Alrighty, so far i have taught you to read and write the hiragana a-ko and a few words that use those soundings. Now I’m going to give you some basics on grammar/sentence structure. :3 Aren’t I just grand..?
For starters, a great deal (most) sentences in Japanese end in some form or other with です. This is pronounced, “des”. We haven’t learned these hiragana yet, but fret not, they are coming! です means, roughly, “It is…”
Juniji han desu.
This sentence, for instance, says, “It is half past twelve.”
This sentence says, “It’s chilly.”
To turn sentences into questions, do NOT try to add a question mark. There is no such beast in the Japanese language. Instead, simply add か(ka). You learned this hiragana already! When placed at the end of a sentence, this character turns the sentence into a question. For instance:
Amerikajin desu ka.
This sentence says, “Are you an American?” Normally, country names and nationalities are written in Katakana. The Katakana, which should have been used above for America, is アメリカ.
One basic sentence format is “X is Y.” Or, in Japanese, “X はY です.” When placed at the end of a word/middle of a sentence the character “ha” is pronounced “wa” and is used to identify things. For example:
Watashi wa Joanna desu.
I am Joanna.
Janeto san wa igirisujin desu.
Janet is british.
Then there is the particle “no”. We haven’t learned this hiragana yet, but it is vital to sentence structure. “No”, written の in hiragana, has many purposes. One purpose is to connect two nouns. In this connection, the main idea follows the no, and any further description is placed before the no. For example:
Takeshi san no denwa bangoo
Takeshi’s phone number
In this example, the noun “denwa bangoo” is the main idea, because if something is Takeshi’s phone number, it is a phone number. Takeshi san is not the main idea because Takeshi san is not Takeshi’s phone number. A little confusingly worded, I’m sorry!
Nihongo no gakusee
a student of the Japanese language
nihon no daigaku
A college in Japan
Another way of using “no” is noun1 no noun2 which combines the nouns into one big noun. For example:
Takeshi san no okaasan