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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

2級 Grammar 91-95

Summer vacation is an interesting time to be a teacher in Japan since you get stuck in a weird working purgatory. Teachers still have to come in (or they're supposed to come in, a difference which the staffroom picture at right will help clarify), but their duties are either reduced or nonexistent. Point in case, I am being serenaded right this moment by the rhythmic snoring of my slumbering vice principal, who has been passed out on the couch with a newspaper over his face for the past hour. Many other teachers take catnaps on their desks, a trend which I have learned to do a bit of myself, and nobody sees a problem with it. That we're permitted this much latitude is the only thing that makes summer bearable when you have nothing to do...

Nothing, that is, except talk about summer vacation in 5 grammar points.

91) ~としたら ・ ~とすれば
If ~,
In the case that ~,
Since ~,

This is one you'll hear quite a bit in normal speech, and it's not surprising why. The text even lists this point alongside old fallbacks like "なら、ば、と、and もし~たら" without any points on what separates it from them. The one usage point - it is tacked between clauses after sentences using dictionary form, or な adjectives + noun + だ. Piece of cake.

Ex. 教頭先生が居眠りするとしたら、他の教師は帰っていいかな。


92) ~として ・ ~としたは
(As) for~,
When it comes to ~,

Again, pretty self-explanatory, with the only condition that you can only use this after a noun.

Ex. 教師になることの悪いところとして、生徒達がいなくても僕らは来なければならない。差別!


93) ~としても
Even in the case that ~,
Even if ~,

Again, an easy one that harks back to the days of 3級. The usage here is the same as any "~っても" construction.

Ex. でもいいところもあるよ。夏休みだったら朝の十時に学校に着くとしても、全然大丈夫だね。


94) ~とともに
Together with ~,
Along with ~,
In time with ~,

This one is a little trickier than the other ones this week. The first time I was introduced to it was the song 島唄, where you go to cross the sea 鳥とともに on the 島唄の風. Just remember that it might mean together with, but it's for intangibles, and if one thing changes, the other will, too. If you're going somewhere with a friend, then use more standard grammar. However, if you're planning an amazing cross-Japan trip in Spring where you'll ride motorcycles from Kyushu north "in time with" the 桜全線, then とともに is your best friend.

Ex. 夏の初めて学校へ行く日が近くなるとともに、起きる時間は次第に早くする。


95) ~ないことには
~ without
~when you don't have...
~ unless you do...

This one goes like this: Without A, you can't do B. You attach ないことには to a verb, adjective, or noun and it becomes something that is necessary to the second clause. My book example lists "Without knowing the address, there's no way to contact so-and-so, でしょう?"

Ex. 「夏休み」という時期なのに、先生たちの休みにならない。仕事に行かない日でないことには、ゆっくり休むことができないだろう。

3 comments:

Kiwi Al said...

I'm really enjoying your level 2 grammar explanations, making it much easier for me to grasp the concept of all this damn grammar!

Thanks!

Also I'm suprised you are not on holiday, I was under the impression all JETs or ALTs had the summer off? I work at a sort of Eikaiwa that only allows 1 week off for summer holidays! Would love more!

blue said...

Actually they used to have a full summer vacation when I was a kid. Unfortunately they changed the system, I think, due to the complain from the general public??, which was like teachers should go to work like everybody else especially their salaries come from the tax money. I think they deserve it considering the hard work they do. So sorry to know they do not get the proper respect.

BTW
Ex. 教頭先生は居眠りするとしたら、他の教師は帰っていいかな。

教頭先生が居眠りするとしたら、
The reason that you have to use が instead of は is because the fact that the vice principal falls sleep at the work is very unexpected. So in order to stress on that, you use が。

Ex. 夏の初めて学校へ行く日が近くなるとともに、僕の起きる時間は次第に早くする。

僕の起きる時間を次第に早くする。
Actually 僕のis not necessarry.
As 起きる時間 is the object of the verb:早くする, you have to use を.
Or you can say
僕の起きる時間は次第に早くなる。
But this one, there is no way to tell if you are making effort to get up earlier or you do that naturally.

Ex. 「夏休み」という時期として、先生たちの休みにならない。

「夏休み」という時期なのに、
I do not think the usage of として for that sentence is quite right. Or maybe I misunderstand what you mean by that???

Happy Japanese learning!

Defendership said...

kiwi al - glad you enjoy them! It's really helpful for us too, since you have to know something a little more intricately than you normally would to explain it instead of just knowing it... Also, if you ever have a request for the next "theme" for grammar points, please tell us, haha because we're running out of ideas.

And as for holiday, it actually is different on a school-by-school basis. Some schools want you to come in all the same days as all the teachers (like mine), whereas some schools don't mind if you are gone when the students are gone (like Jeff's). It doesn't always come up roses, however, since sometimes a school will say it's fine, and then retract that after the fact. It's a tough game to play...

and blue: Thanks for the correction, I'll go back and edit that in. I wish it was the case that I was naturally getting up earlier, but I've never been a morning person, so it's a sleepy uphill struggle.

Also, I heard the same thing from one of the older teachers here. I guess I can understand why taxpayers would want teachers to come to school year-round, but I also understand how taxpayers would say that without understanding there is nothing for teachers to do at school during summer.