Genki Expression Note 4

I don’t know if this is the place to discuss non-WK material, but I am confused by the diagram given with 表現ノート4.

く / ()る ► When you move to a place where the hearer is, you say “I’m coming.” in English. However in the same situation, 私は行きます is used in Japanese. is a movement toward the place where the speaker is, while 行く is a movement in a direction away from the speaker.

Screenshot 2020-04-30 at 13.54.02

Why does the speakers viewpoint change when the person speaking does not?

This is really throwing off…

That’s a…confusing explanation. I don’t think I’d get it if I didn’t already know what it’s talking about :sweat_smile:

In English, you come and go relative to where the person you’re talking to is.
In Japanese you come and go relative to where you are.

So in Japanese, rather than “I’m coming to you (私はあなたに来る)” you say "I’m going to you (私はあなたに行く).

Does that help at all? It’s one of those ideas that can be hard to explain/pick up because it’s so simple.


@definitelynotdenzo’s post largely covered this, but I’ma reword it in terms of “viewpoint” to directly address this question:

When we say in English “I’m coming to your place”, we’re putting outselves in the shoes of the listener - we’re speaking in terms of the listener’s viewpoint. My movement is towards my listener, so I’m coming to where they are. I could take my own viewpoint and say “I’m going to your place”, but at least to me that sounds more like a future intent rather than a current action. If I were speaking to someone else about going to this person’s place - the same action, note - I’d instead say “I’m going to Bob’s place”. My viewpoint is now either my new listener’s or my own (I suppose it doesn’t really matter).

In Japanese, if you’re involved in the sentence, you always take your own viewpoint. You must use 行く - using 来る is actually ungrammatical.


Next lesson:


行ってきま~す! :wave:


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I found this note very confusing as well, and decided just to let it go in hopes I will pick up common expressions. Unfortunately reading this thread did not help (much).

What about いってきます - this is inflection of 行って来る, right? いく to move away, くる to come back.

What verb would one use to convey the intent “I will always come back to you” (imagine a hero leaving his love for another dangerous mission, but making a promise to come back no matter what.) Probably not くる, but special verb with intent of returning

You may want to work on that, because a surprisingly large portion of Japanese grammar involves taking viewpoints. Or, on occasion, not taking viewpoints.

Yeah. I’ll go (somewhere) and come back.



Also why is マクドナルド so hard to say!?
My word, I’ve been trying for about 15 minutes.

Though, what gets me all tongue-tied is シチュー. Or 東京スカイツリー.


This video is incredible.

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