Cure Dolly 「Discussion and Practice Sentences」

As I’ve seen suggested here and there on the forum, I’m going through Cure Dolly’s Japanese from Scratch series to help learn grammar. It’s not the only source I’m using, but it’s seems to be a helpful one. I searched, but couldn’t find a thread focused on discussing her videos and working through them together. So, I’m making one! I hope this isn’t a duplicate and that I’m starting it in the right category? I really wasn’t sure if it should go in grammar or not.

I didn’t have a hard time with the first and second lessons, so I’m starting the discussion at the third video. If anyone would like to discuss the earlier lessons, or post their sentences from any of them, here’s a place!

Lesson 3 Sentences PLEASE HELP

This lesson deals with the は and に particles. I had to watch it a couple times before I felt ready to use what I’d learned, so I’d like some feedback on my sentences.

This one I’m pretty confident about.
Hira: ねこがきをやねにのぼる。
English: The cat climbs the tree to the roof.

This one I’m less confident about, but still feel kind of good about it.
Hira: きがねこはやねにのぼる。
English: The tree that the cat climbs to the roof.

This one…please help. Am I doing this right?
Hira: そこきだ。わたしのねこはやねののぼる。
(Intended) English: There is a tree. My cat climbs it(the tree) to the roof.
The intended English was definitely lost on DeepL, which translates it as There’s a tree there. My cat is on the roof. Is this just a case of the machine not being able to read context, or am I constructing my sentence wrong?

I’ll probably, hopefully make a new post daily as I work through videos and make practice sentences with what I’ve learned.

  • Would you join a Cure Dolly scheduled viewing study club?
  • Yes
  • No but I like to click on polls
  • I think you built this poll wrong

0 voters


Your use of は and に are OK but it looks like you’ll have to learn about the other particles to make more complex sentences.

For the first sentence, the verb 上る is intransitive, so the を particle can’t be used. You can use で (by means of) instead.
The cat climbs to the roof by means of the tree.

For the second sentence, it’s not really a complete sentence, so it would be constructed in Japanese as “tree” modified by the phrase you’re using to describe it. Cure Dolly has a video about modifying nouns, so you’ll get to it soon enough. Here’s how it would look.
Literally “cat-climbed-to-the-roof tree” but translates more naturally as “the tree by which the cat climbed to the roof”

For your third sentence, it’s not entirely clear that the two phrases are connected, but it might work. I think the の particle can only be used for the subject in that context, while 屋根 is the target. I might be wrong, but I feel it would be more natural to mention the tree in the second sentence as well, like this:
そこは木だ。私の猫は あの木で 屋根に のぼる。

I need to add a correction. The word そこrefers to the location of the person you are talking to. If you want to talk about something that is not near you or the listener then you would use あそこ.


I can move this to Japanese Language > Grammar if you’d like?

You could also organize a book club or group that goes through an episode or set of episodes so that more people are on the same page at the same time. :slight_smile: I’ll link an example of a club that’s using videos.



While this is an improvement, I think あそこは()がある。うちの(ねこ)()で<屋根(やね)(のぼ)る。 would sound better. The listener would know the tree unless there are several. I think if you really want you could add either あの (position) or この (conversation) but they clutter the sentence imo. It sounds like this conversation would be happening while the speaker and listener are in the speaker’s yard.

@IzCreature I suggest うち over (わたし) here because you’ve mentioned your family before. If it’s only your cat and not your family’s, I think that would be an odd thing to imply.


Yes, that’s much better. I kept a lot of things because I was altering the existing sentence and didn’t really look at the whole picture.


I haven’t got far with understanding Japanese verbs, so I had no idea. Thanks.

I was trying to wrap my head around the idea that は doesn’t actually change the logical meaning of the sentence and how が and は might be in the same sentence. Now that you say it, I see how that sentence is incomplete. :cold_sweat: I clearly need more practice.

In that sentence I was trying to practice dropping the subject since it is implied by context, as Japanese often does.

Ah, yeah, I definitely learned the difference between そこ and あそこ at some point, but totally forgot here.

Thanks for all your feedback @TheCodingFox

I was originally on the fence since I didn’t know how much of this would be grammar discussion specifically, but that is my focus, so maybe that fits?

This sounds like a nice idea. I’ll see if I can figure out how to set up a poll to check for interest. For now, I don’t think a general discussion thread is a bad idea?

What’s the <?

This would be great advice if there was an actual cat (of mine or my family’s.) :sweat_smile: For some reason 猫 was one of the first words I really memorized in Japanese, and most certainly one of the first kanji I recognized by sight, waaay back when at the first failed attempt. I didn’t really think about why I’ve been writing sentences about non existent cats, maybe I should switch focus to dogs, since I actually have one. :laughing: Regardless, I find it interesting how you used うちの (Cat of house?) to mean the family’s cat.

How do I format furigana in the forums?

Thanks for all your help as well!


Probably just a stray part of a tag beacuse tags are used to mark furigana.


Yep. @IzCreature I didn’t notice you wrote 屋根(やね) instead of 屋上(おくじょう) so I had to retype it and missed the punctuation :sweat_smile:

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うち means house or home. When the kanji is read as うち it refers to one’s own home. It can be read as いえ to mean any house. So うちの猫 translates to “my home’s cat” which sounds more natural in Japanese than in English.

Writing HTML on my phone is tedious. Here’s how to add furigana:


No problem at all! I was just figuring a study club might be a bit more helpful, but whatever works for you. I can help you get started if you want to make a club in the future, although Dolly’s voice squicks me so I wouldn’t be able to join the club. plus I’m behind in other clubs, whoops.

Follow your heart’s desire lol

Yeah, I feel like in this case it’d just make more sense? I usually think of it as “our household’s,” but I also avoid personal pronouns like the plague unless they’re needed for sensical comprehension.

There’s a userscript, I’ll go find it :slight_smile:


Here’s the furigana userscript I use on desktop. I like the spoiler option because it lets the viewer decide if they need the reading or not. :slight_smile:

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My goals for today are:

Review Lesson 3
●Review lesson 3 material, maybe read/watch something else about the difference between は and が.
●Construct a proper sentence using both は and が.
●Construct two proper sentences using に with different targets and verbs.
●Construct a proper sentence that drops が and uses は.

Lesson 4
○Watch lesson 4 and come back to edit this post with sentence goals.

Have you seen these videos yet? They’re videos Cure Dolly released before starting doing formal lessons. I’m short on time, so no links, but you can easily find them by title on YouTube if interested:

  1. What textbooks don’t tell you. Ga particle is key to unlocking Japanese- if you really understand it
  2. Japanese Particles & Pronouns - Ninja Japanese! invisible zero pronoun- key to sentence structure.
  3. The WA particle - what it REALLY does. Japanese the textbooks don’t teach.
  4. Wa vs Ga particle - the REAL secret. Japanese the textbooks don’t tell you.
  5. GA and WA Particles- Advanced_Intermediate secrets. Cure Dolly’s Japanese Master Class

I haven’t. I don’t want to spend too much time on review so I’ll probably just watch one. I really appreciate the reccomendations.


I agree that the zero pronoun stuff is a linchpin of her Japanese teaching methods.

In my opinion it also helps understand は better, since knowing that Øが is always in play even when you can’t see it makes it clearer how は is not needed to make something a logical clause. It’s something used only to specify what the otherwise complete sentence is about.

So I certainly second those recommendations. ^^ I was pretty sure she goes over Ø in the JP from Scratch playlist, but it’s been a long while, so I don’t recall.

Good luck with your study goals, @IzCreature :muscle:


in case someone is interested-
Full transcript of all of her video lessons related to japanese from scratch course.


I watched this video but there’s a point I’m struggling with. Cure Dolly illustrates switching the は particle around in sentences to change the topic but not the meaning, what actually happens in the sentence. I understand what’s being taught but when I try to do it with different nouns and verbs, it doesnt seem to come out right. For example

私は(zero が)猫を家に撫でる。

I pet the cat in my/the house.

猫(zero を)は私が家に撫でる。

I pet the cat into the house?? Is what DeepL says anyways.

Does は just not work with を?

Thank you!

New review sentence

The dog buys him a book.

zero を is not possible, I’m afraid. を will only mark the object of a sentence. So it marks the receiver of a verb-action.

If the が marked subject isn’t visible in the sentence, you can infer that the zero particle is in play invisibly, because it to be a complete sentence. A complete sentence, in its most minimal and base form is

followed by one of the three sentence enders: a verb, an い adjective, or a copula (です/だ)

And I don’t think DeepL is correct, personally. ^^

猫は - as for the cat
私が - me as the do-er of the sentence
家に - at the house
撫でる - to pet

As for the cat, I pet (it) at the house.

This sentence doesn’t need a zero pronoun, because a が marked actor is already in play.

In this sentence, you must assume the invisible zero pronoun is doing its thing, since it’s not actively stated. But there is always a do-er of the sentence, be it a living thing or inanimate object. That’s why Ø can stand for any number of words, since a sentence can have any number of actors.

The marking with が is often left out for expedience. Øが pretty often carries the implication of 私が. By no means always! In Japanese it’s often assumed that, if you or the general topic of conversation doesn’t imply that you’re talking about someone else, you’re talking about yourself. That’s why something like 私が is often dropped entirely, and it’s subsumed in the role of invisible zero pronoun.

While I’m not sure if there are hard linguistic rules about it, this reads awkwardly to me. I see the を marked object more near the end of sentences. Keeping the receiver of the verb-action and the actual verb close together.

so 犬は彼に本を買う looks better to me.

Here is also an article about sentence structure in Japanese. It can be pretty fluid, depending on what you wish to emphasise, but that object placement felt odd to me.


In this case you can’t use に for 家, because に defines a direction. So if you want to say that the action takes place in the house, you need to treat the house as a context of your action.
I pet the cat in (my) house.

Also, if you use が instead of は, that changes the meaning of the sentence, because now 私が becomes a descriptor for 猫:
I pet a cat which belongs to me in the house.

But a more natural way to express it would be:
I pet a cat which I keep, in the house.

And DeepL is technically not wrong if you put は after を :slight_smile: .

I think particles should be thought of being used in combination or replacing each other:
を is usually the direct object marker, but can be replaced by は if that object is also the topic of the sentence or the verb is in the negative form.
Both can be replaced by も if the meaning is to indicate that whatever is being done to the object, happens in addition to something else.

に, へ and で cannot be replaced with を、が or は and they always come before は or も.

が is special and I think its uses would require delving deeper into grammar :).

Whenever you build sentences, it’s a good idea to think how the different elements of the sentence relate to each other:

  • は defines the topic, but not in a hard way; you can sometimes have multiple は in a sentence
  • に defines a particular direction of an action
  • で defines a context of an action or the means by which an action happens (a tool, form of transport, etc.)
  • へ defines a general direction

I’m sure I’ve seen Cure Dolly present a zero を, but I’d have to go back and check for exactly what video.

This is actually what I was trying to accomplish so Imglad it read that way.
This is also what I meant by zero を. As for the cat (cat being the reciever of the verb action,) ect.

Thanks for the notes here, and the linked article. I’ll try to keep in mind that the を marked recipient should go near the verb being acted on it. I’m not sure I’ll get to that article any time soon, but I’ll keep it in mind.

And thanks for your thorough reply in general!

So I’ve failed to use に again? Aaaaa

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