February 14, 2008

Some Japanese grammar for thought

The following grammar constructions are equivalent to the English Expressions, “I shouldn’t have done it”, (Where done it, is replaced by some verb in plain form) or near literally as, “It wasn’t meant to be” or literally as an emphatic “didn’t verb”. Yet those translations only can approximate what is meant by the JA NAKATTA part of the grammar. In conventional Japanese grammar, a verb in plain form is emphasized by adding no desu. So that kuru no desu would mean not just I come, but I AM COMING YO! FOR SURE! That is the nuance of adding no desu to a plain form verb. The no part of the no desu is usually contracted so that in spoken Japanese, no, becomes the morpheme n. JA is the contraction of DEWA, or its own formal form. Getting a handle on this one simple substitution marks a learning phase in the acquisition of Japanese. Just remember that JA is simply DEWA. In formal polite Japanese, DEWA is used on the negative verb forms*. So instead of DEWA ARIMASEN, you would have JA ARIMASEN, and instead of DEWA NAI you would have JA NAI. For DEWA NAKATTA, you would have JA NAKATTA. Please see the JPPGG Verb Boxes. http://squidoo.com/japanesegrammar89

A verb in base III + N’ JA NAKATTA means, ”It wasn’t the fact that” ~ verb, noun phrase.

Verb (Base III) + N’ JA NAKATTA = I sure wish I wouldn't have verb’ed, I(it) wasn't meant to verb.

Ex. 1 “TSURETE KURU N’ JA NAKATTA” – “I know one thing. . . I shouldn't have brought you! That’s for sure!”

Ex. 2 “HAIKINGU SURU N’ JA NAKATTA” – “I am not made out for hiking. I shouldn’t have come and gone hiking with you.”

Ex. 3 “SAKUBAN, SONNA NI NOMU N’ JA NAKATTA” – “I shouldn’t have drank so much, last night.”

As always,
Ganbatte Ne!
Do your best!