Genki I study group, chapter 1 discussion thread

Hellooo everyone, welcome to the first chapter \o/
If you haven’t already, please check out the home thread for our study group here.
Please use this thread to discuss Genki I, chapter one. Talk about what you learned, ask questions, and do group activities together. Also please compare answers, since genki doesn’t have an answer key, BUT please use spoiler formatting so that people who haven’t done the worksheets yet can’t cheat on accident. You can format a spoiler like this:

[spoiler][the answer to a question in genki][/spoiler]

Thanks everyone! I look forward to studying with you : D




So I’ll be keeping a doc of notes from Genki for my own use, but I figured I’d share with everyone just in case anyone finds it useful.

Warning! These notes might cover some concepts that haven’t been introduced yet. That’s just how I like to keep my notes! I like having the most information possible when learning something!

Chapter 1 Notes

Chapter 1


X is Y. As for X, it is Y.

専攻は日本語です。(My) major (X) is Japanese (Y).
As for major, it is Japanese.


  • “Someone/something is/was someone or something OR is/was in some state, or will do/does/did something”
  • Copula だ・です can also replace the predicate if the action is understood
    • 私は毎朝コーヒーを飲む。家内は紅茶だ。I drink coffee every morning. My wife drinks tea.
    • (A)私はハワイへ行きます。I am going to Hawaii.
    • (B)私はフロリダです。(In response) I am going to Florida.
    • When the copula is used for a predicate, it usually appears in the non-past tense regardless of the tense of the predicate.
  • は section can be dropped in casual speech if it is understood from the context.
    • (A)それは何ですか。What is that?
    • (B)辞書です。(This is) a dictionary.

CASUAL (XはYだ or XはY)

  • Casual replaces ですwith だ, but だ is generally only used by males, and only when making a strong statement. It makes a STATEMENT, which is too strong and forceful for feminine speech.
  • あの人は先生だ。That person over there is a teacher.
  • だ can only be added to the end of な-adjectives and nouns, NOT い adjectives!
  • For casual speech, you can/should also just drop the copula altogether

Question sentences (Statement + か)

To turn any statement into a question, add か to the end of the statement.

(A)専攻は日本語です。(My) major is Japanese.

(B)専攻は日本語ですか。Is (your) major Japanese?


  • “A sentence-final particle which indicates that the preceding sentence is interrogative”
  • か is also used with indirect questions
    • 友達は漢字が難しいかと聞いた。My friend asked if kanji was difficult.
  • Question word order remains the same as the original statement word order.


  • か is usually omitted in casual speech
  • Just make sure the question is said with rising intonation so that the listener knows that you are asking a question
  • While question marks (?) are not used in formal Japanese writing, they can be used in casual writing to show that a question is being asked
  • Be careful, because using か in casual speech can be seen as being sarcastic or asking a rhetorical question


The の particle connects 2 nouns and can act as either a descriptor, or in the possessive

大学の先生 university professor

たけしさんの電話番号 Takeshi’s phone number

Noun1: restriction

Noun2: main noun


  • “A particle which, with a preceding noun phrase, forms a phrase to modify a following noun phrase”
  • Noun1 modifies noun2
  • Noun1 can sometimes be a noun phrase with a particle
    • 八時からのパーティー The party which had started at 8:00
  • Can also be extended to noun3, etc.
    • 私の先生の本 My teacher’s book
  • In this kind of phrase, a noun can be omitted if it is obvious from the context of the conversation
    • (A)誰の本ですか。Whose book is this?
    • (B)私のです。It is my (book).

Thanks for sharing the notes! Its a really nice summary of the chapter. I just have a bunch of post it notes scattered everywhere on the pages (I find writing anything down helps to actively learn).


The way you keep your notes looks like mine, in a better & more complete version so thank you! :blush:

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Nice! I was planning on using the Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar as supplement, too! Thanks for sharing!

My approach on Genki this time is to focus more on listening and speaking. So I will start all chapters by listening to the dialogue (instead of reading it first or instead of reading while listening to it), will do shadowing with the dialogie + audio, will learn vocab and test myself using audio files, will focus more on doing the exercises in the book that come with audio than the writing exercises in the workbook and I will do all the Genki listening exercises + mykikitori listening exercises.


In the language school I sometimes attend, we would first study all the vocab and grammar of a given chapter and only then listen to the dialogue (in just the way you described, without reading first, followed by shadowing). I found this makes perfect sense because it’s of course harder to listen to something if it is guaranteed that there are unknown vocab and grammar points in it. So I thought I’d share this here :slight_smile:


Yes, sure!

But I have already made it up to chapter 10 once and I’m still familiar with almost all of the vocab and most of the grammar, so I don’t have to learn the vocab (and grammar) before listening to the dialogue :wink:

Ah, I see! Well, then my comment is hopefully still interesting for somebody else (or for your further studies) :slight_smile:


I usually read the dialogue first, then read through the vocab list. After that i read the dialogue again and the words that i don’t recognize i look up in the vocab list again.

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Woop! Had a peek yesterday as am out tonight and it’s more than I thought…! Will try and keep to a week but I think it might be more like 10 days. Also reset my WK to 1 (from end of 3 lol) just to start afresh.

Exciting though and feels good when you know a lot of the vocab already, which I doubt will be the case later on. Repeated the dialogue but think I was a little slow.

Anyone used Forvo? You can listen to native speakers’ pronunciation of a word. I am pretty focused on pitch accent so trying to be aware of that at my lowly beginner’s level.


Woah, this group seems like it would have been so useful! Wish I’d had it while I was going through the books, unfortunately I’ve already finished Genki 1 and 2, and working my way through Tobira. But if anyone as any questions regarding anything in any of the chapters, I more than willing to help! I also have the answer key to the books, too.


Yeah I love that dictionary so much! I have a few other sources that I’m supplementing my notes with, but the Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar is by far the one I turn to the most.

I’ve heard a lot of people say that Genki sometimes explains things too simply, so I wanted to add in stuff from other places.


Let’s study greetings!


Nice to meet you, I’m Sandals. I’m a 27 year old web developer. Please treat me well fam.



Nice to meet you, I’m Kamryn! I’m a graduate student. I am 23 years old. Please take care of me!





Nice to meet you, my name is Carla. I am 32 years old. Please treat me well. Let’s do our best!


はじめまして! ケイトと申します。三十才です。よろしくおねがいします!楽しみに!



Nice to meet you, my name is Evelyn! I am a college student. I am 18 years old. Please be kind to me!


If anyone else is like me and likes to study the same material in a bunch of different ways, the genki memrise course looks promising.

Also, i’ve been using the Genki vocab and grammar apps, whilst the UI is really confusing at first there are a lot of useful audio sample sentences that i’ve been finding really useful.

Good luck!