Teasing Master Takagi-san 😝 ・ Volume 1, chapter 5

Hi friends, I felt pretty good about this chapter, I think I got all the gist of it but still there are some grammatical structures that I would like to understand better (and surprise surprise, half of them are on Page 16 :stuck_out_tongue: ).

Page 2

()すもん

I get that this is the verb ()す (to push) and perhaps もん is short for もの (thing), so literally it would translate to “Thing that pushes”?

I guess don’t understand how one would use this sentence to mean “That’s ok I’ll get off the bike and push it” like I believe it is what 高木(たかぎ)さん intended here.

Page 11

ほらほらさっさ()なよ、(はず)したら(わたし)()ちだからね。

Why is the verb ()げる (to throw) being used as its ます stem here? This ます stem thing has appeared a couple of times already and I’m having a hard time understanding the usage of it.

Page 16

ま、別にいい(なに)もしなくても

I think this was the one that gave me the most trouble in this chapter in terms of grammar.

First of all, what is that や being used after the (べつ)にいい (I don’t care)? Is it just the sentence ending や particle instead of the most commonly used よ (for (べつ)にいいよ)?

And the second part, the question is twofold: (1) (なに)も (nothing) しなくて (to not do), wouldn’t result in a double negative “to not do nothing”, instead of (what I think it’s the correct interpretation) “to not do anything”? And (2) what is that も at the end? I tried searching for Vte + も but to no avail.

Page 16

And last but not least…

なんか一生(いっしょう)()てなくなるがするから

I found the grammar point なくなる on A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar to mean that “something has reached the point where some state or action does not take place any more”, which makes sense here, but it doesn’t list the て form of the verb as a possible construct; so why is it being used here?

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I don’t have answers for all your questions but I’ll try my best for the ones I can manage

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The もん here is this one I think: Jisho.org: Japanese Dictionary

Page 16

So I think that this first one is confusing because the sentence is in a weird order. You’re right about や, I think. but the ても here is actually sort of てもいい, so she’s explain what’s (べつ)のいい
As for (なに)も, it’s not actually negative on its own, it means “nothing” when put together with a negative verb so there’s no double negative.

This isn’t a て form at all (that would be ()って), but ()てない (can’t win), the negative potential form. So it’s becoming unable to win.

I think the bit on Page 11 is related to the なさい form, but I’m not sure how.

Edit: meant to hit the post reply button instead of the thread one @rafascar but I guess I missed

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Pg. 2

I think the もん actually isn’t related to もの at all, but is the contracted form of the verb. る gets turned into ん quite a bit in casual speech. We have seen it a few times in earlier chapters of this manga, but the common phrase you will run into in a lot of anime/manga is 「何してんの?」 meaning, “What are you doing?” It’s short for 「何しているの?」 and is a pretty easy example of the る getting smushed to an ん. I could be wrong, but I believe that’s what is happening in this case as well, though I think it would actually be 押すもろ (volitonal form) being shortened. Hence, “I will push (it).”

Editing: I may be extrapolating somewhere I shouldn’t be… ん can also be used to shorten ない, so it would be too confusing for it to be for る as well, except when followed by certain sounds, on second thought…

Edit 2: Ah, got it. Related to auxiliary む and volitional form. Classical Japanese strikes again. Here is a link that talks about it, using a different example. grammar - Verb ending in -ん with positive meaning? - Japanese Language Stack Exchange

Edit 3: @2OC3aOdKgwSGlxfz’s explanation fits much better. The も shouldn’t be attached to 押す, and I blanked that. :stuck_out_tongue: I will still leave this link here, though. Might come in handy for something else in future!

Pg. 11

Pretty sure this is related to なさい form, which is an imperative form of speech. You usually hear it when a parent is giving a command to a child. I’m not sure what the connotations are behind it being shortened to なよ instead of なさいよ. Maybe it softens it so it isn’t as harsh of a command?
I think なさい is technically the polite form of the command, but it never seems to be used that way from what I have seen (usually it is used by a character in a condescending way from what I have seen), but could just be the materials I’m consuming. Heh.

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Page 2

For this one, I recommend checking the notes for もの in A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar. It’s something I’m still working on getting used to, so I’m not able to give an explanation of its usage.

Page 11

It’s common for (verb)なさい to be shortened to (verb)な. You’ll see it more, so it’s something to keep an eye out for!

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I tried typing up some explanations here, but I found I don’t have sufficient experience with how Takagi’s worded some things, and with explaining parts of it, and I failed =(

Regarding (なに)も…ない, I will say that the negative in “nothing” comes from the ない portion. (Japanese to English dictionaries muddy the understanding of this a bit). I recommend watching the following Cure Dolly videos to begin to better understand (なに)も:

I believe this is ()つ (“to win”) in the potential form ()てる (“able to win”), and then negative ()てない (“not able to win”). Then make that the て form (ない becomes なくて) and connect なる (“to become”), and you have “to become not able to win”.

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My understanding is that this もん(sometimes optionally followed by だ), used at the end of a sentence is a grammatical structure that denotes an emphasis stating that something is obvious or common sense from the speakers point of view. The basic dictionary of japanese grammar gives some examples like this one:

どうして食べないの? => Why don’t you eat it?
だって、まずいもの => 'Cause it tastes awful.

This is the same that is happening here. Nishikata asks Takagi-san what she’s going to do about her bike, and she says:

押すもん => I’ll push it, obviously.

The もん is emphasizing that this solution is just common sense. If they want to go together, she can’t ride on her bike, so she’ll just have to push (the bike).

Further reading: Bunpro link. JapaneseTest4You link, JLPTSensei link

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super awesome… it’s amazing how useful this is literally RIGHT NOW for something else I’m reading :wink:

stupid N3 grammar I haven’t gotten to yet…(grumble) :man_facepalming:

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:slightly_smiling_face: In an amazing coincidence, 5 minutes after I wrote that post that grammar point popped up for burn review in bunpro =^.^=

A bit more detailed explanation about why ものだ means what it means

I thought I could delve a bit deeper into why the ものだ grammar structure means what it means, in case anyone is interested.

The dictionary of basic japanese grammar sort of cryptically describes this as “present a situation as it were a tangible object”. もん(だ) comes from もの => thing; so literally this says “A is a thing”, where A is the sentence that precedes it.

To give an example that would work in English, suppose friends A and B go to a convenience store. When they reach the cash register, friend A takes out his wallet and says “Oh no, I forgot my credit card at home! What do we do!?” and gets all panicky. Friend B just shakes his head and says “Paying with cash is a thing, you know?” and then pulls a couple bills and pays for the items they bought.

Returning to our Takagi-san’s line 「押すもん」, she’s saying “Pushing (a bike) is a thing”. Just like in our English example, “押す” is being treated like a tangible object “The act of pushing”, basically, and its very existence emphasized “The act of pushing exists”. This emphasis on a situation or action is what gives it the meaning of being common sense or obvious for the speaker.

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This is me every time I read a new grammar point on A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar. I feel that I finally understand what is written only after I already understand it, as paradoxically as it may sound. An amazing resource though, once you get the hang of it.


Thank you for all your mindful responses and all the resources, I’m about to dive deep into the details now, but already so much has cleared up–like my weak recognition of the て form :man_facepalming: .

I was not expecting this level of commitment as I’m coming in this late to the party, but as always in this forum, your amazingness surprised me once more. :rocket:

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Phhhraww, I’ve managed to finish chapter 5 in 3 days, helped largely by this thread of course.

A huge thanks to everyone for their breakdowns, questions, and answers. They’ve been extremely helpful.

I think this chapter also seemed a bit easier than previous ones, we had a few very light pages/panels, and fewer long internal monologues, so I’m not expecting this pace to continue.

Some sentences I’m not sure how to breakdown, apologies if I’ve missed discussion on them.

Page 9 panel 1

勝負?別にいいよ負けないしオレ
“A match? I’m not going to lose”

Breakdown:
勝負 match/game
別に not especially
いいよ good!
負けない to lose, negative
し ???
オレ I

I’m not sure about what that し is doing, and how to combine 別に and いいよ.

Page 9 panel 5, Nishikata

もし高木さんが勝ったらなんでも言うコト聞いてあげるよ。
"If Takagi wins, then (I’ll do?) whatever you say (ask?), (I’ll listen to you?).

Breakdown:
もし if, in case of, supposing
高木さんが
勝ったら to win, conditional
なんでも anything, whatever
言うコト thing that is said
聞いて to listen in te form
あげる aux. to do (for someone else’s benefit)
よ exclamation

I’m not confident on 言うコト聞いてあげる

Page 9 panel 5, Takagi

言ってくれるわね!
Not sure how to translate this. From context I think she is continuing from the previous line from Nishikata.
Guess: “(you’ll do whatever I) say for me…”

Breakdown:
言って to say in te form
くれる aux. to do for one
わね!magic sentence ending particle dust

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Page 9

し is used after giving a reason. Here, he says 「(べつ)にいいよ」, then gives the reason why he said that: 「()けない」 (This looks to be a spot where a sentence doesn’t end in a period, following the よ. Looks like the same happened on the prior page.)

This article touches on it a bit, although I can’t really grasp it well from that.

As something of an expression, you can take (べつ)にいい to mean “that’s fine” or “I’m okay with that” or “whatever”. As an expression, it’s used to reluctantly affirm that something is okay as it is.

Here’s my understanding, based partly on experience. If anyone sees any mistakes, don’t hesitate to correct me!

Think of “verbて+あげる” as “I’ll do you the favor or [verb]” or “I’ll do [verb] as a favor to you”.

Thought of that way, whether ()く means “to hear (listen)” or “to ask” becomes more clear. Because Takagi would be the one asking, Nishikata is saying he will listen.

What will he listen to? One can listen to music, one can listen to complains, one can listen to the sounds of nature. To specify what one is listening to (or will listen to), we can modify it. In this case, the modifier is なんでも()うコト.

The なんでも()う part is simple “whatever you say”. The こと can take some time to get a feel for, but it’s sort of like the word “thing” in English when used for intangible things. Sort of like when your friend misses your wedding, and afterwards he tells you, “The thing is, I lost track of time in the WaniKani polls thread.”

For NIshikata, the “thing” he’ll listen to is “whatever you say”. Anything that Takagi comes up with, he’ll listen.

I believe the “I’ll listen to whatever you say” has a nuance of “I’ll do whatever you say” here.

At its core, it’s essentially “You’re telling me”. But I’m not certain the specific nuance.

The くれる here is like あげる, but in the other direction. We saw あげる from Nishikata saying he’d do the favor of listening, and this くれる from Takagi is him doing the favor of saying.

You get a feel for these over time.

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I see @ChristopherFritz is responding and his reply will be way better than mine I’m sure…and he already finished before I got through し haha… :wink:

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Sorry for the late reply, I read your reply on the first day and actioned the help, but I’ve been moving house so I kept running out of time to actually finish write this reply (it was written piecemeal over multiple days).

Thanks again for the thorough replies and explanation.

ohhh, ohhhhhhh!

I (in theory) had learned that about し but only ever seen it as the final particle, whereas here it was followed by オレ so my brain drew a complete blank.

So with that missing period this would be 勝負?別にいいよ。負けないしオレ。 ?

That makes sense, the article also somehow clicked for me (on my third attempt at reading it)
I think I was stuck on thinking of 別に too literally and for some reason the expression/phrase forms weren’t clicking, hopefully next time this happens I’ll think back to this.

This may sound silly, but when you say this it makes so much sense, but when I tried going through a similar process at first I got stuck.

I think I was interpreting it as either
Nishikata will listen for Takagi - nonsense
Nishikata will ask for Takagi - nonsense
From context I then guessed “I’ll listen to you (for you / as a favour)” but I felt I was just guessing rather than actually understanding how I got there.

Now it seems somewhat obvious to me
Nishikata will listen to Takagi (as a favour to/for Takagi)

Secondly, I also found the dual verbs kind of strange wrt to subject/actor/do-er.

なんでも言うコト
Whatever (someone) says - Takagi is the one 言う-ing
聞いてあげる
Nishikata is the one listening to Takagi - Nishikata is the one 聞く-ing (due to 上げる)

I don’t think I’d seen a sentence with this kind of verb shape before, without context this would have totally confused me.

In English we would make this explicit nouns as “I will listen to whatever you say”, so I think it is just a matter of me being unfamiliar with the Japanese equivalent.

That’s about as far as I got.
So we have 言う → te form + くれる, which gave me:
“(someone) will say something/speak for/to me (Takagi)”

Maybe, although I worry my brain is just skipping over this a bit too much. I think consuming more spoken media might help with this?

I appreciate you taking the time even if it didn’t come to fruition, thank you =D

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I would say so. I don’t recall if I mentioned, but I spot-checked some other areas in the volume, and saw that a sentence-ending よ doesn’t seem to take a 。 after it in this manga. (Either author’s style choice, or editor’s, or publishers’s, I imagine.)

The good news is, you get used to it in time. Well, I suppose I said as much before, but I think it’s worth saying again.

Some may come easier than others, but with enough time and exposure and breaking it down, you get used to it. I think て+くれる was the first I really “got”, because that one seemed to show up most in what I read. て+もらう on the other hand seems to come up the least in my reading, so I’m still shaky on it.

I felt the exact same way as you early on. Consume more media, and (for written media) occasionally force yourself to take notice of theses て+あげる and て+くれる and て+もらう, and ensure you know what’s going on in them before continuing on. It doesn’t have to be every time.

I personally found it easiest to take notice of て+くれる when Person A thanks Person B for doing something for them.

Once I got used to that, it become more clear to see where Person A speaks of Person B doing something for them (generally, rather than when thanking).

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I would say so. I don’t recall if I mentioned, but I spot-checked some other areas in the volume, and saw that a sentence-ending よ doesn’t seem to take a 。 after it in this manga. (Either author’s style choice, or editor’s, or publishers’s, I imagine.)

Ohh that’s helpful to know it’s a general pattern, I’ll try keep an eye out for it.

The good news is, you get used to it in time. Well, I suppose I said as much before, but I think it’s worth saying again.

It’s still worth saying to me at least, so far it’s proving true each and every time =D

Some may come easier than others, but with enough time and exposure and breaking it down, you get used to it. I think て+くれる was the first I really “got”, because that one seemed to show up most in what I read. て+もらう on the other hand seems to come up the least in my reading, so I’m still shaky on it.

I’ve only really encountered these in an anime vocab Anki deck or in textbooks, at least consciously.

I felt the exact same way as you early on. Consume more media,

It’s helpful to know it’s not just me, heh.
The plan is definitely to eventually scale up media consumption, particularly following the Cure Dolly Anime breakdown approach, but currently a bit time pressed and I’ve been finding the existing things I’m doing (WK, Anki, Takagi, Chii’s, some Mario, and a little Pimsleur) to be reaping huge rewards.

and (for written media) occasionally force yourself to take notice of theses て+あげる and て+くれる and て+もらう, and ensure you know what’s going on in them before continuing on. It doesn’t have to be every time.

For からかい上手の高木さん I’m writing out and breaking down every (non trivial) line in a book, it’s partly why it’s taking me so long, but my idea was to force myself to show that I know it - rather than just skimming over and guessing from context.

I’ve been going over old chapters occasionally when I remember something came up earlier that I can’t recall now. I’ve even made some of them into examples sentences for my Anki cards.

EDIT: apologies for the initially weird formatting, I was trying a reply by email for fun.
Thanks for those 2 examples, I’ll try go through them in more detail shortly!

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@chrisosaurus

don't wanna derail here....

Don’t know if any of this is useful or if you wanted to try a method like this to break stuff down for detailed reading…haven’t really heard if this was helpful for anyone but a few people used the link…just something I did recently working on breaking down everything piece by piece hunting for every object, subject, etc… (kind of cure dolly style) with literal and natural translations.

Someone convinced me to post it (hadn’t planned on sharing it with anyone…but if someone gets something out of it… (might be mistakes and what not but if it helps)…

Sharing some extensive reading GJ部 - Vol 1 Chap 1 「ネクタイ」Detailed Breakdown

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Thanks for sharing, I took a look through your Google doc when you first posted but apparently I never actually sent my reply =/

I think what you’re doing is very close to the method I’m trying, which is helpful knowing as it makes me feel like I’m not on completely the wrong track.
The only differences are that I don’t use colours (all pencil), and I make heavy usage of drawings like arrows or squiggly lines and so forth. But both of those just come down to different mediums.
I like the idea that at some point I might digitise my work, but so far it hasn’t been a priority as I have too much reading to catch up on. I have been adding some of the sentences as example sentences to my Anki flash cards, but that’s all for now.

Thanks again for sharing, and good luck with your larger journey =D

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off topic reply

Glad it helped…When I started, I used to use paper/pencil…sometimes still do.

For the purpose of GJBu I did an electronic approach as I was sometimes sharing what I did with a couple of native speakers…the idea of “0 Ga” was horrifying to the two native speakers I occasionally asked questions of…hehehe…

But when you say/ask…every sentence has to have a subject doesn’t it…then the light bulb went off and one of them said…(no joke)…how do we understand this stuff haha… (Some of those short sentences could be seriously misinterpreted if you don’t closely pay attention to the subject.)

Thus they understood my confusion and goals for that exercise. My main goal was to properly identify sentence break down, primarily the subject of the sentence, direct/indirect objects etc…that was the point. It’s a lot harder with a light novel as there are no helpful pictures.

When I’m reading something I just want to enjoy (not book club related)…I might look up a word or whatever and just move on…for the book clubs if I have to look it up I take the time to add it to the vocab list. For the ABBC I tend to add a lot of things I know (because as a beginner was super frustrating when it wasn’t populated.)

I finished the 2nd chapter but didn’t bother with as much detail…still made some mistakes but realized when I did…that I wasn’t paying close enough attention to who/what was the subject… just need to practice more.

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Keeping things off-topic.

Imagine, you’re helping a Spanish-native who is learning English. This friend shows you a Superman comic, and they point to a panel where Jimmy Olsen says, “Sounds good, Mr. Kent.”

Then, this friend asks, perhaps in Spanish, “What is the vacío-subject of this sentence?”

(I just made that term up right now. Should translate as “void-subject”.)

Even if you know enough grammar to know what a “subject” is, the question would undoubtedly be quite confusing!

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Keeping things off-topic.

Relatedly, within English there are lots of things which native speakers use every day, but which they would lack the terminology to discuss. Terms like gerund and past/present participle come to mind.

(As a native English speaker, these are terms I often forget or mix up and have to look at examples every time they come up.)

If you tried to have an English teacher / linguist explaining these concepts to another native English speaker, I wouldn’t expect it to be easy, despite that English speaker using those concepts intuitively all the time.

Thinking back to my high school English classes I remember seeing native English speakers, including myself, struggle with understanding the rules which they were already able to use intuitively.

I think this relates to learning as a child vs. learning as an adult.
As a child learning their native language, they aren’t thinking in terms of grammatical function or category, they are just pattern matching very large amounts of input and learning through intuition, feel, and trial/error.
As an adult, we often try short-circuit this by learning the underlying ‘rules’, giving the pieces names, and treating it very constructively.
It kind of makes sense to me that someone who learned as a native might lack understanding of the same ‘rules’ that an adult second language learner might be using.

For example, when I’m helping an English learner, I often end up having to test sentences out by saying them out loud - as I don’t know the rules confidently enough - but I can kind of reverse engineer some of them just from generating examples.

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Just wanted to mention Jisho also lists this definition for 聞く which fits quite well in this sentence:

to follow (advice, order, etc.); to obey; to listen to; to comply with​

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