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Japanese Culture >> Japanese Grammar

Japanese Grammar Fun

By Makurasuki

This article shows a colloquial usage of certain Japanese grammar for must verb.


nakute wa narimasen,

Narimasen shortens itself into naranai then ultimately naran

must +Verb nakereba narimasen

must +Verb nakucha naranai

must +Verb nakya naran (ikenai,ikan)

Other insights into how it has evolved into the form will become apparent.

The Japanese grammar for, subject must verb is usually taught in 2-3 different ways all based upon the negative conditional Base IV +BA. In other words, there are 2-3 ways of saying the imperative verb.

If ~ verb then it is no good.

(It will not go good, or sit well with someone etc). (~-not)

Ex. 1. If you do not drink your medicine, it is not going to be good for you.

Kusuri o nomanakereba narimasen.

.A literal translation might be - If you do not drink your medicine that not very becoming. It will never do if you do not take your medicine.

In more modern American English - You have to take your medicine. You must take you medicine.

Ex. 2. We must go! We have to go!

Ikanakya ikenai!

A literal translation might be - If we do not go, it will not go well.

In more modern American English it becomes - We had better get the hell out of here!

We had better go! We best get!

Ex. 3. You have got to get it done. You must do it. You are going to have to do it. You better do it now or regret not doing it later!

Shitokan to akan yo!

Now the last phrase comes from Hakata way of speaking, Tenjin, Ropponmatsu, Hakata area dialect in the prefecture of Fukuoka, Japan. We can label it pure Hakata Ben, or Hakata speak. Native as native can get grammar principle. Nowhere else on the web can you get this modern observation of the Japanese language. Straight from the best teachers of Japanese, the Japanese themselves. This dialect never before seen in textbook form appears to you now. Study this and be leagues ahead of you peers in Japanese language skills. This expression is Hakata Ben in its purest and highest form. It also gives us the added grammar bonus of verb Base-TE +oku, to do verb for later.

If we go backwards from most polite must form of conditional negative verb we start with

Ikimasen - ikanai - ikan -akan- or iken depending on how much the speaker feels that the task is accomplishable.

Verb in base I +nakute wa narimasen. Which is also understood in more plain form, less formal form would say Verbbase1 + nakute wa naranai, ikanai, or simplified even further by say naran or ikan. 2. Verb +nakereba narimasen. in negative conditional (ex. ikanakereba narimasen Japanese usage Grammar lesson is brought to you in part by my ex-girlfriend's mother. Modern Japanese with an interesting slant.

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