ChristopherFritz's Study Log

I’m experimenting with something I may move into its own thread later. Or maybe I’ll abandon the idea due to laziness. If I do follow through with it, I’d have to ask for community help finding/providing sample panels (in adherence with certain guidelines) to add in as examples.


A common question by new learners to Japanese “When can I start reading?” The actual underlying question is, “What knowledge do I need to be able to read?” It’s probably obvious that you need to be able to effortlessly read ひらがな and カタカナ, but what else?

The WaniKani Community forums have an Absolute Beginner Book Club, which gives a starting point:

The Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) is an organization which provides certification of knowing certain amounts of Japanese. The N5 level is their lowest proficiency test.

There is no official list of what the JLPT considers to be N5 grammar rules (often refered to as “grammar points”). This leaves learner to rely on third party lists of about 800 to 100 grammar points that are expected to be part of any given JLPT N5 test.

Below is a list of grammar points considered “N5”, along with manga examples. This is not a guide to learning grammar, but rather a supplement. When learning grammar from another source, this list can be referred for examples of the grammar as it appears in actual manga.

Each grammar point includes manga panels showing examples of the grammar. Each panel includes a brief mention of what is going on (to provide context), a loose translation of the dialogue in the panel, and an explanation of the grammar point’s usage in the panel.

Grouping Nouns with the Copula

Grouping Nouns with the Copula

Copula Ana

(If this girl comes to mind when you think copula, chances are you’re in the right place.)

One of the first things learned in grammar is the copula. In Japanese, the copula is used to define one noun as being another noun. Examples of this in English include:

  • A van is an automobile. (The group automobile includes vans.)
  • Apples are fruit. (The group fruit includes apples.)
  • This flower is pretty. (The group of pretty things includes this flower.

The noun being defined is the subject, marked by the particle が. However, when the subject is known by context, it is not spoke. This includes when the subject noun has already been used as the topic, marked by the particle は).

The Casual Copula だ

In casual conversation, the copula だ appears after the group noun.

よつばと! Chapter 38

Yotsuba dreams that her father and neighbors are all dressed to go to the office for work. This includes her friend, Ena.

Yotsuba Ch38 だ

  • Ena: “In that case, I’m going to the office, too.”
  • Yotsuba: “What’re you saying!! You’re a kid!!”

In Yotsuba’s outcry, the subject (unspoken as such, but clear from context) is えな. The copula だ links the noun (name) えな with the noun こども (child). This means that the group こども includes えな. えな is a こども.

しろくまカフェ bis Chapter 7

Panda gets a job playing the part of a panda at the local zoo. While on his shift, he notices a group of children in school uniforms approaching.

  • Panda: “It’s kindergartners.”

The subject is unspoken, as it is neither stated directly nor indirectly. Context makes it clear that the bunch of children are the subject. The copula だ places these children in the group 園児えんじ (kindergartners). Among all the 園児えんじ that there are, these children are among them.

ふらいんぐうぃっち Chapter 1

Makoto returns to her relative’s home for the first time in many years. Her younger cousin Chinatsu doesn’t remember her, so her older couson Kei uses the opportunity to have some fun. He tells Chinatsu about Makoto:

Flying Witch Ch1 だ

  • Kei: “This person…is your real mother.”

In the group of people who are おまえ本当ほんとうのおかあさん (Chinatsu’s real mother), there is…このひと (this person, Makoto).


Waking to her first morning since arriving on the planet Aqua, Akari looks outside to see a girl in uniform.

Aria Masterpiece Ch2 だ

  • Akari: “That uniform…she’s an Undine.”

The unstated subject is the girl Akari sees outside. The copula だ is putting that girl into the group ウンディーネ. When considering all the ウンディーネ that there are, the girl Akari sees is among them.

The Unspoken Copula

In cases where it’s obvious that the copula is intended, it may be left out in casual speech.


The Past-Tense だった

When a noun used to be in a group, but is no longer in that group, the った is appended to the copula, producing だった.


The Negative ではない and じゃない

The prior forms of だ covered when a noun is within a group. But what about when the noun is not in a group? The grammar for this is a bit more complex, but initially it’s fine to simply memorize the two forms: ではない and its more colloquial counterpart じゃない.


The Negative Past-Tense ではなかった and じゃなっかた

These negative forms of the copula act like adjectives: they describe the noun as not being in the group. For this reason, the past-tense forms follow the grammar rules for adjectives.


The Polite です

In polite speech, the だ found at the end of a sentence is replaced by です.


As Akari begins her training as a gondola-piloting Undine, another Undine, Aika, shows up. Akari’s boss, Alicia, knows this girl.

Aria Masterpiece Ch2 です

  • Alicia: “You’re alone today?”
  • Aika: “Yes! It’s independent training.”

Context gives the subject as “Aika today” (as opposed to Aika any other day). Filling in as the polite copula, です puts “Aika today” into the group 自主じしゅトレ (independent training). Of all the things that fall under the group of 自主じしゅトレ, one is “Aika today”.

よつばと! Chapter 38

In Yotsuba’s dream mentioned earlier, her father and neighbors introduce themselves by means of trading business cards.

Yotsuba Ch38 です

  • Yotsuba: “Is everyone going to the office?”
  • Fuuka: “This is what I am. My business card.”
  • Father: “Thank you very much. Here is my business card as well.”
  • Asagi: “In that case, here is my business card as well.”

There are a few です used here.

First, Fuuka is saying she (as the unspoken subject) is こういうもの (this sort of thing). The polite copula stand-in です links the noun わたし with the noun こういうもの. In the group こういうもの, there is Fuuka.

Fuuka’s second line completely omits the subject, either directly or indirectly. In this case, the action of her holding out her business card is the context. This shows that in her second sentence, the small card in her hands is the subject. Fuuka is saying in the group めいし (business card), there is the object she is holding. The object in her hands in a めいし.

Yotsuba’s father and Asagi use a similar sentence, stating that the paper they each hold is in the group of めいし.

The Polite Past-Tense でした

For polite speech, でした is used in place of だった.


The Negative Polite ではありません and じゃありません



The Negative Polite Past-Tense ではありませんでした, じゃありませんでした, じゃなかったです, and ではなかったです

These negative forms of the copula act like adjectives: they describe the noun as not being in the group. For this reason, the past-tense forms follow the grammar rules for other adjectives.




Topics and Comments

Topics and Comments

Japanese is a topic-prominent language, wherein sentences will commonly state a noun as the topic, then make a comment about that topic. Topic nouns are marked by either the particle は or the particle も.

The Exclusive Topic は

The more common topic particle is the exclusive は. This is used when stating that the comment is exclusive to the given topic. This differentiates it from other topics, for which the comment does not apply.


After discovering she learned how to row a gondola the incorrect way, Akari tries rowing the correct way. She finds this to be difficult. Her employer, Alicia, watches over Akari’s attempts.

  • Alicia: “Well, I guess this is how it is in the beginning.”

The topic of Alicia’s sentence is 最初さいしょ (outset). The comment is 「こんなものでしょ」 (“is such a thing, I guess”).

The exclusivity of は marks this comment as being for 最初さいしょ specifically. When looking at other stages in rowing a gondola, this comment will not apply. It’s only in the outset that it’s like this. Once Akari gets used to the proper way of rowing, she won’t have this initial difficulty anymore.

よつばと! Chapter 42

Miura visits her friend Ena. She finds Ena and Yotsuba playing telephone using two cups attached by a string.

Yotsuba Ch42 は

  • Yotsuba: “Do you have a cell phone?”
  • Miura: “I don’t have one, but I want one.”

The topic of Yotsuba’s sentence is みうら (Miura). The comment, which is in the form of a question, is 「けーたいもってるか」 (“owning a cell phone?”)

The exclusiveness of this は is probably because Yotsuba and Ena do not have cell phones. If they did, Yotsuba would be using も to ask if Miura also has one. But since they do not, Yotsub uses は to find if the comment of owning a cell phone applies to Miura (whereas it does not apply to Yotsuba or Ena).

三ツ星カラーズ Chapter 6

During a visit to the zoo to ensure the animals are well fed, Sacchan, Yui, and Kotoha find the tiger chewing on a large bone. Thinking a bone that size could only have come from the tall shopkeeper in their neighborhood, the girls prepare to take down the tiger and save the shopkeeper.

  • Kotoha: “Sacchan, you go from over there. I’ll attack from the opposite side.”
  • Sacchan: “Understood!”

Here, the exclusive は is used to provide a separate comment for each topic. When the topic is さっちゃん (Sacchan), the comment is 「こう から」 (“from over there”). When the topic is わたし (I), the comment is 「ぎゃくからめる」 (“to attack from the reverse”).

If Yui were instructed to do something as well, her name would be followed by は if she were given unique instructions, or も if she were tasked with going either either Sacchan or Kotoha.

The Inclusive Topic も

The inclusive topic も is used to state that a comment is inclusive of the topioc. The comment applies to one or more other topics, and the same comment applies to this specific topic as well.

しろくまカフェ bis Chapter 16

Lying in bed, Panda realizes he has nothing to do.

Shirokuma Cafe bis Ch16 も

  • Panda: “Ah, I’ve got nothing to do today, either.”

The inclusive particle も marks the noun 今日きょう (today) as sharing a comment. The comment, 「ヒマだなー」 (“it’s free time”) applies to 今日きょう as well . This means it has applied to one or more previous days, and this day, 今日きょう, it also applies.

ふらいんぐうぃっち Chapter 1

When Makoto visits to her relative’s house after a few years, she greets her young Chinatsu with a polite おひさしぶりです (“it’s been a long time”). Makoto’s cat, Chito, hops up onto Chinatsu’s lap to greet her as well.

Flying Witch Ch1 も

  • Chinatsu: “It’s a kitty cat!”
  • Chito: “Meoow.”
  • Makoto: “Chito says ‘long time, no see’ too.”

The topic, チトさん (Chito), has the comment 「ひさしぶりって」 ("says ‘it’s been a long time’'). Because Makoto made the comment first, Chito is not exclusively making the comment. She’s also making the comment, so the inclusive も is used.

Using は and も

In some sentences, the comment being made contains its own topic-comment pair.

しろくまカフェ bis Chapter 16

With time on his paws, Panda heads over to his friend Polar Bear’s café.

Shirokuma Cafe bis Ch16 はも

  • Panda: “Polar Bear’s shop is crowded again today, isn’t it?”

The first topic is シロクマくんのおみせ (Polar Bear’s shop). The comment is 「今日きょうもにぎわってるね」 (“is crowded today also, isn’t it”).

The exclusiveness means that this comment (about the shop being busy again today) applies only to the topic, Polar Bear’s shop. It does not apply, for example, to Panda’s home where he just came from.

Within the comment is a second topic-comment pair. Here, the topic 今日きょう (today) applies to the comment 「にぎわってるね」 (“is crowded, isn’t it?”).

The inclusiveness means that the comment, about it being crowded, applies not only to today. This means the comment has applied to one or more prior days, suggesting that Polar Bear’s shop was crowded the last time Panda come over to visit.

The Subject が

The Subject が

In a sentence, the subject is a noun marked by が. It may be unspoken if clear from context.

The subject of a sentence is generally paired with a noun (which defines the subject), an adjective (which describes the subject), or a verb (the action the subject is performing).

Because Japanese is a topic-prominent language, not a subject prominent language, the subject is often unstated. Below include examples where the subject is stated, and where the subject is not stated.

The Noun-Defined Subject


Waking to her first morning since arriving on the planet Aqua, Akari notices the calendar in her new room. The month isn’t what she was expecting it to be.

  • Akari: “Huh? The calendar is August… Even though it’s April.”

The subject is カレンダー (calendar). It’s being described as being 8月 (August).

The Unspoken Noun-Defined Subject

チーズスイートホーム Chapter 11

After his wife and son brought a stray kitten into their home, Kento brings home a shopping bag. The wife, Miwa, takes a look at the bag’s contents.

Chii Sweet Home Ch11 が-Noun

  • Miwa: “It’s cat things!”

The subject being defined is unspoken. It’s clear from context that she’s defining the items in the bag as being ねこグッズ (goods).

The Adjective-Described Subject

よつばと! Chapter 45

Yotsuba joins Fuuka and her friend Shimau in baking a cake. However, they all find mixing the batter to be painful labor.

Yotsuba Ch45 が-Adjective

  • Fuuka: “My hand is sore.”
  • Yotsuba: “Sore, sore.”
  • Shimau: “Sore.”

The subject of Fuuka’s line is (her hand). It’s being described by the adjective いたい (sore).

The Unspoken Adjective-Described Subject

レンタルおにいちゃん Chapter 2

Before class, Sae shows off the new keyholder her mother bought her.

  • Classmate 1: “Your keyholder is cute!”
  • Classmate 2: “How nice… I’m jealous!”

Here, there are two subjects being described by adjectives. However, the particle が is not spoken by either of the classmates. This is because the subject is clear from context.

For the first classmate, the adjective かわいい (cute) is describing 紗絵さえちゃんのキーホルダー (Sae’s keyholder). The classmate does use these words, but it’s not specified whether this is the subject (marked by が) or the topic (marked by は). In this case, the keyholder happens to be both the topic she’s commenting on, and the subject she’s describing, so it doesn’t really matter which particle was left unspoken.

The second classmate doesn’t state the subject. Contrary to the translation given above, the subject is actually Sae’s keyholder. The adjective うらやましい (enviable) is used to describe the keyholder as inducing envy. The keyholder is enviable.

Note: Japanese and English sentences handle certain uses of adjectives differently. While in Japanese this says “Sae’s keyholder is enviable,” in English we’d say “I’m jealous” or “it makes me jealous.”

The Verb-Performing Subject

ふらいんぐうぃっち Chapter 3

Makoto and her cousins, Kei and Chinatsu, take a break from clearing weeds. Makoto uses this time to chase after a pheasant that’s shown up until she tires. Afterwards, her cat Chito readies to give it a try.

Flying Witch Ch3 が-Verb

  • Kei: “This time, Chito’s going for it.”
  • Chinatsu: “You’re right. You can do it!”

The subject here is チト (Chito). The section チト is performing is ねらう (to be after something).

The Unspoken Verb-Performing Subject

三ツ星カラーズ Chapter 16

After Sacchan and her friends finish eating the cookies from a tin container, Sacchan gets an idea.

  • Sacchan: “Let’s turn this into a time capsule.”

The subject is unspoken. It’s clear from context that the subject is Sacchan and her friends. They are the ones that would be turning the tin container into a タイムカプセル (time capsule).

The Object を

The Object を


The Direct Object を

三ツ星カラーズ Chapter 6

During a visit to the zoo, Kotoha and her friends find the tiger chewing on a large bone. Thinking the bone must be from the tall shopkeeper in their neighborhood, the girls find a tour guide and inform her of what happened.

  • Kotoha: “The tiger was eating a person!”
  • Tour Guide: “Ah, you mean that bone?”

The subject トラ (tiger) is performing the action べてた (was eating). The object of this action, the thing being eaten, was ひと (person).

The Unspoken Direct Object を


Unexpected Uses of を for English Speakers

PENDING: Examples of を with an object unexpected in English. Examples: Getting out of a car(を), and walking on a sidewalk(を).

ふらいんぐうぃっち Chapter 1

Upon learning that her cousin is a witch, Chinatsu gets to take a ride through the sky on a broom. She and her cousin land near Chinatsu’s brother, Kei.


  • Chinatsu: “Kei, did you see!? I was flying through the sky! The sky!!”
  • Kei: “I saw! I was surprised!”

Chinatsu drops the を in her line. If spoken, it would be 「(そら)をとぶ」.

Here, (そら) (sky) is the object of the action とぶ (to fly).

The Nominalizing の


The Explanatory の

A common grammar used in Japanese is to turn a sentence into a noun by adding の. This changes the sentence to “It is (that) [sentence]”.

This form is used to seek or provide context for an incomplete observation. The observer is unaware of the cause or reason for their observation (making it an incomplete observation). The observer may ask for the cause, or a second party may provide the cause, by making a statement ending with の.

Because this forms a noun sentence, the の may be followed by だ or です, or neither. When followed by だ or です, the の may be pronounced as ん.

If the original sentence is already a noun sentence, the original sentence’s ending だ becomes な before adding の.

よつばと! Chapter 1

On her way home from school, Ena notices a kid in the park pushing an empty swing.


  • Ena: “I wonder what she’s doing…”

Observed Result: A kid is pushing an empty swing.
Missing Cause: Why is the kid pushing the empty swing?

Because Ena is only thinking her question, and not asking the child, this observation remains incomplete.

しろくまカフェ bis Chapter 7

Panda arrives his part-time job, and calls over to his co-worker.


  • Panda: “Full-Time Panda, listen to this.”

This creates an incomplete observation for the full-time panda.

Observed Result: The part-time panda wants the full-time panda to listen to something.
Missing Cause: Why does the part-time panda want the full-time panda to listen to him?


  • Panda: “Today, I received chocolates from high school girls. Because it’s Valentine’s.”
  • Full-Time Panda: “Wow.”

Panda completes the observations by stating why he wanted the full-time panda to listen: because Panda wanted to tell about his receiving chocolates.

This comment presents a second incomplete observation.

Observed Result: The part-time panda says high school girls gave him chocolate.
Missing Cause: Why did high school girls give him chocolate?

Panda completes this second observation as well by explaining that it’s because it’s a Valentine’s Day gift.

ふらいんぐうぃっち Chapter 1

Kei sees Makoto preparing to go for a walk. Knowing she’s new to the area, and that she had a bad sense of direction, he’s worried she’ll get lost.


  • Kei: “Would you like me to go with you?”
  • Makoto: “No way! It’s all right, Kei! There is nothing to worry about!”

This creates an incomplete observation for Kei.

Observed Result: Makoto, who’s known to get lost easily, says she will be all right.
Missing Cause: Why does Makoto believe there’s no need to worry over her getting lost?


  • Makoto: “Since I’m bringing Chito with me, it’s all right.”

Makoto completes the observation by giving the reason she’ll be all right. However, this creates a second incomplete observation for Kei.

Observed Result: Makoto won’t get lost because she’ll take her cat, Chito, with her.
Missing Cause: How will Chito keep Makoto from getting lost?


  • Makoto: “The thing is, it seems Chito’s done all kinds of explorations of this area. She knows the lay of the land better than I do.”
    Chito: “Myaw.”

Makoto completes the second observation by filling in for Kei how Chito will help.

Observed Result: Makoto says there’s no reason to worry about her getting lost because Chito will be with her.
Missing Cause: Chito knows the area very well, and should therefore have no trouble finding her way back.

一週間フレンズ。 Chapter 0

Hase finds Fujimiya eats her lunch alone on the roof of the school building. He joins her on the roof.


  • Fujimiya: “Hase…”
  • Hase: “Um, is it all right if I eat here too? (So this is where you were.)”

This create an incomplete observation for Fujimiya. She observes Hase coming to the roof to eat his lunch, but does not know the cause, the reason, for him choosing to do so.

Without being prompted, Hase fills in the reason:


  • Hase: “My friend immediately ate his lunch by himself, then went to sleep…”




よつばと! Chapter 1

Yotsuba sees a school for the first time, just as students are leaving for the day.


  • Yotsuba: “Amazing!! There are lots of people!”

Because people are living/animate, いる is used to refer to their existence.


よつばと! Chapter 1

Yotsuba and her father drive into the town they’re moving to. Yotsuba isn’t used to seeing so many homes.


  • Yotsuba: “Amazing! Daddy, there are lots of houses here!”
  • Father: “That’s right. And shops, too!”
  • Yotsuba: “Shops too?!”

Because houses and shops are non-living/inanimate, ある is used to refer to their existence.

アオハライド Chapter 1

Heading back to the classroom after buying lunch, Futuba bumps into someone. As the guy continues walking, Futaba is reminded of a boy she knew in middle school. When her friend asks what’s wrong, Futaba excuses herself.


  • Futaba: “…There’s something I forgot to buy.”

Although she didn’t really forget to buy anything, anything Futaba would buy from the cafeteria would be a non-living/inanimate item, so ある is used to refer to its existence.

PENDING: More forms. (Negative, past, polite, etc.)



PENDING: ichidan vs godan

Plain Form う

To Do an Action

よつばと! Chapter 1

At the park, Ena explains to Yotsuba what a swing is by showing her how it’s used.


  • Ena: “Like this. This is how you play on it.”
  • Yotsuba: “Oh, oooh!”

The verb (あそ)ぶ (to play) is a 五段(ごだん) verb.

Don’t Do with +な

チーズスイートホーム Chapter 11

Miwa tries to give a bath to the stray kitten her son found, but the cat runs off through the house. Miwa corners the cat to try again.


  • Miwa: “Don’t run away!”

The verb ()げる (to run) is an 一段(いちだん) verb.

  • Nominalization
    • +の
    • +こと
  • +まえに (before ~ing)
  • +みたい(だ) (“it seems that ~”)
  • +そう(だ) (“I’ve heard that ~”)
  • +らしい (“apparently” い-adj)


  • +たい (desire い-adj)
  • +そう(だ) (“it looks like ~”)
  • Going for a Purpose with +にいく

Coming for a Purpose with +にくる

よつばと! Chapter 1

While Yotsuba is out exploring, an older girl, Fuuka, greets her by name. Yotsuba asks how the girl knows her.


  • Fuuka: “Well, you see. I was entrusted by your dad to come and get you.”
  • Yotsuba: “Ooh! It’s Daddy!”

The verb (むか)える (to go out to meet) is an 一段(いちだん) verb, so the final る is dropped.

Since Fuuka has come to pick up Yotsuba, the verb くる (in its completed form, きた) is used.

  • +[verb] (compound verb)
  • [noun]
  • +もの (noun from verb target)











Alicia surprises Akari with a day off from training.

  • Alicia: “All right! Let’s go on a picnic, Akari.”

The verb ()く (to go) is an 五段(ごだん) verb, so the final く becomes き, then ます is added to make it polite. Next, the す becomes しょう to be volitional.







ない Stem あ


レンタルおにいちゃん Chapter 4

After their planned trip to the aquarium was cancelled, Kanami and her big brother instead draw pictures of fish together. Her brother draws a big fish with a small cleaner wrasse fish inside its mouth. Kanami is concerned for the little fish’s safety, but her brother assures her it’s safe.

  • Kanami: “Why doesn’t the big fish eat the little one?”

The verb ()べる (to eat) is an 一段(いちだん) verb, so the final る is dropped before adding ない.

レンタルおにいちゃん Chapter 5

The plate Kanami hands Makoto slips, and shatters as it hits the ground. Kanami expects Makoto will be angry with her, but instead his concern is only that she didn’t get hurt.

  • Kanami: “You’re not angry…?”

The verb (おこ)る (to get angry) is a 五段(ごだん) verb, so the final る becomes ら before adding ない.

Command Form え

Command-Giving え

レンタルおにいちゃん Chapter 7

A commotion occurs when Kanami and a couple of her classmates are knocked to the ground in the lunch room at school. One boy claims he saw Sae push Kanami.


  • Boy: “Apologize to her!”

The verb (あやま)る (to apologize) is a 五段(ごだん) verb, so the final る becomes れ.









よつばと! Chapter 1

Fuuka meets her new neighbor, and learns that his daughter, Yotsuba, wondered off. Fuuka finds Yotsuba, and readies to take her back home.


  • Fuuka: “Then, let’s go together, shall we?”
  • Yotsuba: “Let’s go!”

The verb ()く (to go) is a 五段(ごだん) verb, so the final く becomes こ before adding う.

レンタルおにいちゃん Chapter 6

Due to circumstances, Kanami and her big brother haven’t eaten dinner together in a long time. Kanami learns to make his favorite food, in home of luring him to the dinner table.

  • Kanami: “Big Brother, shall we eat together?”

The verb ()べる (to eat) is a 一段(いちだん) verb, so the final る is dropped, and then よう is added.


  • て(テ形)

た (タ形)

Completed Action +た


The same rule applies with the polite (ます) form.

ふらいんぐうぃっち Chapter 1

Makoto and Chito spent the last few hours traveling by train and bus, followed by a long walk from the bus stop to their relative’s home, where they will be living. Once in their new room, Makoto sits down to rest a bit.


  • Chito: “Meow?”
  • Makoto: “Yeah, I’m worn out. How about you, Chito?”

The verb (つか)れる (“to get tired”) is an 一段(いちだん) verb, so the final る is dropped before adding ます. Then, the final す becomes し before adding た.

Makoto is no longer in the process of becoming tired. She has already completed becoming tired.



Adjectives express properties (cold, soft) and states (happy, lonely). They are used to tell what kind of thing the subject (or noun being modified) is.


An adjective can form a predicate on its own. Then the topic and subject are unspoken (due to being known from context), a sentence may contain only an adjective.


While out for a stroll during the acqua alta high tide event, Akari happens upon the company Aika works for. Aika invites Akari for her first visit inside.

  • Akari: “It’s amazing! And it’s big, isn’t it? It’s as if it’s like a castle.”

Here, the word すごい (amazing) creates an entire sentence on its own. Likewise, (おお)きい (large) is joined only by the sentence-ending particle ね.


An adjective can modify a noun. To do this, the adjective appears immediately before the noun being modified.

よつばと! Chapter 1

After encountering a strange kid in the park, Ena is reminded that a family is moving in.


  • Ena: “Come to think of it, I heard new people are coming to the vacant house next door…”

By specifying (あたら)しい (new) people, Ena is excluding not-new people from the scope of people who may be moving into the empty house.


Present Tense い

In their plain form, adjectives end in the hiragana character い.


Negative くない

Completed/Past かった

Negative Completed/Past くなかった

こそあど Words

こそあど Words

This section is mostly pending.

People/Thing Pronouns


People/Thing Pronouns (こいつ・そいつ・あいつ・どいつ)

People/Thing Pronoun こいつ


People/Thing Pronoun そいつ


People/Thing Pronoun あいつ


ふらいんぐうぃっち Chapter 1

Chinatsu tries to get info from her big brother Kei after overhearding their newly-moved-in cousin Makoto talking with a cat. When Makoto joins them in the kitchen, Chinatsu scurries out.


  • Kei: “What’s gotten into her?”

Since Chinatsu (the one being talked about) has left the room, she’s away from both Kei (the speaker) and Makoto (the listener), so あいつ is used.

People/Thing Pronoun どいつ


Thing Pronouns

Thing Pronouns (これ・それ・あれ・どれ)

Thing Pronoun これ

The pronoun これ is used to refer to a noun that is near the speaker.


Thing Pronoun それ

The pronoun それ is used to refer to a noun that is near the listener.


Thing Pronoun あれ

The pronoun あれ is used to refer to a noun that is away from both the speaker and the listener.

よつばと! Chapter 1

After arriving in a city for the first time, Yotsuba finds her way to a nearby playground. Uncertain what the swing is, she asks a girl passing by.


  • Yotsuba: “Hey, what’s that over there?”
  • Girl: “Huh?”

The swing is in the playground, and Yotsuba stopped the girl outside of the playground. Because the swing is not near either Yotsuba (the speaker) or the girl (the listener), the word あれ is used to refer to the swing.

Thing Pronoun どれ


Location Pronouns

Location Pronouns (ここ・そこ・あそこ・どこ)

Location Pronoun ここ

The pronoun そこ is used to refer to a location near the speaker.


Location Pronoun そこ

The pronoun そこ is used to refer to a location near the listener.

よつばと! Chapter 1

Yotsuba and her father arrive at their new home with a full truck. Yotsuba helps unload by carrying a small box into the house.


  • Father: “It’s okay to put it there.”

The place where the box can be set is closer to Yotsuba (the listener), so the word そこ is used.

Location Pronoun あそこ

The pronoun あそこ is used to refer to a location away from both the speaker and the listener.


Akari and Aika follow the feline president of Aria Company as he sails off for the day. Akari loses sight of him for a bit, but soon finds him turning into an alley.

  • Akari: “Found him! He’s over there!”

Since President Aria’s location is away from both Akari and Aika, あそこ is used.

Location Pronoun どこ



Direction Pronouns

Direction Pronouns

Direction Pronouns こちら and こっち


Direction Pronouns そちら and そっち


ふらいんぐうぃっち Chapter 1

After a brief reunion between cousins Kei and Makoto, during Makoto’s first visit in years, the two ready to head to Kei’s house. Although Makoto insists she remembers the way…


  • Makoto: “Well, shall we go? I want to hurry and see Chinatsu again, too.”
  • Kei: “Heey, my house isn’t that way!”

Since Makoto is closer to the direction she’s heading, そっち is used.

Direction Pronouns あちら and あっち


ふらいんぐうぃっち Chapter 1

Suspicious of her cousin who’s just moved in, Chinatsu keeps an eye on Makoto during lunch. When Makoto looks Chinatsu’s away, Chinatsu quickly turns away.


  • Makoto: “What are you doing, Chinatsu?”
  • Chinatsu: “Nothing. I’m just watching TV.”
  • Makoto: “Eh? The television is over there.”

Since the television is not near either Makoto (the speaker) or Chinatsu (the listener), あっち is used.

Direction Pronouns どちら and どっち


Nature/Kind Adjectivals (PENDING)

Nature/Kind Adjectival (こんな・そんな・あんな・どんな)

Nature/Kind Adjectival こんな


Nature/Kind Adjectival そんな


Nature/Kind Adjectival あんな


Nature/Kind Adjectival どんな


Amount/Extent Adjectivals

Amount/Extent Adjectivals (こんなに・そんなに・あんなに・どんなに)

Amount/Extent Adjectival こんなに

ふらいんぐうぃっち Chapter 1

Upon getting off the bus, Makoto notices that there is still snow, unlike back home in Tokyo where it’s all melted by now.


  • Makoto: “Even though it’s April, this much is piled up!”

Since Makoto is referring to the mound of snow by her side (and not near the listener, her cat Chito), こんなに is used.

Amount/Extent Adjectival そんなに


Amount/Extent Adjectival あんなに


Amount/Extent Adjectival どんなに


Manner Adverbs

Manner Adverbs (こう・そう・あう・どう)

Manner Adverb こう


Manner Adverb そう


ふらいんぐうぃっち Chapter 1

Chinatsu sets a futon outside the door for her cousin, Makoto, who’s moving in. From there, Makoto can be overheard having a conversation with her cat. Chinatsu hurries to her big brother Kei, and asks how long Makoto will be staying with them.


  • Kei: “What’s wrong? Don’t like her?”
  • Chinatsu: “It’s not that, but rather…”

Since she’s referring to “that” which her brother (the listener) had said, そう is used.

Manner Adverb あう


Manner Adverb どう


Indication Adjectives (この・その・あの・どの)

Indication Adjectives

Indication Adjective この

The adjective この indicates a noun near the speaker.


Indication Adjective その

The adjective その indicates a noun near the listener.

よつばと! Chapter 1

After moving to a new city, Yotsuba wanders off to explorer. Yotsuba’s father asks their new neighbor Fuuka to bring Yotsuba back if she sees her. Fuuka tries to do so, but Yotsuba mistakes that she’s being kidnapped, and she runs away. Fuuka’s older sister Asagi hears Yotsuba’s cry for help.


  • Asagi: “…what?”
  • Fuuka: “Ah, Asagi! Get that kid!”

As Yotsuba is moving away from Fuuka and toward Asagi, Fuuka uses その to indicate the kid she’s referring to.

Indication Adjective あの

The adjective あの indicates a noun away from both the speaker and the listener.

よつばと! Chapter 1

Yotsuba mistook Fuuka as a kidnapper, but soon learned from her father that Fuuka is their new neighbor.


  • Yotsuba: “Then, that lady isn’t a bad person?”
  • Father: “Huh?”
  • Fuuka: “Of course not!”

Since the lady Yotsuba is referring to (Fuuka) is standing away from Yotsuba and her father, あの is used to refer to her.

Indication Adjective どの






Changing into with Nounになる

The combination nounになる is used to state the subject becomes the noun.

ふらいんぐうぃっち Chapter 1

Due to Makoto’s bad sense of direction, Chinatsu walks with her the long distance to the department store. When they arrive, the store is larger than Makoto expected.


  • Makoto: “Wow, it’s spacious, isn’t it? Chinatsu, stay close so there’s no getting lost.”
  • Chinatsu: “Whom do you mean?”

Makoto is saying (the unspecified subject) will become (なる) the に-marked noun 迷子(まいご) (lost) if the two of them get separated.