1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Japanese
  4. >
  5. "I did not swim much last mon…

"I did not swim much last month."


March 12, 2018



I know I've done several of this style of sentence without the は particle following the "time" (先月 here), but it was marked wrong this time. Is there a reason it's considered incorrect to leave it out in this case, or is this just an inconsistency? And if both ways are acceptable, which is more often used (with or without は)? Thank you!


My impression/recollection is that the は particle after a relative time expression such as 先月 is optional and often left out in conversation (but I'm not an expert so correct me if I'm wrong). However, I've learned to please the owl by putting it in the は particle if Duolingo complains. In this sentence, I left out は and it was accepted.

This deals with mostly the に particle and time expressions but I still found it helpful and printed it out. https://8020japanese.com/time-expressions/


It is now being accepted. 27/Feb/2021


What is the difference between あまり and たくさん (I'm not sure about the spelling of this last one)? Both seem to mean "much" or "a lot".


あまり has a negative attitude. When you are trying to make a negative sentence with much in it, you might wanna put あまり. It can be used for number. However, there's another usage for あまり. It is 'not really'. あんまり is a word derived from あまり and has a stronger accent. For example, 'We don't see fishes that much this year' can be translated to, 今年は魚があまり見えないんだ and for 'not really', 'I don't really have interests in it' can be translated to, それにあまり興味ないんです。 沢山(たくさん) means simply 'much/many/a lot of' and it is positive / neutral. For example, 'There are a lot of electronics here' can be translated to こっちには電子機器が沢山あります


Thanks for the clarification! :D


I was wondering the same thing. Also, can somebody please explain masendeshita?


Past negative tense of ます, as in to do.

ます = do/will do ません = do not/will not do ませんでした = did not


たくさん means "a lot" and あまり means "not very much/ a lot"


あまり means "not very" or "not much" with a negation. So you could say for example "水はあまり飲みません" and it would mean "i dont drink water that much / that often"


They are used to put with different types of actions or subjects.


What does the "でした" mean, is it needed becauses it's in the past?


yep. If the sentence were "I swam a lot" instead of "I didn't swim a lot," the verb would be 泳ぎました, where ”-ました” is the past-tense version of ”-ます." But since the verb is negative, it becomes 泳ぎませんでした, where "-ませんでした" is the past-tense version of ”-ません."


Please... Stop putting ん alone. 泳ぎませ means nothing




Why would 先月、泳ぎはあまりしませんでした be wrong?


The は particle can be replaced with に in this example as well, right?


I put "sengetsu wa oyogi amari masen deshita" and was marked incorrect. Does anyone know why it was wrong, I'm sure I've seen it the other way around before?


you cannot disjoint the verb like that, you can see 泳ぎませんでした as one full verb inflection, even though is obviously using auxiliaries to transform the word into a different thing.

あまり is usually placed before the verb, so in this case you put「あまり」+「泳ぎませんでした」and you get a modified verb "did not swim much".


Can you use あんま instead of あまり? Are they interchangeable?


先月多くない泳ぎませんでした(sengetsu ōkunai oyogimasen deshita) was counted incorrect but doesn't it mean the samen thing?


"先月はあまり泳がなかったです。" was marked as incorrect?


Why was は required here, but not in the other similar sentence structures?

Learn Japanese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.