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A Comprehensive and Accessible Overview of Modern Japanese Grammar: How to Download Epub, Mobi, PDF or FB2 Files



Modern Japanese Grammar: A Practical Guide (Modern Grammars)




Do you want to learn Japanese grammar in a way that is easy, fun and effective? Do you want to understand how the Japanese language works in real-life situations? Do you want to access a comprehensive and up-to-date resource that covers all aspects of modern Japanese grammar? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this article is for you.




Modern Japanese Grammar: A Practical Guide (Modern Grammars) download epub mobi pdf fb2 19



In this article, I'm going to introduce you to a book that will help you achieve your goals of learning and mastering modern Japanese grammar. The book is called Modern Japanese Grammar: A Practical Guide (Modern Grammars), and it is written by Naomi McGloin and Mutsuko Endo Hudson, two experts in the field of Japanese linguistics. This book is part of the Modern Grammars series, which provides a comprehensive and accessible overview of the grammar of various languages around the world.


By reading this article, you will learn:


  • The basics of Japanese grammar, such as the structure of sentences, the types of words, and the functions of particles.



  • The features of modern Japanese grammar, such as the use of honorifics and politeness levels, the expression of modality and mood, and the formation of complex sentences.



  • The challenges of learning modern Japanese grammar, such as the differences between spoken and written Japanese, the variations of regional and social dialects, and the influence of foreign languages and loanwords.



  • The benefits of using this book as a guide, such as the practical and comprehensive approach, the clear and concise explanations, and the abundant and authentic examples.



  • How to download this book in different formats, such as epub, mobi, pdf or fb2 files, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of each format.



Are you ready to dive into the world of modern Japanese grammar? Let's get started!


The basics of Japanese grammar




Before we explore the features and challenges of modern Japanese grammar, let's review some basic concepts that are essential for understanding how the language works. In this section, I will explain the structure of Japanese sentences, the types of Japanese words, and the functions of Japanese particles.


The structure of Japanese sentences




One of the most important things to know about Japanese grammar is that it is based on a subject-object-verb (SOV) word order. This means that in a typical sentence, the subject comes first, followed by the object, and then the verb at the end. For example:


私は本を読みます


Watashi wa hon o yomimasu.


I (subject) book (object) read (verb).


However, this word order is not fixed, and it can be changed for various reasons, such as emphasis, contrast, or topicalization. For example:


本を私は読みます


Hon o watashi wa yomimasu.


Book (object) I (subject) read (verb).


In this case, the object is moved to the front of the sentence to emphasize that it is the book that I read, not something else.


Another thing to note about Japanese sentences is that they often omit the subject or the object when they are clear from the context or the previous discourse. For example:


読みます


Yomimasu.


(Subject) read (verb).


In this case, the subject is not stated, but it can be inferred from the context or the previous sentence. For example, if someone asked me what I do in my free time, I could answer with this sentence, meaning "I read".


The types of Japanese words




Another basic concept of Japanese grammar is that there are four main types of words: nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. Let's look at each type in more detail.



  • Nouns are words that name things, people, places, concepts, etc. For example: 本 (hon, book), 猫 (neko, cat), 東京 (Toukyou, Tokyo), 愛 (ai, love), etc. Nouns can be modified by adjectives or other nouns, and they can be marked by particles to indicate their grammatical function in a sentence.



  • Verbs are words that express actions, states, or events. For example: 読む (yomu, read), 食べる (taberu, eat), ある (aru, exist), 走る (hashiru, run), etc. Verbs can be conjugated to show tense, aspect, mood, voice, politeness, etc. Verbs always come at the end of a sentence or a clause.



  • Adjectives are words that describe nouns or pronouns. For example: 青い (aoi, blue), おいしい (oishii, delicious), 高い (takai, high), かわいい (kawaii, cute), etc. Adjectives can be divided into two subtypes: i-adjectives, which end with -i and can be conjugated like verbs; and na-adjectives, which do not end with -i and need to be followed by na when modifying a noun.



  • Adverbs are words that modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. For example: 速く (hayaku, quickly), とても (totemo, very), 明日 (ashita tomorrow), よく (yoku well), etc. Adverbs can be formed from adjectives by changing the final -i to -ku for i-adjectives or adding ni for na-adjectives.



The functions of Japanese particles




The last basic concept of Japanese grammar that I will explain in this section is the role of particles. Particles are small words that attach to nouns or other words to indicate their grammatical function or relationship in a sentence. For example:



私は本を読みます


Watashi wa hon o yomimasu.


I (subject) book (object) read (verb).


In this sentence, there are two particles: wa and o. Wa marks the subject of the sentence, while o marks the object of the verb. There are many other particles in Japanese that have different functions and meanings. Some of the most common ones are:



  • ga: marks the subject of a verb or an adjective; also used to indicate contrast or emphasis.



  • ni: marks the indirect object of a verb; also used to indicate direction, location, time, purpose, etc.



the means or instrument of an action; also used to indicate place of action, cause, reason, etc.


  • to: marks the direct object of a verb; also used to indicate addition, quotation, destination, etc.



  • mo: marks a word that is also included in the scope of the sentence; also used to indicate emphasis, similarity, etc.



  • ka: marks a word that is a question or an alternative; also used to indicate doubt, uncertainty, etc.



  • yo: adds emphasis or assertion to a sentence; also used to indicate new information, confirmation, etc.



  • ne: adds agreement or solicitation to a sentence; also used to indicate shared knowledge, expectation, etc.



These are just some examples of the many particles that exist in Japanese. Particles are very important for understanding and producing correct and natural sentences in Japanese. They can also change the meaning and nuance of a sentence depending on how they are used.


The features of modern Japanese grammar




Now that we have reviewed some basic concepts of Japanese grammar, let's move on to some features that are characteristic of modern Japanese grammar. In this section, I will explain the use of honorifics and politeness levels, the expression of modality and mood, and the formation of complex sentences.


The use of honorifics and politeness levels




One of the most distinctive features of modern Japanese grammar is the use of honorifics and politeness levels. Honorifics are forms of words or expressions that show respect or deference to the person or thing being referred to. Politeness levels are forms of words or expressions that show the degree of formality or intimacy between the speaker and the listener. Both honorifics and politeness levels are influenced by various factors, such as the social status, age, gender, relationship, situation, etc. of the people involved in the communication.


Honorifics can be divided into three main types: sonkeigo, kenjougo, and teineigo. Sonkeigo is the honorific language that elevates the person or thing being referred to. For example:



先生はお元気ですか


Sensei wa o-genki desu ka.


Is (honorable) teacher well?


In this sentence, sensei is an honorific title that shows respect to the teacher, while o-genki is an honorific form of genki (well) that shows deference to the teacher's health. Sonkeigo is usually used when talking about someone who is higher than the speaker in status or rank.


Kenjougo is the humble language that lowers the person or thing being referred to. For example:



私は本を拝見しました


Watashi wa hon o haiken shimashita.


I (humble) book (humble) saw (humble).


In this sentence, watashi is a humble pronoun that shows modesty about oneself, while haiken is a humble form of miru (see) that shows humility about one's action. Kenjougo is usually used when talking about oneself or someone who is lower than the speaker in status or rank.


Teineigo is the polite language that shows courtesy or consideration to the listener. For example:



本を読みます


Hon o yomimasu.


Book (object) read (polite).


In this sentence, yomimasu is a polite form of yomu (read) that shows respect to the listener. Teineigo is usually used when talking to someone who is not close or familiar to the speaker.


Politeness levels can be divided into two main types: desu/masu and plain. Desu/masu is the polite level that uses desu (copula) and masu (verb ending) to show formality or distance. For example:



私は本を読みます


Watashi wa hon o yomimasu.


I (subject) book (object) read (polite).


In this sentence, yomimasu is a polite form of yomu (read) that shows respect to the listener. Desu/masu is usually used when talking to someone who is not close or familiar to the speaker, or in formal or public situations.


Plain is the informal level that does not use desu or masu to show casualness or intimacy. For example:



私は本を読む


Watashi wa hon o yomu.


I (subject) book (object) read (plain).


In this sentence, yomu is a plain form of yomu (read) that shows familiarity or closeness to the listener. Plain is usually used when talking to someone who is close or familiar to the speaker, or in informal or private situations.


These are just some examples of the many honorifics and politeness levels that exist in Japanese. Honorifics and politeness levels are very important for expressing and understanding the social and emotional aspects of communication in Japanese. They can also change the meaning and nuance of a sentence depending on how they are used.


The expression of modality and mood




Another feature of modern Japanese grammar is the expression of modality and mood. Modality is the grammatical category that expresses the speaker's attitude or opinion about the content of the sentence, such as possibility, necessity, obligation, permission, etc. Mood is the grammatical category that expresses the speaker's intention or desire for the content of the sentence, such as command, request, suggestion, etc. Both modality and mood are expressed by various forms of words or expressions in Japanese. Let's look at some examples.


Modality can be expressed by various forms of verbs, adjectives, adverbs, nouns, or particles. For example:



  • Potential: expresses the ability or possibility of an action or state. For example: 読める (yomeru, can read), できる (dekiru, can do), かもしれない (kamoshirenai, might), etc.



  • Necessity: expresses the obligation or requirement of an action or state. For example: 読まなければならない (yomanakereba naranai, must read), しなくてはいけない (shinakute wa ikenai, have to do), 必要だ (hitsuyou da, need), etc.



  • Volition: expresses the intention or willingness of an action or state. For example: 読もう (yomou, will read), したい (shitai, want to do), ほしい (hoshii, want), etc.



  • Permission: expresses the allowance or prohibition of an action or state. For example: 読んでもいい (yondemo ii, can read), してはだめだ (shite wa dame da, must not do), なさい (nasai, please do), etc.



Mood can be expressed by various forms of verbs, adjectives, adverbs, nouns, or particles. For example:



  • Imperative: expresses a command or order for an action or state. For example: 読め (yome, read), しなさい (shinasai, do), ください (kudasai, please give), etc.



  • Interrogative: expresses a question or inquiry about an action or state. For example: 読むの? (yomu no?, read?), する? (suru?, do?), どう? (dou?, how?), etc.



  • Hortative: expresses a suggestion or invitation for an action or state. For example: 読みましょう (yomimashou, let's read), しませんか (shimasen ka?, won't you do?), どうぞ (douzo, please go ahead), etc.



ireba ii noni, I wish I could do), なればいい (nareba ii, I hope it becomes), etc.


These are just some examples of the many modalities and moods that exist in Japanese. Modality and mood are very important for expressing and understanding the speaker's attitude and intention in Japanese. They can also change the meaning and nuance of a sentence depending on how they are used.


The formation of complex sentences




The last feature of modern Japanese grammar that I will explain in this section is the formation of complex sentences. Complex sentences are sentences that consist of two or more clauses that are connected by various means. For example:



私は本を読んで映画を見ました


Watashi wa hon o yonde, eiga o mimashita.


I (subject) book (object) read (verb) and movie (object) watched (verb).


In this sentence, there are two clauses: 私は本を読んで (watashi wa hon o yonde, I read a book) and 映画を見ました (eiga o mimashita, I watched a movie). They are connected by て (te), which is a conjunctive particle that indicates sequential or parallel actions.


Complex sentences can be formed by various means, such as conjunctive particles, subordinate clauses, relative clauses, nominalized clauses, etc. Let's look at some examples.



  • Conjunctive particles: particles that connect two or more clauses to indicate their logical or temporal relationship. For example: て (te), が (ga), けど (kedo), から (kara), etc.



  • Subordinate clauses: clauses that depend on another clause to complete their meaning. They usually precede the main clause and are marked by a subordinate conjunction or a verb ending. For example: なぜなら (nazenara, because), とき (toki, when), たら (tara, if), etc.



  • Relative clauses: clauses that modify a noun or a pronoun. They usually precede the noun or pronoun they modify and are marked by a verb ending. For example: 読んだ本 (yonda hon, the book that I read), 食べる人 (taberu hito, the person who eats), etc.



  • Nominalized clauses: clauses that function as nouns. They usually follow a noun or a pronoun they modify and are marked by a nominalizer. For example: こと (koto), の (no), etc.



These are just some examples of the many ways to form complex sentences in Japanese. Complex sentences are very useful for expressing and understanding complex or nuanced ideas in Japanese. They can also change the meaning and nuance of a sentence depending on how they are formed.


The challenges of learning modern Japanese grammar




So far, we have explored some basic concepts and features of modern Japanese grammar. However, learning Japanese grammar is not always easy or straightforward. In this section, I will explain some challenges that learners of Japanese grammar may face. These include the differences between spoken and written Japanese, the variations of regional and social dialects, and the influence of foreign languages and loanwords.


The differences between spoken and written Japanese




One of the challenges of learning modern Japanese grammar is the difference between spoken and written Japanese. Spoken and written Japanese have different styles, registers, vocabularies, grammars, etc. depending on the context and purpose of communication. For example:



  • Style: Spoken Japanese tends to be more informal, casual, expressive, and interactive than written Japanese. Written Japanese tends to be more formal, polite, objective, and informative than spoken Japanese.



, slang, idioms, and contractions than written Japanese. Written Japanese tends to use more standard, formal, technical, and literary words than spoken Japanese.


  • Vocabulary: Spoken Japanese tends to use more words of native Japanese origin (和語 wago) than written Japanese. Written Japanese tends to use more words of Chinese origin (漢語 kango) or foreign origin (外来語 gairaigo) than spoken Japanese.



  • Grammar: Spoken Japanese tends to use more ellipsis, omission, repetition, and interruption than written Japanese. Written Japanese tends to use more complex sentences, subordinate clauses, and nominalized clauses than spoken Japanese.



These are just some examples of the differences between spoken and written Japanese. Learners of Japanese grammar need to be aware of these differences and adjust their language use accordingly depending on the situation and audience.


The variations of regional and social dialects




Another challenge of learning modern Japanese grammar is the variation of regional and social dialects. Regional dialects are varieties of Japanese that are spoken in different geographical areas of Japan. Social dialects are varieties of Japanese that are spoken by different social groups of Japan. Both regional and social dialects have different pronunciations, vocabularies, grammars, etc. from standard Japanese or each other. For example:



  • Pronunciation: Regional dialects may have different vowel lengths, consonant sounds, pitch accents, etc. from standard Japanese or each other. For example: おはよう (ohayou, good morning) is pronounced as おはようさぁ (ohayousaa) in Okinawan dialect or おはようございます (ohayou gozaimasu) is pronounced as おはようごじゃいます (ohayou gojaimasu) in Kansai dialect.



  • Vocabulary: Regional and social dialects may have different words or expressions for the same thing or concept from standard Japanese or each other. For example: ありがとう (arigatou, thank you) is said as おおきに (ookini) in Kansai dialect or どうも (doumo) in Tokyo dialect; 雪 (yuki, snow) is called as ゆき (yuki) in standard Japanese or しらべ (shirabe) in Hokkaido dialect.



  • Grammar: Regional and social dialects may have different verb forms, particles, sentence endings, etc. from standard Japanese or each other. For example: 行く (iku, go) is conjugated as 行った (itta, went) in standard Japanese or 行いた (iita) in Tohoku dialect; だ (da, copula) is replaced by や (ya) in Kansai dialect or じゃ (ja) in Hiroshima dialect; ね (ne, sentence ending particle) is used as わ (wa) in feminine speech or ぜ (ze) in masculine speech.



These are just some examples of the variations of regional and social dialects in Japanese. Learners of Japanese grammar need to be aware of these variations and respect the diversity and richness of the language.


The influence of foreign languages and loanwords




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