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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)

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How-to say “sometimes ____” with Dictionary-Form-VERB + ことがある

How-to say “sometimes ____” with Dictionary-Form-VERB + ことがある

The grammar pattern Dictionary-Form-VERB + ことがある is used to express “sometimes VERB” or “there are times when VERB” (the latter definition being more represented of another grammar pattern, がある’s influence).

*While the Dictionary-Form of a VERB word is most commonly used, there are times when ADJECTIVE words and Negative Form can be used as well.

*Sometimes, particle other than が will be used for additional nuance (e.g. は to emphasize a contrast or も to mean “also”).

Construction:
Dictionary-Form VERB + ことがある = “there are times when VERB (is done)”
ADJECTIVE + ことがある = “there are times when ADJECTIVE”

Example(s):
一人で夜に散歩することがある。
Hitori de yoru ni sanpo suru koto ga aru.
“Sometimes I’ll go for an evening stroll by myself.”

流暢に英語が話せるが、簡単な言葉の意味を忘れることがある。
Ryuuchou ni eigo ga hanaseru ga, kantan na kotoba no imi o wasureru koto ga aru.
“I can speak English fluently, but there are times when I forget the definitions of simple words.”

部屋で一日を過ごすことがある。
Heya de ichinichi o sugosu koto ga aru
“There are times when I’ll just spend the whole day in my room.”

たまに外で食事をすることがある。
Tama ni soto de shokuji o suru koto ga aru
“Occasionally, I’ll have my meal outside.”

少しも眠れないことがある。
Sukoshi mo nemurenai koto ga aru.
“There are times when I can’t get even one good bit of sleep.”

お返事が遅いことがあります。
Ohenji ga osoi koto ga arimasu
“Sometimes it takes a while to respond.”

Similar Grammar Pattern(s):
Past-Plain-た-Form-VERB + ことがある as “have VERBed before”

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Pre-ます-Form VERB + (切る/切れない) as “to do VERB to completion/to not be able to do VERB to completion”

Pre-ます-Form VERB + (切る/切れない) as “to do VERB to completion/to not be able to do VERB to completion”

The Japanese verb word 切る not only has more than 20 different definitions but also forms a grammar pattern with its own meaning when followed by the Pre-ます-Form of another VERB word. Drawing from the same general idea that some of 切る’s definitions represent (e.g. “to cut,” “to sever,” “to terminate” etc.), this construction of Pre-ます-Form VERB + 切る means “to do something to completion” or “to successfully do something.”

In accordance with the latter definition, this grammar pattern is typically used to express that one is satisfied from their performance of the VERB word action.

*When this grammar pattern is used with VERB words that express states of being or mind, the translation of “to do VERB to completion” becomes unnatural, and the better interpretation is “to be very VERB.”

Adversely, the negative form of this grammar pattern is the construction of Pre-ます-Form VERB + 切れない and is used to express a dissatisfaction at one’s inability to do VERB to completion. (The fact that 切れない is the Negative-Form of the Potential Form of 切る instead of just the regular Negative-Form may be indicative of the association of this grammar pattern with feelings of satisfaction/dissatisfaction, as the wording of “was not able to finish doing VERB” expresses more dissatisfaction than the more objective wording of “did not finish VERB.”)

Construction:
Pre-ます-Form VERB + 切る = “to VERB completely”
Pre-ます-Form VERB + 切れない = “not able to VERB completely”

Example(s):
思い切る
Omoikiru
“to make up one’s mind, to make a momentous decision”

昨晩は徹夜して教科書を読み切った。
Sakuban wa tetsuya shite kyoukasho o yomikitta.
“Last night I pulled an all-nighter and read the textbook entirely.”

満漢全席を食べ切りました!!
Mankanzenseki o tabekirimashita!!
“I finish eating the Manchu Han Imperial Feast!”

疲れ切った選手たちはバスで眠り込んだ。
Tsukarekitta senshutachi wa bus de nemurikonda.
“The exhausted players fell asleep on the bus.”

彼女はいまだに彼を信じきっている.
Kanojo wa imada ni kare o shinjikitte iru
“Even now, she still blindly believes in him.”

待ちきれない。
Machikirenai
“I can’t wait. (I can’t finish waiting.)”

数えきれない量
Kazoekirenai ryou
“An innumerable amount. (An amount one cannot finish counting)”

感謝しきれない
Kansha shikirenai
“I can’t thank you enough. (I can’t finish thanking you.)”

抑え切れない笑い.
Osaekirenai warai.
“An uncontrollable laugh. (A laugh that cannot be completely held back)”

日本語には、難しい漢字がたくさんあって、覚えきれない。
Nihongo ni wa, muzukashii kanji ga takusan atte, oboekirenai.
“The Japanese language has so many difficult kanji that I can’t remember them all.”

Similar Grammar Pattern(s):
~て-Form VERB + しまう as “to doing something completely (with a sense of irreversibility and regret)”

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Pre-ます-Form VERB + 出す as “to start VERBing” (or “to VERB and make X available”)

Pre-ます-Form VERB + 出す as “to start VERBing” (or “to VERB and make X available”)

The Japanese word 出す has a plethora of definitions (e.g. to take out, to put out, to show, to get out, to publish, to produce, to serve, etc.), many of which are associated with a outward directionality to the action. When this word is preceded by the Pre-ます-Form of another VERB word, it forms a compound verb and the grammar pattern Pre-ます-Form VERB + 出す, which has two definitions:
1.) First, it is used to express the beginning of a verb action. This is very similar to but differs in a way to the other grammar patterns Pre-ます-Form VERB + 始める and Pre-ます-Form VERB + かける, which are used to express a more general beginning of a verb action and a beginning of a verb action that is usually halted before completion respectively. Pre-ます-Form VERB + 出す as a grammar pattern has its own nuance of expressing the beginning of a verb action that begins abruptly, suddenly, or non-volitionally. As such, it is commonly used with certain types of VERB words, such as those associated with sudden emotions (e.g. crying, yelling, etc.) as opposed to premeditation.
2.) Second, it is used to express that something performs a verb action and in doing so makes something (usually the direct object the verb action) available or accessible when it wasn’t before.
*出す’s association with outward directionality can be useful in remembering both of these definitions as “to start VERBing” can be alternatively worded and interpretted as “to burst out into VERBing” and “making something available/accessible when it was not before” can be considered a “birthing” or “putting out into the world” of something, so to speak.

Construction:
Pre-ます-Form VERB + 出す = “to start VERBing”
or
X + を + Pre-ます-Form VERB + 出す = “to VERB and make X available”

Example(s):
昨日の試合の途中で、急に雨が降り出した。
Kinou no shiai no tochuu de, kyuu ni ame ga furidashita.
“In the middle of yesterday’s match, rain suddenly started falling.”

何も言わなかったのに彼は急に怒り出した。
Nanimo iwanakatta no ni, kare wa kyuu ni ikaridashita.
“Even though I didn’t say anything, he suddenly started getting angry.”

彼は時計を見て走り出した。
Kare wa tokei o mite hashiridashita.
“He looked at his watch and started running off.”

赤ちゃんが夜中に泣き出したから、よく寝なかった。
Akachan ga yonaka ni nakidashita kara, yoku nenakatta.
“The baby started crying in the middle of the night, so I didn’t sleep well.”

ロボットが動き出した。
Robot ga ugokidashita.
“The robot started moving.”

妹が五時までに宿題を完成して夕食を作り出した。
Imouto ga goji made ni shukudai o kansei shite yuushoku o tsukuridashita.
“My little sister finished her homework by 5 and made dinner.”

掲示板にプリントを張り出した。
Keijiban ni print o baridashita.
“I posted the flyer on the bulletin board.”

Similar Grammar Pattern(s):
Pre-ます-Form VERB + 始める
Pre-ます-Form VERB + かける

 

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How-to say “on the way” with がけに

How-to say “on the way” with がけに

Pre-ます-Form (Going) VERB + がけに as “on the way of VERBing, ~”

The phrasing がけに can be inserted directly after the Pre-ます-Form of what is considered a “going” type VERB word (e.g. 行く, 帰る, くる) to modify its meaning to be “on the way of VERBing.” In this usage, がけに is typically seen written in kana form.

Construction:
Pre-ます-Form (Going) VERB + がけに

Example(s):
来がけに自分のしっぽを追いかける犬を見ました。
Kigake ni jibun no shippo o oikakeru inu o mimashita.
“On the way (coming) here, I saw a dog that was chasing its own tail.”

高校生の頃は、学校への行きがけにコンビニからコロッケを買った。

Koukousei no koro wa, gakkou e no ikigake ni konbini kara croquette o katta.
“When I was a high schooler, on the way (going) to school I would stop by the convenience store and buy croquettes.”

今日、帰りがけに新しく人気なクレープ店に寄るつもりだ。
Kyou, kaerigake ni atarashiku ninki na crepe mise ni yoru tsumori da.
“Today I plan on stopping by that new, popular crepe store on the way returning home.”