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  5. "How is your uncle in Tokyo?"

"How is your uncle in Tokyo?"


June 28, 2017



とうきょうのおじさんは おげんきですか。 Using the お before the 元気 (げんき) is also possible and I little more polite.


Just as a side note for any future readers: a lot of times お is put before words to make more polite/formal. For example, while じさん is a a valid way to say uncle, おじさん is more polite.

As another side note, you'll also see ご used in the same way, although less common. Which one used depends on the word.


Commonly chinese words made of multiple kanji are used withご while Japanese words with one kanji/kunyomi readings use お. But you can see it doesn't happen all the time since under these rules it would be ご元気。


The key difference here is whether words ORIGINATED from Chinese or Japanese. 元気 may be written in kanji, but it's a Japanese word. It's quite ambiguous if you don't have Chinese background.


The お in おじ or おじさん is not the polite お. Written in kanji it would be 叔父 or 伯父 the 叔 indicates a younger sibling and the 伯 indicates an older sibling of your parents. Hence it is an integral part of the word. In contrast, the お in おじいさん (お祖父さん) is the polite お so you can say じいさん by itself as a friendlier, less formal form of address.


Thanks. To supplement to this, じさん is NOT a valid way to say uncle. おじ (classical Japanese: をぢ) is one word. お(を) means "small" and じ(ぢ - originated from ちち) means "father."

Reference: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?id=753597304810622&story_fbid=1523109294526082


as I'm writing this message, it isn't accepted without the お anymore. But I thought it isn't wrong, just impolite?


Can this sentence also mean "Is Tokyo's uncle well?"


I dont know but im having trouble not reading it that way lol


Is Uncle Tokyo anything like Uncle Sam?


I would assume that if you're talking directly to someone, common sense would dictate that your referring to their uncle... not the city's. And why would a city have an uncle?


i agree without the あなた there us no way to tell


In another lesson I was trying to think of another way of remembering, because although the possessive part is fairly easy there are some cases that are more confusing than this example.

I have started to think of it as 'of'. You don't get as near a translation but I think the meaning is a little clearer, and I think it generally works.

So in this case it would be Uncle of Tokyo. Is your uncle of Tokyo well? So something a Japanese learning English might say. Not correct English, but understandable.


You may be onto something. I think "of" could be used in many sentences as long as you flip the word order. Anata no namae wa becomes name of you. Anata no onisan becomes brother of you, Etc.

Same thing when we are learning positions and we say Anata no mae which becomes front of you! Perfect!


One that doesn't work quite so well is: 三つの椅子があります. There are chairs of three. Though equally thinking of it as the possessive: There are three's chairs, also doesn't work. :P.




東京のおじさんは(お)元気ですか? Careful not to over-kanjify (^.^)


Well, the kanji for おじさん does exist, but it's usually written in kana alone.

That said, I typed what your comment said, and it marked me wrong. I've reported it.


wish they would use kanjis at least for place names. you see the other words spelt out sometimes but never places.


I wish we were at the skill level to say "tokyo ni iru ojisan" instead of "tokyo no ojisan" .. feels more precise.


And in this lesson we should be able to put it. I was searching for the ni particle and couldn't find, very frustrating to learn a language like that


Exactly. Using の here is like "meh!"


Why is it Tokyo no ojisan? Is it that he belongs to Tokyo? That sounds soo weird. Shouldnt the proper particle be de?


No can be used in lots of ways including where something is from/based. An apple pie from tesco is Tesco no ringo no pai. Australian wine is oosutoraria no wain. It's just a quirk of the language.


Possession is one way to use the 'no' particle but more broadly, it indicates a relationship between two things.

So in a sense, yes, he belongs to Tokyo, but that can be taken to mean that he lives there.


This just made it click. Thank you!


Another thing that I have found that works in most cases is "of". 東京のおじさん: Your Uncle of Tokyo 私の妹: Younger sister of you etc.


You can see similar titles in English and other languages. For example, Helen of Troy, Sir Lancelot du Lac (of the lake), etc.


FYI you can find the same weirdness in Chinese: 東京的叔叔 (的 being the Chinese equivalent of の) would be the natural translation of "the uncle in Tokyo".


should '東京に' also work? it doesn't, but should it?


I'm still learning but I believe "東京におじさんは「お」元気ですか" is more fitting and I checked with Google Translate, although not precise most times, seemed pretty legit following the fact that the particle "に" is used in place and time so as to apply to "..uncle in Tokyo."


No, it will not work. You need a verb to show that に is the place of existence: 東京にいるおじさん.


Now I see. Thank you very much




Note that おじさん is usually written with kana alone.


Why do we use の after 東京


It is to show the location of the describing noun. In this case 東京 is describing the location of おじさん



I'm still having trouble with "の", and this isn't helping. But I'll get there, with or without Duolingo.


の can be translated to a variety of things including "of, in, at, for, by, from" among other things.


Can we say "ojisan wa Tokyo no ogenki desuka ?" おじさんは東京のお元気ですか Duo make me wrong answer but I thought there was no mandatory meaning in the sentence. (Sorry I m not English).


No 東京の is describing おじさん so they need to stick together.


can be used に instead of の???


No, that would be 東京に いる おじさん


東京にあなたのじさんはお元気ですか ?

Does this sentence mean something? And if it's the case what would be the difference with the correct one?

Thanks in advance for your help and your explanations so that we can improve our Japanese skills


You need a verb if you want to use に after 東京: 東京にいるあなたのじさんはお元気ですか


Ok so i guess we haven't seen this kind of structures of the phrase yet... Still complicated for me to use "2 verbs" in the same sentence ;)


In which way is he in Tokyo?


Seems like this app doesn't like Kanji!


I wrote 伯父さん and it marked me wrong...


Can we use "東京からの" instead of just "東京の" in this case?


東京からの would be from Tokyo, so "How's your uncle from Tokyo."

The uncle would probably not be in Tokyo any more in this case.


Why tf is the です家 keep poping up when i type desuka ???


Why isn't it possible to say おじさんの東京 in this case? I always get confused with the order of the words in those possession-relationship-type things...


I have started to think of both " 's " but also "of". It might not translate into proper English but it is understandable enough and seems to work most of the time (doesn't work with numbers such as 三つのテーブル would be tables of 3). So for example John's sister, ジョンの姉 could be sister of John. 東京のおじさん could be Uncle of Tokyo, which isn't proper English, but is sort of understandable.


I still don't grok which noun goes where for "の". To me, the Uncle is the important noun in the sentence and the Tokyoness should be the lesser noun, so I wanted the Uncle to come first: おじさんの東京. Is this just something to memorize or is there a rationality to it?


The "important" noun (the one who gives or receives the action, or interact with the verb etc.) comes last. The noun or phrase before の describes the noun that follows.


Thank you, that helps.


Took a plane there i suppose...

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