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:

ブドウを食べながら午後を過ごしました。
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

彼らは歌を歌いながら、道を歩いた。
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

ついに彼らは用心しながら秒読みを開始した。
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

彼は走りながら助けを呼んでいた。
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

彼はいつだって歌いながらシャワーを浴びる。
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

彼女は微笑みながら言いました。
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: 

彼女が歩きながら話した
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

昨日テレビを見ながらご飯を食べていました
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

起きながら見た夢
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

お父さんは微笑みながら言いました
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

孫は涙を流しながら答えました
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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