Maggie’s room

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 will not translate your personal letters, messages, lyrics or help your homework here.










2,834 thoughts on “Maggie’s room

  1. Hamada Hamada says:

    Hi maggie sensei
    Sorry for bothering you with my question but its because you are the only one i can understand from.

    I have tow question i hope you would help me with:
    A) what is the difference between の至り and の極まり and when to use them ?
    B) what is the difference between (によって VS 次第で when the meaning is :dependent upon ) ?
    and (によっては VS 次第では ) ?

    • Maggie says:

      @Hamada Hamada

      1) I think what you meant is the difference between 至り and 極み
      They both mean “extremely”

      (deeply moved, deeply impressed)
      至り is slightly more formal

      You use them both in some idioms and it sounds unnatural if you switch them.

      *noun の至り
      若気の至り= わかげのいたり= when one did something stupid and regret it blaming it on youth
      光栄の至り=こうえいのいたり= to feel very honored

      *noun の極(きわ)み

      贅沢(ぜいたく)の極み extremely luxurious
      疲労(ひろう)の極み extremely tired

      2) Just a gist.

      Nによって= 1) because of ~ (reason/cause)
      Ex. 台風によって壊(こわ)された橋(はし)
      The bridge which was destroyed by the typhoon.

      2) using something (by: way, method),
      Ex. その施設は人々の募金によって再建された
      = That facility was rebuild by the donation from people.

      3) depending on ~

      Ex. 人によって考え方が違う
      Everybody has a different opinion.

      N 次第で
      Depending on N , someone decides what to do/what someone is going to do

      It is similar to 3) above but you don’t say 人次第で考え方が違う

      Ex. 参加者の人数次第でもっと買い物をしなくてはいけない。
      = We have to buy more stuff depending on the number of the participants.

      →showing more contrast or emphasize the meaning によっては・次第では

      (Use Japanese dictionary on net to find out more examples.)

  2. Forest says:



    1.「私に」の意味は「To me]と聞きました。でも、時々、人は「私にとって」と訂正します。だから、私はまごまごです。
    To me, my dog is the most important being in the world.

    2.ごめんなさい、これから、英語で書きます。Do you also take suggestions here?
    For me, the most difficult part of Japanese is learning adverbs and emotions. I think they are so useful but it’s hard to find examples of their proper usage. If you have time, I’ll love it if you can have a lesson on emotions or adverbs!

    Thank you once again,

    • Maggie says:


      こんにちは、Forest! このサイトに来てくれてありがとう!
      2) のsuggestion、リクエストリストに入れておきますね。

      1)to me = 私に、私には・私にとって(は)

      You have to pick the right one depending on the context.

      * Give it to me. = 私に(それを)ください。(indirect object)  X You can’t use とって
      * It sounds like a good idea to me. = 私にはいいアイディアに思われる 
      (emphasizing “me”. It may not a good idea for other people but it sounds good to “me”)

      * Maggie is a very special dog to me.

      You can say either

      A: マギーは私にはとても特別な犬です
      B マギーは私にとって(は)とても特別な犬です。

      The difference: A& B have the same meaning and the translation is the same but It might be similar to the difference between “to me” and “for me” in English.
      (to me = には/ for me = とっては)

      To me, my dog is the most important being in the world.
      First you can’t skip は →には
      Also 世界に→世界で

      Since the dog is a special friend for you, it might be more natural to use とっては

  3. Stanic says:

    Hi maggie sensei!

    I have a question, I’m reading a Japanese book, and I’m having a hard time understanding one of the sentences:


    The above is a question yet when I translate it, it sounds more like a statement so I think I’m misunderstanding the context perhaps. This is how I translated it:

    “I think, although there’s an important discussion, at the time when Tanaka chan was not at the destination, everything except that was unthinkable?”

    That doesn’t seem right to me, also I’m confused about why there’s けど? at the end, isn’t it supposed to mean ‘but’?

  4. MasToppu says:

    Hi, Maggie Sensei! I have a question about “として”. Few weeks ago, I watched some Japan Variety show, and they use “として” and Verb-nai form. On that show, the girl said “Onna toshite mitenai ja-n!” then the guy answered with “Onna toshite mitenai wa!” I can grasp the meaning here. The girl asked the guy that if he see her as woman, and the guy say “Of, course!” like that was the fact that everyone know (is it correct?) But, I still confused about this form, because that was my first time found it. So, if you please, can you explain more about this form. Thank you.

    • Maggie says:

      @Mas Toppu

      Hi Mas Toppu,
      “Onna toshite mitenai ja-n!” You don’t see me as a woman/ You don’t treat me as a woman.
      “Onna toshite mitenai wa!” I don’t see you as a woman. Which means I am not attracted to you.

      So of course, as you said it is obvious that the girl’s gender is a woman. But otoko/onna to shite miru implies “to be romantically attracted as a man/woman”

  5. rin says:

    Happy New Year sensei!

    I have a question about hazureru like in this sentence. I know that word means to be disconnected; to get out of place, etc. But here can I interpret it as get myself of out of…Does it sound right that way? Thanks


  6. Hamada Hamada says:

    Hello maggie sensei,

    A) お百姓と、その息子を殺したヘビ




    B) 保育士の子ども無料で受け入れの保育所オープン 仙台:

    i found that i didnt understand the meaning of the grammar “~ようと and なか ….” when i was reading children stories.And an article from NHK news web.

    And generally what is the function of the particle と when it put at the end of the sentence because it exists a lot ?

    Please help! Thanks a lot!

    • Maggie says:


      Hello, hamadahamada

      1) 仲直りを[[しようと]]、言いに行きました。

      Since this sentence has a verb 言う, the function of と here is “quote marker”

      2) 問題[[となるなか]]

      This と is from an expression
      noun となる = to become ~ / to turn into ~ (showing the change)
      問題となる =become a problem

      3) [[掘り起こそうと] this modifies 受け入れることを決めた

      This と means “trying to do something, in order to do something”
      Verb volitional form (Ex. する→しよう、Ex.歌う→歌おう Ex. 起こす→起こそう) + と+ verb

      • Hamada Hamada says:

        Thank you so much for replying maggie sensei,
        sorry but i still can’t understand the whole meaning of 1) 仲直りを[[しようと]]、言いに行きました。?

        And for 3) [[掘り起こそうと] this modifies 受け入れることを決めた i just want to know why they stopped at と and did not put する after it to be 掘り起こそうとする ?

        • Maggie says:

          @Hamada Hamada

          1) He went to see the snake to tell him/her “Let’s make up!”
          3) Ah, because I said “trying to do something?”
          You don’t say する, You have to use volitional form + と
          It might be easier for you to think “with the intention of ~ ”
          掘り起こそうと+ verb (decided to accept ~ with the intention of finding new personnel)

  7. tedted says:

    hello maggie sensei…akemashite(sorry i have no japanese characters input,ill go by english then)
    i have a question sensei…whats is exactly the difference between “irai” and “buri”…this two grammar points are kinda easy but kinda of troublesome,why you say?in some practice test sites these two sometimes appear in the same set of choices.when i look over the net which is more optimal for usage and how exactly they should go,no results comes out…
    how should i do this..?

    thank you sensei and again ..happy newyear…

    • Maggie says:


      以来 ( = irai) and ぶり(= Buri)

      I have a lesson on ぶり

      You usually use ぶり when something happens / You do something for the first time in certain period of time.

      Ex. 3年ぶりに雪が降った
      = Sannen buri ni yuki ga futta.
      = It snowed for the first time in three years.

      You can’t replace the example above with 以来
      X 3年以来雪が降っていない

      Ex. 1ヶ月ぶりに彼女に会った
      = Ikkagetsu buri ni kanojo ni atta.
      = I saw her for the first time in a month.

      You can’t say
      X 1ヶ月以来彼女に会った
      = Ikkagetsu irai kanojo ni atta.

      以来 (= irai) means “since”. You have been(or haven’t been) doing something since certain time/ It has been (or it hasn’t been) certain state since certain time.

      Ex. 2013年以来、雪が降っていない
      = Nisen juu san nen irai yuki ga futte inai.
      = It hasn’t snowed since 2013.

      You can’t say

      Ex. 先月以来、彼女に会っていない。
      = Sengetsu irai, kanojo ni atte inai.
      = I haven’t seen her since last month.

      You can’t say
      X 先月ぶりに彼女に会っていない
      = Sengetsu buri ni kanojo ni atte inai.

      • tedted says:

        so in the end the noun next to the grammar point matters the most,if its a value like sanshuu(3weeks),ichinichi(oneday),ikagetsu(one month) buri is to be used.
        but if something like a specific time(oh i get it now) like 2013 which is a year or sotsugyou(graduation) irai is used….

        thank you very much maggie sensie..
        sankou ni narimashita,kore wa…

  8. Zetsuboumanadeshi says:

    あけましておめでとうございます、マギーちゃんとゆかり様。旧年は格別のご厚情を賜り誠にありがとうございました。本年もご指導ご鞭撻の程よろしくお願い申し上げます。 !formingheart3! (堅苦しすぎだと分かっているけど…) !JYANE!

    この前の四ヶ月は漢字に目を向けて、文法なんて時間がなかたから、マギー先生のレッスンをなかなか怠ってしまったんだけどさあ。ごめなさい。 !cryingboy! 今や漢字の奥義をしっかり体得しましたので、今年は再びマギー先生に専心するつもりです。 :maggie-small:


    • Maggie says:




  9. Wyatt says:

    Just fyi your page 5 on grammar is missing the previous entries/next entries button

    Great lessons thouugh :)

    • Maggie says:


      Hi, Wyatt
      Thank you for your comment. It could be because there are no more lessons tagged as Grammar. (I probably didn’t include the tag in early days.)

  10. rin says:

    Welcome back sensei, How was your vacation?
    I have a question, when you use this (….光るものがあるよ) for a person. Can you say he/she is bright or brilliant?


  11. 天人 says:


    • Maggie says:


      ただいま〜 !onpu!
      みんな頼りになる天人さんがいてラッキー! :)

  12. hamada hamada says:

    Hi everyone, i have 2 question i need help with,
    1- what is the difference between the [Prefix 異 and , suffix 差 both means : difference or different ] and when to use one over the other ?

    2- what is the difference between the grammar patterns [ にしろ~にしろ and にしても~にしても bothe means : whether… or… /egardless of whether] ?
    Thanks in advance

    • 天人 says:

      Hello hamada hamada,

      regarding your first question, I wouldn’t consider it as a difference as such, I would say that there are simply fixed words (漢字 combinations), which you have to memorize. One of them begin with 異~, other one end with ~差. For example: 異性 = the opposite sex, 性差 = sex difference | 異国 = foreign country, but there’s no word like 国差.

      異 = 他と違っていること。また、他と異なった意見。
      差 = 物事と物事の間の性質・状態・程度などの違い。

      Regarding your second question, there’s no difference neither in meaning nor in usage between にしろ、にせよ and にしても.
      But if you have some knowledge about Classical Japanese, then you will find out a few subtle differences.
      せよ is the 命令形 of the classical verb す, whereas しろ is the 命令形 of the modern verb する, therefore にせよ may sound a bit more old fashioned (or let’s say formal). Both にせよ and にしろ are more likely used in written language. にしても is used in spoken language and it is far more modern than にろ or せよ.

      ( `・∀・´)ノヨロシク

      • Maggie says:

        @hamada hamada @天人

        Thank you for helping hamada hamada, 天人!!

      • hamada hamada says:

        Thank you so much for your answer 天人

        I was looking up for those kanji on jisho dictionary and it was listing that the kanjis 差 can be used as suffix and 異 as prefix, so, i was just wondering if there is any difference ? but from what are saying i can’t use neither 差 nor 異 freely am i right or can i ?

        And about にしても and にしろ your answer is more than enough thankks , great explanation

  13. Keith says:

    Hello Maggie sensei, I love your website! It is very helpful!
    I just had a question:
    Why is it alright to say 気持ちのいい朝? I thought it was 気持ちがいい朝? I was confused; I didn’t think you could substitute の for が like that?
    Thank you, you are great!

    • Keith says:

      Sorry, did not see your post about taking a holiday! I hope you have a fantastic time!

    • Maggie says:


      Hi Keith,
      I am leaving in 1.5 hours. :)
      I am making a lesson on this subject. When you modify a noun, you can use の as a subject marker.
      気持ちがいい朝 =気持ちのいい朝

      私が食(た)べるごはん= 私の食べるごはん
      The meal that I eat.

      私がみた映画(えいが) = 私のみた映画
      = the movie that I saw

  14. Maggie says:

    明日(あした)から1週間(いっしゅうかん)、 お休(やす)みをいただきます。
    質問(しつもん)やコメントには、また帰(かえ)ったらお返事(へんじ)しますね。 :maggie-small:

    Hi everyone!
    Thank you for always visiting this site.
    I will take one week vacaation from tomorrow. I will reply to all your comments and questions when I come back.
    Love you all! ❤️

  15. Jasmine says:

    Hello Maggie sensei!
    I just had a question about this sentence I heard in an anime the other day:
    迷うことがない. The translation was ‘there is no need to hesitate’, but how does 迷うことがない translate into that? If it was ‘there is no need to hesitate’, wouldn’t it be 迷うことが必要がない or something like that?
    Thanks :)

    • Maggie says:

      Ex.そんなことで争うことはない = No need to fight over such a thing
      Ex. そんな言い方はない = You shouldn’t talk like that
      Ex. そんなことやることはない= You don’t have to do that.

    • 天人 says:

      Hello Jasmine,
      ことはない is also translated as: there is no need to (=> doing A is not necessary).
      迷うことが必要がない => 迷う必要はない

      I’d like to ask Maggie, whether there’s a difference between 動詞+必要はない and 動詞+ことはない, because I don’t see any.
      I think 必要はない is sounds a bit more formal and implies an air of duty / responsibility, ex. 歯医者に行く必要はない.

      • Jasmine says:

        Oh, I see! Thank you both very much! I didn’t know that ことはない could also mean ‘there is no need to’! Thanks very much, I understand now. :)

      • Maggie says:


        In conversation, we say
        much more than 行くことはない/行く必要がない

        行くことはない shows speaker’s strong opinion.
        必要はない can be more objective and as you said it sounds more formal and implies one’s duty. You say that when you focus on the necessity or obligation.

        ことはない is often used for suggestions for other people.

        When you are talking about yourself,
        I don’t need to/have to go to the dentist anymore.
        You say
        もう歯医者に行かなくてもいい I don’t have to go to the dentist anymore
        もう歯医者に行く必要がない There is no need for me to go to the dentist
        but if you say

        It shows your strong will. I will never go back to the dentist anymore.

        • 天人 says:

          This ことはない pattern is more interesting than I thought.
          One last question, Maggie. You said that ことはない shows speaker’s strong opinion, which I totally agree. If there are strong emotions implied, shouldn’t be better to translated it as “should not” instead of “needn’t / don’t have to”? In other words, I think that そんなことで争うことはない = you shouldn’t fight over such a thing.
          So is it more like “shouldn’t” or more like “needed / don’t have to”? That’s the question.

  16. Jon says:

    Hello, Maggie-sensei!

    I hoped you could maybe help me with a sentence:


    It sounds like a proverb or saying about the passage of time, but I don’t understand the meaning. As for context, it’s the opening line of an epilogue in which a character describes what happened a few years later (あれから数年が過ぎて…).


    • Maggie says:


      Hi Jon

      黙っていても The literal meaning is “even if you keep silent”
      But it simply means “not doing anything”/”very easily”

  17. rin says:

    Hi sensei,

    Can you help me understand these. I can’t seem to figure it out. Thanks

    • Maggie says:


      This is unfinished sentence.
      Sorry I don’t do the translation here but I can help you understand the words and structure.

      自分を棚にあげる= To be blind to one’s own shortcomings
      弱いものいじめする= bully the weak
      悲劇ぶる = overreact and play the victim
      いじける = be sulky
      ~奴 = guys, people (rough speech )
      plural 奴ら


  18. art says:


    I know this is too much to ask but, is it possible for you to make a JLPT section in your website to help JLPT takers, like me, study grammar points specific to each JLPT level?


    • Maggie says:


      Are you going to take JLPT this weekend?
      I think I have covered a lot of grammar points on this site but will keep making more and more grammar lessons in future as well.

      • art says:

        Yes. I took it yesterday. Had a hard time in the 文字・語意 part. I don’t think I’m gonna pass. !cryingboy!

        What I mean about my post is categorizing grammar points to its JLPT level so that JLPT takers can use your blog as study guide. It’s just a suggestion, though. I don’t want to make you feel like I’m forcing you to. :-D


        • Maggie says:

          Thank you for your suggestion.
          I understand what you meant. My lessons are very random and not systematic for test takers.
          As I wrote in About Us page, the purpose of this blog is not to teach Japanese for the exams. Of course, I am happy to hear people use this site for the exams.
          We’d rather forcus on practical Japanese for fun. Also I try to include the information for all the different levels so it might be difficult for me to categorize by the JLPT level.

          • art says:

            Yes. I’ve read about that, it’s just that it’s very difficult to find a blog that is consistent and entertains feedbacks.

            Anyways, thank you for hearing me out, マギー先生! I understand that it’s really difficult to do. Looking forward to more of your lessons! :-D

          • Maggie says:


            Thank you,too again.
            Hope you visit this site again to have fun learning Japanese. :)

  19. noel says:

    Hi, I found this phrase in a configuration area/settings menu of a video game.
    the two options for it is “SURU” and “SHINAI”

    I know the individual meanings of the words, including the fact that “toki/ji” is acting as a suffix for ‘toriga-‘ and “解除” meaning cancellation. I just can’t make sense of the overall meaning.

    Does it mean “cancellation of skipping when it triggers”? Problem is, I’m not sure if I’m even correct.

    • Maggie says:


      Hi noel,
      What are you playing? STEINS;GATE?
      Yes, you got the meaning. 
      Unlock (or cancel) Skip mode for (phone) trigger.

      • noel says:

        Precisely! Steins;Gate 0 actually. I tried playing through it. I only understood a bit though, but when I decide to just fast forward blindly, I got the Leskinen ending, which I didn’t read/understand at all. The Japanese in that game is very difficult. For instance, this word 齟齬 (sogo), meaning inconsistency. How many people you met actually used this word?

  20. rin says:

    Hi sensei,

    I have this sentence, but I’m not sure one thing. So could you please help me
    The jibun here is his or the speaker? I’m not sure about the first part


  21. John Smith says:

    Excuse me; I have difficulties with knowing when to use 煮る and ゆでる.
    What is the difference between the two?
    Thanks for the lesson though! It helped me out a lot.

    • Maggie says:

      @John Smith

      Hi John
      I assume you just checked my cooking lesson.
      煮る is to simmer, to cook with soup stock, sauce.
      ゆでる is to boil in hot water.

  22. Pete says:

    Dear Maggie-Sensei.
    I have been using your website a lot while I have been reading and running into Japanese grammar that I didn’t understand.
    Your website is great! I just wanted to thank you very much for all the help you’ve given me.

  23. Jatnika says:

    Good Evening maggie-sensei, I have another question as to know what’s the different between this following adjecvtive word 小さい and 小さな and also 大きい and 大きな. as far as I’ve been studying those adjecvtive should be in i-adjective, but sometimes I heard the conversation going is using 小さな and 大きな, do that those adjective can be used as na-adjective as well? does that those special adjective is interchangeable between i-keiyoshi and na-keiyoshi? thanks in advance

    • Maggie says:

      @ Jatnika
      1) First 大きい is adjective and 大きな is adnominal adjective (連体詞)

      You can modify a noun both with 大きい and 大きな
      a big dog

      = 大きい犬 or 大きな犬

      However when you say “This dog is big”

      You can say
      but you can’t say

      2) The difference between


      The difference is very subtle.
      大きい犬 is subjective. It simply describes a big dog. The dog is obviously big for everybody.
      大きな犬 is more objective. The speaker/writer thinks that dog is big.

      Also 大きな, 小さな is used in more poetic expressions. Therefore you see more in lyrics, song or story titles.

      「小さな草原 」= small grass plain
      「小さな秋」 = small autumn
      「大きな古時計」 = old clock

      3) Special expressions

      Certain set phrase use one of them.
      大きなお世話 = none of your business
      大きな口をたたく = to talk big
      大きな顔をする = to behave as if one is someone important

  24. rin says:

    Hi sensei,
    How have you been doing? Glad to see your site up and working again!!
    Sensei, can you explain this to me. I understand tsukiau, but how can you say in english in this form?


    • Maggie says:


      Hi rin,
      I am very happy that the site has been working for a week without being hacked. :)
      付き合おう You mean volitional form? You use it when you suggest something.
      Let’s ~
      But the most natural translation in English will be
      Do you want to go out with me? / Do you want to be my boyfriend/girlfriend?

      • rin says:

        I see, so I can use “Let’s” with that.
        Your site was hacked top?? Oh no, I know not long ago Twitter, Amazon, and other major sites were hacked. It was a chaos for a while.
        But I’m glad it’s up and working again.

        Thank you as always sensei !heart3!

  25. Jatnika says:

    Maggie sensei, good evening, here I wanna know about this word やってみったら, it is combination between the word やる and conditional particle たら. thanks in advance. what it is mean and how to use it?

    • Maggie says:


      やってみたら? (If it is a suggestion) Why don’t you try?
      If it is a statement, conditional. After I tried.. やってみたら簡単(かんたん)だった = I found it out easy after all.

  26. リディア says:

    I’m slightly confused; there are so different words for describe time… !nemui!

    • Maggie says:


      「先日」も「この間」も同じ意味です。the other day
      「先日」is used in a formal conversation, business letters, etc.

  27. ivan says:

    4 questions
    1- when a question ends in だと?. what the person wants to say?
    2- what まさかの means?
    3- what is the difference between そうですね and そのとおりです?
    4- can the perticle ところ be used to mean 「almost」? 落ちるところだった/I almost fell. i saw this sentence a few days ago.

    • Maggie says:

      1. You mean like “〜だと?”
      If so, it is a male speech. The speaker intentionally left the question unfinished.
      〜と言うのか?= You are saying ” “?
      You express your surprised feelings or accusation. (Ex. I can’t believe you say that.”

      2. まさか is something you can’t believe.
      まさかの+noun Ex. まさかの出来事(できごと)When something unbelievable happens. Incredible things

      3. そうですね is lighter than そのとおりです

      4. Yes. ところです means “almost and to be about to do something”
      いま、でかけるところです。= I am about to leave.

      • ivan says:

        about だと here is one of the examples i found:水と塩だけで光るLEDライトがあるだと!?

        • 天人 says:

          Hello ivan,
          in this case だと implies the feeling of surprise / astonishment and – like Maggie said – the speaker intentionally left the question unfinished.
          In direct translation 「水と塩だけで光るLEDライトがあるだと?!」 means: Are you telling me, that there are LEDs (/LED lights) that shine only by [using] water and salt?!
          Besides 「~があるだと」 is grammatically incorrect. It should be 「~があるんだと?!」.


  28. 天人 says:

    Hello Maggie!
    Could you please explain me, why in the sentences below とする was used? What implies とする used in sentence no 1, 2 and 3?
    Here are the sentences:
    1. もしも私が一言にして生命の定義を下さなければならないとするならば、生命とは創造であるということである。(とする = if[=> but I’m not sure…])
    2. 久しぶりに会ったんだから、酒でも飲みながら、昔話にでも花を咲かせるとするか。/今夜は勉強しなくてもよい。しばらくテレビでも見るとするか。 (とするか = maybe let’s…)
    3. この会の名称はE.S.S.とする。 (とする = to call)

    According to とする has 3 meanings and – in my opinion – the とする used in these above mentioned sentences doesn’t fit to any of them, or maybe am I wrong?


    • Maggie says:


      Hi 天人さんん!


      1. 〜とするならば this is a hypothetical sentence. とすれば、とするならば (= としたら)
      It’s like “ Let’s say ~~ “ / Let’s say ~ for argument sake in English.

      2.3 : to express one’s decisions, what you are going to do. (It doesn’t matter if you have a listener or not. It is often used when you are talking to yourself.)
      1. light one.
      Why don’t I do ~

      3. is more formal. We decided to name this assotiation ” ~ ”
      There are many usages of とする. You also use it when you declare something. I declare ~ (formal)

      • 天人 says:

        Thank you very much for the clarification of this case, Maggie.

        Two additional questions regarding the とする usage in the 2nd sentence.
        1. How far does it differ from にする?(EX 今夜は勉強しなくてもよい。しばらくテレビでも見るにするか。)
        2. How far does it differ from ことにする?(EX 今夜は勉強しなくてもよい。しばらくテレビでも見ることにするか。)

  29. Layol7 says:

    Hello, Maggie sensei..
    I know that I should not post lyrics but I know the translation for it
    and just want a little guidance for word order structure.
    I know that the typical word order structure is S-O-V.
    However, it can be changed…
    朝日に光る 果てない海を
    四角に切って さあ勝負始めよう
    which is the correct translation for the two lines above
    is it A/ (An endless sea shines in the morning sun
    Cut into squares) and let’s get this match underway!
    Or B/ (shines by the morning sun the endless sea
    that cuts into squares) and let’s get this match underway!
    or C/ cut into squares the endless sea in the morning sun that shines
    What is between parentheses is my concern…

    could you clarify who is doing what?, the verb (hikaru) is modifying the word sea or not?
    the verb (kitte) is imperative or not meaning like I order you (to cut)

    I would greatly appreciate if you could clear this up, consider it word order explanation

    Yoroshiku Onegaishimasu…

    • Maggie says:


      Hi Layo17, probably the close translation is C.
      Cut object (the endless ocean which shines in the morning sun) into squares and let’s ~
      切って = to cut and….(move onto the next action)

  30. Maggie says:

    OMG!! It is finally working.
    I am so sorry that the site has been down.
    It may take more time to fix it completely but please do not forget about me.

    When it is down again, bookmark this link. You can see some of my old lessons.

    • 天人 says:


      • Maggie says:


        覚えてくれてありがとう! :maggie-small:
        毎日、ハッカーと戦っていますよ。完全に直るまでまだ時間がかかりますが、こうやってmaggie’s roomで少しでもお話できてよかったです。 boucingheart!

        • The river puppy says:


          • Maggie says:

            @The river puppy
            なかなかアクセスできなくてごめんなさい!このサイトはみんなのものです。がんばってハッカーがこないサイトにしますね。 :maggie-small:

  31. Selen says:


    I am writing to you because I have two questions about Japanese word order. I double-checked my literature and the Internet but I couldn’t find any answers on my specific question.

    So, I know that “あそこに犬がいます” means “there is a dog over there”(you don’t know the dog and the people you are speaking don’t know it either).
    If you say: “犬はあそこにいます” or “犬はあそこです”, it basically means “the dog is here”, and everyone knows which dog you are referring to, as it is the sentence topic.

    So, I wonder how you would say “the dog is here” when other people don’t know which dog you are referring to (e.g. because they haven’t seen him yet), but you do know which dog it is (maybe because it is your dog). I have learnt that in this situation, you need to use が to introduce the new subject for the conversation.
    Which sentence would I use in this case?
    “犬があそこにいます” or “あそこに犬がいます”? Is one sentence correct (for this meaning) while the other isn’t? Does word order actually matter? Does one sentence sound more natural?

    My second question is very similar:
    I know that “病院はどこにありますか” and “病院はどこですか” both mean “Where is the hospital?”. So you know that there’s a hospital somewhere, and you ask for directions, and your conversational partner also knows which hospital you are referring to.

    But how to ask “Where is a hospital?”, when you are not even sure if there is a hospital somewhere, or when your partner may not know which exact hospital you are referring to (so you need to introduce it with が), or both? I think this is very likely to happen when you search for something and ask people on the street. Would you ask:
    “病院がどこにありますか” or “どこに病院がありますか”? Again, is one sentence correct (for this meaning) while the other isn’t? Does word order actually matter? Does one sentence sound more natural?

    I double-checked everything I could find about constructions withある and いる, but I couldn’t find answers to these specific questions.

    Thank you very much in advance!!!
    Have a nice day!

    • Maggie says:


      こんにちは、 Selen! 面白い質問ですね。

      1) You decide what to say depending on the speaker’s view.
      If a speaker knows what dog they are talking about, (私の探していた)犬は、あそこにいます・いました。
      (You sometimes use past tense even if the dog is still there.)

      But in conversation, you skip the subject or use the name of the dog.

      2) Even if you don’t know which hospital you are talking about, if you are sure there is a hospital, then you can say
      It implies (ここから一番近くの= the closest hospital)

      You don’t usually say
      “病院がどこにありますか” or “どこに病院がありますか”?

      The most natural way to ask someone whether there is a hospital or not is


      You don’t use どこに.

      • Selen says:


        I am happy your site is back and works again!

        Thank you very much for your answers, they are really helpful.
        I think this aspect of Japanese language is most difficult. For the moment, I’m not in Japan, so I can’t ask native speakers, and my Japanese language book does not help either.

        1) Can we even say “犬は、あそこにいます”, when the people we are speaking to are not aware of the dog? I’ve read that は can only be used if everyone (not just the speaker) is aware of the topic, and that we have to use が to introduce new information that the people we are speaking to are not aware of.

        2) This is really interesting, I didn’t know you could use は in this situation. The books give only basic information about topics. I think this is difficult for beginners learning Japanese.
        Could we also say: “病院はこの辺にありますか”, that is, change word order of the sentence, without changing the meaning too much?

        3) If you don’t mind, I would like to ask a very similar question. When we want to say: Yesterday, there were flowers at school. Would we rather say:
        “昨日学校で花がありました。” like when we say “東京でお祭りがありました。”


        • Maggie says:


          I’m sorry. The site hasn’t fixed yet. It will take a while..
          Anyway, let me answer your questions.

          1) It will be strange if you say 犬はあそこにいます。if the listener is not aware of the dog.

          2) この辺に病院はありますか is more natural than 病院はこの辺にありますか

          Right. Unless you are pretty sure that there is a hospital somewhere you don’t say

          3) Not natural.
          I would use 見ました instead of ありました。

          If you have seen beautiful flowers were blooming,

  32. Karin says:

    Good morning/afternoon/evening/night Maggie Sensei!
    I have this question that what does 与えることだけはできたらしいさ mean in English?
    I know that 与える means ‘to give’, ことだけ could mean ‘only thing’ but what is できたらしいさ?
    I would be very happy if you could help me :D
    With greetings, Karin.

  33. art says:







    • Maggie says:


      and, with, quote marker, condition marker.

      「〜とする」 = to regard ~ as / to make it ~
      という意味ですが、「終了とします/ 終了ということにします」は、文章の内容にもよりますが、to end something with certain condition/state. という意味です。


  34. Ori says:

    hello maggie-sensei! 今までたくさん教えてくれた ありがと <3
    私は今漢字を勉強したいんだけど、どこから始まればいいの? 常用漢字?
    thank you for taking the time to read this! :purple:

  35. Berry says:

    Dear Maggie Sensei,

    I wanted to post my question at the bottom of the relevant lesson, but somehow the page didn’t display my comment. So I’m trying to write it here.

    I understand the difference between あげます and くれます, I only have one question regarding もらいます.
    (I’m sorry if someone has already asked that, there were so many comments that I couldn’t read all of them.)

    I know where the position of わたし should be in senteces using あげます and くれます.
    I’m just not sure where わたし can be if I say もらいます.

    I know it can be in the beginning, eg. I received money from my mother: 私は母からお金をもらいました。
    But if I want to say: “My mother received flowers from me”, can is say: 母は私に花をもらいました。?

    Thank you very much in advance!


    • Maggie says:


      Hi Berry. Sorry. I found your four messages. They went to SPAM folder for some reason. I erased the other three messages.

      Q: I know it can be in the beginning, eg. I received money from my mother: 私は母からお金をもらいました。
      But if I want to say: “My mother received flowers from me”, can is say: 母は私に花をもらいました。?

      Yes, technically you can say 母は私に(or から)花をもらいました。
      Since the speaker is a giver, it will be more natural to say 私は母に花をあげました。

      But if the third person gave flowers to the speaker’s mother, you can say

      (I will leave the same Q&A in あげる&もらう lesson in case you check there.)

  36. reid says:

    Hello! I have a small question today. How do I say phrases like “She can do whatever she wants”, or “he can do whatever he likes, it is his decision”? I can think of some individual words, but it gets harder to put the together in a sentence.

    • Maggie says:


      Hello reid,
      want to V = V たい (= tai)
      whatever S want to do = Vたいことはなんでも( = V tai koto wa nan demo)

      “She can do whatever she wants”
      =Kanojo wa yaritai ktoo wa nandemo yaru.

      “He can do whatever he likes”
      = 彼はやりたいことはなんでもできる。
      = Kare wa yaritai koto wa nandemo dekiru.

      The last sentence is
      It is his decision.
      = それは彼の決めたことだ。
      = Sore wa kare no kimeta koto da.

      But it may not sound natural to attach to the previous sentence.d

      Hello reid,
      want to V = V たい (= tai)
      whatever S want to do = Vたいことはなんでも( = V tai koto wa nan demo)

      • reid says:

        Oh thanks! It seems so simple, why couldn’t I think of this? hahahaha. I should have thought harder. Another question, does that sentence have the meaning of the person being transgressive? I was thinking about using 勝手に. Would it be like “彼女はやりたいことはなんでも勝手にやる”?

        • Maggie says:


          Sorry. The site has been down so it took me a while to get back to you.
          While やりたいことはやる can be both positive or negative.
          勝手に has a negative nuance and implies she is a selfish person or she doesn’t care about other people or any circumstances.

  37. Hamada Hamada says:

    Hi Maggie Sensei, it’s me again and thank you for your efforts.
    I have 2 questions i hope you help me with, A) what are the essential differences between の and こと in verb Nominalisation? And are there a set rules for it cause its really something tiring , And really can i make verbs in to nouns by changing the U sound into I sound does it apply for all verbs or for just a set group of verbs ?

    B) Please tell me how to use なり it has a lot of variations with different meanings and different usages? Is it exactly adverb, noun or particle?

    C) What is the difference between ともすれば and 勝ち Suffix ?

    sorry if its a long question but i can’t find any direct answer anywhere, please make it easy for me to understand.

    Thank you.

    • Maggie says:

      @Hamada Hamasa

      Before I answer, as you can guess from the size of my lesson, this space is not enough to answer all the details. So my answer may not be sufficient for you. ( As I said above, I can only answer one or two simple questions here.)
      But I’ll give it a try. :)

      Q1: Most of the time they are interchangeable.

      The difference:
      You only use の with the following verbs.

      感じる、聞く、聞こえる、見る、見える、感じる、祈る、希望する、手伝う、待つ、助ける, etc.

      X 歌っていることが聞こえる

      X 船が近づいていることが見える


      Also you only use こと when you talk about one’s experience ことがある
      You don’t say

      X 納豆を食べたのがあります

      こと & の is on my request list but I think there are many books or sites that cover this theme.

      Q 2) And really can i make verbs in to nouns by changing the U sound into I sound does it apply for all verbs or for just a set group of verbs ?

      You mean like
      飲む nomu →飲み nomi
      待つ matsu →待ちmachi ?

      You can make a nouns by changing u→i .

      You usually need to combine it with other word.

      →You can’t say 雨の中、30分も待ちは辛い。
      But you can say 雨の中、”30分待ち”は辛い。

      →You can’t say 一人で飲みはつまらない
      You say,

      Q3) Which usage of なり? Can you give me an example?

      Q4) They both mean “to be apt to ~/ tend to”

      The patterns are:

      ともすれば Vがちだ・です
      ともすれば+ V

      The translation could be all the same,
      We tend to forget the appreciation towards people who have taken care of us.

      ともすれば implies the possibility. It is not all the time but it often happens

      • Hamada Hamada says:

        A) So when making verb to noun by changing the U sound into I sound i have to stick it directly to the noun before it hope i am right ? And does it apply for all verbs ?

        B) For なり i mean like:
        1-(Noun + なりに/なりの , いadj + なりに/なりの) and why not なadj or verbs ?
        2-(Verb + なり + Verb + なり or Noun + なり + Noun + なり) and why not なadj or いadj ?
        3-(Verb + なり as soon as) is it formal than other grammars with the meaning of as soon as?
        4-なりとも ?

  38. Maggie says:

    早く直るといいのですが。いつも支えてくれてありがとう! boucingheart!

    Hi everyone! As you may notice, we have been having a problem of accessing this site.
    We have been constantly attacked by this virus or hackers…I am not sure what is exactly happening but our great web developer has been working really hard for us to find out the problem.
    Meanwhile I apologize for all of you who visit here but can’t access the site.
    Hope this will be fixed soon. Thank you for all your support.

  39. Rin says:

    And sensei,
    Is there another meaning for this word? All I can understand is boat of memory, but it can’t be that, right sensei?



    • Maggie says:


      Hi Rin,

      The only word that I can think of with バッテラ is…pressed mackerel sushi
      I can’t post a picture here…(You can use Japanese google. Type バッテラ with image mode)

      • rin says:

        Oh, that I know the sushi part, but when I saw it with omoide. I’m like what??? But if you don’t know another way, then I don’t know understand it either. LOL !niconico! 

        Thanks sensei!!

        • Maggie says:


          Ahh Now I see your confusion.

          something の思い出
          = memory of something

          学校の思い出 = school memory
          バッテラの思い出= the memory of the battera zushi (The speaker/writer might be remembering the time they ate that sushi or when they saw someone was making/selling the sushi…It all depends on the context.)

  40. Rin says:

    Hi sensei,
    I have this 2 sentences. I know they have the same meaning, but can you explain how the mo have function in the 2nd sentence?


    Thank you sensei

    • Rin says:


      Hi Rin, 元気?

      simply negate what the speaker has just heard. That’s not right.

      ~なくもない implies there is a possibility.
      It could be right.

      • Rin says:

        I’m doing fine, sensei. How are you sensei?
        I see, so it means like that.

        Can I ask you this (やっぱなし). Does this mean it’s nothing after all.

        Thank you for all your lessons, sensei.

  41. Hamada Hamada says:

    Hi maggie sensei, could you help me with: A) There are a lot of grammar pattern that require である
    before a noun or なadj like (一方 , 反面 , 可き…etc) as my text book says, is it a must or can i use の and な instead ? and sorry but could you simplify to me how to use である because it confuses me in a lot of cases ?

    B) Many thanks to you maggie sensei i now know how to use 目 with numbers and adjectives, but with verbs, because i saw it with many verbs and i couldn’t figure out the meaning like (編み目 ,
    見た目…etc) ?

    C) How to use the suffix 性 ?

    Thanks for advance :-)

    • Maggie says:

      @Hamada Hamada

      Hello! Sorry that my site has been down and it took me a day to put your question.

      You can also say

      Verb dictionary form + 一方/反面/べき


      Noun + の + 一方/反面


      i-adjective ~い+ 一方/反面


      n-adjective ~ な+ 一方/反面

      である is a formal speech/written form. You use it to describe some state.

      For example

      They both mean the same but besides (a) is slightly more formal, (a) focuses on the state and (b) describes the quality, characteristics.


      As I explained in my 目 lesson, 目 is used as a counter of order. 

      見た目 = appearance

      縫い目=ぬいめ= stitch / seam

      一目= ひとめ= one glance
      Ex. 一目ぼれ= fall in love at first sight

      〜〜性 represents one’s nature, tendency. And it is also used for nominalization

      可能 = possible →可能性 possibility
      具体的= concrete →具体性 concreteness
      精神=spirits →精神性=spiritual nature

      • Hamada Hamada says:

        So using である depends on the situation or sentence if it’s formal or not, am i right ?
        Are there a specific grammar patterns when i must use である ?
        And sorry but i still don’t get it, Is 目 has a special meaning with verbs or is it just that there are some fixed expressions ?

        • Maggie says:

          @Hamada Hamasa

          Q: So using である depends on the situation or sentence if it’s formal or not, am i right ?
          It depends on the situation whether it is formal or less formal, and also the writer’s style (or even mood).

          Q: Are there a specific grammar patterns when i must use である ?

          noun + である
          na-adjective + である (きれいである)
          *verb dictionary form + noun/こと, の、もの+ である 

          Q: 目

          the counter + 目 = ordinal number

          Other than that you can think it is an idiomatic expressions.
          to be in the certain situation
          They are tons so I can’t explain the whole list.

          • 天人 says:

            @ Maggie
            “Q: Are there a specific grammar patterns when i must use である ?
            verb dictionary form+ である
            noun + である
            na-adjective + である (きれいである)”

            ==> As far as I remember we cannot combine a verb in a dictionary form + である, like 食べるである, because a verb has its own flectional morphem, so it doesn’t need a have an extra one. Or am I wrong, Maggie?

          • Maggie says:


            Oops! You are totally right! Will fix the comment. Thank you!

          • Hamada Hamada says:

            Now i understand, thank you a lot Maggie Sensei for always answering my question

          • Maggie says:

            @Hamada Hamada

            You’re welcome! :)

  42. The river puppy says:

    Hello Maggie sensei! It’s me again. Thanks for replying to the last message! Your answer helped me very much. And I also agree with the last thing you said! XD (Although to be fair, it is actually kinda hard. I understand all the sentence patterns so far but more than half of it is new vocabulary) but anyway, I probably shouldn’t complain. Anyway, I have some questions today. Please help me as you always do! XD

    1. How would you say “A Harbor city of an island in the Pacific that overlooks the sea” I thought quite hard and came up with: 太平洋にある島にある海を見下ろす港市. Is it incorrect or unnatural sounding?

    What I intend to say is that the “Harbor city overlooks the sea”, not “the island overlooks the sea” and that the “Harbor city” is on the island which is in turn located in the Pacific.

    Is it possible to say this in one sentence?

    2. What is the difference between 市 and 都 (As in 東京都) and 都市 and 都会?

    I know 首都 is used for capitol or a significantly huge metropolis but what are the differences of the others?


    • Maggie says:

      @The river puppy

      Ohayou, The river puppy!

      1. Harbor city overlooks the sea is 海を見下ろす港町

      If you want to add the information,
      the “Harbor city” is on the island which is in turn located in the Pacific,
      it would be


      2. 市 means “a city”
      都 means “a capital” as 首都

      FYI there are 47 prefectures in Japan.
      Prefecture is called 都道府県(とどうふけん)
      We usually use 県(けん)for a prefecture but besides 県, there are

      they both mean “big city” but you usually 都会 as an “urban city” to show the contrast with 田舎 (いなか) rural ares, country area.

  43. Sagita says:

    So that was a reponse to my joke, isn’t that? Correct me if wrong, Cause before i’ve sent “たのしかった、多分。いや、ほんとにたのしかったです” . Your explanation on there really help, thankyou so much sensei

  44. Sagita says:

    Hello Maggie sensei, may i ask what the meaning of “ノリがいい子じゃない” someone left that at the comment with a joke. literaly i knew the meaning. But i’m not too sure and got confused how to answer their comment. it’ll a big help. Thankyou before

  45. Rin says:

    Hi sensei,
    Can you explain this to me the part after taoshigaiganai. What I don’t understand is shigai part.


  46. 天人 says:

    Hello Maggie :pika:
    Guess, who it is? Of course it’s me! ^w^
    Today I’m wondering about the difference between を通じて and を通して.
    I found on the Internet this => which was a very interesting article.
    However that, what my book says caused some doubts in my mind. Here’s the case. The book says: 「しかし、「~を通じて」には「~の期間いつも/~の場所・場合の全て」を意味する用法があって、その場合は「~を通して」が不自然になります。」

    そこは一年を通じて(× を通して)雨が多い。<~の期間いつも>

    But I found on a Japanese-English online dictionary sentences like this:

    Those sentences implied in 「年間」 the context of 「~の期間いつも」, so now I’m confused and need your knowledge to verify this.
    ヨロシク boucingheart!

    • Maggie says:


      I think we both say
      (通じて is more formal (or is used more in a written form)

      I think it came from the English translation “through” but somehow it doesn’t sound so natural to me.
      (It sometimes happens but when you translate English sentence to Japanese.)
      I would say “午後の間ずっと” / ” 午後中ずっと”

  47. The river puppy says:

    Hello Maggie sensei! It’s me again. Thanks for replying to the last message! I have a few more questions today. Please help me.

    1. There have been some rude people in some shows which have said an insult and then mysteriously added が at the end. I want to know what this pattern: Insult + ga means. In every case wether I read it or watched it on a show, the person who says this seems to be directing his or her insult against who she or he is talking to (So it doesn’t seem to be a reference)

    2. What is the nuance between 家を出ます and 家から出ます? To me this is pretty similar and seems to be “Leave the room” and “Leave from the room”. (But I don’t see why you would use one over the other)

    3. If it isn’t too complicated to explain here, what is the difference between tada and dake? I think I have an idea on how to use it based on what I have heard but I would really like to know the actual rules. Anyway, this is what I think.

    If somebody asks, “What is that?” you would reply “ただの卵だ” (Just eggs)

    But is somebody asks, “What’s in the fridge?” you would reply “卵だけだ” (Just eggs)

    Also: 君の敵がただの初心者だ。(Your opponent is just a beginner)
    君の敵には初心者だけだ。(Your opponents consist of only beginners)—Are these sentence correct?

    I can sorta tell them apart already but sometimes there are confusing circumstances where is seems both would work. So again, it would be really helpful to know the rules between using one over the other.


    • Maggie says:

      @The river puppy


      1. I don’t teach cursing words/phrases here but it could be “~めが”
      Ex. You idiot! = (この)ばかめが
      (You also just finish the sentence with め)

      2. 家を出ます = You leave your house to go somewhere
      家から出ます = Emphasizing 家
      They both could mean “to leave your home and live somewhere else.”

      3. ただの+noun = Just + (noun)
      noun + だけ = there is just + (noun)
      (ただ)+ verb + だけ = S just did/do something

      You are right.
      ただの卵だ = It is just an egg. (They are just eggs)
      卵だけだ = There is just an egg (There are only some eggs) (nothing else)

      You got the meaning right. But let me fix your sentences a bit.

      Hope this helps.

      • The river puppy says:

        Hello Maggie sensei! It’s me again. Thanks for replying to the last message! It seems I have to study the difference between に and には (Something that is very hard for me) again. Also, thanks for giving me the conjugation rules to the dake vs tada. Also, now that you’ve mentioned it, から does emphasize the house more because while the other is a flat statement, から means (FROM) the house! Your explanations are awesome, thanks!

        1. However, I wasn’t asking Maggie sensei to teach me swear words. (I would never ask something like that! XD hehehe) It’s not one swear word per se but rather a pattern that I noticed. I read a rude guy saying “クソが!” and i’ve read this pattern used by others as well (Though their insults are a lot fouler so let’s not write them XD) but it seems there is always a が at the end that doesn’t fit with the rest of the sentence.

        I get the feeling they are saying something like “You scum” or something like that but I can’t be sure because the ga isnt naturally part of the insult. (The insult may change but the が stays at the end)

        Anyway, sorry for asking you for help with such an embarassing question but I want to be able to understand the manga i’m reading fully. By the way, the reason why I am able to read manga now is thanks to you teaching me all these years, so thanks a lot for that! I think manga will be a good way to pick up new vocabulary but don’t worry, i’m not reading some foul mouthed manga (They normally aren’t so rude) so I won’t learn so many bad words! XD


        • Maggie says:

          @The river puppy

          Ohayou, The river puppy!

          OK, so (Noun: Insulting word) + が. (or + めが ) is the pattern.
          が just emphasize the word. And your translation is correct. “You ~~!”

          Manga teaches you varieties of words and sentence patterns, huh? :)

  48. 初めまして 私はジョスアと申します。今日本語を勉強しています。 質問があります。美人と切れイと薄くしいと可愛いはどんなちあがいますか?。この答でありがとうございました

    • Maggie says:




      美人= beautiful woman (The literal meaning is a beautiful peole but we usually use it to refer to a beautiful woman.)
      きれい= beautiful, clean, balanced (You can use it for people, things, scenery, etc.)
      美しい = beautiful (When you are more impressed with the beauty of something/someone)
      かわいい = cute (You often use it to describe someone (girls, children, little animals) or something cute.

  49. rin says:

    Hi Sensei,

    Can you explain what does this slang mean


    • Maggie says:


      Hi rin,

      こえーな is a male speech こわいな= It’s scary./ I’m scared →こえーな

      • Rin says:

        I thought of that, but I wasn’t so sure myself. So asked you sensei to make sure of that.
        Thanks so much sensei :-D

        • Maggie says:


          You’re welcome, Rin!

          • rin says:

            And sensei can you explain to me how to use this クセになる in a sentence, like what does it mean in a sentence. Does it have the same meaning as Kuseni?


          • Maggie says:


            クセになる is different from くせに
            くせ= habbit
            くせになる= become a habit
            And also it means “to be hooked/ addicted”

          • Rin says:

            And sensei I forgot to ask you this
            I saw this (デコひど) but I’m not sure if I write it correct. Does this mean something or it’s a slang sensei? Can you please explain it to me?


          • Maggie says:


            Can you give me the whole sentence along with the previous sentence?

          • Rin says:

            No, I just saw it like that while I was reading the book. I’ve tried to search for it but there’s no luck on the internet. Or it could be this (テコひと), the way it’s written, I can’t really tell. But if you don’t recognize, then that’s fine. It’s no big deal.

            Thanks you so much sensei

  50. The river puppy says:

    Hello Maggie sensei! It’s me again. Thanks for replying to the last message! I have a few more questions today. Please help me.

    1. What is the difference in usage between 自然 and 当然 which both translate to “natural”. I learnt 当然 from a movie and I think it means something more like “A natural course of action/expectation” as opposed to 自然 which is just natural (As in reference to a state) but I can’t be so sure and i’m just kinda guessing from context, so please help me with this.

    2. What’s the difference between いっきに and 一息に and いっぺんに? I think the first two mean “All at once” but how are they different? It happens to be that いっぺんに seems to share their definition.


    • Maggie says:

      @The river puppy

      1. Ah, OK. 自然 and 当然 both mean “natural” but 自然 means “nature” (something you are born with. something not artificial, naturally )

      Ex. 自然食品(しぜんちょくひん)natural food
      Ex. 自然によくなる。= to get better by itself.
      Ex. 自然にふるまう= to behave naturally

      当然= It involves people’s expectation how things work. something you take it for granted, obvious. what you are supposed to do, well-deserved

      Ex. 彼が怒るのも当然だ= It is understandable why he got angry.
      Ex. 当然です。= Of course.
      Ex. 彼は私が彼を助けてあげるのを当然だと思っている = He takes for granted that I help him.

      2. 一気(いっき)に、一息に means “at a breath” “at a gulp” “at once”



      いっぺんに (also 一度に)means “at once” While 一気に、一息に can be used just for one action, いっぺんに is often used when you do multiple things all at once.
      = Don’t tell me all that at the same time.
      = It is difficult to juggle everything all at once.

  51. Lumi says:

    Sorry for a stupid question but i always cannot tell the difference between 言わない、言えない and 言ってない :(

    • Maggie says:


      Hello, Lumi.
      That is not a stupid question at all.

      言わない= not to say/tell/speak
      It changes the tense depending on the context.
      →will not say/tell, not going to say /tell, don’t say/ doesn’t say/tell

      Ex. この秘密は誰にも言わない。
      = Kono himitsu wa dare ni mo iwanai.
      = I will not tell ( reveal) this secret to anybody.

      言えない = can not tell

      Ex. この秘密は誰にも言えない。
      = Kono himitsu wa dare nimo ienai.
      = I can’t tell this secret to anyone.

      言ってない= haven’t told/said

      Ex. この秘密は誰にも言って(い)ない
      = I haven’t told this secret to anyone.

      • Lumi says:

        Thank you so much for the explanation! Is it safe to say I can assume those patterns for other verbs?


        have not

        • Maggie says:


          〜えない *
          You should study the potential form first but え can ben “せ se, て te, ね ne, れre, etc.”

          買(か)う to buy → 買えない can’t buy
          飲(の)む to drink →  飲めない can’t drink
          食(た)べる to eat → 食べられない,can’t eat
          But yes, it means “can’t do something”

          てない→ It is ていない (We tend to drop い in conversation) The meaning is “haven’t”. But let me add two more tenses.”not to be doing ~ ” “do not do ~”

          書(か)いていない = haven’t written,
          教(おし)えていない = haven’t taught / この学校では日本語は教えていない= They don’t teach Japanese in this school. / 現在、マギー先生は犬語を教えていない。= Maggie sensei is not currently teaching dog language.

          • Lumi says:

            ahh thank you so much. i really must make sure my basic potential forms are strong first. more learning for me! i will try hard. thank you again.

        • Maggie says:


          You’re very welcome! boucingheart!

  52. The river puppy says:

    Hello Maggie sensei! It’s me again. Thanks for replying to the last message, it really helped a lot! There’s no need to feel uncomfortable because your corrections are really helping me. I had a feeling I should have used kureru but by then I already sent the message. Also, I haven’t really studied the te-morau form very much so I guess I need to revise that. Also, I think I need to revise some other lessons as well and I haven’t really studied the tari lesson yet. However, I do have a question about it…

    1. This is a really important question that I have been wanting to know the answer to for a long time now. I know how to use the te-form and masu stem as a connector and I know to and ya are used to connect nouns (With to being a simple and while ya implies other stuff) but one thing I could never differentiate was the difference between toka and tari (form). I think I get the difference now.

    In the toka lesson, it was written: (Toka is used to list the same kind of things) and then an example:
    But then eventually it says:
    休みの日は散歩をしたり本を読んだりしています is more natural than 休みの日は散歩をするとか本を読むとかしています.

    For years (Well, only 2 years) I couldn’t figure out why one was more natural but I just realised that while sushi and tempura are the same kind of (food) things, the actions done on a holiday (Going out for a jog and reading a book) are Different things! Which makes tari form more natural to express it with! So…my question basically is: IS THIS CORRECT? I need to know! If this turns out be correct it would resolve so many problems for me. But if this is wrong please tell me anyway.

    2. Anyway, i’ve probably asked a very long question already but I have one more difference question. XD

    How would one use もしかして? Is it different from moshi in any way (In meaning) or is it just a morepolite way of saying maybe (Or can it stand alone like たぶん and unlike もし which is used before a conditional sentence.

    Thanks for always helping me Maggie sensei! いつもありがとうございます!

    • Maggie says:

      @The river puppy


      NやN = NとかN
      VたりVたりする = VとかVとかする

      When you list up things or actions, you tend to list up similar things/actions but you can use completely different things/actions.

      相撲 (sumou= Sumo wrestling )や将棋 (shougi= Japanese chess) = 相撲とか将棋
      相撲をしたり将棋をしたりする = 相撲をするとか将棋をするとかします。

      I think it is simply because とか is slightly more colloquial but we do use Vとか form as well.
      This sort of things changes in years.

      2) もしかして is not a polite form of saying “maybe”. It means “by any chance”
      You use it when you express your assumption.” I could be wrong but ~~~ by any chance?” / I could be wrong but ~~~

      Ex. もしかしてマギー先生ですか?
      = I could be wrong but are you Maggie Sensei by any chance?

      Ex. もしかして田中さんがどこに住んでか知っていますか?
      = Do you happen to know where Mr.Tanaka lives?

      • The river puppy says:

        Hello Maggie sensei! It’s me again. Thanks for replying to the last message!

        1. Does this mean that toka and tari are just sort of interchangable and can be used for pretty much anything the other can? Would you say that toka, tari and shi (Other than the way they are conjugated) are pretty much interchangably used to list multiple things? I’ve read the lessons before and they don’t seem very different to me.

        2. By any chance could you tell me the difference between ni totte and ni tsuite? They both have the definition of (regarding). I read somewhere that に対する is also similar but I think it’s pretty different so basically I just want to ask about the difference between にとって and について.


        • Maggie says:

          @The river puppy

          1. As I said, though たり is more common, the meaning of とか and たり are pretty much similar.

          V(A) tari V(B) tari /V(A)toka V(B)toka = doing A and doing B and etc.

          However し is a little different.

          V (A) shi V(B) shi = to do (A) and on top of that to do (B) / to do A and also to do B

          * totte = for someone/ something

          This is very important for me= Watashi ni totte wa tottemo taisetsu desu.

          *tsuite = about

          Nihon no rekishi ni tsuite no hon wo sagashite imasu. = I am looking for a book about Japanese history.

          *taisuru = against, towards

          Kare no watashi ni taisuru taido ga kawatta = His attitude towards me has changed.

  53. Trang Le says:

    Hi Maggie sensei. Can you tell me the difference between 通じて and によって? I got this question in the N2 Bunpou:
    The answer is によって, but why 通じて is unacceptable? The latter is not as popular in use as the former, but both of them mean “according to”, “by”, “through” and I’ve read many examples but it seems that the difference is not that clear-cut.

    • Maggie says:

      @Trang Le

      Hi Trang Le

      This might help…
      (time) + によって= according to (the time)

      (time) +を通じて= throughout the time

      Sは、時代によって変わる means “S varies/changes according to times / S varies across the ages”
      it doesn’t mean “the objects of popularity changes through one period.”
      it changes according to times. Therefore よって is better.


      S varies/changes throughout the year

      • Trang Le says:

        さすが、マギー先生  :donuts: !DANCING! 。いつもありがとうございます。
        Hope you don’t mind me asking another question:
        How is に従って different from に伴って・とともに? They just don’t seem different enough in nuances for me.

        • Maggie says:

          @Trang Le

          A lot of time they are interchangeable or the difference is very subtle when you use them ↓
          A changes →B also changes

          The trends changes along with time.

          The difference:

          1) to do something following ~ (obeying)
          = to do B following A

          to take an action following the instruction of the company president

          to do sightseeing following the itinerary

          2) to do something (B) or (B) happens, along with (A) (at the same time)

          = to do B / B happens along with A

          (The difference: ともに can be used for two unrelated events/ ともない= B causes A)

          * 子供達のことを理解するとともに正しい道へ導いていかなくてはならない。
          = We have to lead the children to the right way as we understand them.

          A: 子供達のことを理解する= to understand the children
          B: 正しい道へ導く= to lead them to the right way
          You do A and B at the same time

          A= 引っ越し= to move
          B= インターネット会社を変更する= to change the Internet company
          A and B happened the same time
          A* moving causes B*changing Internet company

          3) to do something with something/someone

          Ex. 彼と共に人生を歩む
          = to live my life with him.

          (If you say 彼に従って人生を歩む, it means you are following him )

          • Trang Le says:

            どうもありがとうございます. :purple: :qq:
            I spent a whole afternoon looking for explanations and examples. Yours are always the most succinct and easy to understand.

          • Maggie says:

            @Trang Le
            You’re very welcome!
            It was a difficult question to answer here.

  54. The river puppy says:

    Hello Maggie sensei! It’s me again! I have a few questions today, please help me as you always do! XD

    1. First of all, did the happy birthday message I sent make any sense? For some reason it was hard to write because I wanted to say that i’ll always remember your help (that is: How you helped me) and not the things that you helped me with. Which is why I used koto and I just wanted to know if that made any sense.

    2. Did I use tsumari correctly in that message? I was thinking of using either tonikaku or tsumari but in the end I thought tsumari made more sense because it sums things up. Incidentally though, could I have used tsumari?

    3. What’s the difference between どうしても and 何が何でも? They both seem to have the same definition of “By any means”. Are there any specific circumstances where one is used preferred over the other? Also, what are their nuances?

    Thanks for always helping me Maggie sensei! いつもありがとうございます!

    • Maggie says:

      @The river puppy


      1) Birthday message: Yes, it makes sense and it was very heart warming.
      Since it is a nice message, I feel uncomfortable correcting it but I will to help your Japanese.


      →(to make it sound more natural) use くれる form: to do something for me
      or you can use “たり” form instead of こと


      →You usually use this at the beginning of the message.
      いつもありがとう!would work at the end of the message.

      2) つまり:In a way, it worked there.
      You use つまり for example when you are explaining something and you want to summarize what you wanted to say

      in short, the point is,…
      But as you wrote, we also say

      You did this and that… (anyway) all I wanted to say is ~~~~

      Anyway, thank you so much again for your nice message!

      3) They both mean the same
      It depends on the intonation but 何が何でも sounds more desperate.

  55. tomo says:

    Hi maggie sensei, can you explain about this grammar? [~ように思う」

    is the grammar similar to [みたい」 / (like~)??

    and is the answer always follow by どこか、なにか、だれか??

    thank you…

    • Maggie says:


      Hi tomo,

      どこかで聞いたような気がする means
      I feel like I’ve heard that somewhere.

      So Vたような気がする means “to feel like + S + have done 〜”
      It is not always used with どこか、なにか、だれか

      Ex. 彼とは前に会ったような気がする I feel like I have seen him before.

  56. The river puppy says:

    Hello Maggie sensei! It’s me again! I have a few “What is the difference” questions today. (Well, I actually have a lot of them but I plan on asking them over several posts! XD) I also have some other types of questions as well.

    1. So, I would like to know, what is the difference between メチャクチャ and ムチャクチャ. The dictionary says both mean “Ridiculous, unbelievable, over the top” so are they interchangeable?

    2. How is soretomo used? I hear it’s used to mean (or). I happen to know that (ka) can be used to mean or by simply asking two questions: ミルクかコーヒーか、どちらのほうが好きですか. But how does soretomo fit into this?

    3. Moshikuha is defined as meaning otherwise or (or). So now we have three or(s). How is moshikuha used?

    Figuring this out will be very interesting for me because I have long believed that there was no word for (or) in Japanese. I know the sentence pattern for 3 or more choices (Which uses no naka de+dore) so knowing how to say or independantly would really help me in everyday speech. Please help me as you always do Maggie sensei! XD

    Thanks for all your help so far Maggie sensei! You are a really amazing teacher! XD

    • Maggie says:

      The river puppy

      Hello, The river puppy

      1. They are very similar words and listed as synonyms and a lot of times they are interchangeable. If anything…

      無茶苦茶 / むちゃくちゃ (to do) something unreasonable, (to do) something outrageous , to go crazy
      滅茶苦茶/ めちゃくちゃ extremely (modifying an adjective) / to ruin or destroy something completely, something doesn’t make any sense

      2. ミルクかコーヒーか、どちらのほうが好きですか.
      →When you emphasize the contrast of what you are comparing/ choosing, you use それとも


      3. もしくは is more formal. (You see them often in legal documents) and you don’t use もしくは (and also あるいは) when you deciding something casual, such as coffee or milk.

      • The river puppy says:


        • Maggie says:

          @The river puppy

          すご〜い!!私の誕生日を覚えていてくれて本当に感激です!The river puppyは世界一優しいですね!ありがとう!

  57. The river puppy says:

    Hello Maggie sensei! It’s me again! It turns out you were right and that it was indeed, どうせ, a word which I didn’t know about (Thanks for teaching it to me! It makes sense in context). Anyway, sorry I couldn’t reply immediately, my internet connection has been terrible.

    Also, I wanted to ask you quite a few more questions today. Please help me as you always do! XD. Also, my apologies in advance if there are too many questions (They’ve kinda been piling up in my head up till now)

    1. I wanted to ask if shimatta becomes chimatta in slang.

    A guy said: 人(を)轢いちまった! Which I think means “I accidentally hit somebody” (With my vehicle) which was in this case was a bicycle. I think it should either have been hiishimatta or hiichatta. So I was wondering if this is slang or something…

    2. What is the difference between Tonikaku and Douse? I think Tonikaku is supposed to mean anyway and is something you can use at all times to just mean “Anyway” but is it interchangable with Douse (Which also seems to have no rules to its usage)

    Or are there rules that say you can’t use some in certain cases (Or that one is prefered over the other in some contexts?)

    3. I recently also discovered a new phrase “いずれにせよ” which according to the dictionary also means “Anyway” which is kinda confusing me right now. So there are three ways to say anyway? How is Izureniseyo different from the other two? (Tonikaku, Douse)

    4. I happen to know that Tsumari is used for summaries and basically putting everything together after explaining or stating many things. However, could Tonikaku or Douse or Izureniseyo be used in such a way to summarize as well?

    Thanks for all your help so far Maggie sensei! You are a really amazing teacher! XD

    • Maggie says:

      @The river puppy


      1. ちまった is a casual male speech of しまった


      2. They both could mean “anyway” but どうせ is almost always negative so you can’t replace them.

      とにかく is also used to emphasize something, really  とにかく困った / 彼は、とにかくよくしゃべる/ anyway, either day とにかくやってみましょう。
      どうせ : negative. Lower yourself : どうせ私にはできない Lower the listener: どうせあなたにはわからない lower the third person: どうせあの学校には変な生徒しかいない。

      I will make a lesson on these sometime.
      3. Right いずれにせよ means “anyway”. But it might be easier to think ” either way” ”one way or the other”
      whatever happens, you do something/we should do something.

      Ex. いずれにせよ日本語は勉強した方がいい。

      4. つまり is used when you explain or summarize what you are talking about. In short, in other word, ~

  58. Rin says:

    Hi sensei,

    I have a question about this. (恋にはけじめを待ちたまえ)
    I understand kejime o tsukeru. But when it goes with machitamae, then how do you say it? Wait and distinction….
    Can you help me understand it sensei.

  59. obakasan000 says:

    Good day dear maggie sensei. I would like clarify something about this particular sentence.


    I don’t know the function of と here. Is it for quoting or, to mean “and”

    The 5 of us have been giving our best discussing things about our performances and talks while we keep in mind “but this is the very time to give our best shot”

    But now is the very time to give our best.
    [AND] The 5 of us have been giving our best discussing things about our performances and talks.

    Thank you so much in advance dear maggie sensei.

    • Maggie says:


      I think you know but this is a very informal style of writing.

      I will show you the structure.

      I have been trying hard to pass the exam.


      So this と shows the motive of why I have been trying hard.


      A is the motive of B. In a way, it is redundant because it has 頑張る twice.

      パフォーマンスのこともトークのこともメンバー5人で話し合いを重ねて頑張ってきた believing/thinking でも今こそ前向きに頑張らなきゃ。

      But now is the very time to give our best. That’s how we believed and we have been giving our best discussing things about our performances and talks.

      You could also translate that と as “thus” in English.

      • obakasan000 says:

        Good evening dear Maggie sensei. Thank you so much !JYANE! , helpful as always.
        My question for tonight is about these 2 kinds of sentences.

        a. Aさんはまだ食べている = A san is still eating

        b. まだ食べているAさん = A san that still eating/ A san is still eating

        Though in b, the subject has been modified, it would still translate in English as “A san is still eating”, I always see pattern b when Japanese subtitle describes what is happening at the moment at the video. And often when reading blog update.

        Why do Japanese prefer pattern b sometimes?

        Thank you so much in advance dear Maggie sensei.

        • 天人 says:

          Hello obakasan000
          In 「まだ食べているAさん」 that, what stands before Aさん describes what Aさん does. In this case the direct translation would be “Aさん, who’s still eating…”.
          It’s up to the translator, how he translates the sentence. The important point is the translated sentence sounds natural.


  60. Kano says:

    Hello, Maggie sensei! Would you please help me with this? “今日はキスの日で恋文の日らしいので帰ったら遠いところから何か届いてるかもねらくがき”

    So it’s from a drawing where someone gets home and finds a letter from the person he loves who is living in another country. I get that it says something like apparently it was Kiss’ day and love letters’ day? And that rakugaki is like a doodle but I’m lost about how to phrase it.

    • Maggie says:


      That last らくがき is connected to 届いているかも so it is confusing. Maybe the writer is just showing a drawing which represents one scene.

      Since it is Kiss day/Love letter day so I may get something (letter or package) from somewhere far when I get home.

      • Kano says:

        First of all, thanks for replying! So since it’s informal speech, I guess it’s like “(this is a) ‘Since-it-is-Kiss-day/Love-letter-day-so-I-may-get-something-from-somewhere-far-when-I-get-home’ drawing.”

        Thanks again!

  61. The river puppy says:

    Hello Maggie sensei! It’s me again! I just wanted to ask you a quick question today. Please help me as you always do! XD

    1. I’ve always thought that you could freely mix the regular g sound with the “nasal” g sound in Japanese and that both were frequently and about equally used. However, I recently heard that they might actually be specific times when a nasal g must be used (This one guy said all G sounds in the beginning had to be non nasal while all connecting g sounds that came after other particles had to be nasal)

    Basically I just wanted to know if you can freely interchange がぎぐげご nasal and non-nasal sounding or are there rules for when to use them (I’ve always thought they were freely interchangable)

    2. I’ve been trying to read something and I think I figured it out but just to be sure, can どうして be said as どーせ (Either contraction or dialect)?

    Thanks for all your help so far Maggie sensei!

    • Maggie says:

      @The river puppy
      1. You are right. There are two types of がぎぐげご, nasal sound and non-nasal sound.
      Many announcers have been rained to pronounce with nasal sound.
      It depends on the area, too but less and less people use nasal sound for がぎぐげご but here is the basic rule.
      Basically you use non-nasal sound with words which begins with がぎぐげご (Ex. がっこう, Ex. ぎんこう)

      And you use nasal g sound with words which has がぎぐげご in the middle or at the end. Ex. まつげ, めがね

      2. Hmm.. どうして can be pronounced どーして but not どーせ
      (Just to make sure it was not どうせ→どーせ right?)

  62. AC says:

    Hi Maggie. I’m very sorry for troubling you once more.

    I’ve learned a new form of ‘yori’ from you recently, and with the things I’m trying to learn, I have managed to understand quite a lot of it by myself. However, there is still one line which is giving me trouble, and I think I don’t understand a certain part well enough. Maybe you can help?

    The line is: [あの人が、ボクをよりカワイくした張本人か] って。

    So, this is what I understand.
    あの人が = About that person
    ボクを = Me (object)
    よりカワイ = cuter
    くした = Not sure about this!
    張本人 = Originator?
    か = forceful declarative ending
    って = casual reported speech

    However, I can’t seem to put this all together. I think it is because I am not sure if the word is くした (and I don’t know which this means) or if it is supposed to be カワイくした together. (Also I do not know why ‘kawaii’ and ‘boku’ is spelled with katakana, but that is how it appears in the text.)

    I would appreciate all the help you can give in helping me understand where my mistake lies.

    • Maggie says:


      Hi AC,
      You broke it down in a wrong place because of the colloquial spelling, カワイくした
      より=even more
      カワイくした = (colloquial spelling) →かわいくした = to make (me) cute
      張本人= the person himself/herself

      “(I tought) That person is the one who made me even cuter.”

  63. Rin says:

    Hi sensei,

    I have this sentence, can you tell me if I’m right or not. So can you take a look for me. Thanks sensei.

    雰囲気イケメンのくせに偉そうにすんなっつーの = Like I say, don’t put on airs just because you have an intrinsic look.

    • Maggie says:


      Hi Rin,
      (You posted the same question three times so I deleted the other two. )

      I think you have a problem with a word 雰囲気

      イケメン = cute guy/ handsome (Actually he is cute)
      雰囲気イケメン= He may not be real a handsome guy but the way he behaves is kind of cool.

  64. ivan says:

    i have 2 questions today

    1- how to say less in japanese? for example: 「i want to eat everything less the vegetables」 and 「i want to go to the park, eat in a restaurant, less do the homework」

    2- when someone says that they are going to do something and you want to confirm asking「are you sure?」.how do i ask that? the only phrase that came into my mind was 確かなの? but i dont know if it is correct.

  65. 天人 says:

    Hello Maggie! How are you?
    I brought 2 quick questions for you :)

    1. 彼はけちだから、こんな寄付に協力してもらうわけがないよ。 Question: Would 協力してくれる be acceptable instead of もらう? Book says 協力してもらう is correct, but I think 協力してくれる would be also possible.

    2. 私たちは地震をきっかけに知り合った。 / 松川先生との出会いをきっかけに、私の人生は変わった。 / 春のハイキングをきっかけに、私は山登りに興味を持つようになった。 Question: If we use がきっかけで instead of をきっかけに, how far would this change the meaning of these sentences?


    • Maggie says:


      Hi 天人!Having a nice weekend?

      1) 彼はけち(だから/なのに)、こんな寄付に協力し(てもらう/てくれる)(わけではない/わけがない)よ。

      けちだから くれる わけがない

      This sentence doesn’t make sense. Because 寄付に協力してもらう means “he would accept donation/ he will have someone donate money”

      It should be
      寄付に協力してくれる= he would donate money (for us)

      2) がきっかけで  and をきっかけに
      I don’t think it would give a change of the meaning.
      But I think *~ がきっかけで emphasizes the reason/cause more.

      • 天人 says:

        Thank you for asking. Yes, so far so good, I can say ^ ^
        Hmmm, that’s strange… I don’t know why I chose the incorrect one (てもらう) and then marked the whole sentence as “to be checked”. The book says that ~てくれる is of course correct. あの時、私はちょっと(@__@)になっちゃったかも、ごめんね。

        “But I think *~ がきっかけで emphasizes the reason/cause more.” => Now that you mentioned it, you’re right. Because of 「が」 and 「で」助詞だよね. I could have figured this out myself…

        Maggie, one last question, what does 傷物にする mean in 「人の娘を傷物にしておいて、『ごめんなさい』で済まされるわけがないだろう。 」?

        • Maggie says:


          Sorry for the late reply.
          傷物にする the literal meaning is “to damage my daughter.” In other word, to get physical with my daughter.

          • 天人 says:

            Ok, I see, because コトバンク says 傷物 = (「商品など)傷のついた品物」 and 人の娘 means someone’s daughter, so…
            Thank you very much Maggie for your help! Catch! !riceball!  ^w^

          • Maggie says:

            You’re welcome!
            Got it!! (∪・ω・)ワンッ !riceball! 

  66. tomo says:

    good morning maggie sensei,

    would you like to explain about 「いくら~でも、~ば~」 this is the example : いくら外見を飾っても、中身がなければ何にもならない。

    I try to find it on internet, books, but there is no explain about 「いくら~でも、~ば~」 , I hope you help me..

    Thank you so much !CHECKHEART!

    • Maggie says:


      Hi tomo

      No matter how much you do something, if it is/ you are ~, it doesn’t mean anything.
      So the gist is,
      No matter how much you work on your appearance (or something surperficial), if you don’t have realy content, it is meaningless.

      = No matter how much one’s parents try, if their child him/herself doesn’t have any motivation, it is meaningless. (pointless).

  67. Rin says:

    Hi sensei,
    I know you explained “hodo” in your lesson. But I’ve encountered in this sentence, it makes me a bit confuse. From what I understand, “if it’s it him his useless skill is bad as his dating” So am I right on track or am I wrong, sensei? And also can you explain about (Joshi-uke), is it woman popular?
    I’m sorry for bothering you with many questions.
    Thank you!!

    1. 彼ならくさるほどデートして無駄にスキルあげてるし!!
    2. 女子ウケ

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Rin

      1) くさるほど is an expression

      くさる= (usually the food) goes bad
      くさるほど = literal meaning: You have so many/much something as they go bad
      It means “to have a lot / countless/ innumerable/more than enough/tons of ~”

      So it implies he must have had millions of dates

      2) 女子ウケ(がいい・悪い)colloquial
      女子にウケる= to appeal women/attract women’s attention

  68. Hamada Hmada says:

    Hi maggie sensei i have 2 questions, 1- (a),Can someone help me about how and when to use ごとし , ごとき , ごとく and what are the differences between them ?
    (b), And also what are the differences between: (まるで + Noun + (の)ようだ) , (Noun + であるかのようだ) and (恰も Noun + (の)ようだ) all means the same: as if; as though; just like
    2- what is the difference between using ( 得る ) うる and える as an auxiliary verb, and うる and える just by themselves as a normal verbs ?
    thanks in advance.

  69. Jasmine says:

    Hello Maggie sensei! I love your website, and it’s so so helpful for me! It’s really really helpful when you reply so fast, so thank you so much for that !heart3!
    I was doing a workbook the other day (I suck at particles!) and I had a little question:
    1. The book said 今日は天気がいい, but I thought it should 今日の天気がいい? And it also said 明日は天気がいい but again, I thought it should be 明日の天気がいい?
    2. The book said 祖母のしんぞうがよわい, but I thought it should’ve been 祖母のしんぞうがよわい? :!: :-|
    Thank you so much sensei! !CHECKHEART! !JYANE!

    • Maggie says:


      Hello, Jasimine
      I’m glad to hear you like my site. Thank you!

      1. OK, they both mean more or less the same but there is a subtle difference.
      今日は天気がいい= It’s as nice weather today. (Literal meaning Today is a nice weather”)
      今日の天気はいい= Today’s weather is nice.

      So when you just describe the weather, you say
      今日は天気がいい more.

      You say, 今日の天気、明日の天気 when you focus on the date.
      Therefore, you hear these more often in the weather report.

      = Let’s see today’s(tomorrow’s) weather.

      2. You means the difference between 祖母のしんぞうがよわい and 祖母は心臓がよわい?

      If so the same thing as above
      祖母はしんぞうがよわい = Focusing on 祖母’s condition.
      祖母のしんぞうが弱い = Focusing on 祖母のしんぞう

      When someone brings up the topics, you hear
      祖母は、しんぞうがよわい more.

  70. Rin says:

    Hi Sensei,
    I have hard time understand this sentence. So can you help understand it a bit. So far I only understand the first part about his outward appearance looks gaudy, and he’s highly calculated or something along the way. But what trouble me is the last part. So can you help me please sensei?


  71. Marianne says:

    一応って「for the time being 」「for now」という意味あるとレッスンで読みましたが、彼氏との話でその意味で使うと違うって言われます。「一旦」を使えばいいって。
    「For now」という意味使われると、「一応」と「一旦」の違いはなんですか?
    ありがとうございます!Much love❤

    • Maggie says:


      こんにちは、Marianne! わ〜北海道にいたんですね。日本の夏は暑いけれども北海道の夏は快適でしたか?

      そうですね、英語に訳すと一応も一旦もfor the time being, for nowという意味になることがありますが、
      私のレッスンの中の、多くの例文の”一応”は”一旦”に置き換えることはできません。特にsomehow の意味で使うものは「一旦」にすると不自然になります。

      Ex. A : 「英語が話せますか?」

      B : 「はい、一応、話せます。」

      = Yes, I can speak (English) (Not perfect — but to some extent.)



      Ex. 私は一応大学を出ている。

      = I graduated from a university.


      Ex. 私は一旦、大学を出てまた他の大学に入学した。






      I am studying German but I will also study Japanese for some extent.

      日本語の勉強は”not perfectly but roughly” の意味で使います。

      • Marianne says:

        なるほどね。一応は「for now」に翻訳されることもあるけど、一旦と違って「roughly/to some extent」というニュアンスが強調されますね。

        疲れて簡単なことがわからないほど頭がおかしくなったかもしれない !sleepy!

        • 天人 says:



        • Maggie says:

          @Marianne @天人


          「また」には、天人さんの言う、again/once again/also/ laterなどの意味があります。



  72. Elguido says:

    Dear sensei.
    I am awed by the dedication you show on this site. It must take time to answer all the questions you get. Therefore, I feel a little guilty asking you this question. But your teachings are so helpful and “real” that I hope you will have time (or interest) to answer this one.

    I’m trying to find the best way to learn reading kanji in the most practical way. I bought some Japanese graded reader books (level 0) and plan on learning the kanji as they show up. I’m ok with the kana.

    But I’m baffled by the reading of the kanji, provided by the furigana, in this sentence on the third book of the series:
    き むら け まい にち
    木 村 家 の 毎 日 (Kimurake’s daily)

    How can we choose wich reading is appropriate?!?
    They swing between Kun’yomi and On’yomi readings apparently in a random manner!!!

    木 ki (kun)
    村 mura (kun)
    家 ke (on)
    毎 mai (on)
    日 nichi (on)

    Thank you.
    P.S. I follow Victor’s VLOG every day. I love Japan. Fascinating country (and people).

    • Maggie says:


      Hello Elguido,

      Thank you for visiting our site.

      Choosing whether kun-reading or on-reading is a pain. There! I said that. :)

      There are a lot of exceptions but the basic rule is

      * when one kanji is used by itself, you tend to read it with kun-reading.
      明るい= あかるい= akarui (kun)
      暗い=くらい=kurai (kun)
      用いる=もちいる=mochiiru (kun)
      事=こと = koto (kun)

      *when you use a couple of kanji (as a compound word), you tend use on-reading

      明暗=めいあん= meian = (on)+ (on)
      用事= ようじ= youji = (on)+ (on)

      * However, as I said, there are a lot of exceptions. That, you just need to memorize them as a word.

      曲線=きょくせん=kyokusen= (on) + (kun)

      * People’s name/family name are really random but a lot of family names are read with kun-reading.

      木村 = ki mura = (kun)+ (kun)
      田中 = ta naka
      村田 = mura ta

      The name with on reading are considered to be relatively new in history.

      So your question
      木 村 家 の 毎 日

      木村 = kun + kun = because it’s a name
      “木村”家= ki mura ke = “(kun+ kun)” (on) * the last kanji is on-reading because it is a compound word
      毎日= is a compound word so you use on-reading.

      It is the best to learn kanji as a word. You will see a lot of different ways of reading and they could be pretty random as you said. But you will find certain patterns.
      Hope you enjoy learning Kanji. I promise it is going to be fun to be able to recognize all the kanji that you have learned.

      Happy to know you like Japan.
      I will tell Victor that you watch his video. He will like that.

      • Elguido says:

        どうもありがとうございました !!!

        Sigh… it’s gonna be rough to learn…

        • Maggie says:


          I know kanji looks overwhelming when you start learning but enjoy learning little by little. You will get there eventually. がんばって! 

  73. kd says:

    Hello Maggie-sensei. Thank you very much for your hard work, please don’t forget to send my regards to Yukari-san too.

    I have a question regarding たり, and no mater what source I consult I can’t understand how it is working here (so please, forgive me if this was already covered somewhere).
    The context is as follows: The writer of this is supposed to be a child (hence the childish style) filling up an entry in her dream diary. Inside her dreams, she sees these humanoid beings who chase her around. I believe this is how she perceived her first encounter with them.

    だれにも おしえて もらって ないけど
    なんにも されて いないけど。
    おおごえ だされて びっくり したり*
    だいじな なにかを とられたり*。

    そんなこと されて いないけど。
    だけど からだが こころが しってる。
    「あのひとにだけは つかまっちゃ だめ。」

    Thank you very much for reading, and sorry this post is kind of long/dense but I thought that it wouldn’t make much sense without knowing what’s happening.

    • Maggie says:


      Hello, kd!
      Thank YOU for visiting this site! Yukari says hello to you. :)

      たり is used when you list out things.

      to do A and B.

      to do things like A, B and etc.
      to do A and B and etc.


      The 5th line, the writer says
      Nobody has done such things to me but…

      and そんなこと (such things) refers to what mentioned in the line 3 and 4.

      A) 大声出されてびっくりする( getting scared by being screamed )
      B) だいじななにかをとられる ( having something important taken )

      Nobody had done things such as A, B and etc.

      FYI, check my たり lesson.

      • kd says:

        Oh, I see. I had a lot of problems understanding exactly who was performing those -tari actions. At first I thought the writer wasn’t talking in first person, and thus I got really confused over why she was using -tari and thought that maybe it was something different, but now I see I was really wrong.
        The translation is something like this, right?

        Even though nobody has told me anything (about it).
        Even though nobody has done anything to me.
        Things such as getting scared by being screamed,
        Or getting something important taken away from me.

        Such things haven’t happened.
        But my body…, my heart knows.
        “I must not be caught by that person”.

        Sounds a bit scary, but it does resemble the scene she’s describing and makes sense.

  74. David says:

    A quick question regarding は and には when used for possession:
    What is the difference between
    田中さんは 子供が います and 田中さんには 子供が います? Doesにはimply she has children but someone else doesn’t? Also, in possessive cases such as above, I have read that both います and
    あります are ok to use (even though ‘children’ is an animate case). Is that true?
    Thanks to anyone who can help.

    • Maggie says:


      They both mean the same but when you emphasize 田中さん by adding に more.

      Ex. 田中さんは子供ができた。<(emphasizing 田中さん more) 田中さんには子供ができた。
      Ex. 私はできません。<(stronger) 私にはできません。

      If you are talking about the existence of baby, animal, you use います.
      私には子供が一人います/家族がいます/父がいます。→(occationally you say) あります。instead of います(It is like “I own my family” to show your strong connection with them.)

  75. reid says:


    I want ask a question about 大人げない. I used it in this sentence: “いつも大人げない思いがあるんだ”

    and a friend corrected it to “いつも子供っぽいことを考えてるね”, and she said she wanted to explain 大人げない but it was difficult. So I was wondering if you could explain 大人げない to me.

    • Maggie says:

      I guess the sentence itself is not quite natural.

      思いがある is used to show one’s strong will/emotion.

      Ex. いつも誰かを助けたいという思いがある
      Ex. いつか有名になりたいという思いがある。
      Ex. 彼女には幸せになってもらいたいという思いがある。
      Ex. 彼にはどうにもできない悲しい思いがある

      So if you meant “the way you think” then 考え方 is better.

      The literal meaning of 大人げない is “lack of maturity” and it means childish/immature.
      子供っぽい also means “childish / immature” but 大人げない involves more negative feelings where you are supposed to be mature but you are not. (sometimes it has a connotation of being thoughtless) and 子供っぽい is just to describe something/someone is “childish”.

      So If you meant “your way of thinking is always childish” then 考え方がいつも子供っぽい might be better.

  76. The river puppy says:

    Hello! It’s me again! Thanks for answering my previous questions Maggie sensei! Your explanatios about the present tense/past tense conflict and how to use ni totte made a lot of sense.

    I have a question today though, (which is sort of related) Please help me as you always do! XD

    1. I noticed in the nara lesson that the sentence:
    “もし冬に東京に行くなら、コートを持っていったほうがいいよ” couldn’t be replaced with 行ったら, while in the tara lesson it was written: 歯が痛いんだったら歯医者にいったら?

    Which would be using no dattara which is said in the nara lesson to be able to replace it. (As it is itaindattara instead of itakattara)

    So my question is, can tara NOT be used for giving advice?
    but then again: マギー先生に優しくしたら (Isn’t this sort of giving a complaint/advice?)

    Is there anything wrong with itakattara? Sorry to ask you about conditionals again but this really is my problem area. It’s not that I can’t conjugate them easily, I can already conjugate the Ba form of negative, past, past negative and etc. I just don’t understand the difference and why sometimes some are preferred and sometimes some of them are incorrect/unnatural.

    • Maggie says:

      @The river puppy

      Q:“もし冬に東京に行くなら、コートを持っていったほうがいいよ” couldn’t be replaced with 行ったら

      →No. もし冬に東京に行ったらコートを持っていったほうがいいよ? doesn’t sound natural.

      The main difference is,
      もし冬に東京に行くなら〜たほうがいいよ: giving an advice to a listener what to do before the trip.

      もし冬に東京に行ったら〜たほうがいいよ: giving an advice to a listener what to do after they get to Tokyo.

      Q:Can tara NOT be used for giving advice?

      →Yes, as I wrote in the lesson, you can use たら to make a suggestion

      Ex. もし冬に東京に行ったら向こうでコートを買った方がいいよ。
      = If you go to Tokyo in winter, you should get a coat there. (giving an advice to a listener what to do after they get to Tokyo.)

  77. anny says:

    In the case of phrases like this one: “If you wash my clothes, I’ll buy you ice cream.”
    what kind of conditional should be used and why the others are wrong?

    • Maggie says:


      Hello Anny,
      You can use たら or なら

      * 私の服を洗濯してくれたら、アイスクリームを買ってあげる。
      = Watashi no fuku wo sentaku shite kuretara, aisukuriimu wo katte ageru.

      * 私の服を洗濯してくれるなら、アイスクリームを買ってあげる。
      = Watashi no fuku wo sentaku shite kureru nara, aisukuriimu wo katte ageru.

      Difference of the nuance:
      the condition
      たら: when you complete the action (having washed the clothes)
      なら: If you wash my clothes (giving an idea of the condition)

  78. The river puppy says:

    Hello! It’s me again! Thanks for answering my previous questions 天人せんぱい and マギー先生! Congratulations on the 7th year anniversary! I guess I will be your first comment from the 7th year! XD

    Anyway, i’ve been trying to learn the difference between the (Nara, Tara and Ba-form) on how to say if. Actually I have been trying to learn their differences since 3 or so years ago when I first started. (Though I haven’t managed to succeed so far)

    I’ve thankfully managed to learn how (to) works thanks to your lesson Maggie sensei.) and I hope I can understand the rest now. Anyway…please tell me if the next sentences are not grammatically correct or unnatural.

    1. 人間にとって水を飲まないと死ぬ。(As for humans if they don’t drink water they die)

    2. この曲を聞くと元カレのことが思い出す。 (Whenever I listen to think song I think of my ex-boyfriend)

    3. もしマギー先生が猫だったら猫を追いかけなかったかもしれません。。(If Maggie sensei were a cat perhaps she wouldn’t have chased cats)—I think tara is appropriate here because Maggie is a dog and it would be hard to imagine her as a cat (Unlikely/impossible circumstance)

    4. コンビニを探したらあそこに。(If you’ve been looking for a convienience store there is one over there)

    5. コンビニならここにありません。(If you’re looking for a convience store there aren’t any here)

    6. 東京に行くなら会いましょう。(If you go to Tokyo let’s meet up)—implying the speaker is in Tokyo and the listener is not.

    7. 東京に行ったら東京スカイトリー見たの?(If you’ve BEEN to Tokyo, did you see the Tokyo Sky Tree?)

    I think I have come to understand that Tara is used for (If) and generally things that are either hard to imagine or things relating to the past, whereas Nara is forward looking and is not used for abnormal circumstances that much (Where tara would be used) Nara can also be used along with particles (あなたになら何でもしてあげる。) あなたに being (for you) while you can’t do that with Tara. (Is this sort of correct?)

    9. But would this be correct?: コンビニを探すならあそこに。

    10. もし分からなかったらマギー先生に聞いたら? (Can tara be used to give suggestions in this way?)

    It is still kinda confusing but thanks for reading. I’m sorry if there are too many questions. I just really need to know because (If) is really difficult for me.

    Thanks in advance! XD

    • Maggie says:

      @The river puppy

      Hi The river puppy,
      Thank you for your warm message for our anniversary!


      1. 人間にとって水を飲まないと死ぬ。

      →人 (or 人間)は水を飲まないと死ぬ。

      2. この曲を聞くと元カレのことが思い出す。 (Whenever I listen to think song I think of my ex-boyfriend)

      3. もしマギー先生が猫だったら猫を追いかけなかったかもしれません。

      →Good! Grammatically correct but I think I would have chased a cat anyway. :P

      4. コンビニを探したらあそこに。(If you’ve been looking for a convienience store there is one over there)

      5. コンビニならここにありません。(If you’re looking for a convience store there aren’t any here)

      6. 東京に行くなら会いましょう。(If you go to Tokyo let’s meet up)—implying the speaker is in Tokyo and the listener is not.

      →If the speaker is in Tokyo, you should say 東京に来るなら会いましょう。
      7. 東京に行ったら東京スカイトリー見たの?(If you’ve BEEN to Tokyo, did you see the Tokyo Sky Tree?)

      →OK, it is a bit conversational but you can say 東京に行ったのなら、東京スカイツリーを見た?

      9. But would this be correct?: コンビニを探すならあそこに。→As I said 4. コンビニを探しているなら/コンビニなら
      10. もし分からなかったらマギー先生に聞いたら? (Can tara be used to give suggestions in this way?)

      →There are two たら but you can say that.

      • The river puppy says:

        Hello! It’s me again! Thanks for answering my questions Maggie sensei! I do have some things to ask about it though.

        (My specific questions relating to your replies):

        1. Why can’t にとって be used? Is it unnatural?

        2. Sorry, that was a really stupid mistake!

        6. Right. That makes sense.

        5&7. Wait? So it’s just better to pick Nara everytime? I don’t understand. Can’t Tara be used as a conditional as well? I am beginning to think I haven’t managed to understand the difference at all…again. But at least it seems I know how to use (to) now.

        Hmmm…it seems like I really don’t understand the difference. Also, how does Ba fit into this. Actually don’t tell me please. I’m already super confused with just Nara and Tara…

        Sorry for asking the same questions again. (Looking back at the old questions I asked I can see that i’ve asked you questions about conditionals before) Anyway, thanks in advance! XD

        • Maggie says:

          Conditional form is difficult. Especially the difference between なら・たら・ば.

          1. Why can’t にとって be used? Is it unnatural?

          Yes it is unnatural. The main verb of your sentence is 死ぬ and you needs a subject.
          人間にとって= means “for human/ for people” so 人間 can’t be a subject.

          You can say” 人間にとって水は欠かせないものだ。
          = Water is something indispensable for people.
          (The subject is water)

          Q; 5&7. Wait? So it’s just better to pick Nara everytime? Can’t Tara be used as a conditional as well?

          1) I didn’t correct No.5. It was perfect.
          2) As for 7), Yes, you can use たら as conditional

          東京に行ったら〜 (When you go to Tokyo)
          Ex. 東京に行ったら東京スカイツリーを見に行ってください。
          = If / When you go to Tokyo, please go see Tokyo Sky Tree.

          The problem of your sentence was
          東京に行ったら = When/ If you go to Tokyo ( talking about future )
          見たの?= Did you see? (talking about past)

  79. 8月10日 (はちがつとうか) August 10th.
    It’s our 7th anniversary today.
    Thank you for all your support! boucingheart!

    • 天人 says:

      おめでとう !shortcake! おめでとう
      Thank you Maggie for this wonderful 7 years.
      Without any seed of doubt, You are the best 先生 in the world.
      By combining learning and fun you showed us that Japanese isn’t that much difficult and that this combination gives the best results.

      これからも私たちの日本語を支え続けてください! boucingheart!

      • @天人

        Thank YOU for your nice and warm message.
        Your Japanese is already AMAZING, you keep coming here and help people.
        We are very grateful to have you here.
        :maggie-small: boucingheart!

  80. The river puppy says:

    Hi Maggie sensei! It’s me again! I just wanted to ask a quick question today. Please help me as you always do!

    1. What is the difference between なんとなく and なんとか?
    なんとなく is supposed to mean: somehow or other/ for some reason or another
    なんとか is supposed to mean: somehow or other

    How would they be used differently and what are their nuances. Or are they interchangable? (I personally don’t think so because I once read that nantonaku is something of a special response which means “Not any particular”

    Like if somebody asked “Why do you love dogs?” nantonaku would mean “No particular reason”. (Though what I read could be incorrect)

    Please help me as you always do!
    Thanks in advance Maggie sensei!

    • 天人 says:

      Hello river puppy!
      Here’s the explanation between 何とか and 何となく.

      ★ 何とか ★
      1. なんとか implies that you just run out of certain methods / ways / means / techniques in order to do / achieve something. And now you have to do this “SOMETHING” in order to achieve it.
      EX) 今のうちに何とかしないと大変だ! (If we don’t do something right now, then we are gonna be in big trouble!).

      2. なんとか implies also the same as どうにか or かろうじて which means: barely, hardly(完全/十分とはいえない).
      EX) 何とかバスに間に合あった。(Barely catch the bus; a few seconds later and the bus would have left)

      3. Used when the matters are uncertain / unknown.
      EX) 何とかという人から電話がかかってきた。(Mr. thingy-ma-bob called), なんとか言いなさい! (Say SOMETHING!), なんとかして!(Do SOMETHING!)

      ★ 何となく ★
      1. Used when you don’t know the reason / purpose / intention / source of something / if you are not sure about something (like feelings)
      何となく分かる。 (Get a sense of something / understand something in some way)
      私は何となく…聞いたことがあるような気がする。 (It feels like I have heard … before)
      何となく愛子ちゃんのことを好きになれないけど。 (For some reason I have hard feelings toward Aiko… / I don’t know why, but I have hard feelings toward Aiko…)


      • Maggie says:


        Thank you 天人 for helping The river puppy!! :)

      • The river puppy says:

        Hello 天人せんぱい! Thanks for answering my question. Your answer was very detailed! But I have a question about something I read online. This next portion of text is the reason why I had the question the the first place:

        “聞く所によると、スペイン人はイタリア人と会話しても何となく通じるそうで、フランス語はさす がに発音が違いすぎるので分からないと言うものの、読むことは何とかできるそうです。”

        I think the first part means, “From listening standpoint when Spanish and Italians converse they can SOMEHOW understand each other,—”

        Which makes sense to me after you explained how nantonaku works but what does the rest mean? I think it goes on to say this: “Of course French pronounciations (Of French) sound very different and therefore cannot be understood (By Italians and Spanish) but for SOMETHING they seem to be able to read French.

        I don’t think something makes sense here (But i’m too dum to figure out what fits!) and also, in this case it doesn’t mean something and it means SOMEHOW as well, then wouldn’t it have the same meaning as nantonaku?

        Also, what does the “と言うものの” part mean exactly? Could the two (no)s be a typo or is this nominalization (BUT why would there be any nominalization)?

        I know i’ve already asked you a lot of questions already but could you please also tell me what
        ご参考までに means?

        (I don’t think it means: Until a good consideration)

        Thanks in advance! XD

        • 天人 says:

          => They cannot understand フランス語 because the pronunciation differs too much, but somehow – apparently – they are able to read in French.
          As you can see the are two “somehow” with the same meaning. The first one (なんとなく) refers to an abstract state (通じること [understanding]) and the second one (なんとか) to an action (読むこと [reading].

          => と(は)言うものの is a fix pattern (という+ものの) used in contrast sentences; it means the same as: …ではあるが、その反面… or そうは言っても / とは言いながら…

          => “I know i’ve already asked you a lot of questions”  Qui rogat, non errat :)

          => ご参考までに means normally “for your information”. But – I don’t know why – I use it in the meaning of: “I hope the answer / information I gave to you was helpful enough” (以上の情報をご参考までなれば幸いざんす). Maggie, correct me, if I’m wrong.

          • Maggie says:


            Great job, 天人先輩!

            Yes, ご参考までに・ご参考まで means “for your information”

            You usually use it,

            * ご参考までに+ and give an information.

            or after giving an information, you concludes

            * 以上、ご参考になれば幸(さいわ)いです。
            or less formal

            but you sometimes just say, 以上、ご参考までに・ご参考まで
            omitting the rest. (Therefore if you are writing to someone superior in business, you should stick to * form. But in this comment section, there is no problem. :) )

            ざんす: Only when you are joking. :)

          • 天人 says:

            Hello Maggie! Thank you for your answer.
            Didn’t know that ざんす is used jokingly. It’s 丁寧語 of だ / である, so I thought…
            Confirm please if ご参考までに has the meaning of “I hope the answer / information I gave to you was helpful enough” or does it only mean “for your information”. This just “for your information” doesn’t sound quite polite…

          • Maggie says:


            ご参考までに means just “For your information. It is a short way of saying
            ご参考になれば幸いです。・嬉しいです means “I hope this answer/information will be helpful. / I would be happy if this serves you.”
            But don’t worry. You don’t sound impolite at all.
            You have been giving all the information and conclude 参考までに, so it is


            ご参考までに means just “For your information. It is a short way of saying
            ご参考になれば幸いです。・嬉しいです means “I hope this answer/information will be helpful. / I would be happy if this serves you.”
            But don’t worry. You don’t sound impolite at all.
            You have been giving all the information and conclude 参考までに, so it is

            As for ざんす, you only hear/see is when you make fun of typical a snob rich people character.
            Also it is known as a famous line from a character, IYAMI in animation “Osomatsukun”
            So you don’t use it in a formal speech. Just when you write in a jokingly way.

  81. 天人 says:

    Hello, Maggie!
    How are you doing? I hope you are fine ^ ^

    Maggie, could you explain me the meaning and usage of よくしたもの(だ/で) and よく言ったもの(だ/で)?
    I think I got the general idea of this interesting pattern, but it doesn’t hurt to ask you for some further information, because you are the source of knowledge ^ ^

    よろしくお願いクポ! !ohisama!

    • Maggie says:


      Hello, 天人!
      I’m good. How about you?

      よく言ったものだ。/ で
      You use the expressions with with a cliché or old sayings.

      Ex. “ ~ “ とはよく言ったものだ。
      The saying/quote ” ~ “ really hits the nail on the head.

      「恋は盲目 *love is blind!” 」とはよく言ったものだ。
      = The saying “Love is blind” really hits the nail on the head.

      When you express more you continue with 言ったもので

      「恋は盲目 」とはよく言ったもので、人は誰かを好きになるとその人のことしか考えられなくなる。
      = The saying “Love is blind” really hits the nail on the head because when we fall in love with someone, we can’t think of anything else.

      Not sure about よくしたものだ/で one. I don’t think you are asking the pattern of “S used to do something”
      Can you give me an example?

      • 天人 says:

        I’m fine, today the temperature dropped under 30度 so it’s going to be a lovely day.

        Well, this pattern can also be translated into “S used to do something” depending on context, but you are right, here it’s not the case.
        According my book:

        I had woken up and shortly after that I had a little enlightenment regarding this pattern.
        I think it implies a wise state of design / creation / being => 実に巧妙に作られている (1-3) or that someone is just lucky (4).

        1. 夫婦とはよくしたもので、お互いに欠点を補いあっている組み合わせが多い。
        2. よくしたもので、貧乏がかえって幸せなこともある。
        3. 世の中はよくしたもので、楽あれば苦ありさ。
        4. よくしたものだね。呼びに行こうと思っていたら、彼の方から来た。

        • Maggie says:


          I’m happy to hear you are having a lovely weather there.
          It’s steaming hot here in Japan.

          Ah, OK. That よくしたもの
          It is an idiomatic expression. We also say よく出来たものだ/うまく出来ているものだ。
          And yes, your enlightenment is correct.
          I should take a nap,too. :)

  82. David says:

    Thank you for your website.
    Do 食べずに, 食べないで and 食べないまま mean the same thing?
    In other words, are ずに and ないで and まま interchangeable in most cases?
    I am particularly interested in まま。


    • 天人 says:

      Hmmm, my 語感 tells me that ~まま focuses more on the state itself and ~ずに on the action.
      What do you think, Maggie?

    • Maggie says:

      @David and 天人

      Basically they mean the same. (without eating)
      食べずに and 食べないで are interchangeable.


      Good job 天人さん!
      食べないまま: As 天人さん said, まま focuses on the state of not eating and ないで・ずに focuses on the action itself.

  83. The river puppy says:

    Hello Maggie sensei! I know it’s been awhile. First of all:

    お帰りなさい!いい夏休みを過ごしましたか?—Sorry if this is a little belated

    I also have a question to ask if you don’t mind. Recently, I have been trying to read an article and everything made sense until a certain part, which I basically translated into nonsense.


    My Translation: For that reason, properly speaking, the English learning that is based on this matter must, sadly, be carried out, Why does an English learning of Japan that seems to not acknowledge the existence of such a truth continue to be carried out.

    It seems to be nonsense huh? I’m really no good at this. Please help maggie sensei, I have no idea what it means.

    This is the first part of the article in case context is needed:

    です。 ところが、日本語と英語の違いは非常に大きいため、日本人が英語を学習するにはかなり苦労しま す。例えば、アメリカのある公的機関は、アメリカ人にとって世界で一番難しい言語は日本語だと 言っています。そのため本来ならこの事を踏まえた

    Please help me as you always do Maggie sensei!

    • Maggie says:

      @The river puppy

      Hi the river puppy.

      Maybe the part, 本来ならこの事を踏まえた英語学習が行われなければならないのに can be changed.
      I don’t do the translation here but will help you give you some idea.
      “Though they* are supposed to study English based on this, ~~”

      * can be “we” if the writer is Japanese.

      • The river puppy says:

        Hi Maggie sensei! It’s me again! Thanks for answering my question! It didn’t make any sense before but now that you said this one thing it suddenly makes complete sense (Kinda like when you explained a confusing sentence about Apple) You are a really amazing teacher to be able to answer my wordy question so simply and effectively! XD I hope my Japanese will be as good as yours someday.

        Anyway, it makes sense to me now. Thanks for all the help!

  84. レーナ says:


    「先」と「手前」と「ちか」と「となり」の違いはナンですか???実はよく分かりません  !sleepy!

    • Maggie says:

      先 ahead of someone/somewhere
      手前 right before something. Ex. 信号(しんごう)の手前= right before the traffic signal
      ちか→I think it’s a typo. You meant 近く(ちかく)? If so, “near something/someone/ close to something/someone”
      となり= right next to something/someone, next door

  85. ivan says:

    i have more questions and doubts:

    1- how to use or when to use よし、君ならできる and まさか。
    2- what`s the difference between ことにする and 決める。
    3- how do i know when the pronounce is あと or ご for 後? and when the pronounce is ちゅう or じゅう for 中?
    4- there is a てform for です/だ? if yes, can you give an example?

    • Maggie says:


      I can handle one or two questions at a time. Will try to answer briefly :)
      1. よし君ならできる = the speaker is superior to the listener. Like a teacher, instructor would say this kind of quote.
      I believe you can do it. / Now you are ready

      まさか= No way!/ It can’t be true. (When you can’t believe what you just heard/saw”)

      2. ことにする to make a decision on the action from now on.
      決める can be used for actions, matters, rules.

      There are exceptions but usually
      noun の後(あと)(食事の後(あと)・授業の後(じゅぎょうのあと))

      後(ご)is used in a compound word.

      4. You use Verb+て form with ます
      You use だ・です after noun or na-adjective.
      Did you see te-form + だ・です?

      • ivan says:

        About the だ and です i asked for curiosity and ことにする and 決める are interchangeable?

        • Maggie says:

          Not quite.
          Verb + ことにする
          noun + に/を+ 決める

          Ex. A-1) 明日、出発することにします。= I think I am going to leave tomorrow.
          Ex. A-2) もう、彼とは会わないことにした。= I decided not to see him anymore.

          時間を決める = to set the time
          新しい規則を決める= to set the new rules.
          When it is used with a verb, you have to nominalize the verb.
          B-1) もう彼とは会わないことに決めた。
          B-2) 明日、出発することに決めた。

          The translation is the same but ことにする・した focusing on what the speaker is(not) going to do from now, 決めた focuses on the decision itself.

          There are more usages of ことにする but there is no space here. Will make a lesson for you sometime.

  86. Danny G says:

    Hello :)

    I wanted to know what the volitional form plus just plain か is used for? Such as 今朝も 何を書こうかと考えています。 

    Any help would be appreciated.

    • 天人 says:

      Hello Danny G,

      今朝も何を書こうかと考えています。(I’m thinking also this morning what should I write.)
      (よ)う implies the speakers will.
      か indicates uncertainty.

      This pattern is used when you (or someone) want(s) to do something but there are certain uncertainties regarding this action itself. In this case the speaker wants to write something, but he doesn’t know what.
      EX) あのとき、どうしようかなぁって思っていたんだ。 (That time I was thinking what should I do.)


  87. Maggie says:

    明日(あした)、7月13日(しちがつ じゅうさんにち)から夏休(なつやす)みをいただきます。みなさんのコメントには22日(にじゅうににち)までお返事(へんじ)できません。みんなも楽(たの)しい夏(なつ)を過(す)ごしてください。

    Hi everyone! :maggie-small:
    I will take a summer break from tomorrow, July 13th.
    I won’t be able to answer your comments until July 22nd.
    Hope you all have a great summer! boucingheart! !onpu!

  88. 天人 says:

    Hello Maggie!
    I hope you are doing well :)
    I brought with me a few questions (as always ^o^).

    1. In the lesson about ~めく there’s a sentence which I’m not sure I understand it completely correct.

    いわくありげな文字 ==> “something is written which seems to have a meaning / sense” (I imagine a 1000-year old text which is barely readable, but has a meaning). How would you translate this part?

    2. I found an interesting pattern ~てたまる(もん)か and I wonder about the difference (meaning / nuance) between 動詞+る形+ものか and 動詞+て形+たまる(もん)か
    EX あんな奴に馬鹿にされてたまるもんか VS あんな奴に馬鹿にされるもんか!

    3. I found an interesting construction: AもAなら、BもB but there’s one sentence that I don’t understand entirely:

    こんな非常識極まりない = such an extremely thoughtlessness / absurd
    する方もする方なら、させる方もさせる方だ => ??? (;____;)

    よろしくお願いします、ブヒィィィィ! :maggie-small:

    • Maggie says:


      Hi 天人さん

      1. Besides “to have a meaning” いわくありげ suggest that there could be some story behind it.
      I think いわくありげ in the example sentence modifies 石碑 not 文字 because 文字 already has a meaning.

      an engraved stone monument (or a tombstone) which may have some story (history).


      They both has もんか and express one’s strong will not to let someone do something to you.
      But I think たまるもんか sounds stronger.
      堪まる=tamaru = to put up with
      堪らない=tamaranai= can not stand / can’t control your feelings./ one’s extreme feelings

      3. OK, let me break it down.

      The speaker is talking about two people.

      A: こんな非常識極まりないことをする人  A person who does such an extremely thoughtless/rude/absurd thing
      B : こんな非常識極まりないことをさせる人 a person who let someone does such an ~~~

      • 天人 says:

        Dear Maggie,
        thanks to you learning Japanese gives me more and more fun & satisfaction, because day by day with your help I feel like I’m getting better with my Japanese.
        I wish I could give you a biiiig hug for all what you have done for me…
        Thank you for the answers and please enjoy your 夏休み.

        • Maggie says:


          Thank YOU for always helping people here while I am gone.
          I just came back from my 夏休み today.
          Learning language is like an endless journey but your Japanese is just amazing!

  89. Mike says:

    Hi Maggi sensei,

    I just found your site, and it is so wonderful! Thank you so much for contributing so much to the Japanese language learning community!

    I have a martial arts text book that I’m reading through and I came across what I think is a particle but I’m not sure. The word/particle in question is のと、I am unable to figure out how it used or what it actually means. I’m really hoping you can help. I have 3 examples below from my text book.




    Thank You,

    • Maggie says:


      Hi Mike,
      Welcome to my site!
      OK の is used to nominalize a verb.

      Ex. 彼は食べるのがすきです。
      = Kare wa taberu no ga suki desu.
      (が= ga is a subject marker)

      Ex. 漢字を勉強するのは難しい。
      = Kanji wo benkyou suru nowa muzukashii.
      = Studying Kanji is difficult.
      (は= wa is another subject marker)

      Ex. 花に水をやるのを忘れた。
      = Hana ni mizu wo yaru no wo waasureta.
      = I forgot giving water to flowers.
      (を (o) is an object marker)

      So depending on the context, の (=no) is used with another particle.

      In your example sentences, it is used with a particle と (=to) which means “and”
      or ~のと(同時に)  (at the same time) as doing something

  90. マイケル says:

    Dear Maggie Sensei,

    I am a karateka and I am conducting research on the term osu 押忍! I noticed you have three variations of osu on your aisatsu page:挨拶-あいさつaisatsu-how-to-greet-in-japanese/

    おっす!( = ossu)
    うっす!( = ussu)
    ういっす!( = uissu)

    I know the term osu / ossu more than likely was derived as a shortened version of ohayou gozaimasu (お)はようございま(す) from officers in the Dai-Nippon Teikoku Kaigun 大日本帝国海軍.

    I’m curious as to the history and usage of ussu and uissu. When did they come about and when would someone use these terms compared to using ossu?

    Thank you very much for your time.


    • Maggie says:


      As you said おっす is an abbreviation form of おはようございます。 It has been used for a long time.
      I can’t recall since when we’ve started to hear/use or who started to use them but there has been the following trends
      1) We tend to abbreviate words/phrases
      2) Young men tend to add っす instead of saying ます 
      3) We tend to stretch the sounds Ex. ウイーッス

      So basically it is easy to create new types of greetings.

      Ex. こんにちは→ちわっす→ちわーっす
      Ex. おはよう→おはよっす

  91. 天人 says:

    Hello again! !onpu!
    Maggie, I need your help to verify the difference between ~終わる and ~終える.
    Using a few Japanese web sites I’ve tried to figure it out by myself (though it took me 2 hours…. >. implies that the speaker ate his sushi as a normal course of things. He was hungry, ate his sushi and now he’s full.
    すしを食べ終えた => implies that the speaker had to do some extra actions (it wasn’t just a normal course of things) to finish his sushi. It might imply he did some efforts (for example although he was full he forced himself to eat everything what was on his plate) or he was in hurry and had to finished eating faster then normal, because his bus leaves soon.




    • Maggie says:


      Hello again,

      Yes, your interpretation is right.
      〜を食べ終えた = The speaker managed to finish eating ~ .
      〜を食べ終わった= The speaker finished eating ~
      So V+終えた implies the speaker goes through some actions.

  92. Shiani says:

    今度に文法的な質問です。「と」particleの元は「とも {友達言葉の中にみたい}」ですか。


    !greenapple!  !Anapple! !Anapple!

    • Maggie says:


      友達言葉の中にみたい →I am sorry. I don’t understand what you meant.
      と means “and/with/then.etc.” とも (also).
      Youtube : He says “一回は一回です。” = One time is one time. (Emphasizing what you promised before.) 「目には目を」is an old saying and different form this usage.

      • Shiani says:

        Ohhh I understand now! Thank you very much!
        For the first sentence, I was trying to say this time I had a grammatical question, but I didn’t check the kanji, sorry about that.
        As for と I was wondering that, since that particle can be used to say ‘together with’ i.e. 「私は、彼と来た。」then, like how in English many words have roots, affixes, suffixes, etc. if when using と to mean ‘together with’, if it was just a version of 「とも」 that became a particle long ago.
        ビデオに本当ありがとございます。三週間から、その意味を考えていましたの。 !happyface!

  93. ivan says:

    I have some questions:

    1- i know that うん/ううん are the casual versions of はい/いいえ, but there are situations where a person must say はい or いいえ even in casual talk?

    2- what verb is better to say “to hug”: 抱擁する or 抱く?

    3- what is the difference between:どうしよう(かな), どうすればいい and どうしたらいい?

    4- is this phrase correct? 最近僕はたくさん勉強してるが, 疲れないよ i am not sure if が was the best choice and if the comma was necessary.

    • Maggie says:


      Hello ivan,

      1. There is no specific situation that people must say はい・いいえ in casual situation but when you talk to someone sarcastically or you want to emphasize “yes/no”, you tend to speak politely on purpose.

      2. We say ハグする in modern Japanese.

      3. どうしようかな talking to yourself.
      どうすればいい・どうしたらいい the same meaning. Asking an opinion (or talking to yourself.)

      4. It is grammatically correct. But as you noticed, が is a bit too formal in this sentence.
      Since you use 僕, you can stick to casual speech. 勉強しているけれど(けど)

      Hope that helps.

  94. Guy Marchand says:

    Hello from Canada Maggie sensei.

    I need to know to whom the “husband” belongs to (her friend or herself) in that phrase from Twitter:
    (I understand it’s about a lady who meets friends for her birthday):

    I asked around and apparently this phrase is peculiarly written…

    Thank you very much.

    • Maggie says:

      @Guy Marchand

      Hello Guy Marchand

      You are supposed to refer to someone else’s husgand as 旦那様 not yours. However some people use さん/様 to your own family member jokingly. That is why it is hard to tell whose huband he is.
      But If the speaker is visiting her friend’s house, he must be her friend’s husband.

      What I don’t understand cleary is the last part, お友達ちゃん飲んでた。It looks like an unfinished sentence.

  95. obakasan000 says:

    Good day dear Maggie sensei. Thank you so much.
    My question for today is based on these sentences.


    I was 20 minutes late,
    but I was still able to see it(^o^)/*
    For starters, the atmosphere of the club was overwhelming

    I am having trouble trying to understand this phrase: 雰囲気に圧倒

    雰囲気 – atmosphere
    圧倒 – overpower, overwhelm.

    Is there something omitted after 圧倒?
    Thank you so much in advance, dear Maggie sensei.

    • Maggie says:


      Hello Orikousan!

      Yes, されました is omitted after 圧倒
      圧倒されました。= I was overwhelmed.

      You often finished the sentence like that

      Ex. 〜にびっくり(しました)I was surprised at ~
      Ex. 〜に感動(しました)I was impressed with ~
      Ex. 〜に同感(しました)I agree ~ ,etc.

      • obakasan000 says:

        Good day dear Maggie sensei. Thank you so much.

        My question for today is about this sentence.
        I would like to ask if I got this right?


        There is a comma after 全然, so it is for 見れませんでした and not for 動かず.

        Though there is no「に」 after 「ず」, this still means, “without doing verb”.
        So if I will translate it literally, It would be like this:

        I could not see the e-mail at all, without the monitor turning on.
        Thank you so much in advance dear Maggie sensei.

        • Maggie says:


          Hi! I just rescued your messages from Spam file. (You sent me the same messages three times so I deleted the other ones.)
          That 全然 modifies 動かず. The punctuation is tricky. It should be 全然動かず、メールが見れませんでした。
          The monitor got freezed (= didn’t react at all) and couldn’t see the emails.
          If 全然 modifies 見れませんでした it should be 画面が動かず、全然メールが見れませんでした。

          • obakasan000 says:

            Good day dear Maggie Sensei. Advance Happy Anniversary too.
            My question for today are:

            Just like this year, I reached/celebrated my birthday safely.
            My 20th birthday is just around the corner (1 year to go)

            I am just confused with もう here. Which do you think is more appropriate?

            a. [Soon], the age when I should not call my self a child is coming
            b. It is the age when I should [no longer] call my self a child.

            Would this mean,

            a. things like A and B are [also] cute
            b. It should be も+も but, や is used to sound softer?
            Thank you so much in advance, dear Maggie sensei.

          • Maggie says:


            Wow! I didn’t expect anybody to remember the anniversary. Thank you! I’m really surprised!

            1. That もう means “(not ~ )anymore”

            It is not the age that I can consider myself as a child anymore.

            2. AやBもかわいい。= A and B and maybe other things are cute.
            AもBもかわいい = A and also B are cute.

  96. Shiro-san says:

    I have some doubts…
    I read this from OreImo light novel:
    I didn’t understand some parts.
    For example> 茶髪にピアス= Piercing Brown Hair? But Kirino doesn’t have a Spiked Hair or something like that. So I don’t get it.
    身内の俺が言うのもなんだが= “What I say of relatives as well but…” Did I understand this part right?
    What’s かたり and きたもんだ in this context?
    Help me, 先生!

    • Maggie says:


      Hi Shiro-san

      茶髪にピアス ~(の中学生)
      junior high school student with brown hair and pierced ears.
      (FYI usually a lot of schools banned junior high school students to dye their hair and have their ears pierced in Japan.)
      身内の俺が言うのもなんだが= (I don’t mean to brag as her (relatives, family, members of the same group) This is an expression when you say good things about your family or members.
      Usually it is hard to compliment your own family members or someone who belongs to your group.

      かたり = Is she deceiving people? If so かたり there means “a swindler”
      ~きたもんだ is to show your surprising, admiring feelings.
      (interesting enough) She is a beautiful swindler.

  97. Shiani says:

    こんばんは、マギ一先生!今日は、三質問があります、申しそれがいいです。先ず、見るがみってより見てだというのです。どうしてのですか。見るは、一段verbだから、「る」が「って」になるの方がべきではありませんか。ところで、verb past-tenseりの語法は、future-tense をありますか。私は、「verb current-tenseだったり」だと思いますでも、悪い答えでしょう。やっと、verb 「いる」は、「て」の形をありますか。すべて先生の凄い答えで、ありがとございます! !Anapple! !greenapple!  !Anapple!

    In English just in case…
    Good evening, Maggie Sensei! Today I have 3 questions, if that’s okay with you. First, みる[‘s て-form] is みて instead of みって. Why? That verb is an いちだん verb, so shouldn’t る become って? 「例えば、私はビデオをみっています。 vs わたしはビデオをみています。」 Also, about the grammar of verb past-tense り, does it have a future tense? I thought that might work out like verb future-tense だったり, 「例えば、明日こそ、必ず犬と散歩するだったり、洗濯するだったり、家を綺麗するなあ!」 but that’s probably wrong. Finally, about the verb いて, does it have a て form? 「例えば、「いています」 would mean [existing]。」Thank you so much for all your awesome answers!

    • Maggie says:



      1) te-form of 見る is 見て

      The easiest way to remember what verbs takes って is to make masu form first.

      And the following three takes って

      Ex. ~り(ます) Ex. 帰(かえ)ります。→帰って
      Ex. ~ち (ます)Ex. 待(ま)ちます→待って
      Ex. ~ い(ます)Ex. 買(か)います→買って

      2) You can use たり when you talk about future as follows.

      Ex. 明日は犬と散歩をしたり洗濯をしたりして過ごします。

      3) いています is strange. You just say います

      But you use
      Verb ています= is doing something / has done something

      • Shiani says:

        1. ああ、そう。「見るが五段です」と思いましたが、一段です。 :oops:
        2. そっか、ありがと!!
        3. わかりました。

        ありがとございます!!! !greenapple! 

  98. Gallus says:

    Hello, I heard a sentence watching something and was wondering a few things about it? I tried translating it myself but I wonder if I’m right and a few things. Context is around a soldier explaining orders to one of the commanders. This was going by my hearing so the sentence may sound weird. Sorry

    命令拒否はできないんじゃないんですか? 正論なんてことは役に立たないことは、さすがに知ってますよね。

    Basically my translation was ” You can’t refuse orders can you not? You know that kind of sound reasoning isn’t helpful to you right?”

    My questions were that I feel like a particle should be between 命令 and 拒否 Also why is ことは after なんて here?

    Would be helpful if you were able to explain these to me as I don’t know. Or even if I translated it right.

    Thanks in advance :)

  99. Danny G says:

    Hello :)

    I’ve seen a couple of words/particles used to convey the meaning of “at least” in Japanese and I wanted to know when I could use each of them. It’s a topic that has confused me for a looong time.


    Thanks in advance. Whenever you have time

    • Maggie says:

      @Danny G

      Hi Danny G!
      There are cases that you can use them both.

      少なくとも is used when you are talking about the minimum number/price/actions, etc.

      Ex. 彼は少なくとも年収は2000万円はあるはずだ。
      = He must earn at least 20 million yen a hear.

      Ex. このレッスンを作るには少なくとも1週間はかかる。
      = It will take at least one week to make this lesson.

      せめて involves more emotion and you use it when you expect someone (or even yourself) to do something to fill your minimum satisfaction.

      Ex. せめてこのレッスンだけは読んでください。
      = Please read at least this lesson.

      ぐらい・くらいは can be accompanied to both of them

      EX. せめて、返事ぐらいしてよ。
      = You could at least reply to me.

  100. Shiro-san says:

    I have a question.
    How to say “Call someone by something”?
    For example:
    “Call me Tanaka!”
    “She calls him Mark.”
    “He calls she Angeline.”

  101. Marianne says:

    Dear Maggie Sensei,
    How would you say “come before” or “put before” in Japanese? When something takes priority over something else.
    Ex. Nothing comes before my family.
    Ex. He puts his work before his private life.

    • Maggie says:


      Hello Marianne!
      come before/put before: You say 〜を優先(ゆうせん)させる(to prioritize) / 〜が(のほうが)大切 (~ is more important than ~ ) in Japanese.

      Ex. Nothing comes before my family. 家族が一番大切大切だ/ 何よりも家族を優先させる
      Ex. He puts his work before his private life. 彼は私生活より仕事を優先させる。・彼にとって私生活より仕事の方が大切だ。

  102. The river puppy says:

    Hi Maggie sensei! It’s me again. I just have a really quick question today. Please help me out as you always do! XD

    1. What is the difference between 解明 and 解説? I think they both stem from 説明 but that doesn’t seem to make the difference clearer. Are they interchangeble or is there/are there some slight differences?

    2. Also, I know you are busy but please add me to the list of people requesting a (Ba) lesson. Conditionals have been confusing me since I first started learning Japanese and after so many years I am more confused than ever.

    3. Also, if possible, could you also make a lesson explaining the differences between nara and tara (I know you put in a section regarding differences in you Nara lesson but nevertheless I am still very confused) I read 天人’s comment in the comments section about the differences as well but once again I can’t understand it at all. :(

    Thanks in advance for your help Maggie sensei! XD

    • Maggie says:

      @The river puppy

      Hi The river puppy!

      1. 解明 is to clarify or solve some difficult problem or mysteries or investigate what happened.
      解説 is to explain or interpret

      2. It is already on the list.
      3. At this point I am not planning to make another lesson on nara and tara to compare. As you can see the length of each lessons, I have to make another long long lessons… But when I have more time, I will add more inf on one of the lessons.
      I am sorry….

      • The river puppy says:

        Hi Maggie sensei! It’s me again! Thanks for answering my questions! (It still is kinda confusing because the difference is very slight and very similar to 説明) but anyway thanks for answering!

        Also, there is no need to apologise. I know you work very hard on the lessons. You are a really great teacher. Because of your teachings I can actually watch Japanese movies now! (Though I don’t understand everything, there have been a lot of things that made sense and it was so great when I knew what they were saying!) I have you to thank for all of that.

        But as usual, since I have such horrid internet connection, I don’t want to waste any oppourtunities (It just became good but probably only temporarily) so I have two questions today. Please answer them! XD

        1. What is the difference between 行方 and 居場所? I would think that the first is “Whereabouts” while the other is where you are (But then isn’t that the same?)

        2. Is there a difference in using yori for comparisons and using (no hou ga +yori)? Basically, does adding the no hou emphasize more or something? Or is it simply choice?

        Also, I just want to thank you again. You are a really wonderful teacher. The things I can read and understand in Japanese right now aren’t very much but it would all have been impossible three years ago and I have you to thank for all of that. (Also, your recommendation of Tae Kim as a good Japanese teacher was great too. Thanks a lot for that)

        Thanks in advance for your help Maggie sensei! XD (And for all the help you’ve given me until now!)

        • Maggie says:

          @The river puppy

          Hi The river puppy!


          Will give you some of the words which you use with

          * 事件(incident)・事故(accident) ・秘密(secrets) ・不思議な現象 (mysterious phenomenon) を解明する
          = investigate / find out (the secret) / clarify

          *ニュース (news) / 野球 (baseball ) /作品 を解説する
          = comment on news/baseball game / explain all the details of an artwork for someone

          Let’s pick one word
          事故の解明 = to try to find out why the accident happened / try to solve the accident.
          事故の解説 = to comment / explain all the details of the accident / how the accident happened.

          I am happy to hear you can watch J-movies. Good for you.

          2) 行方 居場所

          行方 where someone/something is

          When you don’t know where someone is, you can use both 行方・居場所

          彼の行方が分からない。= I don’t know where he is. (You can replace with 居場所)
          船の行方が分からない。= I don’t know where the ship is. (△ 居場所 is usually used for people)
          行方不明= something/someone is missing. (X You don’t say 居場所不明. )

          The difference:
          You also use 居場所 to indicate the place to be/stay

          家に私の居場所がない。= There is no place to be in my house. (X You don’t say 家に私の行方がない)


          (1) Aは、Bより大きい
          (2) Aの方が、Bより大きい

          Yes, “no hou ga” emphasizes the contrast. →(2) shows the contrast more.

          Thank you for your nice words. I am always learning from all the comments.
          You have been improving just because you study hard.
          Keep it up :)

  103. guest says:

    Hello Maggie-sensei!

    Thank you for your help last time! I appreciate it so much !heart3!
    I have another question for you, if you don’t mind. I was reading something and came across the word ‘annara.’ Is this a contraction of some sort for ‘aru nara’?

  104. ivan says:

    1- I saw on television(nhk to de more precise) an interview with a woman when she needed to say some verb in the polite form she said:

    あるです、忘れたです and 信じられないです。
    I want to know if this is common, saying a verb in the casual and them adding です instead of saying the verb in the polite form.

    2- in some videos on the internet i saw people adding な to いadjectives.the examples:


    i really want to know why they did that.

    3- seeing videos on youtube i learned the word おっかない after reading that おっかない means scary, i want to know the difference between おっかない and 怖/恐い.

    • Maggie says:


      1. We say 信じられないです ( ~ ない+です) but あるです・忘れたです are grammatically wrong. Though it is not common, I can imagine some young people say that.

      2. I have a lesson on this. Check this lesson on な.

      I would say おっかない is more conversational (Not just for young people. Actually older people might use it more.). (Some consider it is originally from a dialect)

  105. The river puppy says:

    お誕生日おめでとうございます、ユカリ先生!今日、レッスンを作らないで休んでくださいね!レッスンを作ったり僕の質問を答えたりしてくれてありがとうございました!ずっとこの親切で素敵なままでいてください。XD :kanpai1:

    • @the river puppy

      Love you boucingheart!

      • 天人 says:

        居てくれて、ありがとう (* ̄3 ̄) むちゅ~

        • @天人

          ありがとう〜!!!! 天人さんもやさしいですね。 !heart3!
          Yukariと私からBig Hug送ります!! !heartsippai!

          • Marianne says:

            Bonne fête Maggie Sensei~!!
            いい誕生日を過ごすことができたみたいで嬉しいです ^_^
            おめでとう boucingheart!

      • @Marianne

        Merci, c’est très gentil.
        大好き boucingheart!

  106. Shiani says:

    Konbanwa Maggie Sensei,
    Nihongo oshiete iru no saito no naka niwa, subete gimi tatoe de “tanaka-san” wo mimasu. Guuguru sureba no wa, henna e shika wo agemasen. Nihonjin no uchiwauke toka shujinkou toka, dare ga “tanaka” desuka?? !beginners! Sore ni, atarashii koneko boucingheart! wo kaita bakari dakara
    onamae “Shiyoki” ga imi aru no, ga betsu na kotoba mirai wo kitte imasuka?

    In english to avoid misinterpretation or mistranslation;
    Hi Maggie Sensei,
    In Japanese learning websites, I see (someone named) “Tanaka-san” in almost every example (of Japanese grammar, vocab, etc.). When I google it all I get is weird pictures (creepy men, anime, even restaurants), so is he an inside Japanese joke or cultural tale character – WHO IS TANAKA SAN? Also, I just bought a new kitten (with no name) so does the name “Shiyoki” have any meaning (and if so, any kanji) or sound like any other words (in summary, is it a good name)?
    Kyou, bunkateki shitsumon arimasu ne. Arigato gozaimasu sensei! !greenapple! 

  107. Yotam says:

    Hello sensei!
    How should we say “most” or “mostly” in japanese as in “Most of the people can’t speak French.”?
    If you have already done such a lesson, please share the link (for I don’t find such a lesson)
    Thank you!

    • Maggie says:


      Hi Yotam,
      There are a couple of way to say “most and mostly” but ほとんど should work in many cases.

      Most = ほとんどの/ 大体(だいたい)の /たいていの/ 大部分(だいぶぶん)の

      “Most of the people can’t speak French.”?

      Mostly = ほとんどは、たいていは、大体(だいたい)は, ほぼ

      Ex. I’ve mostly finished my thesis.

  108. Marianne says:

    Hello again, Maggie Sensei.

    この文でほどの意味はなんですか?—> 難しくて面白くないと感じることは、身につかないことが目に見えている。勉強は、楽しいと感じる人ほど、身につき、成績もよくなるのだ。

    “You learn and get good grades from studying to the extent of people who find studying fun.”って読みますけど、おかしくないですか?

    • Maggie says:


      I will just give you a general idea
      “If you think learning is difficult and boring, it is obvious that you won’t learn anything. The more you find studying fun, the more you learn and gets better grade.”

      • Marianne says:

        Wouldn’t that be 勉強は、楽しいと感じるほど、身につき、成績もよくなるのだ。? Why is there 人 before ほど?

        Also, one more question: I was having a conversation with someone who was at home on a Saturday when they usually have school, so I asked “土曜日は学校なかったっけ?”, and he responded “いや、ただ休みなだけ.” I thought なだけ only came after な-adjectives, but can it be used with nouns as well? What is the difference between noun + だけ and noun + なだけ?

        Sorry for all these questions, and thanks in advance^_^

        • Maggie says:


          Ahhh OK, I think I see your confusion. It sounds more natural to use “you” (in general) for ひと in English but the direct translation is The person who finds studying fun tends to learn more and get better grades.

          2nd question:

          You are right, you use なだけ in the following case
          na-adjective な + だけ

          休み is a noun so it’s grammatically wrong.
          However we say that a lot in conversation.

          In colloquial usage, we sometimes make an adverb with a noun and and auxiliary verb
          Noun*+ な (conjugation of だ)


          Ex.まだ子供だ→ まだ子供であるだけ→まだ子供なだけ。(conversational)

          • Marianne says:

            Thank you so much! I finally get that sentence I’ve been struggling with ^_^
            And I didn’t know that な was a conjugation of だ, it’s so much clearer now. I finally understand the grammar construction. I have just one last question, if you don’t mind… ^^;

            What is the difference in nuance between noun+だけ and noun+なだけ? Is なだけ just a little bit more colloquial, and there’s no difference in nuance?

            Ex. まだ子供だけだ。/まだ子供まだけ。
            vs. まだ子供なだけ。

          • Maggie says:


            Hi Marianne,

            Ex. まだ子供だけだ。/まだ子供まだけ。→typo?
            vs. まだ子供なだけ。

            まだ子供だけだ。 could be 1) There are still only children. (Maybe adults are coming later.) 2) Something is just for children at the moment.

            まだ子供なだけ She/He is just a child. That’s all.

          • Marianne says:

            Yes, that was a typo. Whoops ^^;

            I see. So noun + だけ is a little more vague than noun + なだけ. Thank a ton for all the help. Hope you have a nice Golden Week^^

          • Maggie says:


            ありがとう! Marianne!
            You have a nice week,too! :)

  109. guest says:

    Hi Sensei!

    I can’t respond to your last comment for some reason but thank you very much! That helps a lot :grin:

    I’m sorry to bother you but may I ask one more question about it? When I look up the definition for 総括, the words I get are synthesis/recap/generalize. 三人の総括 then becomes “three people’s synthesis”? Is there anything else this word can mean? I tried to find example sentences to see if I can understand the meaning better but there are only example sentences of 総轄.

    • Maggie says:

      統括 also means “to put something together/ to control something all together”
      I don’t know the context but の can be a subject or an object.
      If they are listing up three top leaders, 三人の統括 could mean “those three people will take a control/give directions”

  110. guest says:

    Hi Sensei!

    I was reading something and didn’t know how to make sense of this sentence. Can you please help?


    I understand each word individually but I have no idea how to put it together. The closest thing I could think of was “more than the pain, the terror was enough to kill someone.” Am I close at all?

    • Maggie says:


      Hi guest,
      The subject of the sentence is 恐怖 and 痛み以上の modifies 恐怖
      So if I use some parts of your translation,
      the terror (which is) more than pain is enough to kill someone (Or just kills people)

      • guest says:


        • Maggie says:


          どういたしまして! :)

          • guest says:

            Hi again, Sensei!


            This is what I am having trouble with:
            掟をさだめ 協議の場を設ける
            三人の総括も含め これにより決められた事は伊賀の総意である

            So what I have is:
            掟をさだめ 協議の場を設ける
            A code/rule is decided, and a conference location is established.

            三人の総括も含め これにより決められた事は伊賀の総意である
            Taking into account three people’s synthesis(?), the Iga makes decisions through consensus of opinion.

            I think I am having so much trouble because some of the words have many different meanings and I’m not sure how to string everything together. If it’s not too much trouble, I would really appreciate your help again!

          • Maggie says:


            I won’t do the translation but I will show you the structure.
            掟をさだめ 協議の場を設ける
            to do A and B.
            A = 掟をさだめる
            B = 協議の場を設ける
            You are translating with passive form but “We will establish (set) ~ and ~” or “to establish (set) ~ and ~ “(depending on the context)

            Let me break this down.
            The subject is 決められた事
            So これにより決められた事 (things which have been decided by this)
            三人の総括も含め means “including 三人の統括”

  111. Courtney says:

    Maggie sensei hi!!!! boucingheart! !niconico! 

    So this might be a long message so I apologize in advance. Lately I have been having trouble understanding certain phrases that either pop up at the beginning or middle of sentences such as: そもそも、そういうことで、それでも、それで、なので、そういう、そうなの、こういう、っていうの、もともと、として、いうか、そういうとこ

    So I have an idea of what they mean but when they are in sentences or spoken I can’t seem to um….place them in a coherent English sentence…I think lol…Yeah…..these usually confuse me when I’m trying to translate sentences into English…do you have any lessons on these type phrases or a suggestion on a way to apply them? I’m sorry if it’s alot please don’t feel obligated to answer to all of them just two of them will be enough :) thank you as always!!! <3

    • Maggie says:


      Hi Courtney
      I don’t have a lesson on your question but let me try to explain them now.

      1) そもそも = in the first place
      When you explain why something happened / you do something in the first place.

      Ex. そもそもどうして日本語を勉強しようと思ったの?
      = Why did you want to study Japanese in the first place?

      2) そういうことで  = so, that’s why
      You give a reason or explain some situation and give a conclusion with そういうことで

      (Explaining a reason first in the previous sentence)
      Ex. そういうことで明日は会えません。
      =That’s why (So) I won’t be able to see you tomorrow.

      3) それでも still, regardless ~ + contradicted sentence

      Ex. 彼は忙しい人だ。それでも私に会ってくれた。
      = He is a busy person. Still he (made a time and) saw me.

      4) それで = and then, that’s why, so

      A : 昨日、財布を家に忘れました。
      = I left my wallet at home yeterday.

      B : それでどうしたの?
      = And what happened?

      A : それで友達にお金を借りました。
      = So I borrowed money from my friend.

      5) なので = because / since + reason

      Noun + なので
      Na-adjective な+ので

      Ex. Maggieはきれいなのでもてます。:)
      = Since Maggie is beautiful, she is popular among boys.

      = But since she is a dog, she was dumped.

      6) そういう = like that + 8) こういう= like this

      = Don’t eat like that.

      Ex. そういうセーターが欲しかった。
      = I wanted to have a sweater like that.

      7) そうなの = Is that so. Do you? Is it?…etc. / I see / That’s right (female speech)

      Ex.A: 彼と別れたの。
      = I broke up with him.
      B: えっ?そうなの?
      = What? You did?

      Ex. A : 彼と別れたの?
      = Did you break up with him?
      B : そうなの。
      = Yes, you are right. (I did. )

      9) っていうの (colloquial) というの (sounds a bit feminine )

      Someone said ~ (When you quote what someone said.)
      Ex. 彼は私のことが好きだっていうの。
      = He said he liked me, you know.

      something called ~ / It is called

      Ex. あの子、マギーっていうの。
      = She is called “Maggie”.

      10) もともと originally, from the beginning, naturally

      Ex. 彼はもともと面白い人だ。
      = He is a naturally funny person

      11) として = as

      Ex. この建物は昔は市場として使われていました。
      = This building was used as a market in old days.

      12) いうか

      You mean 〜というか? If so, it means “or” “not A but B””rather ~ “
      You use it when you rephrase something.

      = It looks like a fox rather than a dog.

      13) そういうとこ I already explained 2) そいういうことで but other than that,

      Ex. そういうことではありません。
      = That’s not it.

      Whew…How’s that?

      • Courtney says:

        Wahhhhh! Maggie sensei! That was awesome, thank you so much for explaining all of that! You truly did too much but I am very very grateful for it! Your explanations make a lot of sense and now I understand it completely! Thanks for all your hard work! You truly are the best Japanese teacher anyone could ask for!!! boucingheart! boucingheart!

  112. manik says:

    maggie sensei, can yoou explain about 「どうしたら~か」?
    this is the example:どうしたらその土地の人と友達になれるのかと聞いてみると、「その人たちの食べるものを、一緒に食べることだ」という答えが返ってきた。

    • Maggie says:


      Hi Manik
      “to ask someone how to do something/ how S should do something”
      So basically a speaker is asking someone’s suggestion what they should do to be a friend of local people.

      So basic pattern is (question) かと聞く
      Ex. 「どこに住(す)んでいるのですか?」Where do you live?
      →どこに住んでいるかと聞(き)く to ask someone where he/she lives

      Ex. 「どうしたらマギーの友達になれるの?」How can I be your friend, Maggie?
      →どうしたらマギーの友達になれるのか聞く to ask Maggie how to be her friend.

  113. Shiro-san says:


    • Maggie says:


      はい、元気ですよ。Shiroさんも元気?((名前)はどうですか?→もし誰かが病気だったりして心配する時は使いますが、普通は(名前)、元気ですか? の方が自然です。)

      謀る = to plot/ scheme something

      • Shiro-san says:


      • triet dao says:

        dear Maggie sensei,

        would you please help clarify how to use “kondo” correctly since it can be translated as “last time”, “this time” or “next time”. That confuses me a lot.

        Thank you for your help, Maggie sensei !

        Best Regards,

        Triet Dao

        • Maggie says:

          @tried dao

          今度 (= kondo) means “this time/ now” or “the next time/ next/sometime”. (But I don’t know if it used as “last time”. If you have seen the usage, please give me the example.)

          To know the difference you have to pay attention to the verb tense and situation.

          1) this time

          * with past tense
          It didn’t work out this time either.

          * When you are about to do something.

          = It’s my turn now (this time).

          = I will do my best now. (this time)

          2) next time

          When you can tell the speaker is obviously talking about future.

          Why don’t we go somewhere sometime.

          = I want to do it well the next time.

  114. Shiro-san says:

    Hi, Sensei! I Hope you are fine ^^
    I have three questions.

    1:It’s just a matter of assurance> Can I use “と+(verb that express desire/thought/said things,etc)” for third and second persons as well?
    それでいいと思います。(I) Think that it’s fine.
    それでいいと言った。 (I) Said that “it’s fine”.
    それでいいと願う。 (I) Hope that it’s fine.
    In any example above, “I” is omitted.
    If I put the person that thinks/says/hopes that way, is it grammatically correct?
    彼はそれでいいと思います。”He thinks that it’s fine.”
    Just for assurance, is that correct?

    2:In “Zetsuen no Tempest”, Mahiro quoted Shakespeare and said:
    I translated it as (“In order to fix that, I was born.”)
    But, what とは means in the end?

    3:How do I use でもない?
    I found this sentence:
    I know the meaning, but I don’t understand why でも is used + ない, even with the けど.

    Help, Sensei!

    • Maggie says:


      Hi Shiro-san,


      それでいいと思います。(I) Think that it’s fine.
      It sounds strange with other people.
      But 彼はそれでいいと思っている works.

      それでいいと言った。 (I) Said that “it’s fine”.
      It works.

      それでいいと願う。 (I) Hope that it’s fine.
      This sentence itself is unnatural.
      But again と願っている form works with other people.

      2. That とは express your surprised feeling.

      You leave the sentence unfinished intentionally so that the readers can read between the lines.
      Ex. ~とはすばらしい/驚きだ

      3. Here’s the pattern

      neither A nor B

      • Shiro-san says:

        Thanks, Sensei!
        So, using と in this way, if I would like to write for example…
        Erik is a Hunter(Or… as his cute little sister calls him: “Criminal-kun”).
        Is that right? I’m not that certain…

  115. billy says:

    Hello! !greenapple! 

    I was reading a manga and came across “あらんことを”.
    I get what it means, but I can’t find much about this phrase or conjugation.
    Can you explain where this “あらん” comes from?
    I first thought it was short for あらない, but that doesn’t seem right.


    A girl that can control paper says this before leaving.

    Thanks! !happyface!

    • 天人 says:

      Hello billy,
      あらんことを (=動詞「あり」の未然形+意志の助動詞「む」を「ん」に変えた連体形) is a classical expression and it means ありますように.
      紙 should be 神, I think.

      それで、 「神のご加護があらんことを」は May God bless you / May God be with you という意味になります。


    • Maggie says:


      Hi Billy,
      あらんことを is kind of old expression
      = 神のご加護がありますように(祈っています)。

      あらん=ある(will be there/ You will have ~ )

      May the Force be with you!
      = フォースと共にあらんことを。

  116. Marianne says:

    @天人さん 素晴らしい説明ありがとうございました!天人さんのおかげでわかってきました!

    @マギー先生 The よう that I didn’t understand, was the usage of よう in the sentence: 「ある事柄をするよう勧める意」。I still don’t understand the usage, but thank you for explaining the use of ては。とても勉強になりました^^

    • Maggie says:

      @天人 Thank you for helping Marianne

      = I suggested that she should get some rest.
      = I told him to study Japanese more.

      ては is usually used in a direct speech.
      or when you quote what someone suggested.


  117. Marianne says:

    Hello, Maggie Sensei!

    I’m very tired today so I’ll be writing in English ^^;
    I was reading a dictionary definition for verbて+は, and saw this as one of the definitions, but what does よう mean in the sentence? How is it different from ように? I’m not sure what the definition means.


    1. 多く「…てはどうか」の形で)ある事柄をするよう勧める意を表す。「書いてみ―どうだろう」

    Also, can you explain this other definition for verbて+は? And provide easier examples?

    2. 反駁(はんぱく)・感心などの強い感情をもたらす原因となる条件を示す。…たからには。「そこまで言われ―黙っていられない」「これだけやっつけられ―反論する気も起きない」

    • Maggie says:




      Hmm I wonder what usage of よう you think is similar…
      This one? ↓
      when you show your intention
      Ex. もう寝よう= I guess I am going to bed now.

      If so, while  よう is used to express your intention, ては is used for suggestion for others.

      Verb + てはどうでしょう?・いかがですか?・どう?

      Ex. もう寝てはいかがですか?(polite)
      = I think you should go to bed now.

      (casual way)
      = Why don’t you go to bed now.

      • 天人 says:

        Hello Marianne,
        I will answer your second question.

        This ~ては has the same meaning like ~たからには, it implies that “since something has been already done, then… [==> result]”. It’s a very emphatic expression.
        1. そこまで言われては黙っていられない。 = Since he/she has gone so far, I cannot keep quiet anymore.
        2. これだけやっつけられては反論する気も起きない。 = He doesn’t feel like hitting back, since his ass got kicked that much.


  118. obakasan000 says:

    Good day dear Maggie sensei. Thank you so much for explaining it to me. !JYANE!
    My question for today is about this sentence from “asking directions” lesson

    Is this the right street to get to Meiji Shrine?

    I would like to ask if there would be a difference in meaning if I added の before に+は = 行くの+に+は in this particular sentence?
    Thank you so much in advance dear Maggie sensei.

    • Maggie says:


      Hi orikousan,


      You can add の when you emphasize the meaning. In this case, emphasizing “going to Meiji jinguu”
      (But not other places)

      It is always pleasure to answer your questions. You are so polite. :)

      • obakasan000 says:

        Good day dear Maggie sensei. Thank you so much.
        My concerns for today is about these particular sentences.


        Given translation:
        Let’s continue to overcome any obstacle in our way together.

        I think the translator used the word “continue” even though there is no も after これから先 because this update was about an Anniversary.

        But my translation is something like this:

        Let’s overcome any obstacle [ahead of us/in our way] together.
        There is no も after これから先 so I did not use “continue” even though its obvious in the context that they have been overcoming many obstacles in their career.

        My question is, should I have used “continue” in my interpretation even though there is noも after これから先 because it is obvious in the context?


        I would like to ask if 夢の modifies 横浜 alone, or the whole “横浜アリーナで迎える事” clause (夢の事)

        Thank you so much in advance dear Maggie sensei.

        • Maggie says:



          1. I think what confused you the part, これから先
          これから先 means “from now on” (It will be better to have a punctuation, これから先、)
          If it says これから先”の”壁も… Then it means “obstacles ahead of us”

          As for the “continue” translation,

          Good! As you said if the sentence is
          then it implies they have been working together so it should means “continue”/”keep ~ing”

          But since it just says これから so your translation “Let’s overcome ~” is actually more accurate.

          2. 夢の modies 横浜アリーナ

          • obakasan000 says:

            Good day dear Maggie sensei. Thank you so much.
            I would like to ask for help regarding this sentence.


            ダイビング = diving
            あまりの感動の多さ = “Manyness”of being moved too much
            この記事だけでは書ききれないので = Too many to be written in this single update.

            Translation given:
            There are so many things that moved me while diving that I don’t have enough room to write about all of them here, so…

            I am having a hard time to figuring out what is the role of に after 多さ. I don’t know if It can be translated as:

            “because of/for/to” Being too much deeply moved, this update won’t be enough for me to write about diving so…

            If sensei thinks the sentence is kinda unusual, if it is alright, I would like to ask for common examples.

            Thank you so much in advance, dear Maggie sensei.

          • Maggie says:



            に has many functions but this に is to show a cause. “due to ~ / because of ~/ by ” so your interpretation is right.
            You could also say
            あまりに感動したことが多いので〜 (This で also is to indicate a reason/cause)

            Ex. 寒(さむ)さに震(ふる)える= shiver with [from] cold (because of cold)
            Ex. 飢(う)えに苦(くる)しむ = suffer from starvation

  119. hana says:

    Hi Maggie! I’m not sure how Japan celebrates Easters but maybe you guys get lots of candy too??
    I’m just wondering if you find the below sentence strange:


    This “二、三年行く” sounds really strange to me.

    As an example below:



    Does the explanation above apply to “二、三年行く” too?

    Thank you.

    • Maggie says:


      Hi Hana!
      We see all the cute bunny chocolates at the stores and Tokyo Disney Land has Easter parade but we don’t celebrate Easters as much as Christmas or Halloween.
      However, I heard from some TV shows that Easter celebration is getting “popular” a little by little in Japan.
      But it is all for business.

      I know 行く means “to go” but we often use this verb as ”to go some place and stay there.” in conversation.
      So 2、3年行く there means “someone goes to the States and be there for a couple of years.”

      • hana says:

        Oh that is interesting to know! Mostly children celebrate Easters here, probably for all the candy they get to eat. I think they should just call it Candy Day and leave it at that :D

        Thanks for clearing it up Maggie, so like this:

        (correct) アメリカに二、三年行きます。

        Is the below still wrong though?

        (wrong) アメリカに二、三年行きました。

        I’m guessing you need something like アメリカに二、三年行っていました。

  120. Shiani says:

    Hello Maggie Sensei! Back again, this time with a few more inquiries ^^
    Since I want to be fluent to the point of colloquial conversation- not necessarily above if not necessary- is the JLPT a good representation of typical, daily Japanese?
    And a few grammatical things I’ve been wondering-
    Is using the wo particle topic marker with a person’s name polite? I’ve never seen name wo verb used before, only name wa verb or name ga verb.
    Also, how do double negatives work in Japanese? I know that x-nai ga ikenai = must do x because the negatives cancel each other out, but could that logic be applied to other sentence structures? For example, if I say “nobody isn’t here” in Japanese, would that mean someone is there, or isn’t there?
    Thank you so much!! !greenapple!  !Anapple! !greenapple! 

    • Maggie says:


      Hi Shiani,
      を(=wo) is an object marker so you do use it with people’s name.

      = Shiani wo haha ni shoukai shimasu.
      = I will introduce Shiani to my mother.

      = Shiani san wo shinjite imasu.
      = I believe in Shiani

      Nobody does ~ = 誰も〜ない(=daremo ~ nai)
      Nobody is here = 誰もここにいない( = dare mo koko ni inai)

      For other usage of double negative, check my double negative lesson.

      Nothing is = なにも〜ない

  121. 丸本k says:

    おはようございます maggie sensei,
    i want to ask what kind of keigo phrases when leaving a week on your work place? do ypu have to use formal words when leaving or just casual? ! :roll:

    • Maggie says:


      You are supposed to talk to your boss in polite Japanese.
      It doesn’t have to be overly polite.
      (Ishuukan, oyasumi wo itadakitai nodesuga)
      I would like to take a week off…

      = Isshuukan hodo, oyasumi wo itadakemasu de shouka?
      = Could you allow me to take about a week off?

  122. manik says:

    Oke I see..
    And how about によって?

    • Maggie says:

      I already answered your question on Twitter but I just found all your comments were in Spam file for some reason.
      I think I should check Spam file sometime. Sorry!

  123. manik says:

    Hi maggie sensei..
    Would you like to explain about this grammar ”ni hoka naranai” and ”wo tooshite” thank you so much :3

    • Maggie says:


      Hi manik

      Do you want to make a sentence so that I can check it for you?

      ~にほかならない( ni hoka naranai) means “nothing but””It is nothing else but ~ ”
      A is nothing but ~ / A is the very ~ = ~~~ wa A ni hokanaranai.

      = Kanojo ga sukina hito wa X ni hoka naranai.
      = X is the very person who she likes.

      通して(tooshite) through, by mean of

      To do something through A = A を通して+ verb

      = Kare wo tooshite kono kaisha no koto wo shitta.
      = I got to know this company through him.

      • manik says:

        thank you so much maggie sensei :-D

        I have a question again, what is the diferent of を通して&~することによって?

        • Maggie says:


          While を通して is used with noun or verb することによって is used only with a verb.
          Ex. 私達は彼を通して知り合いました。
          = Watashitachi wa kare wo tooshite shiriaimashita.
          = We got to know each other through him.
          X You can’t use することによって

          But when を通してis used with a verb, you may interchange with することによって

          = Hito to hanasu koto wo tooshite iroiro na koto wo manaberu.
          = Hito to hanasu koto ni yotte iroiro na koto wo manaberu.
          = We can learn many things by talking with people.

          But 通して implies a process and することによって could be just one time thing.

          verb ことによって : You get to do something by doing something

          • manik says:

            Oke I see..
            And how about によって? I found this sentence

  124. reid says:


    My question today is about a kanji. There is a series called 修理、魅せます, and when I looked up the word 魅せます nothing showed up. Even on the kanji’s own page this word is nowhere to be seen.

    So what does this word mean exactly? I could make guesses going by the kanji’s meaning, but I am really curious to know exactly what it is.

  125. The river puppy says:

    Hello Maggie sensei! It is me again. Sorry I didn’t reply to your last answer. It was really helpful and made so much sense! Thanks Maggie sensei! The reason why I didn’t was because I had some really terrible internet connection for awhile and couldn’t load the page.

    Anyway, I have been studying the Kagiru lesson and it has been great although quite difficult for me.

    I made some sentences to test if I have learnt it. Please tell me if i am correct or wrong. (Or if it is gramatically correct but unnatural) Sorry if there are too many sentences but I was unsure.

    1. 人にはお鼻が1つに限ります。 (A person is limited to only having 1 nose)

    2. 日本語を勉強すればマギー先生ドットコムで勉強するに限るよ。 (If you are studying Japanese, it is best to study at Maggie sensei dot com)

    3. Coincidentally, can Kagiru be used in a similar fashion as the (to iu to) and (to ittara) patterns, with some differences? such as:

    日本語の勉強と言ったらマギー先生ドットコムですよ (There’s nothing better than Maggie sensei dot com to study Japanese)

    4. 味が嫌いので、今度を限りにミルクを飲むのがやめます。 (This time is the last time I drink milk because I hate the taste)—–>This is probably too formal to describe something like this but I wanted to use the formal form.

    5. 昨日限りでタバコを吸う事はなかった。 (Yesterday was the last time I will ever smoke a cigarette)

    6. この三匹の子犬に限ってワクチンができました。 (Only these three puppies have been vaccinated)

    7. 人生は物事がよくなりそう時に限って急に悪くなちゃうという辛い物です。 (Life is bitter in that whenever everything seems to get better it suddenly becomes worse.)

    8. いつも動いているのに、今お腹が空いてる限ってすべての店やレストランなども休んだ。(They are always open but now that I am hungry all the restaurants and shops have closed)—is it ok to omit the
    (私に) or is it just totally wrong.

    9. 子犬を飼わない限り幸せな人生を過ごさない。 (As long as you don’t raise a puppy, you can’t live a happy life)

    10. One last question…would you say Kagiri is similar to hodo (in that it expresses a limit)

    Thanks in advance for your help Maggie sensei! XD
    マギー先生ってサイトを見つけたのが嬉しいでマギー先生に感謝しています! XD

    • Maggie says:

      @The river puppy
      1. 人にはお鼻が1つに限ります。

      Haha, it is funny but it doesn’t sound natural because we can’t choose the number of noses and nobody can decide what numbers of noses we can have.

      But If you buy things 一人一つに限ります works.

      2. 日本語を勉強すればマギー先生ドットコムで勉強するに限るよ。 (If you are studying Japanese, it is best to study at Maggie sensei dot com)


      3. Coincidentally, can Kagiru be used in a similar fashion as the (to iu to) and (to ittara) patterns, with some differences? such as:

      日本語の勉強と言ったらマギー先生ドットコムですよ (There’s nothing better than Maggie sensei dot com to study Japanese)

      限る is stronger.
      4. 味が嫌いので、今度を限りにミルクを飲むのがやめます。


      5. 昨日限りでタバコを吸う事はなかった。 (Yesterday was the last time I will ever smoke a cigarette)

      It is fine but verb ことはなかった is usually used when you haven’t done something for a long time since ~ so 昨日 is too soon.
      6. この三匹の子犬に限ってワクチンができました。 (Only these three puppies have been vaccinated)


      7. 人生は物事がよくなりそう時に限って急に悪くなちゃうという辛い物です。 (Life is bitter in that whenever everything seems to get better it suddenly becomes worse.)

      →急にうまくいかなくなることがあるので辛い。will be more natural.

      8. いつも動いているのに、今お腹が空いてる限ってすべての店やレストランなども休んだ。(They are always open but now that I am hungry all the restaurants and shops have closed)—is it ok to omit the
      (私に) or is it just totally wrong.


      9. 子犬を飼わない限り幸せな人生を過ごさない。 (As long as you don’t raise a puppy, you can’t live a happy life)


      10. One last question…would you say Kagiri is similar to hodo (in that it expresses a limit)

      I don’t think so. ほど is used to express the degree or compare things.

      マギー先生ってサイトを見つけたのが嬉しいでマギー先生に感謝しています! XD



  126. billy says:

    Back again! !BOO!!

    Book is 魔女の家 エレンの日記, narrated from Ellen’s point of view.
    Context: Earlier in the story, she killed her parents. She’s now thinking about her current life in her new magical house that has all she thinks she needs, bed, books, etc.


    I don’t get the “上塗りされてしまう程度のものだったのよ”, or what it’s referring to.
    Is it about her parents? Or her desires? Or something else?
    Can you explain what it’s talking about and what it means?

    Thank you for any help. !ohisama!

    • Maggie says:


      I think it refers to her desires.
      The basic structure is
      After all my desires is just ~ level.

      The literal meaning of 上塗り is overcoating

      Ellen used to seek for parental love.
      But once she got a healthy body and warm bed and her desire to learn is fulfilled, she doesn’t need parental love anymore. So her original desire for parental love got easily “overcoated” (= replaced) by other desires.

  127. Veron says:

    I have a little question…
    Verb + noun :rrrr: I know that a verb can modify a noun, but…
    Verb + pronoun the verb can modify a pronoun? For example, I’ve seen “kimi” at the end of the sentence just after a verb, and I do not understand if you only order was altered…
    Thanks! !DANCING!

  128. Shiani says:

    Hajimemashite, Maggie! Although I’ve only found your site this year, it’s one of my top resources learning Japanese. !Anapple! However, there are a few aspects of the language I can’t seem to get; mainly how to tell -na adjectives apart from adverbs these days. Do you have to memorize each case, or is there a hidden mechanism to help you…
    One more thing; is the -yo at the end of phrases such as -ii desuyo or hou ga iiyo necessary, because speaking to others in Japanese I don’t want to accidentally come off as rude putting that particle in, since I’ve been told it has strong expression.
    Arigato!!! !greenapple! 

    • Maggie says:


      Hi Shiani,

      Q:how to tell -na adjectives apart from adverbs these days
      I am sorry but I don’t quite understand your question.
      Can you give me an example?
      You mean using na-adjective” as an adverb like

      As for the suffx よ please check this lesson.
      What I marked as “male speech” is rude to use.

      • Shiani says:

        Hi Maggie,
        By “these days” I just meant the topic I’m currently working on learning Japanese, not how the language is evolving; although I didn’t make that very clear, sorry!
        It’s just that na-adjectives can end with any kana, I think; like shizen, shizuka, ichiban… and adverbs can also end with any kana, but adverbs don’t need particles to be grammatically correct, while na-adjectives need the na kana. So is there a way to tell if a word I’ve never heard before is an adj or adverb, so I can use it right in my own speech
        For example, I know that itsumo is an adverb, but what if I didn’t and used -na after it… is this just a matter of memorizing what is and isn’t an adjective

        Thanks for directing me to the lesson! It cleared my confusion up on the yo kana !greenapple! 
        Mo, konna ringo kao moji ga aishiteru!

        • Maggie says:


          You said any かな but actually there is a rule.
          When na-adjective modifies a noun, the kana will be “な”(=na) and when an adverb modifies a verb, the kana will be に(=ni)

          静か= しずか= shizuka
          adjective: しずか”な”こうえん= Shizukana kouen = a quiet park
          adverb: しずか”に”あるく= Shizuka ni aruku = to walk quietly.

          自然= しぜん= shizen
          adjective: しぜん”な”はなしかた= shizen na hanashikata = natural way of speech
          adverb: しぜん”に”はなす= shizen ni hanasu = to talk naturally

          • Shiani says:

            Huh, is that a rule for all Japanese sentences; if so then my understanding of Japanese just improved 10 fold! Thank you sensei; I hope to go through all your lessons someday… !greenapple! 

  129. billy says:

    Hi Maggie! It’s been a while!
    Wow, it looks like I haven’t been in here since 2013!

    I’m having trouble with a sentence in a book.

    The story is about a girl with a sick body, gets magic powers from a talking cat. Later, she tricks someone into switching bodies with her.
    However, this causes her to lose her powers, giving them to her victim.
    The victim uses these powers to trap her in a forest.
    The next part is where I’m having trouble.

    「どうするの?人間がこんなところにいると危ないよ」 黒猫の物言いに、私はいったん目を丸くして、それから吹き出した。 人間だって。 言いたいことがわかる。 健康な身体を手に入れられたことへの賛辞と、非力な肉体になってしまったことへの皮肉だろう。

    I think I somewhat get the meaning, but I’m mostly having trouble with the part below.

    言いたいことがわかる。 健康な身体を手に入れられたことへの賛辞と、非力な肉体になってしまったことへの皮肉だろう。

    First, is ~がる not required when using ~たい for someone else wanting to do something?

    Second, I just cant completely get that last sentence. I’ve shortened it to emphasize what’s throwing me off.

    言いたいことがわかる。 …ことへの賛辞と、…ことへの皮肉だろう。

    Is she telling the reader that the cat wants to both give a compliment and a snide remark?
    Or am I completely misunderstanding this.
    I’m really doubting myself with this one for some reason.

    Would the following also be correct?

    Sorry for all the text.
    Thanks always for any help!
    Last time I was here, I could barely understand simple video games, I hadn’t realized how far I’d progressed.
    You’re one of the reasons I’ve stuck with this for so long.
    So thanks again! I really appreciate all the help! !happyface!

    • Maggie says:


      Hi billy

      I’m happy to hear you have been studying Japanese.

      Is it from 魔女の家?

      Q1 :
      人間だって- 言いたいことがわかる

      The subject of 言いたい and わかる are different.

      Even a human – can understand what you want to say


      I am not sure but the speaker thinks what the black cat said, “「どうするの?人間がこんなところにいると危ないよ」is


      • billy says:

        Yeah, it’s the book 魔女の家 エレンの日記.
        I remember asking you for help with the game way back. 8-O

        To make things easier, the book is from Ellen’s point of view.

        I thought that 人間だって was talking about how the cat referred to Ellen as 人間, and Ellen thought getting called a 人間 was a 皮肉 / 賛辞.
        If I remember correctly, Ellen didn’t think of herself as normal / human, and worked so hard to steal another person’s body, so that’s probably why I thought this.

        I guess what also confused me is that 人間だって。 and 言いたいことがわかる。 were two separate sentences.

        I hope the above helps point out why I find this so confusing. :-D
        Always a huge help !niconico! 

        • Maggie says:


          I see. I got the scene better now. In that case だって is not “even”
          We also use ~ だってwhen you question what you just heard repeating the word with だって
          人間だって。He/ She(=the black cat) called me “human”, huh?

          言いたいことはわかる = I understand what you/she/he( the black cat) mean(s).

          • billy says:

            Sorry I left out some context. I was trying to keep it short :cryingboy:
            Thanks for your help. I think I more or less get it now. It was just so many things used in a way I wasn’t familiar with thrown at me all at once. !greenapple! 
            I’ll get it completely after seeing similar sentences over time.

            Next time, my question won’t be so long !niconico! 
            Thanks again!

          • Maggie says:


            You’re welcome!
            Have a nice weekend! :)

  130. hana says:

    Hi Maggie, woof! No more causative questions this time, still hate them though! Just a random and probably stupid question:


    This “知覚し思考し得る”, does し得る only modify 思考, or 知覚 too? Something like “知覚し得り、思考し得る”

    I don’t think it modifies 知覚 but dictionary definitions tend to be succinct so…

    • Maggie says:


      Yes, し得る could modify both of them because there is no punctuation before 思慮し.
      But it still makes sense 知覚する+そして+思考し得る

      • hana says:

        Okay I guess punctuation is the key here, like this sentence


        where 証明し is preceded by a punctuation and thus doesn’t take 得る.

        Thanks again, Maggie, woof!

  131. Kaito says:

    Thanks for the help Maggie-sensei, my native language is spanish, i read and hear a lot of things in japanese and english, but it is the only one in what i usually write and speak, hence the, perhaps, weird write style

    “I have no choice” is the same translation that i reached for どうもこうもない but i found so little info about this term, and nothing conclusive, that i could not being sure, if you say so, then i trust, i will add this meaning to my personal dictionary

    What about the other term?, どうもこうもない it is clear now but i still having problems with どうもこうも, i thought that i was ignoring some meaning of どうもこうもない and because that i can not fully understand どうもこうも, which is in deed the real headache here, i also thought that removing the negative sense of ない will be easily discernible but even now i do not catch the meaning…

    If you could clarify me this doubt i will be happy, al least until the next “existencial doubt” XD, i tend to solve my doubts on myself so i will not bother you too much

    • Maggie says:

      どうもこうも/どうもこうもない are the same.
      We also say

      It won’t any make sense if you try to translate these words.

      どう = how
      こう= like this
      も(ない)neither ~ and ~
      どうした how it happened/ what I did
      こうした It happened like this/ I did this
      も(ない)neither ~ and ~

      As I said, the original meaning is “there is no choice” but you often say that with frustration when someone asks what happened to you.
      The translation varies depending on the context.
      Ugh! (showing your frustration)
      Don’t even remind me.
      Don’t get me started.
      You know what?
      I couldn’t do anything about it.
      I’m telling you
      It is a horrible story but…
      It is awful but….
      Let me tell you what happened to me…
      I can’t believe what happened.

      Personally, I think “Don’t get me started.” is similar to this usage.

      Ex. Your friend「Kaito、この間のパーティーはどうだったの?」= How was the party the other day Kaito?
      = Kaito 「どうもこうもないよ。みんな酔っ払って大変だった。」= Don’t get me started. It was awful because everybody got drunk.

      • Kaito says:

        So どうもこうもない and どうもこうも are the same?, well, 2×1 less to worry about, this also explains why misteriously the meaning of どうもこうもない seemed to fit with どうもこうも in the sentence that i was trying to translate

        Thanks for the examples, i will add some of them to my personal dictionary together with the meaning of this expression to ilustrate it, thanks again for your help Maggie-sensei


  132. Kaito says:

    Hi Maggie-sensei, i have been visting your site for some time but never write because my english is not good, i have some practice reading so can follow your lessons, but not so much writing nor speaking, apologies in advance for any mistake

    First of all, congratulations for the site and thanks for all your lessons, i have learned many things here that was not able to find nowhere else, besides everything is very well explained

    What i want to consult you about are a couple of terms that i have seen recently, and after a long research i have found almost nothing about them, even searching in japanes sites, i have a vague idea of their meanings basis in the context but i am not sure about it, and even if i am right do not know how to use them or if they have other uses, i hope yo can give me some info about this terms in order to can understand them better

    The terms are どうもこうも/どうもこうもない

    • Maggie says:


      Hi Kaito,

      What language do you speak?

      どうもこうもない means “I have no choice”
      You often use in the context of “What could I do?/ What can I do? I have/had no choice”
      The similar word of どうもこうもない is しかたがない

  133. fernandy says:

    Hi maggie sensei,

    I just start to learn japanese, got confused with japanese phrase, hope you can help me translate this sentence. thank you.


  134. Marianne says:


    • Maggie says:


      こんにちは、Marianne! 元気だった?
      困った子 (困った姫様) is a girl who is needy, naughty, a pain or a troublemaker depending on the context.
      We sometimes use the term as endearment.

      • Marianne says:

        Thank you! Im so so sorry for the incredibly late reply. 実は、最近疲労で全部を忘れていますね(笑)
        お手伝いありがとうございました boucingheart!

  135. Angel says:

    Hello Maggie sensei=) I love your website, it helped me progress my learning in my Japanese courses that I am taking. But I have a question in regards to using words that does not really exist in Japanese. I wanted to use a word that’s similar to heart wrenching
    and I am unsure if I used both of the words correctly.


    • Maggie says:


      Hi Angel!
      Glad to hear this sites helps you improve your Japanese.
      heart wrenching = How about 胸(むね)が痛(いた)くなる →このゲームをし始めると胸が痛くなります。
      But I don’t quite get the first part ストーリーは本当にかんじようできな…..What do you want to say?

      • Angel says:

        Hello again Maggie sensei, thank you for replying so fast.
        I actually found a word that might fit? せつない? So it’ll be このゲームをし始めるとせつないです。

        For the first sentence I wanted to say, This story is very emotionial, especially playing at the beginning of the game. And that’s why I added tokuni for a second sentence to describe the beginning of the game as an example.

        • Maggie says:


          OK, 切ない=setunai works,too. It describes a sad feeling.
          胸が痛くなる/ 胸が痛い is stronger.

          ゲームを始める means “to start playing a game”
          If you meant “beginning of the game” , → ゲームの始め

  136. obakasan000 says:

    Good evening dear Maggie sensei. Thank you so much (n_n)

    My question for today is about:

    I would like to ask where なんだか applies to. Is it

    a. 愛着が沸いてしまって
    I feel a sense of attachment (to this) “somehow”, so I am sad.

    b. 寂しい
    I feel attached (to this), so I feel lonely “somehow”.

    Thank you so much in advance dear Maggie sensei.

    • Maggie says:


      Hi orikousan!
      It could be both.
      To guess what なんだか modifies, you may want to pay attention to the position of なんだか and “ten” = “、”

      →なんだか modifies 愛着が沸いてしまった
      If it modifies 寂しい、it will be more clear to say

      It modifies 寂しい because you separate the sentence after なんだか.

      • obakasan000 says:

        Good day dear Maggie sensei.
        I would like to ask for this particular sentence.

        I think it was fate I met Rookie, so I feel like we definitely have to meet again.

        If the translation is correct, what would be the difference if I would remove なりません and just use the plain 気がする。
        Thank you so much in advance dear Maggie sensei.

        • Maggie says:


          Yes, the translation is correct.
          気がしてならない/なりません express stronger feelings than 気がする.

          • obakasan000 says:

            Good afternoon dear Maggie sensei. Thank you so much.
            My question for today is about this sentence:

            ポスターが貼られる期間は1週間なので、是非お近くを通る際には、渋谷駅に寄って見て行って下さいねー( ´ ▽ ` )ノ

            I would like to ask what is the meaning of 行くin this particular sentence.

            a. Directional 行く
            b. Time related 行く

            I haven’t seen 寄って行く・来る (directional) before so I am not really sure.

            Thank you so much in advance dear Maggie sensei.

          • Maggie says:


            こんにちは!Orikousan! :)
            It means “Stop by Shibuya Station (渋谷に寄って) and see the poster (ポスターを見ていく)”

            This 行く is actually from verbて+いく form.
            見ていく = to go somewhere and see something (and leave that place)

            For example when someone stops by your place and you want to invite that person for lunch,
            = Nani ka, tabete ikanai?
            = Do you want to eat something (before you leave here)?

  137. The river puppy says:

    Hello Maggie sensei! It is me again. I just need some confirmation help. I know its annoying to translate letters but please help me…

    Anyway, I read this on a site and I would like to know if I got it right.


    My Translation:

    According to The Washington Post, regarding Apple which refused to cooperate with The Ministry Of Justice, the ministry criticised Apple’s interaction with them, using the possible negative effects on the company’s own reputation as a reason.

    What I would like to know is who made the statement 「自社の評判への悪影響」

    I’m pretty sure it was the Ministry of Justice because the sentence denoted them as a subject but I would like to be 100% sure. Please help Maggie sensei!

    Thanks in advance for your help Maggie sensei! XD
    いつもありがとうございます! XD

    • Maggie says:

      @The river puppy

      Hello, The river puppy!
      Your translation is good except one part.
      It is not “using the possible negative effects” . Apple refused to cooperate with the Ministry of Justice because they (Apple) worries about the negative effects on the the company’s reputation.

      the Ministry of Justice criticized Apple thinking Apple refused to cooperate with them because they (Apple) were concerned about the negative effects on the company.

  138. reid says:

    Hello! This is my first time posting here. I felt bad for leaving unrelated questions on lessons so I will make my next question here. I recently wrote this sentence:


    My intention was to say that I rarely get a cold and I can’t remember the last time I had one. My friend said that this sentence was a bit weird and showed me a different example.

    The problem is that she couldn’t explain clearly what is wrong with my original sentence. So can you help me with that by explaining what is wrong in that?


    • Maggie says:

      Hi reid, Welcome to Maggie’s Room!

      The most natural translation is

      can not remember = 思い出すことができない
      don’t remember = 覚えていない

      Here is the difference
      覚えている= to remember (describing the state of remembering something)
      →(negative potential form) 覚えていることができない
      When you recall your memory, you use 思い出す(=omoidasu)

      覚える= to memorize, to learn (describing the action of learning/memorizing something)
      →(negative potential form) 覚えられない ( can’t memorize)

  139. らわ says:


    incorporate、 implement は日本語でなんと言いますか?例えば:”The theme of the game is “wa”, so aspects of traditional Japanese attire were incorporated into the characters clothing design”


    • Maggie says:




      traditional Japanese attire (日本の伝統的な衣服(着物))が”和風”で訳されているのはらわの考えかなあ。(後にキャラクターの「衣装」が出ているから?)
      和風にはJapanese styleという意味とSomething like Japanese (Not real Japanese)という意味もあります。


      • Lava says:

        マギー先生 答えてくださってありがとうございます!


        • Maggie says:



  140. guest says:

    Hello Maggie Sensei!!

    I was looking at expressions and cannot understand this example sentence (they did not give English translation for it): ima ni natte shitate ni deru no desu ka

    It says that shitate ni deru means to behave modestly but I cannot understand what this sentence is trying to say. Can you please help translate or explain this sentence?

    I am sorry I cannot type Japanese, I am on my phone.

    Thank you in advance Sensei! Arigatougozaimasu!!

  141. Carlos says:

    Hi, Maggie Sensei!

    I would like to ask what does かんじからめ mean.
    I get the feeling that it’s a specific expression, but I can’t find any explanation for it.

    Please help me and correct me if I’m wrong!
    Thanks in advance!

  142. The river puppy says:

    Hello Maggie sensei! It is me again. I know I haven’t asked a question in awhile but I nevertheless have been studying! Anyway, it’s good to write to you again. Also I have some questions like always. XD

    1. What is the difference between 状態 and 様子, I don’t quite understand why you would use one over the other. If you could give an example/explanation it would be much appreciated.

    2. How do you use oyobi in a sentence (Or rather, how would you use it?) It says in the English dictionary that it has the same meaning as (to) and (ya). I understand the difference between to and ya but under what circumstances would one use oyobi?

    3. Also, I found an explanation in a Japanese dictionary about the difference between oyobi and narabi ni. I wasn’t able to understand the explanation and I also don’t know what narabi ni means at all. So if you could, please tell me how to use narabi ni and what it means.

    I have some more questions but I think i’ll ask them next time. Anyway, i’ll be writing back to you soon.

    Sorry if I haven’t replied to everything you wrote in the past (Reading our previous conversations made me notice that sometimes you wrote stuff and I didn’t reply) The reason for this that my internet connection is dreadfully slow so that it would be weeks before I could post a reply and by then I had already forgotten to.

    But anyway, just to answer something you said a long time ago, yes, I had been reading hanasaki jiisan and you helped me a lot in understanding it. Thanks again! XD

    ALSO! I almost forgot, I know it’s a bit late already but MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! I wanted to write but as I said, my internet stopped working.

    Thanks in advance for your help Maggie sensei! XD
    いつもありがとうございます! XD

    • Maggie says:

      @The river puppy

      Hi! Ohisashiburi desu.

      They are both conditions but
      様子:look, appearance, behavior (based on what you see)
      状態: state of things/people

      Ex. 彼の様子がおかしい。
      = He behaves strange./ He looks strange

      Ex. 彼の状態が危ない
      = His health/physical condition is critical.


      While と and や are conversational 及び(oyobi) is a formal and it means “and/ as well as)

      Ex. 事故および故障の場合はこちらの電話番号にご連絡ください。
      = Jiko oyobi koshou no baai wa kochira no denwa bangou ni gorennraku kudasai.
      = Please call this number in case of incidents and failure.

      Ex. 英語及びフランス語を話す日本人を探しています。
      = Eigo oyobi furansugo wo hanasu nihonjin wo sagashite imasu.
      = We are looking for a Japanese who speaks English and French

      Ah you have to distinguish these especially in legal documents.
      You use oyobi when you list up something that belongs to the same category or level and when you list up something that belongs to different group, you use narabini.

      Merry Christmas, Happy New Year to you too!

  143. Zetsuboumanadeshi says:


    I got some lettercorrections from a nice japanese person, but there are a few things that I don’t understand and cannot find in my grammarbooks.

    1. I wanted to write: “I decided to finish watching this series. このシリーズを見終わることに決めた。”The correction was “見終える”. I wonder whats the difference, since all my grammarbooks only list -終わる as a suffix and give example sentences like 本を読み終わる.

    2. I wanted to write: “While still feeling let down I… がっかりしっぱなしで…” The corrections was がっかりしつつ. I never understood the difference between -っぱなし and -つつ, maybe you could explain it to me?
    お願いいたします :-?

    • Zetsuboumanadeshi says:


    • Maggie says:


      Ohhh I am sorry. I didn’t see your comment and just sniffed you. :)

      1) First 終わる is intransitive verb and 終える is transitive verb.

      a) この本は読み終わった (This book has been read all the way by X.)
      b) この本を読み終えた I finished reading this book

      When you translate a) and b), you translate them both “I finished reading this book” but pay attention to the particle.

      That means, you can not 決める(decide) something with intransitive verb. Therefore you have to use 読み終える

      2) I can’t tell without reading the whole sentence but がっかりしっぱなし is to describe the state when you are (repeatedly) feeling let down a great deal. Since your translation is “while”, you must have a following sentence that describes you did something while feeling let down. When two actions is happening at the same time, you use ながら or つつ →while doing A, you do B.

      Again sorry for the late reply.

      • Zetsuboumanadeshi says:

        Thank you for the answer, Sensei. The Sniffing made me happy too. !greenapple!  But I’m still having trouble with 終わる/終える.

        1. I knew that owaru is intransitive and oeru transitive, but then I found this in one grammar:

        “The verb owaru was originally an intransitive verb, meaning ‘to come to an end.’ However, owaru recently started to be able to be used either as a transitive verb or as a substitute for the transitive verb owaru ‘to finish.’ Oeru is preferred to owaru in formal speech contexts.
        仕事が終わりました。/ *仕事が終えました
        Shigoto ga owarimashita. *Shigoto ga oemashita. (* = ungrammatical)
        The work is finished.

        仕事を終わりました。/ 仕事を終えました
        Shigoto o owarimashita. / Shigoto o oemashita.
        I finished my work.”

        I think there is a typo in this too, but apart from that, it says I can use owaru as a transitiv Verb in informal situations. Would you agree?

        2. The thing with owaru as a suffix is, all my grammars say that it becomes a transitive verb when you combine it with a transitive verb. So 見終わる or 読み終わる would be 他動詞 and could be used with を. As an example, I found a youtube learning video that also teaches verb+owaru as transitive: So not only do all grammar- and textbooks as well as the online lessons I could find teach を+verb+owaru, but also the combination verb+oeru is not taught at all in any textbook or grammar, and I can’t find a lesson for it on the internet either.
        However, if I google both versions, the version with wo+verb+oeru is used 10 times more often than wo+verb+owaru. Thats why I’m at an impasse here, everybody teaches verb+owaru, but rather uses verb+oeru.

        Meanwhile I asked my Japanese Teacher and another native Japanese speaker, and they where both indecisive. My teacher would prefer verb+oeru in my sentence, but couldn’t say why or that verb+owaru is actually wrong. The other person finds both equally right. So not much help there. And now you are saying that it’s wrong… I’m lost. !ase! 

        • Maggie says:

          Ahh now I see your confusion.
          You are right. There are cases that we use 終わる as “a transitive verb” 仕事を終わる/仕事を終える
          We also say,

          The difference is
          終わる= you finish it naturally (When certain time passes, you eventually finish doing something)
          終える = you finish something intentionally

          Also the main reason why your original sentence looks unnatural is you used 見終わる with “ことに決めた”
          Even if 終わる can be used as a transitive verb, 見終わる isn’t volitional. You happen to finish watching /seeing something so you can’t decide it.

  144. hana says:

    Hi Maggie!

    Thanks for all your help so far and hope you and Yukari are doing well!

    I have a question about the following sentence…Basically the student council president is talking to a scholarship student.


    The reason I find this strange is because of the itadaku that suddenly switches viewpoint to the council president, since I’m guessing 優待性としての自覚を持って is referring to the scholarship student.

    Am I misinterpreting something here? Is it ok to suddenly switch viewpoints mid-sentence? Unless you can apply 謙譲語 to the scholarship student too, but I don’t think so…

    • Maggie says:


      Hi Hana! We are good, thank you! :)

      This is the structure

      Y is talking to X

      (X に)〜することを期待する
      (X に)〜していただくことを期待する
      = Y expects X to do do something

      In this case
      Y = the speaker (I guess the school or the student council president)
      X = the listener (an honor student)

      The student council president expects scholarship students to study hard being fully aware of their responsibility as an honor student

      • hana says:

        Thank you Maggie.

        I read your structure, and I think I got it. So the sentence can be implicitly divided like this:


        Something like that?

        Glad to hear you and Yukari are doing well!

        • Maggie says:


          Yes, you got it. :)

          • hana says:

            Thank you Maggie, I appreciate your time! boucingheart!

          • Maggie says:


            You’re very welcome, Hana. :)

          • hana says:

            I will just do a short follow up here so I don’t take up too much space…

            法律上,相手の仕事を強制的に辞めさせることはできません。 make the person quit their job?

            ひとりの国家公務員を強制的に辞めさせるかどうか・・・ forcibly make him quit?

            It appears you don’t need to have 仕事 or similar before 辞めさせる, but can also use “公務員を強制的に辞めさせる”? I guess for higher focus on the actual person?

            Sorry for the trouble!

          • Maggie says:


            Hi Hana,
            法律上,相手の仕事を強制的に辞めさせることはできません。 make the person quit their job? →Yes
            ひとりの国家公務員を強制的に辞めさせるかどうか・・・ forcibly make him quit?→Yes

            仕事を辞める = to quit one’s job
            仕事を辞めさせる= to make someone quit their job
            The object of 辞める/辞めさせる is one’s job.

            公務員が辞める= a civil servant will quit.
            公務員を辞めさせる= to make a/one civil servant quit / to fire a civil servant.

            The object of 辞める/辞めさせる is a/one civil servant.

          • hana says:

            Thanks Maggie!

            So it sounds like something similar to:

            「公務員が走る」 -> 公務員が辞める
            「公務員を走らせる」 -> 公務員を辞めさせる

            辞める is functioning like a 自動詞, something in that sense?

          • Maggie says:

            Yes, so it may be easier for you to know
            辞める means 1) to quit (something) 2) resign /retire

        • hana says:

          Thanks Maggie, I will remember that. Causatives always make me feel like I’m reading alien script…

          Please have a nice weekend! !ohisama!

          • Maggie says:


            Haha, I feel the same way when I translate Japanese causative sentences in English. They just don’t sound natural.
            Have a nice weekend,too!

  145. says:

    Good day dear Maggie sensei. 
    はい、元気でした。I am not really sure if I will you でした or です to answer this particular question. Please correct me if I am wrong.
    Thank you so much for clarifying it to me.


    I would like ask about the train. Is it:

    a. The train exited from ハチ公口 then it turned left, then they saw the poster. (exited then went)

    b. After the train exited from ハチ公口 they saw the poster through the left side window of the train. (行った just describe the direction of 出て and the poster is located at their (speaker/s) left side).
    Thank you so much in advance dear Maggie sensei.

    • Maggie says:


      The subject of 出る is not a train, it is you/we/or people in general
      When you leave the exist “Hachikou guchi”, at Shibuya Station and turn left, you will see the huge poster.

      • obakasan000 says:

        Good evening dear Maggie sensei.

        I would like to ask something about 可能系.
        I normally see this pattern [を+可能系+名詞] = Modifying the Noun.

        But occasionally I see [名詞+を+可能系]) (past tense only)
        in blog updates and songs:


        Is there by any chance を+可能系 is used when:

        a. To give the listener the impression that the potential verb that has been used with を is an action intentionally done by the doer/noun and it is not the same with は・が where in は・が only describe what is doable/ not doable to/for the doer/noun.

        b. It just so happened, and there limited potential verbs that use を
        (fixed expression)

        c. The blog update is grammatically wrong.
        Thank you so much in advance dear Maggie sensei.

        • Maggie says:


          You usually use a particle が for 可能形 but certain cases you use を
          (*But you use を when you say verb + ことができる)


          →景色が見える (景色を見ることができる*)

          But when you modify a noun, you see them both, が/を

          In my opinion, the difference is subtle but
          when you stress what comes before the particle, you use が (in this case 空間 and 景色)
          and when you stress the action itself (空間を感じること/景色を見ること) you use, を.

          • obakasan000 says:

            Good day dear Maggie sensei. Thank you so much for clarifying it for me.

            My question for today is:

            Why didn’t I check in on him a little bit sooner…
            (The update was all about her dog who died when she was away.)

            This is the first time I have encountered 行ってやる.
            I would like to ask if this would mean “to go and do something else”? Or it has another meaning?
            Thank you so much in advance dear Maggie sensei.

          • Maggie says:


            Hi orikousan000. :)

            In that case 行ってやる doesn’t mean “to go and do something”. It means “to go for someone’s sake.” (In this case to go see a dog)
            You know the expression 〜てあげる= to do something for someone.
            Ex. XはYに日本語を教えてあげる
            = X teachers Y Japanese.
            あげる is to do something nice for someone. (But the speaker is superior to the receiver)

            verb てやる is similar to てあげる but you usually use this form for much lower position, one’s children or pets.

  146. Courtney says:

    Hi Maggie sensei! !heartsippai! I feel like I haven’t talked you in forever!!! I miss you! lol so quick question… what is a 大和撫子? I was called that by a Japanese friend but he couldn’t explain it in English well.

    • Maggie says:


      Hi Courtney! You can always talk to me here or on Twitter. :)
      大和撫子(yamato nadeshiko)
      literal meaning
      大和= ancient name of Japan
      撫子= nadeshiko= a name of a flower (dianthus)
      It is an old fashioned word which refers to a pure and beautiful traditional Japanese woman.

      • Courtney says:

        Lol I know I think I talk to you more on twitter but I feel like I haven’t done so in awhile ;)

        Wow hmmmm, thanks for the explanation! Never heard of this word but the fact that you say it’s an old fashioned word makes sense why lol…see you on twitter! :wink:

  147. Marianne says:

    Hello again, Maggie sensei〜!久しぶりですね!



    あと、あの文に「なる」ってどういう意味ですか? どうして「のむばかりのこと」じゃないですか?

  148. Kano says:

    Hello, Maggie sensei, sorry to bother you but I’m having a trouble identifying this >.<. Is there a way that “書けるか!” is negative? Since the context is someone commanding to another person to write something; but the other person doesn't want to, and even throws the paper (it's not serious but for the sake of comedy, because they're embarrassed to do that) while saying this. So it really confuses me…

    • Maggie says:


      Hi Kano,
      That means “There is NO WAY that I can write/I will write that!”
      It is a blunt / strong expression.

      There is no way! I can’t/I won’t do ~
      Ex. そんなことできるか!There is no way to do that/I can’t do that. There is no way!
      Ex. そんなことわかるか! There is no way to understand such a thing.

  149. Jasmine says:

    It worked, sensei! :-D I’m sorry, please help me out just a bit more (they’re simple!)
    4. When saying ‘Can you meet Mickey Mouse at Disneyland?’ is it ディズニーランドでミッキーマウスと会いたいです?
    5. For このペンは、書きにくいです isn’t it このペンで (because you’re using the pen?) instead of このペンは?
    6. For 旅行はしてない! I don’t get the してない bit? It’s てform with ない added? And does the は have to be there?
    7. Is it 何を呼んでもいいですか? or なにて呼んだらいいですか? because my native Japanese friend said the first one is wrong and the second one is the correct one but my teacher had taught me that one?
    Thank you so much Maggie sensei! そいして、明けましておめでとう!

    • Maggie says:


      4. 会いたい means “Do you want to see/Would like to see (Mickey Mouse)?”
      Can you ~ means “ミッキーマウスに会える(かな)?・会えますか?”

      5. このペンは、書きにくいです
      When you describe what kind of pen it is, you use a subject marker.
      This pen is (a pen which is)hard to write with.
      But you can also say
      = It is hard to write with this pen.

      6. してない is a casual contraction of “していない”. We often drop “い” in conversation. so していない・してない means “haven’t done”
      旅行はしていない・旅行はしてない means “I haven’t traveled.”

      You use “は” to show the contrast/emphasizing.

      7. You wanted to say “How should I call you?” Then, 何と呼んだらいいですか?(casual 何て(なんて)呼んだらいいですか?)
      Call someone ~~~ = Someoneを~~~と呼ぶ

      Ex. Call me Maggie = 私をマギーと呼んで下さい。
      This と means “as”


      When you use を with 呼ぶ
      When you call something/someone as an object.

      Ex. Call an ambulance car.

      Hope this helps.
      And 明けましておめでとう!

      • Jasmine says:

        Maggie sensei, thank you so much!I’m so sorry but I have more questions;
        1.I was just wondering why 何を呼んでもいいですか? is wrong?
        2. I don’t get why people sometimes use と instead of に?
        e.g ジョンに会いたい。
        I always thought it was と? 8-O
        Thank you so much!

        • Maggie says:


          1. How should I call someone/something? is 何と呼んだら(or どう呼んだら)いいですか。

          This is how it works.

          I call Tom. : 私はトムを呼びます。
          Tom is an object so you use を

          Who are you calling? in Japanese is

          I call him Tom : 私は彼をトムと呼びます。
          I call him ( “as”) Tom. (as = と)

          How do you call him?

          The object is 彼

          What should I call him?
          彼をなんと(or どう)呼んだらいい?

          • 天人 says:

            Hello Jasmine,

            に implies a one-direction action (me => someone, or someone => me).
            と implies a two-direction action (me someone).

            ~に合う implies that the speaker meets someone accidentally ==> let’s say I was in a department store and I met there accidentally Maggie.
            ~と合う implies that the speaker and someone both agreed to meet each other ==> let’s say I invited Maggie for a romantic dinner in a restaurant and we met there.
            人に話す implies that only one person talks to another one.
            人と話す implies that both person talk to each other.

            Therefore 人に結婚する is wrong, because 結婚 is an action which involves both sides.


          • Maggie says:



  150. Jasmine says:

    Sorry for the previous comment, sensei! I have been trying to ask some questions for a few days and I couldn’t post them, but one word worked? :cry: 来年私は高校二年生になるから、緊張します。 :cry:
    1. For 迷ちゃう or 風邪をひちゃうぞ!Where does the ちゃう come from?
    2. For かどうか eg 朝ごはんを食べるかどうか分かりません why do they use 分かりません instead of 知りません when it’s ‘don’t know whether’ not ‘don’t understand whether’?
    3. For 明日5時に家を出るので、早くねたほうがいいです why did they use を instead of に after 家?
    I’m afraid these won’t post again, so I will try just these first. :)

    • Maggie says:


      Hi Jasmine! 今、高校一年生で日本語を勉強しているんですね。すごいなあ。
      1. 迷ちゃう or 風邪をひちゃうぞ →It should be 迷っちゃう・風邪をひいちゃう
      Anyway ちゃう is a casual contraction of てしまう
      Please check my ちゃう lesson.

      2. 知る(shiru) means “to know” and わかる(=wakaru) has two meanings “to understand/comprehend”and “to know”
      I know they are both “to know” in English but there is a difference.
      You use わかる(=wakaru) when something is/isn’t clear.
      Now you mentioned, a lot of people get confused with this usage so I will make a lesson for you on this subject sometime.
      Please wait for the detailed explanation.

      3. 家を出る

      Sometimes you use a particle with 出る
      (place)から出る= leave “from” (place)

      布団から出る= get out of the bed

      but when you leave some place, you think the place as an object so you need an object marker.

      • Jasmine says:

        Hello sensei, thank you so much!!
        I just had some issues…
        – I understand that 知る is to know and 分かる is to understand, so I was just wondering why they use 分かる for かどうか when the translation is ‘don’t KNOW whether or not’, not ‘don’t UNDERSTAND whether or not’?
        – Does that mean instead of saying 家に出る you can say 家を出る?

        • Maggie says:


          Hi Jasmine,
          As I mentioned in my previous comment わかる has two meanings.
          1) to understand 2) to know
          2) not understand 2) not to know/ not sure

          So 何時に家を出るかわからない
          This わからない is the usage 2) not to know/ not to sure

  151. Inka says:

    I need your help once more.
    I have old Japanese friend who I have been writing with trough e-mails and letters. He is a very kind old man and sends me often 新聞切り抜く,but the problem is that I can’t keep up with reading them all,because he sends them so often. Because he is an older Japanese person,I don’t know how to politely say that I am happy ,but that can’t keep up with reading all the 新聞切り抜く. Have you an idea what I can write?


    • Maggie says:


      Hi Inka,

      Hmm I can tell he is a very nice person.
      He is trying to help you and please you. And I understand you don’t want to hurt his feelings.
      Basically what do you want him to do?
      Stop sending you the new papers clips or he can still send them to you but a fewer clips will be better?

      • Inka says:

        He can still send them ,but not so often.

        • Maggie says:


          It is difficult not to hurt his feelings.
          I would say you can write how much you appreciate his work and it is useful to study them first.
          And tell him you still have lots of articles that you haven’t read because it takes a long time to read one article.
          Since you don’t want to trouble him, you will let him now when you finish reading what you have.


          • Inka says:

            Thank you!It sounds great.You really helped me out, I was afraid to write something by myself,because it could have hurt his feelings a lot.Thank you.


          • Maggie says:


            You’re welcome!
            I usually don’t write a letter or translation here but this time is an exception. :)

  152. Inka says:

    久しぶりMaggie先生! !happyface! 明けましておめでとうございます。 :pika:

    今度またMaggie先生に頼みたいことがあります。 学校に去年と同じように自由に決めたテーマで観察プロジェクトを書いて、発表しなければならないです。今年抹茶について書いてつもりです。日本人の意見も必要なので、アンケートを作って多くの日本人に答えてもらいたいんです。Maggie先生もアンケートを答えていただけると助かります。


    It would be great if you could ask your Japanese friends to fill out this questionnaire as well.


    • Maggie says:



      1. はい好きです。
      2. 抹茶は年に1度位しか飲みません。抹茶を使ったお菓子はよく食べます。