Basic Japanese Verbs – part 2

1. More verbs

Welcome to basic Japanese verbs part 2, in this lesson we’ll look at more basic Japanese verbs such as “to see”, “to listen”, and “to read” as well as learn some new vocabulary to go along with these verbs.

We have learned two verbs up to now: “to eat”...
たべます「Tabemasu」

And, “to drink”...
のみます「Nomimasu」

 

2. To see

Now, let’s introduce the verb “to see”, or “to look”, or “to watch”...
みます 「Mimasu」

mimasu

Another commonly used loan word is the Japanese word for “television”.

Japanese only pronounce the first three syllables of “television”, and since they don’t have the ‘v’ sound, they use a ‘b’ instead.

So “television” in Japanese is…
テレビ 「Terebi」

terebi

How would you say, “ I watch TV” in Japanese? Remember, the order is: “TV, I watch” and don’t forget the marker…
わたしは テレビを みます「Watashi-wa terebi-o mimasu」

“I watch TV every day”...
まいにち わたしは テレビを みます「Mai-nichi watashi-wa terebi-o mimasu」

Now, the word in Japanese for “movie” or “film” is
えいが「Eiga」

eiga

You may have noticed that the letter combination ‘ei’ in the word「Eiga」is actually pronounced like a long 「ee」sound, so we could write it with an「ē」as in 「ēga」

However, it is usually written as 「Eiga」since when written in kana, this is the sequence of symbols used.

Japanese is nearly always written as it sounds, with very few exceptions. This is one of the those exceptions.

How would you say, “Watch a movie this evening”...?
こんばん えいがを みます「Konban eiga-o mimasu」

 

3. To listen

Now, the verb in Japanese for “to listen” is…
ききます「Kikimasu」

kikimasu

The word for “radio” in Japanese is a loan-word…
ラジオ「Rajio」

rajio

How would you say, “Today I will listen to the radio”? Note that you don’t need to translate the word “to” in “listen to the radio”...
きょう わたしは ラジオを ききます「Kyō watashi-wa rajio-o kikimasu」

 

4. To read

The Japanese verb for “to read” is…
よみます「Yomimasu」

yomimasu

You may have heard of the Japanese word for “comic book”...
マンが「Manga」

manga

Using our familiar pattern of “Item plus Marker, Verb”, how would you say, “I read a comic book”...?
マンがを よみます「Manga-o yomimasu」

The Japanese word for “newspaper” is…
しんぶん「shinbun」

shinbun

This word consists of two parts, and is represented in Japanese by two kanji characters.「shin」means “new”, and「bun」means “to hear” or “to listen”. So 「shinbun」literally means “to hear the news”.

How would you say, “Read the newspaper every day”...?
まいにち しんぶんを よみます「Mai-nichi shinbun-o yomimasu」

 

5. Food and drink

The Japanese word for “beer” is…
ビール「bīru」

biiru

The 「ī」sound is long.

How would you say, “Drink beer every day”...?
まいにち ビールを のみます「Mai-nichi bīru-o nomimasu」

The word for “sandwich” in Japanese is…
サンドイッチ「Sandoicchi」

sandoicchi

Note that this word has a double-c in the middle: 「-cchi」. This ‘double consonant’ shows that the syllable 「chi」 should be held for another beat.

It is very important to hold this sound for two beats. It kind of sounds as if the speaker is pausing on the consonant before pronouncing the whole syllable.

How would you say, “Tonight, I will eat a sandwich”...?
こんばん わたしは サンドイッチを たべます「Konban watashi-wa sandoicchi-o tabemasu」

 

6. Summary

“To see”, or “to look”, or “to watch” is...
みます 「Mimasu」

“Television” is…
テレビ 「Terebi」

“Movie” or “film” is...
えいが「Eiga」

“To listen” is…
ききます「Kikimasu」

“Radio” is...
ラジオ「Rajio」

“To read” is…
よみます「Yomimasu」

“Comic book”...
マンが「Manga」

“Newspaper” is…
しんぶん「shinbun」

“Beer” is…
ビール「bīru」

“Sandwich” is…
サンドイッチ「Sandoicchi」

Thats all for basic Japanese verbs today, see you next time!

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