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  5. "I worked yesterday."

"I worked yesterday."


November 11, 2017



shigoto is a noun, so you can say

kinou wa shigoto deshita =yesterday was work

deshita is the past tense of to be (desu) ->was (deshita)


Thanks for the clarification.


So, this is something you can do with other nouns?

Party/Work/Study + suru/desu = I have/make Party/Work/Study.

i.e. noun+suru/desu = verb.


And so 働き is the verb for work and uses ました .


The verb is した or しました


What does "to be (Desu)" have to do with this?


It's hard to explain because it doesn't translate into English.

です is used as "to be" and it's also used to "do a thing." In this case, 仕事。"(I) do a job."

The past tense form of です is でした。

仕事です。= (I'm) doing a job. 仕事でした。= (I) did a job.

It's not a clean translation, but this is the closest I've related it to in my head. I hope this helps.


Nevertheless, I think you'll hear people say more on the street either 仕事(を)した or 仕事(を)しました. This "仕事でした" sounds unnatural, unless you're indicating that you had a work load (eg. I was assigned a load of work yesterday).


Why can を be omitted?


Dropping the「を」won't change the meaning, so it's usually omitted in conversations.

However, there are cases where「を」cannot be dropped. These are when "nominalization" takes place (eg. when you are adding the ~ing to the verb stem).

I saw him reading a book.

In the above sentence, you don't need to pronounce the「を」after 『本』, but you do need to pronounce it after『~いるの』.

Hope that helps.

Edit: On second thought, I am not 100% certain that you need to keep the「を」(in oral conversation). For example, the two following sentences should sound fine colloquially (I would think?)

1) 「本、読んでいるの見たことがない。」
I've never seen you read a book. 

2) 「本、読んでいるの見たことがない。」

Any Japanese native here? Can you confirm?


Japanese doesn't express ideas in same way as English. So direct translation doesn't work.

Quite often you see what would be the 'verb' in English would be an 'adjective' in Japanese.

for example 'suki'(likeable), in English you would say 'I like it', in Japanese you would say 'suki desu' (it is likeable)

and this kind of thing spans across the whole language. Nouns, adjectives, verbs, collocations etc. Japanese unlike European languages is very distant language to English so a lot of these things might feel very counterintuitive at first.

In this example verb in 'I worked' is replaced with 'there was (deshita) work'


I guess then "好き" is a lot like "me gusta" in that it's less about you liking the thing, and more about the thing being likeable (?)


Makes a lot of sense!


Work might be a noun if it is your place of work. This clearly says worked. Is that not a past verb. Is work not a thing that is done in Japan but rather just something that exists?

I feel that often in these lessons I find the Japanese consider certain English verbs to be nouns. Is there somewhere I can find out which English verbs are Japanese nouns?


It's true as Duolingo doesn't explain or clarify much at all these things will be confusing.

And the way they write the translations don't help to indicate specifics either, so if not for this comment section we may never have known that 仕事 was a noun.


仕事 is a suru verb, meaning that する can be used to treat it like a verb, just like with 勉強 even though both can be considered nouns. In this case though I feel like 仕事 is being used more like a noun in 「昨日は仕事でした」as it would be more like "Work was yesterday." If translated very literally. If it was being used like a suru verb I suppose you could say 「昨日は仕事をしました」you may not need は for the 昨日 either as it's a generalised time and not specific but I can't really remember how that works. Might need someone to confirm that though.


Wouldn't しました be a better translation than でした?


Yes, きのうしごとをしました it's "I worked yesterday" or more precisely "I did work yesterday" and きのうしごとでした precisely it's more like a "It was work yesterday" but I think any of them have the same ideia, I also think that きのうしごとがありました could be used. Which would be precisely translated as "There was work yesterday" or "I had work yesterday"


5electro, しました is the verb thst has been used so far in lessons. Now I believe dl is teaching us a different verb to use to say the same thing. Aelin explained it clearly above in the 1st comment.


No clue. Why iki desu and not ikimasu?


Verbs can't be used like that. The example 仕事 is a noun. When you want to make it a verb, you add 仕事をします. Since 仕事 itself is a noun, hence you can use desu and deshita.


Iki desu is like it is go. Ikimasu is like go(do).


Why would "昨日は働きました" be wrong?


It wanted you to use しごと in this exercise. You can probably flag it and it might get changed for people who type the answers themselves instead of use the provided word bank.


Came here to say that I was pleasantly surprised that it accepted this since they're driving the word 仕事 in this lesson. It appears they fixed it!


Why is it "deshita" instead of "shimashta"?


Really could use some help on the grammar here please!?! Thanks!


Well, literally it says "As for yesterday, [it] was work."
きのう "yesterday"
は "as for" (topic particle)
しごと "work", "job"
でした "was"




です → でした


昨日は仕事をしました。 昨日は仕事でした。 It said both are correct. What is the difference?


They're both implying the same thing but meaning is slightly different. Shigoto wo shimashita ~ I did work/worked yesterday. Kinou, shigoto deshita ~ yesterday was (a) work (day)/ i had work yesterday.


You can also say shigoto shita because shigoto suru is the verb 'to do work' so "shigoto shita" is I DID WORK.


Just to clarify for others, shita is the casual/non-polite form, compared to shimashita which is the polite form that duo teaches. Wo particle is optional for [noun] (wo) [suru] composition.


I was searching for a way to answer 昨日は仕事おしました. The sentence sounds like "work was yesterday" to me in the current form.




How do you pronounce しごと? I hear "shimoto", shouldn't it be "shigoto"?


G is quite soft in Japanese, and can often have a hint of an 'ng' quality to it. Actually I'd say all the plosives (k, g, t, d, b, p) are a bit less hard than in English. Could that explain what you're hearing?


I have a similar issue. It seems only with the female voice over. She doesn't seem to articulate very well and it causes undue confusion. There was a question where she was using Gako in a sentence, but she would take a breath or something right in the middle of the word. So to an untrained ear like mine, it sounded like the "ga" was part of a previous word, and ths "ko" was part of the following word etc. It took me forever to sort rhat one out. It was super frustrating. Haha


The "tips and notes" at the beginning of the lesson specifically says to use ました for past tense and でした for NEGATIVE past tense. Is this not correct? If not, what is the difference and when do you use each? Or are they totally interchangeable?


ました is the past tense of verbs while でした is past tense of nouns. so for a verb like 食べます(eat) you remove すand put した to get 食べました(ate). です(it is) would turn to でした(it was).


No, the negative past tense is ませんでした (masendeshita).




Note: 「は」is pronounced as 「わ」in this context.


From what I can remember there are 2 ways to handle suru words.

(This could be wrong so if you can confirm this is correct then that would help)

昨日 は 仕事 でした


昨日 仕事 を しました

They translate into english as the same thing but in the native japanese there is some subtlety hidden under the surface,

Using は + です might infer what you're saying is a reply or a response to a question, whereas を + します might suggest you're making an announcement or statement. Given how japanese is highly contextual this would make a lot of sense in how we use these two sentence structures in practise.


I'm probably wrong but couldn't this also work for "I worked yesterday"? Kinou wa shigoto shimashita I did work yesterday


The audio of kanji "shigoto" doesn't work.


Why is 昨日は仕事しました not accepted? Is it because I left out the を?


If it is 仕事 and they want me to know it is a noun, why do they make the english translation a verb?

Just say "I had work yesterday". That is legitimate correct english.


Am getting confused where to use(ました)and(でした)....plz can i get help...


wouldn't this be 昨日は仕事をしました or 働きました


Either way is accepted, they have the same meaning, the 1st one's "do work/job" and the 2nd one is the verb "work" itself, so same meaning


thanks Lovedbythe Rukh. So I can use either "wa" or "ni"???


you cannot use に(ni) for words like 昨日(きのう) - yesterday, 今日(きょう) - today, and 明日(あした) - tomorrow, you use は(wa) for these. You can use に(ni) for days of the week, & anything applicable to it. I'm still a rookie tho, these are just what I've learned so far, hehe


hi guys. by putting the "wa" particle after Kino, are we saying that kino is the topic of the sentence? Thanks!


Im still not understanding when to use でした vs. ました。


My simplest understanding is that [-ました] is used when an action verb is present in the sentence, [-でした] for when it's a be verb (is/am). In this case, I think 仕事 is considered a noun so while "work" is a verb in English, it might not necessarily be an exact translation. For example, in the comment above "Shigoto o shimashita" is finished that way because of the [し]-[ ました], withし generally meaning "to do" so there is an action verb present in the sentence.

Probably this is also a casual sentence that would make a lot more sense or just sound natural once you level up?


So... why aren't we using はたらきました?It's a quicker and more direct way of saying it...


why can I say “きのう仕事でした“ and is “きのうに仕事でした“ right?


きのう (昨日)、きょう (今日)、あした (明日) and so are words that can't be followed by に. They're exceptions..




why couldnt you say 昨日、働きました。using the "verb" 働き instead of the "noun" 仕事?


でした- DESU = is/was しました -MASU = do/did Should it be DID WORK


I trough that でした was used for the past form of negative verbs


It's the past form of です. It is used for both negatives and positives (is that what they're called?)


This is a cultural use of language. きのう は しごと でした。 is more like saying I had work yesterday. Similarly, one could say I had school yesterday きのう は がつこう でした。


Whats different about ending "deshita" and "deshimashita" ? Please. Thanks


There is no "deshimashita".

Verb endings:

---------- Positive -- Negative --

Present: --ます--・--ません (means will/won't do something)

Future: ---ます--・--ません

Past: -----ました・ませんでした (means did/didn't do something)


---------- Positive - Negative----

Present: ---です・ではありません (means is/isn't something)

Past: -----でした・ではありませんでした (means was/wasn't something)

You can also use じゃないです。This is more casual way to say it. Example: お茶はすきじゃないです = I do not like tea.


Thanks for your clarity.


I thought 仕事 shouldn't be used directly with verb? That's why we used 仕事をしますか?or is that valid only for interrogatory sentences?


I can't wrap my head around how you're suppose to end these sentences, why deshita and not shimasu? I don't get the difference


deshita and mashita difference?


仕事 can put with です, So Can 仕事 can put with します? and also, Can 勉強 put with です? In the End???


Yes, 仕事 and 勉強 are both nouns so they can be used with です to say "it is work/a job" and "is it study/a study"
They can also both combine with the verb する to become a new verb "to work/do one's job" and "to study"
仕事でした - (it) was work/it was my job
仕事しました - I did work/did my job
Either can be used to say you worked yesterday. With desu it is more like "Yesterday was work" and with suru it is more literal "Yesterday I worked/did my job"


Why it cant use ました?


This confused me too at first. 仕事 is the noun for work. As in a job. (And they don't specify this in the english translation so it's confusing.) That's why it's でした。 When you use 働き which is the verb 'to work' you can use しました。:)


Literally it's more like "Yesterday was work." Is this a commonly used sentence to say "I worked yesterday."?


Silly doubt, but I dont understand the difference between でした and ました. Please help >.<


ました is for the verb to work ( 働き ) でした is for the noun work ( 仕事 )


can i say "昨日は仕事をしました"?


Can i say: 昨日は働きました?


why is "kinou wa shigoto mashita" not accepted?


ました is a verb ending for the polite-past conjugation but there isn't a verb stem in your sentence to attach to
仕事 is a noun, not a verb stem. In order to make it into a verb it needs to be combined with the verb する "to do"
仕事ました should be fine
Or as this sentence treats 仕事 as the noun that it is, it uses the past copula 仕事でした "was work"


late reply but thanks for this!


Why can't i say "昨日は働きました"?


What is the difference between shigoto and hataraki? I only saw shigoto in the word bank, so it wasn't confusing. But do they both mean work in the same way? Is shigoto treated more like a noun and hataraki a verb?


Shigoto is a noun and a suru verb

Hataraku is just a normal godan verb

仕事 = the work (noun)
明日は仕事ます (I will do the work tomorrow)

Think of "the work" like doing the specific series of tasks needed to build a house.

働く = to work (verb)
明日は働きます  (I will be working tomorrow)

Think of this one as the act of physically working, infering unspecified work being done at that particular moment




I think 昨日仕事をしました makes so much more sense.


I may sound dumb but what is the difference between mashita and deshita I keep getting confused ;-;


I'm kinda having a hard time with figuring out when to use Deshita, which I thought was "to do (past)" or Shimashita which I thought was "to be (past)". I thought shimashita would be the right answer here since you're "doing work)", but apparently it's Deshita?


でした here means sth you did.
I found it looks a bit like this:

When the predicate of the sentence is a noun or adjective:
です = (it) is/(it) will be
でした = (it) was

When the predicate of the sentence is a verb:
ます = is one/will be done
ました = was done

仕事 means job. As in you had work.
働き means work. As you you did work.
That means we use です here because it was a noun.


Your second sentence contradicts your first one, so I assume you're aware deshita = be and shimashita = do? At any rate, if you saw the top comment on here, you'd know that this sentence literally translates to "Yesterday was work."




This was never introduced in the actual lessons, and I only found it when going back and doing practice. In every previous example it has been said as "Shigoto o shimashita." Why am I just learning about this now? It is incredibly disheartening to fully complete a lesson and then come back to it to find that I didn't learn something. It makes me distrust this entire process.


Hmm. Perhaps a bit overstated.


昨日は働きました。works also btw


Can i use Kinou wa shigoto wo shimashita


Isn't it 仕事します? Why the past isn't 仕事しました?


What's the difference between hataraki and shigoto??


why is mashita wrong (past polite), masen deshita (polite past negative)


What was your full answer?

~ました is a polite past verb ending, but 仕事 is a noun so it cannot have a verb ending attached to it.
仕事しました with the polite past form of する "do" would be the past "I worked" and should be accepted.
This sentence uses the shorter 仕事でした more literally "Was work" with the noun and past form of です


Isn't でした used in negative sentences? [To make the negative past tense, just add でした (deshita) to the end of the negative verb.]


I used ました instead of でした。


From above just 2 hours ago on this same page:

What was your full answer?

~ました is a polite past verb ending, but 仕事 is a noun so it cannot have a verb ending attached to it. 仕事しました with the polite past form of する "do" would be the past "I worked" and should be accepted. This sentence uses the shorter 仕事でした more literally "Was work" with the noun and past form of です

It is the ません in ませんでした that makes it negative, the addition of でした only makes it past tense. This sentence doesn't use a negative verb though, only the past tense of です

With a noun + です ”is":

仕事です "Is work"
仕事でした "Was work"
仕事ではありません "Is not work"
仕事ではありませんでした "Was not work"

With a verb (noun + する "do"):

仕事します Do work
仕事しました Did work
仕事しません Not do work
仕事しませんでした Did not work


昨日は仕事ました。why isn't it right


仕事 is a noun so it can't have a verb inflection like ~ました added to it
It either needs a copula でした (more lit. 'was work') or a helping verb like する - 仕事ました "worked"

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