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Japanese Lesson 20: This and That

I left "Its" out of the last lesson because there is no Japanese word for "it". So you'll either have to name the object itself "Pencil" "Cat" "Dog" (enpitsu) (neko) (inu) or use "This" or "That"

<h1>This and That</h1>

These two words are not as simple in Japanese as they are in English. For one, there are THREE classifications not two.

Kore = This

Sore = That

Are = That over there

"Kore" is a thing that's close to the speaker.

"Sore" is a thing that's close to the listener.

and "Are" is a thing that's far away from both the speaker and the listener.

That's not the only difference though. Unlike the English equivalents you can't say "This (thing)" "That (thing)"... well not with "Kore" "Sore" and "Are", anyway.

Kore, Sore, and Are are for non-specific things.

If you're talking about "This (specific thing)" or "That (specific thing)" Japanese has ANOTHER set of words for them.

Kono = This

Sono = That

Ano = That over there

These 3 words you want to always use in conjunction with a specific noun. Never use "Kono" "Sono" and "Ano" alone.

For example:

This cat = Kono neko

That pencil = Sono enpitsu

That dog over there = Ano inu.

Again, Japanese doesn't have an "it" word... so you'll be substituting for "Kore" "Sore" and "Are" which, in conjunction with "no" 「の」 will translate something like this:

This one's : Kore no: これ の

That one's: Sore no: それ の

That one over there's: Are no: あれ の

And if that isn't just awkward to direct translate into English I don't know what is.

So, you'll want to choose one of the above in place of "its" depending on the item's location... if that makes sense.

For "Kono" "Sono" and "Ano" like I said before, you'll also be naming a specific item with them. So, in conjunction with "no" 「の」 they'll translate something like this:

This (object)'s = Kono (object) no

That (object)'s = Sono (object) no

That (object) over there's = Ano (object) no

For example:

This cat = Kono neko

That pencil = Sono enpitsu

That dog over there = Ano inu

This cat's food = Kono neko no tabemono

That pencil's eraser = Sono enpitsu no keshigomu

That dog over there's toy = Ano inu no omocha.

Think you got it? :)


This one's food
Kore no tabemono.
これ の たべもの。

That one's water Sore no mizu.
それ の みず。

That one over there's book
Are no hon.
あれ の ほん。

That one's bread. Sore no pan.
それ の パン。

That one over there's cat
Are no neko.
あれ の ねこ。

This one's dog drinks water. Kore no inu wa mizu o nomimasu.
これ の いぬ は みず を のみます。

That one's turtle eats bread. Sore no kame wa pan o tabemasu.
それ の かめ は パン を たべます。

That one over there's bird drinks milk. Are no tori wa gyuunyuu o nomimasu.
あれ の とり は ぎゅうにゅう を のみます。

That cat.
Sono neko.
その ねこ。

This bird.
Kono tori.
この とり。

This milk.
Kono gyuunyuu.
この ぎゅうにゅう。

That bread.
Sono pan.
その パン。

That book over there.
Ano hon.
あの ほん。

That elephant over there.
Ano zou.
あの ぞう。

That dog's food.
Sono inu no tabemono.
その いぬ の たべもの。

This turtle's milk.
Kono kame no gyuunyuu.
この かめ の ぎゅうにゅう。

That chicken over there's cheese.
Ano niwatori no chi-zu.
あの にわとり の チーズ。

This mouse eats bread.
Kono nezumi wa pan o tabemasu.
この ねずみ は パン を たべます。

That cat eats cheese.
Sono neko wa chi-zu o tabemasu.
その ねこ は チーズ を たべます。 その猫はチーズを食べます。

That elephant over there drinks milk.
Ano zou wa gyuunyuu o nomimasu.
あの ぞう は ぎゅうにゅう を のみます。

WHEW. That was quite a bit. x_x

I hope it wasn't too confusing.

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April 2, 2015



Hi there. Instead of "This'" would you consider defining これの as "This one's"? I'm a little under the weather, so not sure if I'm thinking clearly...


....... Σ(・ω・ノ)ノ ........ that........

makes so much more sense! Thank you!


Glad to be of service! There's one more set of "this'" right at the start of the "Its" section. :)


Oh well. I'll go fix that right away. XD


In the first line, "it's" should be "its." It's = It is; Its = possessive of it. Sorry to be so nitpicky.


Nah it's all good. I have problems with that pesky apostrophe... it sneaks into my plurals sometimes, even.

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