Japanese basic grammar topic Special expressions with generic nouns

Special Expressions with Generic Nouns

We've already learned how to use generic nouns in order to modify nouns. Now we will go over some special expression used with generic nouns.

Using こと to say whether something has happened

Vocabulary

1.    こと - event, matter

2.    ある (u-verb) - to exist (inanimate)

3.    徹夜 てつ・や - staying up all night

4.    宿題 しゅく・だい - homework

5.    する (exception) - to do

6.    一人 ひとり - 1 person; alone

7.    行く い・く (u-verb) - to go

8.    パリ - Paris

9.    お寿司 お・す・し- sushi

10.  食べる たべ・る (ru-verb) - to eat

11.  日本 に・ほん - Japan

12.  映画 えい・が - movie

13.  観る み・る (ru-verb) - to watch

14.  ヨーロッパ - Europe

15.  いい (i-adj) - good

16.  そう - (things are) that way

17.  言う い・う (u-verb) - to say

18.  見る み・る (ru-verb) - to see

19.  ~度 【~ど】 - counter for number of times

When you combine こと, the generic word for an event with ある, you can talk about whether an event exists or not.

Examples

1.    徹夜して、宿題することある
There are times when I do homework while staying up all night.

2.    一人で行くことありません
I never go by myself.

Using the past tense of the verb with こと, you can talk about whether an event has ever taken place. This is essentially the only way you can say "have done" in Japanese so this is a very useful expression. You need to use this grammar any time you want to talk about whether someone has ever done something.

Examples

1.    パリに行ったことあります
Have you ever gone to Paris?

2.    お寿司を食べたことある
I've had sushi before.

3.    日本の映画を観たことない
You've never seen a Japanese movie?

4.    ヨーロッパに行ったことあったらいいな
It would be nice if I ever go to Europe.

5.    そういうのを見たことなかった
I had never seen anything like that.

6.    一度行ったことないんです
I've never gone, not even once.

Using ところ as an abstract place

Vocabulary

1.    ところ - place

2.    早い はや・い (i-adj) - fast; early

3.    来る く・る (exception) - to come

4.    映画 えい・が - movie

5.    いま - now

6.    ちょうど - just right; exactly

7.    いい - good

8.    かれ - he; boyfriend

9.    優しい やさ・しい (i-adj) - gentle; kind

10.  ある (u-verb) - to exist (inanimate)

11.  授業 じゅ・ぎょう - class

12.  終わる お・わる (u-verb) - to end

13.  これ - this

14.  行く い・く (u-verb) - to go

ところ」(所) is usually used to indicate a generic physical location. However, it can also hold a much broader meaning ranging from a characteristic to a place in time.

Examples

1.    早くきて。映画は今ちょうどいいところだよ
Come quickly. We're at the good part of the movie.

2.    彼は優しいところもあるよ
His personality has some gentle parts too.

3.    今は授業が終ったところです
Class has ended just now.

4.    これから行くところでした
I was just about to go from now.

Using もの as a casual feminine way to emphasize

Vocabulary

1.    もの - object

2.    どうして - why

3.    来る く・る (exception) - to come

4.    授業 じゅ・ぎょう - class

5.    ある (u-verb) - to exist (inanimate)

The generic object noun もの can be used as a casual and feminine way of emphasizing something. This is identical to the explanatory feminine emphasis expressed by the 「の」 particle. Just like the explanatory 「の」 particle, the 「の」 is often changed into 「ん」 resulting in もん. Using もん sounds very feminine and a little cheeky (in a cute way).

Examples

·         どうしてこなかったの
Why didn't (you) come?

1.    授業があった
(I) had class. [feminine explanatory]

2.    授業があったもの
(I) had class. [feminine explanatory]

3.    授業があったもん
(I) had class, so there. [feminine explanatory]

 

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