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  5. "先週にわの木をきりました。"


Translation:I cut down the tree in the yard last week.

June 12, 2017



My sensei was right; hiragana CAN be difficult to read sometimes. XD


Yeah, because in this case, it was confusing on whether に was a particle or not. Any native speaker would have probably known instantly though.


Well since Japanese doesn't have spaces in its sentences, having a mixture of kanji ans kana actually helps. So in the case, its more likely that it would have been written as 庭 rather than にわ anyway, removing the question of if に was a particle or not.


This is true, but we should be doing a combo of reading and listening. I'm sure the previous post was correct: any native speaker would have instantly known what was being said which means it shouldn't matter whether we see the kanji or not. We have to learn how to recognize sentence structure and sound. In this case it might sound odd to have に come right after 先週 especially if it immediately has わ followed by の followed by 木. Reading に as a particle doesn't make sense because it begs the question "what does that make わ or わの?" If it's わ, what word is that? If it's わの, again, what word is that and why is it immediately followed by 木? Even with my limited knowledge I can tell straight off the bat that に isn't a particle and I do know a word にわ.


This is very true, and I agree 100% that even if it might look a bit strange, a native speaker or anyone with a good foundation in Japanese will know right away that it isn't a particle.

I also agree that having a に after 先週 is normally a bit odd. Usually a pause (先週、庭…) would be inserted after it rather than に anyway. Especially in casual conversation. That said, it's not necessarily incorrect to have one. A に when used with expressions of time is just a way of directly indicating that particular time. It's usually omitted on words that have no exact time, e.g. "last week" or "yesterday." "Last week" could have been 2 days ago, 5 days ago, etc. But it doesn't matter, hence the lack of に. There are times where it is required, and this in general is a bit of an oversimplification, but that's beyond the scope of this post.


The trouble I had with this sentence was that I thought 「わ」was the counter for birds and a 「木」was some strange type of bird (which doesn't make much sense, but it's still reasonable enough). With that assumption, "Last week, I cut two Ki's (which I know to be birds)" is technically grammatically correct. Now obviously that's not a very likely meaning, but it is possible and hence the lack of Kanji tripped me up.


yes, my language exchange partner has said something similar. But I don't know nearly enough Kanji--so I of course must rely on the kana. I am also trying to train my ear to hear what is being said. That helps a bit if you can't read the Kanji.




What is the difference between 斬り and 切り?


斬り is more aggressive so less used


This got me the first time a saw it. Hope they eventually switch to Kanji for words that normally use them.

先週[last week]庭の木[garden's tree]を[direct object particle]切りました[did cut]。

Kanji and spaces. They do the Kanji now if only we could convince them about the use of spaces :)


The japanese language ot not written with spaces to distinguish words, kanji and punctuation assist with context when reading japanese. It makes more sense to NOT have spaces because it helps attain fluency in japanese. What I wish they would add is to use more kanji with furigana in the first few uses of a new kanji.


I have a kanji book that uses hiragana with spaces in some sections and it's very difficult to read so i really don't think adding spaces will help


木 is pronounced き?


Yes, 木 is the kanji for tree


So what does the moku pronunciation indicate?


The もく pronunciation also means "tree" or "wood" but it's used in different situations, usually but not always in combination with other kanji, such as 木材 (もくざい = "lumber", "timber") or 木造 (もくぞう = "wooden", "made of wood").

木 (pronounced もく) is also used as an abbreviation of 木曜日 (もくようび) which means "Thursday".


mokuyoubi. Thursday


Why is it not possible to put " last week" at the beginning of the sentence. E. G. Last week I cut...


It should be acceptable... Though I suppose the lack of capitalization in the word bank should indicate the order they're expecting us to use.


I can easily understand that, due to having the modifier "にわの木" the preferred translation might be "THE tree." But with Japanese having neither articles nor usually plurals (except pronoun plurals or a collective prefix), neither "A tree" nor "Trees" should be marked wrong, though "a tree," just was.


I wrote "I cut the trees in the garden last week" (trimmed them).

Although my answer was accepted anyway, I'm wondering if you can actually "cut down" a tree with merely "きりました" ?

I would have thought you'd instead use 切り倒す (きりたおす) ?

Or is this "きりました" meant to be as in 伐る rather than 切る ?


This is an interesting question. My dictionary does indeed give 木を伐る as a set expression meaning "to fell a tree", but also 切る as "to cut (usu. to cut through), to sever", so either way, I believe the implication is that the tree trunk is being cut, rather than its foliage.

As for what verb to use instead if you wanted to say "trim", I'm not entirely sure if this is more common/normal, but you could use 刈る (かる). Having a quick browse through my dictionary though, it seems that "to trim/prune a tree" uses 枝 (えだ = "branch", "bough") as the object, rather than 木, which may be the more natural way to say it in Japanese.


Yes, I think きりました should be written as 伐りました here, which means cut down (a tree). 切り倒した should also work.


How do you know when to use moku or ki?


Ki is usually stand-alone. Literally tree. Moku is usually in combination with other kanji to make a more complex word. It’s like Latin based components in English. For example, the word “out” literally means out, but the prefix “ex” means out or PERTAINS to outward things and is used in combination with other words. Like: exclude, exit, extra, etc. 木材 = もくざい = lumber; 木造 = もくぞう = made of wood; 木曜日 = もくようび = Thursday (wood day). 木 = き = tree. This is how many kanji work.


How would you say 'the tree was cut down' instead of 'I cut down the tree'?


'I cut down the tree.'
木を伐る。 きをきる。

'The tree was cut down.'
木は伐られた。 きはきられた。

'cut down' lexical verb きる kir.u → きら kir.a
passive voice aux. verb れる re.ru → れ re.∅
past tense auxiliary verb た ta

伐る 'cut down [object]'
伐ら + れ + た '[subject] was cut down'


Shouldn't there be a coma after 先週?

[deactivated user]

    It was used in earlier lessons to help separate words but its not generally used. Either way would be fine.


    last week I cut a tree down in the yard is the same thing as the solution above and should be considered correct.


    When i heard にわ I confused it with the comparison marker には.


    It's impossible to read this without kanji...


    I mistook にわ for 鶏 instead of 庭 which really confused me. I was like "I cut the chicken's tree last week", what?


    He finally avenged the hat selling dog.


    How do you know 木 means "tree" rather than "wood"?


    By context. Usually it's safe to assume without any other clues that 木 means "tree", and in my experience if the Japanese want to specify "wood", like to build things with, they use different words, such as 木材 もくざい, lumber; or 薪 まき, firewood.

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