ミ☆ we gotta purple like that ♪ (purplesky) wrote in aikateaches,
ミ☆ we gotta purple like that ♪
purplesky
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#001: Japanese Word Order.

Japanese Word Order
a.k.a. A Very Gentle Introduction


This is probably the most basic and most important part of Japanese. 8D I can teach you all the words and conjugation and grammar in the world, but if you don't know how to string it all together, it's all pretty useless.


Japanese Sentence Structure

How are English sentences strung together? English follows what's called a SVO word order; that is, subjectverbobject.

Ex:
I ate pizza.
I read books.

Easy enough, right? Japanese follows a SOV word order... subjectobjectverb. That's why you'll see jokes online that Japanese basically throws things around until you're saying "I chair sat" and "You coffee drink!" :x

Here's what you basically need to remember. Barring a few exceptions, Japanese word order goes like this:

Subject → EVERYTHING ELSE → Verb



Particles

To keep things straight, Japanese utilizes a grammar function called particles. Basically, they're sounds tacked on to the end of words to mark the word's function in the sentence. They work a bit like some of our prepositions (in, at, to, from, etc). Japanese has tons of particles, which mark everything from the direct object, the indirect object, time, location, direction, destination, and many, many other things.

Here's a few of the most common particles and what they signal.

が // ga // subject
を // wo // direct object (often pronounced as just "o")
に // ni // direction, time, location
で // de // place of action
と // to // "with," "and"

Particles will be revisited later on. There's another particle that is extremely important (は, read as "wa"); I'll give it its own lesson later on as well.



Some examples

Here's a few sample sentences. I'll write them with kanji, without kanji, in romaji, and then finally in English. :x

ジュンスがピザを食べます // ジュンスが ピザを たべます
Junsu ga piza wo tabemasu
Junsu eats pizza.

Junsu // Junsu (... lol)
ga // particle marking the subject
piza // japanese attempt at "pizza"
wo // particle marking the direct object
tabemasu // "eat"



Here's a sentence you'll probably want to be able to say. 8D!!!

ジェジュンはチャンミンが好きです // ジェジュンは チャンミンが すきです
Jejun wa Chanmin ga suki desu
Jaejoong likes Changmin.

Break it down:
Jejun // Japanese butchering of "Jaejoong"
wa // particle marking the sentence's topic
Chanmin // Japanese butchering of "Changmin"
ga // particle marking the subject
suki // adjective meaning "liked"
desu // copula verb meaning "is"


Literally, this sentence says something like "Changmin is liked" while signaling that Jaejoong is the topic of the sentence; he likes Changmin. Again, this whole は particle will be discussed in depth later. It's a unique concept that doesn't really exist in English. :x



The Bottom Line?

What were you supposed to get from this lesson?

★ Japanese follows a SOV word order: subjectobjectverb.
★ Japanese uses "particles" to mark parts of speech in their sentences: subject, direct object, location, destination, etc.


Next lesson? Verbs!
Tags: particles, word order
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