This is another post in my Read & Answer series of articles where I give a short passage in Japanese followed by one or more questions to test your understanding. You can see more about this series here, and a list of the other articles in it here.
This will be Level 1, which is the easiest level and targets those who have only studied Japanese a few months to a year or so. Having said that, some of the vocabulary words (or Kanji) I use may not be words commonly learned in the first few months. Because of that I’ve given a list of Kanji words and some of the non-Kanji words with their definitions below the answer choices, so you only need to be able to read hiragana and katakana for this exercise.
For more advanced students, I suggest trying to answer the questions without looking at the word readings and meanings.
What sort of situation fits best with this passage?
Answer Choices 1
a) Someone counting books in a library
b) This passage doesn’t seem to make much sense
c) This passage appears to be a test to see if someone can follow instructions
d) Instructions on how to construct a table
How would you describe the tone of this passage?
Answer Choices 2
a) Extremely formal and stiff, like someone is speaking to a president or king
b) Mostly casual, but using woman’s language
c) It uses old expressions not commonly used in modern Japanese
d) It sounds moderately formal
How would you describe the meaning of the phrase “先生を呼んでもらう” in this passage?
Answer Choices 3
a) Reading a book to the teacher
b) Calling (notifying) a teacher about something
c) Waiting to be called on by a teacher
d) Having the teacher read a book
How would you describe the meaning of the word “以上” in this passage?
Answer Choices 4
a) It means something is complete, possibly the tasks that were just described
b) It is talking about something above the table
c) It means to try hard and do above and beyond what is expected of you
d) It refers to an unusual situation or condition
At the end of this passage, how many items should be on the table?
Answer Choices 5
Word readings and meanings
まずは: mazu wa (‘first of all’)
本: hon (‘book’)
置いて: oite (-te form of the verb 置く ‘oku’ which means ‘to place’)
鉛筆: enpitsu (‘pencil’)
終わったら: owattara (‘when (it’s) completed’, conditional -ra form of the verb 終わる ‘owaru’ which means ‘to be completed’)
先生: sensei (‘teacher’)
呼んで: yonde (-te form of 呼ぶ ‘yobu’ which means ‘to call’)
以上: ijou (‘above’, but also can be used to express something being complete)
Q3: b [Note: a different kanji reading, 読む, refers to act of reading]
Q4: a [Note: a different kanji reading, 異常, refers to an unusual situation]
Q5: c [two items, a book and a pencil]
If you enjoyed this exercise, please comment or like this post so I know to continue writing these. Also, please let me know if you want more or less difficult passages.