Japanese Self-Studying Updates (Lessons 1-8) | Blushing Geek

Japanese Self-Study Updates (Lessons 40 and 41)

Konnichiwa minna-san! I’m finally back with my weekly updates for my Japanese self-study and I’m really excited to share with you guys what I am learning for this week.

So last week, I spent reviewing all 39 lessons that I did last year just to make sure that I’m still in the right path, lol. Although there were some Japanese terms that I quite forgotten, I’ve got to say that I was still able to retain all the important things like the sentence structure and such, so no harm done since that can be easily renewed, *wink.

For this week, I am going to introduce to you two new lessons which I really had a great time learning.

And again, this is not an attempt to create a tutorial but just sharing what I’ve learn from Misa-sensei’s Grammar Lessons for Absolute Beginners in Youtube. You can see what I’ve been learning from Lessons 1-39 here.

Lesson 40: Don’t Have to ~

As you can recall from lesson #33 which is the have to do ~ (nakya and nakereba ikemasen) form, for this lesson, it’s going to be different. Unlike in English, you can’t negate the Japanese have to do ~ form since nakereba ikemasen is already in its negative form. Instead, we are going to do it differently. There are actually two ways to do it.

First way:

  1. Transform the verb into its informal negation (nai) form.
  2. Change nai into naku (you do it since you can’t add te with nai)
  3. Add mo ii at the end.

Ex: I don’t have to eat
=>Tabenakutemo ii (desu)
(temo ii means may/ can/ is it ok to do ~)
(temo ii could also mean even if ~)

The example above sounds familiar, since in Lesson #23, we already tackled about asking permission in Japanese.


Don’t have to = may not
<permission not to do ~>
= ~nakutemo ii


Ex: You don’t have to watch
=>Minakutemo ii (desu)
(lit. even if I don’t watch, it’s ok)
=>Minakutemo ii (desu) yo <native>

As you can remember, you can use the yo particle into a lot of things. In addition to those, you use yo particle when:

  • You want to convince someone
  • You want to tell something
  • You use it with you may sentences
  • Telling someone to do something
  • When you give permission to someone

Don’t + yo? (high intonation)
= don’t do ~ like for example: Tabenaide yo? => you know you can’t eat it

Don’t + yo!
= it’s a harsh way of saying don’t do ~

Normally, they just use the naide form alone, or they add the ne particle at the end to make it sound softer.


If you don’t like it
=> Suki janai nara / kirai nara
(nara can be translated as if or in case)

Ex: You don’t have to eat it, if you don’t like it
=> Suki janai nara, tabenakutemo ii (desu) yo
You don’t have to say it
=> Iwanakutemo ii (desu) yo

<if clause>, <second clause>
If clause
always comes first in the sentence.

Ex: You don’t have to say it if you don’t want to
=> Iitakunai nara, iwakutemo ii (desu) yo
You don’t have to talk
=>Hanasakutemo ii (desu) yo


About ~
=> ~ nitsuite
Eg. A story about something, a book about something, etc. (to write, to talk, information)
Ex: I write something about ~
=> ~ nitsuite kaku
I read an article about ~
=> ~ nitsuite no kiji wo yonda

~ nitsuite no <noun>
= <noun> about ~
The no particle acts as a connector to the <noun>

~nitsuite + <verb>
Ex: To talk about the news
=> Nyuusu nitsuite hanasu
To talk about that
=> Sore nitsuite hanasu
To talk about that (thing, even or matter)
=> Sono koto nitsuite hanasu


About ~ (time)
=> ~ gurai
Eg. about 5 minutes ago, about 1 hour ago, etc.


Mono vs. Koto
mono = object
(tangible, like: fruits, pen, etc.
concept like: love, courage, etc.)
Ex: Scary thing
=> Kowai mono
(eg. Horror movies, spiders, nightmares)
koto = object
(more on action)
Ex: Scary thing
=> Kowai koto (to do)
(eg. Bungee jumping, sky diving, mom yelling, etc.)


Ex: You don’t have to talk about that (like the accident, or something)
=> Sono koto nitsuite hanasanakutemo ii (desu) yo
I don’t have to wake up early tomorrow
=> Ashita hayaku okinakutemo ii (desu) yo
hayaku = early <adverb> – comes from the verb hayai
You don’t have to do it
=> Shinakutemo ii (desu) yo
You don’t have to study
=> Benkyou shinakutemo ii (desu) yo
You don’t have to wait for me
=> Watashi wo matanakutemo ii (desu) yo
but they would often say:
=> Watashi no koto wo matanakutemo ii (desu) yo
(this sentence is more on like: “you don’t have to wait for me to do something” or “You don’t have to wait for my action”)
You don’t have to stand up
=> Tatanakutemo ii (desu) yo

Second way:

  1. Transform the verb into its informal negation (nai) form.
  2. Change nai into naku (you do it since you can’t add te with nai)
  3. Add mo daijoubu at the end (instead of ii).

Ex: I don’t have to study
=> Benkyou shinakutemo daijoubu
(lit. it’s no problem even if I don’t study)
Light doesn’t have to study because he’s smart
=> Raito wa atama ga ii kara, benkyou shinakutemo daijoubu
(lit. because Light is smart, he doesn’t have to study)
You don’t have to understand everything
=> Zenbu wakaranakutemo daijoubu

For ~nakutemo daijoubu, you don’t have to add yo particle at the end of the sentence. But if you want to, you can still do so.
<noun/na-adjective> + da + yo/ne
<i-adjective/verb/negation(nai)> + yo/ne

Ex: It’s impossible (I can’t do it!)
=> Muri da yo

You can say daijoubu yo (instead of daijoubu da yo) but it sounds like an old lady speaking. In textbook, it’s called a feminine speech. In real life, they don’t talk like that.

Temo ii also works with adjectives
na-adjective => ~janakutemo ii
i-adjective => ~kunakutemo ii

Ex: It doesn’t have to be perfect
=> Kanpeki janakutemo ii (desu) yo
The hotel room doesn’t have to be big
=> Hoteru no heya wa ookinakutemo ii (desu) yo

New vocabularies learned from this lesson:

  • kiji => article; news story; report
  • muri-na => impossible <na-adjective>
  • kanpeki-na => perfect <na-adjective>
  • hoteru no heya / hoterubeya => hotel room

Lesson 41: Can <potential form>

For can / to be able to do ~ <potential form>, you can do it in two ways.

First way:

  • <verb (plain form)> + koto ga dekiru / dekimasu

Ex: I can eat
=> Taberu koto ga dekiru / dekimasu

dekiru   = can do ~
= to be done ~
= to get completed
koto = thing, matter or event


verb + koto = verb + no
<verbing> (nominalization)
the particles koto and no helps the verb to connect with another particle.
Ex: I like eating
=> Taberu no ga suki
=> Taberu koto ga suki


<verb (plain form)> + koto ga dekiru / dekimasu
= can / to be able to do something
– it’s not commonly used. It’s mostly used in formal speeches.

Second way: (the most commonly used)

iru/eru ending: change the last ru into rareru
Ex: Can eat
=> Taberareru <informal>
=> Taberaremasu <formal>
Can’t / cannot eat
=> Taberarenai <informal>
=> Taberaremasen <formal>
Couldn’t eat
=> Taberarenakatta <informal>
=> Taberaremasen deshita <formal>
Could eat
=> Taberareta <informal>
=> Taberaremashita <formal>

Can form for iru/eru ending verbs (informal):

  • can = rareru
  • can’t = rarenai
  • couldn’t = rarenakatta
  • could = rareta

Can form for iru/eru ending verbs (formal):

  • can = raremasu
  • can’t = raremasen
  • couldn’t = raremasen deshita
  • could = raremashita

When speaking informally, they omit the ra (but it’s actually a personal choice, whether you omit the ra or not)
Ex: Can eat
=> Tabereru
(this is called ranuki kotoba (nuki = without/to pull out, kotoba = language/word)
Can see / watch
=> Mirareru / miraremasu
other term for can see:
=> Mieru

mirareru vs. mieru
mirareru (can see) = do you get to see me? / can you get the chance (ability) to see me?
mieru (visible) = example: When you are talking with someone on skype and the connection is slow, you could say: Mieru? (lit. Am I visible to you?)

Ex: My eyesight is bad…can’t see (not visible)
=> Me ga warui…mienai

mirarenai (miraremasen) vs. mienai (miemasen)
mirarenai (cannot see) = don’t have the chance to see
Ex: I cannot see a film because there is no cinema
=> Eigakan ga nai kara, eiga ga mirarenai

mienai = not visible, like bad eyesight or its too foggy so it’s not visible.
Ex: I can’t / don’t see anything
=> Nanimo mienai

Can’t sleep
=> Nerarenai / Neraremasen
I can’t wake up early in the morning
=> Asa hayaku, okirarenai / okiraremasen

<noun> + no toki
= when
Ex: When I was a student, I couldn’t wake up early in the morning
=> Gakusei no toki, asa hayaku okirarenakatta / okiraremasen deshita


Other ending verbs: change the last u into e and add ru at the end

Ex: Can write
=> Kakeru <informal>
=> Kakemasu <formal>
I can write hiragana
=> Hiragana ga kakeru
Can speak
=> Hanaseru <informal>
=> Hanasemasu <formal>


I speak Japanese (nihongo wo hanashimasu)
I can speak Japanese (nihongo ga hansemasu)
For hanashimasu, it’s not really about your ability to speak unlike in hanaseru. It’s more on what you do. Like for example: On Sunday, I will speak Japanese.


Ex: I can speak English and Japanese
=> Eigo to nihongo ga hanseru
I can speak Japanese well yet
=> Mada jouzuni nihongo ga hanasenai
jouzuni = to be good at ~, skilled at ~ <adverb> – comes from the adjective, jouzu-na
I can go to Japan alone
=> Hitoride nihon ni ikeru <informal>
=> Hitoride nihon ni ikemasu <formal>
I was able to go to Japan alone
=> Hitoride nihon ni iketa <informal>
=> Hitoride nihon ni ikemashita <formal>
Can hear/listen
=> Kikeru / kikemasu


kikeru vs. kikoeru
kikeru (can listen) = get to listen to ~
Eg. Someone recommended a song to you and you search for it but can’t find it, until finally, you did.
Ex: Finally, I can (get to) listen
=> Yatto, kikeru
kikoeru (audible) = eg. when you are talking with someone on skype and the connection is not good, you would ask: kikoeru? (which means, can you hear me?)
Ex: I can hear the outside noise (this apartment)
=> Kono apaato wa soto no oto ga kikoeru

Adults can drink alcohol
=> Otona wa osake ga nomeru

All you can eat
=> Tabehoudai (eat as much as you want)
All you can drink
=> Nomihoudai (drink as much as you want)

Let’s go to an all you can eat restaurant
=> Tabehoudai no resutoran ni ikou
Can you wait?
=> Materu? <informal>
=> Matemasu ka? <formal>
Can’t wait
=> Matenai / matemasen
Can’t wait anymore
=> Mou matenai / matemasen
Can hang out
=> Asoberu / asobemasu
Wanna hang-out?
=> Asobitai?
but they would often say:
=> Asoberu?
Can you hang-out tomorrow?
=> Ashita asoberu?
I can’t hang-out next week
=> Raishuu wa asobenai


Irregular verbs:
suru => dekiru
Ex: Can play tennis
=> Tenisu ga dekiru
Can cook
=> Renshuu dekiru

kuru => korareru
Ex: Can bring
=> Motte korareru
Can you come tomorrow?
=> Ashita korareru? <informal>
=> Ashita koraremasu ka? <formal>


kaeru => kaereru / kaeremasu
hairu => haireru / hairemasu
=> kireru / kiremasu
Ex: That stylist can cut well
=> Ano biyoushi wa jouzuni kireru
hashiru => hashireru / hashiremasu

New vocabularies learned from this lesson:

  • nuki => without / to pull out
  • kotoba => language / word
  • mieru => (visible) can see
  • kikoeru => (audible) can listen/hear
  • yatto => at last; at length
    => barely; narrowly; just; by the skin of one’s teeth
  • oto => sound; noise; report
    => note (music)
    => fame
  • otona => adult
  • tabehoudai => all you can eat
  • nomihoudai => all you can drink
  • biyoushi => beautician, beauty artist


And that’s it for this week guys!

For the earlier lessons, you can refer to my previous updates for lessons 1-39. And again, if you want to study Japanese language as well, I am highly recommending Misa-sensei’s youtube tutorial for Japanese Grammar Lessons for Absolute Beginners.

Arigatou gozaimasu. Jaa mata ne.

Japanese Self-Study Updates (Lessons 40 and 41) | Blushing Geek

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