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  5. "てがみはあまり書きません。"


Translation:I do not write a lot of letters.

June 28, 2017





I wish DL taught more kanji


Aye, me too. I'd find this much less useful if I did not already have something approaching "intermediate" ability with Japanese, albeit out of practice.


You can't just make everything kanji though. Learn what natives actually use kanji for as I've seen that many natives opt for kana for many words.


Well, you can make everything kani that has kanji, in theory, actually. There are some words that literally have no meaningful kanji (but could be spelt out with them, all the same) and there are words were the kanji are now truly obsolete, to all intents and purposes. However, many words are often spelt out in kana but have kanji for them which are still used, but many native Japanese don't really know.

Just as with any other people, Japanese are not all literate, knowledgeable people, many just about know the essentially mandatory 2000 or so kanji, others have pretty much all the taught kanji down and know others that are no longer required to be taught.


I knew no Japanese before, and this still seems pretty useful to me actually. I've learned about the three alphabets and sentence structure amd basic words. I feel armed to study on my own.


This is so funny! Beginners hate kanji and now they beg for it! Gj Duolingo! Btw, one can just search up the kanji as you learn it.


Lol, at first I hated Kanji with a passion, but now seeing how words blend together without it, it just makes it so much more comprehensible to read a sentence with it. It really helps you break up the sentence easier.


AND you can easily tell who is doing what to whom, because of the particles. I always teach first-grade kanji hand-in-hand with hiragana, for precisely the reason you state.


あまり is often written without kanji.


Care to explain the diference between あまり and たくさん?


あまりmeans "hardly", たくさん means "a lot". Ex: たくさん勉強しました。(I studied a lot.)


Is amari used to indicate not much? What would be the translation for I don't write letters?




I would use a は here instead of a が for what we call "emphatic no." I tell my students to think of it like, "Hey, pay attention. There is a negative coming up."


Shouldn't that be を? With が you're saying "Letters don't write"


And if you want to say you don't write letters at all, say




why did you use てがみが instead of てがみは like in sentence Duo gives us? are they both correct and interchangeable?


Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but てがみは is used for letters in general. "Considering letters, (I don't write them much.)" If you were referring to specific letters, you would use てがみが, probably with あの or something. "I don't write those specific letters often."


I'm still not sure about が vs は in affirmative sentences, but from what I observe since I first asked that question, in negative and interrogative sentences, は is used instead of が. for what reason, or what could be the rule, I'm sorry I haven't looked for it yet.


Hi! I'm sorry I've taken this long to answer that question. I'm not 100% sure why I wrote が instead of は there, but I can tell you the difference.

You use が when you're filling in a hole (answering a question). For example:


Would be answered with:


Where the が is highlighting that >>Yamada<< was the person who went.

If you'd said 山田さんは行きました。you're just stating that Yamada went, without any real emphasis.


when does "amari" mean 'hardly ever' vs 'not a lot' vs 'hardly'?


あまり refers to the full sentence and not to the noun, so in a way, it's neither of them, since "hardly ever" is more about frequency and "not a lot" refers to the noun. Both should be accepted as a translation though, in my opinion. Of course, it's always contextual since you almost never can translate a word the same way all the time from one language to another.


I'm confused how to distinguish between 'not often' vs. 'not many' letters.


Anmari is an adverb. It describes the frequency of the action not the quantity of letters.


Amari kakimasen can be translated either "do not write a lot" or "do not write very many". What is the difference between "a lot" and "very many"?


Actually it's not this at all. あんまり is an adverb and it describes the negative frequency of the verb - not the quantity of writing achieved.


What's the difference between amari and anmari?


Same word, variant spelling as far as I can tell. At a guess it's possible that あんまり evolved to あまりbecause it's marginally easier to say?


No difference. Maybe a little more emphasis with the ん thrown in. Or, you sound a teeny bit more poetic or just a teeny bit more educated. But really, with you young whippersnappers, there is no difference. (Not even in my generation is there really a difference...)


Please allow: "I write few letters" as a correct response


you cannot translate from a Japanese negative sentence into an English affirmative sentence without losing a bit of its initial meaning in the process.


This is incorrect because あんまり is describing the verb and therefore the frequency of letter writing - NOT the amount of letters being written.


Duolingo said that the correct is"I don't write letters much.", not "I don't write letters usually".

My answer is wrong?

(English isn't my mother language.)




Is "I don't write a lot of letters" the same as "I don't write letters a lot"? I think the former is talking about the quantity of letters and the latter is talking about frequency of doing something. あまり is adverb, right? So the latter should be the only one correct? (I still haven't tried "I don't often write letters")


Yes, you are right - あんまり is an adverb and hence is talking about the frequency of doing something rather than the quantity.


I think a word あまり has a bit different meaning in English. Particularly, - "almost no/not, not really" etc, being used in negative sentences.


Well you just wrote 24, so...


Why not "I don't write letters too often", instead of "I don't write letters very often"? (English isn't my first language, but I believe the sentences mean pretty much the same...)

[deactivated user]

    Sorry for the dumb question but why is "I do not write letters" an incorrect answer? I thought あまり was like, "never" in this context.


    There are no dumb questions! How else are you going to learn? :)

    I'm trying to think of a context where I would use 「あまり」to mean "never." I suppose if someone were understating things... Nah, I can't think of any time I would use it to mean "never." Think of it as "not much" or "not often." If I wanted to say "never" in this sentence, I would use 「ぜんぜん」、or maybe to get a future context of "I would never," I might use 「ぜったいに」, and maybe even add an emphatic negative は to get 「ぜったいには」

    Hope this helps!

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