, (kana) that are specific to a sound. か(ka), き(ki), く(ke), etc. Taught at an introductory level. こんにちは (Konnichiwa)

  2. Katakana - Orthographs for expressing words of foreign language. Each graph(letter) corresponds to a specific sound. Examples include カ(ka), キ(ki), ク(ke). アメリカ (amerika)

  3. Kanji - it is said to be "difficult" of the three because each word has it's own character (orthograph). It also doesn't have one-to-one sound correspondence. A kanji character can mean a lot of things and can sound like a lot of things. Context is your best friend to get to know them. Examples: 月曜 (monday), 私(I) etc. Note that their pronunciation can technically be written in hiragana but it isn't the norm.


In spoken Japanese you know what they're talking about from context. In written Japanese kanji removes ambiguity. So words like カキ which written in katakana means oysters can be read as 書き(write) and 描き(draw) all have the exact same pronunciation but different meanings.


Imagine Domino's started serving fruit, and you said, "Cool, Domino's (kudamono), thanks for the fruit."


Funny that 果 has some of the same double meaning of "fruit" as English does. Just as we have "fruits of labor" this character appears in 果たす (to accomplish). Pretty cool.


So what is its reading for "to accomplish"?

  • 1191

はたす hatasu


Sorry, is it related somehow to tabemono?


-mono makes it a noun, more specifically a "thing". [nomimono => drank thing => beverage] [tabemono => eaten thing=> food] [kimono = is the thing being worn on shoulders => special jacket] [bakemono = shapeshifting/hidden thing => shapeshifting monsters]

To return to the verb form you replace -mono with -ru. [taberu = to eat] [nomu = to drink (exception because already ends with -u)] [kiru = to wear (on shoulders)] [bakeru = to transform or be disguised (think tanuki or bakeneko)]

There are other ways to conjugate them, such as -imasu, which should be pretty hammered in with the previous lessons by now.


So if 'kudamono' is the noun form meaning fruit, what is 'kuda' by itself?


くだ is like the old equivalent of きの. き is this instance refering to 木 (tree). の being the possesive marker between nouns. 木 apparently could be read くin the past and だ was used as a possesive marker. So it literally means "thing of a tree". However, like you will see later on, some words like that with an old reading of a kanji have changed the kanji to fit more with the meaning of the word. So くだもの doesn't use the kanji 木 anymore but the kanji 果 instead, one of its meanings being fruits. That's also why the reading of 果物 might look like a strange reading if you know the readings of 果 and 物 since 果 usually isn't read くだ.


And kudaru (くだる) means "to fall". Quite appropriate if kudo (くだ) is a "thing of a tree".


You forgot いきもの (ikimono) animal . But you remembered ばけもの (bakemono) monster.


果物:くだもの 果:くだ (counter for pieces of fruit) 物:もの ("item classified as ..."

Basically meaning "item classified as (counter for) FRUIT"!


Why a word like 怪物 (kaibutsu - monster) doesn't have the "mono" sound in it, even if it includes the same kanji (物 - mono - object) as "kudamono"?


Kanji characters can have multiple readings

  • 1191

About 果物くだもの(fruit) and 怪物かいぶつ(monster). MONO is kun-yomi (Japanese reading), BUTSU is on-yomi (Chinese reading) for 物. The word くだもの might have Japanese origin and be added KANJI letters, 果物. The word 怪物 might be from China as a loan word.


I was confused about how の was being used; I thought they were asking for an adjective.

  • 1398

The の here is not the particle. It's just a syllable/part of the whole kanji(s) of くだもの.


Its just part of the word, ''no'' doesnt always have to mean one thing.


Kudamono = くだもの = 果物


I was always taught furuutsu was fruit...


They are both correct. Furuutsu is just a loanword from English for the same thing.


What's the difference between くだもの and フルーツ?


フルーツ is a loan word from English while くだもの is the native word for fruit


Second one you said means sweet food midoriya


What about the plural of fruit


It's the same. Japanese is a very contextual language and usually doesn't differentiate between plural and singular on the noun itself. It's only expressed through any other words that may be modifying it, such as numbers or words like "many".


This comes later in the course, but there's the word たち [tachi] which indicates more than one is present. You can use this as in

子たち (children) 猫たち (cats) 犬たち (dogs)

If you don't recognize the kanji here's the Hiragana:




こ means Child ねこ means Cat いぬ means Dog


Whenever I see くだもの I think of こども for some reason. I suppose fruit arr children of the tree.


What's the difference between くだもの and かじつ

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果物くだもの is in common use. and 果実かじつ may be used in science dictionaries, texts and studies…or lyrics.


what's the difference between 果物 and くだもの?


Any reason why all exercises starts with "a" (a telephone, a bank, a manga, a room, etc) except this one?


Where does 'mi' come from in 'gomu gomu no mi'? I thought that meant fruit, so shouldn't it be 'gomu gomu no kudamono'? I know it's only loosely related but I am curious lol


果物・くだもの and 実・み both mean "fruit" but 実 is broader and applies to fruits, nuts, and seeds
So it's like distinguishing 果物 "fruit" as a food from the broader 実 "edible part of a plant"

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