Japanese grammar in practice is simple. But it is totally different and opposite from Portuguese, and this confused our learning a lot. The order of the sentences, the conjugation of the verbs, everything, although simple, is different.
You probably already know the particles, the verbs, adjectives, you can have an immense vocabulary, but when speaking and writing sentences do you feel lost? In this article we will try to understand a little the order of the sentences and their structure.
If we search the internet about Japanese structure and grammar, they will all talk about particles and verbs, but none will explain in detail the order of each one in the sentences, especially large sentences. Let's save all of those details that we have examined in several articles and get to the point. Let's start by taking the following sentence:
|The children||ate||the Apple||子供は||リンゴを||食べた|
|kodomo wa||ringo wo||tablet|
Unlike Portuguese, the verb will almost always end at the end of the sentence. The particles は and を present in the sentence,
Japanese is much more flexible. Anything to the left of the verb can be rearranged without changing the basic meaning of the sentence, although, as you will learn, there is still a preferred order. How is this possible? Thanks to the particles it serves to identify each part of the sentence. That is リンゴを子供が食べた。 is not common but it is not wrong.
Sentences with noun and です
Now let's talk a little about the structure of some sentences without a verb, which has only です (desu). Some like to call desu a verb, but others don't, so I'll stay neutral.
|Romaji||onamae wa||kebin||desu||kore wa||hon||desu|
|Structure||Noun||description||verb||pronominal||noun / object||verb|
|Portuguese||My name||It's||Kevin||This is||one||book|
This structure can be used with other verbs.
How do I identify the subject, verb, object and etc?
Sometimes you can feel lost, asking what I define as a subject, object and verb? The table below will help you to memorize:
|Noun||person, place, thing or idea||Kirigaya, mountain, stick, linguistics|
|Adjective||Describes a noun||red, happy, hot|
|Verb||An action or state of being||eat, contemplate, live, be afraid|
|Determiner||similar articles and terms||a / a, o, this, that, some, all|
There are many other categories of words like: pronouns, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, etc. But we will delve into these details on another occasion.
Sentences with 2 objects
Many verbs can take more than one object, and some none. When there is only one object, it is usually a direct object. And when there are two, the other is one indirect object (destination of the direct object).
|The teacher||after school||for students||grades||deliver|
|subject||adjunct||indirect object||direct object||verb|
Particle word order の
Now that we know the order of sentences a little, and how is the word order? How can I use an adjective and say that something belongs to me in the correct order?
You probably know the particle の (no). Have you ever asked yourself the word order when you say that something belongs to another?
The の particle is not complicated. You can keep in mind that the possession is reversed: ケビンの車 (Kevin's car). But what about when the sentence is big? See the example below:
|Romaji||Watashi no||akai||nihon no||Kuruma|
Advancing a little
We've already learned the basics of Japanese sentence or sentence structure, but what do you think of going a little further? See the sentence below:
|Romaji||kebinsan wa||Kin'yōbi ni||the mise of||hon wo||kaimashita|
|Portuguese||Kevin||bought||a book||in the store||Friday|
Pay close attention to the order of each object in the sentence, the subject always comes first in Japanese sentences, and this can be quite confusing when learning. Especially if we don't know the preferred order of time, place, object, etc.
As most times, the sentence started with the subject followed by the particle は that indicates the topic. When the phrase has a "time" it comes after the theme and is followed by the particle に. When the weather is something more open like afternoon and night, the particle is not needed.
The place comes after time. The placeholder is で (de), but に (ni) is also used quite frequently. The で particle is used more when the object is stopped, and the に when it is in motion. The object is placed before the verb. Using the particle を to indicate the action of the verb.
Remembering that there is no order, since Japanese is very flexible. But there is a preference and recommendation for how to speak and write for your Japanese to be easier to understand and more beautiful.
In short - Grammatical structures
Of course, there are many things that we have not studied in the Japanese grammatical structure, such as the omission of words in the sentence and several other structures. To finish I will leave some structures below so that you can go deeper and understand more the order and structure of Japanese sentences:
|6||subject||time||place / implement||indirect object||direct object||verb|
|9||time||transport / companion||place||verb|
|10||time||person / place||noun||verb|
Don't forget the particles that accompany the objects in the sentences:
|companion / person||と|
|subject||は / が|
|destiny||に or へ|
I hope this article has helped you to understand more about the structure of Japanese sentences.