In Lesson 1, we learned わたし は [your name] です。 This sentence use the structure of:
[A] は [B] です。
and it is one of the most basic sentence, meaning “A = B.” Please watch this video.
Talking about your family member
In the previous lesson, we learned words for family members. We use them to talk to our own family. However, when we talk about our own family to other people, we use a shorter term for each member of our family. They are the humble form and by using a humble word for our own family, we show respect to others. Young children in Japan are NOT expected to be able to differentiate between the two forms but by the time they go to high school, most of them can use the correct term in each occasion.
りょうしん for the pair
そふぼ for the pair
|older sibling||Ane |
|younger sibling||Imouto |
|きょうだい (brothers only or mixed)||siblings as a group||きょうだい (mixed) or しまい (sisters only)|
|Spouse (Older generation, a bit controversial these days)||Kanai |
(literally “inside the house”)
|Spouse (Younger generation, more neutral)||Tsuma|
こども for a child (gender neutral)
|Your Sibling’s child||Mei |
Words that can be used to describe people
Today’s post is about adjectives that can be used to describe people. Please watch the video below. (If not showing below, please click the link.)
Here is the list of adjectives I was talking about in the video.
These adjectives are called いadjectives as they all end in い. These adjectives do not need anything when they are used in front of a noun but it can change its form depending on how they are used – we will talk about this later.
|せがひくい||segahikui||short (in height)|
|あかるい||akarui||cheerful, bright, happy|
|やさしい||yasashii||sweet, gentle, affectionate|
These adjectives are called なadjectives because they need な when they are used in front of a noun. Some なadjectives end in い, but they are still なadjectives.
|げんき||genki||healthy, lively spirited|
|にぎやか||nigiyaka||lively cheerful, vivacious|
|しずか||shizuka||quiet, calm, graceful|
|まじめ||majime||serious, honest, steady|
|しんせつ||shinsetsu||kind, hospitable, obliging|
|ちゅうがくせい||chuu_gaku_sei||noun||a junior high school student (Years 7 to 9)|
|ちょっと||chotto||adv||a little, somewhat|
あに は がくせい です。ちょっと にぎやか です。
My older brother is a student. He is rather loud.
いもうと は ちゅうがくせい です。かわいい です。
My younger sister is a junior high school student. She is cute.
ちち は けいさつかん です。まじめ です。
My father is a policeman.
ははは かんごし です。いつも いそがしい です。
My mother is a nurse. She is always busy.
そふ は げんき です。
My grandfather is healthy.
そぼ は やさしい です。
My grandmother is nice.
As you can see, we don’t use pronouns like “he” or “she” in Japanese. Instead of using them, we usually skip ～は (the topic of the sentence) part.
- Make 5 sentences each to describe family members.
- Describe 5 of your friends in Japanese. Don’t forget to put –さん after their name.
Describing other people’s family
In Japanese, while we use humble terms to refer to our own family, other people’s family are referred to using honorific terms, which are almost the same words as we talk to our family members.
ごりょうしん for the pair
ごきょうだい is gender/age neutral
ごきょうだい is gender/age neutral
おこさん is gender neutral
|Your Sibling’s child||Meigo_san |
If these terms are used on their own, that suggests the family member of the person you are talking to (i.e. “your xxx”). Otherwise, you need to add the person’s name in the form of “Johnさん の おかあさん (John’s mother)” or “Maryさん の むすこさん (Mary’s son).”
ジョンさん の おかあさん は やさしい です。
John’s mother is nice.
Maryさん の むすこさん は はいゆう です。ゆうめい です。
Mary’s son is lively.
おくさま は おげんき ですか。
Is your wife well?
The suffix –さま is used to make it more polite.
Sometimes the prefix お is added to make it sound even more polite.
The ending か is a question mark.
- Make 5 sentences each to describe 5 of somebody else’s family.