Short Grammar Questions (Part 1)

Oh I should have mentioned that in my original post but yes, Rinze tends to speak more formally. She grew up in a traditional family and was a bit sheltered so her style of speach reflects that. Kind of makes her hard to understand at times since she doesn’t talk like anyone else.

With that, your explanation makes sense to me! Thank you for the help.

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She reminded me of Yukinoshita Yukino from Oregairu, and That Japanese Man Yuta made a comment about how Yukino speaks in the past, so that got me thinking. Yukino is also from a rich family and speaks formally, so they’re probably both examples of a particular archetype, though I’m sure there are personality differences at the individual level.

No problem! Glad it helped!

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Question

Watching cure dolly’s yt video she says that you can transform a verb into a noun by putting on the i-stem of the verb, so that you can therefore attach the particle に that only goes with names
In the example she takes かう and makes it into かい
I want to transform an Ichidan verb into it’s name-form. Is it enough to just drop the ~ru?
うちにケーキを食べに帰ります
I come back to home to eat cake
Correct?
(Let’s assume that there is a context in which this sentence is natural. I’d just like to know if it’s grammatically correct)

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Not sure where the “name-form” term came from so it’s probably better to think of a “verb stem” or the 〜ます form without the ます part since these appear in textbooks often. For example, in 総まとめ books it’s referred to as the マス形 (masu form) or the 連用形 (conjunctive form).

Yes, for ichidan verbs you drop the 〜る ending of the verb. I only ever saw 〜に来る and 〜に行く, but I think the above is grammatically correct.

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You mean - in combination with a verb+に?

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I also thought it looks a bit unusual, so I checked and found this article:

http://guidetojapanese.org/learn/grammar/polite#The_stem_of_verbs

It says

However, a useful grammar that works in general for stems of all verbs is using the stem as a target with a motion verb (almost always 「行く」 and 「来る」 in this case). This grammar means, “to go or to come to do [some verb]”.

So it seems to be okay to use it with 帰る as well.

@mariodesu Just make sure you understand that it does not only convert the verb into a noun; the に adds the notion of “in order to”.

On an unrelated note, you should really consider starting to read stuff as soon as possible as it will help you get a better grip on lots of the stuff that you are wondering about right now. E.g. the Absolute Beginners book club will start their pick next week; I think you would have a blast with that one! See here: Join us! Stories of the Japanese Prefectures - starts May 14th (Absolute Beginner Book Club)

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Thank you for the suggestion, I totally missed that!

Oh I’d love to… I’m just not sure I’m at the necessary level. I was actually having a conversation with the mates of the takagi-san manga reading thread. It looks like it’s a mentally affordable first read. Have you read it? I also watch the anime and loved it, so there are two reasons to start from that (I already know what’s going on, love the anime and also have a support thread)

Edit: just realized that I’m going OT again. My fault, sorry

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Trust me, many participants are not at the necessary level when they start out with a book :joy_cat: But when they put in the effort and energy, they learn a lot in the process. It can be mind-blowing and overwhelming at times, but looking at your posts and your questions, I have a feeling that you can handle it.

I’m not so much into manga, so no, I haven’t read it. But if you know and like the story, then why not! The threads are there for you to explore and to ask more, as the people usually hang around and look out for late-comers even if the book club is over. It doesn’t really matter what you start out with, every path will lead you to more knowledge :+1:

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Thank you for the trust :grin: I’m really enjoying a lot every part of this process so I’m not really afraid of not making it or quitting for some reason. I love studying Japanese as much as I love putting it in practice. What makes me feel unconfident with starting a first read is that I’d like to jump on the book and understand at least 90% (at least, vocabulary and kanji wise) of what I’m reading. Is this nonsense?

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It might take you a lot of time and effort, I guess :slight_smile: Especially because one big difference between manga and books (with just text or maybe the occasional picture) is that many manga consist to almost 100% of spoken language which has its very own difficulties and pitfalls, and textbooks like Genki don’t prepare you for this at all. Also of course in native material you will encounter grammar points of all difficulties, and so things might be hard to pull apart and understand at first. So I’m not saying it’s impossible to get to 90% understanding! But maybe it’s ok at times to relax a little and to accept that you don’t understand something in-depth. It will come up again, and again :grin:

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In many cases you would then need to be N4 or better yet N3 and have a mass of vocabulary under your belt. The issue I personally see with easier non-curated (meaning, not graded readers) content is that it’s geared towards Japanese kids who are already accustomed to the language so they have a foundation to build on.

However, if you don’t get discouraged easily, you can start way earlier than that and simply learn in the process . To many it’s more fun than grinding textbooks and it seems like you like figuring things out :wink: .


I wanted to ask a question about some grammar point, but realized the question is tricky, because the wrong answer contained an incorrect conjugation on purpose :joy: .

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I see your point, let me rectify one small thing - I’m not talking about getting to 90% comprehension, but to 90% of kanji and vocabs knowledge of a very first, easy read.
So, I don’t know if this makes sense, if you were me, would you still jump into a first read at, let’s say, WK level 5 and around genki lesson 5…?

Perhaps I’m just thinking about it too much. I’ll buy the manga and decide this after having started reading! :joy:

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So you mean you want to read a book where you already know 90% of the kanji and vocab? This might be very recreational, but from a learning standpoint, wouldn’t that be a bit boring? :joy_cat:
So, technically speaking, if the book or manga has furigana, then you don’t need any kanji knowledge at all and would still be able to read it just fine if you know the vocab words. For the vocab, that of course depends very much on what vocab you study outside of WK. If you don’t study any, then clearly you will hardly know any of the vocab that appear in books. Remember that the WK vocab serve the purpose of reinforcing various kanji readings; they are not assembled to teach you useful or common vocabulary; and also there are quite a few vocab words that have no kanji and therefore are not on WK either. So you need to be prepared to look up a lot of unknown vocab words at the start.
But that will be the same for a long time, realistically speaking. So it doesn’t matter when you start, you will always need to overcome the hurdle.

If I had your curiosity and stamina, why not? Worst thing that can happen is that you can’t make sense of any of it, get bored or frustrated with it, put it back onto the shelf and try again next month :joy_cat: :woman_shrugging:

That’s the spirit! :joy_cat:

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Knowing only 90% of the kanji in a book would mean looking new kanji up every few words… 90% might sound like a lot, but that kind of reading experience is pretty exhausting for me.

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I’d be very surprised if I knew 90% of the kanji of what I’m reading. :woman_shrugging: For the exhaustion part, that’s why I prefer to read digitally - it just gives me a lot more support compared to reading on paper and being forced to search each unknown kanji in jisho.

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I didn’t think of that, other than wanikani I’m memorizing every single vocab I find in genki and these are feeling useful, but between WK and Genki there is no more brain capacity :joy:
An idea could be to stop stressing about it, and just jump into the manga and feel comfortable with not knowing vocabs and not having to memorize them neither. Just look for things I don’t know on the dictionary for the sake of understanding what I’m reading and practicing grammar points. What do you think of this?
This, of course, as long as, as @Leebo said, I don’t get frustrated with looking up in the dictionary 2 words every sentence

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Wouldn’t 少年 manga count, though? I recently picked up Bakuman and kind of got bored of it, because I felt like I’m not learning much :frowning: . There is quite some resources which will contain only joyo kanji so as long as you know most of these, the issue would be more vocabulary and readings.

I would kind of agree with Leebo on this as that missing 10% can sometimes stack and having to look up things manually from a paper book isn’t fun.

I think that will give you a much better foundation, but you will still encounter lots and lots of unknown words. What you do with those is up to you of course (see below).

I think that’s a very good strategy to start out with. Some words will stick anyways because you will see them a hundred times; others you will forget as soon as you looked them up. But that’s okay; they will come up again.

As you are aware that this is a potential danger, you can keep an eye on it and when you feel like getting too frustrated, you can always start learning some of those words to counteract this.
Also, as you noticed already there is a real danger of overwhelming yourself with too much material at the same time. I tend to switch focus from time to time: sometimes I’m super focused on WK, then I pause it for some time and focus on vocab, or on grammar, etc.
Just experiment with different strategies and find one that matches your current needs.

Just because you pick a strategy right now, that doesn’t mean you cannot change that strategy.

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Nice, I should try this. After all what matters is going forward, if WK waits for a couple days it’s not a problem I guess

I’m not actually reading (or planning to read) 少年 manga :joy_cat:
I mean, I would probably be able to find books that I could read without much lookup. But I prefer to (try to) read what I’m interested in (and sometimes get frustrated and give up, but only for now :wink:).

Digital books were a big gamechanger for me, not gonna lie :grin:

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