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勉強文

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So, I've started another aspect to my studying: I started by filling 5 pages with sentences that include words that utilize kanji I am studying, but in hiragana. Every night, starting last night, I re-write the first five sentences using those kanji, and the add 5 more new sentences to the end of the list, again utilizing any kanji I still need to study.

I am also sort of using this to practice grammar, so I'd like to get some feedback. Can someone just tell me if there are any grammatical errors in these sentences? Obviously, these are random sentences without context; they aren't all necessarily things I actually believe or would say. A lot of the time I'll choose something ridiculous just to be funny. :p

In any case, these are last night's five sentences:

妹は転んだけど、私はぜんぜん知らなかったです。

Intended meaning: "My little sister fell, but I didn't know about it."

明日銀行に行って、お金を持つ。

Intended meaning: "I'll be going to the bank tomorrow and getting some money."

殺すこと辞めなさい!

Intended meaning: "Stop killing people!" (Think of a villain telling their partner this as if it's getting in the way of their plans, not someone that actually cares about human life. Or maybe a setting where death has no consequence, like Dragon Ball. That's what I was thinking with this one. :p)

勉強が大切よ。辞めればいけない!

Intended meaning: "Studying is absolutely important. Keep studying!"

おいしい食べ物がよく辛い。例えば、タイ料理が一番好き。

Intended meaning: "Food I find to be delicious is often spicy. As an example, Thai cuisine is my favorite."

One thing I've been concerned about is my use of the particle が. Am I using that correctly so far? I was especially unsure about the last one.
 
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1 -妹は転んだけど、私はぜんぜん知らなかったです。
"My little sister fell, but I didn't know about it."
(私は ) 妹が転んだことを (全く) 全然知らなかった is a bit better. I believe a native could provide an even more natural one though


2- 明日銀行に行って、お金を持つ
"I'll be going to the bank tomorrow and getting some money."
お金を引き出す is more usual for this purpose.
持っていく and  持ってくる are used in japanese for "take" and "bring" respectively, you were probably thinking about them when you wrote this , I guess?

3- 殺すこと辞めなさい!
Intended meaning: "Stop killing people!"
You probably know that and decided to go for a more casual route, but its worth mentioning that grammatically there should be a を between こと and 止めなさい

4 勉強が大切よ。辞めればいけない!
"Studying is absolutely important. Keep studying!"
やめてはいけない or やめてはダメ instead of やめればいけない. Try not to forget the [です] or [だ] after な形容詞 and 名詞 , even though in casual speech they're sometimes omitted


5 おいしい食べ物がよく辛い。例えば、タイ料理が一番好き です
"Food I find to be delicious is often spicy. As an example, Thai cuisine is my favorite."
The "I find" goes well with "と思います" or did you actually mean to state that delicious food IS spicy in this case?
 

Mike Cash

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お金を引き出す is more usual for this purpose.
I can't say I've ever heard anyone say that. I always hear お金をおろす。
 
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The "I find" goes well with "と思います" or did you actually mean to state that delicious food IS spicy in this case?
"I find" in English can also just indicate a personal preference. I'm pretty sure 思う isn't the sort of thought I was trying to get across.

Another possible way to say what I intended there is, "Food I like is often spicy." or, "It's really common for food that I consider to be delicious to be spicy."

持っていく and  持ってくる are used in japanese for "take" and "bring" respectively, you were probably thinking about them when you wrote this , I guess?
No, I just wanted to use 銀行 somehow, and I also wanted to use 持つ somehow, so I ended up sticking the two together.

If I understand correctly, though, I should have used 持っていく for my intended use of 持つ. Is that correct?

I can't say I've ever heard anyone say that. I always hear お金をおろす。
Huh, that's an easy word, especially since I already know the kanji. Thanks for the tip.

You probably know that and decided to go for a more casual route, but its worth mentioning that grammatically there should be a を between こと and 止めなさい
Yeah, that was intentional.

やめてはいけない or やめてはダメ instead of やめればいけない. Try not to forget the [です] or [だ] after な形容詞 and 名詞 , even though in casual speech they're sometimes omitted
So then a positive ~ば conditional shouldn't be used with いけない?
 

Mike Cash

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I'm pretty sure 思う isn't the sort of thought I was trying to get across.
But that is exactly the word most likely to be used to express that same idea in Japanese. This is what I talked about in an earlier thread regarding Japanese having different ways of phrasing/expressing things.

私が美味しく思う物の中で辛い物が多いす。例えば、タイ料理が大好きです。

Also note that よく has the meaning of "often" when modifying verbs, not adjectives.
 
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1-About と思う
As Mikeさん pointed out It has a very broad usage and I'm certain that you will grow fond of it as you try to express more complex structures , such as the one you tried above .(it is almost ubiquitous in spoken japanese)

2 - About もっていく/もってくる
Oh, dont mind that then. My question was merely about the reason you picked 持つ for that.
You should stick to おろす.
edit: investigating 引き出す

"明日銀行に行って、お金をおろします"

3- About ~ば form
Yes, avoid that.
Stick to: Verb+てはいけない
 
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Mike Cash

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I think you mean 引き落とす not 引き出す
 
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I think you mean 引き落とす not 引き出す
Thank you

I tried to investigate a bit and there are a couple entries for 引き出す over alc.co.jp, but, I'm not sure I'm getting the 使い分け right here, and even in during my early studies the word おろす was much more common.

I might be mixing things up in my head. 引き出す is probably used in a different situation
 

Mike Cash

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お引き出し (withdraw) is commonly seen on ATMs. I think this is where Kraise would have seen it.
I can't even remember the last time I used an ATM....
 
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お引き出し (withdraw) is commonly seen on ATMs. I think this is where Kraise would have seen it.
I havent been to Japan yet but thats a possibility , haha.
I still can't figure out when this word first appeared to me or why I picked it over おろす though.
 
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I'm sorry, I think I might have caused some confusion.

When I write these sentences, I am not thinking of a particular meaning that I want to convey, rather I'm thinking of the grammar I'm learning or have learned and the vocabulary I'm studying, and how to make a sentence out of them. "Food I find to be delicious is often spicy" was not what I started from, rather that was my attempt after the fact to convey what I was trying to say in normal English. Unfortunately I also wanted to try to show what I thought the implications are in this particular case. I'm sorry I was unclear about this. I will more clearly separate these next time.

What I was trying to get across was that I was interpreting 「おいしい食べ物が辛い」 as having 私 as the topic implicitly, since none was stated. From that, I was concluding that this means that おいしい is the speaker's perspective / opinion implicitly. Looking at it now though, I see that can't be the case. I think it actually means "delicious food is spicy". But was I right about the topic and the logic of what that means, at least assuming no context?

Also note that よく has the meaning of "often" when modifying verbs, not adjectives.
Ah, I didn't know that. Thanks!
 

Toritoribe

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勉強大切よ。辞めればいけない!
転んだけど、私はぜんぜん知らなかったです。
(私は ) 妹転んだことを (全く) 全然知らなかった
This is one of the hardest things to grasp, but it should be 勉強は and 妹が, as Kraise-san revised.

So then a positive ~ば conditional shouldn't be used with いけない?
Just for confirmation, do you understand the difference between the two conditionals ~ては and ~ば?

What I was trying to get across was that I was interpreting 「おいしい食べ物が辛い」 as having 私 as the topic implicitly, since none was stated. From that, I was concluding that this means that おいしい is the speaker's perspective / opinion implicitly. Looking at it now though, I see that can't be the case. I think it actually means "delicious food is spicy". But was I right about the topic and the logic of what that means, at least assuming no context?
There is no implied topic there. That's just a general statement. Related to はが issue I mentioned above, おいしい食べ物は辛い is more appropriate as a statement, though.

おろす is more common, but お金を引き出す is also used.
 
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Just for confirmation, do you understand the difference between the two conditionals ~ては and ~ば?
No, not at all. I didn't learn conditionals properly, it was one of those ad-hoc things I tried to pick up from inference and examples years ago. I'm just going to drop that for now and come back to it when I get to it in a textbook (except ~なければいけない for "must", which I think is correct, right?).

This is one of the hardest things to grasp, but it should be 勉強は and 妹が, as Kraise-san revised.
Yes, it's definitely one of the hardest things to grasp. :laugh:

Is there a pattern to it that I'll learn about later on?

There is no implied topic there. That's just a general statement.
OK, thanks for clarifying.

Are any of the following correctly formed statements? If so, what is their meaning?

私は辛い食べ物がおいしいだ。
私には辛い食べ物がおいしいだ。
私には辛い食べ物はおいしいだ。
 
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Yes, it's definitely one of the hardest things to grasp. :laugh:

Is there a pattern to it that I'll learn about later on?
I have a Taiwanese friend who passed N1 over 10 years ago, received a masters degree in Japanese Literature from Tokyo University, and has worked in a Japanese company for several years...and she still mixes up は and が sometimes (according to Japanese friends). It's a tricky one!:p

Of course I defer to native speakers (like @Toritoribe) and fluent residents, but I can share my personal way of understanding. The subject is marked by が, while the "topic" is marked by は. I'm sure lots of people say the same thing. There plenty of times where it sounds weird to mix them up, if you consider it his way. In some cases (especially simple sentences), the topic and subject can be the same and は is used. Also, is used (perhaps colloquially) to add emphasis in place of some particles (like を or も) or in addition to other particles (like に and と).

Are any of the following correctly formed statements? If so, what is their meaning?

私は辛い食べ物がおいしいだ。
私には辛い食べ物がおいしいだ。
私には辛い食べ物はおいしいだ。
Not quite, because all of them end in だ (おいしい is an い-adj).
I think 私には辛い食べ物がおいしい is what you would say.
 
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The subject is marked by が, while the "topic" is marked by は. I'm sure lots of people say the same thing. There plenty of times where it sounds weird to mix them up, if you consider it his way.
I get that part. What I have trouble with is understanding when something should be the topic and when it should be the subject. My understanding is that the topic is sort of the main thing being talked about, but that's a bit wishy-washy of an explanation.

I just thought about this for a bit. So, to recap, these are the problem sentences:

勉強が大切よ。
妹は転んだけど、私はぜんぜん知らなかったです。

So for the first one, is the problem with using が the fact that it's followed by another sentence talking about 辞めるing studying?

And for the second one, is the problem with using は that the sentence actually puts focus own what the speaker knew?

Not quite, because all of them end in だ (おいしい is an い-adj).
Oh! I didn't know that was incorrect. I just learned だ in Japanese class as a casual version of です.
 

Toritoribe

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You are talking about 勉強 in that sentence, therefore 勉強は大切です is used there. 勉強 is emphasized in 勉強が大切です, so it has a nuance of "especially among other things". On the other hand, は acts as the contrastive marker in 妹は転んだけど, i.e., "my sister fell, but other person(s) didn't".
There are many threads regarding は/が in this forum.
は, が and を what's the difference between the following sentences? | Japan Forum
STILL confused about は and が; example sentences | Japan Forum

Actually, です that is associated with i-adjectives is a non-conjugate polite suffix, thus, it's not the polite form of the copula だ.
e.g.
おいしいです
おいしくないです
おいしかったです
おいしくなかったです

As you can see above, this です never conjugates.
cf.
しずかだ
しずかです
しずかだった
しずかでした

except ~なければいけない for "must", which I think is correct, right?
Yes, as same as なければならない, なくてはいけない or なくてはならない.

Are any of the following correctly formed statements? If so, what is their meaning?

私は辛い食べ物がおいしいだ。
私には辛い食べ物がおいしいだ。
私には辛い食べ物はおいしいだ。
私には works fine, but, as already mentioned, と思う can give the meaning that it's the speaker's opinion, for instance, 辛い食べ物はおいしいと思う.
 
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Thanks, everyone; that was all really helpful.

So let's test if I've got this right; these are some new sentences I'm whipping up right now, followed by what I think they mean:

このとしょかんは広いね!一番好きな本があるかしら… This library is huge! I wonder if it has my favorite book in it...
この町は家がすごく高いですね。 This town's houses are tall.
犬は動物だ。草はしょく物だ。カは大きらいな虫だ。でも、犬も草もカも生きているね。 Dogs are animals. Grass is a plant. Mosquitoes are bugs that I hate very much. However, dogs, grass, and mosquitoes are all alive.
かさは古い[けど/でも]、お金が新しい。 My wallet is old, but it has new money in it.

How do those look?
 

Mike Cash

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What I have trouble with is understanding when something should be the topic and when it should be the subject.
Don't feel like the Lone Ranger. I have never been able to wrap my head around that subject/topic distinction and think that for many people it is an explanation that probably will do nothing but cause confusion.

Here's a way to approach it that might make it a little easier to understand, or at least get your は/が batting average above .500, which is above random chance:

Consider the difference between a pair of English sentences which are identical, except for having different words stressed:

This is a BOOK.
THIS is a book.

Don't merely consider them in isolation; consider them occurring in a conversation. When would you use the different stresses? Why wild you stress them differently? As a native speaker of English, what sort of information would you find encoded in the sentence via the difference in stress?

Would you find it jarringly odd to hear the latter sentence used totally out of the blue, with no previous mention of a book having been made? Certainly you would.

Would you similarly find it odd to hear the former sentence in reply to a question such as "Which of those things is a book?" Again, you most certainly would.

Imagine you are cooking something and your friend says "That smells GOOD". You're pleased, right? Now imagine your friend says "That SMELLS good". You very well may smack him over the head with a frying pan because as a native English speaker you are unconsciously yet keenly aware of and sensitive to the difference in meaning, although on paper the sentences are identical, unless we mark them with bold/italics/underlines.

As you can see, stress/emphasis is a very important tool in English communication, especially since the nature of English grammar gives us relatively little flexibility in word/phrase order.

Now, maybe for the first time in your life, contemplate that other languages may accomplish the same communicative function via completely different tools....and that speakers of those languages will be equally as unconsciously yet keenly aware of the misuses of those tools, whatever they are, as you are with English.

This brings us to は/が

I won't claim that this approach will give you 100% accuracy in all situations, but it will work most of the time and get you above random chance. Here's the essence of it:

"Ga" emphasizes what comes before "ga" and "wa" emphasizes what comes after "wa". The reason I switched to romaji is because alphabetically "ga" comes before "wa", which should make it a little easier to remember.

Now consider those earlier sentences again in Japanese this time:

This is a BOOK
これは本です

Works fine whether the "book" part receives special emphasis or not.

THIS is a book
これが本です

That Japanese sentence, said out of the blue with nobody having been talking about a book, would sound just as odd to a native speaker of Japanese as the English version would sound to you, and for exactly the same reason. The same information is being encoded there by two different methods: stress versus particle choice.

When you are creating a Japanese sentence and get hung on which to use, は or が, forget trying to figure out the subject/topic distinction and instead just ask yourself where the stress would be if it were an English sentence. Imagining it with exaggerated stress can help.

I hope that helps clear it up a bit.
 

Toritoribe

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かさは古い[けど/でも]、お金が新しい。 My wallet is old, but it has new money in it.
Wallet is 財布, and かさ is umbrella or parasol.

財布は新しいけど、中のお金は新札です。

は is also used for お金. These two はs typically work as the contrastive marker (A is ~, whereas B is...).

このとしょかんは広いね!
This library is huge!
This would be more confusing, but the most appropriate way to say "This library is huge" is この図書館、広いですね。 without using either は or が because は and が both unnecessarily emphasize "this library". It's similar to a compliment その服かわいいね "your clothes are cute." You can't use any particles after その服 since その服は/がかわいいね has a nuance of "You are not cute", "Your shoes are not cute", "Other clothes are not cute" or like that.

は/が issue is often compared with the definite or indefinite article (the/a) in English. Native speakers can point out easily which is more appropriate or can describe the difference in meaning for each concrete examples, but it's extremely hard to explain all the usages of it exhaustively. As already pointed out, it's sometimes hard to choose the appropriate one even for fluent learners. Step by step. You will get it gradually.
 
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Wallet is 財布, and かさ is umbrella or parasol.
Doh, here I am mixing up my vocabulary. Both さいふ and かさ happen to be new words I'm learning.

without using either は or が because は and が both unnecessarily emphasize "this library". It's similar to a compliment その服かわいいね "your clothes are cute." You can't use any particles after その服 since その服は/がかわいいね has a nuance of "You are not cute", "Your shoes are not cute", "Other clothes are not cute" or like that.
That's completely turned over everything I thought I knew about Japanese grammar. I never heard of this; I knew that particles weren't used all the time, but I always assumed that the only reason they wouldn't be used was because of them being dropped in colloquial speech.

I've heard something about not using particles in polite speech being improper, or something like that. But the example you gave has です in it, so I assume that person was wrong, then? Or is it only proper in certain contexts?

I'm also curious, grammatically speaking, what part of the sentence is その服 in 「その服かわいい」? Is it technically considered to be a subject or object, or is there a different word for it?

Anyway, let's give this another shot:

友達は大切な人だ。
Friends are important people.

怒っているよ!アリスは来るべきだったよ!
I'm angry right now! Alice was supposed to come here!

他のクラスがもう始まりましたね。なぜまだ待っていますか。
I see that the other classes have already started. May I ask why we are still waiting?

学校は再来週終わるよ!
School is ending next week!

あいつは氏はちょっと変だ。
That guy has a funny last name.

That last one is testing the waters a bit. Another possibility I considered was あいつ氏はちょっと変だ。
 

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That's completely turned over everything I thought I knew about Japanese grammar. I never heard of this; I knew that particles weren't used all the time, but I always assumed that the only reason they wouldn't be used was because of them being dropped in colloquial speech.

I'm also curious, grammatically speaking, what part of the sentence is その服 in 「その服かわいい」
At the end of my third year of college Japanese, the instructor let us on an advanced secret saying something to the effect of "remember all of that stuff about particles you learned? Well actually you can drop them completely in many cases."
Although I also assumed that doing so made the sentences ungrammatical. So I'm a bit surprised about this new revelation.
 

Toritoribe

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That phenomenon is called 無助詞 the empty particle, and considered different from the omission of the particle. The empty particle is basically used for call to the listener in spoken language.

その服 is the subject.

I recommend to make polite declarative sentences instead of casual conversation. The sentence final particle is hard to use correctly, but it's unnatural to use it in casual conversations.
 
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