Learn grammar from different sources

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Spent the afternoon learning some grammar points (:

Basically I love learning grammar much more than I like learning new words! Of course reading is more enjoyable than studying new grammar points, but when it comes to write new notes I prefer to write down new grammar structures than new vocabulary because I find it more relaxing xD

These days I’m noticing how important is to learn grammar using different sources. Especially when it comes to complicated grammar points, one explanation can’t be enough to understand it, so you need to use different materials to try to figure out its meaning and how it is used. Moreover, some explanations don’t cover all the usages of a grammar structure, thus it’s useful to use other sources which can help to understand all the contexts when it’s used (;

My routine when I learn new grammar points is:

  • Read the explanation and the example sentences on Shin Kaizen Master
  • Do the same thing on the website Izaodao
  • Write down the grammar point in my notebook integrating the two explanations
  • If I still have difficulties with the grammar point, I look for the explanation on Nihongo Sou Matome, which provides a paraphrase for each example sentence, so it helps to understand the meaning of the grammar structure
  • If there is something I’m still unsure of, I look for the grammar point on Nihongo no Mori and listen to their explanation

Doing all these things takes a lot of time, but I don’t need to do everything for each grammar point ahahah I’m usually fine with the first three points (;

This week’s grammar

This week’s been really fruitful for Japanese study despite the big amount of school work.

I studied these grammar points:

  • たとたん
  • かと思うと
  • あげく(に)
  • 末(に)
  • ところ(を)
  • たところ
  • どころではない
  • どころか (This one is still quite ambiguous ahahah I understand its usages, but I don’t know how to discern them)

A week full of tests is waiting to start, so I won’t show up here until next weekend (;

Possession structure

Sometimes I think about a grammar structure that expresses possession that is very similar in Japanese, Korean, Latin and Ancient Greek. In these four languages the thing that is possessed can be the subject of the sentence, unlike in languages like Italian, English, Spanish, etc. Let me make some examples.

Look at the Japanese sentence “私は猫があります”. We can translate it “I have a cat”, but literally it means “As for me, there is a cat”. As you can see, the person who have the cat (私) isn’t the subject, but the theme. Infact, the subject is the thing which is owned (猫) and the verb “to be” (ある) is used instead of the verb “to have”.

The same structure can be find in the Korean sentence “학생은 책이 있어요”. The translation is “The student has a book”, but it literally means “As for the student, there is a book”. The person who possess (학생) is the theme, the thing possessed (책) is the subject and the verb “to be” is used instead of “to have”.

Now let’s look at the Latin sentence “Marco rosa est”. The translation is “Marcus has a rose” (literally “There is a rose to Marcus”). This structure is called possessive dative, because the owner (Marcus) is expressed with the dative case (Marco). The thing (rosa) is the subject and it’s expressed in nominative case. Instead of the verb to have, there is the verb to be.

The Greek structure is the same. For example, look at the sentence “Τῇ θεραπαίνᾳ ρόδον έστιν”. It means “The maidservant has a rose”, but the literal translation is “There is a rose to the maidservant”. The person who possess (θεραπαίνᾳ) is in dative case, the thing is in nominative (ρόδον) and the verb “to have” is expressed with to be.

These weeks are full of tests, so don’t worry if you notice that I update the blog lest often than usual 😉

Japanese verbs terms

Whenever I study Japanese grammar constructions that involve verbs, I read expressions like “~ます form of the verb”, “negative form of the verb” etc., but actually there are Japanese names for each form. Today, as I’m in the right mood, I study the Japanese names (:

  • 未然形 (mizenkei): this is the forms that is sometimes called negative form (eg. 読むー>読ま)
  • 連用形 (renyoukei): this is often called ます form (eg. 読むー>読み)
  • 終止形: this is the basic form of a verb (eg. 読む)
  • 命令形: this is called imperative form, too (eg. 読む->読め)
  • 仮定形: this is the conditional form and it’s the same of the imperative one

Hopefully this post will be useful for those who don’t know this words yet ^^

~た通りに

Today I’ve finally figured out the meaning of this grammatical construction:

Verb ~た通り(に): As + verb in past tense

例) 思った通り電車が遅れた (As I thought, the train was late)

例) 田中さんが言った通りにこの映画は面白かったです (As mr Tanaka said, this film was interesting)

I came across this grammar point many times, but I had never understood the meaning, so I’m very happy to know its meaning now ^^

Studied N4 grammar :)

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Recently I’m learning grammar very fast! Yesterday I printed the list of JLPT N4 grammar points and I realised that I know all of them! I can’t use all of them while I’m writing or speaking, but I can recognise and understand them while reading and watching dorama 😀
I progressed in grammar study so fast because I really like learning grammar! Well… I think it’s better to say that I like copying the grammar rules in my notebook, but while I’m writing the rule I’m also learning it, right? And then, I repeat the rule to make sure that I’ve understood it ^^
Now, knowing all N4 grammar means that I know even some N3 grammar, so I’m starting the intermediate Japanese journey 😀

Breaking into keigo

Wow, I’ve been dabbling in 敬語 keigo since last week and I have to admit that I’m really enjoying myself studying it, even if it’s difficult because I sometimes mix up the different registers XD But I’m quite sure that I’ll change my mind soon since now I’m only studying the basic rules and I know only the theory yet. For now I studied these verbs:

  • The verbs used when you refer to an action performed by someone who is of an higher social class than yours or who you don’t know well. In this case, there are special verbs, such as ご覧になる instead of 見る, or different conjugations (for example お待ちになる instead of 待つ and 歩いていらっしゃる instead of 歩いている)
  • The verbs used to show humility for an action performed by yourself. In this case, there are special verbs, like 参る instead of 行く and いたす instead of する
  • The verbs used when you want to show respect to the person who is the object of the action. In this case, the verbs are conjugated in a differnt way. For example 聞く becomes お聞きにする

This is all I learnt about keigo so far, but I hope to learn more.

Now I’m going to watch the sixth episode of Tempest ^^