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Lesson Transcript

Hi everybody! Hiroko here. Welcome to Ask a Teacher where I’ll answer some of *your* most common Japanese questions.
The question for this lesson is…
How often should I use WATASHI WA?
So when I introduce myself, I can ‘Watashi wa Hiroko desu.’ or just say ‘Hiroko desu.’ without saying ‘watashi wa.’ Either of them means “I’m Hiroko.” and both are grammatically correct.
So what’s going on with this?
If I introduce myself as simply “Hiroko desu.”, it would because it’s obvious I’m introducing myself.When a subject or topic is obvious, we tend to omit it in the Japanese language. If you are with a group of strangers and you decide suddenly to introduce yourself , you can say ‘watashi wa’.
But after you introduce yourself, you would continue talking without ‘watashi wa’ since it’s obvious you’re talking about yourself.
So, what do you say when you introduce yourself to new friends? ...I’d say ‘Hajimemashite, Hiroko desu. Nihon kara kimashita. Yoroshiku onegai shimasu.’ I don’t say ‘Watashi wa Hiroko desu.’ but just ‘Hiroko desu.’ and not ‘Watashi wa Nihon kara kimashita.’ but ‘Nihon kara kimashita. No ‘watashi wa’s at all! Because of the ‘Hajimemashite’ it’s obvious I’m introducing myself, so I just said ‘Hiroko desu.’
So when *should* you use Watashi wa in a self introduction?
I join a party and my friend introduces his friend, Hiromi, to vme. I notice she has a similar name to me. In this case I’d say ‘Hiromi-san hajimemashite. Watashi wa Hiroko desu.’ with ‘watashi wa.’
I’m emphasising the ‘I am’ in “I am Hiroko.” because our names are so similar.
I hope this makes sense to you and you can tell the difference between when “watashi wa” is necessary and not from now on!
Do you have any more questions? Leave them in the comments below and I’ll try to answer them!
またね!

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

JapanesePod101.com Verified
April 21st, 2015 at 06:30 PM
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What Japanese learning question do you have?

JapanesePod101.com Verified
November 7th, 2021 at 07:41 AM
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こんにちは Gaynor,


Thank you so much for your positive message! 😇❤️️

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

We wish you good luck with your language studies.


Kind regards,

レヴェンテ (Levente)

Team JapanesePod101.com

Gaynor
October 29th, 2021 at 09:13 PM
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I meant Hiroko-先生

Gaynor
October 29th, 2021 at 08:43 PM
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I liked how Hiroko-san explained this lesson so clearly! JapanesePod Team really helps me a lot。

本当にありがとうございます。

JapanesePod101.com Verified
October 12th, 2019 at 05:07 AM
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MENGHENG TAYさん、


はじめまして。

明新 must be the Chinese character for your name, Mengheng.

When introducing your name, you should say メンヘン.


Sincerely,

Miki H

Team JapanesePod101.com

MENGHENG TAY
September 13th, 2019 at 05:44 PM
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初めまして 私は明新です。

JapanesePod101.com Verified
April 4th, 2018 at 06:19 PM
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Konnichiwa, Ruth Moen-san

Thank you for your comment!


We are glad to hear that you enjoyed our lesson.

You can say "Kyō no ressun mo omoshirokatta desu." with "mo"👍


Keep studying with JapanesePod101.com

Cheers,

Miki(美希)

Team JapanesePod101.com

Ruth Moen
March 16th, 2018 at 02:51 AM
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Konbanwa,Hiroko-san!??

Domou arigatou gozaimasu.?

Kyo no ressun wa omoshiroiku(mo)katta desu.?

English translation:(Todays lesson was interesting.)

I also wanted to write"mo"(too)in the sentence,

but was unsure if that was correct??

Mata ne,tsugi no ressun wa!?❤?

JapanesePod101.com Verified
July 15th, 2017 at 03:47 PM
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Hi Audrey891,

Thank you for the comment!


が emphasizes "watashi"(a subject) especially.

For example,


Shigoto wa nan desu ka? = What do you do?

Watashi wa(は) sensei desu. = I am a teacher.


In this case, "sensei" is an answer and the subject "watashi" is less important.

Sometimes "watashi wa" is skipped as it's not important and obvious, and you can just say "sensei desu".


Dare ga sensei desu ka? = Who is the teacher?

Watashi ga(が) sensei desu. = I am the teacher.


In this case, the subject "watashi" is an answer and the morst important.


As for the video "Introduction to Japanese Grammar", you can also say "わたしはりんごをたべました。(Watashi wa ringo o tabemashita.)".

I'll give you some examples.


A:Kyō no asa, nani o tabemashita ka? =What did you eat this morning?

B:Watashi wa ringo o tabemashita. =I ate an apple.


A:Dare ga ringo o tabemashita ka? =Who ate the apple?

B:Watashi ga ringo o tabemashita。 =I ate the apple.


Did you get it?


Keep studying with JapanesePod101.com

Cheers,

Miki(美希)

Team JapanesePod101.com

Audrey891
July 12th, 2017 at 04:56 PM
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Yes I have a question ! In the video "Introduction to Japanese grammar", "watashi GA" is used not "watashi WA". Why ?

JapanesePod101.com Verified
January 26th, 2017 at 01:34 PM
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Hi Sookmack,

Thank you for the comment!


You are welcome:smile:


Keep studying with JapanesePod101.com

Cheers,

Miki(美希)

Team JapanesePod101.com