Category Archives: grammar

Tips for asking other for help with a foreign language

When studying a foreign language, it’s natural for all sorts of questions to come up––how to pronounce words, how to use grammar correctly, and (perhaps the hardest) how to speak or write natural sounding language. For those taking a formal language class, generally there will be some time either after or during class to ask… Read More »

Japanese grammar: Introductory phrases with ~n da kedo (〜んだけど)

In the post I’d like to go over a common way of expressing an introductory idea in Japanese. We will begin with a basic form of this, んだけど (n da kedo) and then go over some variations. First, let’s look at a simple example: 僕、ずっと日本語を勉強してるんだけど、まだペラペラじゃない (boku, zutto nihongo wo benkyou shiteru n da kedo, mada… Read More »

Japanese grammar spotlight: だって (datte) vs だから (dakara)

In this post I want to focus on two common Japanese words that sound similar but have very different meanings––in fact opposite meanings. These words can have a few different usages, but I will be focusing on the following usage, where だって or だから begins a new sentence. 「sentence A」。だって「sentence B」 「sentence A」。だから「sentence B」 Besides… Read More »

まえ (mae) vs まで (made): what’s the difference?

Words that sound similar can cause trouble for those learning a foreign language, especially if the words have similar meanings. In this post I want to go over the difference between the Japanese words ”mae” (written either as まえ or 前) and “made” (usually written as まで, but in rare cases as 迄), which are… Read More »

Japanese grammar: An overview of the “te” form (and an important use nobody taught you)

The “te” form of verbs, sometimes (confusingly) referred to as the “gerund” form, is a cornerstone of Japanese grammar. Not only are there only a few verb forms in the language, but the “te” form has a variety of uses. In this post I’ll go over the main ones, including one you may not be… Read More »