Vocabulary (Review)

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Lesson Transcript

Let's take a closer look at the conversation.
First, do you remember how Mark asks,
"How are you? "
げんきですか。(Genki desu ka.)
First is げんき "well," in this context. げ-ん-き. げんき。
After this is です。 In this case, it's like the "are" in "are [you]." で-す. です。
Last is か, the question-marking particle. It turns the sentence into a question. か。
All together, it's げんきですか。 This literally means "Well are [you]?" But it translates as "How are [you]?" げんきですか.
The word for "you" is understood from context, as this is a two-person conversation.
In Japanese, it's more common to avoid the word for "you," when it's clear from context, as it sounds too direct.
げんきですか。(Genki desu ka.)
Let's take a closer look at the response.
Do you remember how Yoshi says,
"Yes. I'm well."
はい、げんきです。(Hai, genki desu.)
"Yes, I'm well." はい、げんきです。
First is はい, "yes." は-い. はい。
This answers Mark's yes-or-no question, Are you well? げんきですか.
The second part of the response should be familiar based on the question.
げんきです. "I'm well." げんきです。
First is げんき, "well." げんき。
After this is です. In this case, it's like the "am" in "[I] am." です。
Note, "I" is understood from context, as the speaker is answering the question, and therefore omitted.
All together, it's はい、げんきです. "Yes, I'm well."
はい、げんきです。(Hai, genki desu.)
To answer the question about well-being,
You just learned the polite expression げんきですか (genki desu ka), How are you?
In very casual situations, such as with a close friend or family, you can use the informal way to ask, "How are you?" げんき? (Genki?)
Notice the rising intonation. げんき?
The meaning is the same as the polite version, げんきですか。(Genki desu ka.) How are you? However, ですか。is omitted.
As this form is appropriate for very casual situations, if you are unsure, it's best to use the polite form, げんきですか。especially when starting out in Japanese.
To respond in the informal way of asking, "How are you?" げんき? (Genki?)
You can simply say, げんき (genki), " [I'm] well. げんき.
Note, the difference in intonation from the question.
So an informal conversation among friends could sound like this:
げんき?(Genki?) " [You] good?"
げんき。(Genki.) " [I'm] Good."
Note, Japanese native speakers are more likely to ask about each other's well-being when they haven't seen each other for a while.