"てがみはあまり書きません。"

Translation:I do not write a lot of letters.

June 28, 2017

43 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/JohnPMChappell
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手紙は余り書きません。

June 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/VivianHuds1

I wish DL taught more kanji

June 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JohnPMChappell
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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.

June 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Frrost

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.

July 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JohnPMChappell
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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.

July 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Joe264823

I think I have read that over 90 percent of Japanese have high school education.

And from a personal experience, in my school that had 3 math classes devised by skill,most Japanese where in the top math class.

February 20, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/stephenbal4
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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.

September 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/amrok
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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.

September 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/steviepeculiar
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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.

February 20, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/MadameSensei
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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.

February 20, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Aki-kun
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あまり is often written without kanji.

November 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Plutopia

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

July 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/EduardoA.M2
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てがみがかきません。(手紙が書きません)

July 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/MadameSensei
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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."

August 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/cvictoria42

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

October 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/EduardoA.M2
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And if you want to say you don't write letters at all, say

てがみがぜんぜんかきません。

(手紙が全然書きません)

July 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/vngdhuyen
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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?

August 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Dravitar
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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."

September 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/vngdhuyen
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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.

September 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/EduardoA.M2
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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:

だれが行きましたか。

Would be answered with:

山田さんが行きました。

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.

September 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/DeathBoo
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Care to explain the diference between あまり and たくさん?

October 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/MatthewRut8

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.)

December 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/AnaLydiate
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I have explained the difference in answer to someone else directly above your question.

November 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/junotaittus

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

July 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Aki-kun
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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.

November 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Mark671653

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

July 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/AnaLydiate
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Anmari is an adverb. It describes the frequency of the action not the quantity of letters.

September 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/nichoKou
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Please allow: "I write few letters" as a correct response

October 31, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/vngdhuyen
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you cannot translate from a Japanese negative sentence into an English affirmative sentence without losing a bit of its initial meaning in the process.

October 31, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/AnaLydiate
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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.

November 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/RANDELEE

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"?

March 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/AnaLydiate
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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.

March 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/SabianF
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Okay Duo needs to get grammar straight for English. "A lot" is for mass nouns, and "many" is for countables. I am very uncomfortable having to answer the wrong grammar to get Duo to pass me.

January 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/trishka9
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I think you're referring to much v. many. "A lot of" can be used with both countable and uncountable nouns.

"I don't write much letters" would indeed be incorrect English.

"I don't write many letters" might be preferable on the basis of the sentence being negative, but "I don't write a lot of letters" is perfectly acceptable.

A lot of my friends think so, anyway!

December 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/marcobgm

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.)

January 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/AlejandroR688460

手紙は余り書きません

March 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/niabchan

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")

August 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/AnaLydiate
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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.

August 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Dil563393
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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.

November 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/steviepeculiar
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What's the difference between amari and anmari?

February 20, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/AnaLydiate
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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?

February 20, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/MadameSensei
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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...)

February 20, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/SabianF
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Wow... just don't post my comment, after all I typed.

January 19, 2018
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