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  5. "Lunch time is short."

"Lunch time is short."


July 2, 2017



So for clarification, みじかい can be used for both physical shortness and also shortness in length of time?


Yes. Same with ながい (long).


Careful though, im pretty sure even for physical descriptions みじかい is describing a shortness of length. ひくい is for shortness in height, also translated as "low"


Can someone explain why が instead of は in this instance?


I think it's because lunch time is not always short. For example: 「お腹が痛いよ」which means "My stomach doesn't feel well." It is not general but a temporary thing or something you just feel or discover at the moment. In most short sentence like this,「は」is for truth;「が」is for phenomenon. But in some cases like 「冬は寒いが、夏は暑いです」to compare two things (winter and summer), we put は between their (n.) and (adj.)


in that case, wouldn't a translation such as "Lunch time got short" be best suited?


I think what they mean is that the particles は and が are used for persistent and temporary attributes. Perhaps it's a bit like the Spanish "es" and "está".


For this you also could say "... has become short" and that is a change. But things work here different, even I don't know how to describe change yet.



Hirugohan no jikan ga mijikaku narimashita.

Lunch time became / has become short.


I think without context, they're interchangeable in this particular case and が is just what was used for the "official" translation. My translation of 昼ごはんの時間は短いです。 was also accepted.


The distinction between は and が is not an easy topic, and can be the object of thesis in studying of japanese language.

In general manner, は is more the theme/topic of the sentence, meanwhile が is the subject of the sentence.

It can depend on what you want to underline or emphase, but fundamentally the scene described by the sentence is the same.

Some expressions have to be constructed with either は or が, and can not be changed. You'll have to learn them (for example "I'm hungry" mentionned in a previous reply)

In many cases, the theme and subject are interchangeable.


In many cases, the theme and subject are interchangeable.

彼が 古い(です)。 -> Litteral: He [subject] old. Can be translated to: * He is old.

彼は 古い(です)。 -> Litteral: He/Him [theme] old. Can almost be translated to: Regarding/As for him, he is old. Or As far as he is concerned, he is old.

If you prefer, these differences can a little bit be the same in English :

(What) a beautiful house. -> no verb (and so no subject), but the 'house' is the theme, the described thing.

The house is beautiful. -> a verb 'is' related to the subject 'house', which is also the theme.

It is a beautiful house. -> a verb 'is' related to the subject 'it', related to the theme 'house'.

Here is an example where it can be put as a topic marker. The translation I'll make can sound not very English, but you'll understand my point.

昨日友たちと話しました。 -> Simple sentence I would translate to: * I talked with my friends yesterday

昨日は友たちと話しました。 -> Here, "yesterday" is marked as the theme, then I would translate the sentence more like : Yesterday, I talked with my friends" Or Regarding/Concerning yesterday, I talked with my friends.

Both sentences mean the same thing, but not really. In the second example, "yesterday" is apart, and takes a more important part/value than in the first sentence where it is mixed within the sentence, and so appears as important as the fact the guys you were talking with are your friends.

You also could mark the giys you are talking to as the theme. And say something that could sound like Yoda or poetry in English : 友たちとは昨日話しました。 * "As for my friends, I talked yesterday with"... -> In this litteral form, you clearly insist on the guys you were talking with, and makes it a important piece of information. The fact is was yesterday seems less valuable.




Just want to say that, to say a person is old in age, we use 年(とし)を取(と)っている. So 彼は年を取っています instead of 彼は古いです


I should have used an other (poor) translation for the last example :


The spirit of the sentence is more:

With my friends, I talked yesterday


Wa is definitely a more common way of saying it. Unless the emphasis is on "This" particular lunch break . But without context, it just teaches an unusual way to say it.


が is the natural particle here. Did you read CH0063's explanation above?: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/23344994?comment_id=26708119

The emphasis is on lunch break in a specific situation (lunch break at your specific work place, が), versus all lunch breaks at every place in the world (a truth about all lunch breaks in general, は). は can also be used for contrast (lunch break is short, but if you work the night shift, dinner break is long), but there's nothing in the English to imply that contrast, so が gives the most neutral sentence.


All of the above are correct. But I just try to categorize the sentences that are talked about because they are of different use cases.

The 5 categories of は vs が: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/35559111

「お腹が痛いよ」=> Phenomenal sentence vs conclusive sentence. お腹が痛いよ talks about what is happening now, so it is a phenomenal sentence so が is used.

「冬は寒いが、夏は暑いです」 => Contrastive vs exclusive. It is doing contrast so は is used.

「昼ご飯の時間が短いです」 This one is ambiguous given no context. I would say it is phenomenal sentence vs conclusive sentence. If you talk about the lunch time that is happening now then it is が. If we are talking about other company's lunch time vs own company's then it would be "Contrastive vs exclusive."

I think both が and は can be a natural choice for this sentence.


I don't really think we're saying anything different. If you use it in a "contrastive vs exclusive" way, then you're adding nuance to the Japanese that is not present in the English. I'm not saying that は can't be used, but I strongly disagree with the OP's statement that は is more common, when が is the particle for making a neutral statement.


Can someone please spell out the kanji in hiragana?


時間 じかん jikan


Why is 間 pronounced かん in this case? What's the difference between あいだ, ま, and かん in meaning?


So, from what little I know and understand, pronunciations are hard for Kanji because they have Chinese 'On' and Japanese 'Kun' readings and variations within those readings that have to do with the context, the placement of the kanji in relation to other ones in the complex word, as well as the pronunciations of the Kanji around it.

Simply put, there isn't a great way to discern the differences quickly afaik and it's more rote memorization.


I am totally lost on the (no) particle, can someone please explain?


The の/no particle is used to signify possession, similar to the apostrophe-s ('s) in English (e.g. the cat's ears vs. 猫の耳・ねこのみみ・/neko no mimi/).

You will also see の/no translated as "of"; however, in such cases, the order of nouns is different, which can cause some confusion. With "of", the possessed object comes first: "<possessed thing> of <the owner>" (e.g. the ears of the cat). With の/no, it's the opposite order: "<the owner> no <possessed thing>" (e.g. 猫の耳・ねこのみみ・/neko no mimi/).

In this exercise, "lunch" is the owner of the "time". As such, you can think of the sentence as "lunch's time is short", "the time of lunch is short", or even "the time belonging to lunch is short". In English, we shorten "the time of lunch" to "lunchtime", which results in "lunchtime is short".

Let me know if that helps!


That's a fantastic way to explain it! I've been familiar with how No works with possession for a long time, but I was having a hard time thinking of it naturally in this application. Thinking of it as "lunch's time is short" makes it feel like a natural fit, and the logical choice when trying to form the sentence. I'm glad I looked at the comments in the one, this will make it much easier to make this type of sentence reflexive.


Awesome! Thank you very much


Awesome explanation!


"Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so."
- Douglas Adams


Can the order between lunch and time be reversed? It makes more sense for me saying that the lunch belongs to the time than the other way around.


Err... the sentence does say that the time belongs to the lunch.


In my language, it does make sense to say "time of lunch," but you can also think の can be used to make almost adjective-like attributes from nouns, such as like 男の人 (= man-person) = a man.


Might've missed this in a previous lesson. I've always said おひるごはん with the honorific. Is this dropped for casual speech only? Or in other situations?


Would it be okay if you omit the particle "no" in this sentence: 昼ご飯時間が短いです (ひるごはんじかんがみじかいです)


In speech - sure, especially when you speak to someone you know. In writing - nope.


"昼ご飯の時間は短い" was accepted (even though I forgot the です) - is 短い capable of acting as one of those funky "actionless verb adjective" things or is Duolingo in error here?


Neither. The です is only needed in formal speech when using an い adjective. In informal speech, you drop the です when ending with an い adjective, or if it's a な adjective, you change です to だ.


Remember 'mijikai' with 'midget' :D


Shouldn't 昼休みは短いです be accepted too?


That would work in some contexts. If you work in an office that has 昼休み (hiruyasumi), which is the one hour of the day where everyone leaves to presumably eat lunch, it makes sense.

But if you're at a school, 給食 (kyuushoku) is lunch time and 昼休み (hiruyasumi) is recess/play time.


Is it possible to say 昼ごはんは短いです? I.e. can lunch on its own be short or is it essential to say lunch time?


I think to avoid implying that the food is for some reason physically short, you need the time.


Is ひる completely necessary?


The ひる in ひるごはん is what specifies it as lunch, literally "noon meal," as opposed to just any meal. So to specifically refer to lunch, yes, you need ひる, unless you just want to just say "meal time."


ランチタイムは短いです Was also allowed, I feel like I've cheated lol.


At first I wanted to write ひるごはんの時がみじかいです /hirugohan no toki ga mijikai desu/ . So without 間 kana. Would that be wrong?


When you say ~の時, it's usually translated as "when ~". A common example of this grammar would be 子供の時 (kodomo no toki), which means "when I was a child". It seems like in your sentence you're saying "when it's lunch, it's short", so I think the nuance would be a little different.


In another lesson, "for a little while" is written as "ちょっと の 間 " without the "時" character. (The exact phrase was "ちょっとの間いすがしです".) Why is time "時" specified in this lesson and not that one? (If I run into it again, I'll comment there too for more relevance)


I assume you're talking about this sentence: ちょっとの間いそがしいです。

I think you're trying to see a relationship between two completely different words.

間 (aida) means "a while", so ちょっとの間 (chotto no aida) is "for a little while". 時間 (jikan) means "time", so 昼ごはんの時間 (hirugohan no jikan) mean's "the time of lunch" a.k.a "lunch time". Even though they use the same kanji, both the Japanese and the English is different.


Instead of です you normally can use だ for casual speech. With this said, is だ here forbidden (Tae Kim said so) ?



先生です (sensei desu) = 先生だ (sensei da)


きれいです (kirei desu) = きれいだ (kirei da)


短いです (mijikai desu) = 短い (mijikai)

You don't use だ with i-adjectives because they act like verbs on their own.


When you use 昼ご飯 and when ご飯




Hey, DuoLingo, just use 昼休み (ひるやすみ) for lunch break, please.

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