Nihongo - Let's Learn Grammar

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  • 公開済み: 21 8 2013
  • アップデートされたもの: 14 7 2015
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This movella teaches you straightforward the grammar of Japanese. From 助詞 to 動詞, you will be able to get a complete and organised movella that includes all major particles and essential grammatical usages to make cool Japanese sentences! 行きましょうね!

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5. の • Noun Phrase Particle

This particle is used very frequently because it has many functions. However, many times this particle can pose some threat to the overall context of the sentence, so be careful when you use this particle!

 

 

This particle, for starters, is the possessive particle; it links multiple nouns together to create one huge clause. This is equivalent to the apostrophe-S we have in English, and the ever so clever "My" and "Your", which do not have that apostrophe-S.

 

私 【わたし】= I/Me

あなた = You

何 【なに/ん】= What

名前 【な・まえ】= Name

 

• 私の名前はアーロンです。= My name is Aaron.

• あなたの名前は何ですか。= What is your name?

 

In literal translation, and because Japanese doesn't have "My" or "Your", in English it would really be, "Name of me is Aaron," and "Name of you is what". Aforementioned, it links the noun "Me" and the noun "Name" together to form that possessive clause of "My name" and "Your name".

 

"What's mine is mine. What's yours is yours."

The "Mine" and "Yours" in English are not so much different in Japanese. Let's use "Yours," since it's easier.

We cannot start a clause with "Your" because that can only be attached to another noun; "Your is cooler" is incorrect. "Yours," however, can be used to start a clause, as in "Yours is better than mine." To make "Yours" in Japanese, simply attach は.

 

• あなたのは・・・大きいですね。= Yours...is big, isn't it?

• 私のは・・・小さいなんですよ。= Mine...is small, (don't) you know!

 

Easy, right?

 

 

Here's when gets confusing.

 

You will see の pop up a lot when it comes to doing verbs to an object. I bet you're thinking, "Doesn't を do that?" Yes, you're not wrong, but you're also not completely right, since you only know half of the concept.

 

Take a look at this sentence:

 

部屋 【へ・や】= Room

掃除 【そう・じ】= Cleaning

 

• 部屋の掃除しました。= (I) cleaned (my) room.

 

If we were to translate this into English literally, it'd be, "Cleaning of room was done." But no one in English speaks like that, right? (Unless you're a corporal or something, then maybe.) Before I continue further, read on a bit.

 

Take a look at this sentence, now:

 

• 部屋を掃除しました。= (I) cleaned (my) room.

 

Same translations, right? Well, I can't say it's wrong, but I can neither say it's right.

What I can say is that it gives off the wrong context. Marking "Room" as the direct object of the verb-modified noun "Cleaning" makes it as if the cleaning just did itself to the room. The context only explains that there had been cleaning occuring to the room.

 

The の is better used because it makes "Cleaning" and "Room" work together in the action, which is marked by します, the general verb of execution. Take note that if a verb needs to be modified from a noun, it needs a の particle to do a whole action.

 

Here are some verbs that cannot be directly modified (brackets specify context):

• 勉強 + する = To study [for school] (noun: Studying/Persistence)

• 掃除 + する = To clean [a floor] (noun: Cleaning/Sweeping erasure)

• 登録 + する = To enroll/register [a class] (noun: Enrolment/Registration)

• 料理 + する = To cook [a meal] (noun: Cooking/Servicing)

• 旅行 + する = To travel [to places] (noun: Travelling/Journey)

• 送信 + する = To send [an E-mail] (noun: Broadcast)

• 変更 + する = To change [a diet] (noun: Modification)

• 転送 + する = To forward [a message] (noun: Transfer)

• 完了 + する = To complete [a mission] (noun: Completion)

 

Notice that all of these have the general verb of execution attached to the noun. Here's why you don't usually attach the を particle for direct objects: take all the plus signs above and replace them with the particle を. Remember, the general verb of execution is still a verb, and the nouns are just the ones being apprehended by it.

 

Many times that the を is dropped is only because the context talks about how the entire verb of, say, studying is being done toward a particular thing. Furthermore, you can only have one direct object in each sentence; you cannot have more than that! So, it's either the verb of the noun, or the object that the verb is executing itself on.

 

Here are some verbs that modify directly to the noun; these are called true verbs:

• 食べる = To eat

• 読む = To read

• 泳ぐ = To swim

• 走る = To run

• 歩く = To walk

• 話す = To speak/talk

• 言う = To say/tell

• 見る = To see/watch

• 観る = To view/express

• 落とす = To drop/let go

 

So, just be mindful of where your clause is and whether the nouns need to come together to be completed all by an actual stand-alone verb.

 

 

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