Disclaimer: I am very much a learner, so if you see any mistakes, please don’t hesitate to point them out to me.
Here are some of my recommended grammar points to know for this week’s reading.
On page 20, Makoto says, 「どうかしたんですか千夏ちゃん？」 This ん is the “explanatory の”. What does “explanatory” mean here? In this case, because it is in a question, Makoto is “seeking explanation”. Some people also call this the “clarifying の”, as Makoto is “seeking clarificaiton” on why Chinatsu is looking away from the table. When the “explanatory の” is used in a statement (rather than a question), it is to “provide explanation” (or “provide clarification”).
Other examples of the explanatory の used in a question appear on page 21, when Kei asks, 「なんか買うの？」 as well as near the bottom of the page when Makoto inquires, 「どのくらい掛かるんですか？」
Also in that line, the word くらい is used to refer to an approximtion. 「どのくらい掛かるんですか？」 Here, a combination of どの and くらい result in an expression どのくらい to mean “how far”. Kei’s response, 歩きで２０分くらい use くらい to mean “about 20 minutes by foot”.
In the middle of page 21, Makoto uses the verb 「揃えておこう」. The following is taking place here:
- The base verb is 揃う (to gather).
- It’s made potential as 揃える (by replacing the ending う with える). This gives a sense of “can gather” to “to be able to gather”.
- It’s then made conjuntive, by replacing the final る with て. This allows joining another verb with it.
- The joined verb is 置く. When attached to another verb in this way, it is typically written without kanji (おく), and conveys the meaning of doing something in advance, or in preparation for later. We don’t really have this in English, but it could be used in Japanese if you’re reviewing your WaniKani leeches in preparation to level up by the end of the week, or if you’re learning a cafe menu in advance of being a barista. You’re doing the action of the verb now specifically to make use of it later.
- Finally, おく becomes the volitional おこう. Violitional has the meaning of “shall” or “let’s”, as in “I shall do this” or “let’s do this”.
- In all, this means Makoto plans to 色々揃えておこう, to gather (and buy) various things she’ll need later.
Earlier posts covered this, but on page 22 we see the causitive form of a verb, which is used when “causing” someone to do something. In English, depending on the sentence, the word “let” or “make” could be used. “Hm, then, let Chinatsu show you around.” “Hm, then, make Chinatsu show you around.”
In the second panel on page 22, we see って being used to mark an indirect quote: 「今日ヒマだって言ってたし」 This is like “said” in English, which can also be used for an indirect quote. “You said you didn’t have anything to do today.”
In this same line, 「今日ヒマだって言ってたし」 the verb 言う (“to say”) is joined with the verb いる (“to be”). The two verbs are joined by putting the first into its て form (言って) and attaching いる (言っている). This form is similar to “saying” in English. However, because Kei is talking about something that Chinatsu “was saying” earlier, it appears as past tense. The past tense for いる is いた, resulting in 言っていた. Finally, it’s common to drop the い from 「ている」 when spoken, which gives the final 「言ってた」 seen here. (This is also seen in Chinatsu’s line at the bottom of the page: 売ってる, from 売っている.)
The next panel has Chinatsu asking, 「お兄ちゃんは？」 This is an example of where the “contrastive は” gets its name. Kei was talking about Chinatsu (with her being free and all). In response, Chinatsu asks about Kei. This is to contrast his schedule with hers: is he not also free for the day?
Chinatsu’s line in the second-to-last panel (still on page 22) includes くれる. When attached to another verb, it conveys the idea of someone doing something for you. In this case, it is 買ってくれる, meaning “buy for me”. You use くれる when someone “gives” you something (such as buying donuts for you).
The final panel here uses くらい again, although it appears as ぐらい here. Saying 「ドーナッツぐらいおごらせてください」. In this context, it has a meaning as “at least”, as in “Please let me treat her to donuts at least.”
On page 23, Kei says 「オレもドーナッツ食べたい」 The たい form of a verb is used to express that the speaker wants something. (You wouldn’t use it to say someone else wants something.)
Page 25 shows an example of where an unspoken subject can be used for humor. When Makoto tells Chinatsu, 「迷子になるから離れちゃだめですよ」 “Don’t wonder off, or ??? will get lost,” it’s clear who Makoto expects to get lost. However, because Makoto didn’t specify who would be doing this (with the が particle), it leaves Chinatsu to ask who she’s talking about that will be the one wondering off and getting lost. 「どっちが？」 (See the が particle?)
In English, perhaps this can be translated as:
“It’s easy to get lost, so don’t wonder off.” “Which of us are you talking to?”
Over on page 26, Makoto hands her shopping bag to Chinatsu, and asks, 「ちょっと待ってもらえますか」 The verb もらう is used when you “have someone do a favor for you”, and its potential form もらえる, conveys “being able to have someone do a favor for you”. You use もらえる when you “receive” something from someone. In this case, Makoto is asking if she is able receive the favor of Chinatsu waiting a moment for her. “Can you wait a moment for me?”
How do くれる and もらえる differ when attached to a verb?
- くれる: Can you do me a favor by doing something?
- もらえる: Can I receive a favor of you doing something?
These often come out the same in English translations, so for some people (such as myself) it’s a matter of repeated exposure to the two in native material to get a feel for when each us used and the nuance they carry.
Related reading: http://maggiesensei.com/2016/05/19/how-to-ask-for-a-favor-make-a-request/
Following after her broom test, on page 29 Makoto says, 「乗ってれば慣れるかな？」 There are a few things happening with the first verb here.
First, there is a dropped い. The first verb is 乗る (“to ride”) + いる, for 乗っている (“riding”). Second, the verb いる becomes the “provisional” いれば. The provision is whether/if the verb’s action is performed. “If I ride”.
On page 32, Kei says, 「まぁ会えばわかるべ」. This involves the provisoinal form again, where 会う (“to meet”) becomes 会えば (“if/when to meet”). The final particle べ is a regional dialect that indicates speculation. What he’s saying is “probably” the case. “Well, if you meet her, you’ll probably understand.”
The word ので comes up on page 33. This word means “because”, and states that the reason given before ので is why they took the action after said ので. Various ways to translate Makoto’s line 「上から見えたので降りてきました」 include:
“I saw you from above which is the reason we came down.”
“Because I saw you from above, we came down.”
“We came down because I saw you from above.”
In English, it often reads more naturally to flip the sentence around, as seen in third translation above.