The team has been working hard all morning.
Tanaka: Minasan, sukoshi yasumimashou. Everyone, Let’s just take a break.
Michael: Ja, ocha, iremashou ka.Then, shall we make tea?
Honda: Watashi ga iremasu yo.I’ll do it.
Michael: Ja, tetsudaimasu.Well then, I’ll help.
て つ だ
Beverages have been brought in.
Michael: Tanaka-san wa nani ga ii desu ka?What would you like, Ms. Tanaka?
た な か なに
Tanaka: Watashi wa koohii o onegai-shimasu.I’ll have Coffee, please.
Aa, oishii desu nee!Ahh, it’s good, isn’t it!
sukoshi すこし少し a little
ocha おちゃお茶 tea, green tea
ga subject marking particle
iremasu いれます入れます make (tea, coffee), put in
Tanaka たなか田中 Tanaka (family name)
koohii コーヒー coffee
oishii おいしい delicious, tasty
＋mazui まずい not tasty
＋koucha こうちゃ紅茶 black tea
＋mizu みず水 cold water
＋juusu ジュース juice
＋gyuunyuu ぎゅうにゅう牛乳 milk
＋okashi おかしお菓子 snacks, sweets
＋suiitsu すいいつスイーツ sweets
＋pan パン bread
＋keeki ケーキ cake
＋kukkii クッキー cookie
＋kudamono くだもの果物 fruit
＋ringo りんご apple
＋mikan みかん mandarin orange
＋ichigo いちご strawberry
Recall that the subject of a sentence can be placed in front of a verb, adjective or noun + desu in spoken Japanese without any particle or with the particles wa or mo. In this lesson, the particle ga is added.
Kono apaato,takai desu. This apartment is expensive
Kono apaato wa takai desu. This apartment is expensive (while others may not).
Kono apaato mo takai desu. This apartment is also expensive.
Kono apaato ga takai desu.It’s this apartment that is expensive.
The particle ga follows the subject noun in situations where 1) special focus is placed on the subject, or 2) the entire sentence presents new information. Situation 1) commonly occurs in combination with question words. In answering these questions, it is common to use particle ga with the noun, or to just give the noun + desu.
- The subject noun is focused.
Dare ga, ikimasu ka.Who is going?
-Honda-san desu.It is Honda-san (who is going).
-Honda-san ga ikimasu.Ms. Honda is going.
In Dialogue 2 above, when Michael suggests making tea, Ms. Honda says Watashi ga iremasu ‘I will make tea (not Michael or anyone)’ putting a focus on her as THE person to make tea. Another similar example in the dialogue is when Michael asks what Ms. Tanaka wants. Michael says nani ga ii desu ka putting a focus on ‘what’.
- The entire sentence presents new information.
Kaerimasu ka? Are you going home?
-Hai, shukudai ga arimasu kara. Yes, because I have homework.
Here having homework is new information and explains why the speaker is going home. It’s not shukudai alone that is focused here ( ‘it is homework that I have’) but rather the sentence as a whole is focused ( ‘it’s that I have homework.’)
Cue: Chotto yasumimasen ka. Would you like to take a break?
Response: Sou desu ne. Minasan yasumimashou. Right. Everyone, let’s take a break.
Cue: Kaerimasen ka. Would you like to go home?
Response: Sou desu ne. Minasan, kaerimashou. Right. Everyone, let’s go home.
Cue: Koohii ya koucha, nomimasu ka?Do you drink things like coffee and tea?
Response: Iya, ko-hi-mokoucha mo nomimasen. No, I don’t drink either coffee or tea.
Cue: Keei ya kukkii, tabemasu ka?Do you eat things like cake and cookies?
Response: Iya, keeki mo kukkii mo tabemasen. No, I don’t eat either cake or cookies.
Cue: Keeki desu ka?Is it cake?
Response: Hai, ke-ki wo kaimasu.Yes, I’ll buy a cake.
Cue: Honda –san desu ka.Is it Ms. Honda?
ほ ん だ
Response:Hai, Honda-san ga kaimasu. Yes, Ms. Honda will buy it.
ほ ん だ か
D. Say it in Japanese.
Offer to do the following for your group.
- Shall I make tea?
- Shall I make coffee, black tea, etc.?
- Shall I buy apples and (mandarin) oranges?
- Shall I buy a lot of water because it’s hot today
- Shall I make a big strawberry cake?
You have questions about the project. Ask Ms. Tanaka.
- Who writes the schedule?
- When will the schedule be ready?
- What shall I do?
- What work will be most difficult?
- Whom shall I help?
E. Act out these roles in Japanese with a partner.
- Your group has been working very hard. Suggest that 1) you take a short break, 2) go home because it’s late, 3) keep trying hard a little longer.
- Your supervisor will not make it to the meeting. Offer to go in her place.
- The email that you were waiting for has finally come. Announce it to your co- workers.
- Your group is going to rent a car. Ask who is going to drive.
- Check the coffee shop menu, and ask each other what you are going to have.