The perfect paragraph?

Do you think it’s possible to write a single paragraph or collection of paragraphs that convey the core principles of basic polite Japanese grammar?

I wondered if it’s possible to distil the language down to a few paragraphs to demonstrate how it functions grammatically (i.e. things like tenses on adjectives and verbs, adverbs, different verb conjugations, the use of koto etc).

Do you know if this has ever been done?

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Not specifically polite, but the language as a whole: Wikipedia on the Japanese language

Japanese is an agglutinative, mora-timed language with simple phonotactics, a pure vowel system, phonemic vowel and consonant length, and a lexically significant pitch-accent. Word order is normally subject–object–verb with particles marking the grammatical function of words, and sentence structure is topic–comment. Sentence-final particles are used to add emotional or emphatic impact, or make questions. Nouns have no grammatical number or gender, and there are no articles. Verbs are conjugated, primarily for tense and voice, but not person. Japanese equivalents of adjectives are also conjugated. Japanese has a complex system of honorifics with verb forms and vocabulary to indicate the relative status of the speaker, the listener, and persons mentioned.

Also, check under the header Grammar. Is that what you mean?


A sort of “quick brown fox” but including example grammar structures? I’ve never heard of such a thing. An interesting idea

Yes, a few paragraphs or an essay that employs all the major grammatical patterns in the most efficient way.

I feel something like this would be really helpful. Then I could just practice swapping out the vocabulary words and using different verbs etc while drilling the sentence structures.

There’s this -


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