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Does this sentence make sense?

skj91

先輩
21 Oct 2008
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My main question is... does what I've written even make sense, and if so is it grammatically correct (particularly do i have the right particles in the right places)?

In English I would say:

"I also like animals. At home I have 4 cats as pets. Their names are Sadie, Bear, Lela, and Kitty-Cat."​

Romanji equivalent of what I've come up with so far (and I'm just guessing at alot of what follows) is:

"watashi wa animaru*1 mo suki desu. watashi no uchi de watashi no petsuto*2 wa yonpiki neko desu. neko no namae wa sedeii*3 to bearu*4 to rera*5 to kitsuteiikatsu*6 desu."​

Footnotes:

I. In a previous statement of the same paragraph I stated that i like anime which is why I've used the particle mo in the first sentance.

II. The * notations are to indicate that these words are written in katana (the rest in hiragana) but since I can type romanji much much faster I'm using it here, only for the purpose of asking about my sentance in these forums. The essay itself, however, is completely in hiragana and katakana.

III. Also (as is probably obvious) I've debolded the *# footnote markers but I've also debolded the fonts for which the katakana letters that would be printed small.

IV. Please also double check for me that these words, as they are in English below, are phonetically correct in the romanji staements above:


*1 - animal
*2 - pet
*3 - Sadie
*4 - Bear
*5 - Lela
*6 - Kitty-Cat​

V. Finally, I would also like to include an additional sentance to say what is in English:

"At my grandma's house I have a pet goat named Cinnamon."​

I have not attempted to construct a sentance in Japanese for that one yet... it's slightly more advanced than what we've covered in class, as of yet, but I kind of need it to make the paragraph flow more smoothly and to tie everything together (or at least... in English I would need it for that reason). But I won't add that sentance unless it would make sense to do so and I have a grammatically correct Japanese translation of it.
 
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Ideally i would like the following translated but it may be more complex than I should use at this point in my schooling.
"I like anime and Japanese music. I often watch anime fansubs and Japanese movies with subtitles in English. I like thunderstorms, mountain forests, and I love animals. At home I have 4 cats, 1 parrot, and 2 frogs as my pets. My cats' names are Sadie, Bear, Lela, and Kitty-Cat. My parrot's name is Snoopy and the frogs are named Frog1 and Frog2. I also have a pet goat named Cinnamon at my grandma's house. All my pets help to keep me happy everyday."​


Original Post:
My main question is... does what I've written even make sense, and if so is it grammatically correct (particularly do i have the right particles in the right places)?
In English I would say:
"I also like animals. At home I have 4 cats as pets. Their names are Sadie, Bear, Lela, and Kitty-Cat."​
Romanji equivalent of what I've come up with so far (and I'm just guessing at alot of what follows) is:
"watashi wa animaru*1 mo suki desu. watashi no uchi de watashi no petsuto*2 wa yonpiki neko desu. neko no namae wa sedeii*3 to bearu*4 to rera*5 to kitsuteiikatsu*6 desu."​
Footnotes:
I. In a previous statement of the same paragraph I stated that i like anime which is why I've used the particle mo in the first sentance.
II. The * notations are to indicate that these words are written in katana (the rest in hiragana) but since I can type romanji much much faster I'm using it here, only for the purpose of asking about my sentance in these forums. The essay itself, however, is completely in hiragana and katakana.
III. Also (as is probably obvious) I've debolded the *# footnote markers but I've also debolded the fonts for which the katakana letters that would be printed small for.
IV. Please also double check for me that these words, as they are in English below, are phonetically correct in the romanji staements above:

*1 - animal
*2 - pet
*3 - Sadie
*4 - Bear
*5 - Lela
*6 - Kitty-Cat​
V. Finally, I would also like to include and additional sentance to say what is in English:
"At my grandma's house I have a pet goat named Cinnamon."​
I have not attempted to construct a sentance in Japanese for that one yet... it's slightly more advanced than what we've covered in class, as of yet, but I kind of need it to make the paragraph flow more smoothly and to tie everything together (or at least... in English I would need it for that reason). But I won't add that sentance unless it would make sense to do so and I have a grammatically correct Japanese translation of it.
Correction to my grammatical error in English... Footnote IV should read:
III. Also (as is probably obvious) I've debolded the *# footnote markers but I've also debolded the fonts for which the katakana letters would be printed small.
 
If you are talking about "having pets at home" you really need to use verbs of existence such as "imasu" or "arimasu". Imasu for living things, and arimasu for inanimate objects.

"I also like animals. At home I have 4 cats as pets. Their names are Sadie, Bear, Lela, and Kitty-Cat."

Watashi wa doubutsu (animals) mo suki desu.
I also like animals.

(watashi no) Uchi ni yonhiki neko ga imasu.
At home I have four cats. (literally: at my home there exists four cats).

Neko no namae wa Sadie to Bear to Lela to Kitty-Cat desu.
The cats names are Sadie, Bear, Lela and Kitty-cat.

Do you know how to incorporate verbs into your sentences yet?
 
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yes, well we've just begun to cover the conjugation of verbs in class, now. one thing though, my sensei has never introduced the particle ga to the class, which, I guess, is rather unusual? seems most resources on the internet that I've come across assume that ga is pretty much the first particle anyone learns in learning Japanese but my sensei seems to think it's better to understand particles in general and how they associate to other parts of the sentance first. Anyway, the impression I get from it is that she'd rather us NOT use it until we have a better understanding of when we should. In light of that... would be OK to substitute wa for ga in this case or would that just be weird? i understand there are particular instances which strictly require the use of ga? but, like I said... when/where that is my sensei has yet to impart to us.

by the way, thank you greatly for your help. perfectly clear explanation too... much appreciated :)
 
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When, where and how to use ga is well complicated and the specifics are probably a little bit beyond your level if your just starting out. I dont even know specifically what differentiates ga from wa. In certain grammar patterns its clear why you use ga and in others its not as distinct. Its like in english the use of the article "the" is never really clear and is difficult to explain, it just sticks out to you when its used incorrectly. Its the same with wa/ga for the Japanese I guess.
 
oh i see. hmmmm so, it would sound odd to not use ga here?

thank you, you've been a big help.
 
Your guesses were to the right direction and understandable but perhaps a bit awkward.
You got some good advice already but I'll give you what I would say just to pass time.. :p
I also think that it flows on pretty good!


"I also like animals. At home I have 4 cats as pets. Their names are Sadie, Bear, Lela, and Kitty-Cat."​


Watashi ha doubutsu mo suki de, uchi ha yon-hiki no neko ga imasu.
Sadie-chan, Bear-kun, lela-chan, soushite Kitty-Cat-chan.

Mou ippiki no petto ha, Baasan no ie ni Cinnamon to iu yagi ga imasu.

One more pet - at my grandmothers house - goat named Cinnamon - there is

I find that often when talking about animals, Japanese add the "chan" or "kun". It also indicate the sex of the animal. I was just guessing here!
And there might be a better counter for a goat sized animal but if there is, I don't know it so.. :)

Someone wiser may correct me! 🙂


The ha and ga particles often come one after the other in sentences and it makes it sound better.
To make it simple, the way I understand it, ha puts more emphasis on what is coming after it and ga on what was said before.

watashi ha kimasu. = I'll come / I'm coming
watashi ga kimasu. = I will come / I am coming
 
1) I like neko ga yonhiki imasu or neko o yonhiki katteimasu for "I have four cats."

2) I think tou (頭) is probably best for goats.

3) I'm not sure you'll ever hear a Japanese person say watashi wa/ga kimasu. I believe they'd say either watashi wa/ga ikimasu or watashi wa/ga ittekimasu, depending on the situation. This is just a gut feeling from a non-native, though.
 
3) I'm not sure you'll ever hear a Japanese person say watashi wa/ga kimasu. I believe they'd say either watashi wa/ga ikimasu or watashi wa/ga ittekimasu, depending on the situation. This is just a gut feeling from a non-native, though.
私は/が来ます(watashi wa/ga kimasu) can be used depending on the context.
e.g.
雨が降っても私は来ます。; Ame ga futtemo watashi wa kimasu.
(implying something like "even if no one comes")

明日は私が来ます。; Ashita wa watashi ga kimasu.
("because you came today.")

In these cases, watashi(the speaker) will come to the same place where s/he is in the present.
 
Ah, that makes sense. I forgot that in one of my early Japanese classes we had a sentence like もうここには来ません. 何て一定しない記憶だろう。
 
wow, lots of helpful info and insight, guys. thanks so much.

It also indicate the sex of the animal. I was just guessing here!

and you guessed exactly right. :)
Didn't think to add the 'show of respect' suffixes for pets, though now that you've pointed it out I have to say I completely agree with the notion that animals deserve as much respect. Thanks for bringing y attention to it.

So, Alantin, in the sentance you gave:
Watashi ha doubutsu mo suki de, uchi ha yon-hiki no neko ga imasu.
you would say uchi ha/wa there, not uchi de?

And Glenn, are you saying it might sound better to leave out 'uchi __' entirely? Or am I misunderstanding your post?

I do rather like the way your second suggestion sounds. "neko o yonhiki katteimasu", I think I'll incorporate that instead of what I have.

And last thing just to double-check... the counter for the goat would then be ichitou?
 
Also thanks for reminding me about the soushite! I knew there was something missing. *bonks head* Now I remember! Suki desu needs a closing 'soushite' with it! Geez, I feel so ditzy now.
 
OH!!! wait... so... which particle to use is dependant on word order more than what parts of speech the relative segments of the sentance are? Would that be correct? Hrrrm, No... wait... now I'm starting to confuse myself.

OK, wait, wait, wait. Let me back up.
It is my understanding that the following conditions exist in regard to particle usage:

1) Wa marks the center of focus, what the sentance is about--which, I guess, would mean I shouldn't be using it after 'I' at all in this sentance but after neko instead, wouldn't it?
Anyway, moving on--
2). Ni is used when indicating a specific time (3:00 O'clock, in September, etc.).
3). Ni is also used with the location of some expected destination. Or rather, where a changing of geographic location takes place such that physical movement must/does/will occur (on the bus, to Japan, etc.) in order to get to some other destination. En`route, so to speak, between where you were, where you are, and where you're going.
Am I right so far?
4). Then there's de, used when describring a stationary/permanent location where some event/action does/will take place (she dances in Madison Square Gardens, for example).

OK. So, according to those guidelines - it would have to be de, wouldn't it? My cats take the action of 'existing' at the stationary location of 'my home'... I mean... right?
And again according to the above conditions, with the main topic of my sentance being neither 'my home' nor 'myself', but rather 'my cats'... Well, that must mean the wa/ga/ha should be matched to the cats and... my home goes with d... am I understanding all this correctly or is there something way off? Perhaps something my class hasn't gotten to yet. I don't know.
 
Well, the topic is myself at first, myself liking my pets but; Starting a new sentance in which I name off each pet, the topic shifts to my pets, right? So i would use wa (or perhaps ga?) for both myself (the first time) and my neko, right?

Aye-aye-aye... I think I think too much.
 
Well, the topic is myself at first, myself liking my pets but; Starting a new sentance in which I name off each pet, the topic shifts to my pets, right? So i would use wa (or perhaps ga?) for both myself (the first time) and my neko, right?
Aye-aye-aye... I think I think too much.
Sounds right. All of the below are correct, though each has a slight different connotation.
Watashi wa doobutsu mo suki de, uchi wa neko ga yon-hiki imasu.
Watashi wa doobutsu mo suki de, uchi de neko o yon-hiki katte masu.
Watashi wa doobutsu mo suki de, uchi dewa neko o yon-hiki katte masu.

4). Then there's de, used when describring a stationary/permanent location where some event/action does/will take place (she dances in Madison Square Gardens, for example).
This is not correct. The particle "de" has, among others, the function of describing the location of action or an event. To dance is action so it is correct to use "de". The existential verb "aru" does not signal action, it conveys state. It tells something is located somewhere. In this case, the particle "ni" is used.
"Watashi wa doobutsu mo sukide, uchi ni(wa) neko ga yon-hiki imasu" would be another way to translate.

And last thing just to double-check... the counter for the goat would then be ichitou?
That would be いっとう.
 
And last thing just to double-check... the counter for the goat would then be ichitou?
As grapefruit-san wrote, "ittou" is correct. The euphonic change occers on 1(ichi) + 頭(tou).
Japanese counter word - Wikipedia

Also thanks for reminding me about the soushite! I knew there was something missing. *bonks head* Now I remember! Suki desu needs a closing 'soushite' with it! Geez, I feel so ditzy now.
Actually, the conjunction "soushite" can be used as "and," it generally has a nuance like "after (doing) that/then."
e.g.
そうして、ようやく彼らの旅は終わった。; Soushite, youyaku karera no tabi wa owatta.

"Soshite" is commonly used for "and" in "Sadie, Bear, Lela, and Kitty-Cat". You can also use "sore to."
 
oh. i thought to was to was used to conect a list of nouns.

This is not correct. The particle "de" has, among others, the function of describing the location of action or an event. To dance is action so it is correct to use "de". The existential verb "aru" does not signal action, it conveys state. It tells something is located somewhere. In this case, the particle "ni" is used.
"Watashi wa doobutsu mo sukide, uchi ni(wa) neko ga yon-hiki imasu" would be another way to translate.

I don't quite follow. Are you saying that the definition that i gave for de is correct however the example sentance I used does not demonstrate the the correct usage? Or do you mean that the whole concept I have of what de is, is off? Or, OH!! you mean that the definition and example are both correct but that a state of being does not fall into that category, ok I get your meaning now. (I hope?)
In other words de can only be used with action verbs and "to be" verbs use ni instead.


About soushite, I was told by another student that suki desu, or any level to like/not like for that matter, is always used with soushite. So, am I to understand that soushite and to both mean the same thing, "and", but levels of likeness have the monoploy on the word soushite? No other case can use soushite and get away with it?
If that's the case then you would NOT actually need to use soushite where only one object was referanced, correct?

Can I just say...
I love you guys! Thank you SO MUCH!!!!
 
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In other words de can only be used with action verbs and "to be" verbs use ni instead.
Basically, yes.

(a place)で飼う; (a place) de kau
(a place)にいる; (a place) ni iru

It might be similar to the relationship between verbs and prepositions in English.


"Soushite" and "soshite" has the same origin.

sou + shite(the te-form of the verb "suru" / the adverbial form of the verb "suru" + the particle "te")

Recently however, the former is mainly used to connect sentences/clauses/phrases as the original meaning "after doing so, then...", and when listing examples, the latter is commonly used.
 
Alright. Things are becoming more clear to me now.

Oh, back to the counter again; I've been trying to think of other animals similar in size to a goat. I agree that hikki/pikki is most likely far to small. I take "small animal" to mean about the size of your typical house cat, racoon, fox... all the way down to squirrels and maybe even rats.

On the other hand, tou is probably far too large. My textbook denotes tou would be appropriate for cattle, elephants, and everything in between. But goats really aren't all that big. Even the largest of large dogs (ie. Alaskan Malamute, St. Bernard, Great Dane) will generally grow to sizes larger than the average, full-grown, male goat.

So, anyway, it'd probably safe to say that whatever the counter would be for a creature such as a Panda Bear, maybe a small jungle cat like a Jaguar... even a Snow Leopard and a Wild Boar are closer in size than than either a cow or a racoon.
So, yeah... if anyone knows off-hand what counter to use for any of the above-type creatures, I'm sure a goat could stand to be counted the same.
:D


BUT PLEASE don't anyone go out of their to way to find an answer to this!
I've already turned in my assignment using ittou and I'm sure my sensei will be perfectly fine with that, considering this is an introductory course for beginner's.
Point is, there's no "dire need for me to know before the big exam" or anything crazy like that. I'm asking more out of curiosity now. And for future referance, too, I suppose.
 
Umm, a bit off topic but, Is there anywhere I should check in to see if I could be of any help to anyone somehow? I feel it would only be right for me to extend the same offer of help to the community that's been offered to me. A 'people seeking to learn the intracacies or idiosynchracies of English' forum section or something?
 
The thing to remember I think is that the use of particles is not something that you can master straight away...I think it takes a lot of time and practice before you can start using them properly. In a lot of Japanese I've listened to, there were a few occasions when the particles were just dropped all together! But obviously dont do this unless you are more advanced ^^;;; and my exchange partner goes to me sometimes, you dont need "wa" here or "ga" there because it sounds more natural to her without the particles I guess?
 
The thing to remember I think is that the use of particles is not something that you can master straight away...I think it takes a lot of time and practice before you can start using them properly. In a lot of Japanese I've listened to, there were a few occasions when the particles were just dropped all together! But obviously dont do this unless you are more advanced ^^;;; and my exchange partner goes to me sometimes, you dont need "wa" here or "ga" there because it sounds more natural to her without the particles I guess?

Japanese linguists have devoted enormous amount of effort to elucidating how particles function, but use of wa and ga has not been entirely understood yet. To make matters worse, the omission of particles in natural conversation, for instance when to drop the particle o, is an unexplored research area.
 
Oh, back to the counter again; I've been trying to think of other animals similar in size to a goat. I agree that hikki/pikki is most likely far to small. I take "small animal" to mean about the size of your typical house cat, racoon, fox... all the way down to squirrels and maybe even rats.

On the other hand, tou is probably far too large. My textbook denotes tou would be appropriate for cattle, elephants, and everything in between. But goats really aren't all that big. Even the largest of large dogs (ie. Alaskan Malamute, St. Bernard, Great Dane) will generally grow to sizes larger than the average, full-grown, male goat.

So, anyway, it'd probably safe to say that whatever the counter would be for a creature such as a Panda Bear, maybe a small jungle cat like a Jaguar... even a Snow Leopard and a Wild Boar are closer in size than than either a cow or a racoon.
So, yeah... if anyone knows off-hand what counter to use for any of the above-type creatures, I'm sure a goat could stand to be counted the same.
:D

I almost mentioned this when I made the original post, but didn't because I figured any Japanese person posting behind me would be able to qualify my suggestion -- I originally suggested 頭 (tou) as a counter for goats because it sort of came to me. Then I checked on Google and found this page, which uses it to count goats. Particularly this sentence is what solidified my belief: A山羊部会(吉村修治部会長60名)に飼育されて今年2~ 3月に生まれた子山羊60頭(雌40頭、雄20頭)が共進会とセリに出場しました。The highlighted part says "forty female, twenty male," and uses the counter 頭 (tou) (and the part right before it that has the 60 is just giving the total with the same counter).

Japanese linguists have devoted enormous amount of effort to elucidating how particles function, but use of wa and ga has not been entirely understood yet. To make matters worse, the omission of particles in natural conversation, for instance when to drop the particle o, is an unexplored research area.

This is a sticky and interesting topic that I came across in my study (and it left me frustrated at first). In the book 中上級を教える人のための日本語文法ハンドブック under the 「は」と「が」 section there is a subsection entitled 「は」と「が」と「ゼロ」, which discusses situations where neither can be used. The first example sentence it gives is この時計{#は・Xが・○∅}止まってる, suggesting that using は is pretty unnatural, が is ungrammatical, and no particle is grammatical. It gets into the reasons, but they're a bit involved and I don't feel like typing them now. 😅
 
I almost mentioned this when I made the original post, but didn't because I figured any Japanese person posting behind me would be able to qualify my suggestion -- I originally suggested 頭 (tou) as a counter for goats because it sort of came to me. Then I checked on Google and found this page, which uses it to count goats. Particularly this sentence is what solidified my belief: A山羊部会(吉村修治部会長60名)に飼育されて今年2~3月に生まれた子山羊60頭(雌40頭、雄20頭)が共進会とセリに出場しました。The highlighted part says "forty female, twenty male," and uses the counter 頭 (tou) (and the part right before it that has the 60 is just giving the total with the same counter).
Japanese titles of famous fairy tales

The Wolf and the Seven Young Kids (Grimm Fairy Tales)
狼と七匹の子山羊; Ookami to nanahiki no koyagi

Three Billy Goats Gruff (Norwegian fairy tale)
三匹の山羊のがらがらどん; Sanbiki no yagi no garagaradon

I think both, "hiki" and "tou," are correct.;-)

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As for the difference in use between "hiki" and "tou" when counting animals of this size, the former sounds colloquial and the latter does formal/scientific in my impression.

おばあちゃんは山羊を一匹飼っています。
Obaachan wa yagi o ippiki katteimasu.

当牧場では20頭の山羊を飼育しております。
Tou bokujou dewa nijuttou no yagi o shiikushite orimasu.
 
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This is a sticky and interesting topic that I came across in my study (and it left me frustrated at first). In the book 中上級を教える人のための日本語文法ハンドブック under the 「は」と「が」 section there is a subsection entitled 「は」と「が」と「ゼロ」, which discusses situations where neither can be used. The first example sentence it gives is この時計{#は・Xが・○∅}止まってる, suggesting that using は is pretty unnatural, が is ungrammatical, and no particle is grammatical. It gets into the reasons, but they're a bit involved and I don't feel like typing them now.

That's fascinating! 👍
 
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