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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

2級 Grammar 81-85

A great man, whom we shall refer to simply as "Nirav," once told me that the great thing about learning Japanese (especially kanji) is that the more you learn, the easier the learning process gets. You process faster, acquire faster, and retain more. I'm feeling like he was right, cause we're hitting the 80s grammar-wise, and recently, they've been seeming simpler and simpler to me.

Or maybe it's just that today's grammar points happen to be easy ones.

Either way, we're gonna breeze through them so I can get back to moving.

81) ~というものだ
~ is. DEFINITIVELY.

I remember a conversation I had when I first got here: someone kept talking about their friend's こと. It was 「友達のこと」 this and 「友達のこと」 that, and I had NO IDEA what a こと was. I was like "Who is this friend, and what are they doing with this こと thing?" 「こと」のことが分からなかった。In reality こと just means "the thing about..." and is just used to highlight the concept you're talking about. 「彼のこと」 is "the thing about him." Or even simpler, 「彼のことが好き」 is "I like him." こと just draws a neat little box around the idea of "him" and doing this is EXTREMELY common in Japanese.

~というものだ works kind of the same way, except that you use it in situations to express your own very strong opinion (often oppositional) about what is the DEFINING characteristic of whatever you're talking about. For example, this is what my girlfriend's dad had to say when he found out that I do the bulk of the cooking:

Ex: 掃除と料理してくれることは女性というものだ。

He was joking... kind of.

82) ~というものではない ・ ~というものでもない
~ is NOT (necessarily/always) the case.

Kind of like the opposite of the above, but used in the same way that you can use わけではない. Also used to stress a strong (often oppositional opinion). You could tell a rich dude, 「Settling every problem with money というものではない. 」

We often talk about differing attitudes about 飲み放題 (all you can drink) bars or restaurants. Americans might say you pay your money, then try to drink as much as you can to maximize your value. Japanese people might say:

Ex. 安く飲めるからといって、死ぬほど飲むといはない。

83) ~というより
~ rather than
~more than

Used, again to express a sense of disagreement, though not necessarily as strong as the preceeding two.

Ex.
A-san: いつも日本語を勉強してるね。君は本当にまじめだよね!
B-san: ま、まじめというより、興味があります。

84) ~といっても
~ even though

This one, instead of being just another annoying incarnation of "but," gives you a way to introduce facts that conflict with other facts.

Isn't that dude a Republican?
Yeah, but even though he's a Republican, he hates the Bush administration.

Ex.
A-san: いつも日本語を勉強してるね。君は本当にまじめだよね!
B-san: ま、日本語を勉強しているといっても、全く話せない。

(This example reminds of something I always want to try (see below), but in Japanese. The problem is that the person I was talking to would probably just be like, "Yup, just as I suspected.)



85) ~とおり(に) ・ ~どおり(に)
~ just as
~ exactly like

You'll hear this one a lot or read it in the 字幕 at movies as 「そのとおり」translates as "Exactly."
The trick with this one is that you can only use it to compare reality with a prediction or expression of that reality. Follow? You can't say "Your cat looks just like my childhood cat" using とおり. You can only say things like: This movie is just as bad as the review. It rained, exactly like the forecast said it was. When someone says, "You think Japanese is hard, huh?" you can say 「そのとおり」 because what they've guessed about you is exactly true (if it happens to be true, that is).

Ex. 俺が言ったとおりに、今日の文法は簡単だったでしょう。

2 comments:

bdowling said...

Re: そのとうり

This should be written そのとおり in hiragana, since it comes from その通り.

AzzidisRidden said...

Absolutely right. Fixed and fixed.