Help with Practice Sentences

Hi,

I’ve been writing some simple sentences to practice my grammar and vocabulary. I was hoping someone could look them over to see if they make sense and if I made any mistakes. I would like to share them with other people for early reading practice someday, but I don’t want to pass along bad work.

1.)

これはマリーです。
マリーが猫です。
黒い猫です。
静かです。
マリーは魚が好きです。
毎日, 魚を食べます。

kore wa marii desu.
Marii ga neko desu.
kuroi neko desu.
shizuka desu.
marii wa sakana ga suki desu.
maiichi, sakana o tabemasu.

This is Mary.
Mary is a cat.
(She) is a black cat.
(She) is quiet.
Mary likes fish.
(She) eats fish every day.

2.)

それはジャックです。
ジャックが犬です。
白い犬です。
ジャックは吠えが好きです。
とてもうるさい。

sore wa jakku desu.
jakku ga inu desu.
shiroi inu desu.
jakku wa hoeru ga suki desu
totemo urusai.

That is Jack.
Jack is a dog.
(He) is a white dog.
Jack likes to bark.
(He) is very noisy.

3.)

あれはネリーです。
ネリーが馬です。
速くて美しいです。
リンゴが大好きです。
毎日, リンゴを食べます。

are wa nerii desu.
nerii ga uma desu.
hayaku te utsukushii desu.
ringo ga daisuki desu.
maiichi, ringo o tabemasu.

That one over there is Nelly.
Nelly is a horse.
(She) is fast and beautiful.
(She) likes apples very much.
(She) eats apples every day.

4.)

これはケビンです。
ケビンが緑のカメです。
彼は特に速くても美しくもない
しかし、賢明です。

kore wa keben desu.
keben ga midori no kame desu.
kare wa tokuni hayaku temo utsukushiku monai.
shikashi, kenmei desu.

This is Kevin.
Kevin is a green turtle.
He is not particularly fast, nor beautiful.
But, (he) is wise.

5.)

それはボブです。
ボブが象です。
彼は大きくて灰色です。
彼の鼻は長い。

kore wa bobu desu.
bobu ga zou desu.
kare wa ookiku te haiiro desu.
kare no hana wa nagai.

This is Bob.
Bob is an elephant.
He is very big and grey.
His nose is very long.

6.)

あれはメリッサです。
メリッサが虎です。
彼女は強くて勇敢です 。
虎の毛皮は、黒のストライプがあるオレンジ色です。

are wa merissa desu.
merissa ga tora desu.
konojo wa tsuyoikute yukan desu.
tora no kegawa wa, kuro no sutoraipu ga aru orenjiiro desu.

That one over there is Melissa.
Melissa is a tiger.
She is strong and brave.
The tiger’s coat is orange with black stripes.

7.)

これはピーターです。
ピーターが灰色のウサギです。
速くて機敏です。
しかし、彼は全然勇敢ではない。
ピーターは飛び跳ねるのが好きです。
ウサギはとても高く飛び跳ねる事が出来る。

kore wa piitaa desu.
piitaa ga haiiro no usagi desu.
hayakute kibin desu.
shikashi, kare wa zenzen yuukan dehanai.
piitaa wa tobihaneru no ga suki desu.
usagi wa totemo takaku tobihaneru koto ga dekiru

This is Peter.
Peter is a grey rabbit.
(He) is fast and smart.
However, (he) is not at all brave.
Peter likes to hop.
Rabbits can hop very high.

8.)

それはワンダです。
ワンダは金魚です。
彼女は大きな池に住んでいる。
ワンダは彼女の池が好きです。
彼女は幸せな魚です。

sore wa wanda desu.
wanda wa kingyo desu.
konojo wa ookina ike ni sunde iru.
wanda wa konojo no ike ga suki desu.
kanojo wa shiawasena sakana desu.

That is Wanda.
Wanda is a goldfish.
She lives in a big pond.
Wanda likes her pond.
She is a happy fish.

you forgot the ru at the end of hoeru, there. Also, you can’t put a particle directly behind a verb like that. Nounify it with a koto or a no behind it. I guess you already kind of know this, because you do it later on.

吠えることが好きです。
ほえるのがすきです。

How come you chose to put the negative with the ない at the end? Why not in the adjectives themselves?

Kanojo. it feels strange to me that you are calling all of these animals 彼 and 彼女. Is it actually done that way in Japanese?

yuukan

Why not あって? you use the te form in the other sentences.

This seems better to me than the が you use with all the other ones. Why did you chose the が before, and why the は now?

Yeah, a bunch of your little paragraphs introduce a topic and then don’t use は the next time the topic appears.

I’m still figuring out when to use が or は, and when I should state the subject/topic versus leaving it out entirely. Most of my reading experience so far involves isolated practice sentences, which doesn’t provide much insight into proper context or how to write a decent sounding paragraph.

For example, in the first set, should I be using マリーは at the start of each sentence?

Does it sound better to use これはマリーです。or これがマリーです。when introducing the names?

I have no idea if animals are usually referred to by personal pronouns in Japanese. I mostly did that for practice. Would it sound better to use the animal’s name or type (cat/dog/whatever)? Does it make any difference if I’m speaking/writing casual Japanese instead of polite?

これは is definitely better.

When you say これは it sounds like we’re standing together and you’re introducing something everyone can already see.

If we can’t see it, suddenly saying これは is strange, because we don’t know what you’re referring to yet.

It depends what your imagined scenario for these is.

Thank you. That makes sense.

In that case, これは is the best choice. When writing these paragraphs, I was imagining a children’s book with pictures of animals. So the reader would be able to see the picture and understand that “This is Mary” was referring to the picture of the cat and the rest of the sentences in each series were all related back to that original animal.

これはマリーです。
マリーは猫です。
マリーは黒い猫です。
マリーは静かです。
マリーは魚が好きです。
毎日, 魚を食べます。

Does this sound better … or is it too much マリーは?

In English, I would switch to personal pronouns after the first couple of sentences, but my understanding is that you would generally drop the subject entirely in Japanese, rather than use personal pronouns.

after introduction it would be natural to leave out the topic entirely, until a new character is introduced. The point is clarity, so the moment the topic is not clear, you should clarify it.

in a children’s book, though, I can totally see that repetition happening, if only for the rhythm and repetition, which young kids respond to very well. So it is very much a case of your target audience, like in any language situation.

I can see what you mean about the repetition being reasonable in a children’s book, even if it is less common in normal speech. It also helps with learning to read/understand, since the child will recognize the repeating elements more easily.

Would you say that this is a more natural sounding version, compared with the original?

Changing が to は and removing all repeats of マリーは since the topic remains unchanged for the rest of the paragraph. Or would it sound better to re-state the topic once or twice?

This does sound better. Are you actually writing a children’s book?

A few random things I found:

Should end with です to match the previous sentences’ formality.

できる would normally be written in kana, especially in a children’s book.

Maybe you could say
自分の池が好きです。

鼻が長いです。

Probably just 毛. 毛皮 is more like a pelt, I think.

No, I’m not planning on making an actual children’s book (although I suppose I could, if I wanted). I’m just trying my hand at writing basic sentences in Japanese for fun and educational purposes. I find it helpful to think in terms of a children’s book, because I want to stick with relatively simple grammar and vocabulary.

Also, I’ve been using graded readers to practice reading and they are really great. But they can be hard to find and also pretty expensive. I was thinking it might be helpful to other learners if I could provide some simple short stories for reading practice. I don’t want to reproduce copy-written material, so I figured that I could try to write my own … which also works out to useful writing/grammar practice for me. Win-win.

Thanks! That’s a great idea.

I’ll make these changes. Thank you very much for the help.

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Oh, and I forgot the original reason I quoted that line: formality. Should be できます not できる.

I don’t see any particular reason to put everything in polite forms if this is really supposed to emulate a children’s book.

I meant for consistency sake. Also, it’s quite common for children‘s books to be written in desu/masu form, so there’s nothing wrong with doing so.

(And it’s also not uncommon to mix up plain and polite forms between sentences within a narrative. But beyond recognizing it when I see it, I don’t have enough of a feel for when it’s appropriate to do so.)

I just mean we could just as easily make it all plain form.

Aye, but it was mostly in polite form already, so …less work making it all masu/desu.

Definitely less work the other way … but I’m up for a challenge. Here’s Version Two (casual mode):

1.)
これはマリーだ。
マリーは猫だ。
黒い猫だ。
静かだ。
魚が好きだ。
毎日, 魚を食べる。

kore wa marii da.
Marii wa neko da.
kuroi neko da.
shizuka da.
sakana ga suki da.
maiichi, sakana o taberu.

This is Mary.
Mary is a cat.
(She) is a black cat.
(She) is quiet.
(She) likes fish.
(She) eats fish every day.

2.)
それはジャックだ。
ジャックは犬だ。
白い犬だ。
吠えるのが好きだ。
とてもうるさい。

sore wa jakku da.
jakku wa inu da.
shiroi inu da.
hoeru no ga suki da.
totemo urusai.

That is Jack.
Jack is a dog.
(He) is a white dog.
(He) likes to bark.
(He) is very noisy.

3.)
あれはネリーだ。
ネリーは馬だ。
速くて美しい。
リンゴが大好きだ。
毎日, リンゴを食べる。

are wa nerii da.
nerii ga uma da.
hayaku te utsukushii.
ringo ga daisuki da.
maiichi, ringo o taberu.

That one over there is Nelly.
Nelly is a horse.
(She) is fast and beautiful.
(She) likes apples very much.
(She) eats apples every day.

4.)
これはケビンだ。
ケビンは緑のカメだ。
あまりにも速くも美しくない
しかし、賢明だ。

kore wa keben da
keben wa midori no kame da.
amari nimo hayakumo utsukushi kunai.
shikashi, kenmei da.

This is Kevin.
Kevin is a green turtle.
(He) is not very fast, nor beautiful.
But, (he) is wise.

5.)
それはボブだ。
ボブは象だ。
大きくて灰色だ。
ボブの鼻はとても長い。

kore wa bobu da.
bobu wa zou da.
ookikute hai-iro da.
bobu no hana wa totemo nagai.

This is Bob.
Bob is an elephant.
(He) is big and grey.
Bob’s nose is very long.

6.)
あれはメリッサだ。
メリッサは虎だ。
毛は、黒のストライプがあるオレンジ色だ。
メリッサは強くて勇敢だ 。
ジャングルに住んでいる 。

are wa merissa da.
merissa wa tora da.
ke wa, kuro no sutoraipu ga aru orenji-iro da.
merissa wa tsuyoikute yuukan da.
jangaru ni sunde iru.

That one over there is Melissa.
Melissa is a tiger.
(Her) fur is orange with black stripes.
Melissa is strong and brave.
(She) lives in the jungle.

7.)
これはピーターだ。
ピーターは灰色のウサギだ。
速くて機敏だ。
しかし、全然勇敢ではない。
ウサギはとても高く飛び跳ねる事ができる。
ピーターは飛び跳ねるのがだい好きだ。

kore wa piitaa da.
piitaa ha hai-iro no usagi da.
hayaku te kibin da.
shikashi, zenzen yuukan dehanai.
usagi wa totemo takaku tobihaneru koto ga dekiru.
piitaa ha tobihaneru no ga daisuki da.

This is Peter.
Peter is a grey rabbit.
(He) is fast and smart.
However, (he) is not at all brave.
Rabbits can hop very high.
As for Peter, (he) likes to hop very much.

8.)
それはワンダだ。
ワンダは金魚だ。
大きな池に住んでいる。
池は、とても好きだ。
ワンダは幸せな魚だ。

sore wa wanda da.
wanda wa kingyo da.
ookina ike ni sunde iru.
ike wa, totemo suki da.
wanda wa shiawasena sakana da.

That is Wanda.
Wanda is a goldfish.
(She) lives in a big pond.
As for the pond, (she) really likes (it).
Wanda is a happy fish.

I’ve made the recommended changes and re-worded a few of the sentences. Also downgraded the formality. I’ve read it over multiple times, but I’m sure I missed some stuff.

Please let me know what you think of this version and if you notice any typos or general weirdness.

I would make this あまり速くなくて美しくない

still not convinced about that …あるオレンジ色だ
Oh, hey, i just realized what you’re doing here