Genki I study group, chapter 3 discussion thread

Hello everyone, welcome to the third chapter (^.^)(^。^)(^-^)
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 three. Talk about what you learned, ask questions, and do group activities together. Also please compare answers, BUT please use spoiler formatting so that people who haven’t done the worksheets yet can’t cheat on accident.
Update: also, there is an answer key for Genki and multiple users have posted screenshots of them. Thank you for these contributions!
You can format a spoiler like this:

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

Thank you everyone for participating! If you are a little behind that’s totally fine, just be sure to use the Genki I study group, chapter 2 discussion thread instead of this one


Well once again here’s my notes, and sorry if the format got weird when I copied everything over. Also, there’s a lot of notes about casual/non-polite forms of verbs because I like keeping all of that together, even though it isn’t introduced until much later into Genki I. Feel free to skip over it of course.

Chapter 3 Notes

Chapter 3

Verb Conjugation (Polite Non-Past Tense)

いる・える Verbs

Take dictionary form (base + る), drop る, and add polite non-past ending to the base (∼ます・∼ません)

  • 食べる→たべ+ます→たべます

  • 見る→見+ません→見ません

informal formal
Non-past affirmative 食べる 食べます
Past affirmative 食べた 食べました
Non-past negative 食べない 食べません
Past negative 食べなかった 食べませんでした

う・ある・うる・おる Verbs

Take the dictionary form (base + う/る), change う sound into い sound (く→き), and add polite non-past ending to the base (∼ます・∼ません)

  • 会う→会います

  • 帰る→帰ります

  • 止まる→止まりません

informal formal
Non-past affirmative 会う 会います
Past affirmative 会った 会いました
Non-past negative 会わない 会いません
Past negative 会わなかった 会いませんでした

Irregular Verbs

  • する→します・しません

  • 来る→来ます・来ません

Sometimes used to form compound verbs (勉強する・持ってくる)

informal formal
Non-past affirmative する します
Past affirmative した しました
Non-past negative しない しません
Past negative しなかった しませんでした
informal formal
Non-past affirmative 来る・くる 来ます・きます
Past affirmative 来た・きた 来ました・きました
Non-past negative 来ない・こない 来ません・きません
Past negative 来なかった・こなかった 来ませんでした・きませんでした

Polite Non-Past Notes

Used when making a statement that you WILL do something (future tense), or habitually do something.


  • 私はコーヒーを飲みます。I drink coffee.

  • 私はお茶を飲みません。I do not drink tea.


  • For casual non-past positive, simply use the dictionary form to say that you will do something, or habitually do something
    • 私はコーヒーを飲む。I drink coffee (casual).
  • For casual non-past negative, use ∼ない form (Lesson 8)
    • 私はお茶を飲まない。I do not drink tea (casual).

Particles (を・で・に・へ)

Direct objects for transitive verbs

Directly involved in, or affected by, the event

  • コーヒーを飲みます。I drink coffee.


  • “A particle which marks a direct object”
  • Keep in mind that a direct object in English is not always eligible to be marked with を in Japanese
    • 私は英語がわかる。I understand English.
    • Even though English (language) would be the direct object in an English sentence, が is used instead of を
  • が also replaces を in other constructions
    • ミルクを飲む→ミルクが飲みたい
      • たい form
      • I drink milk→I want to drink milk
    • 日本語を話す→日本語が話せる
      • られる (potential form)
      • I speak Japanese→I can speak Japanese
    • 窓を開ける→窓が開けてある
      • てある (has been done)
      • Open the window→Window has been opened
  • If the direct object is presented as the topic, replace を with は
    • 日本語は知りません。I do not know Japanese.

Indicates where event described by the verb takes place

  • 家でテレビを見ます。I watch TV at home.


  • “A particle which indicates location, except for the location of existence”
  • Location of existence would use に instead of で
    • 家に猫がいる。There is a cat in the house.
    • 机の前に本がある。There is a book on the desk.
  • The exception to this is if the existing thing is an event
    • 今晩ジムの家でパーティーがあります。There is a party (event) at Jim’s house tonight.
  • There are other uses for で that will be covered in future chapters

Goal towards which things move

  • 家に帰ります。I will go back home.

OR time at which an event takes place

  • 八時に日本語を勉強します。I study Japanese at 8:00.

  • 火曜日に映画を見る。I will see a movie on Tuesday

Not used with non-specific times/dates

DICTIONARY NOTES (p. 289 & 302)

  • “A particle which indicates a place toward which someone or something moves” (p. 302)
  • “A particle that indicates a point of time at which something takes place” (p. 289)
    • に is needed when mentioning (1) the days of the week and (2) numerical time expressions (8:00, April, etc.)
      • 月曜日に学校へ行きます。I will go to school on Monday.
      • 十二時に寝ます。I go to sleep at 12:00.
    • に is NOT needed when mentioning (1) time expressions such as “today” or “tomorrow”, (2) expressions describing regular intervals of time, such as “everyday”, or (3) “when”
      • 今日仕事へ行った。Today I did not go to work.
      • 毎日昼ごはんを食べます。I eat lunch everyday.
      • いつ行きますか。When will you go?
    • When using an approximate time measurement like ごろ, the に particle may be dropped
  • There are many other uses for に that will be covered later

Indicates goal of movement

  • 今日は学校へ行きません。Today I will not go to school.


  • “A particle that indicates the direction toward which some directional movement or action proceeds”
  • へ and に are very similar and can be used mostly interchangeably, except for when combining with the の particle (に cannot be followed by の)
    • ここへの道を悪かった。The way (towards) here was rough/bad.


Extends an invitation

  • 昼ごはんを食べませんか。Will you have (eat) lunch with me?

  • テニスをしませんか。Will you play tennis with me?


  • Can be used instead of ~ましょう to be more polite when inviting someone


  • Change ~ませんか into ~ましょう
  • 行きませんか→行きましょう
  • While both act as invitations, ~ませんか is asking politely “Will you ___?” while ~ましょう is an invitation more along the lines of “Let’s do something.”

Frequency Adverbs (毎日・時々・よく・全然・あまり)

Add frequency adverbs to verbs to show how frequently or infrequently you do something.

Negative frequency adverbs must be used with the negative form of a verb

Positive frequency adverbs: 毎日 (everyday), 時々 (sometimes), よく (often)

  • 時々喫茶店に行きます。I go to the cafe sometimes.

Negative frequency adverbs: 全然 (not at all), あまり (not much)

  • 全然テレビを見ません。I never watch TV. (I do not watch TV at all)

あまり is sometimes changed to あんまり when used casually/colloquially

The Topic Particle は

See notes from XはYです。

“As for X(は), it is such that…”

The topic DOES NOT need to be the subject of the sentence.

  • 週末はたいてい何をしますか。What do you usually do on weekends?

  • 今日は、京都に行きます。(As for) today, I am going to Kyoto.


  • “A particle which marks a topic or a contrastive element”
  • Used to mark information which the speaker assumes to be part of the listener’s register; assumes that the listener knows what the speaker is referring to
    • Contrasts with が, which usually assumes that the speaker is conveying NEW information to the listener
    • (A) 昔々、一人のおじいさんが住んでいました。Once upon a time, there lived an old man. (Information being introduced, so が)
    • (B) おじいさんはとてもやさしい人でした。The old man was a very gentle person. (Information is now known, so は)
  • は can never be used with 何 (what) or 誰 (who) because these words do not refer to a known thing and, therefore, cannot be known to the listener.
  • In XはY, the focus is put on Y, or what comes after は


  • As usual, は can be dropped if it is understood from the context.

は vs. が

    • メアリーは学生です。Mary is a student. Emphasis is on what comes AFTER the は particle.
      • As for Mary, she is a student.
    • これは本です。This is a book. Emphasis is on “book,” not “this.”
    • メアリーが学生です。Mary is a student. Emphasis on what comes BEFORE the が particle.
      • Mary is the one who is a student.
    • これが本です。This is a book. Emphasis is on “book,” not “this.”
  • (Japanese Ammo with Misa)

Whoa, Chapter three was a BIG MOUTHFUL OF GRAMMAR! Half way through the exercises. What a doozy!


Thanks for sharing!

The other way around, right? :slight_smile: Right? :cold_sweat:
Great notes!


If anyone is wondering, as for why some sentences that seem like they should use を use が instead, it’s because the verbs in Japanese don’t mean exactly the same thing they are translated to into English.
わかる for example is translated to “to understand”, but literally it’s closer to “to become clear”, making the “object” actually the subject of the sentence. 私は映画がわかる = As for me, the movie becomes clear (becomes understandable).
飲みたい on the other hand isn’t a verb at all. Verbs don’t end with an い. It’s an adjective. You turn the verb into an adjective when you want to express that you want something. So “being desirable for drinking” or however you want to express it becomes a property of the thing you want to drink, making the thing you want to drink the subject of the sentence.
So always remember, が is always the subject, if it seems like it isn’t, that’s just because we can’t properly translate the Japanese sentence into English without it sounding a bit weird.

Thanks CureDolly. Your awful voice really helps remembering those things.


私はお茶を飲まない。I do not drink tea (casual)

doesn’t seem right to me…

Lol you’re absolutely right. I even wrote “Emphasis on what comes BEFORE the が particle” and still managed to mess it up. These particles will be the death of me. Thanks for catching that!


I would say お茶は飲まない or お茶が飲まない depending on why you’re saying it. Makes it more clear you mean you generally don’t drink it instead of just this time.

Okay, test me on this please.
“ga” emphasizes that >this< is a book (and the other thing is not).

A: それはなんですか ?
B: これはほんです.

A: それはほんですか ? (pointing to a laptop or whatever could be mistaken for a book)
B: これがほんです. (You moron, that’s a laptop, now look at what I’m holding here, THIS is a book)

Did I understand right?




Did I miss something about が? I didn’t see it in this chapter but people are talking about it a lot D:

They are talking about this because in @Gerandpa 's notes at the end there is a は vs が notes :slight_smile: very usefull to not get confused later on. :smiley:


Don’t the expression notes at the end of the chapter contradict themselves? It says that 行きますmeans I’m coming, but then says 来る is movement towards the speaker and 行く is movement away.

In English, we sometimes say “coming” where in Japanese we’d say “going.”

For example:
English: Yes, I’m coming to your party. [away from speaker]
Japanese: パーティーに行きます。


Yeah, English “to go” and “to come” tends to be relative to the listener, while in Japanese it is relative to the speaker.
In English, movement towards the listener is “to come”, movement away from the listener is “to go”.
In Japanese, movement towards the speaker is 来る and movement away from the speaker is 行く

speaker location listener location English Japanese
Japan Japan I came to Japan 日本に来ました
Japan Elsewhere I went to Japan 日本に来ました
Elsewhere Japan I came to Japan 日本に行きました
Elsewhere Elsewhere I went to Japan 日本に行きました

Hopefully this makes it clearer! I tried to give an example for each and keep the tense consistent, but I think some of these example situations make more sense in another tense.


For me, this chapter increased in difficulty quite a bit from 1 & 2. I especially struggled with what the book meant with u-verbs and how the letters “shift” in the hiragana charts. I went over to Bunpro and studied the u-verbs there to see more consistent patterns and finally got it.

I also felt the listening comprehension from the workbook went so much faster this time. I definitely had to pause and play so many more times to break down each part.

Question for Page 98 - Section B:

For asking the question 何時に学校に行きますか。Is it okay to answer 学校に行きません。 if I want to say “I don’t go to school”?

Also, would anyone like to work on Page 97’s pair work together? If so, just go ahead and choose your items and then review my questions below.
Just reply to this with your answers and I’ll ask more questions if needed and/or answer your questions back!


Don’t see why not. But for the case of the exercise, you could do something like:



The combo WaniKani + Bunpro is really nice, especialy if you add Genki to wrap all together, at least to me.

To cement a bit more the conjugations I use Japanese conjugation city There you can chose what conjugation to study and what verbs do you want to use based on the noken levels and then it ask you to input the conjugation of the given verb. It also have a little explanation of the correct way to conjugate if you miss one verb or you can also check it’s conjugation lessons wich explains very briefly how to conjugate each form.