XはYが[Predicate]です

Expands upon the material in previous lessons and teaches some new sentence structures

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KanjiVocabularyXはYが[Predicate]です

Kanji

Below, Down, Give, Inferior

Hand

Eye, Class, Insight

Rice, America

Leg, Foot, Be sufficient

Long, Leader

Vocabulary

スポーツ

Sports, Sport

たくさん

A lot, Many, Much

Hand

Eye, Eyesight

Rice

Foot, Leg

上手

Good at, Skillful, Skilled

下手

Bad at, Unskillful

長い

Long

XはYが[Predicate]です

Previously, we learned how to describe an item or person using adjectives in Beginner Lesson 9 and Beginner Lesson 10 with the sentence structure of X は adjective です:

  • ケンは元気げんきです。
  • Ken is energetic.
  • このはなやすいです。
  • This flower is cheap.

In this lesson, we will learn how to combine our previous knowledge of adjectives with from Beginner Lesson 15 and learn more about います/あります from Beginner Lesson 16.

X は Y が Predicate です

When we want to say "I like dogs.", "Ken has blue eyes." or "I am good at Japanese.", we can use the following sentence structure in Japanese: X は Y が adjective です.

Type 1: Topic は Subject が Predicate です

  • ケンはあおいです。
  • Ken has blue eyes.
  • 花子はなこさんはちいさいです。
  • Hanako has small hands.
  • アリスはあしながいです。
  • Alice has long legs.
  • 日本にほんこめ有名ゆうめいです。
  • Rice is famous in Japan.

Type 2: Topic は Target が Predicate です

  • わたしはスポーツがきです。
  • I like sports.
  • ケンは英語えいご上手じょうずです。
  • Ken is good at English.
  • アリスはスポーツが下手へたです。
  • Alice is bad at sports.

In both type 1 and 2, the noun/phrase before the particle defines a broad topic of the sentence.

In type 1, the subject of the sentence has a logical relationship with the predicate, and is a part of the topic. For example, eyes are a part of Ken, and growing rice is one aspect about Japan.

In type 2, the noun/phrase before the particle is the target of the predicate. In the first example sentence in type 2, the word is the predicate, which indicates the state of the topic わたし, then the target which is スポーツ adds detail to the state.

XにはYがいます/あります

In Beginner Lesson 17 we learned how to describe the existence of something in a specific location: X に Y が います/あります.

  • このいえにきれいなにわがあります。
  • There is a beautiful garden in this house.
  • 日本にほんにおてらがたくさんあります。
  • There are many temples in Japan.

When the speaker wants to talk about a location in their town/city/country or a known location such as Japan, they can add the topic marker particle right after the particle to identify the location as the topic of the sentence. The sentences above can be rewritten as follows:

  • このいえにはきれいなにわがあります。
  • This house has a beautiful garden.
  • 日本にほんにはおてらがたくさんあります。
  • Japan has many temples.
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