Japanese Grammar 108 – Positive, negative and interrogative sentence

The positive sentence

Subject+wa+verb

Examples:

Watashi wa yomimasu (I read) polite form
Kare wa tabemasu (He eats) polite form
Watashi wa yomu (I read) colloquial form
Kare wa taberu (He eats) colloquial form


Subject+wa+object+o+verb

Examples:

Watashi wa hon o yomimasu – I read a book
Kare wa sakana o tabemasu – He eats fish
Watashi wa hon o yomu – I read a book
Kare wa sakana o taberu – He eats fish

Subject+wa+to be

Kanojo wa nihonjin desu – She is Japanese
Are wa gakkō da – That is a school

Subject+wa+place+ni / he+Verbo iku (to go) / kuru (to come)

Kanojo wa Kyoto ni / he ikimasu – She goes to Kyoto
Karera wa eki ni / he kimasu – They come to the station
Kanojo wa Kyoto ni / he iku – She goes to Kyoto
Karera wa eki ni / he kuru – They come to the station

Negative sentence

Subject+wa+negative verb

Watashi wa yomimasen – I don’t read
Kare wa tabemasen – He doesn’t eat
Watashi wa yomanai – I don’t read
Kare wa tabenai – He doesn’t eat

Subject+wa+object+o+negative verb

Watashi wa hon o yomimasen – I don’t read books
Kare wa sakana o tabemasen – He doesn’t eat fish
Watashi wa hon o yomanai – I don’t read books
Kare wa sakana o tabenai – He doesn’t eat fish

Subject+wa+to be (negative)

Watashi wa nihonjin dewa arimasen – I am not Japanese
Are wa gakkō dewa nai – That is not a school

Subject+wa+place+ni / he+verb iku (to go) / kuru – to come

Kanojo wa Kyoto ni / he ikimasen – She doesn’t go to Kyoto
Karera wa eki ni / he kimasen – They don’t come to the station
Kanojo wa Kyoto ni / he ikanai – She doesn’t go to Kyoto
Karera wa eki ni/he konai – They don’t come to the station

Interrogative sentence

Questions are formed by adding ­ka at the end of the polite form.

Anata wa gakusei desu – You are a student
Anata wa gakusei desuka – Are you a student?
Kare wa zasshi o yomimasu – He reads magazines
Kare wa zasshi o yomimasuka – Does he read magazines?

­There are also interrogative pronouns:

donata (formal) / dare (colloquial) – who

nan – what
dore – which
ikutsu – how much
donoyōni – how (in what way)
doko – where
itsu – when
ikura – how much (cost)
dō – how

These pronouns come before the verb:

Ano hito wa donata desuka – Who is that person?
­Yamadasan desu – It’s mr / ms Yamada

* It is important to add ­san after the name or surname to be polite.

Are wa nan desuka – What is that?
­Are wa gakkō desu – That is a school
Nihongo no hon wa dore desuka? – Which one is the Japanese book?
­Kore desu – It’s this one
Mikan wa ikutsu arimasuka? – How many mandarins are there?
­Nanatsu desu – There are seven
Donoyōni asobimasuka – How do you play?
Futari de asobimasu – You play in two people

EXERCISE: 108 Positive, negative and interrogative sentence | NEXT: 109 Present and past of verbs