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Japanese Skill: Position (Unofficial Tips & Notes)

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[Under Construction] This post is not complete. But, I'll be back to put the last two bits later today.

Japanese Skill: Positions (Located just after second checkpoint.)

I've taken the liberty of going a little more in depth than the Duolingo skill into using location words and composing some basic location question/answer sentences.

Handy terms to Google: "Japanese Ko So A Do"

Here/There/Over There/Where (Part 1)

ここ koko here
そこ soko there
あそこ asoko over there
どこ doko where

Basic sentence sample:
[ここ・そこ・あそこ] にえんぴつがあります
[koko/soko/asoko] ni enpitsu ga arimasu.
There is a pencil [here/there/over there].
The particle に NI is used here because it pairs with location words. However, で DE is related to where things take place. For instance, if we play at the park, で would be used. I don't have a good explanation off the top of my head to go into when to use に vs で. I'm very rusty at this. Feel free to comment about it if you've got a good explanation.

Location: Where
どこですか。Doko desu ka? Where is it?
Xはどこですか。X wa doko desu ka? Where is X?
あそこ / ここです。Asoko / koko desu. It is over there/here.
X は Yと Z のあいだです。X wa Y to Z no aida desu. X is between Y and Z.
(間=あいだ / aida= between)

Example: (Taylor = X, Central = Y, Stevenson = Z) TaylorはCentralとStevensonのあいだです。Taylor wa Central to Stevenson no aida desu.
Taylor is between Central and Stevenson [Building].
(間=あいだ / aida= between)

Location + Reference Item
Noun1 の Noun2

Noun1: Reference/Marker item.
Noun 2: Location word.

Question: SOUはどこですか。SOU wa doko desu ka? Where is SOU?
Answer: Subway のまえです。Subway no mae desu. It is in front of Subway.
Subway = reference/marker. まえ=location word.
(前 = まえ / mae = in front. の前 = in front of.)

This/That/Over there/Which (Part 2)

Without noun
これ kore This
それ sore That
あれ are That over there
どれ dore Which

Basic sentence samples:
[これ・それ・あれ] はペンです。
[This/That/Over there] is a pen.
[...]はなんですか。What is [this/that/over there]? [...]はいくらですか。How much does [this/that/that over there] cost? [...]はですか。Is it [this/that/that over there]? Note: どれ is not followed by は that I'm aware of. You can just say どれですか。for "Which is it?"

With noun
この kono + noun
その sono + noun
あの ano + noun
どの dono + noun

Basic sentence sample:
[この・その・あの] + [noun] はいくらですか。
Example: このとけいはいくらですか。Kono tokei wa ikura desuka.
How much does this watch cost.
(時計 とけい/tokei watch)

(Location Words: Left, right, under, etc. ... under construction)

Other Unofficial Tips and Notes:
[handakuten [ ゚] and dakuten [ ゙], and the little や、ゆ、よ, and つ (Unofficial Tips & Notes)](https://www.duolingo.com/comment/23501240)

July 2, 2017



Thank you! That is quite helpful - and explains a lot of my frustration...


Oh good! I haven't added the last bit. But, I swear it will arrive! I've had a 15 states + Canada road trip recently and a friend visiting out of country. So, I'm exhausted. But, one day when the dinosaurs return, I'll cover how to put together the left, right, front, back, beside, etc. sentences. lol :P


Can you explain why の is used in X は Yと Z のあいだです instead of で? Thanks.


Hi Wiijimmy,

I have no idea. I may have known back in 2010 when I was taking Japanese. But, these days it's just memorized. I've double checked it with my textbook and X は Yと Z のあいだです is correct. I'll upvote your question in the hopes that someone else will be able to give you an explanation. :)


I'm not exactly an expert but I suspect it would be because で generally provides context in association with verbs where as の acts on nouns. 間 is a noun.


Thanks very much for doing this, it's very useful.

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