Help with N5 Practice Exam question from 2012

Spoiler Warning - N5 2012 official mock paper

We are supposed to re-arrange the options to complete this sentence.
The answer was 2 簡単な but I don’t understand it. Not sure if this method of phrasing was covered in genki 1. Can someone please re-order it for me? Thanks.
In these mock papers they do not provide explaination or the correct order. Only the answer is provided.

私はもう少し _ _ X _ がいいです
1 本
2 簡単な
3 が
4 日本語

Another question I am struggling with is:

会社 _ _ X _ 行っていますか
1 で
2 は
3 へ
4 何 <<the correct answer

What is the right order though?

Thanks a lot

  1. 私はもう少し日本語が簡単な本がいいです。

Here 日本語が簡単な本 is used as a relative clause
“A book that has easy Japanese”

  1. 会社へは何で行っていますか?

へは is an upgraded form of へ which means the speaker is asking specifically about how you get to your company (and is not asking about how you get towards other places).


Isn’t the speaker asking why you go to your company? 何で -
as in “why are you on your way to the office, today is Sunday!” or somesuch, would be my take?


In this situation なにで (by what means), and not なんで (why), is much more likely.


Hmm, can you help me understand why you think so?

Instict. lol. But we’ll try to explain.

First of all this type of question (the なにで) is a very common question in Japan because it’s an easy small talk question.

The second reason is that the upgraded へは and ています combo seems off. If it was なんで, there seems little reason to use へは. Technically you could, but why would you want to?


I think there was another thread about this one - you can use 何で to mean “how”, and some people do, but it’s also common to phrase the question differently (eg どうやって) for “how”, because of the confusion potential. I agree that in this context it’s “how”.


Thanks to both of you @pm215 and @Crystal_Hunters! Time to brush up on my N5 grammar it seems :grin:


Yes, you can do どうやって too, although that comes with its own misunderstandings. In this situation a どうやって gives the impression that you might be asking for directions, or possibly a better way to go, instead of focusing on the means of transportation.


Am I the only one that thinks this is a bit much for N5? Sure, you should know it and could figure it out, it’s just that even when I took the N4 test, I don’t remember finding this type of relatively complicated, unusual, or particle heavy sentences.

Maybe because I didn’t take the N5, this could be a common sentence there.


Thanks, just what I needed :blush:

@Kazzeon yeah I agree and the “rearrange the sentence” ones are the ones I struggle most with. Rest of the paper was more managable. Also worth remembering that this is old - it is from the 2012 practice paper which makes it a decade old. Not sure if curriculum has changed.


You’re welcome :slight_smile:

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We definitely thought this too. へは seems very high for an N5. There are N1s out there that still don’t use it correctly.

Pretty sure relative clauses are N4, but maybe the N5 test was harder before?

The なにで vs なんで is also hard, but you technically don’t need to know it to answer the question correctly.

But yes, overall these are very hard questions for an N5. We would not expect anyone at N5 level to get these correct unless they picked randomly and guessed correctly.


Yeah, rearranging ones are pretty tough.

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I guess there’s also a lot less you can ask for, so using the particles you already know might be the most they thought to do at the time. Plus, it’s not like failing some questions is gonna make you fail.

We might also be looking too much into it, since a beginner might go, “I know it’s 会社へ何で, and you can add は to particles, so it must be that.”

Knowing less also helps.


Haha, this is very true. Although では is also a thing you can do.

But yes, maybe the people making the JLPT just throw questions like these in there to see how many people are more like N4 or N3 and just assume people who are actually N5 will just pass on the other questions.

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Bro, its 2022. The N5 Practice Exam questions aren’t coming back. I know its fun to reminisce on those memories but those days are gone and its time to move on with your life.

Same, I’ve made it to N2 without ever hearing へは. I can only imagine they’ve changed it a lot in the past 10 years.

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If it makes you feel any better, it seems like one of those things that native speakers mix up too. A coworker friend of mine has a book with a bunch of little text message scenarios where people misunderstand each other and it’s a game to figure out how/why it happened. If I’m waiting to talk to that person, I often check a random page and try to work it out.


Any chance you can get your hands on the exact title? Seems like a riot. Especially for a pedant like me.