Typo in Genki I?

Hey there, みんな!

I’m currently going through Genki I and on Lesson 4 they touch upon the particle と and one of its usages, describing with whom you do something.

The example phrase they give is:

メアリーさんはスーさんと韓国に行きます。

While I was under the impression that the correct way to apply the particle would be:

メアリーさんとスーさんは韓国に行きます。

Can someone confirm this for me, please? I dont have a teacher who to ask these things to :sweat_smile:

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:point_down: What misc is about to say…

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It’s a slight alteration in meaning,

–> As for Mary, she’s going to Korea with Sue

–> As for Mary and Sue, they’re going to Korea


It can help using “as for ___” to understand what the は particle is marking, so they’re both correct but switching the order of the particles gives that difference in meaning. In the original example, Mary is the topic and it’s being explained she’s going to Korea with Sue, and in your example the と takes on a meaning of “and” and explains that Mary and Sue are going to Korea

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First sentence the focus is on mary, saying she’s going with sue, second the focus is on sue, saying she’s going with mary.

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Another meaning for と is “with”
メアリーさんはスーさんと韓国に行きます can be translated as “Mary is going to Korea with Sue” :slight_smile:
While the other sentence would mean “Mary and Sue are going to Korea”
This means the original sentence has more focus on Mary. The fact that Sue went with her is additional information, but not the main focus. I hope that makes sense :sweat_smile:

More example sentences ↓
お母さんと朝ご飯を食べた。 - I ate breakfast with my mom
スズキさんと勉強した - I studied with Suzuki

Sorry if I sound nitpicky. Do you mean “みんな” Here? :sweat_smile:

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Can you explain this more? My reading of “メアリーさんとスーさんは” was that the focus was on both Mary and Sue equally (“As for Mary and Sue, …”). Is this not the right way to think about it?

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Japanese sentence order is very lenient so I figured it was like the first sentence but with the particles in a different order. It could very well be your interpretation as well though.

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Gotcha, thanks. It did occur to me that you could interpret “メアリーさんと” it as “with Mary” in the second case as well, but I wasn’t sure if it appearing before or after the は made a difference as far as which interpretation was more natural. :slight_smile:

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A + と + B | と = and
A + は/が + B + と | と = with


One important rule to know is that except in some cases, particles act on what comes before. You should not learn them as an interaction between A and B [A + particle + B ] but between particle and what comes before it [A/B + particle].

This rule helps you because:

  • Sentence order in Japanese is mostly not significant in the general meaning of the sentence.
  • Every time they throw at you a “weird sentence structure” (read a non textbook type of sentence), you’ll be fine.
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Talking about typos :stuck_out_tongue:

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I think it’s more likely the focus is on both. {メアリーとスー}は rather than {メアリーと}{スーは}

I know sentences can be rearranged, but は is usually first. And when it’s not, I think it’s at the end, either as an afterthought or intentionally for emphasis. In this example, that would mean:
メアリーさんと韓国に行きます、スーさんは。

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Thank you, wow your explanation was so clear!

It makes a lot of sense!

Also yea, ironic that I would have a typo on my post :grimacing:… Oof…

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Can you explain a bit more how that sentence you wrote works grammatically speaking? How would you interpret it?

メアリーさんと韓国に行きます、スーさんは。

has the same meaning as

スーさんはメアリーさんと韓国に行きます。


スーさんは after the sentence would be done

It’s kind of like saying, “It’s great! Grammar, that is.”
Which means the same thing as “Grammar is great!”

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So it would be something like “Going to Korea with Mary, Sue is.”?

It’s interesting, I’m not very used to this sentence structure so I’m trying to make sense of it. :sweat_smile:

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It means, “Sue goes/will go to Korea with Mary.” It’s just another way to phrase it in speech. Sometimes it’s just because the speaker decided to clarify the topic after they finished the sentence :grin:

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Hmm, interesting… Thank you for taking the time to clarify.

I’m assuming this is mostly used as a stylistic choice in literary texts but I guess I’ll become more familiar with exceptions like these once I get to that level :thinking:

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The first time it really stood out to me was when the protagonist of Fate/Stay Night kept using that pattern with almost every sentence. The author must have thought it sounded cool or something. I doubt that it will come up much in literature outside of dialog.

:durtjovahs_witness:

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