Expressing two actions with nagara – ながら

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In today’s article we will talk about the ながら / 乍ら (nagara) structure that is used to express 2 actions / verbs that are happening simultaneously. You can use it to indicate 2 things you are doing at the same time.

That is, nagara can literally be translated to: while, time, during, all, though and others.

To use the nagara it is necessary to change or remove the last syllable from the verb conjugation. See the example of the verb to sleep which is 寝る (neru) and becomes 寝ながら (nenagara).

Example sentences

Let’s learn the meaning of nagara in practice! See example sentences below and try to reason how nagara is applied in these sentences:

Budō the tabenagara gogo the sugoshimashita.
Passing in the afternoon, while eating grapes.

  • ブドウ - grape
  • 食べながら - while eating
  • 午後 - afternoon
  • 過ごしました - passed / passed

Karera wa uta o utainagara, michi o aruita.
They walked down the street singing a song.

  • 彼ら - they
  • 歌 - song
  • 歌いながら - singing
  • 道 - path
  • 歩いた - walked

Tsuini karera wa yōjin shinagara byōyomi o kaishi shita.
Finally, they started counting cautiously.

  • ついに - finally
  • 用心 - caution / be careful
  • 秒読み - countdown
  • 開始した - started

Kare wa hashirinagara tasuke o yonde ita.
He was running and asking for help.

  • 走り - run
  • 助け - help
  • 呼んでいた - was called

Kare wa itsu datte utainagara shawā o abiru.
He always sings in the shower.

  • いつだって - always
  • シャワー - shower
  • 浴びる - bathe

Kanojo wa hohoeminagara iimashita.
She said with a smile.

  • 彼女 – ela
  • 微笑み - smile
  • 言いました - said

Video lessons

Finally, we will leave an explanatory class given by our sensei Luiz Rafael.

Click here to register for Japanese Language Week and download the book

Video sentences: 

Kanojo ga arukinagara hanashita
As she walked, she spoke.

  • 彼女 (かのじょ) : her
  • 歩く (あるく) : walking / walking
  • 話す (はなす) : speaking

Kinō terebi o minagara gohan o tabete imashita
Yesterday, while watching television, I was eating rice.

  • 昨日 (きのう) : yesterday
  • テレビ : television
  • 見る (みる) : look / watch
  • ご飯 (ごはん) : meal / lunch / rice
  • 食べる (たべる) : eat

Okinagara mita yume
The dream I had while waking up.

  • 起きる (おきる) : wake up
  • 見る (みる) : look / watch
  • 夢 (ゆめ) : dream

Otōsan wa hohoeminagara iimashita
Dad said as he smiled.

  • お父さん (おとうさん) : father
  • )む (ほほえむ) smile
  • 言う (いう) : say

Mago wa namida o nagashinagara kotaemashita
My grandson replied while crying.

  • 孫 (まご) : grandson
  • 涙 (なみだ) : tear
  • 流す (ながす) : drain / circulate / flow
  • 答える (こたえる) : reply

I hope you enjoyed the article! Thanks for the comments and shares!

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