Jun 30, 2008

Learn some Japanese

Here is yet another grammar construction that you can use plug and play style. What I mean by this is that you stick verbs into the construction and you can make sentences that make sense. Practice speaking Japanese by inserting in the place of To say that someone seems ‘about to’ verb in Japanese, use the following construction:

Japanese Grammar construction #109 Verb (Base II) + So^ desu.

This one is an easily constructed grammar principle. First take a Japanese verb of our choosing then transform it or put it into base II. It is a pre-requisite for learners just beginning their study of the Japanese language to know thoroughly the concepts surrounding verb conjugation and how to put verbs into bases. There are five bases which correspond to the first five syllables (also called mora) of the Japanese language.. If you want to start using this grammar today however, I can cheat for you just this once so that you can start speaking today without even knowing anything about verb bases and Japanese verb conjugation. But… I might get reprimanded and other teachers may call me ghetto. Oh thats righ… this is ghetto grammar…it is JPPGG or Japanese Plug and Play Ghetto Grammar … I forgot….

Don’t delay too long, the study of the Japanese verb bases and how to use them and what they do etc. However, just today, I’ll make it easy for anybody to start speaking Japanese with the verbs you choose from a dictionary you might have or online. All you need is a dictionary or have in your possession or knowledge Japanese verbs. (I hate any Japanese dictionary that allows you to read it in Roman letters (Romaji), but for today’s purpose of getting you to be able to speak in the Japanese language quickly, we will bypass a few things, cut corners and proceed without too much hassle. Today I’ll even let you use the despised Romaji EI-WA dictionary.)

Use any verbs or action words you like at all. Some examples might be

Go – IKU
Leave – DERU
Love – AI SURU
To be absent - SHUSSEKI SURU

I’ll explain to you how to put verbs into base II, but first let me briefly state a few ke points to keep in mind about Japanese verbs. All Japanese verbs will end in some sort of consonant + u combination. U itself is an ending as are the following. (Please refer to a katakana chart or hiragana chart to find the middle row that contains the syllables that end in u)our letter the u (pronounced ooh in Japanese), and it also may end with 9 other possible consonant combinations.

Instructions for putting regular Japanese verbs into base II:

1. Look in your English Japanese dictionary for the verb you want to use.
2. Put your chosen verb into base II

(In order to use the JPPGG (Japanese Plug and Play Ghetto Grammar) system, you’ll really need to know how to we put Japanese verbs into their various bases. I admonish you to begin your study now if you intend on having any degree of skill speaking in the Japanese language.)

I can tell you that all verbs listed in the dictionary are in a form know as plain form. All verbs will end in one of the following syllabic combination

h, (no fu line)
y, (no yu line)

and u

Instrutions: Take the dictionary form and decide which type of verb it is, whether it be an ichidan or a yodan verb. This distinction will determine how to make it base II.

I’ll bet you didn’t know that in Japanese grammar, there is an I before E except after C type rule. Now you should realize the two types of Japanese verbs. Verbs ending in eru or iru are called ICHIDAN verbs. The other type of verbs, that is, any verb that doesn’t end with the three roman letters of eru or iru, are called Yo^dan verbs.

With each of the these verbs comes distinctly separate rules or ways to form them, or put them into base II. Today’s grammar construction says to put the verb into base II then add + so^ desu. If we can form this construction, we will then be able to makes sentences that make sense and convey meanings to other speakers of Japanese. So First we must learn how to put verbs into base II.

Rule #1
Putting ICHIDAN verbs into base II:

Drop the final syllable of the verb, “ru”, so that only either i or e remain.

Here is an example of putting an ichidan verb into base II. Ochiru ends in iru making it an ICHIDIAN verb, we drop the ru and leave the i., so that

ochiru – ru = ochi
ochiru in base II is ochi

OCHIRU (落ちる) - to fall - Ochiru (base II) = OCHI

Ochi would be considered the stem before putting the verb into any base, as is the case with ichidan verbs. It is often referred to as the stem.

Rule #2
Putting Yodan verbs into base II is to drop u and change u into an i with whatever consonant may have preceded it.

Possible outcomes -

If verb ends in ku then the verb in base II will end in ki,
If verb ends in gu then the verb in base II will end in gu,
If verb ends in bu then the verb in base II will end in bi,
If verb ends in pu then the verb in base II will end in pi,
If verb ends in su then the verb in base II will end in shi,
If verb ends in tsu then the verb in base II will end in chi,
If verb ends in nu then the verb in base II will end in ni,
If verb ends in mu then the verb in base II will end in mi,
If verb ends in ru then the verb in base II will end in ri.

Hopefully you are gaining a handle on this base II stuff. Ganbatte Ne. Do your best!

All we have left to do for this grammar construction and start making sentences that make senses is to add the + SO^ DESU to our verbs in base II. Simple. For IRU and ERU ending verbs (i.e. ichidan verbs) simply drop off the last syllable ru and add + SO^ DESU. For all other verbs put into i ending of the consonant combination that precedes the u and and add + SO^ DESU

When you practice pronouncing the sentences that you create by using the above construction remember the double vowels, to hold them longer on the So^ desu. Note the ^ symbol stands for the double vowel sound so So^ is sounded Sou ,or so with a long o.

HANASU (話す) - to speak -
Hanasu (base II) = HANASHI

NAKU ( 泣く) - to cry
NAKU (base II) = NAKI

By adding So^ + desu to a Japanese verb in base II, the verb takes on a nuance that the verb in question the action word is about to take place. It could also be interpreted to mean , “ It look like (seems, appears as if etc.) that they (he, she, it, them , us , we, her, my granddad etc) are going to verb soon. I find it unnecessary to think of the sentences I construct in this way as - seems ‘about to’ verb. On the verge of verb’ing

HANASHISO^ DESU - It seems he is about to speak

OCHI SO^ DESU (落ちそう です)
OCHISO^ DESU - looks like they are about to fall down

As always, Ganbatte Ne!
Do your best!
Makurasuki Sensei


A special thanks to NJ Japanese word processor which concocted the following _

話す - 話し -

落ちる- 落ち -

泣く - 泣き - 泣きそう



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Japanetics is Language learning to the max