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Japanese Lesson 11: Phrases Part 3

<h1>Vocabulary: Tango: たんご: 単語</h1>

You're Welcome: Douitashimashite: どういたしまして

Not: Dewa arimasen: ではありません
- Ja nai: じゃない (informal)

Speak: Hanasu: はなす: 話す

English: Eigo: えいご: 英語

<h1>Grammar: Bunpou: ぶんぽう: 文法</h1>

Alright so we're going to talk real quick about conjugating DESU.

Desu is an irregular verb, there are only a few of these, and it doesn't follow our RU, U, HIRAGANA U, rules.

Unlike most other verbs as well, Desu in dictionary form (which is still "desu") Is NOT informal present tense. "Desu" is the present positive formal version of the word. Isn't that nice?

So I'll go ahead and lay these ones out for ya.


Present positive: Da: だ

Present negative: Dewanai: ではない
- Ja nai: じゃない

Past positive: Datta: だった

Past negative: Dewanakatta: ではなかった
- Ja nakatta: じゃなかった


Present positive: Desu: です

Present negative: Dewa arimasen: ではありません

Past positive: Deshita: でした

Past negative: Dewa arimasendeshita: ではありませんでした

Shout out to Matsukaze.net for their handy dandy chart. I wasn't 100% sure that "dewa arimasen" was actually a "desu" conjugation... I knew it conjugated weird but couldn't remember if that was it or not. @_@

Just remember that this version of "not" is for "is/am/are" ONLY. Do not use this in conjunction with other verbs to make them negative. Nuh uh.

To turn another verb into a negative: EX: "Not going" "Not leaving" "Not running" etc. use the negative conjugation of that verb: "Ikemasen" "Demasen" "Nigemasen" etc.

<h1>Sentences: Bun: ぶん: 文</h1>

She is not a girl.
Kanojo wa onnanoko dewa arimasen.
かのじょ は おんなのこ ではありません。

He is not a boy.
Kare wa otokonoko dewa arimasen.
かれ は おとこのこ ではありません。

I am not a man.
Watashi wa otoko dewa arimasen.
わたし は おとこ ではありません。

I speak English.
Watashi wa eigo wo hanashimasu.
わたし は えいご を はなします。

Here's something fun! Another way to say you can speak a language is to say "I can (language)" So the above would be:

I speak English.
Watashi wa eigo ga dekimasu. (lit: I (wa) English (ga) can)
わたし は えいご が できます。

She speaks English.
Kanojo wa eigo wo hanashimasu.
かのじょ は えいご を はなします。

He speaks.
Kare ha hanashimasu.
かれ は はなします。

I speak.
Watashi wa hanashimasu.
わたし は はなします。

That's it for today! Look at that already through three of the tier... bubbledy... lesson... things. :D

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March 14, 2015



Off topic Demon-Kiyomi, but what do you think of this course on memrise for japanese learning? Would like to find memrise japanese courses to go along with reviewing your lessons as well.



Hmm... IDK I've never even heard of memrise before now. I believe in no pain more gain. If a program or app is enjoyable to you and improves upon your knowledge, use it! And if one program or another becomes boring, switch to one that isn't. Use multiple resources, definitely not just me.

You can take a look at my Resources thread, or hey! Check out Tofugu, he has 100 Japanese learning resources! Just bear in mind, most are free, but not all of them.

In my opinion, anything that helps YOU learn Japanese is good. ^_^


Excellent as usual, although I have a couple of points, although non of them are errors:

  1. 私は英語を話しますwould indeed translate to I speak English, and although it has the implication of I can speak English, 私は英語話せます would be more clear. Of course, I don't think you have introduced this form yet, and it may be to early, so 私は英語を話すことできます might be better ^^
  2. I think it is worth to mention the even higher polite register for of to be, でございます. I seem to remember there being even more formal versions, but I can't remember them right now ^^' There would be no real use to this addition though, it's just interesting XD

Keep up the good work, it's much appreciated!


Yeah, I think the duo lesson is going with literally speaking, or literally going to speak, English and not "[pronoun] has the ability to speak English" :/ I've caught myself a few times typing 私は英語が話せます。... I know I'm the queen of wonky grammar but I'm pretty sure that implies more that someone has the ability to speak the language. ... of course I realize I can totally be off my mark here. XD

I haven't introduced the form "koto" or "kotoga" in addition to a verb yet, no. That would certainly be the most clear way to say "I can speak English" though.

And oh man, don't even remind me that Japanese has it's own form of "Usted" I'm lucky my Japanese is as polite as it is and I'm not walking around speaking only in delinquent slang. Also, I haven't heard or seen でございます in so long that I've sort of forgotten it's a thing. XD

Thank you! :D


I think so too, but I've heard it in the context of I can speak English in a more literal way (I may be mistaken though XD). Maybe 英語知っています?

I thought you introduced こと earlier, right? So I thought it would be a good context to introduce it in ^^

And yeah, I know. My keigo is horrible >< I went to college in Japan, and roughly 3/4 of my classmates were female, so I tend to speak somewhat like a late-teenage girl XD It's mostly for fun though ^^

No problem, I hope you don't feel I intrude on your lessons ~.^


If I did bring up こと it probably was in one of the example sentences and I just overlooked it. XD ... I don't think I've even taught Koto on my actual Japanese learning blog yet... :/ gonna have to do that.

XD Well I'm glad I'm not alone with not speaking as formal as one should. :) I was planning on going to Japan for college myself, then stuff happened, eh... maybe one day. :D At least when I do get the opportunity in the future I'll know much more Japanese (probably).

Oh no no no no. Don't ever think you're intruding on the lessons. I want this to be a Japanese learning community! Everyone has different knowledge to offer, some stuff I don't know myself! You may point out something important that I overlooked, and so on. You're also helping those who are here to learn. Showing them that "Yes you can say it like what's shown above, but you'll probably hear this more" and stuff. It's all welcome!

That and since you've actually been there for a considerable length of time I would consider you the 先輩 in this matter. ^_^


Huh, I could have sworn... oh, well, that's for the future then!!

You are definitely not! It's probably not good, really, but as long as you can if necessary, you can get away with it XD

Glad to hear, I always feel a bit hesitant to comment regarding stuff like this, in case I distract from the plan of the creator ^^

And please, not 先輩! I'm to busy (and/or lazy) for it ><


Yeah, no worries. I hate being a singular teacher. That's why my resources thread lists a lot of places that give actual lessons too.

What I love about this is that anyone can comment on my lessons, so anyone learning can get my lesson, and other tips explanations, translations, and help from others who are at my own level or higher. :) It's beautiful. Everyone sharing knowledge. And I tend to learn new things too!

^^; Heh, no no, you don't have to do anything. I'm just saying since you've actually been in the country and have real life experience I consider you higher level than me and will most definitely take your word on what is usually said and what isn't. :3 You can continue being too busy/lazy.


Haha, fair enough XD Just don't consider my words gospel, I wouldn't be surprised at all if I make mistakes/misremember/never really thought about something but have a "hunch".

Btw, ever heard of である? I forgot about that one (even though it's directly related to でございます), and it probably shouldn't be introduced anyway, but it's interesting XD


Past polite desu: deshita (you have demashita). EDITED to add: Also, there are a few of those o/wo, wa/ha dealybobs in this lesson. :)


... WELP. x_x ... curse you polite desu. You are the bane of my existence.


And Polite Desu replies: おじゃまいたしました。:)

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