Japanese - Lesson 4 - Dialog for Easy Verbal Tenses

Easy Verbals

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Our next dialog covers the simple verbal forms covered in the previous lesson.

Nani (o) tabemasu ka? (何を食べますか) What do you eat?

sakana (魚) fish
tabemasu (食べます) eat
hai (はい) yes
PERSON 1: Sakana (o) tabemasu ka? (魚を食べますか)PERSON 1: Do you eat fish?
PERSON 2: Hai, tabemasu (はい、 食べます).PERSON 2: Yes, I do (lit. Yes, I eat).
niku (肉) meat
tabemasen (食べません) do not eat
PERSON 1: Niku (o) tabemasu ka? (肉を食べますか)PERSON 1: Do you eat meat?
PERSON 2: Iie, tabemasen. (いいえ、 食べません)PERSON 2: No, I don't (lit. No, I do not eat).
orenji (オレンジ) orange
jūsu (ジュース) juice
nomimashita (飲みました) drank
kinō (昨日) yesterday
PERSON 1: Kinō orenji-jūsu nomimashita ka? (昨日オレンジジュース飲みましたか)PERSON 1: Did you drink orange juice yesterday?
PERSON 2: Hai, nomimashita. (はい、 飲みました)PERSON 2: Yes, I did (lit. Yes, I drank).
(o)mizu (お水) water
mo (も) also, too
PERSON 1: (O)mizu mo nomimashita ka? (お水も飲みましたか)PERSON 1: Did you also drink water?
PERSON 2: Iie, nomimasen deshita. (いいえ、 飲みませんでした)PERSON 2: No, I didn't (lit., No, I didn't drink)

Additional Notes

"Ka (か)" is a word that is added to the end of questions in Japanese. So "nomimasu (飲みます)" ("I drink") would become "nomimasu ka (飲みますか)" for "Do you drink?" In colloquial speech sometimes other forms are used rather than "ka (か)" to indicate a question. These will be covered in a later section.

In Japanese, to mark a noun as an object of the sentence, the particle "o (を)" is used and is placed after the noun, for example, "<some kind of food> o tabemasu" for "I eat <some kind of food>". However, in common conversation, the "o" is often dropped, so "<some kind of food> tabemasu" is also acceptable. (Note that the character "" is different from the "" used in other situations. While they are pronounced the same in this case, the "" character is used only as the object marker whereas the "" character is used in other cases.

When answering a yes or no question in Japanese, instead of simply saying "yes" or "no", often the verb of the question is repeated, so "Do you drink water?" or "Mizu o nomimasu ka? (水を飲みますか)" would be answered by "Yes, I drink" "Hai, nomimasu. (はい、 飲みます)" or even just "I drink" "Nomimasu (飲みます)".

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