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Mamoru-kun

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Thank you nice_gaijin. Now I got my problem: the explanations in english seem easier than in french, perhaps because in english you have more accurate translation for those words than what we have (or what I have been told) in french. Furthermore, as you said, there is a lot of place where those two words can be used, so training is just the key I guess.
Anyway, thank you very much for the "the more..." thing, I was not aware of it. Regarding that, is "the less..." translated the same way, the understanding given by the context?
 

nice gaijin

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I've never studied French, so I couldn't be sure about that. I try to get a good understanding of the grammar points, so that I can share them with other students to increase their understanding as well. I find that native English speakers, once they grasp the concept, are sometimes better suited to explain it (in English) than a native Japanese speaker. For this reason, it seems strange to me that some people discount a teacher or tutor based on the fact that they aren't Japanese.

Back on topic, yes, there are several more uses for both ほど and わけ. If you can pick up a copy of "A Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar" (the little baby-blue book), it explains pretty much everything, replete with examples.
 
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kohlrak

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nice gaijin said:
For this reason, it seems strange to me that some people discount a teacher or tutor based on the fact that they aren't Japanese.
It's harder for some one to teach their own language, because you're used to everything and you might forget something a lot easier than any student would.
I've never studied French, so I couldn't be sure about that. I try to get a good understanding of the grammar points, so that I can share them with other students to increase their understanding as well.
Could be the fact that English has many new words added everyday and English is insanely and purposelessly huge. I don't think a bunch of people have to look up words as much in Japanese as in English. And french adjectives seem a little vivid, though not as vivid as すてき. Hopefully i can get this stuff typed up without the power going out on me again.
 

nice gaijin

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kohlrak said:
It's harder for some one to teach their own language, because you're used to everything and you might forget something alot easier than any student would.
I think it's more likely that it's because a native speaker (of English) is more comfortable explaining how a structure works to another native (English) speaker. I've often put grammar explanations into words more concise and easily understood than my fellow (Japanese native) tutors and even teachers.

Another possible reason could be that native speakers don't usually think of why a grammar structure works the way it does, but rather in terms of whether is sounds natural or not. I know I feel that way about English sometimes, when asked a question like "why can I use this word here, but not this one?"
 
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kohlrak

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Another possible reason could be that native speakers don't usually think of why a grammar structure works the way it does, but rather in terms of whether is sounds natural or not. I know I feel that way about English sometimes, when asked a question like "why can I use this word here, but not this one?"

Exactly... If some one told you to teach them english you'd be like, "uuuuuuuuuuuuh..." You wouldn't know where to start. Then during the lessons you would make assumptions that they already know something, because you know it. You wouldn't even think that they don't know it. It's like teaching your friend how to beat the first level of a game. You tell him to move forward and he dosn't, then you realize that he's using the dpad instead of the analog stick. That's what i ment by a guy who learned a language knowing more than a native. Sadly, there is a group of people who say "what is correct" and "what is incorrect" and it's usually not what the natives agree on. And all this points out why it's really difficult to teach a language after you've learned it. This is why i'm typing my lessons up and translating them for others, now. I'll only let a few people learn from them at this point, and i'll only let them learn from my lessons, because i know they'll be able to adapt to the common statements over the gramatical.

The problem is examples in japanese turning out like this klingon example:

be''a' Dunqu' ghuH. (She's a really great be''a'.)

Best way to think of this example is... Xena... Xena would be a be''a' (there is no word in english for be''a' but the root word be' is a noun meaning woman) and Dun is an adjative saying she's great, so put a superman cape on her. Now -qu' would be.. well... it makes the word Dun more emphetic... And i don't know how you can make poor Xena represent anything stronger than a Superman version of herself, therefor, the phrase is gramatically correct, but it can't be understood.

Therefor, grammar lessons should be written by non-natives, and examples of the grammar should be written by natives. Sadly, it never works that way and either side wants to take all the credit so you either have great grammar and not understood, or understood, but not all the language is explained.
 
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kohlrak

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(pardon the double post, but i had to bump this post back up since the ones involved most likely see it as over.)

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.)

So, basically, then, いる is used only for describing something's condition (such as being sick or at a certain place or being occupied by something) and だ is basically for saying what something is..? Even under that logic, age would be displayed by いる, right? Isn't age a condition?
 
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kohlrak

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yea, but that's english. age is something that changes, like location.
 

The7thSamurai

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You're on the right track kohlrak. The 'be' version of 'iru' describes a state in time. You also use it to describe something you're doing right now. E.g. "I'm drinking", "I'm eating", however it's slightly different to the English ~ing. To say "I'm eating" in Japanese you say "tabete iru", and "drinking" is "nonde iru". However (and this use to really confuse me until I got my head around it), "tomatte iru" in English doesn't mean "stopping" (as one would expect at first), but rather "has stopped". Likewise, "itte iru" doesn't mean "going", but rather, "has gone". This is because of that whole state thing that you mentioned before. So when I see the "~te iru" form in Japanese I try not to compare it to the English "~ing" form because of these differences.

If you want to translate "tabete iru" into English literally it's more along the lines of "eat, then be", but of course that sounds totally crap so people just translate it into "eating". Likewise, "tomatte iru" means "stop, then be", i.e. "has stopped".
 
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kohlrak

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Reminds me of -taH.. This might be were okrand got it...

-taH Continuous.

Sop = Eat

SoptaH = eating (was eating, is eating, will be eating)

Basically putting iru on the end means something continueous or unstopped.

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.

And the book says...

はたちです。 - I am 20.

I think my book loves complicating things. Over on a deeper look into it,

It also says:

あにはにじゅうごさいです。 - My older brother is 25.

おとうとはじゅうしちです。 - My younger brother is 17.

いもうとはじゅうごです。 - My sister is 15.

Is the lack of さい a gramatical thing or something, or does my book have a few too many typos?
 

The7thSamurai

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Not sure if the lack of さい is wrong or not, but the most common way to ask someone their age is おいくつですか。, which basically means "how many are you?" So I wonder whether or not a simple にじゅうろくです。(without the さい) is acceptable? Anyone care to share?

FYI, the other way to ask someone their age is なんさいですか, meaning "what is your age", where you would reply にじゅうろっさいです
 

Glenn

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I think you can drop さい when it's obvious you're talking about age. I believe you can use the old Japanese numbers (ひとつ, ふたつ, みっつ, etc.) when telling your age, and the continuation of those is the じゅういち, じゅうに, etc. set.

Also, はたち is the old Japanese word for 20, and as far as I know it never gets さい (it's only used for age anyway). はつか for "the 20th (of a month)" is the same. I don't know why those remained but the others disappeared, though.
 
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kohlrak

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Still leaves the question of which i'd use to say "i have a cold." Would it be いる or だ? lol
 

epigene

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Glenn said:
I think you can drop さい when it's obvious you're talking about age. I believe you can use the old Japanese numbers (ひとつ, ふたつ, みっつ, etc.) when telling your age, and the continuation of those is the じゅういち, じゅうに, etc. set.
Also, はたち is the old Japanese word for 20, and as far as I know it never gets さい (it's only used for age anyway). はつか for "the 20th (of a month)" is the same. I don't know why those remained but the others disappeared, though.
When used with age, the old counting style is commonly applied to age of small kids, usually up to age 9 (kokonotsu) and switches to the newer at age 10 (jissai; jussai, which has become popularly used today but still not considered grammatically correct).
From what I learned in the past (despite fading memory😌 ), "hatachi" and "hatsuka" remain because 20 is an important number. The terms are believed to derive from 果てる(はてる), roughly meaning "to reach infinity." 20 represents a very large number. 😅
 

Glenn

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Ah, thanks, epigene.

kohlrak said:
Still leaves the question of which i'd use to say "i have a cold." Would it be いる or だ? lol
Definitely not いる. 風邪がある I believe is the standard way of saying it, but I haven't been involved in many conversations about colds.

By the way, the use of いる that Bucko described above is only when it's an auxiliary verb. It means existence when it's a verb on its own (as long as it isn't 要る, which sounds the same in dictionary form).
 

Mikawa Ossan

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Glenn said:
Ah, thanks, epigene.

Definitely not いる. 風邪がある I believe is the standard way of saying it, but I haven't been involved in many conversations about colds.

By the way, the use of いる that Bucko described above is only when it's an auxiliary verb. It means existence when it's a verb on its own (as long as it isn't 要る, which sounds the same in dictionary form).
Most commonly, かぜをひいた or かぜをひいている is used.
 

Glenn

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Ah, that's right! I thought my version sounded strange. 🙂
 

nice gaijin

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"hatsuka" remain because 20 is an important number. The terms are believed to derive from 果てる(はてる), roughly meaning "to reach infinity." 20 represents a very large number.
Which explains why 20 is considered the "coming of age" birthday, when young men and women become adults...
kohlrak said:
Still leaves the question of which i'd use to say "i have a cold." Would it be いる or だ? lol
neither, actually. To catch a cold is 風邪を引く, and to have a cold is 風邪を引いた (風邪を引いている can also be used to specify that you are currently sick, but I usually use past tense even if I still have a cold).

There are certain words that require certain verbs, and the use of ~ている affects certain verbs differently. Verbs like Bucko's example with とまっている, or, for instance 死ぬ (to die), 行く (to go), or 結婚する (to get married) are all actions that have a certain point where they are considered completed, so using ~ている is like saying the person or object is in a state of having completed the action. 行っている does not mean "on the way," but rather, "has gone." Probably 死んでいる (is dead/has died) is easier to grasp, since there's a very clear distinction between alive and dead.

Also, please no more klingon 😅
 
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kohlrak

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I'm working on particles now... So, i get my headache... I have 3 sources, one of them being jref, and they tell me that a few of the particles are used in place of other particles, takin' their roles. Not necessarily saying wether they're interchangable, but specifically saying that there are certain cases where some particles are used in place of others, or sometimes together, but does not come out and say what these special cases are or how to identify them.

A few examples are... を and が, に and の... and so on... Actually, those 2 might be the only ones that i can think of right now... I'm sure there are more, and i'm sure that there are many exceptions, but this lack of description is getting annoying, are some of these interchangeable or are they rules that only a fluent person would be able to decide between?
 

The7thSamurai

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Welcome to the world of particles. Every language has them, and they're a killer to learn! The easiest particle IMO is へ, because it's simply directional, much like the English 'to' as in 'I'm going to New York'. を is a little annoying at first, but once you're able to comprehend it it makes real sense. で and に take a lot of getting use to, and I still constantly mix them up. The differences between は and が can be pretty confusing too. の, in the possessive sense, it pretty basic, but I still find it confusing when it's used as a question marker, or a marker that gives information.

へ and に are usually interchangable when talking about going somewhere. But I think the meaning slightly changes as へ is directional, but に is locational.

Also, sometimes を and が can be interchangable, depending on where you want the emphasis of the sentence to be.
 
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kohlrak

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The problem is not understanding the particles themselves, it's understanding when to use one over the other, considering some convey the exact same meaning, but are used in preferance.
 
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