Maggie’s room (Up to Sep. 14th, 2018)

スクリーンショット 2013-06-19 1.06.47

Hi everyone! Thank you for visiting Maggie’s room. 

Feel free to leave any message. I will try to answer your questions here. But please make it simple. I can handle one or two questions. (If they are not too complicated..) 

I love you all but please understand that  I don’t translate or dictate lyrics, your personal letters, messages or help your homework here. Hope you don’t take it personally. Though I’d like to help everyone, if  I do for one person, which means I have to do for thousands of people everyday. Thank you for understanding. ありがとう!











  1. Hi everyone!
    Thank you for visiting my room.
    Since my room is getting full of comments, it seems like a problem scrolling down all the way to leave a comment. I will close this room and reopen a new room.
    For those who have left a questions and haven’t checked my reply, I will leave this room open until Sep. 30th but use the New Maggie room for your new comment.

  2. Please help me with this :)

    What’s the function of で in these 2 sentences



    I know several functions of で, but I’m not sure any of those I know fit in these 2 sentences.


    P/s: Maggie’s room has become too heavy! Scrolling all the way down to the comment section takes a while..

    1. 学校の旅行で、京都へ行くことになりました。
      This で is 手段 (means, measures)
      This で describes the state/condition

      As for Maggie’s room. I will close this room upon your request and open a new room.

  3. Hi again Maggie-Sensei! ^ ^

    This time i want to know what is the function of “potential te-form”?

    I found that form from this sentence :


    It means ” I was happy i can meet you” right?

    Why we should need use te- form in this sentence?

    1. Hi Sno,

      te-form has various functions. You use te-form when you give a reason/cause.

      会えて嬉しかったです。 = I am glad to see you.
      You can’t tell well from the English translation but the literal meaning is
      I am happy because I got to see you.
      (The reason why the speaker is happy is because he/she gets to see someone.)

  4. もしもしマギー先生





    PS : もし上記の文章には違いがあったらすぐ添削してください。無理のない感じ持ってるように (I want to say ” to make the sentences sounds natural” but not sure if I type it correctly)

    1. こんにちは!
      OK, I don’t do the translation here and but I will help you this one.
      It is a figurative expression.
      As if the scorching sun fries us with the whole air.

      means “Thank you for asking me questions.” I think what you meant was

      上記文章には →文章に
      無理のない感じもってるように→ There are a couple of ways to say this but how about 自然に響くように

      1. Thank you for the reply マギー先生
        I see that you don’t do translation, my bad.
        But will you do proofread?
        As I practice I will check the sentences I made by time to time to see whether it is correct or not.


        1. No problem.
          Yes as I wrote in the description, I don’t do the translation or dictation from a video here.
          (If I do, I have to do for everybody and I have to be here 24 hours. Sorry!)
          But I will accept one or two simple questions or proofreading for a short message.

  5. Hello Maggie Sensei, can you explain about different of ばかりだ、つつある、(よう)としている. I’m still confused abaout these grammars. I’ve been searched it on internet but still hard to understand it well. I hope you have a time to explain it to me. Thank you so much

    1. a) ようとしている about to do / change (It is not happening yet but it will happen soon)
      b) つつある beginning to change (Something has started to change)

      c) ばかりだ has many functions and I don’t know which one you are talking about.

      1) verb past tense ばかりだ Just did something
      Ex. 今、家を出たばかりだ
      = I just left home.

      2) verb dictionary form + ばかりだ

      (1) Something is almost done and all you do is to do something.

      (From my ばかり lesson example)
      Ex. あとは、料理を温めるばかりだ
      = (The food is ready). The only thing we have to do is jut to heat it up.

      (2) to continue to ~

      Ex. 人口は増えるばかりだ。
      = The population keeps increasing.
      (The change has already happend and keep changing)

      1. Thank you for your explaining maggie Sensei.

        But I still have a question
        1. 犬があなたの靴をかもうとしているよ。
        The dog is trying to bite your shoe.

        So’the dog’ think to try bite the shoe, and the end ‘the dog’ really bite it ?
        And what is the different of (よう)としている & (よう)とする?

        2.Is this sentence right?

        Thank you

        1. 1. 犬があなたの靴をかもうとしているよ。
          The dog hasn’t bitten the shoe yet.
          The dog is about to bite the show. You can’t tell if the dog really bit the shoe or not from this sentence.

          〜ようとしている is used when you describe something is about to happen/someone is about to do something,
          〜ようとする is used when you focus on one’s habitual action or something repetitive.

          2. the part 痩せつつある is OK. But the part 一か月まえに sounds unnatural.
          She was on diet a month ago. And a month later, she starts to lose weight? That means she has been eating for a month. That doesn’t make sense.

          To make it sound more natural, you could say something like

          1. Thank you for your reply Maggie sensei,

            the first sentence have same meaning like this one?
            1. ようやく新しいビルが観戦しようとしている。
            it means: The building is almost complete.
            Like your first explained ~ようとしている is used for something that happening yet but it will happen soon. So the building is not finishing yet but like we just need wait for one week until it finish. (?)

            I understand about ~つつある. Thank you Maggie sensei and I’m sorry my english is not good.

          2. 観戦(かんせん) means to “watch games” I think you meant “完成(かんせい)”
            And yes, 完成しようとしている means It is about to be completed. (It hasn’t finished yet but it is almost done.

  6. Could you please let me know what this sentence means?

  7. Hello Maggie Sensei


    I have a question about these sentences
    1. 気合いを入れて過ぎて、早くに来過ぎってしまったのだ

    How do I read “来過ぎって” in romaji,
    What is the meaning of “早くに来過ぎってしまったのだ” ?

    2.彼女は 几帳面そうな感じだったし。五分前に着くことはあってもさすがに1時間も早くは来ないだろうな。私は待ち合わせより1時間以上も早く到着していた、浮かれていたとか。そういうつもりは全くなかったのだ

    I want to check this sentence with マギー先生, I’m sorry but i think I will have many mistakes since I just started learning Japanese.

    “She is the type of person who has a punctual image, even if there is 5 minutes left. She won’t even come 1 hour earlier but on the other hand In my case when I have to meet someone I will come 1 hour earlier. I don’t really have any intention to think this idea at all.”

    NB : does this 几帳面 have a meaning of “As late as possible” instead of “Being on time”


    1. Hi Matthew,

      1. 気合いを入れて過ぎて、早くに来過ぎってしまったのだ

      First, it is grammatically wrong.
      It should be
      = Kiai wo iresugite hayaku kisugite shimatta no da.

      早く来すぎてしまったのだ。= came too early

      2.Your translation is fine. Just two things:

      五分前に着くことはあっても = It is possible that she will come/She could come here five minutes early.
      浮かれていたとか = I got kind of carried away.
      几帳面 describes one’s meticulous personality but in this case, I think “punctual” works.


      1. Great さすがですがマギー先生

        I like your site. Especially your motto ”

        Greetings from Indonesiaインドネシア

        If you don’t know where it is, it is on southeast Asia
        It has popular tourism site  バリ島
        On the World map it is located just below Japan and Korea
        We host this year’s ASIAN games

        Anyway, Thank you for your good lesson.
        I will come back later to check another sentences.

        1. No problem, Matthew.
          Actually it seems like many Indonesian people visit this site or follow me on Twitter and I am very grateful about it.
          We hear/news of Asian games everyday now. It must be a wonderful country!!

          1. Japan was placed in 2nd on ASEAN games, congratulation.

            Actually Indonesia is not as developed as Japan.

            But in here you will find that people are more friendly, we don’t really have to use many 敬語 thing in here, the foods are cheap, no boss that can stress you at your workplace, usually get to work at 07.00 and go home at 17.00 no overwork without paid.

            If you are trying to conduct survey in here, let’s say you make a youtube channel and wandering to ask foreigner on street. I would say 99% of them will answer you sincerely. They will always talk to foreigner.

            If you have a time, you can watch this video to know our people better


  8. Could you please tell me what this sentence means?

    1. Which part? とみると? If so it means “whenever”
      うちの息子は天気が悪いとみると Whenever the weather is bad, my son 〜

  9. Konbanwa,

    I have a question. Which usage of kinjo – neigbourhood in these 2 sentence is correct? (originally there are 4 sentences but I think the answer lies in one of these 2)
    I would appreciate your explanation too!Here are the sentences:
    “アパートの 近所に どんなものが ありますか。”
    “よる うるさい近所は ほんとうに 困りますね。”

    My non-native sensei picked number 2 but she couldn’t explain clearly why number 1 is wrong. Please help me!


    1. Hi Tata,

      Though both of the sentences are slightly unnatural, they are both acceptable in conversation.
      近所 means “neighborhood”, the area where you live, and 近所の人・隣人 means “neighbors”, people who live near your house/in your neighborhood.
      number 1 could be wrong only when the speaker is talking about a random apartment building.


      Usually a building/landmarkの近くに〜がある

      If the listener is living in the apartment building, it is possible.
      (今住んでいる)アパートの近所にはどんなものが(or 何が)ありますか?
      = What’s in your neighborhood.

      So as 家の近所にどんなものが(or 何が)ありますか?

      よる うるさい近所は ほんとうに 困りますね。”
      If it refers to the neighbors うるさい近所の人 will be better.

  10. マギーせんせい、こんにちは。
    What does this sentence mean?

  11. こんにちわ Maggie 先生!

    Can you please teach me how to translate this sentence into Japanese?

    Are you going to play ___? [Insert videogame name]

    Person A) I just got home. I’m going to play a video game!
    Person B) OK! Are you going to play Zelda?

    よろしくお願いします! ʕ·ᴥ·ʔ

    1. Would it be:
      ◯◯◯(を)やるの? or ◯◯◯で遊びますか?or something else altogether? Can you please provide formal and casual? ≧◡≦

    2. Hi Psy
      There are two ways
      If it is a casual conversation, it will be like

      1. そうか! So then these are all the same just different in politeness/casual?


        1. Right.
          In casual speech, you also drop the particle を

          Note: You don’t usually drop で

          1. どうもありがとうございます Maggie 先生!
            I appreciate your time and patience! ╰(◡‿◡✿╰)

  12. こんにちは先生



    The three sentences above has :

    To make a verb, when do I use the pattern “Noun + Suru” and “Noun + Ni + Suru”?
    Is there any rules to decide it? or I just learn it by experience?

    When do you use “no” in Noun? Sometimes they aren’t even used at all

    Example :
    電車男 or 電車の男
    世界の終わり or 世界終わり
    うちの本 or うち本

    1. You have many interesting names.
      I don’t think you are どうでもいい. :)

      1) テニスをするのはうまくできません (テニスはうまくできません is more natural)
      But anyway テニスをする (テニス is an object)
      置き去りにする ( to leave something somewhere) to make something in certain state/condition

      I think I gave you a couple of examples with をする already but
      You also use にする when you order food at a restaurant or ~ ことにする decide something
      I will have some sushi. お寿司にします。= Osushi ni shimasu.
      I decided to go to Japan. 日本に行くことにしました。 = Nihon ni iku koto ni shimashita.

      2) 電車男 is a title of a story/TV-drama/comic book so it is a special way.
      電車の男 also doesn’t make a sense.

      世界の終わり or 世界終わり →世界の終わり
      うちの本 or うち本 →うちの本

      So unless it has a special way to read, noun+の+noun is more common.

  13. Maggie 先生,

    Can you explain the difference between these two sentences?


    よろしくお願いします! ^_^

    1. 家に帰る準備はできています。 I am ready to go home. (Ex. putting back stuff and getting ready to go home)
      家には帰れます simply means “I can go home.”

      1. なるほど! Which would be the “casual” one? The one people would say in friendly conversation to someone close to them? Or is it a different sentence altogether? ありがとうございます! よろしくお願いします!

        1. The natural casual way to say to your friend will be
          もう家に帰れるよ。(Note: 家には→家に is more natural.If you add は, you show the contrast. Which means you can’t go back somewhere but you can go back home which is not natural because you usually go home.)

          1. そうか! Sorry to trouble you but can you tell me what the difference is between 準備 and できる. I’m reading on sites that 準備 means “preparation; setup; arrangements; provision; reserve” and できる means “to be ready; to be completed”. Both seem the same to me, so why are both used in most of the sentences? Thank you so much in advance! o(^▽^)o

            By the way, I’m using the sentence as so just to put more context:
            Person A) How is work going? Are you ok?
            Person B) It’s going badly. I’m ready to go home.

          2. OK,
            準備する= to prepare
            準備ができる = to be ready (the literal translation is “the preparation is done” →to be prepared)

            In that context, I would just say
            もう家に帰りたい = I feel like going home.

            You say
            もう家に帰る準備できたよ。/ もう家に帰れるよ。
            when you just let someone know that you are ready to go home/ Or when someone is waiting for you to go home together.

  14. こんにちわ Maggie 先生!

    I would like to explore all your lessons in your website but I have no idea where to start. Is there a certain order to your lessons? Or is there a spot you recommend starting in first? ありがとうございます! よろしくお願いします!

    1. こんにちは Psy

      There is no specific order. Go to Index and pick the topics you like.
      If you are a beginner, you can choose from the beginner’s lesson.
      Also if you know your level, check the categories on the right side and you can choose the lessons by JLPT level.

        1. You’re welcome! I have been trying to include lots of information targeting all different levels. So if you find some usages or words are too difficult, just skip them and learn a couple of phrase and move on. Enjoy!

          1. Will do! You’re very good at explaining the lessons even if the words are a tad difficult! You’re a great teacher! Your work shows that you truly care about teaching Japanese in such a friendly and relatable way. I appreciate your hard work and I’m very glad that many people recognize your amazing contribution to the beautiful language. Thank you, Maggie sensei for your assistance now and with my many future questions! lol o(^▽^)o

  15. こんにちは先生


    1. 悔しいことがあると こらえ切れなかった 大きな大きな涙
    what does “こらえ切れなかった” means?
    2. 遥か遠く真上の空の向こうに 何があるか知りたくて
    Is “真上の空” have the same expression like “真っ暗” or “真っ青”
    3. I want to check about “の” and “こと” usage


    Why these two sentences different? 

    1. こんにちは!
      1. こらえきれない→The verb 堪える(こらえる) to hold back + きれない (= can not) = 堪えることができない can not hold back
      So it means “the big big tears that I couldn’t hold back”

      2. Yes, they have the same function. It emphasizes the word.
      Check this lesson. →Click here

      3. テニスをしていることが好きです→ If you want to use こと テニスをすることが好きです。
      I would say テニスをするのが好きです is more natural.

      僕が泣いているのはとても悔しいからです OK.

  16. Can I please ask you to let me know how to read “3日” in the following sentence? 彼は3日も寝ないで机に向かっている。あれでは体をこわしかねない。

  17. マギー先生!今日は先生のパトレオンになりましたよ!前はお金があまりなかったので今日本で働いているので日本語を勉強して身に着くまで毎月先生のサポートをすることを誓います!

    1. 「身に着く」よりも「マスターする」の方がいいですね。でもマスターって英語なので日本語で最適な言葉は何ですか?宜しくお願いします!:)

    2. パトロンになってくださったとのこと有難うございます!

  18. What does ‘ような’ mean here?

        1. You can say 命を奪う国
          By adding ような, you can add more emotion (in this case negative feelings). such a (horrible/cruel) country

  19. Hello sensei,


    I would like to see whether I am right or wrong

    Let’s say I want to say :

    “Because that clothes has been ironed it becomes neat”


    Is this right or wrong?

    Thank you

    1. Hello! ( I wouldn’t address you with your nickname because it is kind of rude. :) )
      Not natural.
      First アイロンにされたから means “It was forced to be an iron”
      How about changing the sentence a little to make it sound more natural.
      Because I ironed the clothes, it turned neat.

      1. The problem is I don’t undestand how to make a verb using a noun or adjective.

        I will try some example, hope it doesn’t wrong.

        to play tenis = テニスをする
        to pretend to study = 勉強するをふりする
        to iron (clothes) = アイロンにする??
        to clean (something) = 綺麗にする??

        P.S. please tell me other example
        for (I-Adj + Ni -suru), (Noun + Ni suru), (Adv. + Ni suru)
        to make a verb (動詞)

        Hope I don’t ask too much.
        Thank you sensei.

        1. to play tennis = テニスをする OK
          to pretend to study = 勉強するをふりする→勉強するふりをする
          to iron (clothes) = アイロンにする??→ You say アイロンをかける
          to clean (something) = 綺麗にする??→  OK

          na-adjective + に + する = to make something + adjective
          i-adjective ~ く+ する = to make something + adjective
          noun (object) + を + する = to do ~ (Ex. ゴルフをする = to play golf/勉強をする = to study /仕事をする = to work/洗濯をする = to do laundry /食事をする = to have meal/to dine)

          As for the adj+ suru, check this lesson.

  20. Could you please let me know what do “ような” and “では済まない” mean resepectively?


    1. Hi American,

      家族が暮らすような or 家族が(一緒に)暮らせるような indicates the size of the apartment.
      If I want to buy an apartment where all the family can live (together)

      ~ では済まない means “can not get away with ~”/ can’t do without ~ ”
      So 一億円では済まない。means “cost one hundred million yen is not enough” / (You can not buy such an apartment just one hundred million yen)

  21. Hello Maggie Sensei,


    I wonder if you can tell how to use
    “transitive verb + instruction”
    “intransitive verb + instruction”

    1. For example can I use it like this

    a. 音は大きすぎから下げってください
    b. 音は大きすぎから下がってください

    which one is correct?

    2. Can please me give example sentences using
    a. ugoku + te (動く+て) as instruction
    b. ugokasu + te (動かす+て) as instruction

    For all your hard work,

    1. Hi UshinometaiYatsu

      1. Neither one.
      It should be 音が大きすぎるから下げてください。
      下げる = sageru = to turn down (transitive vern)

      Ex. dance instructions:
      もっとゆっくりと動いてください。 Move more slowly.
      腕をゆっくりと動かしてください。Move your arms slowly.

      1. Thank you sensei.

        I just want to know in this case


        Is there any difference in meaning when using ”は” and ”が”

        1. In this case 音が is better.

          When you are trying to show the contrast you use は →音は大きい. (But something else is not loud.)

          = The sound of violin is too loud. (But other instruments’ sound is OK.)

  22. Could you please let me know what “かに見えた” means?

  23. Could you please let me know how to read “四度目” and “五万四千人” respectively?

  24. What is the correct way of reading of “中道層” of “政治的に中道層に属する人びと”?

  25. Could you please let me know what “受け” means here?


  26. Hello sensei,

    Thank you for your lesson.
    Please hear me out.
    I have a doubt using the sentences please point out how to use them.

    田中さんはその本を綺麗で並べた (which one is correct?)

    俺は英語は苦手だが数学は得意だ (why use “得意” instead of using “上手”?)

    そのボタンに軽く押したらがいい (Is using “軽く” is right? in this case)

    あなたの部屋が綺麗で片付けてください (do i use “綺麗で” or “綺麗に” ?)

    ベタベタで使って彼はその本を握った (ベタベタで or ベタベタに ?)


    1. Hello!

      I can help you but I can only proofread one or two phrases at a time.

      1) 綺麗に ( = kireini) is correct.
      きれいな (adjecitve)  + noun
      →きれいな花 = beautiful flowers

      きれいに (an adverb) + verb

      きれいに並べる = to put the books neatly.

      あなたの部屋が綺麗で片付けてください →For the same reason, it should be 綺麗に片付けてください。

      2) 得意 / 上手 are a little different.
      上手 is used when you talk about one’s skill.

      For example
      Ex. 歌/絵が上手です。
      = I sing well/ I paint/draw pictures well.

      Ex. 歌/絵が得意です。
      = I am good at singing. / I am good at painting/drawing pictures.

      As for 数学, you can say
      数学が得意です ( = I am good at math)
      but you can’t say 数学が上手です ( I do math well. )

      The same thing you can say about 下手/苦手( = へた/にがて)
      You can say 数学が苦手です。( I am poor at math) but you can’t say 数学が下手です

      3) そのボタンに軽く押したらがいい

      軽く lightly is fine but the rest of the sentence is wrong.

      4) ベタベタで使って彼はその本を握った 

      It doesn’t make sense. How about 彼は、ベタベタした手でその本を触った= He touched the book with his sticky hands.



  27. Hello Maggie sensei,

    I think i hit a small problem. It seems like its an idiom but I can’t find it in my book. hopefully there’s some help


    i also typed in a site but had trouble connecting everything.

    I try breaking it down ‘taisetsu ni skuwarete…’ :with care, saved. then -> with your care i was saved again.

    If i tripped you up here, just skip

    1. Hi music fan
      大切さ means “importance”
      あなたの大切さ = importance of you

      救われた is a past passive form of 救う (sukuu) which means to save
      So the literal translation is “I was saved again by importance of you”
      In other words
      (literal) The importance of you saved me again.

  28. こんにちは マギー先生
    I’m reading through Japanese the Manga Way to get a better hold on the grammar. On page 108 it teaches about how the pre-masu form of 食べる can function like ‘and’, as in the example ‘熱いウーロン茶とおはぎを食べ 再び バドミントンに挑戦した’ – why 食べ and not 食べて? Wouldn’t 食べて serve the same purpose here?

    1. Hi Bingfa

      That reminded me that I was making the lesson and haven’t finished it yet. ^^;
      As you said, when you connect multiple actions, doing this and doing that/Did this and did that… you usually connect them with te-form in conversation.
      However you can also connect verbs with masu-stem
      食べ、挑戦した (←食べて挑戦した)
      You see this form more in written Japanese.

  29. Hello Maggie Sensei. I wanted to ask how I could relay the concept of “by doing x” in this context. For instance, I wanted to say that “I studied kanji by writing it over and over again until I could not longer forget them” How would I most naturally say this? Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Shen

      How about using Vて? 書いて〜


      *Until no longer forget them = the literal translation is もう忘れなくなるまで but it sounds a little unnatural in Japanese.
      I would say 完璧に覚えるまで= Until you perfectly memorize/master them.

  30. this time i clicked on the 感じ lesson and it took me off your site with a random m in the search bar

    1. It should work now. Recently I made a new index page and it seems like lots of links didn’t work. I just checked all the links. Hope all the links work now.

  31. this isnt a question or anything but i clicked on school expressions and it said nothing was there

  32. Hello Maggie Sensei.

    If you had time, I had a question on this…

    I always thought you could not use the polite form on the first part of a clause? Should it not be- 私は、冷静な人間だとずっと思っていたが、実際はいつも他の皆に頼ってばかりいます。
    Did I miss something here? Also if you can… What is the difference between 友達ができる and 友達を作る? I used the first one once and was corrected in the second when i said.. 子供の時は、学校に行ったり、友達ができたり、しっかり勉強したり、好きな趣味を見つけたりします。

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Jenrai

      It depends on the writer’ style. You can use polite form on the first part of a clause.

      友達を作る (to make friends) you actively (try to) make friends. Talking to your classmates, joining some club activity, etc.
      友達ができる (to get friends) You naturally make friends. Or you tried to make a friend as 作る and as result you have a friend.

          1. Hello again… I do not know if I am allowed to ask another question, if not I am sorry.
            If you had time… I wanted to know how to use と書く. I believe this と is a quotation particle but I’m not sure how it is quoting anything. I am used to it being used for things like I said/I heard/I realized/I felt. Any chance you can explain why its being used here and how to use it? Thanks in advance.

          2. Hello Jenrai,
            there are many particles which combines with verbs (in your case with the verb 書く)
            作文を書く => to write a composition
            大急ぎで書く => writing against time (= to write in great haste)
            綺麗に書く => to write fair
            箱に書く => to write on a box

            The particle と implies indeed a quote of something, what is already written, however, there are also cases where it has a different meaning.
            1. 「XXX」と書く場合もある=> It is sometimes written as XXX
            2. 書くことと話すことは、全く違う能力だ => writing and speaking are completely different abilities.
            3. 墨赤々と書く=>to write in deep red (ink)

            So as you can see it is important, what stands before と because this gives part. と the specific meaning.


  33. Hello sensei.
    Thank you for your hard work

    I have a question about うちに usage
    I was thinking it means before but after seeing this example sentences,
    I become less understand please help me, thank you

    1. 日の照るうちに干し草を作れ
    2. 冷めないうちに召し上がって下さい
    3. 早いうちに食うてくれる


    1. Hello Eileen Galvin,
      うちに can be translated as “before” but also as “while”, therefore we have:
      冷めないうち => “before it gets cold” or “while it’s still hot/warm”.
      日の照るうちに => “while the sun’s still shining” or “before it gets dark”.
      早いうちに =>”while it’s still early” or “before it gets too late / before it’s too late”.

      ~ないうちに is translated often as “before” => before something becomes~~. The connotation is negative (= it’s better to do something right now, because later the result might be negative / some undesirable thing(s) might occur).


      1. I see thank you very much
        I thought that what I was asking is too hard because the reply comes late.
        I’ m sorry to have bothered. Thank you very much tenjin san

      2. Just read your question. Luckily 天人さん answered your questions. :)

        日の照るうちに ~ is a proverb so it will be more natural to say 日が照っているうちに in modern Japanese.
        食うてくれる made me laugh. It sounds like a male speech in Kansai area.
        I imagine the speaker is offering some fresh food and says
        早いうちに食べてくれる? Eat it before it gets bad.

  34. Hello Maggie Sensei.

    What are the differences in nuances between these to mean actually?
    Also to say something was described as being something more than it actually was. Would you use 現実より or something else? For instance..
    その試験は現実より難しかった気がする。 Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Shen,
      The problem of all these words is they all translated as “actually”
      But while English “actually” is used more lightly, 実は/本当は is used when you talk about something more serious.

      when you reveal the truth

      To tell you the truth, I was scared.

      They can be interchangeable but you can begin the sentence when you explain something.

      Actually, many things happened and…
      (X it will be unnatural to say 本当は in this case.)

      実際は / 実際には in fact (You often use it to show how things go against what you have expected.)

      実際には shows more contrast. (に emphasizes the meaning)

      現実 is reality
      For example you have a great time when you go traveling. You come back home and see all the work, you feel
      Ex. 現実に戻る= go back to the reality

      This sentence doesn’t make a sense because 現実より難しい means “more difficult than reality”

      1. Thank you for your reply.
        I get the nuances now. Would it be alright if I asked what you would replace 現実 with to make it correct? Thanks in advance.

        1. The meaning might change from your original sentence but you can say
          This 実際 means “actually/in fact”

  35. こんにちは Maggie Sensei! 😊
    I have a question.. how to use “n”?


    Sometimes I saw people said いいじゃ”ん”? in some Japanese dramas.

    I am wondering how to use this ん and what does it mean?

    Thank you so much in advance, and I love your website! 💕

    1. こんにちは、Anna!

      I have a lesson on how to use ん
      Click here.

      A: 本当に知りたいですか?
      Put more emotion to it

      →本当に知りたいのですか? (Sounds stronger than A. ) Do you REALLY want to know.
      →casual 本当に知りたいんですか?

      いいじゃん is another thing.
      →(casual contraction) いいじゃん
      (It is said that people in Kanto area use more but it is pretty common speech.)
      I also explain in this lesson.
      Click here.

  36. Hello Maggie sensei!! It’s me again with more questions! :) I was watching an anime today and someone said 何を言っている? and I was wondering can you say を言っている, because I had always learnt it as と言う?
    And I also heard 監督には考えがある and i was wondering why they used に after 監督, as it was a student who said it and you had kindly ( :) ) explained to me before that に after a noun is to make them more humble? So I thought a student wouldnt use に after their coach’s name since the coach would be their higher up?
    Thanks so much! And hope you are doing well!! :)

    1. Eva

      Hi Eva,
      何を言っている(のですか)? means “What are you saying?” (for what you just head.)

      何を言う? (何を言いますか?) What are you going to say?(talking about future)

      That に has nothing to do with the formality.

      You know when you talking about existence, there is ~ in/ to have ~ in/at ~
      you say
      に is a location marker

      Someoneには考えがある。 = Someone has some idea (It might be easier to think →There is an idea in someone’s brain)

      1. Hello Maggie sensei!
        So is it okay to use を before 言う? As I had been taught to always use と before 言う! 😲 And if it is okay, is there a difference between saying を言う and と言う?
        Also- thanks for explaining the に!I get it completely now! Thank you for always teaching me new things!! ❤

        1. Here’s the difference.

          1) noun A という nounB = nounB called noun a
          Ex. マギーという犬 = Maggie to iu inu = a dog called Maggie

          2) “quote”と言う
          Ex. みんな、マギーがかわいいと言う。
          = Everybody says Maggie is cute.

          3) “noun”を言う 
          Ex. 変なことを言う
          = Henna koto wo iu
          = to say a strange thing

          Ex. ばかなことを言う
          = to say a stupid thing
          Now when you say
          何と言っているの? = What did he/she/they say about something?
          you want to know what someone said.

          何を言っているの? = What are you saying?/ What are you talking about? is different.
          You usually say it when you are upset or don’t understand what you just heard.
          So actually it is not a question. You can express your frustration for what you just heard.

          1. Hello Maggie sensei!
            I understood your first two examples and the last bit you wrote, but about the third one, can you please put 変なことを言う in a sentence for me? I am having trouble understanding the difference between 変なことを言う and 変なことと言う ( if you can say that??).
            Thank you so much, and I’m sorry I’m taking so long to understand, please bear with me! 😔

          2. Hi Eva,

            変なこと = “a strange thing” is a noun.
            So to say “a strange thing” → you need an object marker, を
            The same as 面白いことを言う( =to say interesting/funny thing)
            So 変なことと言う doesn’t work unless you quote what someone says.
            (Still I would say 変なことだと言う)

            A says 「夏にコートを着るのは変だ。」
            You quote what A says,

            If you want to learn more about how to quote, check this lesson. How to use って

          3. Hello Maggie sensei!
            Okay I think I am beginning to understand- so を would only be used before 言う if there was a ことthere as well? As in 昨日私の友達が変なことを言ったんだ?
            And とis for direct quotations like お母さんがだめって言ったんだけどetc etc?
            I did learn about quoting in school but never about を before 言う!But thank you for the suggestion and i will look at the lesson!
            Again sorry to be so annoying with this but I want to be able to use it properly!! Thanks so much ❤

          4. Hi Maggie sensei I’m sorry to bother you so much I was just wondering if you saw my comment I left a few days ago about using を and と after a quote? I’m not sure if it worked because I had to reply to an earlier comment of yours as the reply button had disappeared from the most recent comment so I wanted to check!
            Sorry for bothering if you just haven’t gotten around to it!! Just wanted to check and as always thank you so much for taking the time to help ❤

          5. Thanks so much for replying (and helping of course!)! :D
            I got it!! Thanks so much Maggie sensei! ❤

  37. Hi Maggie sensei! I know it has been a long while since I last wrote but I have still been studying at your site periodically. I think what you are doing is really great and your site has really helped me all these years.

    Recently, after viewing the はしない and もしない lessons, I have had some questions…
    I hope you can help me out as usual! XD

    1. Can you use はしない or やしない with passive form? I don’t think so if it is はしない since I read in the comments that you said it expresses strong feelings of “Oneself” but i’m still curious about やしない.

    Does 「だれにも同情されはしない。」 mean:

    “I won’t be pitied by anybody.” (Even though I may want to be pitied)

    or does it mean

    “I won’t be pitied by anybody!” (I don’t want anybody’s pity!)

    2. On the other hand, would 「だれにも同情されやしない。」mean:

    “I won’t be pitied by anybody.” (Even though I may want to be pitied)

    3. もしない kinda sounds similar to ながらも. Can they be used interchangeably? Are there any nuances to these two patterns? I should probably check out your ながら lesson again.

    Y’know, a few years ago your lessons were too hard to understand for me (You teach and explain perfectly but on my part I was too much of a beginner so it’s my fault XD) but now I think maybe I can get it…

    Great to talk to you as always. I think it’s been quite too long. Please help me as you always do Maggie-sensei! XD

    1. Hello! 元気でしたか?
      I am glad to hear you feel your improvement! がんばっていますね!

      1.It is possible to use passive form,
      For example
      Ex. If you apolozize sincerely you won’t get scolded.
      2. Both「だれにも同情されはしない。」 and 「だれにも同情されやしない。」
      I think your first interpretation is closer.
      “I won’t be pitied by anybody.” (Even though I may want to be pitied)

      3. もしない kinda sounds similar to ながらも. Can they be used interchangeably? Are there any nuances to these two patterns? I should probably check out your ながら lesson again.

      No they are different
      Yes please read ながら lesson again. :)

  38. Hello Maggie Sensei! I have a question about trying to convey the meaning of “movies that make me happy”

    I saw 幸せな気分になる映画 once. Is this the most natural way of saying this? Not really sure how to use 気分になる effectively and if its a verb all on its own. 気持ちになる seems like it can also be interchanged with it. How should I do it? Thank you in advance.

    1. Hi Jenrai

      “movies that make me happy” is fine but to be more precise, →movies that make me “feel” happy.
      “movies that make me happy” is 私を幸せにしてくれる映画

  39. Hello Maggie :)

    I had a question regarding this sentence.
    The part about のが. Is this a nominalizer or something else in particular? From what I can get it equals to “In my case, being inspired by a teacher at school was my reason for thinking of studying Japanese”. Sounds a bit weird to me, would this be the most natural way of translating to relay the concept of being inspired by something? Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Danny

      Yes, your translation is correct.
      の is to nominalize the topics.
      ~が理由です。= = is the reason.

      In my case, I decided to study Japanese because I got inspired by some teacher at school.
      (In my case, I got inspired by some teacher at school to study Japanese.)

      →emphasizing the reason

  40. Hi there maggiesensei, was hoping there could be some help. was reading and got stuck on some things. I bracketed what is giving me trouble. for some reason cant figure out and these type of things don’t appear in my books. help is greatly appreciated!


    1. Hi dareem

      First I can’t tell who is talking about who so it is hard to translate but let me rephrase it

      They close the deal before they see him/her/them or hear that person’s voice.

  41. Hello Maggie Sensei,

    I hope you are well.
    Recently I have found a reading for 1,2,3 numbers
    using ひ、ふ、み instead of いち、に、さん
    can you tell me which reading I use for 1-10 because it is not listed in kanji book.

    Thank very much

    1. HI Eileen

      Ahh ひい、ふう、みい is a very old way of counting numbers. You should stick to いち、に、さん if you just count numbers.
      For other counters, check this lesson.

      1. AH.. thank very much sensei

        Actually I have one other question…
        I am not sure whether i write this correctly.
        When I am mistaken please correct me
        I don’t understand these phrases :
        1. ひょうとして
        2. ほときなさい
        3. おいといて

        I may be wrong in writing please correct me

        1. 1. ひょうとして →ひょっとして happened to be/do ~ / by any chance

          Ex. ひょっとして日本に行ったことがありますか?
          = Have you been to Japan by any chance?

          2. ほときなさい→ほっておきなさい Leave it/them/him/her….
          Ex. もう彼のことはほっておきなさい。= Just leave him alone.

          3. おいといて→(casual contraction of おいておいて)Leave something
          Ex. コーヒーはそこにおいといて 
          Leave the coffee there.

          The usage of 2 and 3, check this lesson. Vおく

  42. Hello, Maggie-sensei. I discovered your site a while ago, and it has been very helpful as I continue my Japanese studies. I’ve always had trouble with “ない” and how it can be both positive and negative. I like to translate Japanese blogs and TV shows for practice. This piece of advice was given on a recent show I watched:


    The way I translated it is:

    “By nature, you are shy. It’s not necessary to say good things”

    This just doesn’t sound right to me since the person is giving advice and it comes across as negative. Is my translation correct, or did I misunderstand it?

    1. Hi Joji

      I’m glad to hear you have been visiting here.

      It means ”Be more honest.”
      (The original sentence is もっともっと素直になりなさい but you sometimes finish the sentence with に)

      The rest of the translation is fine but 言おうとする is “trying to say”
      There is no need to try to say nice things.
      Maybe it implies You don’t have to look yourself nice trying to say nice things. Just be yourself.

      1. I see, I mistranslated the first sentence. Now it makes more sense. Thanks for your interpretation of the second sentence. I don’t know if I would have thought about it like that. Thanks for your help!

  43. 先生、こんばんは。ちょっと質問があります。「後悔」と「悔む」の違いは何ですか?簡単な説明に教えてください。ありがとうございます。

    1. おはよう、asosora

      You can use both 「後悔」 and 「悔やむ」 to express one’s regrettable feelings.
      In my opinion, you tend to use 悔やむ for something more serious matters.

      Also while 後悔 is only used for your own acts / behaviors, you use 悔やむ when you mourn for someone’s death.

      1. そうですか。じゃ、これがどうですか?大丈夫ですか?


  44. Hi Maggie sensei, it’s been a while! I hope you’ve been well :)
    Today I had a question! I heard in a video someone say お前はもう死んでいる and I think it was meant to mean ‘you’re already dead’, but doesn’t it mean ‘you’re already dying’ since it’s te form? I thought ‘you’re already dead’ would need 死んだ instead of 死んでいる (although お前はもう死んだ does sound really weird and kind of wrong) 🤔
    I would really appreciate your help and thank you so much as always 😚

    1. Hi Eva! How have you been?
      お前はもう死んでいる means
      “You are already dead.”
      The verb 死ぬ describes the state not an action of dying.
      (FYI if someone is dying, you say 死にかけている)

      1. Hi Maggie sensei, I’ve been great, thanks for asking!
        Thanks for the answer- it makes so much sense now, and I’ve been wondering about this for forever!! I learn new things every time I ask you a question!!
        Thanks so much!! :)

  45. Maggie先生。こんにちは。

    1. こんにちは、マリア!

  46. I have 2 questions today:

    1 – how to say ~to make noise~? for example if i say that making noise while eating is bad. 食べながら~~~のは駄目です。I think it is 騒音を作る but it feels weird because tsukuru also means build so i am not sure.
    2 – i tried to make the sentence ~ You should look for a person that loves you the same way you love yourself~ in japanese and what i came up with was ~あなたは自分が大好きなような人を探さなきゃいけません。Is it correct? ?If not how should i say it correctly?

    1. 1. to make a noise is 音を立てる
      音を立てて食べる = to eat making a noise
      食べているときに音を立てる = to make a noise while eating

      2. Hum…Complicated.
      あなたは、あなたが自分を愛するように愛してくれる人を探さなければいけません。(or 探さなきゃいけません。)

  47. Hi Maggie-sensei! I have a translation question:

    A tells B something. B is quiet and thinking deeply about what A said. Then A ask:
    にゃつくところだったかしら…? I particularly don’t understand the ‘にゃ’ and ‘つく’ (I don’t know which kanji is used) so I’m not sure how to translate this sentence. Can you help me?

    Thank you very much!

      1. Oh, I checked, it was ‘にやつく’, sensei. I thought it as the ‘にゃ” meaning ‘if not’ so I didn’t think it was strange….I still don’t get what the sentence means though.

        1. にやつく means to smirk / to grin.
          I still don’t know the context well so it is hard to interpret the sentence but it could be
          Was I supposed to grin/smirk or something?

  48. Hello sensei
    Thank you so much before

    I’m sorry but I want to know whether you can give me any tips or advice

    I can learn to read kanji at least joyo kanji because they are registered formally by Japanese goverment.

    But how about kanji for name of place?

    Any tips how to read kanji for person’s name / place name / location name?

    I’m really confused about it. Any tips for learning it will be appreciated

    For example : 中田 英寿 –> I can read the first part as “nakata” but the other part is confusing how it becomes “hidetoshi”

    1. Hi eieen,
      Check my 名前 Name related lesson.

      I added common Japanese family names for you.
      Reading people’s name is tricky because one kanji can be read in many ways. And some parents are very picky choosing their names with the number of strokes, etc.
      英寿 can be Hidetoshi or Hidehisa.
      You can always confirm how to read with someone but if you can’t, you can use Japanese Google type the name and add 読み方. It will give you a couple of choices.

  49. Hello sensei konnichiwa

    I want to ask about something
    why the sentence below is wrong, considering there’s grammar mistake may be??



    1. Hi eileen galving

      1) お母さんは油断なく子供を見守る
      The usage of 油断 is different.

      油断する = to let your guard down
      油断すると+ something negative = When you are off guard, something bad happens.

      I wonder if you wanted to say…

      2) わざわざ答えくれる有難うございます
      Actually many people make the same mistake.
      Thank you for doing something in Japanese is
      ~ くれてありがとう。
      So it should be わざわざ答えてくれて有難うございます。

      1. Thanks again sensei it was a tricky question. When I come here and get the answer i am really thankful for it.

        Arigatou gozaimashita

  50. Hi Maggie-sensei, may I ask what ‘無配’ mean? The dictionary says it means ‘no dividend’ but since the phrase I see it from is ‘無配漫画’ I don’t see what manga has to do with dividend. I guess it may mean ‘non-profit’ or ‘no-distribution’?

    Thank you~

    1. Hi Lily

      The 無配 in 無配漫画 is an abbreviation of 無料配布. It is free distribution. They give away free comic books.

  51. Hi Maggie-sensei!

    Love your sites btw! I always look up for grammar explanations!Much better than my teachers at school!

    I’ve got a question or two I’d like to ask,
    I was wondering which fits into this question and why?
    この薬は毎朝ーつ(を、ほど、ずつ,)飲んでください。(Iknow that zutsu is applied for ‘each’ but because it says このI implied it as one type of medicine so zutsu is out, hodo is approx. but then would it be wo?)

    私は今大学院医学の勉強を(させていただきました・しております・なさっています・なさっております・いたしました)For this one could you help explain each of the multiple choice and their meanings?


    1. Hi Sam

      1) Should be 毎朝、一つずつ〜
      It doesn’t matter if it is one kind or more than two kinds of medicines. There are many tablets but you take one at a time every morning.
      Ex. この薬は1日に三回、2錠ずつ飲んでください。
      Take two tablets three times a day

      2) It’s 勉強をしております。which is a humble way to say I am studying

      勉強をさせていただきました。 “I studied FOR YOU (or for your favor) ” so it’s wrong.
      勉強をなさっています is used to describe someone superior is studying.
      勉強なさっております なさる is for someone superior and おります is a humble way to describe one’s own action so you don’t mix these two forms.

      1. Thank you very much Maggie-sensei!

        So for the humble-form do ALL the humble form use only apply when you are describing [one’s own] action.

        Also I’d like to ask, for と思う, 存じる in the humble form, would I replace XXXと存じますin place of XXXと思います (I got an oral exam coming up based on an job-interview and I’ve got a tonne of XXXと思いますand isn’t sure whether to replace it with XXXと存じます if that is correct?)

        And what is ご存じる?Is there a difference between 存じand ご存じ( I looked it up on the internet that 思う was 存じる in humble form but I remember hearingご存じるbefore )

        Thank you very much Sensei!


        1. For the REAL job interview, I think 思います is good enough to express your opinion but yes technically you can replace 存じる in place of 思います
          FYI 存じる means 思う or 知る ( 存じております means 知っています)

          Now the masu-stem of 存じる is 存じ.
          You add ご to make an honorific form. ご存じ It’s a verb and not a noun and you use it for other people in the meaning of “to know”
          So while 存じる is to refer to your own ご存じ is to use for other people.

          Ex. Do you know A-san?

          Ex. Yes, I know A-san.

          1. Thank you! I understand now!!! Gonna write these in my notes!!!
            ありがとう!Maggie-sensei! Much appreciated!!!!! > <

  52. こんにちわマギー先生、
    I was wondering if you could explain the usage of かもしれない/かも?
    Example phrase I made (not sure if it’s correct):
    “I may be wrong most of the time.”
    or perhaps
    “I might make mistakes all the time.”

    I assume it’s always n/v/adj + かも知れない?
    Are there any nuances or exceptions I should be aware of?
    Also, it might help me understand it better, what does it translate to literally?

    I’m sorry if the answer would be too long, if so, then I hope you can make a lesson about it in the future :-)


    1. こんにちは altuser

      I could be wrong / I might be wrong is

      I might make mistakes all the times. is いつも間違えているかもしれない。

      I made many lessons but I haven’t covered かも yet? Sure, I will make a lesson on it for you!! :) Will include all the usages.

  53. Maggie-sensei, how may I translate this sentence “誘うだけ誘ってそいうことすんな”. It goes like this:

    A really wants to do something.
    B doesn’t agree and says “do it and see what I will do to you”
    then A reply with the sentence above

    I got hits searching on Google so “誘うだけ誘って” must be a somewhat regularly used phrase but I have no idea how to translate it. Is “~だけ~って” a grammar pattern?

    Thank you!

    1. VだけVって form is used when you stress the meaning of the verb.

      誘うだけ誘って〜  You are the one who asked me to do something

  54. Hi Maggie-sensei, I’m translating something and came across the phrase ‘心の話’. Literally it should mean something like ‘story of the heart’ or I think it could even mean ‘what one really means/what the heart says’?

    The context is that A say something to B, and B is really moved/surprised. Then B said: “でもそれって心の話だろ”. I found and example on the web but for that one ‘心の話’ means ‘hiding something’ and I’m really confused. Does this phrase have multiple meanings?

    Thank you sensei!

    1. Hello Lily,
      The word 心の話 itself is not a common word but it has something to do with one’s heart/mind.
      I don’t quite understand why B says でも and it still lacks of information but B says but I don’t think it means “hiding something”. Your interpretation is closer.

  55. Hi Sensei! I was translating something and came across a sentence that confused me and was wondering if you could help me make sense of it.


    I’m not quite sure what this is trying to say. “My hands are not my only weapons”? I feel like this should be a simple line to translate but I think it is the sentence structure that is confusing me. Can you please help?

  56. hi sensei!
    I had asked this before but the context was missing so I’m including it here to be clearer.

    合宿に限らずもうちょっと抑えなきゃって思ったの. 一護に嫌われたくないから.

    一護: べつにそんなの…

    What’s the meaning of 一護’s reply? I fail to get the meaning or the nuances attached to it. I only understand that 一護 is denying “一護に嫌われたくないから” but not the way it’s being denied. Plus そんなの is used to talk about something undesirable?

    Thanks! :9

    1. Hi romina
      This is another technique to avoid direct expressions in Japanese.
      You leave the sentence unfinished on purpose so that the reader can read between the lines.
      subtly negate what you just heard.

      It means “That is not (always) true.” “That is not a big deal.”

      So as you guessed, 一護 denies subtly 一護に嫌われたくないから (I don’t want you to dislike me) which means he does like the speaker.
      そんな is not necessary undesirable in this case but こんな・そんな,あんな are often used when you belittle some issue.

  57. Hello sensei I would like to ask some question

    What is the difference between 出ないで and 出さないで


    1. Hello Galvin!
      出ないで comes from the intransitive verb 出る, whereas 出さないで comes from the transitive verb 出す. ~ない implicates the negative form of those verbs.
      出る and 出す have together over 20 different meanings, so it’s hard to translate them without context.

      Hope I could help,

      1. Hello,

        Thank you for explanation

        Could you please provide some example sentences?
        Any example is fine thanks

        1. 出ないで intransitive verb = Don’t go outside
          Ex. 外に出ないでください。Don’t go outside.

          出さないで transitive verb which means you need an object Don’t let something out
          Ex.犬を外に出さないでください。 Don’t let your dog outside.

          1. Hi sensei

            Sugoku tasukatta
            Atashi wa mada shoshinsha desu kedo

            Arigatou gozaimashita

  58. Hi Maggie!

    I was wondering if you could talk about the differences between にとって(ni totte) and に対して(ni taishite)? I’ve been reviewing grammar from the N3 and I still don’t fully understand how either one is used in contrast with the other. I’ve yet to find a really good explanation anywhere, but I know your explanations have been really helpful in the past!

  59. Hi, Maggie.

    Do you know a good translation app for increasing vocabulary? Sometimes I want to translate “obscure” or “rare” words, and it is difficult to find exactly the right one. For instance if I try to translate the word “hot and cold water dispenser,” I get 温水・冷水ディスペンサー from some sources and nothing at all from others. And if I try to find a picture, I get some good results when I use this translation and some bad results. So all-in-all I can’t decipher if the translation is satisfactory or not. I often have this problem… And I would like to translate A LOT of words, so I can’t just ask someone to help me with each and every one to check to see if they are all correct.

    Do you have any suggestions? I don’t want to study the wrong words.

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Chan,
      Sorry but I have never used any translation app.
      To find the right word when you translate is hard sometime.
      What you could do is to use web dictionary (such as Weblio, ALC) and when you get a general idea how to say in Japanese, search the Japanese word using Japanese google to see how people use that word.
      Or if you can find a picture, then click the picture so that it will lead to the webpage where you can check the word.

      1. You’re a lifesaver, Maggie. I had never heard of Weblio or ALC before. Weblio was just what I needed in fact. It gives me better results than my other sources so that I may distinguish between words easier. Thank you very, very much.

  60. Hi Maggie-sensei!

    Can I ask what ‘ごうかーく’ mean? I got a lot of hits searching on google but still I can’t find an explanation thread anywhere. Is it from the word ‘豪華’ which means wonderful? But then what’s the ‘く’?

    Thank you!

    1. Where did you hear that?
      I think it is from the word 合格 = ごうかく = Passing the test/exam.
      You stretch the sound with ”ー” in conversation.

      1. Oh, right, the meaning ‘passing’ fits exactly with the context!

        I was reluctant to omit the ‘ー’ because sometimes it’s a form of contraction like ‘nai’ to ‘ne-‘.

        Thank you so much Maggie-sensei!

  61. Hello Maggie-sensei, I’m a Japanese learner and I mostly learn from your website because I find it very useful and practical. I have this one question. 脚本が届いて読んだら、すごく面白くて、いい意味で裏切られたなって。I understand it here as 裏切られたなって verb passive form + naru te-form. But I’ve searched everywhere and there is no usage of verb any form + naru without transforming it to noun? Can you help me on this case? Thank you!

    1. Hi kostsaikou!

      裏切られた is a passive form “to be betrayed”
      な is a suffix. Not te-form of verb “naru”
      Check my な・なあ lesson. Click here

      It will be easier to think this way,

      So this と has a function to quote what the speaker thought. In more casual sentence, it changes to って
      →more causal 脚本が届いて読んだら、「すごく面白くて、いい意味で裏切られたな」って思った。
      And you can omit the verb 思った。

      So the speaker didn’t expect the drama or movie was not that great but once he/she got the script and read it, he/she felt betrayed in a good way.

  62. maggie i need your help with a video. i dont know if i am listening correctly.
    thats the link:
    i even put the correct time. the girls in the video are talking about their band and all and the girl in the left says:もっともっとついけいしたいなって思ってますfrom what i can tell and the problem is i have never heard of the word ついけい and i tried to research and i couldnt find a single word like that. so i think i am listening that word incorrectly. can you help me?

  63. I’m sorry to bother you again Maggie sensei but I have another question.

    So here I have this phrase (part of a sentence): ‘風呂じゃ満足に動けなくて消化不良のお前は…’. After the ‘お前は…’ is just the part where the person wants to do something, and I think the phrase ends before the の, so it’s ‘風呂じゃ満足に動けなくて消化不良’, and I vaguely understand it as ‘cannot move satisfactorily in the bathroom/bathtub’ but I don’t understand where ‘消化不良’ comes in. It means ‘indigestion’ but I have no idea how it fits in with the rest of the phrase, and why it was placed after the て by itself.

    Does it mean ‘not moving satisfactorily will cause indigestion’ or is it some sort of slang?

    Thank you once again.

    1. Hi Lily
      So you wrote
      “After the ‘お前は…’ is just the part where the person wants to do something, ”
      So there is a verb after お前は
      風呂じゃ満足に動けなくて消化不良の explain the situation of the listener, お前
      You who can’t move in the bathroom/bathtub fully/as you like and have a problem of 消化不良*

      消化不良 is poor digestion/indigestion but it could be either physical or mental . (It depends on the context.)
      If it is simply means “ingestion” that て means “and”
      If it is talking about something mental, the speaker feel frustrated because he/she can’t move well in the bathroom/bathtub. 〜動けなくて this て gives a reason, “because”

      1. Oh, so the connective て will mean have a problem of.

        From the context I think it’s more likely to be mental, but could you explain a little bit about what it could mean mentally? Does it mean the person is implied to be slow to understand things or just plain stupid? I could never have guessed that it could mean something mental if you didn’t say.

        Thank you so much Maggie-sensei!

        1. For example, when expect something but it didn’t turn out to the way you want, you are not fully satisfied, right?
          Like a feeling that something is missing. That kind of feelings can be described 消化不良 as well.

          But like I said, I have no idea why the speaker feels that way in the bathroom.

  64. Hi Maggie-sensei, I have a sentence here ‘今日という1日を生きられる’ and I wonder if it means ‘today is a day I can live’ or ‘today is a day I am given life’. Given the context of where I got it from I think the latter is the right one but I saw some discussion about how ‘生きられる’ is always used as the potential form and not the passive form. Also the passive form can have negative connotations?

    Can you help me shed some light on this? Thank you very much!

    1. Hi Lily
      今日という日 is the day “today”
      In this case 生きられる a potential form not a passive form so it means “can live / to be able to live” (or survive)

  65. Hello maggie sensei,
    Thank you for all of your hard work

    I have a question here:
    what is the main difference between these two sentences?


    I am at least understand the concept of Transitive and Intransitive verb but when they conjugated, it become confusing.
    I hope you can help me.

    Thank you very much

    1. Hi Joseph,
      First you write “ramen” →ラーメン 🍜
      冷める = intransitive
      冷ます = transitive

      something + が + intransitive verb (ラーメンが冷める)
      something + を + transitive verb (ラーメンを冷ます)

      1. So to put it simply:

        ラーメンが冷めないで = don’t let the ramen to be cold
        ラーメンを冷まさないで = Please don’t make ramen cold

        I still need correction on these two sentences please help me.

        1. Oh sorry. I forgot to correct the sentence.

          ラーメンを冷まさないで is grammatically correct.

          ラーメンが冷めないで is wrong.
          If you want to say “Don’t let ramen to be cold” 冷めさせないで.

          The thing is the both sentences are not natural.
          We say 冷めないうちに食べて….

          Let’s change the sentence a little.

          体を冷やさないで OK
          体が冷えないようにして  OK

          1. Okay sensei I got it a little but to make sure
            can you make just two example sentences in transitive and intransitive
            using verb –> 冷めないで と 冷めさないで

            If you do that I am sure that I will come to understand more about transitive & Intransitive verb

          2. I’m really sorry I need to put correction.
            I mean example sentences using

            冷めないで と 冷まさないで

          3. Unless you are talking to the ramen, you don’t say 冷めないで. :)
            冷めないで means “Don’t get cool”
            冷まさないで (to make something hot to cool down)
            Ex. これは温かくして食べる食べる料理なので冷まさないでください。= You are supposed to eat this dish hot so don’t let it cool.

            If you just want to understand the difference between intransitive verb and transitive verb, I would choose the different verb.

      2. Okay Sensei how about we change the verb to
        直る と 直す
        Please make example sentences using these two verbs

        1. and for addition we put “naide”

          So make example sentences using
          直らないで と 直さないで

          But any examples sentences should be just fine

  66. Hello Maggie Sensei,

    So far your website is the best I can found,

    But I found there’s only one lacking lesson and it can be really important thing.

    If only you can add 名乗り読み(なのり)
    At least for Standard Japanese Name, it will be a lot of improvement to the Blog.
    I hope this can become a good feedback.

    I appreciate your way of teaching and all best effort.
    Thank you very much.

    1. Hi Eileen

      Thank you for your suggestion.
      The problem is there are so many 名乗り読み and at the moment, I am not interested in making a list of all the kanji. Sorry.

      1. I see but how about if it is limited to only common name such as

        Tanaka, Suzuki, Satoshi, etc.


        But it’s okay your blog is awesome already.

        1. Thanks!

          FYI I tweeted the following list on Twitter last month.

          The 10 most common last names in Japan
          加藤 (かとう)Katou

          As you can see, you use kun-reading for a lot of names but like 渡辺(わたなべ) the second kanji 辺, it requires special way of reading for names.

  67. Wonderful website!
    One of my favorites when it comes to learning Japanese. Keep doing this beautiful work!

    I know you do not translate lyrics, but I’m a fan of JPOP 80’s and I make videos clips with songs used in anime, pehaps you can help me with some sentences of the lyric that I don’t understand very well…

    Slow Down つまずいて Slow Down, it’s falling (??)
    Slow Down あせるたび Slow Down, ??? I don’t have idea what あせるたび means
    君がとなりにいると 落ち着くんだよ You calm me down when you’re near me
    Angel 青春は Angel, youth is
    Angel おかしくて Angel, it’s so strange/funny
    ちょっと悲しいそんな小説さ It’s a novel that is somehow sad
    心の中のぞかない (??)
    君から見せて (??)
    くれるまで (??)

    どこまでも空は晴れて How far away is the beautiful blue sky that
    心に集める 輝くメモリーズ Woh Gather the shining memories in my heart, oooh!

    Can you help me with the sentences I can’t understand?
    Feel free to make any suggestions that improve the translation!

    Thank you in advance for your help and attention.

    1. Hi Thiago,
      Right. I don’t do the translation here but I will help you a little just to make some sentences clear.

      V + たび = every time you do something / whenever you do something
      焦る(あせる) means “to feel panicked/ freak out/ upset” So あせるたび is whenever I feel that kind of feeling

      The last three lines are all connected but you have to reverse the order


      1. Thank you so much Maggie sensei, helped me a lot!
        Reverse order in lyrics really confuses me.

  68. What is the best way of saying ~I didnt want to make you angry~?
    I though of the word ~怒らせたくなかった~ but it seems too long. Is there an easier way of saying it?

    1. Ivan

      I don’t think there is shorter or easier way to say that.
      Not that long. 😉

      1. the person that got angry in the case of my example ~you~. which particle should i use 二 or を?

        1. Hi Ivan!
          We use 「を」in that case.

  69. Hello maggie-sensei

    What’s の doing in this sentence? I’m a bit confused about its use
    thanks :3

    1. Hello JOSH!
      The 「の」particle connects the noun 見返り with the verb いらない(要らない)in this relative clause sentence.
      見返りのいらない好意 = a favor, which doesn’t require anything to do in return (a non-doing-back-in-return favor)
      So 「見返りのいらない好意を与えられること」 basically means: “The state of being given a favor for which someone doesn’t have to do – or to give – anything in return”.

      Hope I could help.

      1. @天人 Thank you for helping Josh!
        Sorry for the late reply. I think 天人 helped you already.

        見返りはいらない・見返りがいらない→when it modify a noun, は・が changes to の見返りのいらない+noun (in this case the noun is 好意)
        Check my “How to modify a noun” lesson. → Click here

  70. ゆかりちゃーん、今日は何の日なのう?2018年05月05日ですよ・・・ってつい先ほど気づいたのだけど!普通の一日じゃないでしょうね!

    PS ケーキだと、こちらへ =>

    1. わ〜〜〜すごい!
      とっても素敵なバースデーメッセージ&ケーキありがとう! (さすが、もうそういうケーキの写真のリンクとかつけてくれるところ最高!!)

      THANK YOU!!!

  71. Hello Maggie Sensei

    It’s nice to see your blog here.

    I have a little question

    When to use “Chiisai” and “Chiisana”

    If I were to say

    which one is correct?
    Please make me some example sentence using both “Chiisai” and “Chiisana”

    1. Hi Eileen

      They are both correct.
      (You also say 大きい・大きな)
      They mean the same but 小さな sounds more poetic.

      Other difference:
      You can say
      but you can’t say
      X この花は小さな。

      Also you can make a negative form with 小さい
      You can’t make a negative form with 小さな

      1. Hello maggie sensei

        Thank you for explanation and
        sorry for late reply because I was on business trip.


  72. こんにちはマギー先生!今日も質問が二つあります。:D

    1. I was playing a game where someone said 適当に座れ and I was wondering how you know whether the 適当 means to sit down properly, or to just sit down wherever (not sure how else to translate this!)? Do you judge by how the person says it, or is there actually a way to know?

    2. I read this sentence: 皆もノートに書き写すように, and I was wondering what the difference would be if it was 皆もノートに書き写してください or something? This was said by a teacher in one of my games, and I was wondering why they chose to use ように instead of してください or something of similar meaning?

    Thanks so much :) I saw your previous message!! 今年もよろしくね! :)

    1. 1. It means wherever.
      You are right. 適当 has a meaning of proper but when it is used as an adverb 適当に it means “to do ~ whatever without thinking about it so much ”

      2. ~ ように is stronger request.

      1. Thank you Maggie sensei! I see now!
        It’s so interesting that 適当 would not mean proper when used as an adverb! Thank you so much for telling me- I never knew before :D

  73. Hello sensei Konnichiwa,
    Hope I don’t bother you too much.

    Previously on your lesson about “saseru saserareru”

    There’s is a shorten version of saseru.
    Lets say Utawaseru = Utawasu

    So here is my question. Please fill the blank below

    Utawaseru – Utawasemasu – Utawasenai – Utawasemasen
    Utawasu – …………….. – ……………. – ………………….

    Thank you before.

  74. Hello Maggie Sensei,

    Thank you before.

    If you would like can you make a lesson —>

    変わる vs 代わる vs 替わる vs 換わる

    I thank you for all the hard effort through this year,

    1. Hi Josep

      Let me know if you are following me on Twitter or Facebook.
      If so, I recently posted a mini lesson on that subject so I will give you the link.

      1. Arigatou sensei.
        I’ve seen your mini lesson.
        Thank you for your hard work.

  75. Hello,

    I have a question :
    What is the right one for this sentences?

    “He makes me to give my hat to her”

    1. 彼が私に私の帽子を彼女にさせてくれる
    2. 彼が私に帽子の上げることを彼女にさせる
    3. 彼が彼女に私の帽子を私にさせてくれる
    4. 彼が彼女に帽子の上げることを私にさせる


    1. Neither one.
      させてくれる means “He let me do something.”

      “He makes me give my hat to her”
      It is complicated because
      1) there are three people in this sentence.
      2) the verb, give

      If you follow the grammatical structure, 彼は私に私の帽子を彼女にあげさせた but it is not natural because the verb あげる is spontaneous and you can’t force someone あげる
      The most natural way to say that sentence is use the verb 言う

      He told me to give my hat to her.
      I was told to give my hat to her by him.

      1. Hi Maggie!
        Hmmm interesting question.
        How about 私は、彼に自分の帽子を彼女に渡させられた。
        Would it work (~させられる & verb change to 渡す)?

        1. Hi 天人

          Yes, I thought about using the verb 渡す,too. It sounds better than あげさせられる but still
          彼に帽子を彼女に渡すように言われた / 渡せと言われた sounds more natural in conversation.

          (more accurately 〜渡すように言われてそうした。)

          1. Alright! And tell me please, how would it be with:
            “Cookie made/forced Maggie to bake a cake for Yukari”? :)

          2. はい!メッセージをポストした時、マギーちゃんの書いた同じ文書が頭に浮かんだね。

  76. Hello Maggie Sensei. First of all, I would like to say that your site is a great place of information! It is full of useful words, expressions and so on. Thanks so much for this, for your help.

    Well, I tryed to find about the use of “used to” and “would”, but I didn’d find it. Do you have any lessons about its use? If so, could you send me its link? If not, could you do a lesson concerning it? Onegai shimasu.


    1. Hi TomRibas,

      Welcome to my room!

      As I explained a little in my tense lesson,
      (Click the title) → Verb Tense Part 2
      ★used to do (I / You/ He/ She / They/ It use to do / There used to be)

      You can say
      Indicate the time period (前は(mae wa) ・以前は (izen wa) = in past 、学生の頃は (Gakusi no koro wa = When I was a student) / 子供の頃は ( = kodomo no koro wa = When I was a child) + よく + V past tense / V ていた / Vていたものだ。

      Ex. 子供の頃は、よく川で遊んだものだ。
      = Kodomo no koro wa, yoku kawa de ason da mono da.
      = I used to play in the river when I was a child.

      Ex. その店はよく行っていた。/ 行った。
      = Sono mise wa yoku itte ita./ Itta
      = I used to go to the store/restaurant.

  77. good evening maggie sensei.

    I’m having some trouble with this sentence. It’s a person complaining about his boss.


    My problem is that I’m not sure what 意識 means. I think it’s something like : “I cannot help but be controlled (by the boss) and be conscious about it”. I’m not too sure because that sentence doesn’t sound that normal.

    Thanks, have a nice day :3

    1. Hi dafne

      Yes, 意識 means “to be conscious” so 意識せざるを得ない means “I can’t help being conscious of my boss.”

      1. Thanks so much for replaying!

        This are going to help me a lot. I will see this lesson right now.

        Always I can, I visit your page and I spend hours reading it; it is very interenting.

        Doumo arigatou.

  78. hello

    what’s the meaning of そう in the following sentence? I’m not sure if it is “seems”
    thank you :)

    1. It is a casual way to say そう
      You don’t actually need to translate it but
      It means “Yes” “Well” “Let me put it this way” in that sentence.

  79. hello sensei

    in this sentence 可愛くないのはやだけど妙に気合い入れたと­思われるのも…
    is the particle は used here as topic or contrastive marker? How does it affect the sentence?

      1. thank you sensei. I figured it was a topic marker but I’m not quite sure what it’s its function as a contrastive marker. Would you mind giving me a brief explanation? since there’s a けど there, I thought the particle was not needed to show contrast
        thanks for your hard work :)

        1. Hi Hikari!
          It’s all depends on the context.
          It could be just a topic marker but if the person think
          Something is good (~はいい) (which I can’t tell by just the sentence) but not being cute is bad, then he/she can use は as a contrastive marker.

          1. It’s a girl who goes to buy some night clothes for a pajama party, but she can’t choose between all the different kind of pajamas in the shop. So she says that line. So the contrast is not cute pajamas = bad, but too cute pajamas = bad too? :p

  80. Hello maggie

    I have a question,
    What is the difference between “naide” and “panashi”?

    I think they have the meaning “without doing”

    Thank you for your time

      1. then sensei.

        Is it okay for me to think that “panashi” has same meaning with “mama (まま)”?

  81. Hi maggie-sensei, I love your lessons, keep the good work!

    in this pic

    嫌ではないです, the word ではない is written separately, I wanted to know if that’s actually relevant because it changes the meaning of the sentence or if it was simply the mangaka’s choice and it actually means the same as 嫌ではないです written together as a whole.
    also, that は , is it pronnounced as wa or ha?

    1. Hi Fran,
      First that は is pronounced “wa”
      I think they separate the phrase into two is simply because it is easier to do so in a bubble.
      However, if you somebody say
      Then the writer want the readers to read between the lines to imply the girl is shy or express some kind emotions.

  82. Hi.

    I just wanted you to know that I think this site is great. I put a post about it up on Japanese Language Journey and have added it to the website list for Japanese language learners.


  83. マギー先生ーーーー(❁´◡`❁)
    im very very happy this site still exists! I appreciate your efforts all these years!

    I wonder if you have “間vs間に” lesson here?
    Thanks in advance.

    1. こんにちは〜! もちろん覚えていますよ。元気でしたか?

      I don’t have a lesson on 間・間に
      Do you want me to add it to the request lesson list?

  84. Hello Maggie <3

    Could you help me to translate this ?

    I'm not sure if I need to use "I" or "You" for the B sentence

    (A) – こいつらを何度殺しても私がそのたびに蘇らせる
    (Even if you kill them many times I can revive them each time)
    (B) -私を埃もなく歴史を引きずりこむ闇の中につもり

    (I planned to drag in the darkness this story without dust)
    (Did you planned….)

      1. Really thank you for your answer, Maggie Sensei.

        Yes, you”re right I think it’s 私が埃もなく….

        So it’s : “I planned to grad into the darkness this story without dust” ?
        I’m not sure about the sence of 埃もなく歴史.

        1. 私を埃もなく歴史を引きずりこむ闇の中につもり
          Even if you changed 私を to 私が, it still doesn’t make any sense.
          It looks like some auto translation or something.

    1. こんばんは先生!元気です。ありがとう。
      yes please, I’d really appreciate it. I really need it
      You are the best teacher to explain this lesson im sure
      Thank you so much in advance.

  85. Hello sensei I’ve come back with more question

    I hope it doesn’t bother you

    can i replace


    Thank you before.

    1. Hi Joseph

      What do you mean by quitting job?

      The speaker wants to know the reason why the listener want to quit the job.
      after と, いう(言う) is omitted.

      You can not replace with any of the three sentences.

      1. So basically the sentence literally translated as:


        “When you say you will quit the job, what do you mean by that?”

        Is this right?

        1. I think you got the idea but the situation-wise

          A and B are talking and

          A says 「仕事をやめます。」 I am going to quit the job.
          And B askes A “What do you mean by that?”

  86. Hello Maggie sensei,

    Thank you for everything.

    I have a question,
    when I have the sentence
    “let’s go there” = あそこに行きましょう

    but what about “let’s not go there”

    Thank you before :)

    1. Hello Joseph

      Ah good question.
      Let’s not ~ can be
      V しないようにしましょう。 / Vしないことにしましょう・Vしないでおきましょう / Vのはやめましょう depending on the context.

      あそこへは行かないようにしましょう。 Literal translation is Let’s try not to go there
      あそこへは行かないことにしましょう。 (decision)
      あそこへは行かないでおきましょう。Literal translation is Let’s keep the state not going there → Let’s not go there.
      あそこへ行くのはやめましょう (decision or cancel what you have decided before)

      1. If have read some review then
        what if I use

        行くまい or いきますまい

        to make it like “let’s not go”

        Is it right or maybe it is rare usage that doesn’t comes often.
        It is in previous N2 question though.

        Thank you

        1. Ah 行くまい/(行きますまい) shows one’s strong decision. I will not do ~ not Let’s not do ~ (inviting other people to do something)
          It is very literal and you don’t use it in daily conversation unless you quote.
          Ex. もう行くまいと思ったけれどもまた行ってしまった。

          1. Thank you very much sensei it is really informative.

            before i thought that 行くまい is negative form of 行こう

            I have another confusing question please hear me out :o

            Is this same as “Tanaka make someone to drink water?

            There’s also a confusing usage of が and  に


            After studying Japanese for a year I don’t really understand those concept
            So I really really thank you if you are so kindly answer this question

          2. 田中さんは誰かを水を飲ませる
            I think it should be
            Tanaka-san makes someone drink water.

            This is a causative form

            If someone makes Tanaka-san drink water
            make Tanaka-san as a topic
            田中さんは(As for Tanaka-san) 誰かに(by someone) 水を ( water)飲まされる。(to be forced to drink)

          3. I really thank you for your thorough explanation.

  87. Hello Maggie Sensei,

    I have a question.
    What is the difference between
    since I think they means the same to me?
    (lit. Reason to live)

    Please tell me sensei, thank you very much

    1. Hi Joseph

      You can pay attention to the tense of the verb 生きる
      生きた past tense →Reason why (someone) lived
      生きる dictionary form →Reason to live
      生きてる(← shorten form of 生きている) present →Reason why you/someone live(s) (now)

  88. Hello Maggie-sensei! I’ve always read your page but I’ve only found out about this section recently. It’s very nice!
    I have this question about the meaning of this word (ippai ippai) in this context, I’ve asked in other website but the replies I got were different from each other… Here’s the link:いっぱいいっぱい-in-this
    I’m translating that manga, so I wanted to know a good translation for the word. I’ve explained everything and posted a couple of pages on the link, but the question may look a bit long, so if it’s a pain to reply I’ll understand.

    1. Hi Daniel
      いっぱいいっぱい can be used for work or feelings but in that case as someone said it means “to be preoccupied with ~ “

  89. Hello Maggie Sensei.

    I Have a question regarding this sentences.
    what does the “考えられがちです” use for?
    What expression do the above sentences has?

    Thank you very much.

  90. Hi Maggie sensei! :) It’s me again, and I have more questions if you would take your time to answer them! :D
    1) I read somewhere once ないのかもしれない instead of ないかもしれない, and I was wondering why exactly the の is there after ない and if it makes any difference in meaning to ないかもしれない?
    2) I was playing a game once, and a character said この店のたこ焼きとは比べ物のにならない; I get the meaning, but I was really confused about the とは after たこ焼き and the にならない bit… Could you please explain them to me?

    Thank you so much! :)

    1. Hi Eva

      1) ないのかもしれない
      You can soften the tone of your writing/speech by adding の.

      Maybe the cherry blossoms are not blooming now.
      (1) もう桜は咲いていないかもしれない。Maybe the cherry blossoms are not blooming now.
      (2) もう桜は咲いていないのかもしれない。I guess the cherry blossoms are not blooming now. (expressing one’s opinion on the possibilities in a subtle way.)

      2)この店のたこ焼きとは比べ物のにならない→ I think it’s a typo →この店のたこ焼きとは比べ物にならない

      OK, let’s start from an affirmative form
      AとBを比べる = compare A and B

      Let’s say you compare A and B, you say
      AとBは比べ物にならない。 = There is no comparison between A and B/ You can’t compare A and B.

      When you compare B with A, you say
      Bは、Aとは比べ物にならない。= You can not compare B with A/(B is) incomparable with A

      This と is “with”
      は indicates the contrast. (Maybe with C or D but not with A)
      And 比べ物にならない is a set phrase = There is no comparison

  91. Hello Maggie Sensei,

    first of all thank you for your wonderful website, it is so helpful!
    Secondly, I think it would be nice if you could make a lesson
    on 何れ…it is so tricky for beginners like me!

    Thanks again :)

  92. Hello, This is my first time going to ur website

    I have a question sensei please hear me out

    does 切る in 食べ切れる means the same as “to eat completely”

    Please correct me if i’m wrong,
    also I’d glad if u can provide me with some example sentences



    1. Hi Joseph
      Welcome to my site!
      切れる is a potential form so
      食べ切れる means “to be able to eat something completely”
      (masu-form 食べ切れます)

      Ex. こんなにたくさんのお菓子、食べ切れる?
      = (There are so many snacks.) Can you eat all these snacks?

      = I can’t eat this much.

      1. 有難うございました

        Actually I’ve been wondering about in textbook they doesn’t allow to use ”を” particle twice in sentences.
        But actually sometimes I find sentences that using ”を” particle twice or more.
        Can u explain it, may be with example sentences too.


        1. I think it’s じゃ(あ)遠慮なく
          This is a set phrase but when you offer something and tell someone “Don’t be shy”
          You can say 遠慮をしないで〜・遠慮しないで (You can omit the particle を 遠慮する is suru-verb as well.)

          We tend to avoid using the same particle twice in one sentence if it is possible but sometimes you can’t avoid it.
          Also it depends on the writer’s style.

          1. Yes, that is correct.
            When someone says “Ask me anything” なんでも聞いてください。
            You can say じゃ(あ)遠慮なく聞きます。

  93. Hello Maggie Sensei,

    I have a question about passive sentences in Ichidan Verb  一段動詞 (Eru-Iru)

    Lets say how to differ between these two verb in sentences:
    食べられる (Potential —> Can eat)
    食べられる (Passive —> Is eaten)

    Also what is the ら抜き言葉 for the 食べる in :
    1. Passive
    2. Causative
    3. Causative Passive


    1. こんにちは、Joakin!

      Usually you can tell which one to use by the context or sentence structure (subject, particle, etc.)

      1) Foodは/が/を、食べられる。 (can eat)

      Ex. この魚は食べられますか?
      = Is this fish edible? / Can we eat this fish? / Can you eat this fish?
      Ex. 納豆は・を食べられますか?
      = Can you eat Natto?

      2) (Someoneに)食べられる (to be eaten by ~ )

      Ex. 弟にケーキを食べられた。
      Ex. そこにいたミミズは鳥に食べられた。

      ら抜き言葉 for 食べる is 食べれる but passive, causative, causative passive should be the same.
      1) Passive 食べられる 
      2) Causative 食べさせる
      3) Causative Passive 食べさせられる

      1. 返事はすごく早いわね

          1. Hello Maggie Sensei,
            I just read some comments in your site.
            As I don’t get any clue to what this sentence means? (due to many repetition of particle)


            too many (を) I don’t get the correct translation after all.

            How to read this? Do I have to read it from the back to get better translation?

            Can I assume the を as same as の in this case?


  94. こんにちは マギー先生!


    1. こんにちは、らわ!元気でしたか?
      「〜もまた同じことだ/です。= You can say the same thing with ~ 」という意味です。

      Ex. スペイン語には女性形と男性形があります。フランス語もまた然り。
      = フランス語も同じように女性形と男性形があります。

      逆もまた然り= vice versa

      = 心が疲れていると体をこわします。同じように体が疲れていると心が病みます。

  95. Dear Maggie-sensei,

    thank you so much for making these awesome lessons and answering all our question! 本当にありがとう!

    Could I request a lesson here? I came across this sentence in an anime and would really like to understand the grammar and the meaning behind it: お陰で私の評判は地に落ちかねない. I understand it roughly means “because of you my reputation is suffering”, but I have a feeling there is more to it.

    I really wish you could make a lesson about かねない. I cannot find anything at all about it on the internet, and what I’m missing the most are your numerous examples… :)

    Thank you once more and best regards,

    1. Hi Alina!
      Thank you for visiting Maggie’s room!
      OK, I will add it to the request lesson. It may take a while to make a lesson so meanwhile,
      ~かねない means “it may lead to some negative consequences”/ It could be (negative result)・There is a possibility to (negative result) if you do ~
      My reputation may go down. (the speaker doesn’t that result)

    2. Dear Maggie Sensei, I love your site! It has been so helpful. I don’t see a lesson on “adjective + suru “. For some reason this is confusing to me. Any help you can give on this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much. Please keep up your great work!

      1. Hi Tamra!

        I see. I guess I made lessons on ようにする・なる / ことにする・なる but I haven’t made a lesson on “adjective + suru” yet.
        Added it to the request list! :)

          1. Wow! Thanks for your quick response. The lesson on adjective + suru is very helpful. Now I understand it much better thanks to all of your great examples. Thank you Maggie!

    3. マギー先生!丁寧に説明してくださってありがとうございました!

      1. どういたしまして、らわ! ゲーム楽しんでくださいね。日本語のいい勉強にもなりますね。:)

  96. Hi Maggie today I found this site and wow Is so useful for my study! I am studying for JLPT N3 and for now I find so useful your lessons.. I want to ask you (Maybe after summer if you want and If you can)) If I can be your student? Of course I will pay. because I want to pass Jlpt N3 this december…ありあとうございます

    1. Giulio

      Thank you for finding this site!
      I believe you can pass JLPT N3!! Since I am a dog, my assistant, Yukari teaches on Skype but she only takes students when she is available.
      Leave us a message again after summer. がんばって!

  97. Dear Maggie Sensei,

    Thanks for your teachings always.

    Please explain the meaning for “コロコロ変わる”
    Is it use as a negative meaning.

    1. パルキン、こんにちは!

      It is used when you change your mind so much (in a negative way)
      The most common ones are the followings
      考えがコロコロ変わる The way you think changes a lot
      言うことがコロコロ変わる What you say changes a lot
      意見がコロコロ変わる Your opinion changes a lot

  98. Hi Maggie Sensei,

    I have a question regarding てform. I understand the basic is to join two words, such as 起きて、顔を洗います。It can be various meaning such as うるさくて寝られない。(原因)etc.

    If it’s just a word such as 助けて~ it’s actually the speech form of 助けてください。

    For the following example where the て is at the last sentence :

    I got stuck here. I don’t think it’s should be 眩しすぎてください。Could it be まぶしすぎている?Or because it’s form of lyrics, so it’s actually 青い地球が眩しすぎて、白い波が頬を濡らす?

    I hope Maggie Sensei can help me to solve the mystery. 心からありがとうございます。

    1. Hi Wee Ping

      Is it from some lyrics?
      It is an inversion technique.
      So as you said 青い地球が眩しすぎて(this て gives a reason. because the blue earth is so bright) 、→ consequences 白い波が頬を濡らす

      1. Hi Maggie Sensei,

        Thank you for your time to explain. Now make so much sense. I will tattoo “inversion technique” in mind. 心からありがとうございました。

        Gratefully, weeping

  99. Hi Maggie sensei! It’s me again, with more questions. :) :)

    1) I read a sentence from a worksheet saying これをあいづちという. How come they used を instead of は after the これ? Does it change the meaning from if は were used?

    2) Is there a difference between どうやって and どうやったら? In English the translation of them looks the same, so I was wondering if there was a difference in meaning if you use one or the other.

    Thank you so much Maggie sensei! As always I hope you are well and happy. :)
    Also, late, but: あけましておめでとう!

    1. Eva


      これは~ という。 = This is ~ / It is called ~
      これを~ という。 = We call this ~ ” (を is an object marker)

      2) They both could be just translated “how” but

      How do I get there?
      どうやって行きますか? (natural)
      どうやったら行きますか? (not natural)
      You use potential form

      How do you eat this?
      どうやって食べますか? (natural)
      どうやったら食べますか?(not natural)
      with potential form

      1. Hi Maggie sensei! Sorry for bringing this back but- I was reading over this answer again, and I just realised- you use どうやったら with potential form and not plain form, but can どうやって be used with potential and plain form? Or just plain?
        Thanks so much :)

        1. Hi Eva,

          どうやって with a potential form?
          どうやって行けますか? is still not natural.

          or you use conditional form

  100. Hello Maggie Sensei,

    I have a question regarding this sentences (この文には質問があります)


    Please tell more about the meaning especially in 行くあてなど part
    Also what is the meaning to the whole sentence.
    Thank you

    1. こんにちは、Joakim!
      行くあてがない is an expression.It means “to have nowhere to go”という意味です。
      当て= あて = aim
      当てがない = あてがない = aimlessly
      So この風にも行くあてなどないように means “as the wind blows aimlessly”

      1. Hello Sensei
        Thanks for replying,

        I still don’t get the など in 行くあてなど
        Is that supposed to be “など = etc??” this kanji “等”
        Can you please explain to me :)

        Thank you very much

  101. Hey i need help i need a sentence pattern translated “I can do something”
    i need t know how to use this in sentences

    1. Hi!
      I can do something

      It depends on the verb.
      Each verb has a potential form.

      to sing = 歌う = utau
      can sing = 歌える = utaeru

      to speak = 話す = hanasu
      can speak = 話せる = hanaseru

      to write 書く = kaku
      can write = 書ける = kakeru

      The easiest way is

      verb dictionary form + こと +が+ できる ( koto + ga+ dekiru)

      I can sing = うたうことができる = utau koto ga dekiru
      I can speak = はなすことができる = hanasu koto ga dekiru
      I can write = かくことができる = kaku koto ga dekiru.

      Check my dekiru- lesson.

  102. こんにちは、マッギ先生!

    I decided to take up translating a Japanese light novel to refresh my Japanese and hopefully improve it, and it’s making me realize how little I understand despite taking 3 semesters of it. xD


    I guess that 「生きるのが嫌になったのか」means something like “I became tired of being alive” with とか for softening. Then 「両親の後」 means “after my parents’ deaths,” I think (as the previous paragraph talked about parents dying)…but why is there a direct object marker after that, with 追いたい as the verb? “I want to follow after their death”? It confuses me, mostly because I didn’t know you could have a phrase like -の後 as the DO for a verb. And then the なんて as a sort of subject marker to emphasize the previous, I guess? So would it translate to “I grew tired of being alive, and seriously considered following my parents to their grave”?


    1. こんにちは、 faezer!

      Your translation “following my parents to their grave” is right.

      The literal meaning is “to follow 〜”/ “to run after ~ ” but it is also an expression, “to die / to commit suicide after a loved one passed away”

      “I grew tired of being alive, and seriously considered following my parents to their grave”?
      I think you didn’t translate 考えていない part.
      So the main idea is,
      I am neither getting tired of living nor thinking about killing myself following my parents death.

      I am making a lesson on 後 by chance. :)

      1. Oh whoops, I totally tunnelvisioned on everything else and forgot the negative ending and tense on 考えていない haha. Aah, so it’s a phrase, I wish there was an easy way to look up phrases/expressions, much less easy to search for than vocab or grammar points )8. ありがとうございます!

        Hey what a coincidence, I look forward to it. Your lessons were always a big help when I had to write Japanese essays in college. 8)

  103. Hello Maggie Sensei,

    I have a question regarding this sentence.
    I really don’t have any clue to what the person says.
    Basically in the なくなんないぞ

    Please tell me about the sentence, thanks you very much

    1. Hi Joakim!


      なくなんない is a casual contraction of なくならない

      →引っ越しはなくなんないぞ (ぞ suffix is for a male speech)

      The literal meaning is

      Even if you cry, the fact of moving won’t disappear/be gone.

      Who is moving? The listener? If so
      Even if you cry, you are moving anyway.

  104. Hello, Maggie-sensei! I’ve been struggling trying to understand really long sentences, especially ones that involve phrases that describe nouns.
    Ex: 私は切符を買う順番を待つ人の長い列に加えた

    Here’s how i attempt to make sense of this:

    -In this sentence, I disregard “watashi wa” because it’s often omitted anyway.

    -I start with the verb 加えた since the last verb of a sentence is the “most important” one (i think?). Basically, the main idea is something is added to something if i just go by 加えた.

    -From there, 切符を買う (buys ticket) describes 順番(turn)
    (therefore “turn where one buys ticket)
    切符を買う順番を待つ (waits for turn to buy ticket) describes 人
    (therefore “person who waits for turn to buy ticket”)
    – 人の長い列に加えた which seems to mean “was added to/included in person’s long line”
    – Putting everything together, i have 切符を買う順番を待つ人の長い列に加えた
    (“was added to person’s long line where person waits for turn to buy ticket”)
    The translation provided in the site was “I joined a long line of people waiting for a turn to buy tickets” so i was close.

    But, you see the problem (or maybe it;s not really a problem?). It seems that I have to analyze every long sentence like this, and that slows me down when I try to play visual novels in the original japanese or reading light novels. How would you, a proficient/native speaker, mentally process these kinds of sentences in your head? How can I improve upon the approach I outlined above?

    1. Hi noel

      It is not you. The original sentence has a typo.
      It should be 加わった not 加えた

      列に加わる = to join (the people who stand in ) a line
      → past tense 列に加わった joined (the people who stand in ) the line

      *the main sentence structure of this sentence is

      私は〜加わった = I joined.

      Joined what?
      長い列= a long line

      Now, what kind of line?
      →順番を待つ人 = people who are waiting for one’s turn

      “turn” to do what?
      →切符を買う = to buy a ticket

      So (切符を買う順番を待つ人の) modifies 長い列 ( = a long lien)

      私は(切符を買う順番を待つ人の) 長い列に加わった

      1. Thank you, especially for pointing out a typo I wouldn’t have noticed. So, basically, you look for the main verb that’s typically at the end of the sentence and work backwards? That makes sense

          1. Having just read through about half of the lesson, it’s mentioned that “wa” should not be used for clauses that modify nouns.
            So then, would the phrase “Maggie WA tsukutta onigiri desu” mean “Maggie IS a made riceball” instead of the intended “The riceball Maggie made” if GA or NO were to be used instead? Just wanted to clarify

  105. Hi maggie!
    I just have learned つもり
    I learned that it means “I intend to do sth”
    But the there is also と思う
    So my question is:
    Where is the difference between

    Thank you btw :)

    1. Hi Hana,

      OK, for example, you are planning to take a JLPT next year and you are going to study Japanese harder, you can say both

      There is no so much difference.

      The difference is while ようと思う can be used when you decide something in that moment, つもり implies you have planned to do something for certain period of time.


  106. Dear Maggie Sensei,

    Thank you for your support always.

    Could you please guide me when to use ご機嫌よう.

    Is this an old phrase?

    What we should say to a person who is repatriating from his/her job and getting retired after that.

    Thank you

    1. It is an expression that you can use both when you see someone and say good-bye to someone. You may hear that on the radio or TV shows when an MC says good-bye but but it is rare to use/hear it in daily conversation.

      You can say 長い間、お疲れ様でした。 = nagai aida otsukare sama deshita. to the person who is getting retired.

  107. Hi Maggie sensei!

    So today I saw this phrase from a status:
    I was confused at のれる can this also be used in the sense of getting into a field or trade? For example I took his stats is as asking “Can these people really get into love-affair consulting? Or am I wrong? 乗る means to ride or get on. I am having a hard of understanding his context.

    Thank you as always!!

    1. Hello Courtney

      You are right 乗る means “to ride/drive”
      This is an idiomatic expression 相談に乗る = to (listen to what someone is worried about and ) give an advice, to give counsel.
      And 乗れる is a potential form. To be able to give an advice
      (I will make a mini lesson of idioms with 乗る for you sometime)

      1. Dear Maggie Sensei,

        Thank you for your reply.

        Please help me for the below phrase.

        In this what does the speaker wants to say?

        Thank you always

  108. sensei, would you mind joining us in Its a platform where you can blog and be paid with cryptos. Youre blog would be good there, youre good at this educational blogs.

  109. こんにちは先生! 😚
    I had 2 questions today!
    1. I know the meaning of ところ after a verb can mean you are just about to do something, are in the middle of doing something or just finished something, but what does そうしたいところです mean?! I heard it in an anime and was completely confused! :o

    2. I also heard 私にできる quite a few times! I was wondering the difference between 私はできる and 私にできる?

    Thank you so much <3 So much love for you and hope your lead up to Christmas is going great! :D

    1. こんにちは、Eva!

      1. There many idiomatic expressions with ところ
      そうしたいところです。= If it is possible I would like to do so.
      Usually you use this form when it implies contradicted result.
      = I would like to go with you but I’m afraid I can’t because I am too busy.

      私はsomethingができます。= I can do something
      私にできる+noun (私にできる modifies a noun)

      Ex. 私にできることはありますか?
      Is there anything I can do?
      Ex. 私にできる仕事ではない。
      = This is not a kind of work that I can handle.

      Thank you! クリスマスまであと2週間ちょっとですね。Evaの冬休みも楽しいものになりますように。

      1. Thank you for the explanation!
        But I’m sorry could you please elaborate on 私にできる? I’m not quite sure what you mean by it modifies the noun…?
        Thank you for the kind wishes! My winter holidays are going great! 😙

        1. OK, let me try again.

          First, a particle に has a lot of functions, such as indirect object marker, location marker, destination, etc. but you also use に with a verb-potential form. (You also use with the verbs which already have potential meanings such as できる, みえる..)

          → 彼には、幽霊が見えない。He can’t see the ghost.

          → 私にわかるように説明してください。Please explain as I can understand.

          Now, I will explain again the part “modify a noun” in my previous comment.

          For example, you can say

          I can sing.

          but you can’t say

          (Note: You can say 私には歌うことができます。 but you can’t use に alone.)

          You usually use に after a pronoun, when “someoneに+verb” modifies a noun which comes after
          1) Someone +に+ potential verb/some adjectives + noun

          = the song that I can sing.
          (私に歌うことができる modifies 曲
          You can also say 私が歌うことができる曲)

          = The things that I can do.
          (私のできる modifies こと
          You can also say 私ができること)

          = I can read Japanese books.

          You can’t say
          but you can use に if it modifies 日本語の本 ( Japanese books)

          Do you have any Japanese books that I can read?
          (You also say 私が/私の)

          (私に読める modifies 日本語の本Japanese books)

          2) You also use +か phrase = if/whether pronoun can do something or not.

          I wonder if he can do it

          1. Hello Maggie sensei! Thank you for explaining. I understand that に modifies the noun now; but why would people choose to use it instead of はor が? Does it change the nuance of the sentence or something?
            Thanks so much!!

          2. Let’s compare the following two sentences. They both modify a noun こと
            The only thing I can do is to be next to you.
            1) 私にできることはあなたのそばにいることです。
            2) 私ができることはあなたのそばにいることです。
            (私はできることは is not natural since you use double は)

            2) emphasizes the subject more and focusing on one’s ability and 1) sounds more humble and softer. に lowers oneself a little.

            For the same reason,
            Is there anything I can do (for you)?
            4) 私にできることはありますか?
            sounds more modest than 5) 私ができることはありますか?
            4) implies “even me”

          3. Sorry!! Just one more thing I was wondering about..
            私に makes yourself seem a bit lower and is more humble (thank you so much for explaning so clearly!!), but what about 彼に or (someone else)に? Does that make 彼 or whoever precedes the に seem more humble as well? And if that is the case, is it rude to put a に after someone else’s name because it’s like you’re saying they’re like… lower than you or something…? 🤔
            Thsnk you so much!! And wishing you a very happy (but late) Merry Christmas!!

          4. Good question!
            If you use に with the third person, you lower that person.

            So you can use it when you refer to your family/subordinates (If you are talking to your clients, you can refer to your boss to make it sound humble towards the clients.)

            Ex. 彼にできることはありますか?

          5. Thank you so so much for taking the time to explain this to me!! So it’s not rude towards your family or subordinates to put a に after their name, right? I’m so sorry for dragging this out for so long but thank you so so much!!

          6. So it’s not rude towards your family or subordinates to put a に after their name, right?
            → Yes!
            Your question was really good! It made me think the usage of に. I will add it to the list for the future lesson!

  110. Hello Maggie Sensei,
    I had a question regarding Japanese fpr :
    “Please subbscribe for special offers”

    This can be like subscribing to a blog website of when you buy something online they want you to signup for a mailing list etc.

    This is what I came up with:

    Is it alright?

    1. Hello
      If you say 特別な物, you are actually going to send the subscriber a gift.
      If you just going to mail special offer information to your subscribers, the common phrase is
      * ご登録者にはお得情報をお届けします。
      * お得情報をお届けします。メールアドレスをご登録ください。
      something like that.

  111. Hi sensei !

    I’ve been learning a lot thanks to you !You are the best online japanese teacher! Also, I’d like to make a donation. But I’ve noticed the button has disappeared since the new design, and is not on the right as you explain in your “Please support us♥” page.
    Please keep up the good work.

    1. Thank you, Oceane for your consideration. I really appreciate it.
      I am going to start my own Patreon pate soon to keep this website. Will announce soon. :)

    1. Hello Simple Romanian!
      じゃ is an auxiliary verb for old man’s speech that you hear/see in old stories, games or animations.
      You use it instead of だ
      It’s a monster! 化け物だ
      Ex. そうです→そうだ→そうじゃ

      And the と means “って”

      化け物だって? (showing one’s surprised feelings) You said, monster? / Are you saying it’s a monster?

  112. Hello Maggie 先生,


    I am reading one of your lesson called 究極の選択

    I was wondering about this several examples sensei mentioned as below :


    Question :
    1. In example 1 and 2 there are どっち and どちら. How they are different?
    2. There’s some particle usage which I don’t get. Why in sentences 1 using 意地悪犬と (”と”), sentences 2 using 健康で貧乏か (”か”), sentences 3 using 性格の悪い美人とデートするのと (”のと”), and sentences 4 using ハンサムでお金のない人と (“で”)
    3. When I search in dictionary ブス i get the kanji 醜女, is it the same reading while “Busu” is written in katakana.

    1. 1) どちら is more formal than どっち.

      this one / here →casual こっち formal こちら
      that one / there→ casual そっち formal そちら
      that one over there/over there →casual あっち formal あちら

      2) They mean the same.

      When you give two choices, you can use the following patterns.

      to choose from two nouns, A or B

      to choose from two verbs to do A or B


      の is for nominalization (to make a verb into a noun)

      The example 4) で means “and”

      A and B or C


      3)Though some people still use the word 醜女(しこめ), it is an old fashioned word. ブス is very conversational.

  113. what is the difference between 僕が住む家 and 僕の住む家? both translates as ~the house i live~. when should i choose one over the other? not just that example in specific but others as well for example: 彼が言った言葉 and 彼の言った言葉.

  114. こんにちは、お元気ですか。
    質問は、英語で{do not do A, more than B }
    例、自分が愛するより、自分が愛される方がいい( do not love more than you are loved ) ,合っていますか?

    1. こんにちは、mona!
      I want to be loved rather than love (someone)
      I’d rather be loved than love (someone)

      1. ありがとうございます。。
        ( do not do A more than B ) の場合は、日本語で何と言いますか?


  115. Dear Maggie Sensei,

    Thank you for your kind support always.

    Could you please teach, how to say the phrase “Journey till now” in Japanese.

    Is 「これまでの道のり」correct?

    Please guide.

      1. Thank You Maggie Sensei…!!

        Also I read somewhere that 2018 is DOG’s year as per Chinese Calendar.

        Wish you my best wishes.

        Hope coming year will bring good fortune for you and all others and you’ll get succeed in all your deeds.

        1. Thank you, パルキン!
          Yes, 2018 is いぬどし! It is going to be a great year for everybody!! ワン!ワン!!ワン!!! 🐶

  116. Hello Maggie sensei,
    I would like to also confirm the below sentence ( or the circumstances surrounding it )


    Does it mean that the person ( or I ) is being praised by someone, but also by being praised he also feels ashamed/embarrassed?

    thanks in advance

    1. Hello fynx!
      I think the Japanese sentence is
      And yes, the speaker is praised / getting compliments so much that he/she get embarrassed.

  117. Hello Maggie Sensei,
    another question form my book”


    The book says 1 is right and 2 is incorrect. What is the difference between them, they look the same to me?


    1. 1. なら If (conditional) If you are going to do a homestay, + suggestion:You should ~ したほうがいい
      2. ため In order to do a homestay + what you are going to do 

  118. Hello Maggie Sensei,
    I wanted to ask regarding the following 2 sentences:
    1. ひろしは絵を褒められたことから、デザインの仕事に興味を持ったようだ。
    2. ひろしは絵を褒められたのだから、デザインの仕事に興味を持ったようだ。

    Now according to my book, number 1 is right and 2 is wrong.
    I thought that のだから is a natural result of something that happened so why is 2 wrong and 1 right? 1 meaning is “if” correct?

    Thanks ahead of time.

    1. Yes, 1) is correct.
      1) explains why Hiroshi came to be interested in design work. The fact that his paintings got compliments lead him to be interested in design work.

      2) I think you got confused with the usage of から and のだから
      If it is から, it works.

      It seems Hiroshi came to be interested in design work because he got compliments on his paintings,

      のだから is used to express the speaker’s strong opinion.

      For example, ひろしは絵を褒められたのだからもっと自信を持つべきだ。
      Since Hirogshi got compliments on his paintings, I think he should have more confidence.

  119. Hello Maggie-sensei,
    I just wanted to confirm the following sentence:


    It means that they enjoyed the food so much that they could not eat any more?

    Thank you

    1. Hi fynx!

      I think you got the meaning but slightly different.
      The literal meaning is “They served us me a lot of food (or dishes). It was so much that I couldn’t eat it all.
      Note: The subjects changes depending on the context. (We/They,etc.)

  120. Hello Maggie 先生


    Could you please explain to me why about these following sentence

    更ける (Intransitive Verb) = To advance, to be late
    Usage :

    1. 給料が更けて、うれしい

    The question is, in the above sentences why Number 1,2,4 are wrong?
    Is there any special rule to them?

    Thank you very much.

    1. こんにちは、Joakim!

      As you know, 更ける means “to be late/advance. = Plenty of time has passed since certain time or season started and it becomes in full swing/gets deeper .
      It is usually used with a word such as 夜 (night)
      late at night (夜が更ける →夜も更け…) or 秋 (fall) ( = 秋も深まり ( = aki mo fukamari)… (the literal meaning is, autumn “gets deeper”. = Late in fall )

      1) 給料 = paycheck
      4) 雪の量 = amount of snow
      These two don’t “get late”.

      The only confusing example is the one with the time related word 年末 (end of the year).
      However, while you say 年が暮れる, the year ends, you don’t say 年末が更ける.

      1. さすが

        The explanation is accurate, Now I know that 年末が更ける is a trap.


        I enjoy your lesson and explanation very well.

        I would like to learn to speak natural daily japanese conversation but in order to do so I must pass at least JLPT N2 or may be N1 because I need it to go to japan :(

        I would like to ask another question.

        What rules apply to kanji pronouciation :
        Example =
        心配 = しん + はい
        引っ張る = 引く + 張る

        Sometimes they add dakuten 濁点 /handakuten 半濁点 to pronounce the conjugation while sometimes not.

        Can u give me any tips how to overcome this problem? Or I just need to memorize all the word one by one?


        1. I’m glad to hear you enjoy learning Japanese here.

          I will give you some examples with は

          after the sound ん は tends to be ば or ぱ


          三倍/三杯(さんばい)= san-bai

          And after little っ +ぱ (pa)

          引っ張る (ひっぱる)hi-ppa-ru
          六杯(ろっぱい)ro-ppai (You also read ろくはい)

          今年は私の初めて試験です(How about →今年、初めて試験を受けます。?)

          1. Thank you very much for the correction.

            Sensei, I do a little research so I want to confirm it.

            1. (ONYOMI and KUNYOMI)
            a. (Group Ka,ki,ku,ke,ko) -> Ga, Gi, Gu, Ge, Go.
            Example : 五人組 Go+Nin+Kumi = GoninGumi
            b. (Group Sa, Shi, Su, Se, So) -> Za, Ji, Zu, Ze, Zo
            Example : 登山者 To+San+Sha = ToZansha
            c. (Group Ta, Chi, Tsu, Te, To) -> Da, Dji, Dzu, De, Do
            Example : 鼻血 Hana+Chi = HanaDji
            d. (Group Ha, Hi, Fu, He, Ho) -> Ba, Bi, Bu, Be, Bo
            Example : 三百 San+Hyaku = SanByaku
            e. (–N Consonant) + Ha, Hi, Fu, He, Ho -> Pa, Pi, Pu, Pe, Po
            Example : 心配 Shin+Hai = ShinPai
            f. (Chi or Tsu) + (Group Ka/Sa/Ta)
            Example : 立ち食い Tachi+kui = TachiGui
            g. (Ri or Ki) + Ha, Hi, Fu, He, Ho = Small tsu
            Example : 引っ張る Hiki+Haru = HiPparu
            h. Yaku + kyoku = YaKkyoku = Small tsu
            Example : 薬局 Yaku + Kyoku

            2. (ONYOMI ONLY)
            a. Chi atau Tsu + (Grup Ka/Sa/Ta) = Small tsu
            Example : 発生 Hatsu+Sei = HaSsei

            My questions are :

            1. Is the list above correct?

            2. If the list is correct, Is there any case where you don’t conjugate them even with these rule

            One of example : N Consonant + (Ha, Hi, Fu, He, Ho) ≠ (Pa, Pi, Pu, Pe, Po) ???

          2. I think the list itself is correct but not all the words follow this rule and there are many exceptions.

            e. (–N Consonant) + Ha, Hi, Fu, He, Ho -> Pa, Pi, Pu, Pe, Po
            Example : 心配 Shin+Hai = ShinPai

            →As I mentioned in my previous comment,
            (–N Consonant) + Ha, Hi, Fu, He, Ho ->could be Ba, Bi, Bu, Be, Bo

            軍配 = ぐんばい = Gun Bai
            三倍 = さんばい = San Bai
            陰謀 = いんぼう = In Bou
            羨望 = せんぼう = Sen Bou

            d. (Group Ha, Hi, Fu, He, Ho) -> Ba, Bi, Bu, Be, Bo
            Example : 三百 San+Hyaku = SanByaku

            四百 = よんひゃく = Yon-Hyaku
            千百 = せんひゃく = Sen – Hyaku

            These are just some of the examples of all the exceptions.

          3. So sensei after those explanation

            1. Do you think the best way is to learn them word by word to know the pronounciation

            2. Also I’ve been told that for N1 level I need to memorize all the 2136 joyo kanji. But I think for native standard that much is normal?

            3. I’ve been told that Native speaker doesn’t need to take JLPT instead they require Kankei for job hunting is that true?

            I am so devoted to study whatever a good teacher told me to.

            Please correct me if I’m wrong.


          4. 1. I think it is good to know the basic rules first. Then try pronouncing the words you learned. Eventually you will know which letter(Ex.ば、ぱ, etc.) sounds right.

            2. Pretty much. High school graduates are supposed to know more than 2,000 kanji. If you know about 2,500 kanji, you can read newspapers.

            3. If your mother language is Japanese, you are not allowed to take JLPT test.
            Kankei? You mean Kanji kentei test? That is not necessary true. It depends on what kind of job you are looking for.

          5. 有難うございました

            I must say good job, well done

            Thanks for explanation


            One last question,

            I have a list of Kanji Kentei from Internet and it has a total of 6355 up to Kanji kentei Level 1 and 3027 Kanji kentei Level 2

            Let’s say from Native point of view. Do Kanji kentei Level 2 proficiency good enough or just barely safe?

            My point is that I want to be friendly enough to not mess the conversation with native Japanese and learn the culture and society as well.

            Thanks you.

          6. Thank you very much for your teaching.

            If I passed this years some points goes to your teaching :)

            Thanks again

  121. Hello Maggie Sensei,
    I just wanted confirmation on the meaning of the following causative passive form.
    First i want to confirm with you the transformations below, are they correct?
    待つ – dictionary form
    待たれる = passive
    待たせる – causative
    待たさせられる = 待たされる – passive and causative

    So now that I have that groundwork above, I am still having trouble understanding the following sentence:

    The first part
    Is it passive and causative?
    If so then it means that He made someone else wait, correct? ( or someone else made him wait ? )
    then the second part
    I am guessing it is also passive and causative?
    But then who is the subject? The guy again from above?
    If so then does it mean he made us treat him to food? ( He made us pay? )

    I don;t have a strong grasp of the causative / passive stuff since it is not really used that much in English.

    Thanks ahead of time.


    1. 彼には30分も待たされた
      is a passive-causative

      It means “He made me wait.” but you say that from the speaker’s point of view.
      I was forced to wait (by him).

      is also a passive-causative form.
      It means “He made me treat him. ” but you say that from the speaker’s point of view.
      I was forced to treat him (by him).

  122. hello!! i really have a stupid question. in my textbook, なんで行きますか means “how will you go?” and we say “バスで” or “歩いて” etc.
    but i remembered some of the shows i watched and sometimes they used なんで for “why”. how would i know when does it mean “how” or “why”? thank you so much >_<

    1. Hi yuuna.

      Yes, なんで also means “Why”.
      You can usually tell by the context. But occasionally it causes misunderstanding in conversation.

      I goes like this. :)
      Ex. A:「なんで行くの?」
      (Why are you going? / How are you going?)
      What do you mean by nande? Just because I have to go.

      A: 「交通手段のことを聞いたんだよ。」
      = What I meant was the transportation.

  123. Hello Maggie,
    I am really confused with this passage called: ばかりか
    In a book I am reading we had to fill in the bottom part and choose a correct answer:

    a 私語も多かった。
    b 真剣な質問も多かった
    c 欠席者は少なかった

    I initially chose C, but the book says that A is right.
    Actually they all look right to me, do you know why is A right and B and C not right?

    Also the same with the following passage of same phrase: ( I initially chose c )

    a 食欲も出てきた
    b 喉が渇くようになった
    c 集中力もなくなった。

    why is a right and b and c wrong?


    1. AばかりかB
      Not just A but also B.

      1) 昨日就職説明会があったが、遅刻者が多かったばかりか、__________。

      A : 遅刻者が多かった (Many people came late) is a negative fact. So what follows after ばかりか should be something negative as well for the the job hunting orientation.
      So you have to find something negative which is a)

      2) この薬を飲むようになってから、よく眠れるようになったばかりか、~
      In this case よく眠れるようになった = I can sleep well, is a positive fact.
      a) and c) are negative. So the only answer is a) to have more appetite.

  124. Hi Maggie sensei :) I had a really stupid question, but if you’d answer it I’d be very happy <3
    Isn't the polite form of いらない 要りません? Because I was watching a TV program earlier and someone said 要らないです。 Is that also okay?
    I just noticed I have been doing this recently (plain form+ です), and I want to fix it before it becomes a habit!!
    Eg I have noticed myself saying 食べなかったです (correct:食べませんでした?)!! :0
    Thanks so much :)

    1. Hi Eva,
      It is not a stupid question at all.
      Actually it’s really good. :)

      You can both say いりません/いらないです。

  125. Hello Maggie, I had a question in which I saw よく使うフレーズ.
    I first thought that 使う should be in passive form, 使われる. Is there a reason it is in its dictionary form?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Jenrai

      You can use both dictionary form and passive form.
      When you use a dictionary form, there is a hidden subject. (Ex. 私・私達、あなた,etc.)

      (私達が/あなたが)よく使うフレーズ the phrases which we/you use frequently.
      よく使われるフレーズ the phrases which are used frequently.

  126. Hello Maggie-sensei,
    I am studying this pattern now:
    AによってB。。。。Aによる : Because of~, … resulted Not for expressing a state, or when a speaker is expressing hope or intention or trying to induce another person to an action. A slight formal way of speaking.

    The example they give in my book is this one:

    I understand what it means but how does it fit into the definition of
    Because of A, then B.
    A is the unknown virus, then what is B in the above sentence?

    Thanks ahead of time.

    1. Hi Mark

      ~によるもの Something was caused by ~

      The flu this year was caused by new virus.
      If you want to fit in the definition it is not natural English but,
      Because of this unknown new virus, (then) this year’s flu was caused.

  127. Maggie sensei could you please make a lesson, or a least tell me which grammar patterns are used in Japanese conversations
    I’ve been struggling with N2 grammar rules, and some of them are never used in conversations, while some others are employed differently than what we would learn in class or read in books.

    Thanks a lot😊

    1. Hi Taki,
      What is your purpose of learning Japanese? To pass the exam or just to want to learn conversational Japanese?
      There are some literal expressions that we don’t use in daily conversation but I am sure they are all useful to read or understand formal Japanese.

      1. I am more interested in daily conversations sensei.

        Why, because the other day I heard a friend talking to a Japanese girl. He used ~ざるをえない, and it sounded “inappropriate” in a conversation !

        Can you shed some light over this please.

        1. Taki

          If you are interested in daily conversations more, focusing on N2 list may not be a good idea.
          ざるをえない is a bit dramatic expression but it can be used in daily conversation when you explain some situation. You have to know how/when to use it.
          I can’t go through all the N2 grammar list and tell you which one we use more but if you have specific questions such as if you use this expression in daily conversation or not, then I can help you. :)

  128. Hello Maggie Sensei,
    I had a question, I wanted to know what is the difference between using these to grammar points:

    I understand how to use them but do not know what the difference between them is ( if any )?


    1. Since you already know the meaning and how to use them, I will skip all the details but the main difference is the structure.

      1) Aに限らずB 

      * structure :
      (1) noun (A) に限らず noun (B)


      (2) noun (A)に限らず ~
      Ex. お寿司に限らず、日本食はなんでも好きです。

      2) AのみならずB
      structure : noun or verb /adjective + である, etc. + のみならず

      Ex. このゲームは国内のみならず海外でも人気だ。

      Note: のみならず emphasizes what comes after のみならず (B) more. (In this case it emphasizes 海外)

      Ex. 彼は頭がいいのみならず性格もいい。
      (It sounds more formal than 頭がいいだけではなく性格もいい)

      1. Thank you Maggie sensei.
        I found another book and they explained this but I cannot quite understand it, can you please translate what this meaning is in English?
        ( something about the same level, but I don;t understand what they mean by the same level? )


        1. Sorry, Mark. As I wrote in the description, I don’t do the translation here.
          Also the explanation is not clear.
          Here is the thing.

          You use のみならず when you list up the things which belong to the same category or level and say
          other things (in this case FB and LINE) are in the same situation (as Twitter).

    2. Okay sensei
      Then here is my question :
      Could explain the difference in nuances and usages of わけ、こと、はず
      For example, although ~わけがない and ~わけない have different meanings, in daily conversation both are said わけない!

      Thanks a lot sensei 😀

      1. You all use them in daily conversation.

        Check my lessons.

        As you said, you often omit particles in conversation, in this case が. わけない

        Maggieがそんなことを言うわけがない There is no way that Maggie would say such a thing.
        →Maggieがそんなこと言うわけない。(more conversational)

        わけない also means “easy”

        漢字なんてわけない。 = Kanji is easy!
        You can’t say 漢字なんてわけがない。


        I have a few lesson on こと
        For example ということ

  129. Hello Maggie Sensei,
    I was wondering does the following sentence mean:
    After receiving help at work from Tanaka-san I treated him out to dinner?
    ( or he treated me to dinner? )



    1. The later, Mr. Tanaka treated me.
      ~た上に has a meaning of “on top of V-ing” → Not just Mr. T helped me do my work, he treated me.

  130. Hello Maggies Sensei,
    I was thinking of how to say this in Japanese:
    “Every time I meet him, I introduce myself as Nicolas Cage”

    私は彼と会うたびにNicolas cageどおりで挨拶いたします。

    Is that correct?


    1. That means the speaker is Nicolas Cage? (lol)
      1) 彼と会う
      is possible but 彼に会う is more natural.

      2) introduce oneself 自己紹介する(じこしょうかいする)

      If you want to use the word 挨拶する(あいさつする)to greet,it will be more natural to quote what you say
      I greet him saying “I am Nicolas Cage.”

      to greet = 挨拶する(あいさつする)
      introduce = 紹介する(しょうかいする)

  131. Hi Maggie,
    could you please help me with the following:
    How to say: “I am studying Japanese with manga”
    Is there a grammar rule to express “by the means” or “using”?
    Sorry if I did not explain it properly.
    Thank you

    1. Hi Valeter
      You can use a particle で (=de) by, with
      = Manga de nihongo wo benkyou shiteimasu.
      = I am studying Japanese with manga.

      (or を使って( = wo tsukatte = by using )

  132. Hello Maggie,

    I was wondering how to convey the meaning of “the other way around”. As in, How would I use A instead of B, or the other way around?

    Thanks for your time.

    1. the other way around is 逆(ぎゃく)gyaku

      Ex. No, the other way around.
      いいえ、逆です。(Iie, gyaku desu.)
      ううん、逆だよ。(Uun, gyaku dayo)

      A instead of B is
      BのかわりにA ( = B no kawari ni A)

  133. Hello Maggie,
    the following sentence:

    Does it mean:
    1. When greeting Mr. Kimura’s child, I always laugh with a smile instead of replying.
    2. When greeting Mr. Kimura’s child, the child always laughs with a smile instead of replying.

    Thx in advance

  134. Hello maggie sensei,

    I was looking at a sentence and am having trouble figuring out how ‘ni’ and ‘atatte ‘[当たって] are being used.

    This is the sentence:
    kono shigoto wo suru ni atatte no chuui
    precautions before doing this job

    i think ‘ni’ is being used to say ‘ ‘to’ do this job’. That’s what i came up with. while ‘atatte’ is throwing me off

    1. (something/ doing something)に当たって means
      at the time of doing something / in the moment of ~ / in doing something
      ご利用に当たって = in the moment when
      〜するに当たって = in doing something

      So you can interpret this に as time indicator “in/ at the time of ~”

  135. Hello Maggie,
    I wanted to confirm the meaning of the following sentence:

    1. If you make bento every morning then you are better off eating bento from a convenience store.
    OR is it:
    2. You are better of making a Bento at home every morning rather than buying it from the convenience store ( since they are unhealthy from my experience )

    I initially though the correct meaning is 1, but when I think of it logically, conbini bentos are not really healthy.

    thx in advance

    1. 1. is the right translation.

      2 will be コンビニ弁当を食べるくらいなら毎朝、自分で弁当を作った方がいい。(作ればいい)

  136. Hello Maggie,
    I am having a hard time distinguishing when to use each of the following 3 structures which look identical: ( at least to me )

    1. ~反面: ~but on the other hand…Used to present both sides of a proposition.

    2. ~一方(で) : ~but at the same time, on the other hand…Used when you want to indicate that there are two opposing sides to an issue

    3. ~かわりに: On the other hand~, but at the same time.

    The following sample sentences that in my book look like they can all be interchanged with one another:


    Can you explain in an easy way what the differences between the 3 are ( if there are any? )


    1. You got all the explanation right and it is true that sometimes they are interchangeable. So I don’t know what to add but if anything,
      while 反面 expresses two contradictory aspects, 一方 expresses another aspect which can be contradictory and not contradictory.

      Ex. 田中先生は英語を教える一方、ドイツ語も教えている。
      teaching English and teaching German are not contradictory.

  137. What does 苦しい時の神頼み/kurushitokinokamidanomi (?) mean in the following statement?

    The ‘official’ English translation translated it as “in God we trust, in sicken pain and in health, …” although … it seems off to me. What other ways (if any) would you use 苦しい時の神頼み in a sentence?

    1. The equivalent English idioms are
      – Once on shore, we pray no more
      – One will pray to the gods in extremity
      – The danger past and God forgotten
      But imagine a person who never believes in God or never prays for anything. But something painful happens to that person (such as disaster, sickness, etc) starts to pray seeking for help. That is 苦しい時の神頼み

      苦しい時 = when one is suffering
      神頼み = 神を頼ること= depending/ counting on Gods.

  138. Hello Maggie Sensei >> i just came across this sentence” 同じぐらいの立ち位置であって欲しい ” but i didn’t know how it should be translated specially the word “立ち位置であって” does it mean to stand an equals in their position in society or since there “であって”>> it will mean as to face or encounter a situation .. please explain >>>thanks in advance ..

    1. Hi zaria,
      The literal translation of 立ち位置 is “the position to stand/where you stand up” but the translation changes depending on the context but I think your translation “position in the society” is right.
      ~であってほしい = I want something/someone to be (in the same/equal position) / I want it (them)/ someone to stand in the equal/same position.

  139. Hello Maggie,
    I am coming up across this 気 word, and it seems to be quite important.
    I see many variations of it, but I wanted to know if you can explain to me what the main differences between these are:
    1. 気に入っている。
    2. 気にしている。
    3. 気になっている。
    4. 気に入る

    Honestly I thought they all mean the same thing, but I was wrong :(

    Thx in advanced

    1. Hello, Fynx Gloire

      I am actually working on a lesson on 気 (part 2).
      1) and 4) 気にいる ( to like something/someone) dictionary form → 気に入っている to like something/someone now/ the current state

      2. to worry about something / something bothers you

      3. to be curious about something.

      1. Thank you Maggie-sensei,
        this helps a lot.
        Actually I found another one:
        気がする, which my dictionary says means: Your spirit is having a hunch or feeling a hunch. Wanting to do something.

        Please add all of these in your lesson and let me know when its done.
        I will definitely study it,

  140. Hello Maggie- Sensei,
    I wanted to know the main difference between using にわたる and を通して。
    For example in the following sentence:

    Instead of using にわたる in the above sentence can’t i use を通して?
    They both mean through a passage of time correct?

    Thx in advanced

    1. Hi Mark!
      I think you got some multiple choices.
      ~ にわたる + noun (in this case it modifies a noun, 建設工事) the new road construction which has been done over two years
      ~ にわたって + verb (it has to be 二年にわたって建設工事が行われた and it modifies a verb, 行われた。) the new road construction has been done over two years
      〜 を通して + verb (It should modify a verb) * Also 通して means “through/throughout, the whole time in certain period, focusing on the from the beginning to the end)

      1. Hello Maggie,
        thx for your response.
        I just wated to ask the general question, what is the main difference between using
        (名)+に渡って/ (名)+に渡る+(名)
        You mentioned that 通して focuses on beginning to end, so how about に渡って/ (名)+に渡る, does it also?
        Or are they both the same meanings?

        Thanks in advanced

        1. I won’t go so deep here but the main difference between 渡って・渡る and 通して・通じて is
          while you use 渡って・渡る for on going action / someone keeps doing something, you use 通して・通じて for non-changeable state.


          This project has been prepared over a year.
          (focusing on the time period, over one year)


          The meeting was held over 6 hours.

          X 6時間を通して

          通じて is more literal than 通して
          ハワイは一年を通して/ 通じて暖かい。
          (from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.)

          X 一年に渡って

          = You can enjoy the flowers all the year around.
          (from the spring to winter)


          1. うむ、ピンピン元気でやってますよ!寒くなってきたし(5度)、風も激しくなってきたのに、風邪を引かないように頑張ります!ところで、日本はもう寒い?

          2. @天人

            元気でよかった〜! 5度? わあ、寒いですね。

  141. Hello Maggie,
    your blog is the best on the web!
    I had a question regarding the difference between に限り and だけは
    In the below sentence

    母に ( 限り / だけは ) どうしても本当のことを言わないといけないと思う。

    I thought choosing に限り would be ok, but it seems like its wrong, the だけは is the correct one. May I ask why is using に限り wrong?

    Thanks in advance

    1. 母に限り is not natural.
      Personに限り + what the person would do/limited to the person, what should/will be done.
      The person who tells the truth/who is thinking about the truth is the speaker/writer, not the mother.
      Please check my 限る/限り lesson.

      1. Thank you Maggie,
        Yes I did go through your 限り pages.
        My N2 book goes into very very much detail also so I have a good understanding ( I thought ) of all the use cases for it.

        I guess the same can be said about these 2 sentences:

        Since this person is the speaker itself, then would both of the above be correct?
        Just wondering when would you want to use うちに and when would you want to use 限り。 Both mean ‘while’, both could have an expiry date. So they are the same?

        Thanks in Advenced

        1. They both could be translated as “while” but in these cases
          足が丈夫なうちに〜 while one’s feet are in good shape
          足が丈夫な限り〜 as long as one’s feet are in good shape

  142. Hello Maggie,
    I did some questions in my book and I got this wrong so was wondering why I was wrong.
    1. 家がぐらっと揺れているうちに、本棚が倒れた。
    2. 家がぐらっと揺れている最中に、本棚が倒れた。

    I chose number 2, since I know that for 最中に afterwards there will be an unfavourable situation, but number 2 was wrong. Number 1 was correct,
    I understand the meaning of number 1, but just wondering why is number 2 not correct either?


    1. To be honest, the sentence うちに is a bit unnatural to me either but
      最中(さいちゅう)に is used while you are doing something/middle of doing something (action) and you don’t usually use it with state/condition.

      会議の(= 会議をしている)最中(さいちゅう)に

      家がぐらっと揺れている is the state.

  143. 今晩は
    Hello Maggie


    My name is Joakim,
    and I would like to ask a question.

    I have a confusing sentences (at least for me it is confusing enough)

    I found this sentence in JLPT N3 book

    1. Why it use 使わないで instead of plain 使わない or 使う
    As for my Japanese knowledge is still little from what I know,
    使わないで is used when you speak to other person as giving order/request
    like ぺんを使わないで (Don’t use the pen)

    2. What is the meaning of すませようとして, as for what I know the kanji used may be –> 済ます + よう + として

    3. Why できるだけ is located in the middle of sentence before を and not in the beginning before は or in the end after を

    I hope the these questions are not too much. I am sorry to ask so much in the beginning. Thanks before.


    1. こんにちは、Joakim

      1. ペンを使わないで(ください) means “Don’t use a pen”
      But that verbないで also modifies a verb which comes after.
      使わないで Verb = to do something without using/spending ~
      Ex. お金をあまり使わないで旅行をしたい。
      = I would like to travel without spending a lot of money.

      2. 済ませる = to get done something / to finish / to manage to do something
      →try to get done something/manage something 済ませようとする
      →te-form 済ませようとして

      3. 出来るだけ in that sentences modifies “敬語を使わない” but it can just modify 使わない as well. In that case, you can put it right before 使わない。

      1. こんにちはMAGGIE先生




        P.S 今カナダには夜の時間です

        The question is when can I use “adverb”
        Before は
        In the middle before を
        After を
        I will be glad if sensei can provide me more example.

        Since this is a good site. I am eager to improve my japanese skill more.


          1. 今晩は先生

            Okay this is the first example I have, It is before “は” situation


            Okay, what i find hard in this sentences is, they are just too long for a normal sentences.

            1. Can I divide the sentence like this?
            日本人の間だけでなく、日本語を勉強している外国人の間に = (adverb)
            日本語の敬語は = (subject)
            大変難しいものだという考え方が根強くあります= (object)

            I don’t know if I divide this sentence correctly or not? If I do a mistake on this, please correct me

            2. Can “だけでなく” in the sentence used after the particle “は” in “日本語の敬語は”

            3. What is 大変難しいものだという means? –> please explain about だという usage in this sentence. From what i know this is may be a quotation mark

            I’m good only with conversation and kanji up to N3 level. So this example barely get me any idea.

            I am sorry if the sentence too long, I hope it doesn’t bother you if I’m asking it.


          2. OK, before I help you understand the structure,

            Where did you get this sentence? I think it should be the other way around


            (Not just foreign people who study Japanese but also Japanese people feel Japanese honorific expressions are hard.)

          3. Dear Sensei,

            In my area there’s a bookstore that sells past JLPT exam paper. I’m just trying to analyze the material that I don’t know.
            I got this sentence from “dokkai” (読解) section.

            I’m pretty sure that this sentence is right because they have native japanese speaker as spell checker when they publish the book. (but book can be wrong sometimes, maybe)

            Yes, JLPT exam could be really confusing when someone is trying to be certified in N2 or N1 level (at least for me, I learned around 1000 kanji and still can’t get anything right)

            here is the whole first paragraph. Please notice that I only ask the first sentence.
            Just ignore the whole paragraph.



            P.S. (I feel they same way as 外国人)
            Sorry for double post, I got a wrong reply button.


          4. All right then, let use the original sentence.

            It may look a very complicated sentence but if you break it down, you will see the basic structure.

            (2) The main sentence is
            (the literal translation)
            There is/has been an opinion/a way of thinking

            (2) Now, it describes what kind of 考え方 opinion/way of thinking

            〜という is used when you quote, in this case「日本語の敬語は大変難しいものだ」 = Japanese honorifics are hard. (ものだ is used to explain some concept)

            = There is a way of thinking that honorifics are hard

            (3) who feel that way?

            日本人の間だけではなく = Not just among Japanese people but also
            外国人の間に = among foreign people
            So the main people are foreign people

            (4) How strong they feel that way?
            根強く means “strongly”

            (5) So the writer thinks, not just Japanese people but also foreign people strongly do feel that Japanese honorifics are very hard.

            Let me rephrase this with two easier sentences.

            →Now it gets closer to the original sentences.

          5. 素晴らしい

            When I look that sensei explaining everything in a detailed way,

            I think I will be your regular customer here.

            So, sensei in my area it is hard to find a native japanese who can speak english well.
            There are some of them but not too many. So I think, sensei must have a special skill in language too.

            Anyway thanks, When any issue is coming up. I will post my doubt here.
            I see the rule in comment section, So I don’t really ask for translate.

            My question maybe just about structure and the position in the sentences.


    2. Hello Maggie-sensei,
      thank you for your answer.
      Yes I am with you, I also think this book is wrong!! haha
      Why cant you make a study book, then you can beat all these other ‘big’ publishers who do not know what they are doing !!
      They make it more confusing than it should be,


  144. Hello Maggie, this is Mark,
    I like your blog.
    I had a question regarding the meaning of this sentence:


    Is this someone saying:
    I finished all the housework so if I like to, I will sleep now?
    or does it mean:
    I finished all the housework, now you can sleep if you want to?


      1. Thank you for your explanation Maggie.
        So for something to do in the future we use:
        What does おく mean?
        I thought it means to put something somewhere? no?
        Like put this book on the shelf, then you use おく?

  145. Hello Maggie,
    I like our lessons.
    I just want to confirm what this means in english:

    Does it mean:
    “Everything that I know I told to everyone. Now they ( all of the people I told everything to ) have to decide on my judgement.”

    What kind of situation would this pertain to? Someone getting arrested and in court in front of a judge, jury and executioner?

    Thx in advanced

  146. Hello Maggie,
    don’t the 2 following sentences mean the same thing?
    What is the difference between them
    They both mean I because able to buy ticket, correct?

    1. 買えることになった
    2. 買うことができた

    1. Actually the book said the 2 top phrases are wrong and that this one is right:

      Why is that?

    2. 1.
      1) Some products can be purchased now
      2) People in general can buy things now
      3) The speaker/writer couldn’t buy it before but now they can buy something now.

      2. The speaker/writer could buy something.

  147. Hello Maggie,
    I my text there are 2 sentences and I think they mean the same thing unless there is some kind of magic Japanese voodoo going on, I am not sure why they are different:
    1. 歩きながらタバコを吸わないでよ。
    2. 歩きつつタバコを吸わないでよ。
    My book says that number 2 is wrong and 1 is right?
    But I thought つつ and ながら mean the same thing?


    1. つつ and ながら both expresses when you do two actions at the same time.
      However, there are some difference between them.
      つつ is more literal and you tend to use it with a non-active verbs such as “to think” (思いつつ, 考えつつ).
      Also it is not natural to use in a negative command sentence. ~つつ〜しないでください。〜ないで

      Other differences:
      Ex. 大人になりつつある = becoming an adult (the process of becoming an adult) X You can’t use ながら
      Ex. 彼がいながら他の人と付き合う。= Though you have a boyfriend, you go out with someone else. X You can’t say いつつ

  148. Hello Maggie,
    I am reading the following senetnce from my book but cannot understand the logic:

    His foot is injured, BUT getting better, therefore he cannot play in the next match?
    Then why does he say his foot is getting better?
    He should just say that his foot is injured so he cannot play in the next match correct?


    1. 試合に出られる= “can plan in the game” not “can’t play”
      My feet are (My foot is) getting better so I think I will be able to play in the next game.

  149. I’m fairly certain I’ve done the first two parts correctly (I tried my best to follow your lessons!) … but the last part is without a doubt wrong!

    Does this make sense? Could you correct and explain my mistake?

    寿司は食べません。は魚が好きではありません。 調理されたまたは未加工の嫌〜。

    I do not eat sushi. I don’t like fish. Whether cooked or raw, I think it is disgusting.

    I know the last part has to be wrong – after struggling with it for a few days, I tried plugging it into google translate and got something completely different. 😂😂😂

    Thank you Maggie Sensei!

    1. 寿司は食べません。→OK
      は魚が好きではありません。 →I think it’s a typo. You don’t need the first は. The rest is fine.

      調理されたまたは未加工の嫌〜。→調理されたものも、生のものも、嫌です。(disgusting = You also say 気持ち悪いです。 *)

      * If someone serves/invites you sushi and you say “disgusting”, it sounds too strong.
      I would use the expression 魚は苦手(にがて)です。

      1. So the correct way to say it would be


        and then, the expression 魚は苦手です
        to say I am not good with eating sushi?

        Is there a polite way to turn down sushi,
        or other foods, especially if you have an allergy?

        1. My point is the word, disgusting, 嫌/気持ち悪いです may sound very strong when you turn down some food.
          You tend to avoid straight forward expression in Japanese. So instead of saying 嫌いです・嫌です,
          魚は生でも調理されたものもちょっと苦手です is safer to use.
          苦手 here doesn’t mean “not good at”. It means “I am not quite found of ~” and by adding “ちょっと ” you can soften your message.

          So the polite way to tell people is
          ごめんなさい。ちょっと〜は苦手で…(you can leave the sentence unfinished on purpose so that the listener can read between the lines)

  150. hey one of my friends told me something in japanese but i don’t understand it would you be so kind and translate it to me? it would mean a lot to me.

    so this is what they’ve said: 私は twitter で彼女に会った 彼女は可愛いと楽しいです私は彼女と話すのかして私たちは同じ音楽の味よって 私たち ワッツに何か話すことがあります 彼女は 私は本当 好きです愛してる

    what does this mean? thanks for reading it

    1. Hi, as I wrote in the description above, I don’t do the translation here.
      Also I think this person is not a native Japanese. (I think he/she is using Google translator.)

      Anyway, I will give you the gist just this time.
      This person meat “her” on Twitter. She is cute and fun and they have the same music taste. They talk about WaT and he likes her a lot. How’s that?

  151. Hello I was wondering if Japanese song lyrics use a different grammar than normal
    I was listening to a song with the lyrics
    I will write 2 of them here

    Eng translation says: I will hold your warm hands endlessly
    高く遠く響く調べ 大事に抱いて
    I’ll embrace that high, distant melody cherishingly

    My question is why is that the sentences here doesnt translate to

    “Hold my warm hands endlessly” and “Embrace that high distant melody cherishingly”

    Isnt て form used to “Request” someone to do something? But over here it has the same meaning as 繋ぐ and 抱く
    I am really confused now haha

    Thank you

    1. It is true that grammar in lyrics or poem are very different and it is very tricky to translate the lyrics.

      te-form can ben a request but it also describe how you do things

      Ex. 手をつないで歩こう
      = Let’s walk holding hands.
      (The main verb is 歩こう and 手をつないで describe how you want to walk)

      or “Do something “and” do something”
      Ex. 私たちは手をつないで、湖の周りを散歩した。
      = We held hands and walk around the lake.
      (It could be translated, We walked around the lake holding hands)
      The main verb is 散歩した

      So, you have to pay attention to what comes before/after and see if there is a main verb.

  152. Hello Maggie Sensei,
    I am having trouble understand the order of the forms:
    A ~に際して B
    Aにあ(当)たって B

    Do they men we have to do A before B, or do they mean we have to do B before A?
    The book I have is really crap, it does not explain anything.
    For ex it has the following 2 sentences:
    1. 新しく事業を始めるに当たって、しっかりと準備をしようと思っております。
    2. 工事関係者は工事を始めるに際した、近所の住民に挨拶をして回った。

    For 1, logically it would mean we have to do preparation first before staring a new company, so then the order is B, then A.
    For 2 does it mean they met with people first before construction, or at the time of construction or after construction?

    If it is at the same time as construction then couldn’t we also use ~際(に) ( same as 時とき?)

    Thanks in advance

    1. A ~に際して B  
      Aに当たって B

      mean “on the occasion of A,/prior to A, do B”
      So the order wise,
      You have to do B before A.
      1. You are going to start a new business so you have to prepare well in advance.
      2. Before they start the construction, they go greet people in the neighborhood

      While 当たって/に際して is used when you talk about something already decided, 際に means “in case of ~ “”when/if” so it could be used for hypothetical situations.
      = Let me know when you come to Japan.

      時に also means “if/when” for hypothetical situations.

      = Let me know when you come to Japan.

  153. Hello Maggie – Sensei,
    I came across these 2 grammar points, what are the differences between them?
    They both are for actions done after a certain event without the users volition:
    1. 。。たとたんに
    2. か。。ないかのうちに


    1. V1かV1ないかのうちに+ V2

      right after/ at the same time V1 + V2

      V1した途端+ V2
      right after V1+ V2

      They could be interchangeable when V2 happens right after V1.
      But V1かV1ないかのうちに+ V2 could be used when V1 and V2 are happening at the same time.

      When you use 途端+ you know one action V1 is over/completed. And right after that, V2 happens.
      When you use ~か~ないかのうちに, you may not know if the action V1 is completed.
      Also ~か~ないかのうちに expresses one’s surprised feelings that how fast something happens.

      They served a dessert right after/at the same time when I finished the steak.

      = They served a dessert right after I finished the steak.

  154. Hello Maggie-Sensei,
    can you explain what this means:

    Thx in advance

    1. Hello fynx gloire,
      I will help you on behalf of Maggie with that sentence.

      わがままを言う means “to act like a spoiled child / to be selfish” (lit. to talk in a selfish way).
      人を困らせる means “get someone into trouble / to badger someone with”.
      ~てはいけない implies prohibition (= may not / must not).

      All you have to do now is put all the pieces of the puzzle together.


      1. Thanks for your reply, but I already knew the meanings of each part of the sentence.
        I don’t understand the context.
        Who’s is talking to the mother?
        Or is the mother taking to someone else?
        Or is someone else describing the mothers actions of being spoiled?
        Who is spoiled?
        Is there only 1 person in this sentence or multiple?
        What does this sentence literally mean in English?


      2. Thank you @天人 for helping @fynx gloire!
        Excellent explanation!

        @fynx gloire!

        There are two possibilities.
        1) Mother is talking to her child.
        (Sometimes, parents refer themselves, お父さん、お母さん、パパ、ママ etc.)

        In that case, Don’t be selfish/Don’t act like a little baby and trouble me.

        2) Someone else is talking to a child*. (I said “child” but he/she could be a grown-up.)

        Don’t be selfish/Don’t act like a little baby and trouble your mom.

    1. Hi gatoulis


      1) similar to かなり (plenty, sufficient, considerable)

      to have plenty of money

      Ex. 彼は、相当、苦労したらしい。
      = I heard he had a really hard life.

      2) equivalent to

      = an article equivalent to 100 yen.

      Xより余計に = much ~ er than X

      Hmm I wonder why you asked me this form. Anyway
      much more than X

      = It got much worse than before.

      1. Hi Meisan

        I sometimes use Twitter to teach kanji. (Not stroke but reading and compound words) You can search on Twitter “kanji4day”
        I believe there are already great kanji sites where you can learn, stroke/meaning/reading. Use Google to find the sites. :)

  155. you know when someone is afraid of doing something or procrastinate and they need a little push to go and do the thing? so how do i say ~push~ in that specific situation?

    1. @ivan

      We have an idiom 背中を押す = senaka wo osu = to push someone’s back.
      = Dare ka ni senaka wo oshite moraitai.
      = I need someone to push my back

  156. Hi sensei!

    Often I hear and see Japanese people shortening words, such as (I’m not sure about the accuracy of what I wrote, but I think it’s something like this):


    I was wondering if there’s some pattern/rule for these and when/if they’re okay to use!

    Thank you!!

    1. @Sokei

      Hi Sokei,
      There are so many patterns but let me answer your question
      1)ない→ん is a dialect mainly in Kansai area but many other places use this pattern as well.

      (There are other contraction patterns with ん)



      ~い→drop い and add っ
      This is a very colloquial expressions

      check this lesson. 若者言葉

  157. みなさん、いつもマギーの部屋に来てくれてありがとう。
    Thank you for always visiting Maggie’s Room.
    I am going to take one week off from tomorrow.
    I will read your messages when I come back.

  158. お早う御座います先生!!






    1. やさしいメッセージありがとう!

  159. Hello!

    I am having a bit of a hard time seeing the difference between 当てるand 当たる. Mostly I want to know when you can/have to use 当たる but not 当てる and vice-versa.

    I have the same problem with 当てはまる and 当てはめる, and that makes me think there are a bunch of verbs that are similar in this way. Have you ever done a lesson about these kind of similar verbs?


    1. @reid
      The difference is,
      transitive verb: the verb that requires direct object
      intransitive verb: the verb which just takes a subject, something happens without taking a direct object.

      当てる transitive verb ボールを(バット に)当てる = to hit a ball (with a bat)
      当たる intransitive verb ボールが(バットに)当たる = a ball hits (a bat)

      当てはめる transitive verb Aを英語の言葉に当てはめる = to apply A to an English word
      当てはまる intransitive verb Aが英語の言葉に当てはまる = A applies to an English word

      I have 開ける(transitive) 、開く (intransitive) lesson. And a mini lesson on FB.

  160. Hi Maggie Sensei…!!!!

    Thank you for always being so kind .
    I think we all Japanese learner are so much blessed to find this website where our respect teacher(Maggie Sensei) always ready to help us and clear our doubts.

    Sensei please help me out for this.
    I am always making mistake to form the correct sentence.

    Like, in the start of the meeting what should be the Greetings (in Japanese) to thank all the participant to take out time for the meeting.

    Also, what should be the final greetings of the meeting.

    What would be the actual Japanese native speaker will use during these 2 cases in a business meeting.


    1. @パルキン

      Hello パルキン!
      I am the one who is blessed to have all these wonderful students in the world. :)
      There could be many ways to start/close a meeting but I will give you the most general one.

      The set phrase to start a meeting is
      本日はお忙しい中、(* meeting name に) お集まり頂きましてありがとうございます。
      = Honjitsu wa oisogashii naka, (meeting name + ni) oatsumari itadakimashite arigatou gozaimasu.

      the closing phrase is

      これにてmeeting nameを終わらせていただきます。有難うございました。
      = Kore nite (meeting name) wo owarasete itadakimasu. Arigatou gozaimashita.

  161. Hello Maggie Sensei,

    Hope you are good as usual. I dont understand the use of あのさ and  あのま
    in between the sentences.could you please explain me when to use both the words.

    1. あのさ is a casual expression that you use when you start your conversation, like “you know”/”hey” in English.
      あのま??? It must be a typo. You mean “あのな” or “あのね”?

    2. Thank you so much Sensei.

      It really helped.

      Looking forward for your kind support in future as well. :-)

  162. What’s the difference between「ことにする」と「ふりをする」 when using it to mean “to pretend”.

    1. Both mean “to pretend” in English but a lot of time ふりをする involved one’s physical reaction or movement.
      For example you saw something but pretend that you didn’t see anything, you may look in other direction

      ことにする is try to cover up the fact
      Let’s day I didn’t see anything.

      So when you are awake when you are supposed to be asleep, you pretend to be asleep when someone comes in your bedroom.
      寝たふりをする = Netafuri wo suru.
      You don’t say 寝たことにする = neta koto ni suru.

  163. I hear the phrase 別に(べつに)often in anime, but I don’t really understand what it quite means, and can’t quite find a good definition online. Can you explain the meaning+nuance, and also when it would be appropriate/natural to use this phrase?

    1. 1) 別にどうでもいい: when you are not interested or care.

      I don’t care. / Whatever.

      2) Nothing (special)

      Ex. どうしたの? What’s wrong? / Anything wrong?
      別に Nothing.

      It could be literally “nothing special” or especially young people use it when they don’t want to tell what has been bothering them.

  164. Hi sensei,

    How are you?
    I have a question about this. I know you have a lesson about negative tag questions and stuff. But this one is kind of confuse me, because it ends with a “yo”. So it’s not considered as tag question, right, sensei? But why does it ends janai yo. I understand its meaning, I just wanted to know why it ends like that?


    Thank you

  165. I was making a n3 simulation and I found this sentence that I cant understand. ふたりはそれから30年あまり、死がふたりを分かつまで幸せな結婚生活を送る _______ 。the options for the question were ことだ、ことになった、ことにした and ようになった.
    for me it was quite obvious that it couldnt be ことだ and ようになった, I thought it was ことにした but apparently the answer is ことになった. why the answer is ことになった? i need a translation of the sentence its quite confusing, especially because the first part until あまり doesnt have a verb.

    1. Hello ivan,

      here’s the translation => “They had a happy married life for more than 30 years, until the death separated them.”

      ことにした implies, that they had decided all by themselves to live their lives in happiness as a couple. They had absolute control of it.

      ことになった implies that fate, force majeure, act of God – or however you call it – made / arranged all the facts, so that the outcome was they could live their lives in happiness as a couple.
      This part 「死がふたりを分かつまで」tells you, which answer was right. The death is something you generally cannot control. The death decided, when their happy married life came to the end, and that’s why ことになった is the correct answer.


  166. Hello Maggie, thanks for all the work you put on the site :)

    I had a question regarding ずっと. I’m not exactly sure how to use this in sentences due to how it seems to have many meanings. Any clarification on how its used would be appreciated. I’ve been trying to find a word that fits forever in the sense of “I don’t want to work forever”, and I thought it might express it well due to the examples I saw.

    1. @Danny

      Hi Danny
      Yes, you can say ずっと(一生*)働きたくない。 = zutto (isshou) hatarakitaku nai = I don’t want to work forever”,
      一生( = isshou) is optional. It means “all my life”

      Other examples of ずっと

      for a long time.
      = Maggie keeps eating. / Maggie has been eating for a long time.

      When you are talking about future, forever

      = Zutto tomdoachi de iyou.
      = Let’s be friends forever.

      much more
      = Maggie is much prettier than Yukari.

      1. Thank you for your help ^^

        If possible, could I ask how you would express to someone in asking them to stop acting like a child?

        1. @Danny

          How about
          子どもじみたことは、しないでください = Kodomo jimita koto wa shinai de kudasai.
          子どもみたいな真似はやめて = Kodomo mitai na mane wa yamete.

          1. Hello Again, Sorry for bothering you but questions keep popping into my head. This must be a question about は, which seems to be the most confusing thing ever. But why is this used in the two sentences over を?

          2. @Danny

            The two sentences I gave you are kind of set phrases but you can use を as well.

            You use を as an object marker but when you emphasize, show the contrast or introduce something as a topic, you use は


            Ex. りんごは食べます。(I don’t eat many things but I eat apples.)
            Ex. りんごは食べません。(I eat everything except apples.)
            Ex. そのりんごは食べないで。(You can eat anything but not that apple)

  167. Hi, I just want to let you know you’re awesome, I always found your lessons really useful. They’re also cute.

      1. Hello I am going to start prepare for jlpt n2 firstly what should I study vocabulary,grammar,kanji
        Pls help

        1. @Niresh

          Hi, Niresh!
          You have to study everything. (vocabulary, grammar, kanji, reading and listening)
          Set your daily goal and study everyday! がんばって!

  168. Hello! Today I have a kanji question. Is 足 normally used for both leg and foot? Or is only used for one or the other?

      1. Oh, thanks a lot. If I may ask one more while talking about this kanji, is there any difference between 足りる and 足る?

        I love this site by the way.

  169. Hi Maggie sensei! I love this site so much; you’re so kind to help everyone and I know it must be so much work,so thank you so much :D <3
    I had questions today!
    1. I learnt in school that relative clause is something like (question in plain form)+ verb; eg マギー先生はどこに行ったか分からない ( :) ) and it would be translated as 'I don't know where Maggie went'. But I've noticed it being used in anime in ways I don't understand? Eg:
    – あきらめたんじゃないかと思った: translated as 'I thought you gave up' but I don't get how…
    – 死ぬかと思った : translated as 'I thought I was going to die', but I also don't get it…

    2. まるで時間がとんだみたい : Could you please explain to me why you use まるで and also みたい; isn't it repeating yourself, since まるで already means 'it's as if' and みたい means 'like (something)'? In English, wouldn't it be translated as 'it's as if it's like time jumped', which is a little weird because you'd just say 'it's as if time flew'?

    3. How come people sometimes say 彼女あり or 単身赴任がありますか when a girlfriend and 単身赴任 are not inanimate objects?

    Thanks so much Maggie sensei :) I feel like I can improve my Japanese with this site! I love you <3

    1. @Eva

      Hi Eva,

      1. You can say those phrasese

      When you express your doubts or surprised feeling you add か

      It maybe easier if you rephrase the sentence with ”direct speech” form.

      「あきらめたのかな?」と思った → あきらめたんじゃないかと思った:
      「死ぬのかな?」と思った → 死ぬかと思った

      2. まるで〜みたい is a set phrase. You can just use みたい but when you describe some extreme example you add まるで

      夢みたい = It’s like a dream
      the same meaning but you stress out your extreme example by adding まるで

      まるで夢みたい I can’t believe it!!

      It seems / I felt as if the time has flown by

      3. Generally when you are talking about the existence of people you are supposed to use いる
      However, it is not so common but there are cases that you use ある when you are talking about someone close to you or someone you areally care, such as family or boyfriend, girlfriend.

      As for 単身赴任, it means “to be stationed to work away from my family” so it is possible to use ある

  170. HELLO MAGGIE SENSEI .first of all i want to thank you for this great site and for sharing your experience with us i’m really grateful for that >>
    i have a little question here .. i have already read the lesson about using “tokoro ” with verbs but i can’t really get the meaning of it in this sentence “私は喜びのあまり踊り出すところだろう” i know that we use” dasu ” when someone starts doing something suddenly so i think it means” i would dance of joy”.. but why “tokoro” is here , will it give us the same meaning if we just deleted it? >> sorry if it’s too long , thank you in advance…

    1. @zaria

      Hello zaria
      It is quite common to use ところだった “I would have done something (but I didn’t)” and I would say it is a bit unnatural to use ところ and だろう together but
      verb+ところ in that sentence means “I would end up/I would have ended up starting to dance with joy”
      FYI ところ+だった has a meaning of “you almost did something”

    2. Hello zaria!
      ところ here implies that the speaker was on the verge of doing something / was about to do something.
      私は喜びのあまり踊り出すところだった = I was so happy that I almost started to dance.

      Maggie correctly pointed out, that だろう is unnatural here, because it would imply that the speaker is not sure about his own statement.

      ~だす implies, as you noticed, that something happened suddenly, uncontrollable.


  171. Sensei, I hope this is not a terribly difficult question to answer. Is it possible that some kanji were created not long ago? Because it seems to me that some kanji that express a really high number would difficult for the ancient Chinese to come up with. Am I underestimating them? I mean, in kanji like 溝 and 垓 according to jisho might mean a hundred nonillion and a hundred quintillion, respectively. Those numbers seem very high for that time, before industrial revolution and that sort of time. I apologize if I come as a disrespectful person towards ancient cultures, I just found it odd. Thank you very much :)

    1. @Jeffery

      Wow. It is a hard question. I don’t know when the kanji such as 溝 and 垓 are made but it seems like the numeration system itself came to Japan in 17th century from China.

  172. First of all, I’d like to say that I’m incredibly thankful for this site! It’s helped me a lot so far with little and big doubts I had about Japanese :D. I’m sorry if this is very basic question. Is it ok to use ヴ since Japanese doesn’t naturally have the “v” sound? Would a more conservative person look down on me for using ヴィinstead of び. Thanks in advance, sensei!

    1. My third full stop should actually be a question mark. :D
      And び should’ve been a ビ. I’m sorry, I’m new to microsoft IME and it’s quite tricky haha.

    2. @Rod

      Hi Rod.
      I am very happy to hear you find this site helpful.

      Yes, we do use ヴ instead of ビ
      For example the famous brands,
      LOUIS VUITTON is spelled, ルイ ヴィトン
      Victora’s Secret →ヴィクトリアズ・シークレット

  173. ど〜もマギー!🤗
    I finally can try out some of the greetings you told me. Yay! 😊😉

    I was just curious about this expression


    Could you please tell me a little bit more about it. 😊😉🤗

    Thank you for always helping me 😊😉

    1. @Chii

      Haha, げんき、Chii?
      I wonder if you follow me on Twitter but I recently posted a mini lesson on How to talk like a Japanese person.
      よいしょ is one of them. When you lift up something heavy or when you relax after a long tough day, you say よいしょ.

      1. @maggie

        No I am sorry😞 I am like a lonely dinosaur living without any social media 😂😅 but thank you I will check this lesson out its sounds really interesting 😊😉 do you post a lot like this lesson on your social media?

        Thanks again for your help 😊😉

        1. @Chii

          No worries. Living without any social media is nice actually.
          (But I do teach new vocabulary, slang words, grammar points almost every day on Twitter.)

          1. @ maggie

            Yeah it’s quite a better life 😊 Oh but that’s sounds really interesting I will try to check it out 😉🤗😊 ありがとう for the information and your help 😉😊

      2. @maggie

        But I have another question about this word:


        It’s used like an expression I think maybe for a compliment or something like that. Am I right?


        1. @Chii

          Hi Chii! You don’t need to apologize when you ask a question. You are always welcome here!
          すごすぎ is from すごすぎる
          すごい (great) +すぎる (too + adjective) →すごすぎる= too great

          1. @maggie

            Oh thank you 😊 I will try to not apologise that much 😉 thank you for the explanation 😊😉 so can I use it as a expression or reaction for something i am surprised or amazed off like saying: wow that’s too great/amazing/cool
            Am I right? Please correct me if I got it wrong 😊😉

  174. Hi sensei ^^

    Sorry, I have so many questions all the time. I looked up the word 参るand it says “to go, to come, to call”, “to be defeated, to collapse, to die”, “to be annoyed”, “to be madly in love”. I am so confused, because the sentence I read was


    Does this mean, “I have come in to visit?”

    Thank you.

    1. @yuuna

      As you said 参る has many meanings but this one is for 謙譲語(kenjougo) humble expresson.
      1) to go or to come (referring to your own action when you are talking to someone superior)
      2) V-te form + 参ります。= a humble way to say V-te 来ます・行きます

      Since 入れる has many meanings and I can’t tell what is the context but
      After the speaker 入れる (to put something in, to make tea/coffee, etc) and come back to where the listener (someone superior) is, you say 入れてきます。→(more polite and humble) 入れて参ります。

  175. やあ😊

    I have just a short question about には and し in this sentence:


    Also want does 認めない here mean could it mean “not accept”


    1. @Chii

      This に is an object marker
      You use は to show the contrast.
      Maybe other people can beat me but not YOU!

      And right, 認めない in the sentence means “not accept (the fact)”

      (Chii, are you a girl? I think you meant やあ as “Hi” which you might have heard in anime but it is not so natural in real conversation especially for girls. 😉)

      1. So the に and は stand on their own here . Thank you I thought they would make a new particle together. 😉😊
        Does the し here indicates a reason or does it is used as an “and” here?
        Also yes I am a girl 😊 Yeah I meant is as a greeting thank you for the advice can you please tell me a girlish greeting if you don’t mind😊😉

        ありがとうございます😊 for the great explanation above

        1. @Chii

          That し is “and (also)”
          We don’t actually use “hi” equivalent greeting in Japanese.
          Though it is translated as “やあ” in many books or dictionary sites, it is rare to hear that in real conversation.
          If you are a boy, there are some slang words, such as ちわっす/ちーっす (rough) but girls would just say
          こんにちは or more casual ど〜も!

          1. Oh thank you 😊 so the sentence would mean something like:
            You guys can’t beat me and (also) I won’t accept it.
            Is this right?
            Also thank you for the greetings I will definitely try them out the next time 😊😉🤗

          2. Yeah I got the meaning right 😊🤗thank you again for your help 😊😉 haha I can image your how you must have felt when you were reading my comment (something like oh god not again what a weirdo) 😂😊

  176. Hello Maggie sensei! It’s nice to talk to you again after so long. I have a really urgent question today for you! Please help me as you always do!

    What is the meaning of カテラン or カテラン上位? Is it a slang term? I can’t find it in any dictionary but I see a few Japanese people on twitter using it in a mysterious context. My brain has turned to cream trying figure out what it means but there is literally no explanation.

    It’s like it’s a secret joke that everybody is in on (Since quite a few people use it) and yet there is nobody who will tell me what it means. Quite frankly i’m going insane looking for answers. So…pleasepleasepleaseplease help me please.The River Puppy

    1. @The River Puppy

      カテラン is an abbreviation of カテゴリーランキング

      カテ from カテゴリ = category + ラン from ランキング = ranking
      →ranking by category
      上位 = higher ranking

      Hope you can sleep well tonight.

  177. やっぼ〜 🤗
    I am really sorry for bothering you that often maggie 😞 But I hope that this is not so difficult to answer for you

    So I have this sentence:

    その 勇気 だけ は 評価 し て あげ なく も ない わ。

    I kind of struggling with the 勇気 + だけは can the meaning of だけは be at least? and the 評価してあげなくもないわ
    I know it’s a noun + する construction and the verb あげる in its negative form and もない and わ is a feminine particle t
    But I still can’t figure out the whole meaning of the sentence. And also I have trouble to understand the ないもない construction even though I have read your lesson about it


    I am really sorry thank you for taking your time to answer my comments

    1. やぁ, Chii!
      だけは in this sentence means “at least”
      ~てあげる implies to do something for (the sake of someone else)
      ~なくは/もない is a double negation, which implies possibility = can, may be (literally it means “it is not that…”). も part. adds more emphasis in the sentence.


      1. やあ天人!🤗
        I will try it so maybe it mean something like this:
        At least you have the courage (to face me)
        At least I have to appreciate your courage
        At least you don’t give up/ try it

        That’s what comes in my mind 😅 I hope that I am at least get close to the real meaning 😉

        1. I cannot match the first part of the sentence with the second without wider context.
          その勇気だけは = Heaving that courage at least
          評価してあげなくもないわ = It’s not that I don’t appreciate

          We have to wait for Maggie ^ ^

          1. Yes even for me it’s hard to think of an fitting translation even though I know he context which is basically the following they have like a marathon contest and the person who said this is sure that she wins and I think she’s trying to unsettle the others before the event starts but that’s just my interpretation. I can imagine it could be something like:
            It’s not that I don’t appreciate you for having that courage at least
            Does this make sense? I don’t know it sounds a little weird though. But thank you for helping me anyway 😊 At least I have a little wired but fitting translation 😉

          2. Okay, knowing now the background we will have: “Well, I can’t say I don’t appreciate at least that courage of yours” (=> she values the courage of the other person, but still she knows that only just courage is not enough to win the marathon contest).


            PS the わ particle used here adds more emphasis to the statement.

          3. To be clear: “values the courage of the other person” => of the person she is talking with.

          4. @天人 & マギー

            Thank you so much for taking your time to explain the words and the grammar to me 😊😉 also thanks a lot for the great translations there way better than mine😊🤗👍

            Thank you for explaining the meaning of the action of the person to me so detailed and understandable 😊👍

    2. Thanks for answering Maggie sensei! It all makes sense now! You’re a lifesaver! XD

      PS: After reviewing my message, I see that there’s something I didn’t add! I didn’t mean to sign off my message with (The River Puppy) it just seems to have appeared! I paste the username in the right box but somehow it ends up in the messages section…

      Is there like a trick to using the message boxes? It’s just kinda weird. It’s not a big issue though, the site works great for the most part! Anyway, thanks for helping me yet again Maggie-sensei!

  178. Sorry for submitting another comment sensei but do you know of a Japanese-English dictionary which will give me example sentences AND whether the Japanese word is slang/formal/casual ect?

    I know but they don’t tell me if the word is formal/casual

    Thank you!!

    1. @Forest

      I recommend ALC as well or Weblio but as you said they don’t tell you whether the sentences are casual or formal.
      If you are not sure if it is safe to use or not, you can ask me here anytime.

  179. Hi Maggie Sensei!

    Can you give me some example sentences that have a plain verb with a ni particle and explain it’s purpose?

    For example, my Japanese teacher told me that I could say 日本人と面白い会話をするには、日本語の力はまだまだだと思います。What’s the translation of the “ni” in here?

    Thank you sensei!!

    1. @Forest

      If you are following me on Facebook or Twitter, I just released a basic usage of a particle に. Go check this link

      So the に+は in your sentence
      V+には = in order to do something (purpose)

  180. Dear Maggie Sensei,

    Thank you for creating such a useful website.

    Kindly help me to clear whether we can use ~でございます in mails also.

    ”以下のメールはXXさんのでございます.” just to be more humble in mail language.

    1. @パルキン

      Hello, パルキン

      You use ございます when you talk to a customers/clients or someone superior or their family. But the balance is very important. You have to use proper honorific expressions which match to ございます.
      So XXさん→XX様
      is better.

    2. Thank you Maggie Sensei!

      I just noticed I replied in the wrong post before, sorry :)

      The link doesn’t work. Do you have another link?

  181. Hey, Sensei!

    I recently started to take interest in the rich asian cultures and languages. Unfortunately, I live in a small town, where there aren’t any courses in Japanese, Chinese, and so on. I’ve learned other languages before, but I’ve had teachers who guided me. Since there are no physical teachers close by, I decided to learn Japanese by myself (not exactly na easy thing for a western person I guess).

    I was very happy and considered myself extremely lucky to find a website just as this. I think I am making some progress (although slower than I’d like) thanks to your lessons and answers. My question is regarding the learning itself.

    What would you consider the best approach to study Japanese? I think I can handle myself pretty well with both Hiragana and Katakana (well, at least I’ve memorized them). But, what would say I should focus on at first? I have a very limited vocabular and the basics of grammar.

    Is it best that I learn a fair amount of vocabular before studying further grammar? I mean, the basics like colors, days of the week, places, food, etc. Or should I go straight to the grammar and acquire vocabular along the way?

    Thanks for dedicating your time and effort into this amazing project. It gives me hope that there are people like you that produce quality contente available to thousands of people. I’m sorry if this question is a bit off topic ^^.