word order in japanese

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In the Japanese language, knowing the basics of creating sentences or sentences allows us to acquire greater fluency, creating our own sentences according to our needs. For this, it is necessary to know how to organize the words and use the correct grammatical resources to be able to express what we want by making ourselves understood by any native Japanese.

word order in japanese

If we cannot do that, it will be difficult to express ourselves, communicate what we want and at the same time impossible to understand any message provided in Japanese. So, the first step in knowing a language is knowing how words are organized in sentences.

But what is a sentence?

A phrase, or sentence, is simply an organized sequence of words. This same sequence of words is what allows us to make statements, ask questions, express thoughts, make a request, show our opinion and so on.

In Portuguese, a sentence usually starts with a capital letter and ends with a period, be it a period, exclamation, question mark or any other sign used to mark the end of the sentence.

In the case of Japanese language, as there are no uppercase or lowercase letters, the beginning of a sentence has no indication. In more common texts, paragraphs are marked by a space between them, and sometimes they also have line indents.

In Japanese, the end of a sentence is determined by using the symbol “。” or simply a “.” equal to our endpoint.

In the “case of exclamations and questions, there are no specific markings similar to our “?” and "!". In Japanese, these symbols are optional and not always used.

Examples:

たかなさんは日本人です。 (Lord Tanaka Japanese ser.)

アマンダちゃんはアメリカ人ですか? (Miss Amanda American be. )

日本語が話せませんよ! (Japanese not being able to speak! )

Comparing sentences in Portuguese and Japanese

In Portuguese, all common sentences can be divided into three parts: subject, verb and object. Furthermore, in Portuguese, the most logical thing is to organize a sentence so that the subject is the first item of the sentence, then the verb and, finally, the object or predicate.

Examples:

Subject + verb + object

I eat sushi every day

Sara wears red glasses

Marcos has a blue car

According to Portuguese grammar, a sentence can still be divided into two parts: subject and predicate. I think this is the most common division of sentences in Portuguese.

The subject is the main part of the sentence. It is usually composed of a noun or pronoun. Also, it is the first item found in a common sentence.

The predicate is everything being said, or mentioned, about the subject. Usually the predicate is composed of a verb and some complement that, together, express something important about the subject of the sentence.

In the Japanese language, sentences are organized a little differently. In simple sentences, we find the subject of the sentence first, then the object, and finally the verb. Thus, we can notice a slight inversion in the basic sequence of Japanese sentences, forming what we call the SOV sequence (subject + object + verb).

Examples:

Subject + object + verb

Help with Writing Work

私は毎日すしを食べる。( I eat sushi every day. )

お母さんがパンを買いました。 (My mother bought bread.)

彼女は映画を見ました。 (She film ver.)

Other notes on Japanese phrases

There are other important observations about the organization and composition of Japanese phrases. It is necessary to keep these peculiarities in mind whenever you speak or write in japanese.

1. At the end of sentences, we do not always find a verb itself, but a kind of auxiliary verb, or auxiliary of politeness (formality), which assumes the meaning of a verb.

Example:

山田さんは日本人です

です is an auxiliary of politeness that takes on the meaning of a verb. In our case, it assumes the meaning of the verb to be in Japanese.

2. The logical order of words is not rigid for elements that are not part of the SOV sequence (Subject + object + verb), such as adverbs of time or place. In such cases, these elements may appear before or right after the subject of the sentences.

3. Modifiers or qualifiers like adjectives always precede the modified element. Therefore, adjectives always appear before nouns, to which they attribute a quality.

Examples:

彼は毎日家で新聞を沢山読みます。

新聞はテーブルの上にがあります。

彼女は本屋で本を買いました。

the incomplete sentences

In both Japanese and any other language in the world, sentences tend to use implicit elements. That is, it is possible to understand one without using its context as a basis or complement for the transmitted message.

In Japanese sentences, the subject or central theme of the sentence is usually omitted in situations where this element has already been clearly mentioned or is very obvious. For example:

これは何ですか。

これは本です。(Grammatically expected answer)

本です。 (Most used answer)

Another common form of incomplete sentences is the omission of the pronoun “you”. The Japanese prefer to omit this pronoun because, even without it, sentences are clearly understood by the context. Also, for the Japanese, the pronoun “you” or “you” is not a very polite thing to use.

あなたは何を買いましたか。 (Grammatically expected sentence)

何を買いましたか。 (Most used phrase)

Despite being named as incomplete sentences, for the Japanese they are complete. Their philosophy seems to be that of the saying: “For a good connoisseur, half a word (or sentence) is enough.”.