Japanese basic grammar topic Things that should be a certain way

Things that should be a certain way

In this lesson, we'll learn how to express the way things are supposed depending on what we mean by "supposed". While the first two grammar points はず and べき come up often and are quite useful, you'll rarely ever encounter べく or べからず. You can safely skip those lessons unless you are studying for the JLPT.

Using はず to describe an expectation

Vocabulary

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

2.    日曜日 にち・よう・び - Sunday

3.    可能 か・のう (na-adj) - possible

4.    おいしい (i-adj) - tasty

5.    帰る かえ・る (u-verb) - to go home

6.    彼【かれ - he; boyfriend

7.    漫画 まん・が - comic book

8.    マニア - mania

9.    これ - this

10.  ~ら - pluralizing suffix

11.  もう - already

12.  全部 ぜん・ぶ - everything

13.  読む よ・む (u-verb) - to read

14.  この - this abbr. of これの

15.  料理 りょう・り - cooking; cuisine; dish

16.  焦げる こ・げる (ru-verb) - to burn, to be burned

17.  まずい (i-adj) - unpleasant

18.  色々 いろ・いろ (na-adj) - various

19.  予定 よ・てい - plans, arrangement

20.  する (exception) - to do

21.  今年 こ・とし - this year

22.  楽しい たの・しい (i-adj) - fun

23.  クリスマス - Christmas

24.  そう - (things are) that way

25.  簡単 かん・たん (na-adj) - simple

26.  直す なお・す (u-verb) - to correct, to fix

27.  打合せ うち・あわ・せ - meeting

28.  毎週 まい・しゅう - every week

29.  ~時 【~じ】 - counter for hours

30.  始まる はじ・まる (u-verb) - to begin

The first grammar we will learn is はず, which is used to express something that was or is supposed to be. You can treat はず just like a regular noun as it is usually attached to the adjective or verb that is supposed to be or supposed to happen.

The only thing to be careful about here is expressing an expectation of something not happening. To do this, you must use the negative existence verb ない to say that such an expectation does not exist. This might be in the form of 「~はずない or 「~はずない depending on which particle you want to use. The negative conjugation はずじゃない is really only used when you want to confirm in a positive sense such as 「~はずじゃないか?」.

Using はず to describe an expectation

·     Use はず just like a regular noun to modify the expected thing
Examples

1.    日曜日のはず (noun)

2.    可能なはず (na-adjective)

3.    おいしいはず (i-adjective)

4.    帰るはず (verb)

·     For the case where you expect the negative, use the ない verb for nonexistence

·     Example: 帰るはず → 帰るはずがない

Examples

1.    彼は漫画マニアだから、これらをもう全部読んだはずだよ
He has a mania for comic book(s) so I expect he read all these already.

2.    この料理はおいしいはずだったが、焦げちゃって、まずくなった
This dish was expected to be tasty but it burned and became distasteful.

3.    色々予定してあるから、今年は楽しいクリスマスのはず
Because various things have been planned out, I expect a fun Christmas this year.

4.    そう簡単に直せるはずがない
It's not supposed to be that easy to fix.

5.    打合せは毎週2時から始まるはずじゃないですか?
This meeting is supposed to start every week at 2 o'clock, isn't it?

Here are more examples from the WWWJDIC. You may also want to check out the jeKai entry

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Using べき to describe actions one should do

Vocabulary

1.    絶対 ぜっ・たい (na-adj) - absolutely, unconditionally

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

3.    強い つよ・い (i-adj) - strong

4.    推奨 すい・しょう - recommendation

5.    する (exception) - to do

6.    擦る す・る (u-verb) - to rub

7.    行う おこな・う (u-verb) - to conduct, to carry out

8.    なに/なん - what

9.    買う か・う (u-verb) - to buy

10.  まえ - front; before

11.  本当 ほん・とう - real

12.  必要 ひつ・よう - necessity

13.  どう - how

14.  いい (i-adj) - good

15.  考える かんが・える (ru-verb) - to think

16.  例え たと・え - example

17.  くに - country

18.  国民 こく・みん - people, citizen

19.  騙す だま・す (u-verb) - to trick, to cheat, to deceive

20.  思う おも・う (u-verb) - to think

21.  預金者 よ・きん・しゃ - depositor

22.  大手 おお・て - large corporation

23.  銀行 ぎん・こう - bank

24.  相手 あい・て - other party

25.  取る と・る (u-verb) - to take

26.  訴訟 そ・しょう - litigation, lawsuit

27.  起こす お・こす (u-verb) - to cause, to wake someone

28.  ケース - case

29.  出る で・る (ru-verb) - to come out

30.  金融庁 きん・ゆう・ちょう - Financial Services Agency

31.  被害者 ひ・がい・しゃ - victim

32.  救済 きゅう・さい - relief, aid

33.  優先 ゆう・せん - preference, priority, precedence

34.  金融 きん・ゆう - financing

35.  機関 き・かん - institution

36.  犯罪 はん・ざい - crime

37.  防止 ぼう・し - prevention

38.  強化 きょう・か - strengthen

39.  促す うなが・す (u-verb) - to urge

40.  判断 はん・だん - judgement, decision

41.  朝日 あさ・ひ - Asahi

42.  新聞 しん・ぶん - newspaper

べき is a verb suffix used to describe something that is supposed to be done. This suffix is commonly defined as "should", however, one must realize that it cannot be used to make suggestions like the sentence, "You should go to the doctor." If you use べき, it sounds more like, "You are supposed to go to the doctor." べき has a much stronger tone and makes you sound like a know-it-all telling people what to do. For making suggestions, it is customary to use the comparison 方がいい grammar instead. For this reason, this grammar is almost never used to directly tell someone what to do. It is usually used in reference to oneself where you can be as bossy as you want or in a neutral context where circumstances dictate what is proper and what is not. One such example would be a sentence like, "We are supposed to raise our kids properly with a good education."

Unlike the はず grammar, there is no expectation that something is going to happen. Rather, this grammar describes what one should do in a given circumstance. In Japanese, you might define it as meaning 絶対ではないが、強く推奨されている.

There is very little of grammatical interest. べき works just like a regular noun and so you can conjugate it as べきじゃない」、「べきだった, and so on. The only thing to note here is that when you're using it with する, the verb meaning "to do", you can optionally drop the 「る」 from するべき to produce すべき. You can do this with this verb only and it does not apply for any other verbs even if the verb is written as する such as 擦る, the verb meaning "to rub".

Using べき for actions that should be done

·     Attach べき to the action that should be done
Examples

1.    行う行うべき

2.    するするべき

·     For the generic "to do " verb する only, you can remove the 「る」

·     Example: +べきべき

Examples

1.    何かを買う前に本当に必要かどうかをよく考えるべき
Before buying something, one 
should think well on whether it's really necessary or not.

2.    例え国のためであっても、国民を騙すべきではないと思う
Even if it is, for example, for the country, I don't think the country's citizens 
should be deceived.

3.    預金者が大手銀行を相手取って訴訟を起こすケースも出ており、金融庁は被害者の救済を優先させて、金融機関に犯罪防止対策の強化を促すべきだと判断。(朝日新聞)
With cases coming out of depositors suing large banks, the Financial Services Agency decided it 
shouldprioritize relief for victims and urge banks to strengthen measures for crime prevention.

Using べく to describe what one tries to do

Vocabulary

1.    連用形 れん・よう・けい - conjunctive form

2.    早い はや・い (i-adj) - fast; early

3.    帰る かえ・る (u-verb) - to go home

4.    準備 じゅん・び - preparations

5.    する (exception) - to do

6.    始める はじ・める (ru-verb) - to begin

7.    思う おも・う (u-verb) - to think

8.    出来る で・き・る (ru-verb) - to be able to do

9.    行う おこな・う (u-verb) - to conduct, to carry out

10.  試験 し・けん - exam

11.  合格 ごう・かく - pass (as in an exam)

12.  みんな - everybody

13.  一生懸命 いっ・しょう・けん・めい - with utmost effort

14.  勉強 べん・きょう - study

15.  今後 こん・ご - from now on

16.  お客様 お・きゃく・さま - guest, customer

17.  対話 たい・わ - interaction

18.  窓口 まど・ぐち - teller window, counter; point of contact

19.  より - more

20.  充実 じゅう・じつ - fulfilled

21.  行く い・く (u-verb) - to go

22.  努力 ど・りょく - effort

23.  参る まい・る (u-verb) - to go; to come (humble)

Grammatically, べく is really a conjunctive form 連用形 of べき, similar to what the te-form does to connect another phrase. However, what needs mentioning here is that by changing it into a conjunctive and adding a predicate, the meaning of べく changes from the ordinary meaning of べき. While べき describes a strong suggestion, changing it to べく allows you to describe what one did in order to carry out that suggestion. Take a look that the following examples to see how the meaning changes.

1.    早く帰るべき
Should go home early.

2.    早く帰るべく、準備をし始めた
In trying to go home early, started the preparations.

As we can see in this example, adding the 準備をし始めた tells us what the subject did in order to carry out the action he/she was supposed to do.In this way we can define べく as meaning, "in order to" or "in an effort to". Similarly, べく might mean the Japanese equivalent of しようと思って or できるように. This is a very seldom-used old-fashioned expression and is merely presented here to completely cover all aspects of べき.

Using べく for actions that are attempted to be done

·     Attach べく to the action that is attempted to be done
Examples

1.    行う行うべく

2.    するするべく

·     Same as べき, you can remove the 「る」 for the generic "to do " verb する only

·     Example: +べくべく

Examples

1.    試験に合格すべく、皆一生懸命に勉強している
Everybody is studying very hard 
in an effort to pass the exam.

2.    今後もお客様との対話の窓口として、より充実していくべく努力してまいります
We are working from here 
in an effort to provide a enriched window for customer interaction.

Using べからず to describe things one must not do

Vocabulary

1.    未然形 み・ぜん・けい - imperfective form

2.    行う おこな・う (u-verb) - to conduct, to carry out

3.    する (exception) - to do

4.    ゴミ - garbage

5.    捨てる す・てる (ru-verb) - to throw away

6.    安全 あん・ぜん - safety

7.    措置 そ・ち - measures

8.    忘れる わす・れる (ru-verb) - to forget

Moving on to yet another from of べき is べからず. This is undoubtedly related to the 「ず」 negative ending we learned in a previous section. However, it seems to be a conjugation of an old 未然形 of べから. I have no idea what that means and you don't have to either. The only thing we need to take away from this is that べからず expresses the opposite meaning of べき as an action that one must not do. I suppose the short and abrupt ending of the 「ず」 form makes this more useful for laying out rules. In fact, searching around on google comes up with a bunch of べし・ベからず or "do's and don'ts". べし is an older form of べき, which I doubt you'll ever need.)

Using べからず for actions that must not be done

·     Attach べからず to the action that must not be done
Examples

1.    行う行うべからず

2.    するするべからず

·     Same as べき, you can remove the 「る」 for the generic "to do " verb する only

·     Example: +べからずべからず

Examples

1.    ゴミ捨てるべからず
You 
must not throw away trash.

2.    安全措置を忘れるべからず
You 
must not forget the safety measures.

 

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Basic grammar

  • 1 :Addressing People
  • 2 :Adjective Practice Exercises
  • 3 :Adjectives
  • 4 :Advanced proximity of actions
  • 5 :Advanced Topics
  • 6 :Advanced Volitional
  • 7 :Adverbs and Sentence-ending particles
  • 8 :Basic Grammar
  • 9 :Casual Patterns and Slang
  • 10 :Causative and Passive Verbs
  • 11 :Compound Sentences
  • 12 :Conditionals
  • 13 :Covered by something
  • 14 :Defining and Describing
  • 15 :Desire and Suggestions
  • 16 :Essential Grammar
  • 17 :Expressing amounts
  • 18 :Expressing must or have to
  • 19 :Expressing State-of-Being
  • 20 :Expressing the minimum expectation
  • 21 :Expressing time-specific actions
  • 22 :Expressing various levels of certainty
  • 23 :Formal expressions of non-feasibility
  • 24 :Formal Expressions
  • 25 :Giving and Receiving
  • 26 :Hiragana
  • 27 :Honorific and Humble Forms
  • 28 :Hypothesizing and Concluding
  • 29 :Introduction to Particles
  • 30 :Introduction
  • 31 :Kanji
  • 32 :Katakana
  • 33 :Leaving something the way it is
  • 34 :Making requests
  • 35 :More negative verbs
  • 36 :Negative Verb Practice Exercises
  • 37 :Negative Verbs
  • 38 :Noun-related Particles
  • 39 :Numbers and Counting
  • 40 :Other Grammar
  • 41 :Other uses of the te-form
  • 42 :Particles used with verbs
  • 43 :Past Tense
  • 44 :Past Verb Practice Exercises
  • 45 :Performing an action on a relative clause
  • 46 :Polite Form and Verb Stems
  • 47 :Potential Form
  • 48 :Relative Clauses and Sentence Order
  • 49 :Review and more sentence-ending particles
  • 50 :Saying something is easy or difficult to do
  • 51 :Showing signs of something
  • 52 :Special expressions with generic nouns
  • 53 :Special Expressions
  • 54 :Tendencies
  • 55 :The Question Marker
  • 56 :The Writing System
  • 57 :Things that happen unintentionally
  • 58 :Things that should be a certain way
  • 59 :Transitive and Intransitive Verbs
  • 60 :Trying something out or attempting to do something
  • 61 :Using suru and naru with the ni particle
  • 62 :Using yoru for comparisons and other functions
  • 63 :Various ways to express similarity and hearsay
  • 64 :Verb Basics
  • 65 :Verb Practice Exercises