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UPDATE | September 04, 2020

Japanese is difficult? Difficult to understand? -Let's know the characteristics of Japanese grammar-

Japanese as a mother tongue that Japanese people feel is different from Japanese that foreigners feel. Even if you are studying Japanese and think "it's difficult to understand" or "it's difficult", it doesn't stop there, and it may be interesting to think "Why do Japanese people use this kind of grammar?" In this article, I will pick up two Japanese grammars that are difficult for foreigners to understand, and think about what the Japanese want to convey.

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● Does “-There is nothing” means “There is”?

"I don't like TV shows, but I don't miss them."

What image do you get when you hear this word?

"I haven't watched it..." This means he watches a TV show. But at first you also say, "I don't like TV." I would like to say, "I don't look proactively, but I do sometimes."

Also, Japanese people often use such expressions.

Mr. A "Why don't you go to eat spicy food?"

Mr. B "I'm sorry, I can't eat it."

Do you understand Mr. B's feelings?

He says, "I can eat, but I don't want to."

Many Japanese think that it is rude to their partner if they clearly deny that they will not go or eat.

Therefore, it can be said that the grammar “There is nothing” is an expression that takes care so that the other person does not feel uncomfortable.

● What is the difference between "Kure" and other expressions?

There are many languages that have verbs that have the same meaning as "give" and "get." However, when I asked my student, there are almost no verbs that have the same meaning as "guru" in other languages.

"A gave B an apple."

"Mr. B got apples from Mr. A."

"Give up" and "Get" appear in the first half of the Japanese language. Because it's a verb that's easy to remember.

However, at Japanese language schools in Japan, I often study only a little later, just after "giving me".

Look at these two sentences.

1. Mr. A gave me an apple.

2. Mr. A gave me an apple.

Which do you think is correct?

The answer is 1. "Give" can be used only when the person who received it is me (I).

The person I usually get is myself, so Japanese people often skip "me" and use it this way.

3, Mr. A gave me an apple.

In the latter half of the beginner's class of Japanese, "-teageru", "-te-teru" and "-te-teru" also appear.

Even when it takes shape in the front, "te-teru" is a word to use when I (I) want someone to do something and express my gratitude.

●Why are there expressions only in Japanese?

The language reflects the feeling of the native speaker. For foreigners, studying Japanese is also an opportunity to learn about the concerns that Japanese people have cherished and how to express their gratitude.

Instead of just memorizing verbs and grammar, consider the characteristics of Japanese behind the expressions. I'm sure you will get new insights and make studying Japanese more enjoyable.

■ Recommended for those who read this article

Things to know before taking the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT)

Things to know before you take the "EJU"

The person who wrote this article

Rio Wakabayashi

Free writer who likes reading. Born and raised in Osaka and moved to Tokyo in 2010. He writes articles, book reviews, and columns. Currently, while writing, she teaches Japanese to foreigners at a Japanese language school in Tokyo.

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