Totemo, Yoku, Amari, Zuibun and Zenzen  

Totemo / Zuibun – Very / Extremely
Yoku – Often
Amari – Seldom
Zenzen – Totally / Not at all

Examples
That car is very expensive – Sono kuruma wa totemo takai desu.
I write letter very often – Tegami o yoku kakimasu
I seldom drink coffee – Ko-Hi- wa amari nomimasen
I don’t smoke cigarette at all – zenzen suimasen

You may notice that there is an “o” in the second example. In hiragana, the “o” is を instead of お. Don’s mix them up. When you are typing the “o”, you should type as “wo” instead of “o” but pronunciation wise, it should be pronounced as “o” or some people say “wo”.

“o” is a particle and used for indicating the case role of the phrase in relation to another word (used especially as a direct object marker). Example : I drink water will be translated as “Watashi wa mizu o nomimasu”. You are doing something to something. In this case, you are drinking the water. Another example : Denwa o kakemasu (Make a telephone call), Mado o shimemasu (Close the window)…..

Try it yourself with different phrases. It’s a good practice though.

Past Tense – katta  

As I have show you how to convert Verbs into past tense in my previous post. Today, I will show you how to convert Adjectives into Past Tense.

 
English
Expensive
Heavy
Fast
Bad / Poor
Difficult
Enjoy / Fun
Delicious

Quiet
Beautiful / Pretty / Nice
Skillful
Like
Polite
Kind
Convenient

Good

 
Present Tense
Takai
Omoi
Hayai
Warui
Muzugashii
Omoshiroi
Oishii

Shizuka
Kirei
Jouzu
Suki
Teinei
Shinsetsu
Benri

Ii

 
Past Tense
Takakatta
Omokatta
Hayakatta
Warukatta
Muzugashikatta
Omoshirokatta
Oishikatta

Shizuka deshita
Kirei deshita
Jouzu deshita
Suki deshita
Teinei deshita
Shinsetsu deshita
Benri deshita

Yokatta

As you can see above, there are 3 types of usage for different group of adjectives. The top part which uses “katta” is simple. All you need to do is to remove the “i” at the back and replace with “katta”. However there are some words with an “i” at the back but you cannot replace it with “katta”. These are special words. Sound confusing, right? Yes, it indeed very confusing where many Japanese Learner got them mixed up.

Those words (adjectives) without an “i” at the end will definately use “deshita”. You don’t need to remove any alphabet (in Japanese – the hiragana character) whereby you just need to add a “deshita” at the back. To identify which adjective that end with “i” requires “katta” or “deshita”, simply look at the second japanese character.

For example : teinei (in hiragana, it identifies as te i ne i) – If the fourth character is just before the “i”, then use “deshita”. In this case, the “ne” is the fourth character just before the “i”. Just like “kirei (ki re i)” – “re” is the fourth character.

For more information on the Japanese Character, have a look at Pronunciation section

You must remember, the “i” that I mentioned above is Japanese Character not English Alphabet. Dont mix up with this otherwise you will end up saying “Suki” as “Sukkatta” which will make the Japanese scratching their heads.

Suki or Benri doesn’t end with “i” but instead there are end with “ki” and “ri” respectively.

OK, the last one which is “Ii” (Good). This is a very special word that will change totally to different word. For past tense, you have to use “yokatta”.

Na  

The meaning of “Na” is to represent something with with an adjective.

Example
Quiet Garden – Shizuka na kouen desu
Beautiful Flower – Kirei na hana desu
Famous Person – Yuumei na hito desu
Kind Police – Shinsetsu na omawarisan desu
Convenient Shop – Benri na omise desu

Meaning : Shizuka (Quiet), Kouen (Garden), Kirei (Beautiful), Hana (Flower), Yuumei (Famous), Hito (Person), Shinsetsu (Kind), Omawarisan (Police), Benri (Convenient), Omise / Mise (Shop)

Understanding of Words

Fine / Healthy
Polite
Unique / Skillful / Proficient
Unskillful / Poor
Tasteless
Delicious
Like (Love)
Genki
Teinei
Tokui / Jouzu
Nigate / Heta
Mazui
Oishii
Suki

Shika & Mo  

“Shika” is use to indicate that there is only a specific numbers. Example :
Q : Are there 8 apples? – Ringo ga yattsu arimasu ka?
A : No, there is only 1 apple – Iie, Ringo wa hitotsu shika arimasen

Q : Are there 20 textbooks? – Nihongo no kyoukasho ga nijuu satsu arimasu ka?
A : No, There is only 5 books – Iie, go satsu shika arimasen

“Mo” means “too” but there is other meaning depending how you form a sentence. Example :
Q : Are there 10 mandarin oranges? – Mikan ga jukko arimasu ka?
A : No, there isn’t any mandarin orange OR No, not even 1 orange is there- Iie, Mikan wa ikko mo arimasen.

John and I go to school too – Watashi mo John mo gakkou e ikimasu

Meaning : Ringo (Apple), Kyoukasho (Textbook), Mikan (Mandarin Orange)

Pieces  

In Japanese, it uses different pronunciation to represent “piece” for different type of things.

For Human – How many person (Nan nin)
Hitori (1 person), Futari (2 persons), Sannin, Yonnin, Gonin, Rokunin and so on

For Animal – How many (Nan Biki)
Ippiki (1 animal), Nihiki (2 animals), Sanbiki, Yonhiki, Gohiki, Roppiki, Nanahiki, Happiki, Kyuuhiki

For papers, clothes, etc in piece form – How many pieces (Nan Mai)
Ichimai (1 piece), Nimai, Sanmai, Yonmai and so on

For books – How many books (Nan Satsu)
Issatsu (1 book), Nisatsu, Sansatsu, ……. Hassatsu, Kyuusatsu

For sticks (ie. cigarettes, tree, pencil, etc) – How many sticks (Nan Bon)
Ippon (1 stick), Nihon, Sanbon, Yonhon, Gohon, Roppon, Nanahon, Happon, Kyuuhon, Juppon

For cups, spoons & glass – Hom many cups / glasses / spoons (Nan Bai)
Ippai, Nihai, Sanbai, Yonhai, Gohai, Roppai, Nanahai, Happai, Kyuuhai, Juppai

For floor / level – How many floors / Which floor / level (Nan Gai)
Ikkai, Nikai, Sangai, Yonkai, Gokai, Rokkai, Nanakai, Hakkai / Hachikai, Kyuukai, Jukkai

For time – What time (Nan Ji)
Ichiji, Niji, Sanji, Yoji, Goji, Rokuji, Nanaji, Hachiji, Kuji, Juuji

For minutes – How many minutes (Nan Pun)
Ippun, Nihun, Sanpun, Yonpun, Gohun, Roppun, Nanahun, Kyuuhun, Juppun

For rounded things, pieces form – How many pieces (Ikutsu or Nan Ko)
Hitotsu, Futatsu, Mittsu, Yottsu, Itsutsu, Muttsu, Nanatsu, Yattsu, Kokonotsu, Too
OR
Ikko, Niko, Sanko, Yonko, Goko, Rokko, Nanako, Hakko, Kyuuko, Jukko

Hope it is not too confusing 😀

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