Maplopo Presents:

Intermediate Japanese Learning with Dazai Osamu

Complimentary Japanese Reading Lessons From Maplopo Schoolhouse

Season ONE—水仙 (Page THREE)


Spotlight: の (Taigen-maker, #1)—Dazai Osamu (太宰治), Daffodil (水仙)

This is part one of our look into the “taigen-maker,” の.

Video file / Audio File/ Online Intermediate Japanese Course

Read the full の, #1 transcript | Intermediate and Advanced Japanese

Okay, let’s talk a little bit about grammar. Don’t  be scared. I want to just introduce you to this  
idea that sentences are made up of parts. Right?  I call them blocks.

Let’s talk about a “simple” sentence. A simple sentence has two blocks:  a subject block, and what’s called a “predicate block.” Now, don’t worry about this weird grammar  word… “predicate.” It just basically means…  
the rest of the sentence.

So. You have two  blocks: a SUBJECT block (which is usually at  the beginning) and… a PREDICATE block (which  means the second half of the sentence.) Right? Okay. Two blocks. In the first block, usually  you have… (in a simple sentence) you have a SUBJECT. And, a subject is just basically  the “doer” (if you will) of the sentence. So, there’s no action there, okay? You  basically have a noun in the SUBJECT block.

In the PREDICATE block (which again is just the  second part of the sentence) you will have a verb  
and an object. Okay? In, let’s say, a very basic  sentence… a simple sentence… you might have  
a sentence that looks like this: the SUBJECT  block is “Mary” and in the PREDICATE block…  
you have “makes music.”

So, “Mary makes music.”  —that’s your basic simple sentence structure. So. Now that we understand simple sentence structure as it relates to English, let’s consider Japanese for a moment. Okay. So Japanese  simple sentence structure is basically the same, right?

So. SUBJECT block… and PREDICATE block.  The trick is… in Japanese… in a subject block you have a noun but it wants a “wa” at the end of  it, right? So, in order to get to the predicate block, the second half of the sentence… Japanese requires that at the very least you put a particle in there that is a subject particle…  and a subject particle is going to be “wa.” Right? So. NOUN, “wa,” …(plus)… something  else. That’s it in a nutshell.

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Page 3 (click here for the next lesson)