Shared Flashcard Set


Japanese Grammar
Grammar Points from Nakama 1 a & b Textbooks
Language - Japanese
Undergraduate 2

Additional Language - Japanese Flashcards









Identifying someone or something

using ~は and ~です


X はYです。

This translates as X is Y, in the affirmative.



(it can even be XはYじゃないです。)

This translates as X is not Y, in the negative.


はrepresents information already known to both the speaker and listener, Yです is a comment about the topic.






Asking はい/いいえ questions, using ~は ~ですか



To formulate a question in Japanese, just add the particle か to the end of the sentence.


アメリカじんですか。- Are you American?

はいそうです。- Yes, I am.

いいえ、アメリカじんじゃありません。- No, I am not American.







Indicating relationships between nouns with の


The particle の allows the first noun to modify the second noun.

This indicate possession, group membership, or location, its meaning depends on context.


わたしのせんせい - my teacher

れきしのせんこう - history major

メキシコのうち - house in Mexico

のほんごのほん - book about Japan/book from Japan







Asking for personal information, using question words


なに/なん means what

おなまえはなんですか。 - What is your name?

いま、なんじですか。- What time is it now?


どこ and どちら mean where, どしら is more polite


どこからきましたか。- Where are you from? (lit. Where did you come from?)

どちらからいらっしゃいましたか。 - Where are you from? (more polite)






Using も to list and describe similarities


The particle も means also or too, and it is used to show similarity between what has just been said and what is being said.


キムさんはとうきょうからきました。 - Mr. Kim is from Tokyo.

うえださんもとうきょうからきました。 - Mr. Ueda is also from Tokyo.






Talking about routines, future actions, or events using the polite present form of verbs and the particles に, へ, を, or で


Polite present form of verbs

Verb Conjugations

う-verbs = drop final -u add -imasu いく = いきます

る-verbs = drop ru add masu たべる = たべます

irregular verbs = する = します、くる = きます


を - direct object particle = ひるごはんをたべます。- I will eat lunch.

に and へ- destination or goal particles = がこうに/へいきます。 - I will go to school.

で - place of action particle = としょかんでえいがをみます。 - I will see a movie in the library.






Presenting objects or events using ~が ありません


Xがありません means there is X. Used to describe an object, event or activity. It can also be used to express possession.


ほんがあいません。 - There is a book./I have a book.

 しゅくだいがありません。 - I have homework.






Telling time using the particle に


The particle に with a time expression indicates a specific point in time.

Corresponds to English prepositions at, in, or on. It may be used to express clock times, days of the week, months or years.


ごじにきますよ。 - She is coming at 5 o'clock.


に is never used with the words きょう, いま, あさ, ばん, いつ, まい~, こん~, らい~






Using adverbs to express frequency of actions


いつも - always, たいてい - usually, よく - often, ときどき - sometimes

these end with an affirmative verb form


あまり - not very often, ぜんぜん - never

these end with a negative verb form


いつもコーヒーをのみます。 - I always drink coffee.

よくとしょかんにいきます。 - I often go to the library.

ぜんぜんあさごはんをたべません。 - I don't eat breakfast at all.

あまりほんをよみません。 - I don't read books very much.


とても may be used before よく to express very frequent actions.






Expressing past action and events using polite past forms fo verbs


Polite past form of verbs

Verb Conjugations

う-verbs = drop final -u add -imasu いく = いきました

る-verbs = drop ru add masu たべる = たべました

irregular verbs = する = しました、くる = きました

あさごはんをたべましたか。 - Did you eat breakfast?

しゅくだいがありましたか。 - Was there an assignment?






Referring to things, using これ, それ, あれ, どれ


これ - this or this thing, something close to the speaker


それ - that or that thing, something close to the listener


あれ - that or that thing over there, something away from listener and speaker


どれ - which or which thing, asks for a choice between  two or more items






Asking for and giving locations using ~は ~にあります/います and ここ, そこ, あそこ, and どこ



ここ = here - near speaker

そこ = there - near listener

あそこ = over there - away from speaker and listener

どこ = where


~は ~にあります -used to ask or identify location of objects

じしょはどこにありますか。 - Where is the dictionary?






Describing people and things using adjectives + noun, and polite present forms of adjectives



Conjugation of adjectives


い-adj. = おおきい

add です = polite affirmative = おおきいです

drop い add くありません or くないです = polite negative = おおきくないです

add noun after adjective = adjective + noun = おおきいうち

 *note いい becomes いいです, よくありません, いいうち


な-adj. = ゆうめい(な)

drop な add です = polite affirmative = ゆうめいです

drop な add じゃありません or じゃないです = polite negative = ゆうめいじゃありません

keep な add noun after adjective = adjective + noun = ゆうめいなうち







Describing people, things, and their locations using ~に ~が あります/います


~に ~が あります/います means there is a person/object in a certain location


ここにねこがいます。 - There is a cat right here.

だいがいくにほにゃがあります。 - There is a bookstore in the university.






Using よ and ね


can be translated as ~isn't it?/right?/correct?

It indicates that the speaker thinks the listener shares the same information, opinions, or feelings. It is used when the speaker is seeking the listener's agreement, confirming a fact, or to create a sense of togetherness

きょうかんじのテストがありますね。 - We have a kanji test today, right?


can be translated as ~I tell you or ~you know.

It indicates the speakers assumption the listener does not share the speaker's opinion/information. Used when the speaker wishes to emphasize that he/she is imparting completely new information, and can sound authoritative.

テストはあさってですよ。 - The test will be the day after tomorrow.






Referring to people, places, and things using この, その, あの, どの


この + noun = this noun - near speaker

その + noun = that noun - near listener

あの + noun = that noun over there - away from speaker and listener

どの + noun = which noun


そのひとはたなかさんですか。 - It that person Mr. Tanaka?

うちはどのたてものですか。- Which building is it?






Using location nouns: なか, そと, となり, よこ, ちかく, うしろ, まえ, うえ, した, みぎ, ひだり


Used to describe the location of an object relative to another object

noun の location = つくえのまえ - in front of the desk


まえ = in front of, うしろ = behind, うえ = on/above, した = below/under, みぎ = to the right of, ひだり = to the left of, ちかく = close to, なか = inside, そこ - outside, となり - next to (same object), よこ - next to/adjacent to (different objects)






Referring to things mentioned immediately before, using noun/adjective + の (pronoun)


The pronoun の means one or ones in English - rarely used for people. It must be directly preceded by an adjective or noun


い-adj. + の = ちゃいろいの - brown one

な-adj. + の = きれいなの - pretty one

noun + の = スミスさんの - Mr. Smith's


*pronoun の cannot be used with the particle の or with この, その, あの, or どの






Expressing distance and duration using the particles から, まで, and で and the suffix ~ぐらい/くらい


~から(from), ~まで(to, until)

ごじからろくじまでやすみです。 - I have a break from 5 (to 6 o'clock.


で(by means of, with, by)

えんぴつでかきます。 - I write with a pencil.

バスでかえります。 - I go home by bus.


~ぐらい(about, approximately)

どのぐらい/くらいかかりますか。 - How long does it take?






More about the topic marker は and the similarity marker も (double particles and は vs. が)



subject = は then も

direct object = は then も

place of action = で then でも

place of existence = に then にも

starting point = から then からも

point in time = (に)はthen (に)も

goal に/へ = (に/へ)は then (に/へ)も

は vs. が

は cannot be used with question words, because は specifies topic, already known to the listener. Use は when there is a question word in the comment.

が marks the grammatical subjct of the sentence, always use with a question word. Imparts new information

それ, その, そこ can be used to refer to something already mentioned. It means it.







Using particles と and に


と(together with, with, and)

わたしはうえださんとたべました。 - I ate with Mr. Ueda.

しんぶんとざっしをよみました。 - I read a newspaper and a magazine.

と as and can only be used to connect nouns


に to (recipient, target, goal, destination)

せんせいにききます。 - I ask my teacher.


に purpose に います/きます/かえります/でかけます

うえださんにあいにきました。 - I came to see Ms. Ueda.






Commenting about the past, using polite past adjectives and the copular verb です


い-adj.     drop い add かったです = polite affirmative past - あかかったです

drop い add くありませんでした or くなかったです = polite negative past - あかくありませんでした

な-adj.     drop な add でして = polite affirmative past = きれいでした

drop な add じゃありませんでした or じゃなかったです = polite negative past - きれいじゃなかったです

nouns     add でした = polite affirmative past - ゲームです

add じゃありませんでした or じゃないです = polite negative past - ゲームじゃありませんでした

*note いい becomes よかったです  よくないです






Connecting verb and adjective phrases and sentences using the て-form of verbsl making requests using the て-form



Verb て-forms

る-verb = drop る add て

う-verb = ends in う, つ, る - drop last character add って; ends in む, ぶ, ぬ drop last character add んで; ends in き drop き add いて; ends in ぎ drop ぎ add いで; ends in す drop す add して; exception - いく becomes いって

irregular verbs = する becomes して; くる becomes きて


て-form + ください/くださいませんか/くれませんか

ください - to social inferior = ほんをよんでください。 - Please read the book.

くださいませんか - to social superior = かんじをかいてくださいませんか。 - Could you write the kanji?

くれませんか - to social peer = としょかんへいってくれませんか - Could you go to the library?







Connecting phrases, using て-forms of verbs and adjectives



て-form of verbs indicatin 'and'

おんがくをきて、ねます。 - I listen to music and go to bed.

たなかさんがいて、にぎやかでした。 - Tanaka was there, and/so it was lively.

て-form of adjectives indicating 'and'

い-adj. - drop い add くて = たのしくて - it is fun, and

な-adj. - drop な add で = にぎやかで - it is lively, and

nouns - add で = やすみで - it is a day off, and

かんじはむずかしくて,たいへんです。 - Kanji is difficult and tough.

しごとで、フランスへいきます。 - I am going to France for work.








Extending an invitation using ませんか


Negative question form of a verb ~まさんか is often used to extend an invitation. It conveys the idea ~won't you, or ~why don't we. It is often used with the phrase いっしょに (together) when the speaker wants to invite someone for an activity.

わたしといっしょにべんきょうしませんか。 - Won't you study with me?






Expressing likes or dislikes using すき or きらい and the particle や


 すき (like) and きらい (dislike) Like, dislike and hate are verbs, but すき and きらい are な-adjectives. The negative forms are じゃありまんせ or じゃないです。 The object cannot be indicated by を because they are not verbs. Instead, use が to mark the object. Adding だい before すき and きらい make them more intense

だいすき = love, really like; だいきらい = hate, don't like


や is used to indicate 'and' but it is not all inclusive, it only suggests a few of the possibilities. りんごとオレンジ = apples and oranges, but りんごやオレンジ = apples and oranges (and other foods)

わたしはこうちゃやにほんのおちゃがすきですね。 - I like black tea and Japanese tea (and so on).

 If you neither like nor dislike something use:

すきでもきらいでもないです。 - I neither like nor dislike it.






Forming noun phrases using の and plain present affirmative verbs (dictionary form)



Plain present affirmative verbs (dictionary form) from polite present affirmative

う-verbs - remove ます and change vowel sound of last letter to 'u'

る-verbs - change ます to

irregular verbs - します becomes する; きます becomes くる

*note - if dictionary form ends in -eru or -iru, it is a る-verb. (However, つくる, おわる, and はじまる are る-verbs.) All the rest are う-verbs, with a few exceptions (i.e. かえる and はいる).

Plain present affirmative + のが すきです/きらいです (like/dislike doing~)

わたしはえいがをみるのがすきです。 - I like watching movies.

えいがをみるのはおもしろいです。 - Watching movies is fun.







Making contrasts using the particle は, and expressing but using が



Using は for contrast between two items.

キムさんはりょうりがすきです。でも、そうじはすきじゃありません。 - Mr. Kim likes cooking but he does not like cleaning.

Used for contrast in more than one sentence or clause to make the contrast explicit.

わたしはコーヒーはすきです。でも、コーラはあまりすきじゃありません。 - I like coffee. But I don't like cola very much.

Expressing but using が to connect two sentences of clauses that oppose each other. が is attached at the end of the first sentence.

あさはごはんをたべませんでしたが、ひるはたべました。 - I did not eat breakfast but I did eat lunch.







Making comparions using いちばん and ~ (の)ほうが ~より, and ~も~も and expressing lack of preference


Superlatives using いちばん - which means number one・first, must be followed by an adjective/adverb. (ie. 'best movie' is いちばんいいえいが not いちばねいが). For scope of preference, use ~のなかで

いちばのおきいたてもの - biggest building     すしはいちばんすきです - I like sushi best

スポーツのなかでなにがいちばんおもしろいですか。 - Which sport is most interesting among sports?

のみもののなかでコーヒーがいちばんすきです。 - Coffee is the beverage I like best.

If preceding noun is a place noun, なか is omitted.

ふきさんはにほんでいちばんたかいやまです。 - Mt. Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan.

Comparatives using ~(の)ほうが~より - used to compare two items. The item preceding ~(の)ほうが is preferred, over the item that preceded ~より. Can be noun/verb phrases ending in the dictionary form.

きょうとのほうがとうきょうよりきれいです。 - Kyoto is prettier than Tokyo.

To ask preference between two items use ~と ~と どちらのほうが

とうきょうときょうととどちらのほうがきれいですか。 - Which is prettier, Tokyo or Kyoto?

To ask about two actions, use dictionary form + の. When using two actions, dictionary form + ほうが

テニスをみるのとするのとどちらのほうがすきですか。 - Do you like watching tennis or playing it better?

Lack of preference or comparisons of equality) ~も ~も - can be noun/verb phrases ending with の

とうきょうもきょともすきです。 - I like both Tokyo and Kyoto. / とうきょうもきょともすきじゃないです。 - I don't like either Tokyo or Kyoto.






Giving reasons using the plain form + ので


 ので indicates a reason and is attached to the end of the clause that expresses the reason. If a sentence contains both reason and result, reason clause must come before result clause.

J-ポップがすきなので、よくJ-ポップのうたをうたいます。 - I love J-pop, so I often sing J-pop songs.


Plain form + ので or な-adj. + ので

な-adj. -- plain.neg=きれいじゃない(もの) affir.plain=きれいなので, neg.plain=きれいじゃないので

noun+です -- plain.neg = にほんじんじゃない,affir.plain = にほんじんなので, neg.plain = にほんじんじゃないので


い-adj. -- plain.neg = うれしくない, affir.plain = うれしいので, neg.plain = うれいしくないので


う-verbs -- plain.neg = よまない, affir.plain = よむので, neg.plain = よまないので (drop -u add -anai)

*exception - あう = あわない、あうので、あわないので  /  ある = ない、あるので、ないので


る-verbs -- plain.neg = たべない, affir.plain = たべるので, neg.plain = たべないので


irregular verbs -- する = しない、するので、しないので  /  くる = こない、くるので、こないので 






Requesting and giving explanations or additional information, and creating harmony and shared atmosphere using ~んです



~んです is used frequently in conversations instead of ~ます. Used with plain form.

あまりたべなしんです。 - You don't eat much.

にくはあまりすきじゃないんですよ。 - I don't like meat very much.


~んです is used to invite additional information or explanations beyond a simple answer.






Expressing desire using ほしい・ほしがっている and ~たい・ ~たがっている


 ほしい - I want (something)

なにがほしいですか。 - What do you want?  / ほんがほしいです。 - I want a book.

ほしはっている - someone else wants (something)

うえださんはほんをほしがっています。 - Ueda wants a book.

~たい - I want (to do something)

このケーキが/をたべたい。 - I want to eat this cake.

にほんでなにがしたいですか。 - What do you want to do in Japan?

~たがっている - someone else wants (to do something)

やまださんはスーツをかいたがっています。 - Mr. Yamade wants to buy a suit.

Can also use ~たいんです and ~たいそうです - direct object particle can be が or を

たなかさんはそのほんが/をかいたいんです。 - Mr. Tanaka wants to buy the book.

たなかさんはそのほんが/をかいたいそうです。 - I heard that Mr. Tanaka wants to buy the book. 






Expressing quantities with numbers and the counters まい, ほん, ひき, and さつ






Expressing quantities using Japanese-origin numbers






Talking about prices using えん; indicating floor levels with かい






Indicating choices using ~にします; making requests using ~をおねがいします






Eliciting and making proposals using ~ましょうか and ~ましょう






Using question word + が + (particle) + affirmative and question word + (particle) + も + negative






Giving reasons using から; expressing opposition or hesitation using けど







Making inferences based on direct observations using verb and adjective stems + そうだ







Stating the order within a family using ばん(め)






Describing a resultant state using verb て-form + いる






Describing physical appearance and skills using ~は ~が






Describing people and things using nounds and modifying clauses






Expressing opinions using ~とおもう

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