Lesson 1. 5 Simple Sentences using Japanese Nouns You Must Know!
Do you know that nouns in Japanese have neither gender nor singular-plural forms? Let’s learn how to form simple Japanese sentences using nouns today!
Japanese Basic Word Order
The basic word order in Japanese is SOV (Subject + Object + Verb) – unlike the English and Chinese that use SVO word order. Compare the structure below:
English Word Order
Japanese Word Order
|Watashi wa||tomato o||tabemasu.|
In daily conversation, Japanese generally omit the pronouns (私は, I) if the subject of the sentence is clear.
As a particle, は is pronounced as ‘wa’ despite being written as ‘ha’.
は (wa) – The Topic Marker
Structure: Noun 1 + は + Noun 2 + です
Meaning: Noun 1 is Noun 2
The particle は (wa) indicates that Noun 1 is the topic as well as the subject of the sentence.
|I am a lawyer.|
です (desu), which is a polite speech marker, belongs to the verb ‘to be’ group.
も (mo) – Another Topic Marker
Structure: Noun 1 + も + Noun 2 + です
Meaning: Noun 1 is also Noun 2
The particle も (mo) is translated as ‘too/also’. It is used to show that the topic of the sentence is the same with the previous topic. For example, in the previous sentence, we stated that: “I am a lawyer”. Thus, if you want to form a new sentence with the same topic, use も (mo) instead of は (wa).
|Ms. Mira||also||a lawyer||is|
|Ms. Mira is also a lawyer.|
か (ka) – The Question Marker
Structure: Noun 1 + は + Noun 2 + です + か?
Meaning: Is Noun 1 a Noun 2?
|Ms. Mira||a lawyer||is||?|
|Is Ms. Mira a lawyer?|
の (no) – The Noun Modifier
The particle の (no) is a noun modifier. It can be used to indicate possessions, just like English [‘s]. On the other hand, の (no) is often translated as ‘of’ as well.
Structure: Noun 1 + の + Noun 2 + は + Noun 3 + です
Meaning: Noun1’s Noun 2 is Noun 3
|Watashi no tomodachi wa||bengoshi||desu.|
|My friend||a lawyer||is|
|My friend is a lawyer.|
Structure: Noun 1 + は + Noun 2 + の + Noun 3 + です
Meaning: Noun 1 is Noun 3 of Noun 2
|Watashi wa||Nihon no bengoshi||desu.|
|I||a Japanese lawyer
(a lawyer of Japanese)
|I am a Japanese lawyer.|
と (to) – The Noun Linker
Structure: Noun 1 + と + Noun 2 + は + です
Meaning: Noun 1 and Noun 2 is Noun 3
The particle と (to) is used as the noun linker in Japanese. In other words, と (to) works as the conjunction ‘and’.
|Watashi to Mira-san wa||bengoshi||desu.|
|Ms. Mira and I||lawyers||are|
|Ms. Mira and I are lawyers.|
Congratulations! You are one step closer to become fluent in Japanese!
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