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Introductory Japanese Lessons (2)

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Characteristics of Japanese Grammar

Here are some characteristics of Japanese grammar.

  1. Japanese nouns have no gender (languages such as French or Spanish do) or number (there is no singular or plural).
    • Senshuu watashi wa hon o san-satsu yonda. (先週私は本を三冊読んだ。) --- I read three books last week.
    • Tsukue no ue ni hon ga arimasu. (机の上に本があります。) --- There is a book on the table.
    • Watashi wa inu o ni-hiki katte imasu. (私は犬を二匹かっています。) --- I have two dogs.
    • Tonari no inu wa yoku hoeru. (隣の犬はよくほえる。) --- The neighbor's dog often barks.
  2. Verb conjugation is not affected by the gender or number.
    • Watashi wa nihon-jin desu. (私は日本人です。) --- I am Japanese.
    • Kanojo wa amerika-jin desu. (彼女はアメリカ人です。) --- She is American.
    • Kare wa asu nihon ni ikimasu. (彼は明日日本に行きます。) --- He goes to Japan tomorrow.
    • Karera wa asu nihon ni ikimasu.  (彼らは明日日本に行きます。) --- They go to Japan tomorrow.
  3. Japanese verbs have only two tenses: the present and the past.
    • Watashi wa maiasa shichi-ji ni okimasu. (私は毎朝七時に起きます。) --- I get up at seven every morning.
    • Otouto wa hachi-ji ni okimashita. (弟は八時に起きました。) --- My brother got up at eight.

Learn more about Japanese verbs.

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