21. Enumeration of Items/Choices

In this lesson, we will learn how to enumerate items in Japanese. In English, you enumerate items joining them with the word “and” as the separator of items. Japanese has just the word of the same function; namely, the word to separates the items you want to enumerate. Now, look at this example to see how to use this word.
Syaoran Omae ga motte-iru yon-dai genso kādo wa dore da?
Which of the four element Cards do you have?
Sakura Windi to Wōti.
Windy and Waterey.

motsu [u-verb] to have something in possession. Progressive: motte-iru

Very simle. The word to works exactly as “and” in English. Let's see one more example to ascertain your understanding.
Sakura Onii-chan to Yukito-san o minakatta?
Didn't you see my brother and Yukito-san?
Tomoyo Pengin-kouen ni imashita wa.
They were in Penguin Park.

minakatta = miru + -nai + -ta = did not see
imashita = iru + -masu + -ta = existed (polite form)

OK, then, what is the Japanese word corresponding to “or” on the other hand? When you enumerate choices, separate them with the word ka. We have an example below to check how to use this word.
Tomoyo Kēki ga hitotsu arimasen wa. Kitto, Kero-chan desu wa.
One of the cakes is missing. It must be Kero-chan.
Sakura Iie, Kero-chan ka onii-chan yo.
Not exactly, Kero-chan or my brother.

kēki [noun] cake

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22. Conjuction of Verbs

We will learn in this lesson how to express sequential actions as in “Sakura takes out a Card and casts a spell.” In the previous lesson we learned that the special word to was the separator of enumerated items. To express a sequence of actions, is the same procedure possible? Unfortunately, Japanese is not so easy. Then, here's a sample sentence:

Sakura wa kādo o toridashite jumon o tonaeru.
Sakura takes out a Card and casts a spell.

toridasu [u-verb] to take out something.
jumon o tonaeru = to cast a spell.

Look at the first verb in the sample sentence. Its root form is toridasu, but it conjugates as toridashite to allow another verb in conjunction. This conjugation form is called the conjunctive form. The conjugation pattern of conjunctive form is the same manner of past form, as shown in the table below.

u-verb -'u
-tte kau
buy and...
wait and...
run and...
-nde asobu
play and...
bite and...
die and...
-ku -ite kaku
write and...
hold and...
-gu -ide kagu
smell and...
swim and...
-su -shite hanasu
speak and...
rotate and...
exceptionikuitte go and...
ru-verb -ru -te neru
sleep and...
see and...
fall and...
irregular aru
exist and...
do (something) and...
come and...

No matter how many verbs to state in conjunction, the same procudre is possible; you have to conjugate all the verbs but the final one into the conjuctive form.
Tomoyo De, Kero-chan wa genki desu ka?
So, how's Kero-chan?
Sakura Aikawarazu. Tabete, gēmu o shite, terebi o mite, neru no.
As usual. He eats, plays videogames, watches TV, and sleeps.

aikawarazu [adv] as usual; taberu [ru-verb] to eat.
gēmu [noun] videogame.
no [article] sentence terminator of girls' speech.

To make the past tense of the series of conjuction verbs, conjugate only the last verb into the past form, remaining the other verbs in the conjunctive form. It might look bizzare, but there's no need to conjugate all the verbs into the past form. The tense (present or past) is determined by the last verb of the sentence, and besides, the past form or the conjuntive form does not conjugate anymore, unlike negative form.
Kero Kinou wai wa isogashikatta n'ya!
I was busy yesterday!
Sakura Nani ga?
For what?
Kero Tabete, gēmu o shite, terebi o mite, neta n'ya.
I ate, played videogames, watched TV, and slept.

isogashii [i-adj] to be busy. n'ya [article] sentence terminator of Osaka dialect.

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23. Conjuction of Adjectives

Now, we will study how to express the impression with sequence of adjectives. Similar to the conjunctive formula of verbs but slightly different. Anyway, look at the sample dialog quoted from Cardcaptor Sakura manga—Sakura and old Masaki (her great granddad) are talking about Fujitaka, after they played tennis.
Masaki Otou-san wa donna hito da ne?
What kind of person is your father?
Sakura Yasashikute, o-ryouri ga jouzu de, daigaku no sensei de, sorekara...
He's kind and good at cooking and a professor at a university and...
Masaki Otou-san ga tottemo suki nanda ne.
You really love him, don't you.

donna [interro] how; what kind of. hito [noun] person. yasashii [i-adj] to be kind. ryouri [noun] cooking.
jouzu [na-adj] good at something. daigaku [noun] university. sensei [noun] teacher; professor.
tottemo [adv] deeply. suki [na-adj] fond of someone or something.

In this dialog, Sakura's line describes her father with an i-adjective and a na-adjective in conjunction. An i-adjective turns into its conjunctive form, conjugating its tail -i into -kute. In contrast, a na-adjective does not conjugate; however, the copula da conjugates instead. Yes, the de seen in Sakura's line is the conjunctive form of the copula.

Well, how about this dialog? It's full of expression of conjunction. This dialog took place in Cardcaptor Sakura when Sakura and the others saw monsters different for each other which the Illusion Card was behind. The panicky girls describes what they just saw with words in conjunction.
Sakura Onna no hito ga...!
I saw a woman...!
Naoko Nanka ookikute, me ga hitotsu de, guru-guru no...
Something big and had one eye and it's rolling...
Chiharu Moya-moya-shite, yoku wakara-nakute, togatta mimi no...
So foggy I didn't know, but it had sharp ears...
Tomoyo Watashi ga mita no wa Pengin Daiou deshita kedo...
What I saw was the King Penguin slide, though...
nanka [noun] something. ookii [i-adj] to be big. me [noun] eye.
guru-guru [na-adj] rolling. (mimetic word for rolling sound)
moya-moya-suru [irr. verb] to be foggy.
yoku [adv] well; clearly. Often used in a negative sentence, as in yoku mienai (= can't see well).
wakaru [u-verb] to know; to understand.
togaru [u-verb] to be shape. mimi [noun] ear.

Naoko's line includes the conjunction of an i-adjective and a na-adjective. Chiharu's line includes the conjunction of an irregular verb and the negative form of a verb. Note that the negative form which ends in -nai follows the same conjugation rule as i-adjectives; that's why the conjunctive form of wakaranai should be wakaranakute.

There's one more type for the conjunctive form of -nai, which is -naide besides -nakute. The two versions -nakute and -naide has a little difference. Let's see the difference in these sample sentences:

Watashi wa gaman dekinakute kuukou ni itta no.
I couldn't put up with it, and went to the airport.
= I couldn't put up with it so that I went to the airport.

Watashi wa nakanaide Syaoran-kun o kuukou de miokutta no.
I didn't cry but saw Syaoran-kun off at the airport.
= Staying the state of not crying, I saw Syaoran-kun off at the airport.

gaman dekiru = to be able to put up with something.
kuukou [noun] airport. naku [u-verb] to cry. miokuru [u-verb] to see someone off.

Do you see the difference between -nakute and -naide? So little that it's hard to tell the difference? The former version implies the logical flow in the conjunction; in other words, the cause and the effect are described in conjunction. The latter version describes the state or condition by the phrase up to -naide, followed by the subsequent verb describing the main clause.

I hope you can master the conjunctive form of verbs and adjectives. The conjunctive form is important in Japanese because there are many grammatical construction based on the conjunctive form. If you think the conjugation pattern of the conjuntive form is complicated, I recommend you practice conjugating as many verbs and adjectives as you can, so you'll master how they conjugate.

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24. Asking for a Favor: Requestive Mood

Through the following three lessons, we will learn how to request someone to do something in Japanese. But beware of tones of speech; imagine someone asks you a favor when they speak in a king-to-retainer fashion, then you would possibly get mad. For this reason, let me first explain the requestive mood, followed by the directive and the imperative mood; namely, the safest way comes first and the most problematic comes last. Anyway, this lesson explains the requestive mood.

The requestive mood is the safest mood for asking someone to do something. This mood is represented by the form of -te-kudasai; namely, attaching a verb to -kudasai with its conjunctive form. Let me show you some samples to show you how to use this mood.

Kono hon o katte-kudasai.
Please buy this book.

hon [noun] book. kau [u-verb] to buy.

Warui madoushi ni katte-kudasai.
Please defeat the evil sorcerer.

warui [i-adj] to be evil. madoushi [noun] sorcerer. katsu [u-verb] to win; to defeat someone.

Shoku-go ni kusuri o ichi-jou nonde-kudasai.
Please take one pill after meal.

shoku-go ni = after meal. kusuri [noun] medicine; pill. ichi-jou = one pill (of medicine).
nomu [u-verb] to drink (water or liquor); to take (medicine).

Pengin Kouen ni itte-kudasai.
Please go to Penguin Park.

iku [u-verb] to go.

Kono kosuchūmu o kite-kudasai.
Please wear this costume.

kiru [ru-verb] to wear.

Conversely, when you ask someone to refrain from doing something, the same rule applies; connect the negative form of the verb and -kudasai. In connecting those phrases, the negative form of the verb should be conjugated to -naide. In this case, -nakute is not allowed for connection to -kudasai, but I don't know the reason why not.

Kono kādo ni sawaranaide-kudasai.
Please don't touch this card.

sawaru [u-verb] to touch.

Watashi no heya de nenaide-kudasai.
Please don't sleep in my room.

neru [ru-verb] to sleep.

To be exact, the requestive mood shows many variations of tones of speech by omitting or replacing -kudasai with other phrases. Let me show you some examples of tones derived from one single sentence. Those sample sentences are arranged in the order so that the most arrogant fashion comes first.

Pengin Kouen ni kite-kure. (Male speech toward their subordinates)
Come to the Penguin Park.

Pengin Kouen ni kite. (Sometimes spoken by Sakura to Syaoran and Touya)
Come to the Penguin Park.

Pengin Kouen ni kite-kureru? (Spoken by Sakura to Syaoran)
Will you come to the Penguin Park?

Pengin Kouen ni kite-kure-nai? (Spoken by Sakura to Syaoran)
Won't you come to the Penguin Park?

Pengin Kouen ni kite-kudasai. (Safest tone)
Please come to the Penguin Park.

Pengin Kouen ni kite-kudasai-masu ka? (Spoken by Tomoyo)
Would you come to the Penguin Park?

Pengin Kouen ni kite-kudasaimasen ka? (Spoken by Tomoyo)
Wouldn't you come to the Penguin Park?

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25. Directing an Action: Directive Mood

The second mood to have someone to do something is the directive mood, which is spoken by teachers or parents to direct their children to do something. That means, in Cardcaptor Sakura, Fujitaka, Ms. Mizuki, and Mr. Terada is sometimes likely to use this mood. The directive mood is obtained when the verb is suffixed by -nasai with the conjugation shown in the following table. The conjugation for the directive mood follows the same rule as the polite form which is terminated in -masu.

u-verb -u -inasai matsu
ru-verb -ru -nasai miru
wake up
irregular aru



Here's a sample dialog, in which Sakura and Tomoyo are out after dark for capturing a Clow Card or stuff, when Ms. Mizuki tells them to go home in the directive mood.
Sakura Hauu... Mou kuraku nat-chatta.
Hauu.. It's already dark.
Tomoyo Tsukaremashita wa.
I'm exhausted.
Ms. Mizuki O-uchi no hito ga shinpai-shite-iru wa. Sugu ni kaerinasai.
Your parents are worrying about you. Go home quickly.
mou [adv] already. kurai [i-adj] to be dark.
nat-chatta = to have become; namely, naru + -te-shimau + -ta.
tsukareru [ru-verb] to get tired.
o-uchi no hito = people in one's house (= one's parents).
shinpai-suru [irr. verb] to worry. kaeru [u-verb] to return to someplace.

How about this one? Sakura wants to talk to Kero about what happened at school, but he's sleeping. As he keeps sleeping though she tried to wake him up one more time, she gets so mad that she talks in directive mood. Just like this sample, they can speak in the directive mood when they're losing their temper. This manner of speech is preferred by women. On the other hand, men losing their temper prefer imperative mood.
Sakura Kero-chan, okite. Kyou, gakkou de taihen datta nda kara.
Kero, wake up. Something serious happened to me today at school.
Kero Guuu...
Sakura Kero-chan, okite yo.
You gotta wake up, Kero.
Kero Guuu...
Sakura Okinasai!
Wake Up!

okiru [ru-verb] to wake up.
taihen datta = Something serious happened.

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26. Giving a Command: Imperative Mood

The remaining mood for having someone to do something is the imperative mood which may sound quite imperative (literally :P), or disrespectful because this manner of speech is spoken when the king or queen gives a command to their retainers. In Cardcaptor Sakura, Syaoran and Touya sometimes talk in the imperative mood to Sakura. Additionally, Yue talks in the imperative mood to Sakura—some guardian talks in the imperative mood to his master—sounding the other way around? Anyway, I recommend you never use the imperative mood if you don’t want to get into trouble. The imperative mood is obtained by conjugating the verb as in the following table. The conjugation patterns in parenthesis (like miyo and seyo) are obsolete pattern, or which are only seen in written language.

u-verb -u -e kau
ru-verb -ru -ro (-yo) miru
miro (miyo)
okiro (okiyo)
wake up
irregular aru

shiro (seyo)


The imperative mood was spoken by Yue at the Final Judgement like this:
Yue Kurou kādo o tsukatte watashi o taose.
Use the Clow Cards and defeat me.
tsukau [u-verb] to use. taosu [u-verb] to defeat someone.

Syaoran often uses the impeative mood. I guess most of the CCS fans thought he was blunt or arrogant when he first appeared in the show. That's what his manner of speech does.
Syaoran Furīzu no kādo o tsukae!
Use the Freeze Card.
Sakura Demo...
Syaoran Iu toori ni shiro!
Do as I tell you!
iu [u-verb] to say. iu toori ni = as I tell you.

To prohibit someone in the imperative mood from doing something, attach -na to the root form of the verb to prohibit. The following dialog is the scene after Sakura captured the Snow Card; then she realized she had lost her wrist watch given by Yukito.
Sakura Yukito-san ni moratta noni...
Yukito-san gave it to me.
Syaoran Ore mo issho ni sagasu. Dakara naku-na.
I'll look for it together. So don't cry.
morau [u-verb] to receive somthing. issho ni = together.
sagasu [u-verb] to look for something.

You know what? The imperative mood is contained in Sakura's incantations. Although a modest girl like Sakura never uses the imperative mood in her daily conversation, the ones which are used in her incatations are of obsolete style, making the incantations sound olden.

Yami no chikara o himeshi kagi yo, shin no sugata o ware no mae ni shimese.
O Key that hides the power of darkness, show me thy true form.

yami no chikara = power of darkness. himeshi = to be holding something secretly. (obsolete)
kagi [noun] key. shin no sugata = true form. ware [pronoun] I, me, or my. (obsolete)
shimesu [u-verb] to show something.

Nanji no aru beki sugata ni modore!
Return to the true form which thou shalt be in!

nanji [pronoun] you, thou (obsolete). ~ beki = should do something.
modoru [u-verb] to return to the original place or state.

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27. Progressive Form

The progressive form is the expression of the action which is currently taking place, like “Sakura is running to Penguin Park.” Japanese speakers use the progressive form more frequently than English speakers do. If you have mastered how to use progressive form, your Japanese will sound more natural.

Kero-chan wa purin o tabete-iru.
Kero-chan is eating a pudding.

taberu [ru-verb] to eat.

Progressive form converts the type of the verb into ru-verb with the suffix -iru. Let's see how this progressive descriptions are conjugated.

Sakura wa Jampu no kādo o sagashite-iru.
Sakura is looking for the Jump Card.

For this example, sagasu (to look for something) is a u-verb, which is converted into a ru-verb when it conjugate into its progressive form.

Sakura wa Jampu no kādo o sagashite-inai.
Sakura is not looking for the Jump Card.

Sakura wa Jampu no kādo o sagashite-ita.
Sakura was looking for the Jump Card.

Sakura wa Jampu no kādo o sagashite-inakatta.
Sakura was not looking for the Jump Card.

The progressive form can be re-written in the polite tone in the same procedure just as ru-verbs.

Sakura wa Jampu no kādo o sagashite-imasu.
Sakura is looking for the Jump Card.

Sakura wa Jampu no kādo o sagashite-imasen.
Sakura is not looking for the Jump Card.

Sakura wa Jampu no kādo o sagashite-imashita.
Sakura was looking for the Jump Card.

Sakura wa Jampu no kādo o sagashite-imasen deshita.
Sakura was not looking for the Jump Card.

The role of the progressive form of Japanese is a little different than that of English. In contrast to the plain present tense of Japanese verbs which express instantaneous action, the progressive form expresses continuous action like habits as well as actions in progress. That’s why many Japanese sentences should be in the progressive form even though its English translation is simply written in the present tense.

Sakura wa Tomoeda-chou ni sunde-iru.
Sakura lives in Tomoeda-chou.

sumu [u-verb] to live in someplace.

Onii-chan wa zenbu shitte-ita.
My brother knew everything.

zenbu [adv] everything shiru [u-verb] to know.

Sakura wa shi-gatsu kara kādo o atsumete-iru.
Sakura has been collecting Cards since April.

shi-gatsu [noun] April. shi = four; gatsu = month. kara [adv] since (time) atsumeru [ru-verb] to collect.

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28. Future Tense

There is no grammatical future tense in Japanese. Does that mean that Japanese people dislike talking about the future, or they give up hope for the future? Well, that can’t be true. Japanese people speak in the present tense to express what will happen in the future. Despite the present tense spoken in the sentence, you are able to guess it's something about the future if it includes some chronological info like tomorrow, next week, or something.
Tomoyo Kyou o-uchi ni kite-kudasaimasu ka?
Will you come over to my house today?
Sakura Un, san-ji ni iku yo.
Yep, I’ll come at 3.

san-ji = three o'clock; namely, san (= three) + ji (= time).

Conversely, some sentences do not include the information about the time in it. In that case, you should tell if it’s about the future just by conjecture from the context.
Mr. Terada Dareka, kono mondai o tokeru hito inai ka?
Somebody can solve this problem?
Meilin Watashi ga yaru wa.
I’ll do.

yaru [u-berb] to do (something).

It might be funny that Japanese people use present tense to talk about the future and use progressive form to talk about their habbit, where as English speakers use the progressive form to talk about the near future like “I’m coming to the party this weekend.”

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29. Perfective Form

The perfective form is the conjugation pattern of verbs which basically expresses the completed action. In the sense, it is similar to the perfect tense in English, but it’s not equal. The perfective form mainly expresses some unexpected or undesirable action. But this conjugation pattern is often spoken in daily conversation.

The perfective form is obtained by attaching -shimau to the verb in its conjunctive form. This sample dialog is from the scene that Eriol and his guardians are watching Sakura in trouble when Keroberos and Yue are unable to return to their Earthly form because of evil Eriol’s magic; but the lines are changed appropriately for this lesson.
Nakuru Yue ga sentaku o...? Waratte-shimau wa.
Yue do the laundry...? I laugh (unexpectedly).
Suppi Omoshiroi desu ka?
Is it funny?
Nakuru Yue to ieba, tsui-tsui asonde-shimau no yo ne.
Talking about Yue, I amuse myself (unexpectedly).

sentaku [noun] laundry. warau [u-verb] to laugh.
omoshiroi [i-adj] to be funny. ~ to ieba = When I talk about ~
asobu [u-verb] to play; to amuse oneself.
~ no yo ne = sentence-terminating phrase without special meaning, often spoken in girls’ speech.

The perfective form acts like a u-verb, so its past tense is simple. Looking back at Lesson 18, you may guess that -shimau turns into -shimatta if it's converted in to the past tense. The past tense of the perfective form expresses completed action, or something that has been done unexpectedly.
Kero De? Nande kozou ga koko ni oru n’ya?
So? How come the brat is here?
Sakura A-ano... Yakusoku-shita kara yonde-shimatta no.
Umm... I just called him out because I made a promised to him.

nande~? = how come ~? koko [noun] this place.
oru [u-verb] (of a living body) to exist. Osaka dialect for iru. ~ kara = because ~
n’ya = sentence termination for interrogation in Osaka dialect.

In colloquial version (or slang), -te-shimau is pronounced -chau. This version of perfective form is often heard in Cardcaptor Sakura. Some perfective form is of the form -de-shimau; in that case, its colloquial version is -jau as seen in this dialog.
Nakuru Yue ga sentaku o...? Warat-chau wa.
Yue do the laundry...? I laugh (unexpectedly).
Suppi Omoshiroi desu ka?
Is it funny?
Nakuru Yue to ieba, tsui-tsui ason-jau no yo ne.
Talking about Yue, I amuse myself (unexpectedly).

The colloquial version of the past perfective follows the same rule; namely -te-shimatta shifts to -chatta, and -de-shimatta to -jatta.
Kero De? Nande kozou ga koko ni oru n’ya?
So? How come the brat is here?
Sakura A-ano... Yakusoku-shita kara yon-jatta no.
Umm... I just called him out because I made a promised to him.

You'll see how often Sakura and the others use -chau or -chatta if you watch or read Cardcaptor Sakura in Japanese. When you master the perfective form, you'll be able to understand more lines spoken in the show.

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30. Causative Form

The grammar to express the action making someone to do something is called the causative; in English, represented with causative verbs have and make—for example, “Sakura has the Windy Card to capture the Dash Card.” This lesson explains the causative expression in Japanese.

Causative expression is written by conjugating the verb into its causative form, following the conjugation rule shown in the following table. The conjugation into the causative form changes the verb type into a ru-verb; For example, mataseru (to have someone wait) can be furthermore conjugated: matasenai (negative), mata-se-masu (polite), mataseta (past), mata-sete-shimau (perfective), etc.

TypeRootConjugation Example
Root Causative Meaning
u-verb-u-a-seru kaku
to have (someone) write
to have (someone) wait
to have (someone) buy
ru-verb-ru-saseru miru
to have (someone) see
to have (someone) open
Irregular aru


to have (someone) do
to have (someone) come

The typical causative sentence in Japanese is of the form:

S wa P ni O o V-saseru. = S has P V O.

Here, S is the subject, P the person or thing to do the action denoted by V, the O the object of the action V. Note that some Japanese sentences omit the subject S or the object O if they are explicit. According to the formula, “Kero has Suppi eat chocolate,” is translated:

Kero wa Suppi ni chokorēto o tabe-saseru.
Kero has (makes) Suppi eat chocolate.

chokorēto [noun] chocolate. taberu [ru-verb] to eat.

OK, look at this sample dialog, which comes from an episode of Cardcaptor Sakura—on the day Syaoran got transferred to Tomoeda Elementary. This scene is when Syaoran has found out Sakura has Clow Cards. Can you find where a causative form is hidden? Look at the bottommost line; mot-asete-iru contains the causative form.

Sakura Kero-chan to yakusoku-shita kara...
I promised Kero-chan that I...
Syaoran Kero-chan tte... Keruberosu ka?
Kero-chan? It it Kerberus?
Sakura Kero-chan o shitte-iru no?
You know him?
Syaoran Keruberosu wa doushite konna kodomo ni Kurou kādo o motasete-iru nda?
How come Kerberus has the kid like this possess the Clow Cards?

yakusoku-suru [irr. verb] to make a promise. ~ kara = because ~
shitte-iru = shiru + -te-iru = to keep knowing. doushite = how come.
konna = like this. kodomo = child.
motasete-iru = motsu + -saseru + -te-iru = to keep having someone possess (something).

The last sample dialog is almost the same that was really aired in Japan. You are able to understand this common Japanese conversation, because you’ve studied 30 lessons with Sakura’s BME Clinic. ^_^

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