Jul 28, 2008

How to say you should in Japanese

How to say, “You should…” in Japanese.

Ho^ or Hou (方 ) (Pronounced like a Santa’s chuckle …ho, ho, ho…) is the focus of today’s Japanese grammar lesson. I always associated the Japanese word Hou (方 ) to the English word, “way” or “the way”. The kanji for hou (The Chinese character printed next to the word) looks as if it were indicating some direction or person offering a path or showing the way. I also associated Hou to another Japanese word Houhou (方法)which means method or the way of doing things. When we say in English that you ought to lean this way or that way, I could replace them straight way with the Japanese words kono hou or sono hou.

Today’s grammar uses hou after a verb in base TA (た) to help form sentences that indicate that you should, or shouldn’t do something. This isn’t a way of telling someone that they must do something, but only that they should do something.

To say that you should do something in Japanese, use the following Japanese grammar plug and play construction to make your own interesting Japanese sentences:

Verb TA (た) + hou ga ii desu (方がいいです) – …should verb…

First, put a Japanese verb into base TA then add + hou ga ii desu (方がいいです)

Example –
Dasu (出す) – v. to send
Dasu (出す) in base TA = dashita (出した)
Add + hou ga ii desu (方がいいです)
And presto… a new interesting sentence has been born.

You should send that letter. – ano tegami o deshita hou ga ii desuあの手紙を出した方がいいです

To say that you should not do something in Japanese, use the following Japanese grammar plug and play construction to make your own interesting Japanese sentences:
Verb base I+nai (ない) + hou ga ii desu (方がいいです) – …shouldn’t verb…

Example –
Dasu (出す) – v. to send
Dasu (出す) in base I + nai (ない) = dasanai (出さない) don't send
Add + hou ga ii desu (方がいいです)
And presto… a new interesting sentence has been born.

In the negative construction, you first put a verb into base I, add nai (ない), then add hou ga ii desu (方がいいです), desu being the polite form of the copula verb to be

1.Ume o tabeta hou ga ii desu. 梅を食べたほうがいいです – “You** should eat a Japanese plum.” (ume 梅 - plum)* They make sake out of ume called umeshu^ it is delicious

2.Byo^in ni itta hou ga ii desu. 病院に行ったほうがいいです “You should go to the hospital.” or “You better get yourself to a hospital.” *If someone tells you this, you should go anyway.

3.Nakanai hou ga ii desu. 泣かないほうがいいです “It is better not to cry.”, or “You shouldn’t cry.”

4.Konai hou ga ii desu. 来ないほうがいいです “You shouldn’t come.”

**In English, subject pronouns are rarely omitted during a two way conversation. In Japanese, however, the subject is almost always omitted. In Japanese, it is more common to omit the subject than to say specifically who, or what was doing the action in a sentence. Unless you get specific, there is no need to say as for me, or as for you, or as for them etc. Since it is generally understood in the course of a Japanese conversation, who or what is doing the action in a sentence.The Japanese usually omit subject pronouns,

As always,
Ganbatte Ne!
Do Your Best!
Makurasuki まくらすき,

Japanetics is Language learning to the max

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