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The wonderful world of だ...

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kohlrak

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After a few day break (that i should never have taken) i once again have problems with だ. The problem with だ is that it's not documented well or at all... I've been handed a site, and i don't know what all it covers, and at this point i can see だ is covered sparingly... Other than that it's a great site, and i trust it. I use google to try to look for this information and i either get the grammar page of this site (only copied and pasted on theirs), Tae Kim's page (only changed a little, and i really don't trust him at all), some anime fan site with a handful of expressions and no grammar, or a page that supposedly covers the whole grammar, but is only 1 page (and that is clearly a bad type of site to go by). Let's try to stay on topic, and please (for the love of God) don't tell me how to learn the language, for this is the only way i can do it. I've heard how you all want me to learn the language enough times already. This is the only way i can learn the language, and this will have to do. As long as i have co-operation, my plan will work.

The Table

Yes, i know the table is the same one on this site (only it's alot easier to read because it's divided). I've been spending days using other resources (including this wonderful site) to try to make this table make sense... First issue, is the "respect" thing... Correct me on the information below if i have any of it wrong:

Informal - Used by kids or with friends or some one younger than you. (Similar, but not the same as like "tu" in french.)
Polite - Used for strangers or for business meetings.
Respectful - Used for some one with a higher "rank" than you, such as a boss, teacher, or some one older than you.

Ok... Now, the even more complicated part... When it talks about continuative and imperfective, are those the particles or actual parts of the verb. For instance is it saying "[noun here]でじゃない" or "[noun here]じゃない" for negative non past?

Also, what is the difference between conditional and provisional? Also, the "te" thing... Is it a polite imperative(without kudasai), used for lists of actions, adverbs, and that's it? Also, from some of the examples from my book, it also could represent present, future, AND past? Also is it to show "completed action" without defining specifically a tense? And what is the attributive form's purpose?

I think if i can get all these answered I'll finally be on my way and things should clear up... I wish we had a word surgeon for Japanese... lol
 
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I'm not sure what you mean by continuative and imperfective, but the informal present negative is じゃない

Example: 学生じゃない.
I am not a student.

Te form is something in progress also can be an -ed if used in the past, I think but I haven't been actually taught that, yet.

Example: 食べていります
I am eating (now)

It differs from the masu form because the masu form is future or expresses a desire. I will eat or going to eat. Masu form is never understood as eating that is te form.

Conditional = If (something)
Not sure what provisional is

I don't want to sound rude but have you considered taking Japanese classes? These are rather elementary question that can be learned in a few classes. I recommend getting the genki series books. I'm using them in my classes and I have found them to be the best Japanese language books I've found.

Also, A dictionary of basic japanese grammer is a rather handy book that I find myself refering to often.

I would recommend not comparing Japanese to other languages. I've learned it's easier to learn a language on its own terms.
 
K

kohlrak

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Like i said, i have this method only... There are no local classes, and there are no other books... I'm stuck with this... And i know it is, but it's not simple for this method that i'm stuck with learning, and hopefully in the future i'll be able to provide documents for those like me who have no choice... And thank you for your assistance, that small example of what the table means shows that the table was written correctly, just needs to be clarified.

If you read the table you might understand what i mean by "continuative" and "imperfective." The table defines these and shows their forms, but it dosn't show examples... So that's cleared up...

And i'm aware... Actually, in the past it's helped me though when learning languages through this method. When i compare langauges, i'm looking for weather or not something is roughly close to another...

Ok, that leaves the following questions still unanswered...

Also, what is the difference between conditional and provisional? Also, the "te" thing... Is it a polite imperative(without kudasai), used for lists of actions, adverbs, and that's it? Also, from some of the examples from my book, it also could represent present, future, AND past? Also is it to show "completed action" without defining specifically a tense? And what is the attributive form's purpose?

Informal - Used by kids or with friends or some one younger than you. (Similar, but not the same as like "tu" in french.)
Polite - Used for strangers or for buisness meetings.
Respectful - Used for some one with a higher "rank" than you, such as a boss, teacher, or some one older than you.

Am i right in what i say in the quoted text above?
 
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Te form is something in progress also can be an -ed if used in the past, I think but I haven't been actually taught that, yet.

Showing progressing.

食べています
I am eating (now)

Te form is form used for actions that are happening now at the moment.

Te form also shows a change of state like getting married, receiving knowledge, etc.

Example: 知っています
I know (him/her/it)

Also, te form is used with prior movements such as...

日本にいっています
(I/he/she/it) has gone to Japan or (I/he/she/it) is in Japan.

Te form is used with a few other expressions from what I've learned like the kudasai you mention. I'm not sure if it is a tense or what not or if you just have to memorize when it's used.

I haven't learned it but I don't think te form is used for future actions. If you want to express the future or I will (do something) or I am going to (do something) you use the masu form.

"Am i right in what i say in the quoted text above?"

Yes, you are correct.
 

Glenn

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Taiga_Shinjiro said:
Example: 食べていります
I am eating (now)
That should be 食べています.

kohlrak said:
Informal - Used by kids or with friends or some one younger than you. (Similar, but not the same as like "tu" in french.)
Polite - Used for strangers or for buisness meetings.
Respectful - Used for some one with a higher "rank" than you, such as a boss, teacher, or some one older than you.
Looks right to me.

Also, what is the difference between conditional and provisional?
None, as far as I can see in that chart.

Also, the "te" thing... Is it a polite imperative(without kudasai), used for lists of actions, adverbs, and that's it? Also, from some of the examples from my book, it also could represent present, future, AND past? Also is it to show "completed action" without defining specifically a tense?
だ doesn't have an imperative form of any kind that I'm aware of.
The で that is the -te form of the copula is used for "it is... and..." It's only used where the copula can be used. It doesn't have tense in itself; tense is only expressed at the end of the sentence, so it could mean any of them depending on context (get used to hearing that). No, it isn't used to show completed action.

And what is the attributive form's purpose?
To attach to a following nominal.


[Edit] I thought we were talking only about だ and its forms.
 

nice gaijin

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it is best for a beginner to worry only about the dictionary form and 丁寧語 (desu/masu). It's also a bad idea to try to compare Japanese forms to other languages you might have studied.

informal forms are for people who are at or below your rung on the social ladder, so to speak (age is not the only factor). Polite is for people you don't know well, or are subordinate to. 謙譲語 and 尊敬語 are for even more formal situations, but worrying about them now is pointless. You need to learn to crawl before you can sprint.

As a side note: it is easier for us to help you when you use actual examples from the language, instead of the English names of the grammar structures. We have all learned Japanese differently, and many of us don't bother thinking of verb conjugations in terms of "imperfective," etc.
 
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What do you mean by "completed action" without defining specifically a tense?

In Japanese to show that you have already done something you use mou + mashita form.

私はわもう宿題をしました
I have already completed the homework.

Or just just use the past tense. I think.
 
K

kohlrak

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To attach to a following nominal.

Nominal?

It's only used where the copula can be used.

What do you mean? And the thing about imperatives was more of a general verb question... I don't think you can tell some one to exist as something. "BE A CARROT!" X'D

it is best for a beginner to worry only about the dictionary form and 丁寧語 (desu/masu). It's also a bad idea to try to compare Japanese forms to other languages you might have studied.

I really can't explain to you why it's important to bring it up now, without comming to your home and showing you the book... In short, if you saw this thing, you'd probably slap me along side the head for not taking it back and getting a refund. And like i said, when i compare them to other languages, i only intend them to be vague (not exact) comparisons.

None, as far as I can see in that chart.

That's the problem... The char insinuates that they are to different things, but the forms of the verbs are the same. The real damaging part is trying to figure out how to handle it when i come across them in conjugations later..

Though, we might be able to find out via example sentances of "ならば" and "なら" (without the ば).
 

Glenn

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The copula doesn't have a volitional conjugation. I think it's actually assumptive. Anyway, だろう/でしょう mean "probably be/is..."

Conditional is "if..."
 
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Hey, we're both from PA, and you don't live that far from me. Dude, just take classes at Lehigh. They have Japanese. That's what I'm doing.
 

nice gaijin

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です does not conjugate in all the same way as the other verbs. I'm not sure if anyone has told you that yet.

The only versions of the copula you need to know are だ、じゃない、です、じゃありません、で、and でしょう. The other forms you don't have to worry about yet are である、ではない、であります、ではありません、and であろう.
 
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kohlrak

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The copula doesn't have a volitional conjugation. I think it's actually assumptive.

That would explain quite a bit... But for future referance, what is volitional?

です does not conjugate in all the same way as the other verbs. I'm not sure if anyone has told you that yet.

That's why i'm not worrying about it later when i come across the regular verbs.

The only versions of the copula you need to know are だ、じゃない、です、じゃありません、and でしょう. The other forms you don't have to worry about yet are である、ではない、であります、ではありません、and であろう.

I worry about them all now, keeps it nice and ordered and ensures that i have everything. Also makes it easier than bringing it up later. The "lessons" i'm writing are actually a quick referance section "from the ground up."

Hey, we're both from PA, and you don't live that far from me. Dude, just take classes at Lehigh. They have Japanese. That's what I'm doing.

Quite a few people here from PA, but where is Lehigh? I never heard of it. What is it, a collage or what?
 

Glenn

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kohlrak said:
That would explain quite a bit... But for future referance, what is volitional?

It usually refers to the conjugation of verbs that are formed similarly to だろう/でしょう, but they have the "let's..." meaning. I've seen it argued that that meaning came from the strong volition of the speaker derived from that form of the verb being used to convince someone else to verb with the speaker, and from there it got its "let's..." meaning, which I believe is otherwise referred to as "hortative." The volitional forms of verbs show more will on the part of the speaker to act than do the terminal/dictionary/plain forms, so たべよう is a more emphatic "I'm going to eat" than is たべる, but it can also mean "let's eat," depending on context (told you to get used to it :p).
 

nice gaijin

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As a non-native speaker, you could probably go your whole life without any expecting you to use keigo. That doesn't stop any of us from trying to learn it, but trying to concentrate on all the conjugations of each verb as you learn them is really inefficient, compared to learning the rules for certain kinds of conjugations and how to apply them to the different kinds of verbs. There are so few irregular verbs that it's not that much of a stretch. Trying to worry about everything at once is like trying to eat a large watermelon in one bite.
 
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kohlrak

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depending on context (told you to get used to it ).

I've been used to having to base things on context way before starting to learn japanese...

is たべましょう an example of volitional?

Sorry if i sleep slow right now, i just saw a millipeed run across my keyboard, and me not exactly liking them, am in a small amount of shock....

There are so few irregular verbs that it's not that much of a stretch. Trying to worry about everything at once is like trying to eat a large watermelon in one bite.

My book dosn't go over all the types, and right now i'm only worrying about "だ" as a small amount of understanding is required for it, so i'm saying "why not just go all the way so i don't have to worry about it later and end up forgetting it completely?"
 
K

kohlrak

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Good, then i think i understand everything now... Well, as far as だ is concerned, but that's all that matters right now... that... and this evil bug....
 

Glenn

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Sorry, I just saw this post.

kohlrak said:

Noun-functioning constituent. In other words, it's either a noun or a noun phrase.

kohlrak said:
What do you mean? And the thing about imperatives was more of a general verb question... I don't think you can tell some one to exist as something. "BE A CARROT!" X'D

What do you mean what do I mean?

The -te form of verbs can be used as a command form without kudasai, yes.

kohlrak said:
Though, we might be able to find out via example sentences of "ならば" and "なら" (without the ば).

They're the same thing, but ならば is a bit more old-fashioned and formal sounding.
 
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kohlrak

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Noun-functioning constituent. In other words, it's either a noun or a noun phrase.

Then could you give me an example sentance using だ in it's attributive form?

What do you mean what do I mean?

Just reread and understood. Nevermind. lol
 

Glenn

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kohlrak said:
Then could you give me an example sentence using だ in it's attributive form?
It has three. The first, used for nouns modifying other nouns, is の. The other version that's used for nouns modifying other nouns is である, but that's a bit stiffer and more formal, from what I gather. The third, used for nominal adjectives (or adjectival nouns) modifying nouns, is な.

Example of type 1: アメリカの がくせい
Example of type 2: ぎんこうである ビル (probably a really strange example, but it illustrates the mechanics)
Example of type 3: しずかな まち


Also note that it changes to な when a sequence of consecutive のs would result: そうなのだ.
 
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kohlrak

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Example of type 1: アメリカの がくせい
Example of type 2: ぎんこうである ビル (probably a really strange example, but it illustrates the mechanics)
Example of type 3: しずかな まち

I thought の was a particle, not a form of だ.

アメリカの がくせい

Student of america?

ぎんこうである ビル

Building (noun form) of the bank.

しずかな まち

The quiet street?

So basically, it's soul purpose is to be the linking "of" (possessive) to show compund nouns/noun phrases for subjects or objects and not really sentances stand alone?
 

Mikawa Ossan

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kohlrak said:
I thought の was a particle, not a form of だ.
Student of america?
Without getting technical, I think Glenn is wrong about this one.
Why? Imagine this this sentence:

アメリカであるがくせい

The meaning is TOTALLY different from:

アメリカのがくせい

ニ但ニ陳?椎?ニ谷窶堙娯?堋ェ窶堋ュ窶堋ケ窶堋「
 

nice gaijin

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michi is street, machi is town.

I have never heard anyone say that の was a form of だ, I'm not sure if that's right. の is a possessive particle; アメリカの学生 sounds weird compared to アメリカ人の学生 (American student) or アメリカ大学の学生 (student of "America University," were that the name of the school).

である sounds really stiff, especially in the spoken language. ぎんこうであるビル sounds like "building that is a bank." I can't picture anyone saying this, since simply ぎんこう would probably suffice (or maybe ぎんこうのビル if you wanted to be really specific that it's a high-rise bank). Using a noun-modifying clause is also leaping way ahead.

I'd like for you to try to create a few sentences; put all that theory to practical use. Perhaps a self-introduction? You don't have to wow us, just try to use what you know to create a few short sentences, perhaps just saying your name/username, how old you are, and what grade you are in, or something like that. Simply talking about a language and not even trying to use it is like spinning your wheels in the mud. Hurry up and give it a shot because I'm running out of descriptive metaphors.
 
K

kohlrak

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how old you are
Would that be by a form of だ or いる?
what grade you are in
Wouldn't that be いる though? Oh well...
わたしはKohlrakです。16です。あめりかじんです。がいじんです。にほんじんじゃないです。
Simple... lol
わたしはkohlrakでございます。16でございます。あめりかじんでございます。がいじんでございます。にほんじんじゃございません。
I don't think using the other forms would be as much of a test because they would simply be an elaboration of what i just did. lol
EDIT:
prenominal adjective
Wild guess says that since that's the synonym for attributive form(or so the page says), it uses the verb as an adjective... Therefor である would mean something similar to "existable" based on that... I am starting to think that page is messed up... Problem is, that table is also part of JREF's reference section...
 

nice gaijin

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When you are stating facts, です is what you need. いる is for describing a state of existence, or carrying on an activity (ex ここにはだれもいない (nobody is here)、or わたしはべんきょうしている I am studying.)

when stating age, you need to affix "sai" to the number, so 16です becomes 16さいです。 The kanji for this is either 歳 or the simplified 才.

アメリカ is a foreign word; it needs to be written in katakana.

にほんじんじゃないです, although I suppose is grammatically acceptable, isn't natural. I'm chatting with a friend who has spent a year there studying the language, and he hasn't heard じゃないです used once in a negative assertion like that. A simple じゃありません will do. (じゃない is informal, and you were using です; once you pick a level of formality, you need to stick with it)

でございます is insanely formal, and you will probably never in your life be in a situation that calls for you to use it. Using it like this makes it sound like an anime character (this is not a good thing). Also, since じゃ is a less formal contraction of では, it cannot be used with ございます/ございません.

Good effort; actually showing us what you can come up with gives us a lot more to work with to help you. We can talk theory all day and make very little progress in comparison.
 
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