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"This is the key to my big brother's house."


January 10, 2018



This is big brother's house key.. I'm starting to wonder if Japanese is hard or if English is backwards lol




why is かぎ showing up in Katakana?? There's no need for emphasis there, that would be the only reason a native Japanese word would use Katakana in a situation like this...


Katakana doesn't emphasize everything. That's just one of its potential uses.
'Key' can just as easily be カギ as 鍵 or かぎ, and カギ is actually used more often than かぎ.


The translation is kind of loose here, it should be this is my brother's house key


Is "これは兄さんの家の鍵です。" too polite in this situation?


On the contrary, it is neither too polite nor is it natural.

兄さん・兄ちゃん are both highly familiar (casual) terms of address . Combined with the more formal です it creates an unnatural juxtaposition.


So 兄さん is casual, while 兄 (which is shown in the translation with です) is more formal and therefore more natural?


It is about context (as most things are).

兄(あに) is more natural because of the context that it was presented in. If the surrounding text uses polite/formal language it is natural to use polite/formal language for this word as well, no?

Reference to one's own brother to someone outside of family/intimate friends is usually 兄(あに). Polite/formal language is also more likely to be used in these situations.

Direct address of one's own brother can be お兄さん、兄さん、兄ちゃん. Also, reference to one's own brother as such within the immediate family and among close friends is more natural.


So I use 兄 and not 兄さん in this sentence, because I am not talking to the older brother directly. And because I am probably talking with someone outside the "intimate circle", the sentence automaticly has a higher chance of beeing formal. Thank you for your help and explanation.


You're welcome ;)

(the use of です indicates at least a minimal level of formality).


Could この be used here instead? If not, why?


この needs to be attached to the noun that it is describing.
You could say 「この鍵は兄の家の鍵です。」'This key is my older brother's house key. ', but that adds too much to the original sentence.

これ = このⅩ


"Ani no ie no kagi wa kore desu" is wrong? Boo...


"The key to my big brother's house is this." ?


Right. 'This key is the one to my brother's house' or 'The key to my brother's house is this one'. あにのいえのかぎはこのかぎ(これ)です。It is a slight difference, but the nature of the sentence requires that the order in the Duolingo example should be used.


兄の家の鍵はこれです。<----- Why is this not correct? It may be non-standard but is it incorrect?

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