I wrote this thread because I want to intense the study and memorization of Japanese grammar, simply keeping me learning. This thread keeps updating. Hopefully what has been written here could help other Japanese learners.


Grammar Lesson 1

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The function of this grammar structure is to mean “It is”, “I am”, “He is”, etc. The Y is what after the predicate, and the X next to the は is the subject.

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Examples,

じゅうにじはんです (It) is half past twelve.

がくせいです (I) am a student.

にほんごです (My major) is the Japanese language.

山下先生は桜大学の学生でした Mr. Yamashita was a student at Sakura University.

あれは日本の映画じゃなかったです That was not a Japanese movie.

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By adding か after the predicate です, the sentence is transformed to a “yes / no” question form. In addition, by expanding the predicate into the structure of なんxxxですか , the meaning of the sentence become “what is”.

Examples,

りゅうがくせいですか (Are you) an international student?

せんこうはなんですか What is your major?

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の is a particle that connects two nouns. The noun after の expressed the main idea and the one before is the specific characteristic of the main idea.


Grammar Lesson 3

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There are generally three types of verbs and Japanese verbs exist in three forms, including: 1) dictionary forms, 2) the present tense affirmative forms, and 3) the present tense negative forms.

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There are three subtypes of dictionary forms, the “ru-verbs”, the “u-verbs”, and the irregular verbs.

The past tense forms of verbs look like the following.

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Examples,

メアリーさんは九時ごろうさに帰りました Mary returned home at about nine.

私は昨日日本語を勉強しませんでした I did not study Japanese yesterday.

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Nouns used in sentences generally be followed by particles, which indicate the relations that the nouns bear to the verbs.

 The particle を indicates “direct objects,” the kind of things that are directly involved in, or affected by, the event. Note that this particle is pronounced “o”.

Examples,

コーヒーを飲みます I drink coffee.

音楽を聴きます I listen to music.

テレビをます I watch TV.

 The paticle で indicates where the event described by the verb takes place.

Examples,

図書館で本を読みます I will read books in the library.

うちでテレビを見ます I will watch TV at home.

 The particle に has many meanings, but there here we focus on two: 1) the goal toward which things move (location), and 2) the time at which an event takes place.

Examples,

私は今日学校に行きません I will not go to school today.

私はうちに帰ります I will return home.

日曜日に京都に行きます I will go to Kyoto on Sunday.

十一時に寝ます I will go to bed at eleven.

十一時ごろ(に)寝ます I will go to bed at about eleven.

私は今日学校へ行きません I will not go to school today.

私はうちへ帰ります I will return home.

You do not use the particle に with 1) time expressions defined relative to the present moment, such as “today,” and “tomorrow,” 2) expressions describing regular intervals, such as “every day,” and 3) the word for “when.”

Examples,

明日きます I will come tomorrow.

毎晩テレビを見ます I watch TV every evening.

いつ行きますか When will you go?

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You can use ませんか (= the present tense negative verb, plus the question particle) to extend an invitation. It should be noted that its affirmative counterpart, ますか, cannot be so used.

昼ご飯を食べませんか What do you say to having lunch with me?

テニスをしませんか Will you play tennis with me?

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Japanese sentences are fairly flexible in the arrangement of elements that appear in them. Generally, sentences are made up of several noun-particle sequences followed by a verb or an adjective, which in turn is often followed by a sentence-final particle such as か, ね, orよ. Among the noun-particle sequences, their relative orders are to a large extent free. A typical sentence, therefore, looks like the following, but several other arrangements of non-particle sequences are also possible.

私は今日図書館で日本語を勉強します I will study Japanese in the library today.

私はよく七時ごろうちへ帰ります I often go back home at around seven.

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You can add a frequency adverb such as 毎日, よく, ときどき to a sentence to describe how often you do something.

Examples,

私はときどき喫茶店に行きます I sometimes go to a coffee shop.

私はぜんぜんテレビを観ません I do not watch TV at all.

たけしさんはあまり勉強しません Takeshi does not study much.

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The particle は presents the topic of one’s utterance. It puts forward the item that you want to talk about and comment on. A topic phrase, however, need not be the subject of a sentence. We see three sentences in the dialogue of this lesson where non subject phrases are made topics with the help of the particle は.

メアリーさん、週末はたいて何をしますか Mary, what do you usually do on the weekend?

今日は京都に行きます I’m going to Kyoto today.

In the above two examples, は promotes time expressions as the topic of each sentence. Its effects can be paraphrased like this: “Let’s talk about weekends; what do you do on weekends?” “Let me say what I will do today; I will go to Kyoto.”


Grammar Lesson 4

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Xがあります means “there is/are X (nonliving thing).” The particle が introduces, or presents, the item X. There are some rules for this verb. First, it calls for the particle に for the place description. Second, place description usually comes at the beginning of the sentence. Third, the thing description is usually followed by the particle が.

You can also use あります to say that you have or own something. Besides, you can use あります when you want to say that an event will take place.

Examples,

時間があります (I) have time.

時間がありますか (Do you) have time?

時間がありません (I don’t) have time.

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The Japanese version of “X is in front of Y” looks like

XはYの前です

Examples,

あのデパートの前です It’s in front of that department store.

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銀行は図書館のとなりです The bank is next to the library.

かさはテーブルの下です The umbrella is under the table.

レストランはデパート病院の間です The restaurant is between the department store and the hospital.

One can use any of the above location words together with a verb to describe an event that occur in the place.

私はモスバーガーの前でメアリーさんを待ちました I waited for Mary in front of the Mom Burger place.

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The duration of an activity is expressed with a bare noun, like 一時間. Such a noun stands alone (that is, not followed by an particle).

Examples,

メアリーさんはそこでたけしさんを一時間待ちました Mary waited for Takeshi there for an hour.

私は昨日日本語を三時間くらい勉強しました I studies Japanese for about three hours yesterday.

昨日7時間半寝ました (I) slept for seven and a half hours last night.