Japanese: Grammar/Vocab/Kanji (2)

And we’re back! Today’s format will be more streamlined – quite different from what we saw before. Let me know which one you like better at the end of the week!


  1. (ka): secondary suffix | “X ka Y” – “X or Y” | X and Y can be any noun or verb (or adjective)
  2. から (kara): post-position | “X kara Y” – “From X, Y” | X will be a noun
  3. から (kara): conjunction | “X kara X” – “Because X, Y” | X will be an inflexional phrase
  4. けれども (keredomo): conjunction | “X keredomo Y – “Although X, Y” | X will be an inflexional phrase. (Conjunctions けど (kedo) and けれど (keredo) are functionally the same)
  5. くらい (kurai): suffix | “X (Y) kurai” – “about X (Y) | X will be a number; Y is an optional counter
  6. まだ (mada): adverbial noun | “Mada X” – “Still X” | X is an inflexional phrase; “mada” modifies the verb.
  7. まえに (mae ni): noun and dative particle | “X mae ni” – “Before X” | X will be an inflexional phrase modifying “mae.” If X is a noun phrase, then it will become an inflexional phrase through the additional attributive form of the copula “da,” viz. “no,” at the end. ([Noun phrase] no mae ni)
  8. ませんか (-masen ka): expression | “X[pol. neg. pres.] ka” – “Why don’t we X?” | X is a verb conjugated for the polite, negative, present with the interrogative ending particle. This functions as an invitation to do something.
  9. ましょう (mashou): expression | “X[mashou]” – “Let’s X!” | X is a verb conjugated in this particular way. This functions as soft cohortative.
  10. (mo): secondary particle | “X (Y) mo” – “Even X” or “X, too” | X will tend to be a noun phrase. Y will be the main case particle, which in the case of “ga,” “wo” and “wa” will drop out when they precede “mo.”


  1. 日本 (nihon/nippon) – (noun) Japan.
  2. 〜年生 (nensei) – (suffix) -year (commonly used for school and college year.) E.g. 2年生 “second year (student)”
  3. はい (hai) – (interjection) Yes.
  4. 半 (han) – (suffix) half-, half past-. E.g. 六時半 “half past six.”
  5. 番号 (bangou) – (noun) number; series of digits.
  6. 留学生 (ryuugakusei) – (noun) international student.
  7. 私 (watashi) – (pronoun) first person singular, “I.”
  8. アメリカ (amerika) – (noun) casual term for the U.S.
  9. イギリス (igirisu) – (noun) casual term for the U.K.
  10. オーストラリア (oosutoraria) – (noun) Australia.
  11. 韓国 (kankoku) – (noun) casual term for the nation of South Korea.
  12. スウェーデン (suweeden) – (noun) Sweden.
  13. 中国 (chuugoku) – (noun) China.
  14. 科学 (kagaku) – (noun) Science.
  15. アジア研究 (ajia kenkyuu) – (noun) Asian Studies.
  16. 国際関係 (kokusai kankei) – (noun) International Relations.
  17. コンピューター (konpyuutaa) – (noun) computer.
  18. 人類学 (jinruigaku) – Anthropology.
  19. 政治 (seiji) – Politics; Government.
  20. ビジネス (bijinesu) – Business.


百 — もも ー ヒャク ー Hundred

千 — ち ー セン ー  Thousand

上 — うえ ー ジョウ ー Above

下 — した ー  ー Under

左 — ひだり ー サ ー  Left

右 — みぎ ー ウ・ユウ ー Right

中 — なか ー チュウジュウ ー Inside/Middle

大 — おお ー ダイタイ ー Big

小 — ちい ー ショウ ー Small

月 — つき ー ゲツカツ ー Moon