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Thursday, March 12, 2009

1級 Grammar: 21-25


We're doing our best to prepare for, and hopefully, to help you prepare for the 日本語能力試験1級, but please remember: 1級, by its very nature, consists of grammar that is difficult, highly nuanced, and most of the time, rarely used in regular conversations. That's why it's important that you use our posts as references, to be compared with other study sources, and even more important that you
CHECK THE COMMENTS after each post. We're lucky to receive corrections and clarifications from native speakers and other foreigners more knowledgeable than we, and they don't always make it back into the body of the post. Thanks, and 頑張って!

1級 Grammar 21-25

My turn on the grammar bus again. This week, I'm feeling pretty good. My work life is coming together nicely, I have enough money to buy food, I'm back on a good Japanese study schedule, and most importantly, my new place is finally all furnished and habitable. Which means that I don't have to live in Brett's apartment anymore. Which means that now would be a good time for some conscience cleaning:

Confessions of a Freeloader!

21. ~ずにはすまない
~definitely must do
~definitely have to do

This is to be used in situations where there's room for internal debate, but in the end there's only one right thing to do. Or as the book explains, 「~しないですめばいいけれどダメだ。やはり、しなければならない」という意味。

Use it like you would with any ~ずに construction, by attaching it to the stem of a verb in ~ない form, with the exception of 「する」which becomes 「せずに」.

Ex. ブレットのアパートに泊まっていた間に、起こった事件が多すぎたので、ブレットに自白せずにはすみませんよ。

~ as soon as
~right after

If you're anything like me, you're getting sick of grammar points that mean "as soon as" or "right after." There's tons of them, and it's hard to keep the nuances straight. Nonetheless, I'll attempt to explain this one.

It's used for things that happen at almost the same time, but the first part of the sentence MUST occur just before the second part. Also, the two parts should be opposite concepts, like "clean up" and "get messy," or "hear something new" and "forget it." You couldn't use it for "leave the house," and "started raining" for example.

And last, you use it for things that are habitual, not one time occurrences.

Use it with the dictionary form of verbs.

Ex. 例えば、ブレットがビールを買ったそばからそれを私が飲んでしまうことです。飲んだ後、彼に怒られないように、寝ている彼の布団の中に空き缶を放り込みました。次の日、彼が起きると、「お前がまた夜中に起きて暴飲して、酔っ払った」と私が嘘をつきました。

23. ~すら ・ ですら
~ (not) even

Links to ~さえ will help explain this one. It means "even" or "not even" as in "Even children can understand," or "Without even water to drink," or "Not even weeds grow here." The difference between さえ and すら, is that すら is an even more formal word, used mostly in writing.

Attach it to nouns.

Ex. そしてブレットがアメリカに帰っていた2週間の間、郵便物を集めることを彼に頼まれました。しかし、手紙などが多くて、毎日集めるのが面倒くさかったので、彼のポストに、「ひらがなすら読めない外国の方がこちらに住んでいますので、郵便物を停止してください」と書きました。

24. ~ただ~のみ
~ only

「ただ~のみ」 is a formal expression or one for written use that emphasizes the sole nature of something. Use it like a very strong version of 「だけ」 or 「しかない。」

Ex. そして、彼がまだ居なかったクリスマスの頃に不在通知が届きました。「アメリカからの荷物10個を数回も配達しに参りましたが、お客様がいらっしゃらなかったので、現在、北郵便局にてお預かりしています。お渡し方法はただ取りに来て頂くのみとなっております。どうぞよろしくお願いします。」僕はその通知を彼に伝えることを忘れました。

25. ~ただ~のみならず
~ not only

Again, like many of these points, 「ただ~のみならず」 is a stronger form of more basic grammar, intended for use in writing, which make my example sentences all that much more difficult.

Ex. ある日、彼の大家さんより、メッセージも届きました。

1 comment:

Defendership said...


You're just lucky that in Japan all houses have "crazy foreigner" insurance, for things like when foreigners walk all over your tatami in muddy shoes, or inadvertently burn down your house. Or my house :(