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  5. "先月日本に来ました。"


Translation:I came to Japan last month.

July 6, 2017



This is largely unrelated to the sentence as a whole but I might have just had a brainwave I wanted to share.

If 先 (sen) (せん) is used for previous, and 生 (sei) (せい) for various types of learners or students, then the word for teacher; "sensei" (先生) (せんせい), in a very literal form, would be "previous learner/student" right?


Now I wonder how flexible 生 is. Can you use it standing on its own? Assuming we are not talking about school students but just a student of something. Or is a specific combination always needed? Like "空手生" (Karatesei / Karate student) for example?

Or should we learn kanji combinations as a word and ignore the way the combination is "built"?


Learning combinations as a word is often the best course, though it is still good to consider how the combination is built. In most cases they are like compound words in English. The individual parts can give you a clue to what the whole word means. A "passport" uses the words "pass" and "port" and while separately they are two distinct things, they have a new meaning when combined in a way that makes sense. Only certain combinations make actual words though, you can't just interchange various parts with anything else and still get the same meaning across.
In Japanese there are also many kanji that are used solely for their pronunciation rather than their meaning. 寿司 Sushi, for example, is made of "longevity" and "director",

生 has many different readings and meanings, both in combinations as well as on its own. By itself it is most often read as なま to mean "raw, fresh, natural". Pronounced せい on its own does exist to mean "life, living" and can be used as an abbreviation of "student" though it is less common.
生 is the kanji for "life, genuine, birth", it does not itself actually mean "student".

A teacher is 先生 "previous-life" as in someone who was born before you. This title, while most often used for teachers, can be attributed to most anyone considered to have a level of mastery in their profession. It is an honorific that acknowledges the time and hard work put into studying their craft. It is commonly used for doctors, lawyers politicians, artists, and writers.

When you want to talk about students, it really starts to depend on what kind of student you are.
A student is 学生 "learning-life", is a more generic word for student, so if you want to say what specific student you are you could add it here. 画学生 - An arts student.
This is more applied to institutional learning (especially high school, college).
This is also the word you will see in other compounds related to students such as 留学生 foreign exchange students, 学生割引 student discount, 学生ビザ student visa.

Then there is 生徒 seito - a pupil/student (used for lower-levels of learning, hobby schools and private lessons) and
弟子 deshi - an apprentice, someone who asks someone who is not a professor/teacher to teach them the skills of that person. (From what I can see this is the most commonly used for karate students)


That was a great read! Thank you for the effort :)


how come. I went to japan last month is wrong? Nobody says I came to Japan last month.....it would be I came from Japan last month,


You would say that when you are actually in Japan and you have been there since the previous month.

来る is to come; To go is 行く.


Thank you! I came here looking for this answer. Appreciate it :)


I too would like to thank you. I came here wondering the same thing and this response makes things very clear now.


Wait, Japan means Day Book?

日: day 本: book Mind: Blown


日:sun 本:origin
thus 日本:Land of the Rising Sun


日 is day, but also sun. 本 is book, but also base or origin. The meaning here is "origin of the sun", because from the perspective of China, the sun would come up from Japan. T h e m o r e y o u k n o w


From the perspective of China and the rest of the world since the international date line is in the Pacific!


Yeah, but originally it's from China's perspective. There were no international date lines when Japan got it's name written in kanji for the first time some 1600 years ago.


How would you say how many months ago? 二先月?


Nikagetsu mae - two months prior


*would that be how you say two months ago?


It's literally "the month before last month". 々 signifies a repition of the previous kanji.


In that case, how would you go about saying a larger number of months ago?


you would specify an amount of months - ikkagetsu - one month, nikagetsu - two months, sankagetsu - three months etc 一ヶ月、二ヶ月、三ヶ月 etc


何ヶ月も 「なんかげつも」is what you're looking for. 何ヶ月も前に来ました。I came many months ago.


I am wondering what's the difference between 来ます and 行きます


行きます - go, 来ます - come


Occasionally the Japanese speaker will choose the other verb than expected. I wouldn't worry about it too much, though. There's a discussion here: https://japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/1669/what-is-the-proper-differentiation-between-来る-and-行く


Ok.... but how about pronunciation???

Both are kimas.


No, 行きます = いきます (ikimasu) while 来ます = きます (kimasu)


But both have ni in front, so for a new learner nikimasu and niikimasu sound the same.


Yeah, that's a good thing... because then we get it wrong until we learn to tell the difference... which is the whole point of studying.

No faster way to learn than failing.


Could anyone give mw the furigana for "last month" please. I'm hearing "sin getsu"


せんげつ. Also there's no 'si' sound in Japanese.


Why do I not use ha/wa in this sentence, but in similar sentences, I am supposed to? What is the difference?


Why is there no particle or comma after "sengetsu"?


先月日本に来ました(sengetsu nihon ni kimashita)


I helpful trick in learning Japanese is to change your phone's language preferences to Japanese so you get to practice more


Can confirm... I've been using this trick for portuguese for the past 5 or 6 years, I still remember and can hold a conversation in portuguese even though I hardly have anyone to practice with (I also watch my anime with portuguese subtitles)


Is it my imagination or does the speech prompt says 先月に when に isn't in the sentence at all?


Nope. It says "sengetsu Nihon ni kimashita". You might be confusing the first sound of にほん with the particle に.


When the right time to use ました instead of ます?


When the sentence is talking about something that happened in the past.


How do you know its 'to' Japan instead of 'from'?


The particle に indicates motion towards (amongst other things).


And how would it be "I came from Japan"?




Why is there no は after 先月?


Why dont they write out the first "ni"? It goes straight from "last month" to "Japan". But the audio says "ni" in between


There isn't a "ni" in between; you're likely hearing the "ni" in 日本 "nihon"
The particle に marks specific points in space/time. It can't be used with relative temporal nouns "tomorrow, yesterday, last week, next month, etc.) which act like adverbs describing their relation to the current point in time (which is always changing). Similar to the use of "in/at/on" in English for times, you would say just "Last month I came to Japan/I came to Japan last month" never "In last month/at last month/on last month, etc."


Can someone explain why 'went' is incorrect?


"Went" is the past tense of "Go"

"came" is the past tense of "come"

Both are movement verbs but "Go" refers to the action of leaving a location for another (from the perspective of the place you left) and "Come" refers to the action of arriving at a destination (from the perspective of the destination).
If you "went" to Japan you are currently no longer in Japan and talking about your past travel there. If you "came" to Japan you are probably currently still in Japan talking about your arrival.


is ”i came to japan last moon” actually incorrect?


Moon is "月" (つき) on it's own.


Last moon would'nt make sense


Why doesn't it accept, 'I Arrived in Japan last month?'

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