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Lesson Transcript

Welcome to learn Japanese grammar absolute beginner. In this video series, you learn basic Japanese grammar patterns and phrases through easy to follow audio and visual cues. Here is what we will cover in this lesson.
Let’s get started.
Naomi: ラリーじゃありません。 (Rarī ja arimasen.)
Eric: I am not Larry. All right, what’s the key point here?
Naomi: じゃありません。 (ja arimasen.) The negative form of です (desu).
Eric: So the negative of です(desu) is ではありません (de wa arimasen) which is the first way to say a negative form. There is three ways. What’s the second way, Naomi-sensei?
Naomi: じゃありません (ja arimasen)
Eric: And all we did here was get that では (de wa) from ではありません (de wa arimasen) and shorten it into じゃ (ja). And what’s the third way?
Naomi: じゃないです (ja nai desu)
Eric: And this is no less polite. It’s also polite but you just got the ありません (arimasen) and you turned it into ない (nai). And ない (nai) is the casual version of ありません (arimasen) but we attachです(desu) at the end. So it remains polite. So you can use it to anybody. All right and all of these expressions are polite. Are there any real differences in the way that you use them, Naomi-sensei?
Naomi: I would say ではありません (de wa arimasen) is the most polite expression.
Eric: Do you ever define yourself using it?
Naomi: In speaking? Not much.
Eric: How about in writing?
Naomi: Writing, I use it a lot.
Eric: Okay Naomi-sensei, so let’s be a little negative here.
Naomi: はい (hai)
Eric: Translate all my sentences into negative
私はロリーです。 (Watashi wa Rorī desu.)
Naomi: 私はロリーではありません。 (watashi wa Rorī de wa arimasen.).
Eric: 私はロリーです。 (Watashi wa Rorī desu.)
Naomi: 私はロリーじゃありません。 (Watashi wa Rorī ja arimasen.)
Eric: 私はロリーです。 (Watashi wa Rorī desu.)
Naomi: 私はロリーじゃないです。 (Watashi wa Rorī ja nai desu.)
Eric: And those are three ways of saying I am not Lori.in the same level of politeness.
Naomi: ラリーじゃありません。 (Rarī ja arimasen.)
Naomi: うどんは三百円でした。 (Udon wa san-byaku-en deshita.)
Rebekah Let’s have a look at noun sentences and putting them in their polite past form.
Naomi: うどんは300円でした。 (Udon wa san-byaku-en deshita.)
Rebekah This sentence, the Udon was 300 yen is a noun sentence and it’s in the past form. The polite past form. So if we were just going to say, the Udon is 300 yen, it would be
Naomi: うどんは300円です。 (Udon wa san-byaku-en desu.)
Rebekah Okay. So putting it in the past tense, what changes is the Desu on the end? It becomes,
Naomi: でした (deshita)
Rebekah This is pretty simple. So for example, if we were going to say $1 is 100 yen, we would say,
Naomi: 1ドルは100円です。 (Ichi-doru wa hyaku-en desu.)
Rebekah But was there a time I think when $1 was worth a lot more yen?
Naomi: はい。 (Hai.) 360円かな。 (San-byaku roku-jū-en kana.) 360 yen.
Rebekah Okay, so how would we say the dollar was worth 360 yen, was being the past tense?
Naomi: 1ドルは360円でした。 (Ichi-doru wa san-byaku roku-jū-en deshita.)
Rebekah Okay. So you can hear there that the です (desu) is becoming でした (deshita) to indicate past tense and this is polite past tense. All right, let’s look at just a couple more noun sentences in the polite past form.
Naomi: ケネディはアメリカ人でした。 (Kenedi wa Amerika-jin deshita.)
Rebekah Kennedy, you mean JFK?
Naomi: Yeah.
Rebekah Yeah I guess so.
Naomi: Yeah.
Rebekah So JFK was an American.
Naomi: はい。 (Hai.) Since he has already passed away, I used でした(deshita).
Rebekah Okay so if you were talking about President Bush, you would say,
Naomi: ブッシュはアメリカ人です。 (Busshu wa Amerika-jin desu.)
Rebekah So I think you probably get the picture now. It’s just the difference between です (desu) and でした (deshita) . That’s all that changes in the sentence if you were indicating non-past or past because non-past is です (desu) and past is でした (deshita)
Naomi: うどんは三百円でした。 (Udon wa san-byaku-en deshita.)
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