Published on March 15, 2014
Introduction to Japanese Grammar Lesson 01 pdf notes
Japanese taught in school does something strange. It makes you think learning Japanese is all about memorization and rules.
But really, it’s all about patterns.
With the JapaneseVideoCast Introduction to Grammar Series-- you only need to know these two words.
Through this, you will be able to grasp all the basics of Japanese grammar.
This bottom right corner teaches you the formal form which is what is taught in textbooks.
This bottom-right icon marks that we are using informal language, and is more of an emphasis in our lessons.
This lesson will get you started with something very simple: I eat oranges.
First, you should get in the mindset and that Japanese is VERY different from English.
In English, there must always be a subject and a verb for each sentence.
In Japanese, “taberu” is the word for “to eat.” By itself, with only a verb, it can constitute a whole sentence.
This is because Japanese does not require a subject to be a complete sentence. You can infer who the subject is depending on the context.
Japanese has different politeness levels. To change “taberu” to the polite form, we just alter the stem of the verb and make this “tabemasu.”
You should know when to use polite versus casual forms. Use the polite form with anyone you should show respect, like your boss or even strangers.
We now want to extend this sentence to say “I eat oranges” which is “orenji wo taberu.” Note that adding in an object requires the marker “wo.”
In the previous sentence, there was no subject because you need context to figure it out. Context is very important in learning Japanese because words only have meaning given the context in which they are used.
So back to eating oranges. Changing the stem of the verb will make this sentence go from casual to form. That’s it!
This is a line from popular show - Unubore Deka. This is pronounced as “shisen wo kanjiru” and represents use of the (object) (wo) (verb) construct. It means “You feel the gaze.”
This sentence word-by-word comes out as “I like you,” but actually in context it means “I love you.” “Ga” is used here as another object marker. “Desu” is used at the end here as another way of making sentences formal. (More on that to come!)
This is a review of what we learned in this lesson. If you haven’t seen it, make sure you catch the actual video of this at: http://JapaneseVideoCast.com