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Lesson 2: Meeting New Friends

Vocabulary, Grammar


Hajimemashite How do you do?
watashi I; me
namae name
sensei teacher
tomodachi friend(s)
-chan suffix, attached to given name
-san suffix, attached to given or family name
-kun suffix, attached to given or family name
nani what
wa particle; marks a topic
no particle; shows possession
ka particle; comes at end of sentence to make it a question.
desu am; are; is; it is
Kenta boy's name
Sayaka girl's name
Tanaka family name (comes first in Japanese)



Topic marker. When ha is used as a topic marker, it is pronounced "wa."

ha marks whatever comes before it as the subject, or topic, of the sentence.


Particle. no acts like 's in English - whatever comes after it belongs in some way to whatever comes before it.

tomodachi no namae friend's name
watashi no sensei my teacher
nihongo no sensei a teacher of Japanese
chan: Suffix attached to given name. Used informally with names of good friends or young children.

Suffix attached to given or family name. Used in more polite situations.

After a teacher's name sensei is used instead.

kun: Suffix attached to given or family name of a boy. Somewhat informal.
nani: What . Depending on the sound that comes after it, nani is sometimes pronounced as nan.
desu: Appears after nouns and adjectives at the end of a sentence. Used like the verb "to be," or "it is."
ka: Appears at the end of a sentence. Turns the sentence into a question.