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The wonderful world of だ...

yukio_michael

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I erased this message to the original poster--- everything it seemed to say was based on the method of learning, or at the very least the method of asking for help, some things the original poster very specifically said they were not interested in hearing... I'm not going to get into advising or arguing with someone who won't listen to advice. Good luck though.

I will say this, desu, masu & arimasu are probably the cornerstones of the Japanese language. I don't think they are shrouded in mystery, and there is a wealth of information on these forms. Your possible failure to be introduced these things in a way that allows you to grasp this may point to failures in your methods. Think about it.
 
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yukio_michael

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nice gaijin said:
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.
I like to use extremely formal or antiquated forms as a sort of joke; even though I don't watch enough anime to know that de gozaimasu is common in them, I can reiterate that you should avoid the language used in anime.

I have used ...de gozaimasu, when introducing myself. I was actually taught this by my girlfriend, a native speaker. She of course taught it to me because she knew that I liked overtly polite forms, but--- I think, as she explained it, they come off a little funny and cute, rather than like someone who watches too much anime. It's common in Japanese to do this as well, for effect.

There are simple textbook forms that I would suggest the original poster to follow, but I don't think this person want's to be told where to look for answers, just given them.
 
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kohlrak

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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.

Aye, until understanding だ i had no verbs to go on except あります... And that being the only form. Now i have something i can use to pull things right out of the dictionary to use them.

I will say this, desu, masu & arimasu are probably the cornerstones of the Japanese language. I don't think they are shrouded in mystery, and there is a wealth of information on these forms.

If you already know them...

Using it like this makes it sound like an anime character (this is not a good thing).

Heh heh.. I've noticed that many anime make them overly informal in the english versions as well. I remember one show where they made a character so respectful she asked some one to kill her cause it was a secondary objective to his mission. Whatever happened to the days when it was only martial arts, lip movment that dosn't match, and a giant beast and that was ok? Why did they have to add prophanity and junk to japanese media imported into america? Ok, that's off topic...

It's common in Japanese to do this as well, for effect.

I do have no doubt that it would be overly popular with the ladies. lol

There are simple textbook forms that I would suggest the original poster to follow, but I don't think this person want's to be told where to look for answers, just given them.

Problem is, there's nowhere else that i know of to get these answers. A quick skim over my book would tell you that it's only a guidebook for "what you need to last 30 days in Japan."

I like to use extremely formal or antiquated forms as a sort of joke; even though I don't watch enough anime to know that de gozaimasu is common in them, I can reiterate that you should avoid the language used in anime.

These respect forms remind me of an overly obliged jeenie... That'd make a popular anime series...

(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)

It was covered in my book. Making me trust it even less now. lol
 

nice gaijin

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kohlrak said:
It was covered in my book. Making me trust it even less now. lol
Just to clarify, I wasn't talking about your use of じゃないです, but rather that your affirmative sentences were ending in です, which sets the tone at a polite level of formality. If you were to throw in a sentence ending in an informal じゃない, or だ, etc, it would be very out of place, and would stand out as a glaring mistake. So unless someone tells you to be more or less formal, stick to a single voice. です、です、です、あります、でしょう、じゃありません、いきます, and so on.

Also, don't sell your materials short. Try to learn as much as you can from them, and when you move on to other materials, you can compare what you've learned to what the new materials (or other teachers or students) say. Being able to speak and using a few strange or obsolete words is better than not being able to speak at all.
 
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kohlrak

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Isn't じゃないです formal(polite)? I would assume the informal would have been じゃないだ.
 

nice gaijin

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pretty much anything ending with です or ~ます is formal. I just meant that じゃないです sounded weird, and you should instead use じゃありません.

As a general rule, you should never put だ or です after another verb, especially at the end of a sentence. じゃない is the informal version of じゃありません.
 

undrentide

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じゃない is contraction of ではない, and if you want to sound formal (or rather, polite), ではありません would be better.

Strictly speaking ~ないです and i-adjective+です are regarded "ungrammatical" but widely used/accepted in daily life.
 

Glenn

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Mikawa Ossan said:
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

If you mean wrong about the example I gave, I agree. In that example の is the genetive marker, not the copula. However, の is a form of the copula. If I changed it to アメリカ人の学生 and compared that with アメリカ人である学生, would you agree that の is a form of the copula there? That is, of course, in the interpretation that doesn't mean "students that belong to Americans" (which is a bit strange anyway).

That you need a predicate to attach directly to a noun and modify it speaks to の being a copula in that phrase, as well as in もどりのはっぱ. This is taken from this page (scroll down to the copula section to see what I'm talking about).

On a side note, and I meant to mention this earlier: just because two words have the same form does not mean that they are the same word. I was thinking about this in relation to あります when it's a word on its own and when it is a part of the copula -- であります. Think of the English word "can." Do you think it's only one word? It certainly doesn't behave as only one word.
 

Mikawa Ossan

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Glenn said:
If you mean wrong about the example I gave, I agree. In that example の is the genitive marker, not the copula. However, の is a form of the copula. If I changed it to アメリカ人の学生 and compared that with アメリカ人である学生, would you agree that の is a form of the copula there? That is, of course, in the interpretation that doesn't mean "students that belong to Americans" (which is a bit strange anyway).

That you need a predicate to attach directly to a noun and modify it speaks to の being a copula in that phrase, as well as in もどりのはっぱ. This is taken from this page (scroll down to the copula section to see what I'm talking about).

On a side note, and I meant to mention this earlier: just because two words have the same form does not mean that they are the same word. I was thinking about this in relation to あります when it's a word on its own and when it is a part of the copula -- であります. Think of the English word "can." Do you think it's only one word? It certainly doesn't behave as only one word.
Hi Glenn! Well, what shall I say? Let's just say that I agree with this explanation a million times more than the original example! 👍

Oh and your point about two words looking the same but being completely different is only too true!
 

Glenn

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Haha, yeah. I don't even remember if I was thinking アメリカ人 last night when I wrote that, but when I read your comment I thought, "oh god, he's right. Oops. 😊" I'm glad you pointed that out.
 

Mikawa Ossan

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Your example and your post refining your explanation got me thinking about why I try to avoid such constructions in my Japanese. I have been the object of too much confusion over that one. I avoid that use of "no" like it's poison!😌
 
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kohlrak

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Glenn said:
If you mean wrong about the example I gave, I agree. In that example の is the genetive marker, not the copula. However, の is a form of the copula. If I changed it to アメリカ人の学生 and compared that with アメリカ人である学生, would you agree that の is a form of the copula there? That is, of course, in the interpretation that doesn't mean "students that belong to Americans" (which is a bit strange anyway).
That you need a predicate to attach directly to a noun and modify it speaks to の being a copula in that phrase, as well as in もどりのはっぱ. This is taken from this page (scroll down to the copula section to see what I'm talking about).
On a side note, and I meant to mention this earlier: just because two words have the same form does not mean that they are the same word. I was thinking about this in relation to あります when it's a word on its own and when it is a part of the copula -- であります. Think of the English word "can." Do you think it's only one word? It certainly doesn't behave as only one word.
What i don't like about this is, is the fact Japanese is Subject-Object-Verb. If の was a form of the copula, it would come at the end, right? I would interpret "アメリカ人の学生" as "Students of an American teacher." But, i'm not proficient in Japanese, so i think i better wait till later to make judgements. lol
 

Glenn

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It does come at the end. It comes at the end of アメリカ人だ, but it's been transformed from that sentence. It's the same as how あるく in 道 (みち) を歩 (ある)く人 (ひと) comes at the end. It's a mini-sentence inside a clause, or larger sentence. Predicatives directly modify nouns in Japanese.

It could mean "students of an American" but I think that usually you would have 先生(せんせい)in there to clarify that it's a teacher (which would also clarify the meaning of the phrase). If 先生 isn't usually there, context will clear things up.
 
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kohlrak

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It could mean "students of an American" but I think that usually you would have 先生(せんせい)in there to clarify that it's a teacher (which would also clarify the meaning of the phrase). If 先生 isn't usually there, context will clear things up.

I would naturally assume teacher, unless something was said to show otherwise, then i would assume it's a racist statement that they didn't think highly enough of the man (or girl) to call him (or her) a teacher.

It does come at the end. It comes at the end of アメリカ人だ, but it's been transformed from that sentence. It's the same as how あるく in 道 (みち) を歩 (ある)く人 (ひと) comes at the end. It's a mini-sentence inside a clause, or larger sentence. Predicatives directly modify nouns in Japanese

Then what's it comparing it to? If i were to consider it a form of だ i wuold assume it ment in an "of"ish meaning, and that it would be "アメリカ人(は)学生の。" Or are you saying that の is described by アメリカ人 and that "mini-sentance" describes the 学生? That is an awkward way of thinking about it. lol
 

Glenn

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I don't really know what you're saying in that first section.

I'm saying that アメリカ人だ describes 学生.
 
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kohlrak

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I don't really know what you're saying in that first section.

Basically that if some one said that to me, i'd think they'd have a problem with americans teaching the student(s).

I'm saying that アメリカ人だ describes 学生

Then it'd be... nvm... i'll just treat it as it's defined, a particle...
 

nice gaijin

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の is used to link nouns in many ways. アメリカ人の学生 is just "American student(s)," if you want to specify that it's an American teacher's students, you would say アメリカ人の先生の学生 (あめりか人のせんせいのがくせい). Otherwise, no one would think that の is possessive in this context. For アメリカ人のせんせいのがくせい, the first の is descriptive, the second one is possessive.

as for である:
である is a verb, and when a verb is placed in front of a noun, it means that the verb or the entire preceding clause becomes a description of the noun (like a big adjective). However, I asked a native speaker about アメリカ人である学生, and she said that it doesn't make sense, even if it is grammatically acceptable. It's at least something a native speaker would never even think of using.

noun-modifying verbs are very common, but that can come later; they can get really complicated.
 
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kohlrak

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noun-modifying verbs are very common, but that can come later; they can get really complicated.

Agreed, but for the sake of sentance structure consistancy(for the time being), i think i'll just restrict my thinking of の to be a particle, just like all the other particles.

の is used to link nouns in many ways. アメリカ人の学生 is just "American student(s)," if you want to specify that it's an American teacher's students, you would say アメリカ人の先生の学生 (あめりか人のせんせいのがくせい). Otherwise, no one would think that の is possessive in this context. For アメリカ人のせんせいのがくせい, the first の is descriptive, the second one is possessive.

That's intresting, actually... の is in the particle section 2 lessons down the road. Then a few more lessons before it describes posessives (which makes no sence, really) and it says if you omit "anata no" and you add either o- or go- to the front... Then it tells me absolutely nothing about how to identify which ones you do that with, or how to specify weather の is posessive or not. So, does it have to be 2 の and the second one posessive to be posessive or is the logic a little more warped? (This book's seemingly random order makes things difficult to know what section i'll need to know this for...) This book is really starting to tick me off. lol
 

nice gaijin

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I suggest looking up particles, either on one of those grammar sites we linked you to, or here on JREF. There aren't too many, but they do cause quite a bit of trouble for students. Particles are one aspect of the language I recommend learning all at once; it's very important to know the differences between them, as they are used to specify what serves what function in the sentence.

To make things easier for you, don't worry about の in terms of possession; it's all descriptive in a sense:
メアリーさんの家 - Mary's house
ジョーさんのお母さんのお姉さんのかさ - Joe's mother's older sister's umbrella
たろうさんの弁当 - Tarou's bentou
アメリカ人の学生 - American student

In all these cases, the material preceding の are all nouns describing what comes after the particle. Although you could interpret the last one to mean "American's student," doesn't that sound a little weird, even in English? In such a case, it's better to think of アメリカ人 as a descriptive noun. After a while, you'll get the hang of it, just keep practicing.
 
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kohlrak

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To make things easier for you, don't worry about の in terms of possession; it's all descriptive in a sense:

Or i could think of it as just plain "of" like in english, only a japanese equivalent with it's own gramatical rules. Even in english it can mean posessive. lol

The particles that my book talks about are...

が、は、の、に、を、も、へ、と、や、より、から、まで、で、ばかり、だけ、ほど、くらい、and か.

Is that all of them?
 

nice gaijin

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That looks pretty complete, but I think I would limit my list of particles to those with one syllable; から、まで、ばかり、だけ、ほど、 and くらい are usually covered separately as grammar structures in their own right.

correction: the others are indeed considered particles, but there are many grammar structures and conjunctions that make use of them (the same is true even for the single-syllable particles). So know them and what they mean, but don't worry about knowing all of their uses just yet.
 

Mamoru-kun

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Sorry to jump into the scene, but if I don't need to create a separate topic for it (don't hesitate to tell me otherwise), I would be very gratefull to know what would be the translation, or at least the signification, of ほど and わけ. After times I finished to use them naturally in a couple of sentences, which were correct I've been said, but I don't have a clue on what they do modify exactly in those sentences (and so won't be able to use them in sentences I would have to create "by hand")...:-(
 

nice gaijin

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~ほど~ is literally "to the extent that," or and can follow a large variety of items including adjectives, verbs, and nouns/clauses. It is also like "the more..." as in "The more you study," or "The closer you sit." ほど needs something to follow it, as do the English examples above. The Dictionary of Intermediate Grammar gives this as an example: 私は静かなほど落ち着かない。 (the quieter it is the more uneasy I feel). Personally, I don't use this particle very much.

~わけだ is translated as "the truth of the matter is..." and emphasizes the fact of the preceding clause. It is related to ending a clause with のだ/のです (but not ので), but I think it is a stronger assertion. the negative form わけじゃない/わけではない serves just the opposite purpose: to negate whatever was implied in the preceding clause. たけしさんは失礼ですが、悪い人だというわけではない 。 There are other uses of わけ; it is definitely a useful and sometimes difficult structure to get used to.
 
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kohlrak

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nice gaijin said:
That looks pretty complete, but I think I would limit my list of particles to those with one syllable; から、まで、ばかり、だけ、ほど、 and くらい are usually covered separately as grammar structures in their own right.
correction: the others are indeed considered particles, but there are many grammar structures and conjunctions that make use of them (the same is true even for the single-syllable particles). So know them and what they mean, but don't worry about knowing all of their uses just yet.
I have this sad feeling that i'm going to require assistance with them at the end of my book... Not sure if they're covered or not... It's not as easy to tell if it's covered as it is to tell if だ is covered...
 
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