Grammar Stuff

I told you before, this isn't a course in Japanese. But here, in a nutshell, is all you need to know to form a grammatically perfect Japanese sentence: Talk like Yoda.  Japanese then correctly speak you will, yes!

Oh, I shouldn't have said that. Japanese grammar is simpler, less funky, than that of most Indo-European languages. Japanese doesn't use articles (the, a, an), plural forms are a snap, and there's no gender to worry about. But there are some things you have to get used to. Japanese is an agglutinative language, meaning it forms tenses by "agglutinating" suffixes ("morphemes") onto stems. For example, to go is iku, to want to go is ikitai, the negative desire tense (don't want to go) is ikitakunai, and the negative past desire tense (didn't want to go) is ikitakunakatta.  This agglutinative structure is partly why Japanese is highly polysllabic. Another thing to adjust to is the idea of conjugating adjectives. Weird. Finally,there's syntax. English is a subject-verb-object language: "I read the book." Japanese is subject-object-verb: Watashi wa hon o yomimashita - I (the) book read.  Hence the Yoda reference. Sorry about that. It was over the line, the Yoda thing. Here are some grammar resources.






Verbs - more so even than other languages, Japanese runs on verbs. Many Japanese sentences consist of nothing more than a single conjugated verb. The beautiful thing is that the number of conjugations is limited and - get this - there are only two irregular verbs in the whole language.

Adjectives - Japanese adjectives are a bit weird. The "true" adjectives, or "verbal ajectives," actually conjugate according to tense. The "adjectival nouns" or so-called "na-adjectives" use conjugations of desu or aru.

Miscellaneous - conjunctions, counters, inflection analyzers, and other stuff.



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