Lesson 16. 5 Ways to Say AND in Japanese
Learn how to say and in Japanese faster by using these guidelines
Dorayaki to daifuku ga sukidesu.
I like dorayaki and daifuku.
Dorayaki ya daifuku ga sukidesu.
I like dorayaki and daifuku.
と(to) and や (ya) are both translated as and in Japanese. Do you think they are the same? Well, just like Chinese and, there are different ways to express and as well in Japanese. Even they work the same as noun linkers, there is a slight difference between them.
In the first example, it implies that [I only like dorayaki and daifuku]. That’s it.
On the other hand, the second example means that [I also like other traditional Japanese sweets aside from dorayaki and daifuku, but I didn’t mention the rest].
Starting to get it? See more explanations below!
と (TO) – the closed list nouns linker
と(to) is the most common and direct way to say and in Japanese. It can be used to connect two nouns in a sentence, but not for phrases or even clauses. It joins two nouns together in a closed list – there is nothing else. In fact, と(to) is the only conjunction that equals the English conjunction and.
Structure: Noun 1 + と + Noun 2
Rāmen to sushi o tabetai.
I want to eat ramen and sushi. [I don’t want to eat anything else].
For your information, Japanese uses the suffix -たい (-tai) to express the concept of wishing.
や (YA) – the opened list nouns linker
や (YA), on the other side, is used for joining two nouns together in an opened list – there are more nouns to be listed. It gives us a kind of similar feeling to the continuing list ‘etc’.
Structure: Noun 1 + や + Noun 2
Tōkyō ya Utsunomiya ni ikimashita.
I went to Tokyo and Utsunomiya. [I also went to other cities in Japan besides Tokyo and Utsunomiya].
–くて (-KUTE) and –で (-DE) – the adjectives linker
In Japanese, we cannot express more than one adjectives as simply as how sweet and tasty works in English. Instead, we replaced whole adjectives in the sentence, except the last adjective as the following rules:
For the adjectives that end in -い (-i), replace the suffix -い (-i) with the suffix -くて (-kute).
For the adjectives that end in -だ (-da) or -な (-na), replace the suffix with the suffixes -で (-de).
Sono ringo wa amakute oishīdesu.
Those apples are sweet and tasty.
Note that the present form of 甘い (amai) was changed into 甘くて (amakute).
Kanojo no koe wa kireide yasashīdesu.
Her voice is beautiful and gentle.
Note that the present form of 綺麗だ (kireida) or 綺麗な (kireina) was changed into 綺麗で (kireide).
–て (-te) – the verbs linker
For combining two or more verbs in Japanese, we also drop suffix the whole verbs in the sentence, except the last verb; and then convert them into suffix -て (-te).
Watashi wa nipponshi o benkyō shite, hakubutsukan ni ikimashita.
I studied Japanese history and went to the museum.
Note that the form of 勉強する (benkyō suru) was changed into 勉強して (benkyō shite).
Kare wa ie ni kaette, nemashita.
He went home and slept.
Note that the form of 帰る (kaeru) was changed into 帰って (kaette).
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