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Differences between です and だ

Green44

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I just learned about the particle 'da' and I feel from my understanding that its extremely similar to 'desu.' Is that true, are they interchangable? I have already learned 'desu' but but I just read an online guide and it taught me about 'da.'

 

Toritoribe

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"Da" is not a particle but a copula or a conjugational suffix of -na adjectives as same as "desu." However, "desu" can be an unconjugational auxiliary verb, too. This "desu" can't be replaced by "da."
e.g.
○日本語は難しいです。
Nihongo wa muzukashii desu.

×日本語は難しいだ。
Nihongo wa muzukashii da.
 

Glenn

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That second one is one to watch out for. It's probably the representative learners' mistake. I've even caught myself on occasion letting one of those slip out, and I always want to smack myself immediately afterwards.
 

Chidoriashi

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"Da" is not a particle but a copula or a conjugational suffix of -na adjectives as same as "desu." However, "desu" can be an unconjugational auxiliary verb, too. This "desu" can't be replaced by "da."
e.g.
○日本語は難しいです。
Nihongo wa muzukashii desu.
×日本語は難しいだ。
Nihongo wa muzukashii da.


Yeah, he needs to watch out for the second sentence.. but wow.. toritoribe.. "copula conjugational suffix"... English please! :)

だ can be thought of as a less formal form of です、(or the verb meaning "to be" in English.. am, is etc.) only use the だ form of です when ending a sentence with a なーadjective. For example:
ビールが好き。 すき(な)
かのじょは綺麗。 きれい(な) She is pretty.
かれは上手。 じょうず(な) He is skillful.

notice all these sentences could be made more formal using です instead of だ
ビールが好きです。
彼女は綺麗です。
彼は上手です。
 

Toritoribe

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Oh, it should be "conjugative suffix.":p
Yeah, the ones to watch out for are "i-adjectve(and its conjugations) + です."

高いです(×高いだ)
高くないです(×高くないだ)
高かったです(×高かっただ)
 

Chidoriashi

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Oh, it should be "conjugative suffix.":p


Actually, I was just commenting about how technical grammatical terms themselves can become quite confusing. Some learners, like myself, prefer a "less scientific" explanation for certain things. That's all. Your English is fine Toritoribe. :)
 

nhk9

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Do notice that 高いのだ・高いんだ are perfectly acceptable. For more on this you should look up a Japanese dictionary, such as Koujien or Daijirin

だ and であり・である are plain forms. だ is derived from the first two letters of であり、namely であ。 (Notice that this is really a Kanto phenomenon, as people in the west used to use じゃ more often than だ。)

です、on the other hand, is the polite form of both だ and であり・である
 

Glenn

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I thought people in the west used や more than だ (or じゃ). At least that was my experience. I can't recall having heard anyone say じゃ for だ in real life (at least not seriously, anyway).
 

nhk9

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That's right Glenn. や comes from じゃ  If you watch jidaigeki like me, you will realize that people from the Osaka area use じゃ (especially during 戦国時代)。 じゃ, nowadays, is not used as much, but still can be heard. I was just trying to compare the different branches of linguistic evolution there.
 

epigene

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I thought people in the west used や more than だ (or じゃ). At least that was my experience. I can't recall having heard anyone say じゃ for だ in real life (at least not seriously, anyway).
I agree but I think you mean Kansai, when you're talking about western Japan. I hear や in Kansai dialects (with variations in inflection for Kyoto, Osaka, etc.).

I can't speak for "all of western Japan" (my parents are from Hiroshima), but I haven't heard じゃ being used in real life--only in old movies and fairy tales and spoken by old people in them.
 

Glenn

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Yes, I meant Kansai. That's where I spent my time (aside from that one weekend in Tokyo), and that's where the majority of the Japanese people I had contact with grew up.
 

tummai

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I live in the Kansai area and everyone uses や here in place of だ
 

Green44

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... this question was far more complex than I originally thought ^_^
Thank you though, I have an idea of how to use it now... I'm a beginner Japanese learner, if you can't tell :p
 

Elizabeth

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Yes, I meant Kansai. That's where I spent my time (aside from that one weekend in Tokyo), and that's where the majority of the Japanese people I had contact with grew up.
You were warned, right ?.... That Tokyo's energy peters out when the subways close around 12:00. So everyone MUST go home because they can't afford the taxi fare home. And that everything is so spread out and the hubs are all so misplaced and it takes FOREVER to get anywhere.
:mad:

So, yeah, Osaka at least is poor and dangerous but it does have the nightlife. OTOH, no one wants to be your friend unless you are funny. :p And even the language is too warm and friendly (for my standards.) 😌
 
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Glenn

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I only visited Osaka a few times, though. I did most of my partying in Kyoto. I'd love to do it there again, too.
 
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