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て-Form VERB + ほしい as “I want you to do VERB (for me)”

て-Form VERB + ほしい as “I want you to do VERB (for me)”

Construction:
て-Form VERB + ほしい = “I want you to do VERB (for me)”
Negative-ない-Form VERB + ほしい = “I want you to not do VERB (for me)”

Using the て-Form of a VERB word (or Negative-ない-Form) and the word ほしい which expresses desire, we can express that we want someone or something do (or don’t do) an action for us.

Example(s):

教えてほしい
Oshiete hoshii
Please tell me

検討してほしい
Kentou shite hoshii
“I’d like for you to consider it”

協力してほしい
Kyouryoku shite hoshii
“I’d like for you to cooperate”

This function is similar to the grammar pattern て/ないで-Form VERB + ください as “please (do/don’t) VERB,” but is used in casual speech. Though casual, it should not be considered rude and is actually still quite a passive way to request someone do (or don’t do) something as it literally expresses that you would like someone or something do something for you while refraining from explicitly telling them to do it.

Given this nuance of the Japanese language in which politeness is still strongly present  in casual speech, English translations of this grammar pattern can vary among things along the lines of “please VERB,” “I’d like for you to VERB,” “do verb,” “I’d prefer it if you did VERB,” “I hope you VERB,” etc. (This can be observed in the following examples below.)

Example Sentence(s):

僕と一緒に歌ってほしい。
Boku to issho ni utatte hoshii.
“I want you to sing together with me.”

その日が早く来てほしい。
Sono hi ga hayaku kite hoshii.
“I hope that day comes soon.”

めんどうかけないでほしい
Mendou kakenaide hoshii
“Don’t cause me any more trouble”

みなさんも,将来の夢を見つけてほしいと思います。
Mina-san mo, shourai no yume o mitsukete hoshii to omoimasu
“I hope you all find a dream to pursue too”

明日、早く起きる必要があるから、静にしてほしい。
Ashita, hayaku okiru hitsuyou ga aru kara, shizuka ni shite hoshii.
“I need to wake up early tomorrow, so please keep it down.”

たばこを吸わないでほしいのですが
Tabako o suwanaide hoshii on desu ga
“I would prefer it if you didn’t smoke”

私にあまり期待しないでほしい
Watashi ni amari kitai shinade hoshii
“Don’t expect too much from me”

 

Similar Grammar Pattern(s):

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Pre-ます-Form VERB + なさい as “Do VERB”

Pre-ます-Form VERB + なさい as “Do VERB”

An alternative to taking the て-Form of a VERB word and adding ください (a special conjugation of the verb word くださる, which in turn is the honorific form of the verb word くれる, which means “to give, to let have, to do for one”) after it to express “please do VERB” is instead conjugating the VERB word itself into the special “なさい form.” (なさい is the imperative form of the verb word なさる, which in turn is the honorific form of the verb word する, “to do.”) We do this by taking the Pre-ます-Form of the VERB word and plugging なさい right after it.

Example(s):

する (suru) “to do”
Pre-ます-Form:し
しなさい (shinasai) “do” [command]

よむ (yomu) “to read”
Pre-ます-Form: よみ
よみなさい (yominasai) “read” [command]

いく (iku) “to go”
Pre-ます-Form: いき
いきなさい (ikinasai) “go” [command]

However, while this form may be simpler due to having to only conjugate the single VERB word used, it comes with certain restrictions. Unlike the て/ないで-Form VERB + ください grammar pattern, it cannot be used in a negative form to tell someone to not do something.

Pre-ます-Form VERB + なさい is also considered more forceful than て/ないで-Form VERB + ください, while still being polite. It is often used when the speaker and addressee have a relationship of superior/older and inferior/younger respectively (e.g. an adult talking to children, a teacher talking to students, a boss talking to interns, etc.). While English translations of the て/ないで-Form VERB + ください grammar pattern are likely to include the word “please,” English translations of this grammar pattern typically will not include “please” depending on context (generally because given these types of relationships, something like an adult not saying “please” when talking to a child doesn’t mean they’re not being polite to them).

Example(s):

やめなさい
Yamensai
“Stop it”

ちょっと待ちなさい
Chotto machinasai
“Please wait a bit”

野菜を食べなさい
Yasai o tabenasai
“Eat your vegetables”

もう起きなさい!
Mou okinasai!
“Wake up already!”

ご挨拶をちゃんとしなさい
Goaisatsu o chanto shinasai
“Properly greet your seniors”

 

Further, this grammar pattern can be turned into a shortened version by outright dropping the さい in なさい. This results in what is arguably a completely new grammar pattern in and of itself, Pre-ます-Form VERB + な as “Do VERB,” and in turn makes the new command statement even more forceful, yet still retaining a degree of politeness.

Example(s):

見な
mina
“look”

たべな
tabena
“eat”

なっちゃいなよ
nacchaina yo
“go ahead and become”

Similar Grammar Pattern(s):

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Dictionary-Form VERB + な as “Don’t VERB” (Verb Conjugation/Sentence Ending Particle)

Dictionary-Form VERB + な as “Don’t VERB” (Verb Conjugation/Sentence Ending Particle)

When the character な is attached at the end of the Dictionary-Form of a VERB word, it forms the negative command grammar pattern that expresses “Don’t VERB.”

Context:
While this grammar pattern has been used since pre-modern Japanese times, its classification can be a bit vague. It is said to be a type of verb conjugation (though it is technically just plugging the character な after the Dictionary-Form of a VERB word, which is considered the most standard VERB form) as well as a type of sentence-ending particle (in which the character な acts as what is called the “prohibition particle”). Regardless, distinguishing between what type of grammar pattern Dictionary-Form VERB + な as “Don’t VERB” is is not compulsory for understanding its usage.

Corresponding to how simple it is to form, this negative command form is considered to be the most direct and terse and as a result can come off as extremely impolite and rude. Many times, speech patterns as such associated with forwardness and frankness are considered masculine speech, but Dictionary-Form VERB + な is commonly used by both male and female speakers.

While not completely nonexistent in spoken language (it may become very common in friendlier, more informal conversations), it can much more commonly be observed works of fiction.

Example(s):

たべるな
taberu na
“don’t eat”

のむな
nomu na
“don’t drink”

みるな
miru na
“don’t look”

こっち来るな!
Kocchi kuru na!
“Don’t come here!/Stay away!”

*On the topic of works of fiction such as anime, an even more slurred version of this grammar pattern can be sometimes be observed (e.g. the first example こっち来るな becomes こっちくんな, するな becomes すんな, etc.)

 

An important thing to note is how easily this grammar pattern may be confused with other grammatical forms.

[1] The use of the sentence-ending particle な to express emphasis after a Dictionary-Form VERB word.

Example(s):
そんなこと言うな
Sonna koto iu na
*This can be interpretted as both “You sure do say things like that” and “Don’t say things like that.” Various minor additions to the sentence (e.g. the sentence-ending particle よ, the small っ, an exclamation mark, a trailing ぁ after the な, an ellipsis, etc.) can make it clearer as to which one is meant to be said.

[2] The affirmative command grammar pattern Pre-ます-Form VERB + な as “Do VERB,” which is effectively the complete opposite of Dictionary-Form VERB + な’s meaning. This grammar pattern is an abbreviated version of the Pre-ます-Form VERB + なさい as “Please do VERB” grammar pattern. Through its abbreviation it becomes more of a forceful statement.

Example(s):
聞きなさい (kikinasai) “please listen”
聞きな (kikina) “listen”
聞くな (kikuna) “don’t listen”

Similar Grammar Pattern(s):

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The Particle だけ as “just, only”

The Particle だけ as “just, only”

だけ is a common Japanese particle that translates into English as “just” or “only” and works in an almost completely similar manner to its English counterpart words.

だけ can be used with any of the three main word types (adjectives, nouns, and verbs) simply by attaching it right after said word to express “just WORD” or “only WORD.”

Example(s):

わたしだけ (watashi dake) “just me”
あなただけ (anata dake) “just you”
面白いだけ (omoshiroi dake) “just interesting”
勉強するだけ (benkyou suru dake) “just studying”

Unlike the similar particle しか which can only be used in negative form sentences, だけ can be used in both positive and negative form sentences.

Example Sentence(s):

今日だけバナナパクチー味のアイスが買えるよ!スーパー限定だから!
Kyou dake banana pakuchi- aji no aisu ga kaeru yo! Su-pa- gentei dakara!
“The banana coriander flavor ice cream is available only today! It’s super limited edition!”

やばい!半分のレッスンだけ勉強した。
Yabai! Hanbun no resson dake benkyou shita.
“Oh no! I only studied half of the lesson.”
*Note how だけ also fulfills the function of the direct object marker/particle を here. However, this will not always be the case, as the double particle usage of だけを is also possible (the reversed order of をだけ is grammatically incorrect).

彼は使える人(だけに/にだけ)優しい。
Kare wa tsukaeru hito (dake ni/ni dake) yasashii.
“That guy is only nice to people who are useful.”
*When だけ is used with certain other particles, the double particle combination is reversible; however, certain orders may be much more common and sound more natural.

僕だけが犯人の顔を見ました。
Boku dake ga hannin no kao o mimashita.
“It was just me who saw the culprit’s face.”
*The double particle combination of だけ and が can only be used in that order.

*The particle のみ is considered to be a formal version of だけ, usually only appearing in written language.

Similar Grammar Pattern(s):

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How-to use ~らしい to mean “heard that~, seems like~, looks like~, etc.”

How-to use ~らしい to mean “heard that~, seems like~, looks like~, etc.”

Construction:
Plain-Form VERB + らしい
NOUN + (Conjugation) + らしい
い-ADJECTIVE + (Conjugation) + らしい
な-ADJECTIVE + (Conjugation) + らしい

Using the らしい grammar pattern is one of the many ways to express that you have heard something. Other such similar grammar patterns include ~みたい, ~よう, ~そう; and while there are times when usage of these grammar patterns are interchangeable, it is important to know the different nuances they have for the times when they are not.

The らしい grammar pattern is used when you are making a statement about something you have learned about from another source and not through first-person experience. This could be by means of hearing about, reading about, etc. This contrasts to the ~みたい and ~よう grammar patterns because they in fact can be used to make statements based off your own inferences and assumptions. As such, らしい is essentially never used to talk about oneself, as everything the speaker knows about themselves is from first-hand experience and not indirect sources.

Finally, the difference between らしい and ~そう (Plain Form Version) is that the latter expresses stronger degree of accuracy for the statement made.

(らしい also has a second, more adjectival function of expressing that something has a very characteristic quality of something else, but this will covered in a separate lesson.)

Example(s):
彼女は夫と離婚するらしい。
Kanojo wa otto to rikon suru rashii.
“I hear she’s going to divorce her husband.”
*Note how the usage of らしい here as opposed to みたい or よう implies that the speaker heard talk of the divorce happening as opposed to some first-hand experience such as the speaker witnessing the couple’s strained relationship and inferring that a divorce would occur.

彼は入学試験に失敗したらしい。
Kare wa nyuugakushiken ni shippai shita rashii.
“It appears he failed his entrance exam.”

明日は台風が来るらしい。
Ashita wa taifuu ga kuru rashii.
“It seems that a typhoon is suppose to come tomorrow.”

明日は、いい天気らしい。
Ashita wa, ii tenki rashii.
“It seems like tomorrow’s weather will be good.”

ここは世界的に有名なお店らしいです。
Koko wa sekaiteki ni yuumei na omise rashii desu.
“I heard that this place is a famous all across the world.”

Similar Grammar Patterns:
~みたい
~よう
Plain-Form CLAUSE + (そうだ) as “heard that ___”
Pre-ます Form VERB + そう
~らしい as “~-like”

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How-to use っぽい to say something-ish, -like

「Learn Japanese」 How-to use っぽい (to say something-ish, -like, -looking, -ly)

The grammar pattern Xっぽい is used to express that something is very “X-ish,” “X-like,” “X-looking,” or “X-ly.”

As one might have been able to guess from the somewhat cute-sy nature of  っぽい’s pronunciation, this word is predominantly used in conversational Japanese and is seldom seen at all in written language (most likely only when what is written is a transcript of a conversation).

Not only is っぽい more conversational and casual than most Japanese grammar patterns, but it is also very modern and actually even continually changing. So while there are in fact some words that just don’t sound right with the っぽい suffixed attached to them for various reasons (grammatically incorrect, unnatural sounding, more suited for other similar grammar patterns); when it comes to language, once something is used over and over and enters the majority (especially in mass media)-even if it is incorrect, it eventually becomes the norm.

Additionally due to this, っぽい is quite the nuance grammar pattern, so take some precaution in automatically translating to “-ish” or another definition every time you come across it. We have provided multiple English definitions/translations because none are universally compliant with っぽい, something that should become more apparent with the example sentences below.

Construction:
NOUN + っぽい
Pre-ます-VERB + っぽい
い-ADJECTIVE Stem + っぽい
な-ADJECTIVE + っぽい

Regardless of the initial word type (noun, verb, adjective), when っぽい is added as a suffix, the resulting compound word is an い-ADJECTIVE. As such, it henceforth follows the grammatical guidelines of an い-ADJECTIVE, e.g. its ADVERB form would be Xっぽく and its Negative Form-ない would be Xっelない.

Example(s):

彼は忘れっぽいから、ちょっと心配だ。
Kare wa wasureppoi kara, chotto shinpai da.
“He is kind of forgetful, so I’m a bit worried.”
*Notice the minor alterations we have to make to the word 忘れっぽい to naturalize it into English, as “forget-ish” would have simply been grammatically incorrect.

その赤っぽい車の隣に有名な店がある。
Sono akappoi kuruma no tonari ni yuumei na mise ga aru.
“Next to that reddish car right there is a famous shop.”

最近自分が男っぽいと悩む女性は多いようだ。
Saikin jibun ga otokoppoi to nayami josei wa ooi you da.
“It seems that nowadays there are a lot of woman who are insecure about how manly they come off as.”

日本にアニメグッズを買いに行くのはジョージっぽい。
Nihon ni anime goods o kai ni iku no wa George-ppoi.
“Going to Japan to buy anime goods is such a George-like thing to do.”
*Notice how you don’t always have to be instigating a comparison/contrast when calling something Xっぽい, as the X can even be someone’s own name, thus calling them very much like themselves.  

子供っぽい行動
kodomoppoi koudou
childish behavior

色っぽい話
iroppoi hanashi
an erotic tale

熱っぽい
netsuppoi
fever-ish

怒りっぽい
okorippoi
hot-tempered

Similar Grammar Pattern(s):

〜気味 as “slightly〜”
~らしい
~みたい

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How-to say “I get the feeling that ___” (___ような気がする)

How-to say “I get the feeling that ___” (___ような気がする)

The grammar pattern ~ような気がする as “I get the feeling that~/I get the feeling like~” is used when a speaker wants to express that they think-or more adequately, feel that something is true. It is a softer version of the grammar pattern that is ~気がする, which conveys a stronger confidence in what you are feeling. It is also somewhat similar to the grammar pattern ~ようだ, which also has a more affirmative tone. Finally, the “like” in “I get the feeling like~” is similar to the translation of the よう from the grammar pattern ~ような/ように to “like” as well.

Construction:
Verb-casual + (ような) 気がする
Noun + (のような) 気がする
いadj + (ような) 気がする
なadj + (な/のような) 気がする

Example(s):

雨が降るような気がする。
Ame ga furu you na ki ga suru.
“I have a feeling that it’ll rain.”

日本語は、勉強すればするほど難しくなるような気がする。
Nihongo wa, benkyou sureba suru hodo muzukashiku naru you na ki ga suru.
“With Japanese, I get the feeling that the more you study, the more difficult it becomes.”

前にあの人を見たことがあるような気がする。
Mae ni ano hito o mita koto ga aru you na ki ga suru.
I get the feeling as if I’ve seen that person before.

彼女は約束を守る気がする。
Kanojo wa yakusoku o mamoru ki ga suru.
“I have a feeling that she’ll keep her promise.”

皆が私達の秘密を知っているような気がする。
Mina ga watashitachi no himitsu o shitte iru you na ki ga suru.
I get the feeling that everyone knows our secret.

Similar Grammar Patterns:

NOUN + のよう(な/に) ____ as “like NOUN”
気がする
〜よう(だ/です)

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How-to turn NOUNS into ADJECTIVES (and ADVERBS) with 的 (てき)

How-to turn NOUNS into ADJECTIVES (and ADVERBS) with 的 (てき)

In the English language, words are relentlessly interchanging between word types. For example, the word “force” can be used as a noun (“a force”), a verb (“to force”), and an adjective (“forceful”).
When we talk about the specific case of turning noun words into adjectives, things can really messy in terms of what suffix we’re suppose to attach to them. Some words require the suffix “-ful” (forceful, wonderful, beautiful), some words require the suffix “-al” (mechanical, internal, musical, logical), some words require the suffix “-ous” (dangerous, fabulous, courageous). The list goes on and on.
(This isn’t even mentioning the numerous letter changes you have to do for each individual word before even adding the suffix on, e.g. “beauty” changing to “beauti” before adding on the “-ful” suffix)

Fortunately, the same process in the Japanese language is far simpler, as we only need to remember one suffix, 的 (てき). Adding the character 的 after a Japanese NOUN word will effectively turn that NOUN word into an ADJECTIVE word that means “[whatever the definition of the NOUN word is]-ish.”

Example(s):
効果 (“effect”) + 的 (“-ish”) = 効果的 (“effective”)
美術 (“art, fine arts”) + 的 (“-ish”) = 美術的 (“artistic”)
仮説 (“hypothesis”) + 的 (“-ish”) = 仮説的 (“hypothetical”)

When a NOUN word is turned into an ADJECTIVE word in this manner, the resulting ADJECTIVE word is always a な-Adjective and not an い-Adjective. And since all ADJECTIVE words used in this way are な-Adjectives, we can go even further and effectively use this same idea to turn NOUN words into ADVERB phrases due to the fact that all you need to turn a な-Adjective into an ADVERB phrase is the particle に appearing right after it. As such, we can have our previous three example words undergo an additional word-type transformation:

効果的 (“effective”) + に (“-ly”) = 効果的 (“effectively”)
美術的 (“artistic”) + に (“-ly”) = 美術的 (“artistically”)
仮説的 (“hypothetical”) + に (“-ly”) = 仮説的 (“hypothetically”)

Example Sentence(s):
もっと効率的に日本語が勉強したいです。
Motto kouritsuteki ni nihongo ga benkyou shitai desu.
“I want to be more efficient with my Japanese studies.”

具体的な日取りは決まっていない。
Gutaiteki na hidori wa kimatte inai.
“The exact date hasn’t been decided.”

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Causative-Passive Form (Verb Conjugation) (させられる)

Causative-Passive Form (Verb Conjugation) (させられる)

Construction:
As the name implies, the Causative-Passive Form of verb words is constructed simply by taking the Causative Form of the respective form and in turn conjugating that into the Passive Form, i.e. replacing the final る to られる.

(As we should know, there are two guidelines on conjugating verb words into their Passive Form depending on whether the word is a る-Verb type or an う-Verb type; however since all verb words conjugated into their Causative Form are automatically る-Verb types, we need not worry about choosing between the two guidelines in this case.)

*A review on how to conjugate verbs into their Causative Form is included at the end of this post.

Example(s):
たべ = たべさせられる
= みさせられる
= いわせられる
= かわせられる
= よませられる

The Causative-Form for the two irregular verbs くる and する are こさせられる and させられる respectively.

While the Causative-Passive Form of verbs isn’t used extremely often, it definitely still has grammatical significance; it is used to express that something is made to do something by something else. That second something will be indicated with the particle に.

Example(s):
感動させられた
Kandou saserareta.
“I was moved/I was forced to be moved.”

僕は事件の身代わりにさせられた
Boku wa jiken no migawari ni saserareta.
“I was made to be the scapegoat for the incident.”

母に勉強させられる
Haha ni benkyou saserareru.
“I am forced to study by my mom.”

いつも彼女に買い物に行かせられる
Itsumo kanojo ni kaimono ni ikaserareru.
“I am always forced to go shopping by my girlfriend.”

学生は先生にたくさん漢字を書かせられている
Gakusei wa sensei ni takusan kanji o kakaserarete iru.
“The students are forced to write a lot of kanji by the teacher.”

嫌いなものをムリヤリ食べさせられたことで、ますます大嫌いになることもある。
Kirai na mono o muriyari tabesaserareta koto de, masumasu daikirai ni naru koto mo aru.
“It is possible that when they are forced to eat things they don’t like against their will, people end up disliking it even more.”

A review on how to conjugate verbs into their Causative-Form:

To conjugate る-Verbs into their Causative Form, drop the final る character and replace it with させる.

Example(s):
見る (みる) = 見させる (みさせる)
食べる (たべる) = 食べさせる (たべさせる)
寝る (ねる) =  寝させる (ねさせる)

To conjugate う-Verbs that end in the vowel character う into their Causative Form, drop the final う and replace it with わせる.

Example(s):
買う (かう) = 買わせる (かわせる)
言う (いう) = 言わせる (いわせる)

To conjugate う-Verbs that end in any character other than the vowel character う into their Causative Form, drop the “u” inside the final character to isolate the respective consonant that should now be at the end of the verb and replace it with an “a” to form a new Japanese character. Then, add after it all せる.

Example(s):
死ぬ (しぬ) = 死なせる (しなせる)
行く (いく) = 行かせる (いかせる)
読む (よむ) = 読ませる (よませる)

There are two irregular verbs for the Causative Form and they are the same two for the Passive Form:

来る = 来させる
する = させる

Similar Grammar Pattern(s):

Passive Form (Verb Conjugation) (Post | Video)
Causative Form (Verb Conjugation) (Post | Video)

Passive Form (Simple) (Post | Video)
Passive Form (Adversity with Transitive Verbs) (Post | Video)
Passive Form (Adversity with Intransitive Verbs) (Post | Video)
Causative Form (Post | Video)

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Negative-ず-Form (Verb Conjugation) – How-to say “to do VERB2 without doing VERB1” ( Negative-ず-Form VERB1 + に + VERB2)

Negative-ず-Form (Verb Conjugation) – How-to say “to do VERB2 without doing VERB1” ( Negative-ず-Form VERB1 + に + VERB2)

In addition to having the standard Negative-ない-Form, the Japanese language also has the Negative-ず-Form.

Construction:
The conjugation of verbs into their ず-Form is fairly simple, even more so if you are already familiar with the Negative-ない-Form as you simply replace the final ない with a ず.
たべる -> たべない -> たべず
のむ -> のまない -> のまず
いく -> いかない -> いかず
はなす -> はなさない -> はなさず
きく -> きかない -> きかず

*The two verbs する and くる express irregularity with this conjugation (as they do with numerous other conjugations) and become せず and こず respectively.

Historically, the Negative-ず-Form was just as generally used for negative forms as the Negative-ない-Form, however in modern Japanese it retains usage with only one grammar pattern: Negative-ず-Form VERB1 + に + VERB2 to mean “to do VERB2 without doing VERB1.”

This grammar pattern is essentially identical to the grammar pattern Negative ない-Form VERB1 + で + VERB2 as “to VERB2 without doing VERB1.“ It only differs in that is is considered more formal due to the ず-Form’s rather archaic status and is more commonly seen in written Japanese. However, there are certainly occasions in which it may appear in spoken language (e.g. depending on the actual statement, one might opt for ず-Form VERB + に over ない-Form VERB + で to avoid confusion with ない-Form VERB + で also serving as the grammar pattern that means “don’t do VERB.”)

When used in sentences, this grammar pattern is commonly paired with the particle に. While not doing so would not make the sentence grammatically incorrect, the presence of the particle is almost always the way this grammar pattern is used in modern Japanese and more accurately expresses the action not performed as an adverbial phrase to the action that is performed.

Example(s):

彼女は何も食べずに帰りました。
Kanojo wa nanimo tabezu ni kaerimashita.
“She returned home without eating anything.”

ドアに鍵をかけずに旅行した。
Doa ni kagi o kakezu ni ryokou shita.
“I left for a trip without locking my door.”

あの子はいつも歯を磨かずに寝る。
Ano ko wa itsumo ha o migakazu ni neru.
“That child is always going to sleep without brushing their teeth first.”

何となく、勉強せずに試験に合格した。
Nantonaku, benkyou sezu ni shiken ni goukaku shita.
“Somehow, I passed the test without studying.”

私のことは気にせずに先に行って下さい。
Watashi no koto wa ki ni sezu ni saki ni itte kudasai.
“Please go on ahead without worrying about me.”

ぐずぐずせずに早くしろ!
Guzuguzu sezu ni hayaku shiro!
“Hurry up and get going without dilly-dallying!”

Similar Grammar Pattern(s):
How-to say “to VERB2 without doing VERB1” (Negative ない-Form VERB1 + で + VERB2)