Stating multiple things with the copula

So I’ve personally wondered and had this discussion with a friend for a while now, but how would you state multiple things in Japanese with the copula? If you wanted to say “I am a teacher” you could say 私は先生です. But what would be the best way to express “I am a teacher and a dentist” (for example) in Japanese?

I can think of two ways of varying correctness. The first is using the て form of だ/です, so:
先生で歯医者です (probably wrong)
先生だって歯医者だ (probably wrong)

I’m not entirely sure about these though and wouldn’t be surprised if they’re wrong. The second is using である:
先生であって歯医者である (probably wrong)

However if you include “also” which is perhaps more natural, saying “I am a teacher and also a dentist” then you get:
先生で歯医者もです (sounds very wrong)
先生だって歯医者もだ (also sounds very wrong)
先生であって歯医者でもある (seems more correct)

The であって seemed wrong, so the way I initially translated it in my head was 先生だけでなく歯医者でもある which I’m positive is correct Japanese, but a mistranslation. When I look on weblio however, the examples I find express it as:

Is this really the best/most natural way of expressing this in Japanese? Or is there a much more straightforward way of doing it? I’m currently wondering why I haven’t seen any beginner resources cover this.

1 Like

でも is probably what’s most common naturally if I had to guess. I tend to use just も and haven’t been corrected as far as I can remember.

Small side point but if you’re using teacher to refer to your own profession, it should be 教師(きょうし).

I think でも just tends to get introduced a lot later in many resources since it’s combined particles? One of the textbooks I used translated it as “as well as” so “I’m a teacher as well as a doctor.” Very clunky sounding.



I will say : 私は先生と歯医者です。

先生 and 歯医者 are name, so you can link them with と particle (and).
The て form is for linking sentences with several verbs.

Excuse my english, i am french.


Obviously its probably something that no one has ever said before, but I would say 教師と歯医者を兼業しています。

1 Like

Good point yeah, I keep forgetting 教師 exists since I’m just so used to using 先生.

I don’t think I ever came across it in fact, I just had to learn it through exposure so I guess that’s why

Eh yeah honestly you can still use sensei and its fine.

1 Like

と is definitely good to remember, but using it here is a slightly different case to the case I’m wondering about. I’m looking for something where you could take out the second part and have it function on its own with the same meaning. So for example, saying “I’m also a dentist” on its own. If you were using any other verb, you could say something like:

But with the copula, you can’t just say 歯医者もです. It would have to be something like 歯医者でもある.

Hm I dont think im understanding the question. The hell is a copula haha

1 Like

That’s more of a characteristic of も and what grammatical role it gives a word than of だ/です, I’d say. Saying 歯医者もです is a bit like saying 歯医者はです. It doesn’t really make sense, you’re essentially missing a predicate which is just about the only part of a sentence you do need in Japanese. Conversely, 歯医者でもある makes sense in the same way 歯医者ではある does.

You could also maybe say something like それに歯医者です? But what sounds natural is going to be context-dependent as well. Either way it’s best not to get too hung up on wording Japanese “the same way” as English - just because you use “also” in English, that doesn’t mean you have to use も in Japanese - and just because you use a copula in English that doesn’t mean you have to use one in Japanese either. What you’re trying to convey is that in addition to what you already said, you’re a dentist, and there’s more than one way to do that.

1 Like

I’m wondering if 教師 is better like you said, as doctors are often referred to as 先生, so it’s good to clarify.

FWIW, I also thought of using 兼業 or something like むにゃむにゃの仕事を兼ねています. There’s also 掛け持ち, but not sure if it works in this context :smiley:.

1 Like

With that 先生/歯医者 examples, I would say 教師と歯医者をしています。

But I think your point is stating multiple things. To me,

先生であって歯医者でもある sounds most correct to me.

先生だけでなく歯医者でもある is also correct, but it can sounds boastful as you are how that person is more than just a teacher.

Generally, when we say 私はXです, we introduce one identity at a time. For example, if there was a person who is a ‘mother’ and a ‘university student’, she wouldn’t say 私は3歳の子の母親と大学生です。She would normally say 私は3歳の子の母親で大学生です。or 私は3歳の子の母親で大学生でもあります。

1 Like