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  5. "My father is next to my moth…

"My father is next to my mother."


December 30, 2017



Whats the difference between tonari and yoko?


I saw someone else posted a good answer for this on another exercise.

となり is for two SIMILAR objects that are next to each other. For example two houses, two people standing next to each other etc.

よこ is for two DISSIMILAR objects next to each other. For example a person standing next to a house.

A way to memorize this is by the famous Japanese city of よこはま, which I think someone translated to "next to the beach" (despite google translate not recognizing はま... idk I'm not that good at 日本語). The CITY is next to the BEACH, these are DISSIMILAR objects, and therefore the town is called よこはま and not となりはま, if that makes sense :)

However, by this "rule" I was surprised the answer for this exercise isn't using となり, but instead よこ (mom and dad are both humans). Don't know what's up with that, so someone more experienced please fill in :)


Also, よこ (横) literally means "side," and is used when an object is located in a sideways direction (left or right) of another object.


I'm surprised that the English translation isn't "my father is at my mother's side", given that yoko is side and it makes more sense to me with the 母の part.


Mostly correct. となり can only be used for similar objects, but they don't need to be right next to each other. It is often used for closest similar object, even if it is a bit away. Often translated as neighbour.

よこ is used for any objects, similar or different, but they have to be right next to each other.

This sentence is one where either can be used.


浜 is indeed beach and has a fairly large usage according to google. Really odd that I had to type in compounded ideas to get it to pop up (I typed sandy beach for it to finally show up).


nice kaguya profile pic


Zero two is better imo lol nice dp byw


Yeah it's because Google translate is trash with hiragana - i find it is only decent with kanji. The Jsho phone app is much more reliable.


This is really helpful - thank you!


I used tonari and it was accepted. It seems yoko is simply more broad and you can use it for anything?


Thank you (and OP) for this!


Thank you. I'm not sure we needed some other words to say the same thing again. Japanese is a very precise language. I'm quite happy there's no gender in nouns or declensions !


Excellent response, thanks!


I was surprised too, because I was studying Japanese and Just using duoligual to see how much I know. I know you supposed to use となり


I put 母のとなりに父はいます。Why is this incorrect?


You should use よこ because となり is used for non equals elements Like using となり makes the mother and the father not equals. At the opposite, よこ makes the father and mother equals : you wont use it to say "My mother is next to the table" I am not sure at all but you should look in the way (I learned this rule on this forum Duolingo it is not from me)


Other way around, though. となり is used for similar objects meaning "next to" and よこ can be used for a different object found to "the left or right side of" the first object. In this case, both are technically valid.


Just realized a memory trick for this. となり -> ton (weight unit), as in weight the same (equals/balanced/libra). よこ came a long, disturbed the balance (not equals), and so broke the (I think) bittles.


My Neighbor Totoro is となりのととろ, if that helps anyone else


Dayum you're genius


That is so funny, I never noticed that! but what does it mean in that context? My "equal" Totoro? or does となり also mean neighbor?


Oups I just switched Yoko and Tonari


どうもありがとうございました!おもしろい です。


It is accepted as of 05/01/2019


I might be wrong, but I don't think that is incorrect. It may sound weird though.


still incorrect Feb.2021


Probably because duolingo strongly advises you start with the topic or subject.


all the previous examples were the opposite - [object]の[position][subjest is]


母の隣に父がいます should also be accepted


I came here to check on that, too. Is one or the other more natural in conversation? Or are they both just as good?


As far as I'm aware both are fine, they just mean slightly different things
父は - speaking of my father, he's next to my mother
父が - it's my father who's next to my mother

so one is generally talking about where yr dad is, the other is sort of specifically pointing him out, or it's focused more on the location and then saying who's there. It's subtle (and I think learning the nuances of は and が is like a life quest)


So 母のよこに is literally "at my mother's side"?


What a difference a year makes.

Yes, it's literally at the side of my/our mother.

For future readers, the "my / our" is implied - in the mathematical sense - by the use of ちち and はは (which are pretty much exclusively used to refer to the speaker's parents, so "our" if talking with other family members).


I don't think it makes a huge difference, although the given translation might be more natural-sounding. They are both correct, though and this structure should be accepted.


I never know if the position, object/ person A, or object/ person B is supposed to come first


this section seems so confusing for me, it seems like the order and grammer varries a lot for some reason. I have some how managed to make it this far without, apparently, understanding some basic concepts of sentence structure and joiners


Finding the grammar for this section really difficult


"Father is mother's next to," was how I tried to think of it, and bam, it was actually correct. Interesting how Japanese treats locational descriptions such as right, left, above, beneath, in front of, behind, and next to as nouns possessed by people or objects. If you start re-wiring your brain to think of it in that way, it starts to help.


It does!

Chinese is similar (妈妈在爸爸的身边).


It helped when I realized it wasn't actually saying "next to". This sentence could be more accurately translated as "Father is at Mother's side."


What is up with these sentences, I swear the order makes no sense, I cant figure it out

[deactivated user]

    do の + よこに always go together?


    横(よこ) means "horizontal" or "side", as a noun. To make it a preposition, you need to include の before it and に after it; の横に(のよこに) functions as a preposition meaning "beside, next to".


    I'm getting confused with the order of the subject and directional component. What's the literal understanding of: 父は母の横にいます and 父は横の母にいます?


    「母の横」means "my mother's side." 「横の母」would mean "my side's mother" or "the mother of my side," which doesn't make sense.

    Usually you can think of the の particle as being equivalent to 's in English. For example:

    兄の猫 = my older brother's cat. 父の犬の目 = Dad's dog's eye.


    Why is 横 useable here if they are two people? (i.e. similar things)


    I get confused on where to put the locator word. Sometimes it's on the beginning sometimes in the middle, how to determine?


    If you mean rearranging the position of 父は and 母の横に, then yes you can swap then and it'd still be fine - 母の横に父はいます. There's a slight nuance difference - basically things closer to the verb are considered slightly more important/emphasized - but the grammar is perfectly fine.

    Japanese sentence structure is pretty loose. Until you get into more complex sentences (eg sentences with "because", "but", etc.), the only real rule is that the verb (います here) has to come at the end of the sentence.


    Can you not also say 母の横には父います?


    Yes, but 父 still needs a particle: ...父がいます. Also this would be putting more emphasis on that there is something next to your mother, rather than putting emphasis on the location of your father like in the original.


    can anyone break this down?


    Why not 'chichi ga'?

    [deactivated user]


      The inconsistency between は and が in Duolingo use is driving me insane. I have just completed other 3 sentences in the same exercise structured identically like this one where が was correct and は incorrect in this function, and now all of a sudden it is the other way around?

      I get it that sometimes both are valid (with only a slightly different nuance), and sometimes only either of them, but I get the sneaking suspicion that Duolingo doesn't know which either.


      Okay, so Duo's absolutely terrible at pointing this out because while it follows the Japanese rules it never really explains nuance or certain omissions. は is almost always the topical marker, not of every sentence, or even in its entirety. Because it can be used as a phrasal or notion/action topic marker as well (look up examples such as のは, ことは etc). It's very difficult to contextually determine whether a topic is omitted in text, which is common practice, but you'd have more than a single sentence to go on. が on the other hand is only selectively used as a topic marker. When it is, the general rule to look out for is whether the information following it is new to the listener (added to this idea, it is info that couldn't be readily deduced by the listener either for whatever reason). Other times it's the verbal subject indicator (like を) as a kind of secondary は. And even further, it serves as a tone softening/humble particle at the end of 'intent' sentences (I'd like to...). This should be sufficient to go very far with, but there are a few other nuances, enjoy the journey.


      What does the 'no' do in this sentence?


      To denote that it's the "mother's next", 母の横, and not anything or one's next.


      Think of ' no' as translating to 'of'. Or 'belonging to'. The side of my mother = mother's side. It denotes possession


      Why can't I use です?I mean, 本は机の上です is considered correct in Duolingo, so why can't I say 父は母のよこです?


      Got it at first try!


      I used the word そば instead of the word 横 and it didn't like it. I guess 横 is a better word.


      I answered "母の父は横にいます", why is this wrong?


      Your answer translates to "I am next to my mother's father."


      What is difference between 前and 横

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