Lesson Transcript

Hi, everybody! My name is Alisha.
In this lesson, I’m going to talk about Japanese adverbs of frequency.
Let’s get started!
Okay, first, I want to review this grammar point. What is an adverb of frequency? Adverbs of frequency answer the question “how often.” So when you ask something like, “How often do you do (something), some activity?” and you respond with a word like, “always” or “sometimes” or “never,” those words are adverbs of frequency. They tell us how often we do something.
So in this lesson, we’re going to talk about adverbs of frequency in Japanese.
When we use adverbs of frequency in Japanese, we place these adverbs before the verb or before a verb phrase. So, you’ll notice throughout the example sentences that I prepared here, there are a couple of different places that you might hear the adverb appearing. So, I’ll cover that in a bit.
Also, I want to point out that you can use both polite verb forms and casual verb forms with this. So, again, I’ll show you both forms in the example sentences, but just keep in mind that depending on the person that you’re talking to and depending on your relationship, like for example, if your close friends or maybe if your roommates or if it’s a working relationship, it will be up to you to choose whether you should use the polite form or whether you should use the casual form.
So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at a few examples of this.
First this one, the first example here. So I’ve got everything laid out in this same pattern. We’ll see Romaji and then we’ll see Hiragana and then we’ll see the full sentence using Kanji as well.
So the first sentence is this one:
わたし は ときどきテレビを見ます。
(Watashi wa tokidoki terebi o mimasu.)
So here, my adverb of frequency is ときどき (tokidoki). So this one means “sometimes,” sometimes. This sentence means, “I sometimes watch TV.” Here, you’ll also notice that I have this beginning part, わたし は (watashi wa) in parenthesis. This is because when, yourself, when you are the subject of a sentence or when the subject of the sentence is known, it’s very common and very natural to just drop it in Japanese. For the purposes of this lesson, I’ve included it here, so that you can see that I’m talking about myself. But the key that I want to focus on throughout this lesson is this part right here, this adverbs of frequency.
So, ときどき (tokidoki) “sometimes;” テレビ (terebi), so テレビ (terebi) means “TV / television;” を (o) and then 見ます (mimasu). So here, I’m using 見ます (mimasu), I’m using the polite form of the verb 見る (miru). But as I talked about earlier, you can use both the casual form and the polite form here. So again, it’s just up to the situation. That’s up to you to determine. So that means that 見る (miru) is also okay. 見る (Miru) is the non-past casual form of the verb 見ます (mimasu), so this is the non-past polite form, 見ます (mimasu). So 見ます (mimasu) or 見る (miru). So 見る も (miru mo) OK, you can use both of these to finish the sentence. So for example, ときどきテレビを見る (Tokidoki terebi o miru) is also totally correct. Again, it’s just up to your relationship with the speaker.
Another thing that I wanted to point out here is this. I know that I’ve written ときどき (tokidoki) in this way, maybe a little bit differently than some of you, perhaps have practiced before. This き (ki) where maybe like this, this middle part that goes through the top part of the き (ki) does not directly connect to the bottom part of this character. So that’s one thing that you might see in handwritten Japanese. It’s a little bit different from what you’ve seen when typing on your computer or like when using your smartphone too. So please note that this き (ki) is just a handwritten form of き (ki), so you might see both of those. It kind of depends on the person, but I feel like I see き (ki) written a lot this way, so I’ve chosen to include it in this way here.
So again, this means “I sometimes watch TV.”
So here, I’ve got ときどき (tokidoki) before テレビを見ます (terebi o mimasu), テレビを見ます (terebi o mimasu). So TV and then 見ます (mimasu). My verb comes here after my object-marking particle を (o), so テレビを見ます (terebi o mimasu).
I want to point out though that another thing you might hear sometimes is テレビをときどき見ます (Terebi o tokidoki mimasu). So sometimes, you’ll hear people using the frequency adverb directly before the verb as well and that’s fine. So, わたし は テレビをときどき見ます (Watashi wa terebi o tokidoki mimasu). So you might hear that as well.
And of course in very casual speech, like when someone just remembered something as we do in English, you might just hear it added after the sentence. So, for example, if you’re having a conversation in English with a friend of yours, you might say something like, “Yeah, I watch TV, sometimes.” You can do exactly the same thing in Japanese like, oh yeah, テレビを見ますときどき (terebi o mimasu tokidoki), that kind of thing. You can still do exactly the same thing, so just keep that in mind.
Let’s take a look at one more example and then we’ll move on to looking at the actual adverbs of frequency in more detail. This one, ビールをよく飲む (Bīru o yoku nomu), ビールをよく飲む (Bīru o yoku nomu). So this sentence means “I often drink beer,” I often drink beer. So my frequency adverb here is よく(yoku), よく(yoku) and my verb is 飲む (nomu). So as I said in the first example sentence, you can move that frequency adverb to another position in the sentence. So here, I have ビール (bīru) “beer,” ビール (bīru), and you’ll notice, I’ve dropped the “I.” I haven’t written the “I,” the わたし は (watashi wa) part of this sentence here. So, ビールをよく飲む (Bīru o yoku nomu).
So here, よく(yoku), we often translate this as “often” in textbooks and stuff, but if you really think about how we use an expression like this in English, you could also understand that it’s like “all the time.” So as an American English speaker, it’s very natural for me to say like, “Oh yeah, I drink beer all the time.” Something like that sounds a little more casual to me than I often drink beer. So keep that in mind. It doesn’t have to be like a direct translation like よく(yoku) doesn’t have to mean exactly “often,” but you can think of it as meaning “all the time,” especially in a situation like this where the sentence ends in 飲む (nomu). So 飲む (nomu) means “to drink” and 飲む (nomu) is the casual non-past form. So 飲む (nomu) is correct. And as I mentioned before, we can use polite verb forms. The same is true with this example sentence so 飲む (nomu) could also be 飲みます (nomimasu), so 飲みます (nomimasu) も(mo) OK.
So, keep this mind, either is fine. Again, if I’m talking about beer with someone, it’s probably in a casual situation and maybe, I don’t know, I’ve just met this person in like a pub or a bar or something, and we’re just chatting about drinking and I might say something like, hmm, yeah, ビールをよく飲む (bīru o yoku nomu). So something like that sounds a little bit more casual than ビールをよく飲みます (bīru o yoku nomimasu). So, it’s up to you again. It depends on how polite you want to sound.
Okay, so “I often drink beer” or you could understand this as like, “I drink beer all the time,” as well. I think I just added よ (yo) at the end of this sentence too. So you can add those kinds of things to give a little bit more emphasis as well. But again, this よく(yoku) comes before 飲む (nomu) in this case. You could also say よくビール飲む (yoku bīru nomu). That’s also fine as well. So, it just needs to come before the verb or kind of this verb phrase. You can kind of think of the object and the verb as connected and one like unit in that way. So it just needs to come before that.
Okay, so, with this in mind, I want to take a look at a bunch of example sentences that use these adverbs of frequency. I’ve made a very, very rough scale from 0 to 100 and the scale, it’s not perfect like 50 is not here because there’s a lot to talk about. But I want to show some example sentences and talk a little bit about some things for you to consider when you’re practicing your speaking, in particular.
So, I want to start down here at the bottom of the scale, at zero.
So, the zero mark, the zero point is in English where we would say “never,” nevere. So in Japanese, we say ぜんぜん (zenzen), ぜんぜん (zenzen). So ぜんぜん (zenzen), this is the Kanji for ぜんぜん (zenzen). You can look it up as well. So ぜんぜん (zenzen) is used to mean “never” like zero percent of the time, something that you never do. And we can also use ぜんぜん (zenzen) for emphasis. We use it to mean, like “at all” in English. So when we say like “I can’t do that thing at all” or “I don’t do that thing at all,” that’s kind of the feeling we can communicate with ぜんぜん (zenzen).
So let’s take a look at a couple of example sentences that use this, so that you can get an idea of it.
First one is…
さいきん、かれと ぜんぜん 会わない。
(Saikin, kare to zenzen awanai.)
So さいきん、(saikin) “recently” or “these days.”
So, さいきん、(saikin), かれと (kare to) so “him,” so some guy, person, some male person.
と (to), so we と (to) when we’re talking about meeting someone, doing something with someone.
かれと ぜんぜん 会わない (kare to zenzen awanai),
ぜんぜん 会わない (zenzen awanai).
So, this ぜんぜん (zenzen) my “never” point, my “never” adverb of frequency, comes before my verb here. So my verb here is 会 (au). However, when we’re using ぜんぜん (zenzen) and we’ll also see the same rule with あんまり (anmari) and めったに (metta ni), we cannot use a positive. We need to use the negative form of the verb here, ぜんぜん 会わない (zenzen awanai). So, literally, the sentence would mean or this part of the sentence would mean “never don’t meet” which if we directly translate it into English sounds like a double negative, but this is just the way it is in Japanese.
So again, かれ (kare) or sorry, さいきん、かれと ぜんぜん 会わない (Saikin, kare to zenzen awanai), さいきん、かれと ぜんぜん 会わないんのね。(Saikin, kare to zenzen awanain no ne). So we kind of put this part. It’s like a marker before the negative thing comes, so this is kind of telling us that there’s something negative coming. So, this is one pretty good example, pretty common example. So this sentence then means “Recently, I haven’t seen him.” Literally, it means “I haven’t met him” or maybe “Recently, I never see him” is perhaps a little bit more accurate here. It depends again a little bit on the context, but this is how we would ぜんぜん (zenzen) in a situation like this with meeting someone.
So let’s take a look at one more example sentence that uses ぜんぜん (zenzen) in this way. So this one is…
お酒は ぜんぜん 飲まない。
(O-sake wa, zenzen nomanai.)
So this means, “I can’t drink alcohol at all” or maybe “I don’t drink alcohol at all.” So actually, I should say, “I don’t drink alcohol at all.” I’ve used 飲まない (nomanai) here. If I’ve made the example sentence, ぜんぜん 飲めない (zenzen nomenai), so meaning “I can’t drink alcohol,” that would mean, “I can’t drink alcohol at all.” However here, I’ve made it 飲まない (nomanai), so 飲まない (nomanai) is the casual non-past form of the verb “to drink.” So that means I’m not expressing possibility there. If I said 飲めない (nomenai) which means “not able to drink,” it would be, “I can’t drink alcohol at all.” Here, “I don’t drink alcohol at all.” So these are like important little distinctions to make. So for translation of the sentence, “I don’t drink alcohol at all” or “I never drink alcohol.”
So, again, let’s break this down a bit.
I have お酒 (o-sake).
So here, I’ve attached お (o) to さけ (sake). So, as maybe many of you know, さけ (sake) means “alcohol.” It’s not like a specific type of alcohol, it’s alcohol. The word for alcohol in Japanese is さけ (sake), and we attach an honorific to さけ (sake). We use お (o) in front of it, お酒 (o-sake), お酒 (o-sake). And then we mark it as our topic with は (wa). We follow this with ぜんぜん (zenzen). So again, ぜんぜん (zenzen) is coming before the verb, in this case, 飲まない (nomanai), 飲まない (nomanai), ぜんぜん 飲まない (zenzen nomanai) “I totally don’t drink it at all.” That’s what this is saying. “I never drink it.”
お酒は ぜんぜん 飲まない。
(O-sake wa, zenzen nomanai.)
So please use ぜんぜん (zenzen) before the negative form of your verb. I wanted to include a couple more examples then that use ぜんぜん (zenzen) more as like an emphasis for “at all.” So let’s take a look at these, just to see, just to give you a couple more examples of the ways in which we use ぜんぜん (zenzen).
So the first one here is, 中国語 (Chūgoku go) “Chinese.”
中国語は全然話せません。
(Chūgoku go wa zenzen hanasemasen)
話せません (hanasemasen)
So, 話せません (hanasemasen), one, I’m using the polite form of the verb, so 話せません (hanasemasen) showing me ません (masen), the negative form as well. So polite negative form. I’m also using 話せ (hanase). This is my potential form, so this is showing me potential and negative, so I’m expressing something that I cannot do.
So…
中国語は全然話せません。
(Chūgoku go wa zenzen hanasemasen).
So, this sentence means “I can’t speak Chinese at all,” I can’t speak Chinese at all.
So, 中国語 (Chūgoku go) means “Chinese”
And then, that’s my topic marking particle, は (wa).
ぜんぜん (zenzen), so “not at all.” It’s coming before my negative verb.
And then, 話せません(hanasemasen). So “not able to speak.”
So put it all together, “I can’t speak Chinese at all.”
So, I could remove ぜんぜん (zenzen) from this sentence, but it would lose that emphasis of “at all,” like I could say 中国語は全然話せません (Chūgoku go wa hanasemasen). That’s fine too, “I can’t speak Chinese.” But if you say ぜんぜん話せません (zenzen hanasemasen), it’s an emphasis thing. It’s like “I can’t speak Chinese at all.” That’s the difference here, by adding ぜんぜん (zenzen) to this sentence.
Let’s look at one more example and then we’ll move on to the next adverb of frequency.
This one is…
ピアノは難しかったぜんぜんできなかった。
(Piano wa muzukashikatta zenzen dekinakatta.)
So again…
ピアノは難しかったぜんぜんできなかった。
(Piano wa muzukashikatta zenzen dekinakatta.)
So here, I’ve kind of got two parts. This is maybe similar to something you might hear in everyday speech. So, not a perfect full sentence, but a couple of short ideas put together. So first is ピアノは難しかった (piano wa muzukashikatta), 難しかった (muzukashikatta). So 難しかった (muzukashikatta) is the past form of the word “difficult,” so 難しい (muzukashī), maybe you know, means “difficult” or “hard.” So 難しかった (muzukashikatta) means “it was difficult.” So “Piano was really difficult.” Piano was difficult, maybe for me or something like that.
Then, the following sentence is ぜんぜんできなかった (zenzen dekinakatta). So again, we have the ぜんぜん (zenzen) meaning “at all,” our emphasis word, before できなかった (dekinakatta), できなかった (dekinakatta). So again, we have this negative verb. In this case I’m using the past form that is in casual. So できる (dekiru) means “be able to do something,” the verb できる (dekiru). But here, I’m using できなかった (dekinakatta) which means “was not able to.” So past casual, not able to do something with this emphasis word ぜんぜん (zenzen), ぜんぜんできなかった (zenzen dekinakatta) “I couldn’t play it at all” or “I couldn’t do it at all.”
So again, literally, like a literal translation of ぜんぜんできなかった (zenzen dekinakatta) is like “at all, not able to do it.” But, if we think about it in context a little bit, here, we’re talking about playing an instrument, the piano, so you could think of this translation as something like, “I totally couldn’t play” or “I couldn’t play it at all. So think a little bit outside, like the literal, like the direct translation of your verb, and then it’s going to sound a bit more natural when you think about the expression in English too.
So, this is how we use ぜんぜん (zenzen). Again, key point with ぜんぜん (zenzen) is that you’re using it before the negative form of a verb. It can be the casual form or the polite form, both are correct.
So, with that in mind, let’s continue to the next one. The next one that I have here is a pair. So maybe, if you’ve studied Japanese in textbooks and online, you’re probably familiar with this one, あまり (amari), あまり (amari). If you have, again, I supposed, studied a bit online or maybe if you’ve been to Japan or if you had some Japanese-speaking friends, you might also know this one, あんまり (anmari), あんまり (anmari). They mean the same thing, but in speech, in everyday speech, あまり (amari) tends to sound like あんまり (anmari), あんまり (anmari). So what’s the difference? It might be hard to hear that, but あまり (amari), that’s three syllables, that’s three beats, あまり (amari).
But あんまり (anmari), there’s like this extra /n/ sound there, /n/. あん... ま... り... (an...ma...ri...), あんまり (anmari). So that’s what it sounds like often in everyday speech. So, we can think of this two and actually the next one as well, めったに (metta ni), we can think of these as meaning like “hardly ever” or “rarely” or “seldom.” So they’re not zero, but they’re expressing like a very low frequency of something.
As we did with ぜんぜん (zenzen), we also need to use a verb in the negative form with this. So, that means we’re gonna use ない (nai) or we’re gonna use ません (masen). So, this is for the casual form, ない (nai), this would be the non-past form and ません (masen), this is the polite form, again, non-past form.
So, let’s look at some example sentences and talk a little bit about how we might translate those into English.
First one, let’s take a look here. This one uses あんまり (anmari), あんまり (anmari).
So…
えいがは あんまり 見ない。
(Eiga wa, anmari minai.)
So what does the sentence mean?
First, we have えいが (eiga). えいが (eiga) means “movie.”
えいがは (eiga wa)
So は (wa) is my topic-marking particle.
あんまり (anmari), あんまり (anmari). So again, that’s the feeling of like “hardly ever” or “rarely” or “seldom.”
And then, 見ない (minai), 見ない (minai).
So again, 見る (miru) which we saw earlier, 見る (miru) or 見ます (mimasu) means “to see,” to see or “to watch.”
So here, we usually watch movies. We usually say “watch for movies,” so I supposed you could say, “see a movie,” if you’re talking about going to a movie theater. So we use the negative form here, えいがは あんまり 見ない。(Eiga wa, anmari minai.)
You could use, again, if you want to, this long form as well, the polite form, えいがは あんまり見ません (Eiga wa, anmari mimasen). So again, first, well… for space reasons on the board, but also just in general, if you’re speaking just with a friend, you’re probably going to use this more casual form, but you can use 見ません (mimasen) as well too.
えいがは あんまり 見ない。
(Eiga wa, anmari minai.)
So, please note, あんまり (anmari), again, comes directly before the verb, あんまり 見ない (anmari minai), あんまり 見ない (anmari minai).
えいがは あんまり 見ない。
(Eiga wa, anmari minai.).
Let’s look at one more example of this, one that uses めったに (metta ni).
So you might not have seen めったに (metta ni) before. I don’t feel that I see it so much or hear it so much compared to like あんまり (anmari) or あまり (amari). めったに (metta ni) also means “hardly ever.” I think in the JLPT, it’s about Level N3 perhaps, for grammar. So めったに (metta ni) is used to mean the same thing. We use it in the same way as we’ve just talked about with あんまり (anmari).
So, let’s practice.
This one…
本は めったに 読まない。
(Hon wa metta ni yomanai.)
So here again, めったに (metta ni). めったに (metta ni) comes before 読まない (yomanai). So this is the negative form of the verb 読む (yomu). 読む (yomu) means “to read,” yeah? So 読まない (yomanai), negative, so めったに (metta ni) “hardly ever don’t read” is what this means. It sounds again like a double negative, but this is just the way it is.
So…
本は めったに 読まない。
(Hon wa metta ni yomanai.)
“I hardly ever read books.”
Also a pronunciation point. One pronunciation point that I sometimes hear learners maybe have challenges with is with the word like this, 本 (hon), 本 (hon). So this is spelled in Roman letters, H-O-N. It looks like /hone/, /hone/, but we do not say it like that, /hom/. So the /m/ sound, the /m/ at the end of this word is very soft. It’s not like a hard English /hon/, /hon/. So try to make those /m/, those ending /,/ sound really, really soft and then you’ll be able to transition into that next は (wa) much more smoothly. So like, not line (/hone/ wa metta ni yomanai), but 本は (hon wa), so you can kind of hear how I do that 本は (hon wa), so that it becomes like a /nw/ together. I’m putting those two sounds together, linking them.
本は めったに 読まない。
(Hon wa metta ni yomanai.)
Also, another point here is this stop. So, maybe it’s a little bit difficult to see here because it’s small, but in めったに (metta ni), there’s this small っ (~tsu). So we know that when we see a small っ (~tsu) in our Japanese writing, it’s showing us where we need to put those stops in words.
When we look at the word in Romaji though, it looks like めったに (metta ni), めったに (metta ni), but we cannot pronounce it this way. It’s totally incorrect. めったに (metta ni), めったに (metta ni), so 本は めったに 読まない (hon wa metta ni yomanai), 読まない (yomanai). So make sure that this stop is also clearly pronounced, めったに (metta ni), めったに 読まない (metta ni yomanai).
Okay, so the big takeaway from this point here is to please make sure that you use the negative form with these adverbs of frequency.
Okay, with that, let’s continue on to the other side of the scale.
The next one is たまに (tama ni), たまに (tama ni). So maybe you can see, たまに (tama ni) also end with this に (ni). So we saw it with めったに (metta ni) and now we’re gonna see it with たまに (tama ni), たまに (tama ni). You’ll hear in everyday speech that people like to kind of extend sounds in this word. They’ll say, たま... に (tama... ni). This is something that I do. This adverb of frequency means like “every once in a while” or “from time to time.” So depending on how long you make that たま...(tama...), that part, the ま (ma) sound, たま... に (tama... ni), depending on how long that sound is, you can kind of emphasize the frequency with what you do in action. So たまに (tama ni) means like “every once in a while.” That’s why I have it at maybe like the 40 or so mark on my scale here.
So, different from the other ones that I’ve talked about in this lesson so far, we do not need to use the negative form here. Here, we use the positive form of a verb. We can use, again, the casual form or the polite form. Both are fine.
So let’s take a look at some example sentences.
First one:
かれと たまに 会う。
(Kare to tama ni au.)
So, this sentence means, so “him” again and I have と (to), と (to, so again, I’m marking the person with whom I do something with と (to).
たまに (Tama ni) “Every once in a while”
会う (au) “meet,” meet.
So this means, “I see him every once in a while,” I see him every once in a while.
かれと たまに 会う。
(Kare to tama ni au.)
If you want to emphasize it like I was talking about earlier, you can make this ま (ma) sound a bit longer, かれと たまに 会う。 (Kare to tama ni au.) So, that will make it sound like it’s very, very infrequent. That’s kind of the vibe that you’re giving off, if you make that ま (ma) sound a bit longer.
かれと たまに 会う。
(Kare to tama ni au.)
Again, you could use the polite form here, 会います (aimasu); かれと たまに 会います (kare to tama ni aimasu). So, “I see him every once in a while.” It’s just gonna increase the level of politeness of your statement.
One more example:
コーヒーを たまに 飲む。
(Kohī o tama ni nomu.)
So, we’re seeing our friend, 飲む (nomu), again here, “drink,” “to drink,” and in this case, I have コーヒー (kohī) “coffee,” coffee. So “coffee,” I have my object-marking particle を (o) here, を (o), and then I have たまに (tama ni) right before my verb. So we can use it in exactly the same way as we talked about before here, just to make sure that your verb is positive. You should not be using the negative form of your verb.
Also, one point I want to make, this を (o), I have it here and I think lots of textbooks use を (o) or maybe they use W-O. The sound that you should be making is kind of, it’s not like the, the strong English /wo/ sound. It’s a much softer /wo/ sound, so コーヒーを (kohī o). It’s kind of like you’re sliding into it a little bit, を (o).
コーヒーを たまに 飲む。
(Kohī o tama ni nomu.)
So that’s a little bit exaggerated, but try to think about this を (o) sound, /wo/, so it’s a very, very slight W sound at the beginning there, but working on that will help you sound a little more natural.
コーヒーを たまに 飲む。
(Kohī o tama ni nomu.)
And you’ll hear too this に (ni) kind of connects a little bit to the adverb. So not, コーヒーを たまに 飲む (Kohī o tama ni nomu), but コーヒーを たまに 飲む (Kohī o tama ni nomu). So, they kind of connect. It’s kind of like, everything flows nicely together there, so it’s not so much of like this up and down that we have in American English speech.
Okay, so with that, let’s carry on then to ときどき (tokidoki), ときどき (tokidoki).
So ときどき (tokidoki) was in my example sentence, in the beginning of the lesson. ときどき (Tokidoki) means “sometimes,” sometimes, or I guess you could also say like “occasionally” as well. So ときどき (tokidoki), ときどき (tokidoki).
ときどき ごはんを 作る。
(Tokidoki go-han o tsukuru.)
So sometimes, ごはん (go-han) “food,” so ごはん (go-han). ごはんを 作る (go-han o tsukuru). 作る (Tsukuru) means “to make.”
ときどき ごはんを 作る。
(Tokidoki go-han o tsukuru.)
So, “I sometimes make food” or “I sometimes cook food.” That’s what this sentence means.
ときどき ごはん (tokidoki go-han)
ごはん (Go-han). So ごはん (go-han), again, I have an honorific here.
はん (Han) is used before like just “meals,” in general, so we don’t have to be specific like breakfast or lunch or dinner. We just want to talk about, like the act of cooking. We could use an expression like ごはんを 作る (go-han o tsukuru) like “to make food” or “to cook food.”
ときどき ごはんを 作る。
(Tokidoki go-han o tsukuru.)
So again, I’m connecting this ごはん (go-han) to my object-marking particle here, ごはんを 作る(go-han o tsukuru), 作る (tsukuru). And make sure that that /tsu/ sound at the beginning of 作る (tsukuru) is really clear too. So not /suru/ and not /tukuru/ either. So, anothe kind of pronunciation challenge point that I hear from some people is they kind of make that /tsu/ really, really strong. So it’s not /tsukuro/. We don’t have that really heavy like /tukuro/ sound when we say this verb. We say 作る (tsukuru), 作る (tsukuru). So that U sound, that first U sound or maybe the first U in /tsu/ that we see on paper, this U, is really, really small, /tsu/, /tsu/. So 作る tsukuru, 作る tsukuru, that’s how it should sound.
So…
ときどき ごはんを 作る。
(Tokidoki go-han o tsukuru.)
“I sometimes make food.”
“I sometimes cook food.”
Okay, one more example:
ときどき ジョギングを する。
(Tokidoki jogingu o suru.)
So here, I’m using a loanword, ジョギング (jogingu), ジョギング (jogingu), “jogging,” so jogging. I’ve written it here in both Hiragana and Katakana.
ときどき ジョギングを する。
(Tokidoki jogingu o suru.).
So again, I’m using ときどき (tokidoki) before this phrase, before this verb phrase, ジョギングを する (jogingu o suru). ジョギングを する (Jogingu o suru) means “to go jogging” or like “to jog,” so ジョギングを する (jogingu o suru). So in this case, again, I’m using ジョギング (jogingu) before を (o), so that’s my activity. That’s a thing that I’m marking as the object of my verb which is する (suru) here.
So please be careful as well, する(suru) and 作る (tsukuru) may sound a little bit similar when you’re first getting started, but they are very different. So する (suru) means like “to do (something)” generally. 作る (Tsukuru) means “to make,” to make.
作る (tsukuru)
する (suru)
作る (tsukuru)
する (suru)
So, a good listening point. Okay, so this is “sometimes,” sometimes. So, “I sometimes go jogging” or “I sometimes jog.” We could understand those as the translations for this example sentence.
Okay, carrying on, two more to go.
The next one is よく (yoku), よく (yoku). So I use よく (yoku) in this example sentence up here, びる お よく のむ (biru o yoku nomu). So よく (yoku) means like “often” as we talked about earlier, “often” or “all the time,” “frequently,” “something that we do regularly,” よく (yoku).
So, let’s look at some more examples that use よく (yoku). Also, a pronunciation point, when you say よく (yoku), it shouldn’t be よく! (yoku!) or like よ... く... (yo...ku), something like that, よく (yoku), よく (yoku). So, let’s take a look at how we put this word in sentences then, down here because I was running out of space.
First one:
スマホを よく つかうよ。
(Sumaho o yoku tsukau yo.)
So, this is maybe a little bit confusing at first, スマホ (sumaho). What is a スマホ (sumaho)? スマホを (Sumaho o), so I know that this is maybe like a noun. I can probably guess it’s a noun because it comes before this direct object marker, yeah? And then I have よく (yoku), my adverb of frequency, plus my verb and then an emphasis marker, よ (yo).
So, マホを (sumaho) is the shortened word or like the way that we say “smartphone” in Japanese. So, スマートフォン (sumātofon), I guess, is how you would say it as long word, but that’s quite a long word, スマートフォン (sumātofon), and we say it a lot, so this gets abbreviated. This becomes shortened to マホを (sumaho), マホを (sumaho).
スマホを よく つかうよ。 (Sumaho o yoku tsukau yo.)
よく つかうよ (Yoku tsukau yo)
So よく (yoku) “often,” つかう (tsukau), つかう (tsukau). So again, we have that つ... か... う... (tsu… ka.... u…), つ... か... う... (tsu… ka.... u…). So it starts with that /tsu/ sound just like we talked about with 作る (tsukuru). So again, this /tsu/ sound, the U sound in that /tsu/ should be really, really short, so not つ... か... う... (tsu… ka.... u…). I hear lots of learners say that when they’re beginning. Not つ... か... う... (tsu… ka.... u…), but like つかう (tsukau), つかう (tsukau). So every syllable is there, よく つかうよ (yoku tsukau yo), よく つかうよ (yoku tsukau yo). And I’m adding this emphasis, よ (yo), よ (yo), so it’s like a spoken exclamation point.
So…
スマホを よく つかうよ。
(Sumaho o yoku tsukau yo.)
Another example:
かのじょは よく うんどうをする。
(Kanojo wa yoku undō o suru.)
So here, かのじょ (kanojo), so “her/she.”
は (Wa), so she is my topic.
よく (Yoku), adverb of frequency, meaning “often/regularly/all the time.”
うんど (Undō). うんど (Undō) means “exercise.”
うんどうをする (Undō o suru)
So うんどうをする (undō o suru) is like, we can think of as another kind of unit, a verb unit, meaning “to exercise,” “to do exercise.”
So this sentence, we could understand as meaning, “She often exercises” or “She exercises all the time.”
かのじょは よく うんどうをするよ。
(Kanojo wa yoku undō o suru yo.)
I could add maybe, like emphasis there, if I want to, like emphasize that someone is an athlete. So, again, it’s up to you if you want to add like those little よ (yo) or に (ni) or whatever at the end of your sentence.
かのじょは よく うんどうをする。
(Kanojo wa yoku undō o suru.)
So here too, you’ll notice that before my… before my particle here, を (o), I have this O sound, うんどう (undō) and that うんどう(undō) has that long O sound. It’s really tough, so to pronounce that and then it just connects to the を (o) like the direct object marking particle there, うんどうをする (undō o suru). So you don’t need to say, うんどう... を.... する... (undō… o... suru...). You can connect everything, the same way that we would connect similar sounds, kind of, in English too, so うんどうをする (undō o suru). So, that’s another point that maybe you can practice.
It doesn’t… it shouldn’t all be like a long うんどう.... をする (undō... o suru). You need to be able to kind of mark with your voice where that particle is, so うんどうをする (undō o suru). It kind of goes out うんどうをする (undō o suru). So anyone who’s listening can figure out like where that word ends, うんどう(undō) and where the marker comes in, the direct object marker comes in, and then we kind of go back down to that する (suru), うんどうをする (undō o suru). So, this means, “She often exercises” or “She exercises all the time.”
All right, let’s go on to our very last one for this lesson.
The last one is at the 100th mark of the scale, いつも (itsumo), いつも (itsumo).
いつも (Itsumo) means “always,” always. So we talk about the things that we always do, so things that are part of our everyday schedule, that we do everyday or every hour, every week, whatever. We use いつも (itsumo) to describe that, いつも (itsumo).
So, let’s look at some examples.
First one:
ねる前に、いつも かおを あらう。
(Neru mae ni, itsumo kao o arau.)
So, ねる前に (neru mae ni), ねる前に (neru mae ni), let’s break this down.
ねる前に (neru mae ni)
So ねる (neru) means “to sleep.”
前に Mae ni means “before.”
So “sleep before,” it doesn’t sound like so natural when I translate directly into English, but this means “before sleeping” or “before I go to sleep,” ねる前に (neru mae ni).
いつも かおを あらう (itsumo kao o arau)
かお (Kao) means “face.”
あらう (Arau) means “wash.”
So, I have いつも (itsumo) before this action, かおを あらう (kao o arau).
いつも かおを あらう (itsumo kao o arau)
So, いつも (itsumo) means “always.”
“I always wash my face before I go to sleep.”
“Always,” “face” mark here by my を (o), my direct-objective particle, then あらう (arau).
So, “Before I go to sleep, I always wash my face” is what this means.
One more example:
あさ、いつも はを みがく。
(Asa, itsumo ha o migaku.)
あさ (Asa) means “morning.”
いつも (itsumo) “always”
は (ha) “teeth”
を みがく (o migaku), so literally, “polish,” but here, “brush.”
So…
あさ、いつも はを みがく。
(Asa, itsumo ha o migaku.)
So, “I always brush my teeth in the morning.”
So, あさ (asa) “morning”
いつも はを みがく (itsumo ha o migaku)
So again, いつも (itsumo) is coming before this kind of like verb phrase, this verb unit.
So, いつも はを みがく (itsumo ha o migaku).
So, this is how we use いつも (itsumo).
Again, we use いつも (itsumo), よく(yoku), ときどき (tokidoki), and たまに (tama ni) with the positive forms of verbs.
We use these, ぜんぜん (zenzen), あんまり (anmari), あまり (amari), and めったに (metta ni) with the negative forms. So please keep this in mind as you’re practicing your speaking and your writing with these adverbs of frequency.
So, this is a really good one, I think, for you to practice. You can practice this with your writing a lot to talk about how often you do certain activities. So this is a really, really great one that you can use for just some quick writing practice at home.
So, I hope that this lesson was helpful for you. Of course, if you have any questions or comments or if you want to practice making some example sentences, please feel free to do so in the comment section of this video. If you like this lesson, please, please, please, give it a thumbs up, subscribe to our channel if you have not already and check us out at JapanesePod101.com for some other things that can help you with your Japanese studies. Thanks very much for watching this lesson and I will see you again soon. Bye-bye!
ときどきテレビを見ます。
(Tokidoki terebi o mimasu.)
ビールをよく飲む。
(Bīru o yoku nomu.)
さいきん、かれと ぜんぜん 会わない。
(Saikin, kare to zenzen awanai.)
お酒は ぜんぜん 飲まない。
(O-sake wa, zenzen nomanai.)
えいがは あんまり 見ない。
(Eiga wa, anmari minai.)
本は めったに 読まない。
(Hon wa metta ni yomanai.)
かれと たまに 会う。
(Kare to tame ni au.)
コーヒーを たまに 飲む。
(Kohī o tama ni nomu.)
ときどき ごはんを 作る。
(Tokidoki go-han o tsukuru.)
ときどき ジョギングを する。
(Tokidoki jogingu o suru.)
スマホを よく つかうよ。
(Sumaho o yoku tsukau yo.)
かのじょは よく うんどうをする。
(Kanojo wa yoku undō o suru.)
ねる前に、いつも かおを あらう。
(Neru mae ni, itsumo kao o arau.)
あさ、いつも はを みがく。
(Asa, itsumo ha o migaku.)

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JapanesePod101.com Verified
April 10th, 2020 at 06:30 PM
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Did you like this lesson?

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March 30th, 2021 at 01:59 PM
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Florianさん


Thank you so much for your kind comment😄

Please let us know if you have any questions :)


Sincerely

Ryoma

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Florian
March 27th, 2021 at 07:40 PM
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This was a fantastic lesson. Arigatou gozaimasu

JapanesePod101.com Verified
November 20th, 2020 at 04:56 PM
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Hi James Tighe じゃます,

Thank you for your comment!


Yes, your sentence is correct.

But it's ok to say just 毎朝朝ご飯をたべる.


Keep up learning Japanese with us:)


Sincerely,

Miho

Team JapanesePod101.com

James Tighe じゃます
November 19th, 2020 at 02:04 AM
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どもありがとうござます


日本語は難しいけどおもしょろい


Really good lesson.


毎朝いつも朝ご飯をたべる


Hopefully、 the above says I always eat breakfast every morning :)

JapanesePod101.com Verified
April 21st, 2020 at 03:15 PM
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Yoongiさん


コメントありがとうございます😄

What are you having trouble with exactly? It would be great if you could tell us more in detail so that we help you the best 😉

Please let us know if you have any question :)


Sincerely

Ryoma

Team JapanesePod101.com

Yoongi
April 19th, 2020 at 09:25 AM
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I'm going to be honest, I had trouble following this video. I'm just starting Japanese and it's kinda hard. 😭 :(

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April 15th, 2020 at 09:02 PM
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Antonioさん


質問(しつもん)ありがとうございます😄

You can say 頻度(ひんど)の副詞(ふくし)👍

Please let us know if you have any question :)


Sincerely

Ryoma

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JapanesePod101.com Verified
April 15th, 2020 at 08:05 PM
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こんにちは Shrijon,


That's odd! 😳😳 I honestly have no idea how this could have occurred. Please send an email as soon as possible to our Customer Support at contactus@JapanesePod101.com if the problem still persists so that our team can look into the issue immediately!


Sincerely,

レヴェンテ (Levente)

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JapanesePod101.com Verified
April 12th, 2020 at 05:04 PM
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こんにちは Yvette and Matt,


Thank you so much for your kind comments. ❤️️ It's great to hear that you enjoyed our lesson.


@Matt, thank you for your feedback, it is very valuable. I will forward it to our team so that we can look into the issue and avoid it from happening in the future. 😉


Let us know if you have any questions.


Wishing you good luck with your Japanese,

レヴェンテ (Levente)

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Matt
April 12th, 2020 at 08:58 AM
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I enjoyed this lesson! My only issue is that there was a lot of stopping to go over hiragana concepts and politeness levels. Anyone ready for this lesson should be well past there.