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  5. "My grandmother died the day …

"My grandmother died the day before yesterday."


January 23, 2018



I don't think it is an appropriate sentence to use. Nobody use 死ぬ to talk about the death of people they know. It is so direct that it is not respectful. Check with a native before using it. (I am not native.)

亡くなる, 逝去する are more appropriate.


For family members it is not so unusual to use 死ぬ. As you mentioned, however, it does sound a bit too direct. For this reason many people have stopped using it (even for family members) in favor of 亡くなる.


Like BJCUAl said, I think it's the same as with English. In that English sentence, the word "died" isn't really appropriate either.

My grandma passed away recently (funeral is actually today) and I sometimes used the word "died" when talking to people with whom I speak very casually, but with other people towards whom I think more about the words I'm saying I concentrated on saying "passed away" (especially when I spoke to people who are elderly or who know people in ill health themselves).

I believe it's the same situation with saying 死ぬ or 亡くなる. If the purpose of this sentence is to teach the word 死ぬ, I think it would certainly be better for it to be changed to a pet dying rather than a grandparent, but I don't think it's unused the way it is, just a bit blunt.


It would be a disservice to your knowledge base not to give you both expressions. The message boards here let you know the situations where these sentences are used. Surely there is not only one way to say anything. All thing are situational.


Previously, Duolingo used 亡くなる in the sentence きのうそふが亡くなりました。So it really boils down to whether or not Duolingo wants to be consistent with itself. Grammatically, both are correct.


I agree. This is odd. Seems like new since the update? I think previously they did say なくなりました?


I think it could be used if it was like "The day before yesterday, my cat died."


more than that, it even marks it as wrong when you use 亡くなる.


On a brighter note, 「死ぬ」 can be also used for something other than actual death.

I am soooooo hungry, I could die.


I'm a japanese senior high school student. I agree. (なくなる)→okay


It marked おととい、祖母が死にました。wrong, insisting on the kana only version. Is this a bug or am I missing something here?


I don't see anything wrong, so they probably just don't have that combination of 'ototoi' as kana and 'sobo'/'shinimashita' as kanji.

I would suggest that you try full kanji: 一昨日祖母が死にました。
DuoLingo seems to be notoriously difficult when it comes to kanji vs. kana usage.


I had this happen except with the multiple choice question. First choice was as above, declared wrong when selected. Correct choice was 2 which was the same exact thing only with 一昨日.


Ok, to suddenly give me a bunch of kanji I have never seen before and expect me to know them without cheating is not fair.


I don't think I understand what you mean by cheating. I would never use duolingo in isolation and I recommend the japanese dictionary app Akebi to check the meanining of new kanji Duo introduces


Why is "ga" acceptable while "ha" isn't?


why can't なくなりました be used here?


It would explain the same thing, yes, but Duo is trying to teach you 死ぬ(しぬ) and 亡くなる(なくなる) at the same time to understand the difference between them, so in this one, Duo specifically wants you to use しにました


What are the hiragana for 一昨日 ?

Is it いっさくじつ ?


It is おととい. The links below are to two E-J/J-E online dictionaries' entries for 一昨日. They both show furigana. You should bookmark one of them (or find one that works for you) so you can find out readings yourself right away.



That's not how it's pronounced in the audio for this sentence. Is the audio wrong or is that a different reading?

EDIT: I see that the first link also gives いっさくじつ as a pronunciation, which does match the audio.


いっさくじつ is not incorrect, but it is extremely stiff language and unusual in the extreme to hear in everyday conversation. Usually it is reserved for news broadcasts, formal presentations, etc.

Given the context (a family member dying), it is not unnatural to use this form, but I would not expect an entry-level program like DL to introduce that reading. Most people use おととい or おとつい (regional).


一昨日祖母が亡くなりました is accepted. If someone could explain why putting a ”は” between ”一昨日” and "祖母" is considered incorrect, they'd be a saint ^^.


It's considered incorrect because creators of this sentence didn't think about it. No other reason.


This is correct. Duolingo Japanese has come a long way, but it still struggles with particles when there are options, such as when は and が are both correct, but Duo only takes one; or when は may be included or omitted, but Duo forces you to do one or the other.


Is it correct: 祖母が一昨日(に)死にました?


Why is it が and not は? Surely 祖母 is the subject of the sentence, so why doesn't it use は?


You can use both in this particular sentence. Without any further context, it's hard to say.

But suppose you want to say "I heard your grandmother died." In this case, you would use が. On the other hand, if you say "Grandma died from cancer", you would use は.

  • A) 祖母が死んだと聞きました。
    I heard your grandmother died.

  • B) (In response to A) 祖母はガンで死にました。
    Grandma died from cancer.


she lived a long life...


You guys are so far ahead of me that I dont understand your answers. In other places up till now I have used either and they were accepted. What is special here that naka is wrong and shini is right?


I just used shihi for an animal and a person and both came out right. So animal vs people is not the anseer. When do you use which???


If you mean 'shinimashita', it is acceptable for both humans and animals. It is just more direct and blunt. If you want to be more sensitive and indirect you will use 'naku narimashita'.
The animal vs. human example is just to emphasize that we don't normally use the same caution or sensitivity when mentioning the death of animals as we do with humans.


BJCUAL, I have read this several times and now thanks to you I got it. Thanks......john


You're welcome ;)


I was given the "Which one says the phrase" question. I had おとといそぼがしにました。 and おととい、祖母が死にました。

I chose the second one and was marked incorrect.


They are both right. My sensei taught me shinu but nakunaru is also correct. I think nakunaru if I am understanding is more formal.


Since 一昨日 is pronounce same as おととい and both have the same meaning, It must not to set the hiragana form as a wrong answer.

Please change the choice to some answers that have different meaning not just the form to write.


I used obaasan instead of sobo and got it wrong, can someone help me with the conext for each?


You are talking to a third-party, likely a non-intimate, about your own grandmother: Use 祖母.
Talking directly to your departed grandmother (at the tomb, etc.): Use お祖母ちゃん.
Talking to someone intimate enough to consider your grandmother like their own grandmother (or vice-versa): お祖母さん・お祖母ちゃん。
Talking about someone else's grandmother in general: お祖母さん.

These 'standards' pretty much apply to distinct ways of saying brother, sister, mother, father, etc.


Where do we use 亡くなります and 死にます?


This is addressed at the top of this thread. To summarize: 亡くなる is more polite (less direct) than 死ぬ.

When referring to members of one's in-group (family, colleagues, etc.) there is less expectation to be indirect, so 死ぬ would be less problematic than when referring to people outside of one's group (particularly higher on the 'social ladder').

Most people will just use 亡くなる for most human situations, as it is not likely to be considered disrespectful. Using such polite language with the death of a goldfish, however, might seem a bit odd.

When referring to death in the abstract or in general, not a specific person's demise, 死ぬ is less problematic. It is, in fact, common to see 死ぬ in sayings such as 死んで花実が咲くものか ('Death is the end'), or 死ぬまでに一度は、江戸見物をしたい (I want to visit Edo at least once before I die).





一昨日はおばあさんが死にました I don't understand why this is wrong. I used おばあさん instead of 祖母 but I can't see why that would be a mistake. If anything, talking about a family member who died would (I think) warrant using a more formal term for them.


She did, actually... thanks for that Duo.

RIP Grandma Jean :(


when to use "ました (mashita)" and when to use "しました (shimashita)"? I don't quite understand


~ました is the polite past-tense verb ending
しました is the polite past-tense of the verb する "do"

The verb here is 死ぬ "die" which conjugates to 死にました for past "died"


祖母は一昨日死んだ。 Why's this wrong?


Other than the casual form, nothing. Report it as correct and see if Duo bites.

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