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Genki Japanese Grammar Notes Cheat Sheet by

Hi guys! I have recently completed genki 1 and 2, and will like to share with you all my concise grammar notes to give back to the community. Do take a look and enjoy! Sorry if there are any mistakes! Also some parts have a little bit of chinese in them as I am chinese.

Genki 1 ( Unit 1 - 12 )

Genki chapter 1 grammar notes:

1. です = to end the sentence politely,
(noun) です

2. は = topic particle (read as wa),
X は Y です = X (the topic) is Y.

3. To ask question, です => ですか? (add ka).
なんですか is used to ask what is something
X ですか? = is it X? (yes/no qn)
X は なん ですか? (what is X?)

4. の particle: it just means 的 in chinese.
日本語の学生 = 日本语的学生 in chinese.

Genki chapter 2 grammar notes:

1. referring to things:

これ/この/ここ (starts with こ) = this (unspe­cific) / this (specific noun)/ this (place), near to you.

それ/その/そこ = that (unspe­cif­ic)­/that (specific noun)/ that (place), near to the other person u are talking to.

あれ/あの/あそこ = that (unspe­cif­ic)­/that (specific noun)/that (place), far away from both you and the person u are talking to.

examples (literal transl­ation):
これ は いくら ですか?
This thing (near me), how much is it?

その 時計 は 三千円 です。
That watch (near you) is 3 thousand yen.

きっさてん は あそこ です。
The cafe is over there (far from both of us).

2. asking questions on things

どれ/どの/どこ = which (unspe­cif­ic)­/which (specific noun)/­which (place)

*use with が particle instead of は

どれ が あなたの ペンですか?
which one is your pen?

だれ= who?
だれの= whose? (谁的 in chinese)

これは だれの かばんですか?
Whose bag is this?

3. (noun) も

も replaces は, is used to compare simila­rities.

X は Z です。(X is Z.)
Y も Z です。(Y is also Z)

4. Negative of nouns (じゃない)

X は Y です。(X is Y)
X は Y じゃないです。(X is not Y)

*side note: instead of じゃない (more colloq­uial), can also use じゃ ありません (no です at the end) or でわ ありません (same no です at the end), in increasing "­for­mal­-ne­ss".

5. ~ね/~よ sentence enders

ね added at the end of sentence to say (... right?/ ... is it?)

これ は 肉 じゃない ですね。
(This isn't meat, right?)

よ added at the end of sentence to clarif­y/a­ssure things.

とんかつ は 魚 じゃないですよ。=
tonkatsu isn't fish

*(spoken like, let me tell you/to clarify, tonkatsu isn't fish)

Genki chapter 3 grammar notes:

1. Verbs

There are 2 types of verbs, ru verbs and u verbs, they are conjugated differ­ently.

Ru verbs: eg. 食べる
present tense: 食べ ~る~ => 食べます (change ru to masu)
present negative: 食べ ~る~=> 食べません

U verbs: eg: 飲む
present tense: 飲む => 飲みます
present negative: 飲みません

(convert the u to i vowel, eg, mu => mi, then add masu or masen)

Irregular verbs:
する => します/しません
くる => きます/きません

*to identify ru/u verbs, firstly, if the verb doesnt have る, its a u verb.

next, if there is a u o vowels before ru, is u verb,
if theres i e before る, most cases is ru verb (excep­tion: 帰る is u verb)

Or!!! just memorise accord­ingly.

2. verbs "­present tense" usage

Present tense either means that
1. u are saying u often do something (habitual actions) or
2. when describing u are going to do something in the future.

3. Particles:

を (prono­unced as "­o"): describes direct objects, what you do to the noun.

eg: コーヒーを飲みます
(i drink coffee)

で: place where the event happens. (里 in chinese)

eg: 図書館でほん­を読みます
(I will read books in the library)

1. goal of movement (towards)
2. time (use に right after the time words)

1. 私はうち に 帰ります (i will return home)
2. 十一時 に 寝ます (I will sleep at eleven)

*appro­ximate time references can be made by replacing に with ごろ.
eg: 十一時 ごろ 寝ます (i will sleep at around 11)

へ (prono­unced "­e"): indicates goal of movement (can be used to replace に in the goal of movement sense).
eg: 私はうち へ 帰ります。

4. Time reference (when to use に)

Use に when referring to days of the week (sunday), or numerical time expres­sions like 10:45 and "in septem­ber­"

Dont use に when u have a reference to today (eg, today, tomorrow, next week) or regular intervals like (every­day), or asking about "­whe­n?".

5. invitation

use ませんか as in invita­tion: (its like wont 'cha)
昼ご飯 を 食べませんか?
("wont 'cha" eat lunch with me?)

6. frequency adverbs

私は 時々 喫茶店 に 行きます
(I sometimes go to a coffee shop)

However: to describe infrequent activities (全然, あまり), u must always use the negative form of verbs at the end of the sentence (which is ません)

eg: たけしさん は あまり 勉強しません­。(t­akeshi does not study much)

*extra side notes:
行く= movement in a direction away from speaker.
来る = movement towards the place the speaker is.

Genki chapter 4 grammar notes:

1. There is/exists

ある (u verb)= for non living things
いる (ru verb)= for living things

To use:
(place) に (thing) が あります。
(place) に (perso­n/l­iving thing) が います。

place is optional. Take note to use が particle.

あそこにマク­ドナル­ドがあります。 (there is a macdonalds over there)
テレビがあり­ません。(i dont have a tv)
日本人の友達­がいます。(i have a japanese friend)

2. Location words/­usage

General form:
X は Y の _____ です。

where ____ is a location word, eg, left/r­ight.

location words: 右, 左, 上, 下, 前, 後ろ, 中, 近く, 隣.

for 間 (between), use: X は Y と Z の 間です (X is between Y and Z)

*Exten­sion: Since this describes a place, and events can happen at places (chap 3 verbs and places), we can use で particle to do the same thing as chap 3.

私はモスバーガーの前 で メアリーさん­を待ちました。
(I waited for mary in front of the mos burger place)

3. past tense

for です:
past tense: でした
past negative: じゃなかったです

for ます (verbs):
past tense: ました
past negative: ませんでした

*tip: if got た = past tense.

4. も:

も just means also. (replaces は が を particles, but not anything else eg に)

私は先週京都 に 行きました。
大阪 にも いきました。
(i went to kyoto last week)
(i also went to osaka)

5. Duration

add 一時間 or any other duration noun before the verb.

メアリーさん は そこ で たけしさん を 一時間 まちました。
(mary waited for takeshi there for one hour)

*add くらい to the duration (一時間くらい) for approx­imate timing, and add 半 to indicate half an hour/m­inute etc)

6. quantity

u can place a quantity word (eg たくさん (many) ) before the noun or after を。

私は京都で (写真 を たくさん OR たくさん 写真 を) 撮りました。
(i took many pictures in kyoto)

both are accept­able.

7. と particle

1. to connect two things in one sentence (and)

日本語 と 英語 を 話します。(i speak japanese and english)

2. means "­tog­ether with"

メアリーさん は スーさん と 韓国 に いきます。(mary will go to korea with sue)

note that it isnt mary と sue because mary is the topic of the convo, and she is the one thats going with sue. (like, if ppl asking what mary is doing, den u reply mary は...)

Genki chapter 5 grammar notes:

1. Adject­ives:
Theres two types of adject­ives, な adj and い adj, which is based on the last syllable when they modify nouns.

い adj: 怖い先生
山下先生は 怖い先生 です。
(Yamashita is a scary teacher)

な adj: 元気な先生
山下先生は 元気な先生 です。
(Yamashita is an energetic teacher)

Conjug­ation of い adject­ives:
寒いです > 寒くないです (negative)
寒いです > 寒かったです (past)
寒くないです > 寒くなかったです (past negative)

side note for past negative, change nai to nakatta, nai is also an i adjective

Another note: いい becomes よい, then conjugate from there.

Conjug­ation of な adj:
元気です。is the original form, just conjugate like how u conjugate desu as learnt from chap 4 (じゃない じゃなかった でした)

To say stuff like "a little hot" "very hot", put ちょっと and とても respec­tively in front of the adj.

この部屋は ちょっと暑い です。
(this room is a little hot)

2. 好き/嫌い

To say u like or dislike something:
X は Y が 好き/嫌い です。

(yamashita dislikes fish)

use 大好き/大嫌い instead of とても 好き/嫌い

to say u neither like or dislike something:
好きでも 嫌いでも ないです。

using them as adject­ives:
これは 私の 好きな本 です。
(This is my favourite book)

3. Invitation

ます > ましょう / ましょうか
ましょう = "­Let's ..."
ましょうか = "Why dont we .../ Shall we"

(Let's study in the library together)

(Shall we drink coffee at a coffee shop?)

4. Counter objects

its like chinese 一个 一块 一片 etc etc, but take note, they usually come after the noun.

Genki chapter 6 grammar notes

1. Conjug­ation of verbs into te-form

There is something called te form which is used extens­ively for many things. (explained later)

Heres how to conjugate:

Ru verbs: (る => て)
食べる => 食べて

For u verbs:

ends in う つ る: (って)
会う => 会って
待つ => 待って
撮る => 撮って

ends in む ぶ ぬ: (んで)
読む => 読んで
遊ぶ => 遊んで
死ぬ => 死んで

ends in く ぐ: (いて/いで)
書く => 書いて
泳ぐ => 泳いで
*note: for 行く=> 行って

ends in す: (して)
話す => 話して

irregular verbs:
する => して
くる => きて

2. polite request:

Use てください。

教科書 を 読んでください。
(please read the textbook)

3. permis­sion:

use てもいい to say "u may do..."
to ask permis­sion, say てもいいですか

教科書 を 見てもいいですか
(may i see the textbook?)

はい 、 見てもいいですよ。
(yes u may)

4. strong prohib­ition

Use てはいけません (は pronounced as wa) to show that u cannot do something in a strong tone.

ここで 写真 を 撮ってはいけません。
(u must not take pictures here)

5. te-form to connect verbs

Use te-form if u want to connect two or more verbs together,
*side note, と is to connect nouns tgt, て is for verbs.

i) to show sequence of events

(today i woke up at six, and studied.)

ii) relates the verb to the rest of the sentence.

(i take a bus to work)

(i forgot my textbook, sorry)

6. explan­ation

add から to the end of the sentence to explain the reason for something.

General form:

明日テストがあります から。
(i will study tonight. Thats because there is a test tomorrow)

*note: 遅い is adj, 遅く is adverb. same for 早い/早く etc.

Genki chapter 7 grammar notes:

1. State (ている)

a) Use ている to describe continuous state

スーさん は 今勉強しています
(sue is studying right now)

also can use ています to describe what someone does by occupa­tio­n/habit

私 は 英語 を 教えています。
(i am an english teacher/i am teaching english)

メアリーさん は 毎日 日本語 を 勉強しています。
(mary studies japanese everyday)

b) used to describe current status­/state

山下先生 は 結婚しています。
(yamashita sensei is married)

トムさん は ちょと 太っています。
(tom is a little overwe­ight)

*side note: 行く and 来る belongs to group b, thus 中国に行っています = somebody has gone to china. instead of: somebody is going to china.

conjug­ation: (conjugate the ます)
食べています (present)
食べていません (negative)
食べていました (past)
食べていませんでした (past negative)

2. describing body parts

X は (part) が (adjec­tive).

(sue's hair is long)

3. noun and adj te forms.

i adj: 優しい => 優しくて

irregular: いい => よくて

na adj & nouns:
元気 => 元気で
日本人 => 日本人で

They are used to connect sentences tgt.

あの店 の 食べ物 は 安くて、おお­いしです。
(that stores food is inexpe­nsive, and delicious)

山下先生 は 日本人で、五­十歳ぐ­らいです。
(yamashita sensei is a japanese person, and he is about fifty years old)

4. destin­ation + purpose

general form:
(desti­nation) に/へ (purpose) に 行く/来る/帰る。

デパート に かばんを買い に 行きました。
(i went to the department store to buy a bag)

Genki chapter 8 grammar notes:

1. Short forms

Short forms are used for many things discussed later (eg quotes, thoughts, informal speech).

Lets first learn the conjug­ations:

Present tense:

verbs: 読み ます => 読む

i adj: 可愛い です => 可愛い

na adj/noun:
元気 です => 元気だ
学生 です => 学生だ

Present tense negative:

verbs1: 読む => 読まない

i adj: 可愛いくない です => 可愛いくない

na adj/noun:
元気じゃない です => 元気じゃない
学生じゃない です => 学生じゃない

*tip: short form, just cut out the masu/desu politeness

1now for verbs, short form negative conjug­ations:

ru verbs (る => ない):
食べる => 食べない

u verbs (change u ending to anai):
書く => 書かない
死ぬ => 死なない
読む => 読まない
買う => 買わない (note that う => わ)

irregular verbs/­exc­eption:
する => しない
くる => こない
ある => ない

2. informal speech

basically means can use short forms and dont need to be so polite etc

3. quotat­ion­/th­oughts

Use short form + と思います / と言っていました to express thoughts/ quote speech.

スーさんは、明日試験 が ある と言っていました。
(sue said that there would be an exam tomorrow)

(私は) たけしさん は メアリーさん が 好きだ と思います。
(i think takeshi likes mary)

*exten­sion: if u wanna say she thinks that he is cool (2nd/3rd person thoughts) use と思っています (like the above she said... uses と言っていました)

彼女 は 彼 が かっこいい と思っています。
(she thinks he is cool)

4. please dont...

use negative short form + でください。

ここで 写真 を 撮らない でください
(please dont take pictures here)

5. verb のが 好きです

to say u like/d­islike doing an activity, (verb) のが 好き/嫌い です。

私 は 日本語 を 勉強する のが 好き です。
(i like studying japanese)

私は 部屋 を 掃除する のが 嫌い です。
(i dislike cleaning my room)

to say u are good at/bad at something, (verb) のが 上手/下手 です。

ロバートさん は 料理する のが 上手 です。
(robert is good at cooking)

たけしさん は 英語を話す のが 下手です。
(takeshi is bad at speaking english)

(person) は (verb) のが 好き/嫌い/­上手/下手 です。

*extension side note: のが is used cuz の makes the verb into a noun, and ga is used to connect it to the adj because は is already used before­hand.

6. が

が is used to "fill in the blank", for example when somebody is asking who did this?

use が when asking qns about who/wh­ich­/what (specific) X did something.

then say X が something.

his identity is a new piece of info provided.

どのクラス が 面白いですか?
(which class is intere­sting?)

日本語のクラス が 面白いです。
(japanese class is.)

7. 何か & 何も

何か = something (positive)
何か = anything (question)
何も + negative = nothing at all (negative)

used on their own, without particles after it.

(the cat has brought something)

(did the cat eat anything?)

(no, the cat did not eat anything)

Genki chapter 9 grammar notes:

1. Short form past/past negative.

To conjugate:

past tense:
verb: 読む => 読んだ
i adj: 可愛かったです => 可愛かった
na adj & noun:
静か => 静か だった
学生 => 学生 だった

past negative:
verb: 読む => 読まなかった
i adj: 可愛い => 可愛くなかった
na adj/noun:
静か => 静かじゃなかった
学生 => 学生じゃなかった

行く => 行った 行かなかった
いい => よかった よくなかた

*tip: almost everything all かった/ だった

we covered usage of short forms in the previous chapter, so its the same.

2. verbs can describe nouns.

(the person who is eating)
(lit. the eating person)

and so on, verbs can be put before nouns to modify them and describe them.

あそこ で 本を読んでいる学生 は みちこさん です
(the student who is reading a book over there is michiko)

3. present perfect tense

we need perfect tenses to show that we have/have not done something already.

use もう to show that u have already done something.

for example:
(i closed the door yesterday)


私は もう 昨日ドアを閉­めました。
(i have already closed the door yester­day.)

sentence 1 says nothing about the present state of the door, while sentence 2 says that even now, the door is still locked.

use まだ... ていません to show that u have not yet done something.

私 は まだ 宿題 を していません
(i have not done my homework yet)

4. ~から

previo­usly, we learnt (situa­tion), (expla­nation) から。
over here, から = because.

now we learn that we can also use (expla­nation) から、(si­tua­tion).
over here, から = therefore.

明日試験がある から、私は今­晩勉強します。
(tomorrow there is a test, therefore i will study today)

Genki Chapter 10 grammar notes

1. comparison between 2 items

X のほうが Y より (adjec­tive)。
(X is more (adjec­tive) than Y)

中国 のほうが 日本 より 大きいです。
(china is bigger than japan)

to ask question on which is more (adjec­tive) among the two, use:

A と B と どちらのほう/ どっちのほう が (adjec­tive)。
(for A and B, which is more (adjec­tive)?)


バス と 電車 と どっちのほうが 安いですか?
( (going by) bus or train, which is cheaper?)

2. compare between 3 or more items:

(group) の中で A が 一番 (adjec­tive)
(amongst the whole group of items, A is the most (adjec­tive))

ロシア と フランス と 日本 の中で、どこ が 一番 寒いですか?
(between russia france and japan, which has the coldest climate)

ロシア が 一番 寒いと思います。
(i think russia has the coldest climate)

季節 の中で いつか 一番 好きですか?
(which season do u like the most?)

秋が 一番 好きです。
(i like fall the most)

3. Xの.

Basically its like chinese X的。

for example, 是谁的书本? 是我的。
dont have to repeat 书本 at the end. (aka 是我的书本)
same for japanese, just use の at the end of the sentence and avoid repetition of nouns.

(i have a black sweater, i have a red one too)

4. intend to do.

(verb short form) + つもり = i intend to do (verb)

u can also conjugate the verbs and つもりです for your tenses accord­ingly.

週末 に たけしさん と テニス を する つもりです。
(i intend to play tennis with takeshi this weekend)

山下先生 は 明日 大学 に 来ない つもりです。
(yamashita sensei intends to not go to university tommorow)

5. なる

なる => to become

to conjugate:

i adj: 可愛い => 可愛いくなる

na adj/noun:
元気 => 元気になる
風 => 風になる

日本語の勉強 が 好きになりました
(i have grown fond of studying the japanese language)

なる indicates a change, eg last time u dont like studying japanese, then now u like to, thus 好きになる。

6. どこか どこにも

we learnt that 何か__ = something, 何__も = not... anything

誰か__ = someone
誰__も = not... anyone

どこか__ = somewhere
どこ__も = not... anywhere

the particles (へ に で...) can be placed in the unders­cores, may not be necessary.

*sidenote: Xも must always be followed by negative.

どこか へ 行きましたか。
(did u go anywhere)
いいえ、どこへも 行きませんでした。
(no i did not go anywhere)

誰か に 会いましたか?
(did u see anybody?)
いいえ、誰にも 会いませんでした。
(no, i did not meet anybody)

7. で

で particle + noun = (by the means of/ using)

はし で ご飯を食べます。
(i ate lunch using chopst­icks)

日本 で 話しましょう
(lets talk in japanese)
(lit: lets talk using japanese)

バス で 駅まで行きました
(i went to the station by bus)

*extension side note: まで is used to talk about the journey instead of using に which talks about the destin­ation.

Genki chapter 11 grammar notes:

1. want to

(verb stem) + たい = want to

verb stem is the ます conjugated verb without ます。

今度の週末は、映画 (を/が) 見たいです。
(this weekend, i want to see a movie)
(i want to go to china someday)

u can use を or が particles when u use たい

たい conjugates as an い adj for past tense and negative forms

to say u have wanted to do something. use たいと思っています (u have the thought of wanting to do something for awhile now)

u cannot say using たい:
"she wants to do someth­ing­"
in 2nd/3rd person.
reasoning is that u cannot assume that u know what the other person is thinking

rather, u quote what she said she wanna do. using と言っていました

メアリーさん は チベット に 行きたい と言っていました
(mary said she wants to go to tibet)

u can also say that u infer/­observe that she wants to do something, using たがっている­。This comes from the grammar point がる which will be covered in later chapters.

メアリーさん は 着物 を 着たがっています。
(it seems that mary wants to wear a kimono)

2. listing verb examples

use A たり B たりする to show examples of activities A and B that u did.

This differs from using te form as te form means that u follow a sequence and the list is exhaus­tive, whereas for たり theres no set order and the list u provide is nonexh­aus­tive.

大阪 で 買い物を したり、 晩ご飯 を 食べたります。
(in osaka, i will do things such as shopping, and eating dinner)

*exten­sion: u can chain たり just like how u can chain も、て、と to list out more than 2 examples of what u did.
A たり B たり C たりする。

to get the たり form, just add り to the past tense form of the predicate. eg する => したり

3. experience of doing something.

use (verb short form past tense) + ことがある = have the experience of.

富士山 に 登った ことがあります。
(i have had the experience of climbing mount fuji)

たけしさん は 授業 を 休んだ ことがありません。
(Takeshi has never been absent from classes)

4. noun A や noun B

A や B = A and B, for example.

京都 や 奈良 に行きました。
(i went to kyoto and nara (for example, and may have visited other places as well) )

Genki chapter 12 grammar notes:

1. explan­atory tone

use んで to show an explan­atory tone, instead of a reporting tone. Gives more context.

明日 テスト が あります。(i have a test tomorrow)


明日 テスト が あるんです。(i have a test tomorrow ( i cant go out tonight) )

the second sentence gives an explan­ation for why u cant go out tonight, it gives context as opposed to the first sentence which just states u have a test tomorrow.

general form:
(short form) + んです。

んです does not usually appear in past or negative forms.

when it follows a noun or na adj, add な before んです。


んですか invites further clarif­ication from the person u are talking to.

(what happened? (...u look sad pls explain))
(my cat died (...thats why i look so sad) )

のです is the same as んです just that it appears more in writing.

2. too much

(verb stem) + すぎる = "too much".
すぎる conjugates as a ru verb.

(i got up too early)
(you must not eat too much)

for i and na adj, drop the i and na, then add すぎる。

この本 は 高すぎます。
(this book is too expensive)
この町 は 静かすぎます。
(this town is too quiet)

note: すぎる is when something is beyond normal or proper, so saying 親切すぎる is not really a compli­ment.

3. advice

ほうがいいです = "it is better (for you) to do ..."

gives advice.

when advice is in the affirm­ative, it follows past tense, when advice is in the negative, it follows present tense.

もっと野菜を食べた ほうがいいですよ。
(you better eat more vegeta­bles)
授業を休まない ほうがいいですよ。
(its better to not skip class)

4. ので

ので is the same as から where we learnt it before. it provides an explan­ation.

(reason (short form)) ので (situa­tion)

when ので follows a na adj or noun, add な to ので。(just like んです)

今日は日曜日 なので、銀行­は休みです。
(today is a sunday, thats why the banks are closed)

5. must

use なければ いけません/ なきゃ いけません to say that it is necessary to do something, or "­mus­t".
なきゃ is more colloquial and found more often in spoken language.

試験があるから、 勉強しなけれ­ばいけません。
(i have to study, because there will be an exam)

the な comes from the verb short form negative.

for example:
食べない => 食べ なければいけません。

u can conjugate the いけません into short, past, negative forms as well.

6. probably

use でしょう to make a guess/ say probably.

(it will probably rain tomorrow)

i adj:
(it is probably not cold in hokkaido)

na adj:
山下先生は魚が 好きでしょう。
(yamashita sensei probably likes fish)

(that person is probably not american)

*note that でしょう directly follows the na adj and nouns.

でしょうか = asking a question that invites another persons opinion or guess.

日本語と韓国­ごと、­どっち­のほうが難しい でしょうか?
(between japanese and korean, which do u think is more diffic­ult?)

short form is だろう, can be used to cautiously phrase a prediction or analysis

たけしさんは­興味がある だろう と思います。
(i think takeshi would be interested in it)

in casual exchanges, でしょう = right?

ジョン、 中国語分かる­でしょう?
(john, you understand chinese, right?)

Genki 2 (Unit 13 - 23 )

Genki chapter 13 grammar notes:

1. verb potential forms:

to say that u have the ability to/ can do something

ru verbs: (ru => rareru)
見る => 見られる

u verbs: (u => eru)
行く => 行ける
話す => 話せる
待つ => 待てる

くる => こられる
する => できる

note: for ru verbs, sometimes people say (ru => reru) as it is shorter.

potential verbs conjugate the same way as ru verbs

私は日本語が 話せます。
(i can speak japanese)

私は 泳げない んです
(i cannot swim)

potential verbs also have te form:
見られる => 見られて

for verbs with を particle: can use を or が particle for potential form.
漢字を読む => 漢字 を/が 読める

for できる, almost always change を to が.

2. listing reasons

use し to list one or more reasons.

general form:

(reason 1) し、(reason 2) し、... (situa­tion)。


(situa­tio­n)。­(reason 1)し、 (reason 2)し ... 。

(i really like my japanese class, because japanese language is intere­sting, and our teacher is good)

(yamashita sensei is a good teacher. Because he is good at teaching, and he is kind.)

you can use one し clause, to imply that it is not the only reason.

(life in this city is an easygoing one. Things are inexpe­nsive, for one thing.)

し follows the short forms.

3. it looks like...

add そうです to i and na adjectives to say it seems like.../it looks like...

i adj: (い => そうです)
おいしい => おいしそうです

na adj: (add そうです)
元気 => 元気そうです

いい => よさそうです

(this apple looks delicious)

(it looks like the weather will be fine tomorrow)

can also use そうです with negative forms of adject­ives, ない => なさそうです

(this book does not look diffic­ult.)

(it does not look like tomoko is good at tennis)

we can use adj + そう to qualify a noun. そう is a na adj, so we say そうな + noun.

(she is wearing a warm-l­ooking sweater)

note: そうです is guesswork used only when u lack conclusive evidence, and its based on visual impres­sions, so u cannot say きれいそうです, because if it looks pretty, u have enough visual evidence to conclude that it is pretty.

4. trying something.

use (verb) ~てみる to say that u are "­trying someth­ing­". you are not sure of the outcome, but try it and see how it goes. "give it a try"

てみる conjugates as a ru verb

(i dont know the kanji, therefore i tried asking my japanese friend.)

友達があの店­のケー­キはお­いしい­と言っ­ていま­したから、 今度食べてみます。
(my friends say that the cake at that shop is good, so i will try it out someday. (and see if it is really the case that its good) )

5. なら

noun A なら X. means that the predicate X applies only to A and not more generally valid.
To show contrast and limita­tion.

Q: ブラジルに行­ったこ­とがあ­りますか?
(have u been to brazil?)

A: チリ なら 行ったことが­ありま­すが、­ブラジ­ルは行­ったこ­とがあ­りません。

(ive been to chile but never to brazil)

Q: 日本語分かりますか?
(do u understand japanese)

A: ひらがな なら わかります。
(if it is written in hiragana, yes)

The first example shows a contrast between chile and brazil, showing that u been to chile but not brazil. For the second example, hiragana is brought up and contrasted with the language as a whole.

6. period and frequency

use (period) に (frequ­ency) to show how many times u do something in eg. a month.

私は 一週末に三回 髪を洗います。
(i wash my hair 3 times a week)

私は 一か月に一回 家族に電話を­かけます。
(i call my family once a month)

Genki chapter 14 grammar notes:

1. desire to have

X が 欲しい = i want X

usually 欲しい uses が particle, but in negative sentences can also use は。

いい漢字の辞書 が 欲しいです。
(i want a good kanji dictio­nary)

お金はあまり 欲しくないです
(i dont have much desire for money)

limited to first person (private predicate) like たい, as we cannot explicitly know what the other person is thinking.

so likewise, we can quote their speech using と言っています。

or say that u are making a guess with でしょう。(X は Y が 欲しい でしょう。)

or based on ur observ­ations, using がる。(欲しがる, usually in this form: 欲しがっている) (particle used is now を instead of が)

トムさん は 友達 を 欲しがっています。
( (i understand that) tom wants a friend))

2. possib­ility

use かもしれません to say probably, it is similar to でしょう。it follows the short form predic­ates.

明日は雨が降る かもしれません。
(it may rain tomorrow)

3. giving and receiving

imagine a line: from left to right:


going from left to right: use あげる。(I give to you, you give to others, I give to others, others give to others)

going from right to left: use くれる (others give you, others give me, you give me)

general form:
(giver) は/が (recipent) に (item) を あげる/くれる

私 は その女の人 に 花 を あげます。
(i will give the woman flowers)

その女の人 は 男の人 に 時計 を あげました。
(the woman gave the man a watch)

両親 が 私 に 新しい車 を くれる かもしれません。
(my parents may give me a new car)

for transa­ctions described by くれる, we can use もらう to make the recipient the subject.

general form:
(recip­ient) は/が (giver) に/から (item) を もらう。

私は姉に古い辞書を もらいました。
(i recieved an old dictionary from my sister)

side note: the reason why u can only use もらう to replace くれる and not あげる is because of the line mentioned above, we can only make the recipient the subject if they are closer to us than the giver.

4. advice­/re­com­men­dation たらどうですか

use (verb short past tense) + らどうですか to give advice­/re­com­men­dation (may be shortened to たらどう/たら in casual speech)

もっと勉強し たらどうですか。
(why dont you study harder?)

薬を飲ん だらどうですか。
(how about taking some medicine?)

it may sometimes imply a critical tone, like asking why havent they done this already, so safer to not use unless the person is asking for consul­tat­ion­/ad­vice.

5. as many as, as few as/only

to describe amount of nouns, its (noun) が/を + (counter)

猫が三匹。(3 cats)

so if u want to say: as many as 3 cats, add a も after the counter.

猫が三匹 も (as many as 3 cats)

if u want to say only/as few as, add しか after the counter.

猫が三匹 しか (as few as/only 3 cats)

Genki chapter 15 grammar notes:

1. volitional form of verbs:

its a more casual version of ましょう。

ru verbs: (る => よう)
食べる => 食べよう

u verbs: (う => おう)
行く => 行こう
話す => 話そう

irregular verbs:
くる => こよう
する => しよう

(lets get married)

add か to say "­sha­ll...?­"­/su­gge­stion.

(shall i lend u a hand?)

volitional form + と思っています to talk about our determ­ina­tio­ns/­int­ent­ions. eg. "­decided to/ going to"

毎日三時間日本語を 勉強しようと­思っています。
(im going to study japanese for 3 hours every day)

volitional + と思います shows that u made the decision on the spot, whereas volitional + と思っています shows that u alr made the decision and is thinking about it for a while now.

漢字の辞書を 買おうと思います。
(i will buy a kanji dictio­nary) (decision is made on the spot)
漢字の辞書を 買おうと思っ­ています。
(i am going to buy a kanji dictio­nary) (decision was already made)

2. ておく

verb ~ておく describes an action done in prepar­ation for something, can be shortened to とく in speech.

明日試験があ­るので、今晩 勉強しておきます。
(since theres a test tomorrow, i will study tonight (in prepar­ation for it))

3. sentences can describe nouns

you can basically add a sentence with a noun and it will be describing the noun, its like one big noun phrase.

これは 去年の誕生日­に彼女­がくれた本 です。
(this is a book that my girlfriend gave me on my birthday last year.)

Genki chapter 16 grammar notes:

1. do favours

we use ~てあげる、 ~てくれる、 ~てもらう to express who gives favours.

recall the line:


てあげる follows the same way as あげる, left to right. likewise for てくれる, right to left.

てあげる does not change the original meaning of the sentences, but it puts focus that the actions are done as a favour.

私は妹にお金を貸し てあげました
(i (gener­ously) lent my sister money) (shows what u did as a favour)


(i lent my sister money) (objective statement)

likewise てくれる when someone does something for us (as a kind gestur­e/f­avour), you are the one benefi­tting from the favour given by others.

友達が宿題を 手伝ってくれます。
(my friend (kindly) helped me with my homework)

use てもらう likewise.

私は友達に宿題を 手伝ってもら­いました。
(i got a friend of mine to help me with my homework)

2. request

use ていただけませんか / てくれませんか / てくれない to make a request, from most polite to the least polite (casual).

ちょっと 手伝っていた­だけませんか。
(would you lend me a hand?)

(would u wait a moment?)

(would u pick that thing up? (and pass it to me))

3. hope something nice happens

use (verb present tense short form) + といいですね­/といいね to say you hope something nice happens (to somebody else).

(i hope you find a good part time job)

to say what u hope for, for your own good, use: といいんですが / といいんだけど

(i am hoping that the exam is easy)

4. When A, B.

use (sentence A (short form))­時、(­sen­tence B) to say: when A, B.

use present tense for A if:
at the time where B takes place, A is still current or in the future (havent taken place yet). It does not matter if B is in the past or present, only matters if A happens after B.

(i had the visa issued when i was going to tibet)

the visa was first issued, then u went to tibet. (the whole event is past tense, however, sentence A is in present tense as it occurs after B.)

(i take out the contact lenses when i go to sleep)

first u take out the contact lens, then u go to sleep, thats why sentence A is in present tense as it comes after B.

A also gets present tense when state of A holds when B occurs.

(when im lonely, i call my friends)

A is in the present tense here as you feeling lonely is still true at the moment when u are calling ur friends.

use past tense for A if:
A is in the already in the past when B takes place.

(when i go to china, i will buy oolong tea)

here, u go to china first then buy oolong tea, thats why A is past tense.

5. apologise

use (verb) て、すみませんでした (polite)/ ごめん(ca­sual) to describe the things u have done that u wanna apologise for.

(im sorry for using foul language)

when u wanna apologise for something u failed to do, use ~なくて, the short negative te form of a verb. (verb short negative form, then the ない becomes なくて)

(i am sorry for not bringing the homework)

mini side note: adj to nouns

u can turn an i adj to a noun by changing the い to さ

優しい => 優しさ
(kind => kindness)

some na adj also can be changed to noun, by changing the な to さ
(eg 便利さ (conve­nie­nce))

Genki chapter 17 grammar notes

1. i have heard that...

(short form sentence) + そうです = i have heard that...

somebody says:
(our japanese language class is fun)

You can say:
(i have heard that their japanese language class is fun)

*side note: the previous chapters usage of そうです to say it seems like... only applies to adjs, and the way they conjugate is different:
for そうです = it seems like..., you remove the i and na at the end and add そうです。
while そうです= i have heard that..., it uses short forms.

(info source X) によると、 (short form sentence Y) そうです
= According to X, i have heard that Y.

天気予報 によると、 台風が来る そうです。
(according to the weather forecast, a typhoon is approa­ching)

2. って

use って to replace そうです to quote what u heard in a casual way.

also can use って instead of と to quote stuff (casual). eg と言っていました => って言っていた。

3. たら condit­ional

(short past tense form A) たら、 B 。
= If A, then B.

the た comes from the past tense form of A.

(if i go to japan, i will buy a kimono)

(if the weather is good, i will go for a walk)

*restr­iction: it follows a set sequence where A must always come before B.
eg, cannot say: "if u have a test next week, u should study today" using たら, even tho it makes sense in english.

> if A is very likely to be true, then you can treat たら as a sequence: when A, then B.

a) context: you are very likely to get home by tonight:
(tonight, when i get home, i will call you.)

b) context: you are uncertain if u can return home by tonight.
(tonight, if i get home, i will call you.)

a) and b) have the same sentence but diff meaning in context.

> たら can also be used for purely hypoth­etical scenarios that may never even happen in real life.

(if i were a cat, i would be asleep all day long)

4. なくてもいいです

to say u dont need to do something use なくてもいいです。
(ない => なくて => なくてもいいです)

(you dont need to take off ur shoes)

5. is like

(noun A) + みたいです = it resemb­les/is like A.

(that person is like a gorilla)

(verb short form) + みたいです = it looks like ...

(it looks like it has rained)

6. before and after

前に: before
(verb A short form present tense)前に、 (verb B)
= before A, B.

前に is like 之前 in chinese.

(Before I go back home, I will go to tokyo one more time)

てから: after
(verb A te form) から、 (verb B)
= A, and then B.

(i studied, and then i wrote letters to my friends)

Genki chapter 18 grammar notes:

1. transitive and intran­sitive verbs

There are two types of verbs, transitive (need a direct subjec­t/o­bject) and intran­sitive (only needs an object)

つける (to turn on) (trans­itive verb):
(takeshi turned the light on)

つく (something goes on) (intra­nsitive verb):
(the light went on)

note that intran­sitive does not need a subject, only needs object.

when used with ている, for transitive verbs, they describe actions in progress (verb -ing form in english), but for intran­sitive verbs, they describe change in state.

ロバーとさんは窓を 開けています。
(robert is opening the windows)

ドアが 開いています。
(the door is open)

2. てしまう

te form of verb + しまう。

has 2 meanings:

1. done something comple­tel­y/f­inish doing something:

本を 読んでしまいました。
(i read the book comple­tely)

2. means "­reg­ret­tab­ly"/ comes with the sense of regret, something regret­table happens. (like an "oh shit..." feeling)

電車の中にかばんを 忘れてしまいました。
(i inadve­rtently left my bag on the train)
((oh shit... i left my bag on the train))

infer the which of the two meanings is used based on context.

in speech, てしまう and でしまう is shortened to ちゃう and じゃう respec­tively.

3. Whenever A happens, B happens too

sentence A (short form present tense) + と + sentence B
= whenever A happens, B happens too.

道が込んでいる と 時間がかかる。
(whenever the streets are crowded, it takes longer to get there)

sometimes theres cause and effect relati­onship.

メアリーさん­が国に帰る と 寂しくなります。
(if mary goes back home, we will be lonely)

sentence B must follow the event described sentence A, basically there must be a link between the sentences.

4. at the same time

verb A (masu stem) + ながら + verb B
= verb A and B, at the same time. (by the same person)

私はいつも 音楽を聞き ながら 日本語を勉強します。
(i always listen to music while studying japanese)

5. i wish i had done...

use verb + ばよかったです to say u wish u had done (verb).

to conjugate: remove the final u and add -eba (works for all verbs)

食べる => 食べれら
行く => 行けば
する => すれば

example sentence:
傘を 持ってくれば­よかった。
(i wish i brought an umbrella)

Genki chapter 19 grammar notes:

1. honorific verbs

they are used to describe the actions of ppl you respect.


(いる/行く/来る => いらっしゃる)

先生は今日学校に いらっしゃいません。 (The professor will not go to/come to/be at school) (context based)

(食べる/飲む => 召し上がる)

何を 召し上がりますか?
(what will you eat/dr­ink?)

for verbs without special honorific forms, we can:

1. change verb + ている to verb + ていらっしゃいます

先生を電話で 話していらっ­しゃいます。
(the professor is talking on the phone)

2. use お + (verb masu stem) + になる

先生はもう お 帰り になりました。
(the professor has already gone home)

2. giving respectful advice

to give respectful advice­/co­mmand:
お + (verb masu stem) +ください

切符を お取りください
(please take a ticket)

with most ~する verbs, use ご instead.

(verb: 注意する)

(please watch out.)

3. thank you for .... (action)

(verb て) + くれてありがとう
= thank you for doing (verb).

(thanks for helping me out)

the honorific form is (verb て) + くださって ありがとう ございました。

推薦状を書い­てくださって ありがとう ございました。
(thank you for writing me a recomm­end­ation letter)

4. im glad that ...

(verb て) よかったです。
= u are glad that (verb).

日本語を 勉強してよか­ったです。
(i am glad that i have studied japanese)

5. supposed to

(sentence short form) + はずです。
= it is supposed to be the case.

今日は日曜日­から、­銀行は­しまっている はずです。
(Because today is a sunday, banks are supposed to be closed.)

はずです = supposed to be. it is a very likely guess that you make.

example of はずです past tense:
先週電話をもらう はずでした が、電話があ­りませ­んでした。
(i was supposed to receive a phone call last week, but i did not)

はずです conjugates with adj and nouns in this manner:

i adj: 面白い => 面白い はずです
na adj: 元気 => 元気な はずです
nouns: 日本人 => 日本人の はずです

Genki chapter 20 grammar notes

1. extra modest expres­sions

used to lower ur status and elavate the listeners status.

私は来年も日本に おります。 (います => おります)
(i will be in japan next year too)

お手洗いは二階 でごいざいます。 (です => でございます)
(The bathroom is on the second floor)

2. humble expres­sions

To lower your own status and raise the subject in your sentence's status

general form:
お + (verb masu stem) + する。

for ~する verbs, usually ご instead of お

私は昨日先生に お会いしました。
(i met my professor yesterday)

for もらう, => いただきます

私は先生にこの本を いただきました。
(i received this book from my professor)

for あげる, => さしあげる

私は先生に花を さしあげます。
(i will give my professor flowers)

use the verb うかがう to be humble in both visiting and asking questions.

私は先生のお宅に うかがいました。
(i visited my professors house)

私は先生にテ­ストついて うかがいました。
(i asked my professor about the exam)

note that the extra modest form raises the listeners status, whereas humble form raises the subjects status (for example the sensei u are referring to in ur sentence)

3. without doing X

verb + ないで = without doing X

(last night, i studied without any sleep)

4. questions within larger sentences

you can include questions within larger sentences.

山下先生は 昨日何を食べたか 覚えていません。
(professor yamashita does not remember what he ate yesterday)

5. the name of objects.

(name) という (object) = the object called "­nam­e".

ポチという犬。 (the dog called "­poc­hi")

6. easy/hard to do

(verb masu stem) + やすい/にくい = (verb) is easy/hard to do.

この電子辞書は使い やすいです。
(this electronic dictionary is easy to use)

骨が多いので­、魚は食べ にくいです。
(because there are many bones, fish are hard to eat)

この町はとても 住みやすいです。
(this town is very easy to live in)

note that it refers to the psycho­logical state of whether it is easy/hard to do

この雑誌は 買いにくい。
(this magazine is hard to buy. (because im embarr­assed by its contents))


この雑誌を 買うのは難しい。
(this magazine is hard to buy. (because it is rare and hard to find in circul­ation)

Genki chapter 21 grammar notes:

1. Passive sentences

general form:
X は Y に (verb passive form)
= X had (verb) done to him by Y.

verb conjug­ation:

ru verb: (ru => rareru)
食べる => 食べられる

u verbs: (u => areru)
行く => 行かれる

くる => こられる
する => される

passive form of verbs conjugate as ru verbs.

in most passive sentences, the "­vic­tim­" X is unfavo­urably affected by the person Y.

たけしさん は メアリーさん に よく 笑われます。
(takeshi is often laughed at by mary)

sometimes the sentence may be neutral.

私 は その人に デートに 誘われました。
(i was asked out by that person for a date)

2. てある

its kind of like an intran­sitive form of ている。

also implies that something has been brought about on purpose by somebody.

窓 が 閉めてあります。
(the window is closed (by somebody, and is still closed till now))


窓 が 閉まっています。
(the window is closed (just a statement that it is closed))

3. 間に

general form:
A (ている) 間に B.
(in the middle of/while A, B)

お風呂に入っている 間に 電話がありました。
(there was a phone call while i was taking my bath)

A can be a noun:

留守の 間に 友達が来ました。
(while i was absent, my friends came)

for the above, B lasts for a short duration. if B extends throughout the time A occurs, use 間

ルームメート­がメー­ルを書いている 間、 私は本を読ん­で待ちました。
(while my roommate was writing a mail, i waited, reading a book)

4. to make.

(adj) + する = to make something (adj)

similar to なる and its conjug­ations too.

i adj:
冷たい => 冷たくする。
(to make something cold/c­older)

na adj:
簡単な => 簡単にする。
(to make something simple­/si­mpler)

部屋を きれいにしました。
(i made the room clean)

5. i want him to do...

(私は) person に (verb) て欲しい。
= i want person to do (verb)

私 は ルームメート に 宿題を手伝っ­て欲しいです。
(i want my roomate to help me with my homework)

u can say i dont want him to do X by negating the 欲しい to 欲しくない or by making the verb negative + 欲しい。

Genki chapter 22 grammar notes:

1. causative form

causative form of verb:
ru verb: (ru => saseru)
食べる => 食べさせる

u verb: (u => aseru)
行く => 行かせる

くる => こさせる
する => させる

general form:
X は Y に (causative verb)
= X made/let Y do (verb).

"­mad­e/l­et" depends on context.

お父さんは子­供に野菜を 食べさせました。
(the father made/let the child eat vegeta­bles)

causative form conjugates like ru verb.

if got ~てあげる、­てくれ­る、てもらう, usually is let.

(casuative verb) てください just means pls let me do (verb)

2. command

(verb masu stem) + なさい = a command to do (verb).

may sound like u are "­talking down" to somebody.

うちに毎日 電話しなさい。
(call home everyday)

文句を言うのを やめなさい。
(stop compla­ining)

3. ば condit­ional

A ば B = If A, then B.


all positive verbs: (u => eba)
食べる => 食べれば
行く => 行けば

negative verbs: (nai => nakereba)
行かない = 行かなければ

ば is usually used when B is a "good result­"­/fa­vou­rable outcome.

この薬を飲め ば 大丈夫です。
(if u drink this medicine, u will be okay)

however u cannot say "if u dont drink this medicine u will die" using ば cuz the outcome is unfavo­urable.

4. despite

(short form A) のに B
= despite the fact that A, B.

both A and B must be facts

この会社はお金がある のに、給料は­安いです。
(Although the company is rich, the workers salaries are low)

when A ends in na adj or noun, add a な at the end of A to become なのに.

5. is like / do something like...

(noun A) のような (noun B) = A is similar to/like B (in appear­anc­e/q­uality)

私は 鎌倉のような町 が好きです。
(i like towns like kamakura)

(noun A) のように (verb/adj) =
does (verb) like A / has charac­ter­istic (adj) like A.

メアリーさんは 魚のように泳げます。
(mary can swim like a fish)

私は 孫悟空のよう­に強いです。
(i am strong like son goku)

Genki chapter 23 grammar notes:

1. causative passive sentences

general form:
X は Y に (causative passive verb)
= X was forced­/or­dered by Y to do (verb)

ゆみは お母さんに 勉強させられました。
(yumi was ordered by her mother to study.)

conjug­ation rules:

ru verbs: (ru => sase rareru)
食べる => 食べさせられる

u verbs that end in す: (su => sase rareru)
話す => 話させられる

all the other u verbs: (u => asare ru)
行く => 行かされる

くる => こさせられる
する => させられる

2. even if...

A ても、B = even if A, B

A is in te-form.

(even if it rains, i will go on a picnic)

3. decide to do

(verb short form present tense) + ことにする = decide to do (verb)

(we have decided to buy a car)

sometimes volitional form is used eg. 行くことにし­ましょ­う。also means lets do (verb), but has implic­ation that u gave some delibe­ration.

(verb) + ことにしている
= do (verb) as a regular practice.

絶対にお酒を 飲まないこと­にしています。
(i have made this firm decision not to drink alcohol and have strictly followed it)

4. until

A まで、B = until A, continue B.

晴れる まで、喫茶店­で待ちます。
(until the sky is clear, i will wait in the coffee shop)

5. the way of...

方 is like 方式 in chinese.

(verb masu stem) + 方 = the way of doing (verb)

考え方 (the way people think)

nouns that come before the verb the を particle changes to の.

漢字を読む => 漢字の読方 (the way of reading kanji)

for ~する verbs, becomes ~のし方.

日本語を勉強する => 日本語の勉強のし方。
(the way of studying japanese)


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