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  5. "My grandfather passed away y…

"My grandfather passed away yesterday."


November 7, 2017



Can someone break this down for me? Thank you!



そふ=Grandfather (This is the casual form for grandfather which means he is your grandfather.)

が=Subject marker (が is showing that the grandfather is the subject.)

なくなり=Become lost

ました=(Polite past tense) 

If you translated it literally into English it would be:

"Yesterday, my grandfather pass away was."

Which can then become:

"My grandfather passed away yesterday."

Put together, なくなる (dictionary form) means to pass away or be lost. なく is to "lose" and なる is to "become".

There is another word in Japanese for "die." It is しぬ. However, this sounds very harsh. なくなる is a better word to use when talking about a person.

なくなり can be used for other things as well. Like losing your appetite, something falling out of fashion, running out of money, etc.


Using "は”, wouldn't the sentence be "As for my grandfather, he passed away yesterday", so why is "が” used in this context


が is also used when pointing something out as the subject, so it becomes "my grandfather is the one that passed away yesterday" when が is used.


I was wondering about this. Your answer was what I suspected, but thank you for confirming!


In the matching exercises, duolingo introduces 亡くし, which I believe comes from the verb 亡くす, but then never actually uses it in a sentence. What is the difference between 亡くす and 亡くなる?


Duolingo usually introduces verbs in their conjunctive forms because it wants us to learn how to stick "ます" onto the ends, and the conjunctive form is the form to which one attaches ます. Both 亡くす (I believe) and 亡くなる come from the conjugated form of the adjective 亡い (ない, dead). This is the same as the adjective as 無い (ない, non-existent), but only used for people. 亡い becomes 亡く and either 成る (なる) or す (an older form of 為る [する]) is used as an auxiliary verb.

亡くす is a transitive verb because of the す, which means that を must mark the person who dies and something or someone must always be the subject which loses the dead person. Example: "彼が父を亡くす"

亡くなる is an intransitive verb because of the なる. Since it's intransitive, the person who dies must be the subject. Example: "彼の父が亡くなる"


I used "shinimashita" (sorry, no kana on my keyboard here) and was marked wrong.


Shinimashita would be more "My grandfather died." Passed away is more sensitive and would be translated as Nakunarimashita.


While 死にました is correct for saying died, it is very abrasive. The proper way of saying it would be きのう、わたしのそふがなくなりました。 or 昨日、私の祖父が亡くなりました。in Kanji.


It's spreading like the plague. I wonder whether Duo will survive this lesson or not.


お悔やみ(を)申し上げます okuyami-(wo)-mōshi-agemasu We would like to express our condolences.

お心遣いありがとうございます。 O kokorodzukai arigatōgozaimasu. Thank you for your sympathy.

Since gai-jin/ foreigners often go for work, it seems more likely one will be in a position to say the former. But to one's boss/ superior? Please, is it rude or not?This is confusing:


これもYahoo!知恵袋などの質問系サイトに良く載っている質問です。 もしかしたら目上の人から使う言葉ではないか、部下から使っても良いのか、という主旨のようです。 全く問題ありません。相手がどんな立場であれ、全く失礼の無い言葉です。


I wrote, "昨日、そふはなくなりました。” As far as I can tell, Duolingo didn't like the comma? Is that the only mistake?


昨日おじいさんがしにました。why is it wrong ?


It's そふ, when talking about your own grandfather to others (with an out-group), which seems to be the case here. The honorific form is おじいさん, if you are talking addressing your grandfather, talking about him with members of your own family, or if you're talking about someone else's grandfather.


Yes, but you can still use おじいさん to talk about your own grandfather, and it still would be acceptable.


Anyone else get tagged as incorrect for using the Kanji form of 亡くなりました?


I constructed the sentence as above, and it's considered wrong ! Another BUG !

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