Japanese Lesson – する verbs

Hello Everyone,

In today’s post we are going that the combination of some nouns or adverbs with the verb する creates what is called a する verb. Let’s go!

The する verb

The Japanese verb する is the equivalent of the English / to do, to make /.

Note also that する is one of the two Japanese irregular verbs.

Refer to: Japanese verbs and the following lessons.

する verbs

Like in English, where for instance you have verbs such as “to do the laundry” which is basically the combination of a noun with the verb to do, there exists in Japanese some verbs which are composed of a noun plus the verb する and express the notion of to do/to make <something>.

する verbs are frequent with nouns originating from Chinese and with recent loawords (American/English), and can also be used with some adverbs.

Example:

  • 洗濯 (せんたく) / laundry / ⇒ 洗濯する (せんたく する) / to do the laundry /

The congugation of the verb then consists in the conjugation of the verb する:

  • 洗濯します / I do | I will do the laundry / – polite present/future
  • 洗濯しません / I don’t do the laundry /
  • 洗濯した / I did the laundry / – casual past
  • 洗濯しています / I am doing the laundry /

Exercises

Find the する verbs corresponding to the following nouns/adverbs, as well as their meaning:

  • 勉強 (べんきょう) / study /
  • 心配 (しんぱい) / worry, concern /
  • 結婚 (けっこん) / marriage /
  • 連絡 (れんらく) / contact, connect /
  • 質問 (しつもん) / a question /
  • キス / a kiss / – loanword
  • コピー / a copy / – loanword
  • ワクワク / trembling, excited / – adverb

Answers

  • 勉強 (べんきょう) / study / ⇒ 勉強する (べんきょう する) / to study /
  • 心配 (しんぱい) / worry, concern / ⇒ 心配する (しんぱい する) / to worry for something/someone /
  • 結婚 (けっこん) / marriage / ⇒ 結婚する (けっこん する) / to marry someone /
  • 連絡 (れんらく) / contact, connect / ⇒ 連絡する (れんらく する) / to contact, to get in touch with someone /
  • 質問 (しつもん) / a question / ⇒ 質問する (しつもん する) / to ask a question /
  • キス / a kiss / ⇒ キスする / to kiss /
  • コピー / a copy / ⇒ コピーする / to make a copy of something /
  • ワクワク / trembling, excited / ⇒ ワクワクする / to be excited /

This should not have been too complicated, the aim is more to give you the reflex to consider the form noun/adverb + する as a verbal form.

Be cautious!

The use of する to make a verb from a noun is not systematic, though. Many nouns require the use of a particle to be grammatically correct, even if casual speech tends to drop them:

  • テニスする。/ “to play tennis” / – casual and understandable
  • テニスをする。/ tennis / {object} / to do / – grammatically correct

Some other words can also be used with either a particle, or not, with a subtle change in meaning:

  • 日本語を勉強してます。 (にほんご を べんきょう してます。) / I am studying Japanese language. /
  • 日本語の勉強をしてます。 (にほんご の べんきょう を してます。) / I am studying Japanese language. (I am doing Japanese language study.) /

In the first sentence we stress the word 日本語 / Japanese language / making the fact of studying more contextual, whereas in the second sentence we stress 日本語の勉強 / the study of Japanese language /, also highlighting the fact of studying itself.

 

This is the joy of the Japanese language and what makes it interesting to study. Many tend to use straightforward, pre-constructed, translations between Japanese and their mother tongue, but this comes most of the time with the loss of these subtleties which are key to really understanding Japanese and their culture.

よく べんきょう して ください。

/ well / study / to do / please / . /

ステーファン

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If for any reason you have to buy something on Amazon, please use one of the affiliate links (Amazon ads) in my articles to go to amazon (you are by no mean due to buy the advertised item). This will be transparent for you (this will cost you nothing) and I will get a small reward on my side which will allow me investing more time for this blog and provide you with more articles, videos… So do not hesitate m( v v)m

Japanese Resources – Breaking into Japanese Literature

Hi Everyone,

If you are an intermediate Japanese learner (JLPT 3 or 4) and are interested in getting further into knowing Japan and Japanese literature, here is a cool book for you!

The book provides a selection of classical stories from famous Japanese authors (Souseki and Ryuunosuke) , with for each of them some information on the author, the background of the stories, and a side by side view of the orignal text and its translation, in addition to a quite complete vocabulary list.
A note though: you will find really little grammar, that’s the reason why I advise it for people having a minimal grammar background.
Also, be warned that these stories, in quite traditional Japanese spirit, are quite gloomy/strange and might not be to the taste of everyone.
But for those who are loving that kind of stories, or are willing to try, this book is great! So do not hesitate to have a look at it!

One more point, audio version of teh stories are available on the publisher’s web site!

 

Do not hesitate if you have questions or want some more details (page captions, stories…)

Stéphane

Japanese Lesson – Adjective combination

Hello Everyone,

In this lesson I will present how you can combine adjectives, like for instance “the quickest and most expansive car”. Let’s go!

References:

い adjectives combination

Construction

The combine an い adjective with another adjective, you have to replace the final い with  くて.

Examples

  • 美味しい (おいしい) / tasty /
  • 甘い (あまい) / sweet (taste) /

⇒ 美味しくて甘いケーキです。 (おいしくて あまい ケーキ です。) / (This is) a tasty and sweet cake. /

⇒ 美味しくて甘くないケーキです。 (おいしくて あまくない ケーキ です。) / (This is) a neither tasty nor sweet cake. /

な adjectives combination

Construction

The combine an な adjective with another adjective, you have to replace the final な with a んで.

Example

  • 有名 (ゆうめい) / famous /
  •  リッチ / rich /

⇒ 有名でリッチ人です。 (ゆうめいで リッチな ひと です。) / (This is) a famous and rich person. /

⇒ 有名でリッチ人ではありません。 (ゆうめいで リッチな ひと ではありません。) / (This is) a neither famous nor rich person. /

Exercises

Exercise:

Combine the following adjectives to build the provided sentence:

  • 高い (たかい) / high /, 古い (ふるい) / old /, (しろ) / castle /
    • An high and old castle.
  • 静か (しずか) / calm /, 綺麗 (きれい) / pretty, lovely /, 場所 (ばしょ) / place /
    • A calm and lovely place
  • 美味しい (おいしい) / tasty /, 安い (やすい) / cheap /, 食事 (しょくじ) / meal /
    • A neither tasty nor cheap meal.
  • 上手 (じょうず) / skilled /, 丁寧 (ていねい) / polite /, 人 (ひと) / person/
    • That was a neither skilled nor polite person.

Answers:

  • 高くて古い城です。 (たかくて ふるい しろ です。) / An high and old castle. /
  • 静かで綺麗な場所です。 (しずかで きれいな ばしょ です。) / A clam and lovely place. /
  • 美味しくて安くない食事です。 (おいしくて やすくない しょくじ です。) / A neither tasty nor cheap meal. /
  • 上手で丁寧人ではありませんでした。 (じょうずで ていねい ひと では ありません でした。) / That was a neither skilled nor polite person. /

 

Here it is for today. Do not hesitate if you have questions!

またね!

ステーファヌ

Afficiliate links:

If for any reason you have to buy something on Amazon, please use one of the affiliate links (Amazon ads) in my articles to go to amazon (you are by no mean due to buy the advertised item). This will be transparent for you (this will cost you nothing) and I will get a small reward on my side which will allow me investing more time for this blog and provide you with more articles, videos… So do not hesitate m( v v)m

Japanese Lesson – The volitional たい form

Hello Everyone,

In this lesson I will present how you can express you want something using the たい form.

References:

The たい form

Usage

The たい form is used to express willingness to do or have something (I want to…, I would like to…).

This form is generally called the volitional form.

Construction

The たい form is built as follows:

Type I and Type II verbs:

Type III verbs:

  • くる ⇒ きたい
  • する ⇒ したい

Copula:

  • The たい form is not applicable to the copula.

Examples

  • Type I
    • 休む (やすむ) / to rest / ⇒ 休みたい (やすみたい) / (I) want to/wish i could rest/
  • Type II
    • 食べる (たべる) / to eat (something) / ⇒ 食べたい (たべたい) / (I) want to/wish I could eat (something) /

Note: I precise “something” here in the translation as you cannot use たべたい to say you are basically hungry. You use たべたい when you see something you find tasty and wish you could eat it. To say you are hungry you should use: おなか が すきました., and the same with 飲む (のむ) / to drink (something) /, to say you are thirsty you should say: のど が かわきました.

The たい form conjugations

One particularity of the たい form is that a verb at the たい form becomes an adjective, allowing you to say things such as “The house I want to buy is expansive.” where “I want to buy” is a qualificative for the house.

Example:

  • 買いたい家は高いです。 (かいたい うち は たかい です。) / (This is) the house I want to buy is expansive. /

As such it folllows the adjective conjugation rules to be declined according to the degree of politeness you want to express, or the tense, or positive/negative aspects.

Polite conjugations:

  • Polite positive present/future: たいです
  • Polite negative present/future:たくないです
  • Polite positive past: たかったです
  • Polite negative past: たなかったです

Casual conjugations:

  • Casual positive present/future: たい(だ)
  • Casual negative present/future:たくない
  • Casual positive past: たかった
  • Casual negative past: たなかった

Examples:

  • 行きたかった場所です。 (いきたかった ばしょ です。) / (This was) the place where I wanted to go. /
  • 言いたくなかったことです。 (いいたくなかった こと です。) / (This was) a fact I did not want to say. /

Exercises

Exercise 1:

Put the following verbs at the たい form:

  • 行く (いく) / to go /
  • 言う (いう) / to say /
  • 食べる (たべる) / to eat /
  • 買う (かう) / to buy /
  • 知る (しる) / to know /

Exercise 2:

Conjugate the following sentences putting the verb between brackets (「」) at the たい polite present positive, present negative, past positive and past negative forms:

  • ケーキが「食べる」。 (ケーキ が 「たべる」。) / cake / (focus) / (to eat) /
  • コーヒーが「飲む」。 (コーヒーが「のむ」。) . / coffee / (focus) / (to drink) /

Answers 1:

  • 行く ⇒ 行きたい (いきたい) / I want to go /
  • 言う ⇒ 言いたい (いいたい) / I want to say /
  • 食べる ⇒ 食べたい (たべたい) / I want to eat /
  • 買う ⇒ 買いたい (かいたい) / I want to buy /
  • 知る ⇒ 知りたい (しりたい) / I want to know /

Answers 2:

  • ケーキが「食べる」。
    • ケーキが食べたいです。 (ケーキ が たべたい です。) / I want to eat cake. /
    • ケーキが食べたくないです。 (ケーキ が たべたくない です。) / I don’t want to eat cake. /
    • ケーキが食べたかったです。 (ケーキ が たべたかった です。) / I wanted to eat cake. /
    • ケーキが食べたなかったです。 (ケーキ が たべたなかった です。) / I didn’t want to eat cake. /
  • コーヒーが「飲む」。
    • コーヒーが飲みたいです。 (コーヒー が のみたい です。) / I want to drink coffee. /
    • コーヒーが飲みたくないです。 (コーヒー が のみたくない です。) / I don’t want to drink coffee. /
    • コーヒーが飲みたかったです。 (コーヒー が のみたかった です。) / I wanted to drink coffee. /
    • コーヒーが飲みたくなかったです。 (コーヒー が のみたくなかった です。) / I did not want to drink coffee. /

 

Here it is for this lesson! Once again, this is not complicated, but you will need a little practice to master this form. And if you watch anime or drama, or read manga, you will see that this form is quite frequently used.

またね!

ステーファヌ

Afficiliate links:

If for any reason you have to buy something on Amazon, please use one of the affiliate links (Amazon ads) in my articles to go to amazon (you are by no mean due to buy the advertised item). This will be transparent for you (this will cost you nothing) and I will get a small reward on my side which will allow me investing more time for this blog and provide you with more articles, videos… So do not hesitate m( v v)m