"I am her younger brother."
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It's proving a difficult unit for me too. A lot of things aren't clear and they are asking us to construct different types of sentences with different sets of particles in different ways. I'm sure this is simple to more experienced learners but for people still trying to understand when to use は, の and が, as well as remember which kanji we're suppose to use at this point, it's pretty daunting.
は is for 'is'. John is student. The の is used as posessive. My chair, his sister. And が is used when the subject is being used and isnt the actor. Like: The chair is bought (chairs dont buy things). Anyway, Japanese isnt a hard language. Barrier to entry is the writing though. Before this i focused some time to Remembering the kana / Remembering the kanji. So focus on the early lessons first. Reading comfortably makes focussing on the rest easier.
Please correct me if I am wrong:
ka re ra - They (male)
ka no jo ta chi - They (female)
ka re - He/Him
ka no jo - She/Her
o ni i (san) - (someone else's) older brother
o ne e (san) - (someone else's) older sister
o ni - (my) older brother
o ne - (my) older sister
o to u to - (my) younger brother
i mo u to - (my) younger sister
o to u to (san) - (someone else's) younger brother
i mo u to (san) - (someone else's) younger sister
shi ma i - sisters
kyo u da i - brothers
Couldn't you just say 「かのじょのととうです」 ? Why is there a need to affirm that you are the subject of this sentence? I understand that it would be highly sensitive to the context of the conversation and it might as easily be understood as "That's her little brother". Maybe I'm being a bit too difficult.
Yes, you could say that. It's indeed likely to be interpreted as "It's her younger brother", but since it is so context-dependent it could technically also mean "I am her younger brother", without including わたし. Be careful with the spelling of little brother though: it's おとうと (弟)
If you want to sound natural dont use watashi.... btw ore can come off as rude while most male adults dont use boku...
EDIT: I have read more about this and this is what I have found. According to an article I read by a non-native speaker who has lived in Japan, he claims that BOKU is used by males and some females while WATASHI is more formal as you said. But this "formal" means that with STRANGERS you would use WATASHI (Female or male).
ORE is used by males but only among friends.
Now based on what I have observed in J-dramas and listening to J-Pop, I would say that the observation about ORE is correct but I am not so sure about BOKU. I still have to hear a male using it in any drama I have watched and I have only heard women or kids use it in dramas and songs. Males always use ORE or WATASHI.... There are other forms of "I" and this can also vary by region as well which is why "WATASHI" is the best one to use for beginners....
Hope that helps! (Notice that my original suggestion to drop the topic marker is the best if you want to sound like a native)
No, you can't play a particle directly before the copula.
です is used to form A=B sentences, with A being the subject, and B being the predicate, the thing describing the subject.
Your subject A would be marked with は or が and the description is what directly links to です to form your predicate. Your phrase lists "Her little brother" as the subject with が but links nothing to the です so it reads unfinished; like saying "Her little brother is..." Her little brother is what? Her little brother is a student? Short? 15?
です is the copula used in A=B statements. You ARE her little brother, so "I = her little brother". The subject is marked with は or が and the descriptive word is linked directly with です to form the predicate.
います is used when saying something exists, 彼女の弟がいます "Her little brother exists" or "She has a little brother"
は is the topic particle; it marks contextual/known information for the statement you are about to make "On the topic of..."
の is a noun-linking/grouping particle. The noun before it modifies the noun after it. This can also be used to show possession, and works like an "'s" or a reflexive "of"
AのB - "A's B" or "B of A"
私の名前 "My name" or "Name of me"
彼女の弟 "Her younger brother" or "the younger brother of her"
彼の犬 "His dog" or "the dog of him"
僕は - On the topic of me
彼女の弟 - Her younger brother
です - am
"I am her younger brother"
The noun before の describes the noun after it, like an adjective. You can think of it as a possessive 彼女の "Her", or a reflexive "of" as in "Brother of her"
弟の彼女 would be "My younger brother's girlfriend" where 彼女 ('girlfriend' when used as a noun) is described by/possessed by "little brother"