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











  1. good evening maggie sensei.

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


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

    Thanks, have a nice day :3

  2. hello

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

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

  3. hello sensei

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

  4. Hello maggie

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

    I think they have the meaning “without doing”

    Thank you for your time

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

    in this pic

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

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

  6. Hi.

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


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

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

    1. こんにちは〜! もちろん覚えていますよ。元気でしたか?

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

  8. Hello Maggie <3

    Could you help me to translate this ?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    I hope it doesn’t bother you

    can i replace


    Thank you before.

    1. Hi Joseph

      What do you mean by quitting job?

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

      You can not replace with any of the three sentences.

      1. So basically the sentence literally translated as:


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

        Is this right?

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

          A and B are talking and

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

  10. Hello Maggie sensei,

    Thank you for everything.

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

    but what about “let’s not go there”

    Thank you before :)

    1. Hello Joseph

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

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

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

        行くまい or いきますまい

        to make it like “let’s not go”

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

        Thank you

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

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

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

            I have another confusing question please hear me out :o

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

            There’s also a confusing usage of が and  に


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

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

            This is a causative form

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

          3. I really thank you for your thorough explanation.

  11. Hello Maggie Sensei,

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

    Please tell me sensei, thank you very much

    1. Hi Joseph

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

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

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

  13. Hello Maggie Sensei.

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

    Thank you very much.

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

    Thank you so much! :)

    1. Hi Eva

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  15. Hello Maggie Sensei,

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

    Thanks again :)

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

    I have a question sensei please hear me out

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

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



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

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

      = I can’t eat this much.

      1. 有難うございました

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


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

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

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

  17. Hello Maggie Sensei,

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

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

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


    1. こんにちは、Joakin!

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

      1) Foodは/が/を、食べられる。 (can eat)

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

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

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

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

      1. 返事はすごく早いわね

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


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

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

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


  18. こんにちは マギー先生!


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

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

      逆もまた然り= vice versa

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

  19. Dear Maggie-sensei,

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

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

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

    Thank you once more and best regards,

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

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

      1. Hi Tamra!

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

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

    3. マギー先生!丁寧に説明してくださってありがとうございました!

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

    1. Giulio

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

  21. Dear Maggie Sensei,

    Thanks for your teachings always.

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

    1. パルキン、こんにちは!

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

  22. Hi Maggie Sensei,

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

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

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

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

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

    1. Hi Wee Ping

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

      1. Hi Maggie Sensei,

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

        Gratefully, weeping

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

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

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

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

    1. Eva


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

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

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

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

  24. Hello Maggie Sensei,

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


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

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

      1. Hello Sensei
        Thanks for replying,

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

        Thank you very much

    1. Hi!
      I can do something

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

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

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

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

      The easiest way is

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

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

      Check my dekiru- lesson.

  25. こんにちは、マッギ先生!

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


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


    1. こんにちは、 faezer!

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

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

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

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

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

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

  26. Hello Maggie Sensei,

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

    Please tell me about the sentence, thanks you very much

    1. Hi Joakim!


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

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

      The literal meaning is

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    1. Hi noel

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

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

      *the main sentence structure of this sentence is

      私は〜加わった = I joined.

      Joined what?
      長い列= a long line

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

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

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

      私は(切符を買う順番を待つ人の) 長い列に加わった

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

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

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

    Thank you btw :)

    1. Hi Hana,

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

      There is no so much difference.

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


  29. Dear Maggie Sensei,

    Thank you for your support always.

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

    Is this an old phrase?

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

    Thank you

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

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

  30. Hi Maggie sensei!

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

    Thank you as always!!

    1. Hello Courtney

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

      1. Dear Maggie Sensei,

        Thank you for your reply.

        Please help me for the below phrase.

        In this what does the speaker wants to say?

        Thank you always

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

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

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

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

    1. こんにちは、Eva!

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

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

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

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

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

        1. OK, let me try again.

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

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

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

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

          For example, you can say

          I can sing.

          but you can’t say

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

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

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

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

          = I can read Japanese books.

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

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

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

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

          I wonder if he can do it

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

            Ex. 彼にできることはありますか?

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

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

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

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

    This is what I came up with:

    Is it alright?

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

  34. Hi sensei !

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

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

      And the と means “って”

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

  35. Hello Maggie 先生,


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

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


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

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

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

      2) They mean the same.

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

      to choose from two nouns, A or B

      to choose from two verbs to do A or B


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

      The example 4) で means “and”

      A and B or C


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

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

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

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

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


  38. Dear Maggie Sensei,

    Thank you for your kind support always.

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

    Is 「これまでの道のり」correct?

    Please guide.

      1. Thank You Maggie Sensei…!!

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

        Wish you my best wishes.

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

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


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

    thanks in advance

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

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


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


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

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

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

    Thanks ahead of time.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

    Thank you

    1. Hi fynx!

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

  43. Hello Maggie 先生


    Could you please explain to me why about these following sentence

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

    1. 給料が更けて、うれしい

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

    Thank you very much.

    1. こんにちは、Joakim!

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

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

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

      1. さすが

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


        I enjoy your lesson and explanation very well.

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

        I would like to ask another question.

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

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

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


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

          I will give you some examples with は

          after the sound ん は tends to be ば or ぱ


          三倍/三杯(さんばい)= san-bai

          And after little っ +ぱ (pa)

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

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

          1. Thank you very much for the correction.

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

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

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

            My questions are :

            1. Is the list above correct?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          3. So sensei after those explanation

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

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

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

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

            Please correct me if I’m wrong.


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

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

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

          5. 有難うございました

            I must say good job, well done

            Thanks for explanation


            One last question,

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

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

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

            Thanks you.

          6. Thank you very much for your teaching.

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

            Thanks again

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

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

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

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

    Thanks ahead of time.


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

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

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

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

    1. Hi yuuna.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    why is a right and b and c wrong?


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

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

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

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

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

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

      You can both say いりません/いらないです。

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

    1. Hi Jenrai

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

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

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

    The example they give in my book is this one:

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

    Thanks ahead of time.

    1. Hi Mark

      ~によるもの Something was caused by ~

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

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

    Thanks a lot😊

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

      1. I am more interested in daily conversations sensei.

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

        Can you shed some light over this please.

        1. Taki

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

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

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


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

      1) Aに限らずB 

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


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

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

      Ex. このゲームは国内のみならず海外でも人気だ。

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

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

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


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

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

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

      Thanks a lot sensei 😀

      1. You all use them in daily conversation.

        Check my lessons.

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

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

        わけない also means “easy”

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


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

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



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

    私は彼と会うたびにNicolas cageどおりで挨拶いたします。

    Is that correct?


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  55. Hello Maggie,

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

    Thanks for your time.

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

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

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

  56. Hello Maggie,
    the following sentence:

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

    Thx in advance

  57. Hello maggie sensei,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    thx in advance

    1. 1. is the right translation.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Thx in advanced

    1. Hello, Fynx Gloire

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

      2. to worry about something / something bothers you

      3. to be curious about something.

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

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

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

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

    Thx in advanced

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

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

        Thanks in advanced

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


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


          The meeting was held over 6 hours.

          X 6時間を通して

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

          X 一年に渡って

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


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

          2. @天人

            元気でよかった〜! 5度? わあ、寒いですね。

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

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

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

    Thanks in advance

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

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

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

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

        Thanks in Advenced

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

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

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


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

      会議の(= 会議をしている)最中(さいちゅう)に

      家がぐらっと揺れている is the state.

  66. 今晩は
    Hello Maggie


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

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

    I found this sentence in JLPT N3 book

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

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

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

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


    1. こんにちは、Joakim

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

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

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

      1. こんにちはMAGGIE先生




        P.S 今カナダには夜の時間です

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

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


          1. 今晩は先生

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

            Where did you get this sentence? I think it should be the other way around


            (Not just foreign people who study Japanese but also Japanese people feel Japanese honorific expressions are hard.)

          3. Dear Sensei,

            In my area there’s a bookstore that sells past JLPT exam paper. I’m just trying to analyze the material that I don’t know.
            I got this sentence from “dokkai” (読解) section.

            I’m pretty sure that this sentence is right because they have native japanese speaker as spell checker when they publish the book. (but book can be wrong sometimes, maybe)

            Yes, JLPT exam could be really confusing when someone is trying to be certified in N2 or N1 level (at least for me, I learned around 1000 kanji and still can’t get anything right)

            here is the whole first paragraph. Please notice that I only ask the first sentence.
            Just ignore the whole paragraph.



            P.S. (I feel they same way as 外国人)
            Sorry for double post, I got a wrong reply button.


          4. All right then, let use the original sentence.

            It may look a very complicated sentence but if you break it down, you will see the basic structure.

            (2) The main sentence is
            (the literal translation)
            There is/has been an opinion/a way of thinking

            (2) Now, it describes what kind of 考え方 opinion/way of thinking

            〜という is used when you quote, in this case「日本語の敬語は大変難しいものだ」 = Japanese honorifics are hard. (ものだ is used to explain some concept)

            = There is a way of thinking that honorifics are hard

            (3) who feel that way?

            日本人の間だけではなく = Not just among Japanese people but also
            外国人の間に = among foreign people
            So the main people are foreign people

            (4) How strong they feel that way?
            根強く means “strongly”

            (5) So the writer thinks, not just Japanese people but also foreign people strongly do feel that Japanese honorifics are very hard.

            Let me rephrase this with two easier sentences.

            →Now it gets closer to the original sentences.

          5. 素晴らしい

            When I look that sensei explaining everything in a detailed way,

            I think I will be your regular customer here.

            So, sensei in my area it is hard to find a native japanese who can speak english well.
            There are some of them but not too many. So I think, sensei must have a special skill in language too.

            Anyway thanks, When any issue is coming up. I will post my doubt here.
            I see the rule in comment section, So I don’t really ask for translate.

            My question maybe just about structure and the position in the sentences.


    2. Hello Maggie-sensei,
      thank you for your answer.
      Yes I am with you, I also think this book is wrong!! haha
      Why cant you make a study book, then you can beat all these other ‘big’ publishers who do not know what they are doing !!
      They make it more confusing than it should be,


  67. Hello Maggie, this is Mark,
    I like your blog.
    I had a question regarding the meaning of this sentence:


    Is this someone saying:
    I finished all the housework so if I like to, I will sleep now?
    or does it mean:
    I finished all the housework, now you can sleep if you want to?


      1. Thank you for your explanation Maggie.
        So for something to do in the future we use:
        What does おく mean?
        I thought it means to put something somewhere? no?
        Like put this book on the shelf, then you use おく?

  68. Hello Maggie,
    I like our lessons.
    I just want to confirm what this means in english:

    Does it mean:
    “Everything that I know I told to everyone. Now they ( all of the people I told everything to ) have to decide on my judgement.”

    What kind of situation would this pertain to? Someone getting arrested and in court in front of a judge, jury and executioner?

    Thx in advanced

  69. Hello Maggie,
    don’t the 2 following sentences mean the same thing?
    What is the difference between them
    They both mean I because able to buy ticket, correct?

    1. 買えることになった
    2. 買うことができた

    1. 1.
      1) Some products can be purchased now
      2) People in general can buy things now
      3) The speaker/writer couldn’t buy it before but now they can buy something now.

      2. The speaker/writer could buy something.

  70. Hello Maggie,
    I my text there are 2 sentences and I think they mean the same thing unless there is some kind of magic Japanese voodoo going on, I am not sure why they are different:
    1. 歩きながらタバコを吸わないでよ。
    2. 歩きつつタバコを吸わないでよ。
    My book says that number 2 is wrong and 1 is right?
    But I thought つつ and ながら mean the same thing?


    1. つつ and ながら both expresses when you do two actions at the same time.
      However, there are some difference between them.
      つつ is more literal and you tend to use it with a non-active verbs such as “to think” (思いつつ, 考えつつ).
      Also it is not natural to use in a negative command sentence. ~つつ〜しないでください。〜ないで

      Other differences:
      Ex. 大人になりつつある = becoming an adult (the process of becoming an adult) X You can’t use ながら
      Ex. 彼がいながら他の人と付き合う。= Though you have a boyfriend, you go out with someone else. X You can’t say いつつ

  71. Hello Maggie,
    I am reading the following senetnce from my book but cannot understand the logic:

    His foot is injured, BUT getting better, therefore he cannot play in the next match?
    Then why does he say his foot is getting better?
    He should just say that his foot is injured so he cannot play in the next match correct?


    1. 試合に出られる= “can plan in the game” not “can’t play”
      My feet are (My foot is) getting better so I think I will be able to play in the next game.

  72. I’m fairly certain I’ve done the first two parts correctly (I tried my best to follow your lessons!) … but the last part is without a doubt wrong!

    Does this make sense? Could you correct and explain my mistake?

    寿司は食べません。は魚が好きではありません。 調理されたまたは未加工の嫌〜。

    I do not eat sushi. I don’t like fish. Whether cooked or raw, I think it is disgusting.

    I know the last part has to be wrong – after struggling with it for a few days, I tried plugging it into google translate and got something completely different. 😂😂😂

    Thank you Maggie Sensei!

    1. 寿司は食べません。→OK
      は魚が好きではありません。 →I think it’s a typo. You don’t need the first は. The rest is fine.

      調理されたまたは未加工の嫌〜。→調理されたものも、生のものも、嫌です。(disgusting = You also say 気持ち悪いです。 *)

      * If someone serves/invites you sushi and you say “disgusting”, it sounds too strong.
      I would use the expression 魚は苦手(にがて)です。

      1. So the correct way to say it would be


        and then, the expression 魚は苦手です
        to say I am not good with eating sushi?

        Is there a polite way to turn down sushi,
        or other foods, especially if you have an allergy?

        1. My point is the word, disgusting, 嫌/気持ち悪いです may sound very strong when you turn down some food.
          You tend to avoid straight forward expression in Japanese. So instead of saying 嫌いです・嫌です,
          魚は生でも調理されたものもちょっと苦手です is safer to use.
          苦手 here doesn’t mean “not good at”. It means “I am not quite found of ~” and by adding “ちょっと ” you can soften your message.

          So the polite way to tell people is
          ごめんなさい。ちょっと〜は苦手で…(you can leave the sentence unfinished on purpose so that the listener can read between the lines)

  73. hey one of my friends told me something in japanese but i don’t understand it would you be so kind and translate it to me? it would mean a lot to me.

    so this is what they’ve said: 私は twitter で彼女に会った 彼女は可愛いと楽しいです私は彼女と話すのかして私たちは同じ音楽の味よって 私たち ワッツに何か話すことがあります 彼女は 私は本当 好きです愛してる

    what does this mean? thanks for reading it

    1. Hi, as I wrote in the description above, I don’t do the translation here.
      Also I think this person is not a native Japanese. (I think he/she is using Google translator.)

      Anyway, I will give you the gist just this time.
      This person meat “her” on Twitter. She is cute and fun and they have the same music taste. They talk about WaT and he likes her a lot. How’s that?

  74. Hello I was wondering if Japanese song lyrics use a different grammar than normal
    I was listening to a song with the lyrics
    I will write 2 of them here

    Eng translation says: I will hold your warm hands endlessly
    高く遠く響く調べ 大事に抱いて
    I’ll embrace that high, distant melody cherishingly

    My question is why is that the sentences here doesnt translate to

    “Hold my warm hands endlessly” and “Embrace that high distant melody cherishingly”

    Isnt て form used to “Request” someone to do something? But over here it has the same meaning as 繋ぐ and 抱く
    I am really confused now haha

    Thank you

    1. It is true that grammar in lyrics or poem are very different and it is very tricky to translate the lyrics.

      te-form can ben a request but it also describe how you do things

      Ex. 手をつないで歩こう
      = Let’s walk holding hands.
      (The main verb is 歩こう and 手をつないで describe how you want to walk)

      or “Do something “and” do something”
      Ex. 私たちは手をつないで、湖の周りを散歩した。
      = We held hands and walk around the lake.
      (It could be translated, We walked around the lake holding hands)
      The main verb is 散歩した

      So, you have to pay attention to what comes before/after and see if there is a main verb.

  75. Hello Maggie Sensei,
    I am having trouble understand the order of the forms:
    A ~に際して B
    Aにあ(当)たって B

    Do they men we have to do A before B, or do they mean we have to do B before A?
    The book I have is really crap, it does not explain anything.
    For ex it has the following 2 sentences:
    1. 新しく事業を始めるに当たって、しっかりと準備をしようと思っております。
    2. 工事関係者は工事を始めるに際した、近所の住民に挨拶をして回った。

    For 1, logically it would mean we have to do preparation first before staring a new company, so then the order is B, then A.
    For 2 does it mean they met with people first before construction, or at the time of construction or after construction?

    If it is at the same time as construction then couldn’t we also use ~際(に) ( same as 時とき?)

    Thanks in advance

    1. A ~に際して B  
      Aに当たって B

      mean “on the occasion of A,/prior to A, do B”
      So the order wise,
      You have to do B before A.
      1. You are going to start a new business so you have to prepare well in advance.
      2. Before they start the construction, they go greet people in the neighborhood

      While 当たって/に際して is used when you talk about something already decided, 際に means “in case of ~ “”when/if” so it could be used for hypothetical situations.
      = Let me know when you come to Japan.

      時に also means “if/when” for hypothetical situations.

      = Let me know when you come to Japan.

  76. Hello Maggie – Sensei,
    I came across these 2 grammar points, what are the differences between them?
    They both are for actions done after a certain event without the users volition:
    1. 。。たとたんに
    2. か。。ないかのうちに


    1. V1かV1ないかのうちに+ V2

      right after/ at the same time V1 + V2

      V1した途端+ V2
      right after V1+ V2

      They could be interchangeable when V2 happens right after V1.
      But V1かV1ないかのうちに+ V2 could be used when V1 and V2 are happening at the same time.

      When you use 途端+ you know one action V1 is over/completed. And right after that, V2 happens.
      When you use ~か~ないかのうちに, you may not know if the action V1 is completed.
      Also ~か~ないかのうちに expresses one’s surprised feelings that how fast something happens.

      They served a dessert right after/at the same time when I finished the steak.

      = They served a dessert right after I finished the steak.

  77. Hello Maggie-Sensei,
    can you explain what this means:

    Thx in advance

    1. Hello fynx gloire,
      I will help you on behalf of Maggie with that sentence.

      わがままを言う means “to act like a spoiled child / to be selfish” (lit. to talk in a selfish way).
      人を困らせる means “get someone into trouble / to badger someone with”.
      ~てはいけない implies prohibition (= may not / must not).

      All you have to do now is put all the pieces of the puzzle together.


      1. Thanks for your reply, but I already knew the meanings of each part of the sentence.
        I don’t understand the context.
        Who’s is talking to the mother?
        Or is the mother taking to someone else?
        Or is someone else describing the mothers actions of being spoiled?
        Who is spoiled?
        Is there only 1 person in this sentence or multiple?
        What does this sentence literally mean in English?


      2. Thank you @天人 for helping @fynx gloire!
        Excellent explanation!

        @fynx gloire!

        There are two possibilities.
        1) Mother is talking to her child.
        (Sometimes, parents refer themselves, お父さん、お母さん、パパ、ママ etc.)

        In that case, Don’t be selfish/Don’t act like a little baby and trouble me.

        2) Someone else is talking to a child*. (I said “child” but he/she could be a grown-up.)

        Don’t be selfish/Don’t act like a little baby and trouble your mom.

    1. Hi gatoulis


      1) similar to かなり (plenty, sufficient, considerable)

      to have plenty of money

      Ex. 彼は、相当、苦労したらしい。
      = I heard he had a really hard life.

      2) equivalent to

      = an article equivalent to 100 yen.

      Xより余計に = much ~ er than X

      Hmm I wonder why you asked me this form. Anyway
      much more than X

      = It got much worse than before.

      1. Hi Meisan

        I sometimes use Twitter to teach kanji. (Not stroke but reading and compound words) You can search on Twitter “kanji4day”
        I believe there are already great kanji sites where you can learn, stroke/meaning/reading. Use Google to find the sites. :)

  78. you know when someone is afraid of doing something or procrastinate and they need a little push to go and do the thing? so how do i say ~push~ in that specific situation?

    1. @ivan

      We have an idiom 背中を押す = senaka wo osu = to push someone’s back.
      = Dare ka ni senaka wo oshite moraitai.
      = I need someone to push my back

  79. Hi sensei!

    Often I hear and see Japanese people shortening words, such as (I’m not sure about the accuracy of what I wrote, but I think it’s something like this):


    I was wondering if there’s some pattern/rule for these and when/if they’re okay to use!

    Thank you!!

    1. @Sokei

      Hi Sokei,
      There are so many patterns but let me answer your question
      1)ない→ん is a dialect mainly in Kansai area but many other places use this pattern as well.

      (There are other contraction patterns with ん)



      ~い→drop い and add っ
      This is a very colloquial expressions

      check this lesson. 若者言葉

  80. みなさん、いつもマギーの部屋に来てくれてありがとう。
    Thank you for always visiting Maggie’s Room.
    I am going to take one week off from tomorrow.
    I will read your messages when I come back.

  81. お早う御座います先生!!






    1. やさしいメッセージありがとう!

  82. Hello!

    I am having a bit of a hard time seeing the difference between 当てるand 当たる. Mostly I want to know when you can/have to use 当たる but not 当てる and vice-versa.

    I have the same problem with 当てはまる and 当てはめる, and that makes me think there are a bunch of verbs that are similar in this way. Have you ever done a lesson about these kind of similar verbs?


    1. @reid
      The difference is,
      transitive verb: the verb that requires direct object
      intransitive verb: the verb which just takes a subject, something happens without taking a direct object.

      当てる transitive verb ボールを(バット に)当てる = to hit a ball (with a bat)
      当たる intransitive verb ボールが(バットに)当たる = a ball hits (a bat)

      当てはめる transitive verb Aを英語の言葉に当てはめる = to apply A to an English word
      当てはまる intransitive verb Aが英語の言葉に当てはまる = A applies to an English word

      I have 開ける(transitive) 、開く (intransitive) lesson. And a mini lesson on FB.

  83. Hi Maggie Sensei…!!!!

    Thank you for always being so kind .
    I think we all Japanese learner are so much blessed to find this website where our respect teacher(Maggie Sensei) always ready to help us and clear our doubts.

    Sensei please help me out for this.
    I am always making mistake to form the correct sentence.

    Like, in the start of the meeting what should be the Greetings (in Japanese) to thank all the participant to take out time for the meeting.

    Also, what should be the final greetings of the meeting.

    What would be the actual Japanese native speaker will use during these 2 cases in a business meeting.


    1. @パルキン

      Hello パルキン!
      I am the one who is blessed to have all these wonderful students in the world. :)
      There could be many ways to start/close a meeting but I will give you the most general one.

      The set phrase to start a meeting is
      本日はお忙しい中、(* meeting name に) お集まり頂きましてありがとうございます。
      = Honjitsu wa oisogashii naka, (meeting name + ni) oatsumari itadakimashite arigatou gozaimasu.

      the closing phrase is

      これにてmeeting nameを終わらせていただきます。有難うございました。
      = Kore nite (meeting name) wo owarasete itadakimasu. Arigatou gozaimashita.

  84. Hello Maggie Sensei,

    Hope you are good as usual. I dont understand the use of あのさ and  あのま
    in between the sentences.could you please explain me when to use both the words.

    1. あのさ is a casual expression that you use when you start your conversation, like “you know”/”hey” in English.
      あのま??? It must be a typo. You mean “あのな” or “あのね”?

  85. What’s the difference between「ことにする」と「ふりをする」 when using it to mean “to pretend”.

    1. Both mean “to pretend” in English but a lot of time ふりをする involved one’s physical reaction or movement.
      For example you saw something but pretend that you didn’t see anything, you may look in other direction

      ことにする is try to cover up the fact
      Let’s day I didn’t see anything.

      So when you are awake when you are supposed to be asleep, you pretend to be asleep when someone comes in your bedroom.
      寝たふりをする = Netafuri wo suru.
      You don’t say 寝たことにする = neta koto ni suru.

  86. I hear the phrase 別に(べつに)often in anime, but I don’t really understand what it quite means, and can’t quite find a good definition online. Can you explain the meaning+nuance, and also when it would be appropriate/natural to use this phrase?

    1. 1) 別にどうでもいい: when you are not interested or care.

      I don’t care. / Whatever.

      2) Nothing (special)

      Ex. どうしたの? What’s wrong? / Anything wrong?
      別に Nothing.

      It could be literally “nothing special” or especially young people use it when they don’t want to tell what has been bothering them.

  87. Hi sensei,

    How are you?
    I have a question about this. I know you have a lesson about negative tag questions and stuff. But this one is kind of confuse me, because it ends with a “yo”. So it’s not considered as tag question, right, sensei? But why does it ends janai yo. I understand its meaning, I just wanted to know why it ends like that?


    Thank you

  88. I was making a n3 simulation and I found this sentence that I cant understand. ふたりはそれから30年あまり、死がふたりを分かつまで幸せな結婚生活を送る _______ 。the options for the question were ことだ、ことになった、ことにした and ようになった.
    for me it was quite obvious that it couldnt be ことだ and ようになった, I thought it was ことにした but apparently the answer is ことになった. why the answer is ことになった? i need a translation of the sentence its quite confusing, especially because the first part until あまり doesnt have a verb.

    1. Hello ivan,

      here’s the translation => “They had a happy married life for more than 30 years, until the death separated them.”

      ことにした implies, that they had decided all by themselves to live their lives in happiness as a couple. They had absolute control of it.

      ことになった implies that fate, force majeure, act of God – or however you call it – made / arranged all the facts, so that the outcome was they could live their lives in happiness as a couple.
      This part 「死がふたりを分かつまで」tells you, which answer was right. The death is something you generally cannot control. The death decided, when their happy married life came to the end, and that’s why ことになった is the correct answer.


  89. Hello Maggie, thanks for all the work you put on the site :)

    I had a question regarding ずっと. I’m not exactly sure how to use this in sentences due to how it seems to have many meanings. Any clarification on how its used would be appreciated. I’ve been trying to find a word that fits forever in the sense of “I don’t want to work forever”, and I thought it might express it well due to the examples I saw.

    1. @Danny

      Hi Danny
      Yes, you can say ずっと(一生*)働きたくない。 = zutto (isshou) hatarakitaku nai = I don’t want to work forever”,
      一生( = isshou) is optional. It means “all my life”

      Other examples of ずっと

      for a long time.
      = Maggie keeps eating. / Maggie has been eating for a long time.

      When you are talking about future, forever

      = Zutto tomdoachi de iyou.
      = Let’s be friends forever.

      much more
      = Maggie is much prettier than Yukari.

      1. Thank you for your help ^^

        If possible, could I ask how you would express to someone in asking them to stop acting like a child?

        1. @Danny

          How about
          子どもじみたことは、しないでください = Kodomo jimita koto wa shinai de kudasai.
          子どもみたいな真似はやめて = Kodomo mitai na mane wa yamete.

          1. Hello Again, Sorry for bothering you but questions keep popping into my head. This must be a question about は, which seems to be the most confusing thing ever. But why is this used in the two sentences over を?

          2. @Danny

            The two sentences I gave you are kind of set phrases but you can use を as well.

            You use を as an object marker but when you emphasize, show the contrast or introduce something as a topic, you use は


            Ex. りんごは食べます。(I don’t eat many things but I eat apples.)
            Ex. りんごは食べません。(I eat everything except apples.)
            Ex. そのりんごは食べないで。(You can eat anything but not that apple)

  90. Hi, I just want to let you know you’re awesome, I always found your lessons really useful. They’re also cute.

        1. @Niresh

          Hi, Niresh!
          You have to study everything. (vocabulary, grammar, kanji, reading and listening)
          Set your daily goal and study everyday! がんばって!

  91. Hello! Today I have a kanji question. Is 足 normally used for both leg and foot? Or is only used for one or the other?

      1. Oh, thanks a lot. If I may ask one more while talking about this kanji, is there any difference between 足りる and 足る?

        I love this site by the way.

  92. Hi Maggie sensei! I love this site so much; you’re so kind to help everyone and I know it must be so much work,so thank you so much :D <3
    I had questions today!
    1. I learnt in school that relative clause is something like (question in plain form)+ verb; eg マギー先生はどこに行ったか分からない ( :) ) and it would be translated as 'I don't know where Maggie went'. But I've noticed it being used in anime in ways I don't understand? Eg:
    – あきらめたんじゃないかと思った: translated as 'I thought you gave up' but I don't get how…
    – 死ぬかと思った : translated as 'I thought I was going to die', but I also don't get it…

    2. まるで時間がとんだみたい : Could you please explain to me why you use まるで and also みたい; isn't it repeating yourself, since まるで already means 'it's as if' and みたい means 'like (something)'? In English, wouldn't it be translated as 'it's as if it's like time jumped', which is a little weird because you'd just say 'it's as if time flew'?

    3. How come people sometimes say 彼女あり or 単身赴任がありますか when a girlfriend and 単身赴任 are not inanimate objects?

    Thanks so much Maggie sensei :) I feel like I can improve my Japanese with this site! I love you <3

    1. @Eva

      Hi Eva,

      1. You can say those phrasese

      When you express your doubts or surprised feeling you add か

      It maybe easier if you rephrase the sentence with ”direct speech” form.

      「あきらめたのかな?」と思った → あきらめたんじゃないかと思った:
      「死ぬのかな?」と思った → 死ぬかと思った

      2. まるで〜みたい is a set phrase. You can just use みたい but when you describe some extreme example you add まるで

      夢みたい = It’s like a dream
      the same meaning but you stress out your extreme example by adding まるで

      まるで夢みたい I can’t believe it!!

      It seems / I felt as if the time has flown by

      3. Generally when you are talking about the existence of people you are supposed to use いる
      However, it is not so common but there are cases that you use ある when you are talking about someone close to you or someone you areally care, such as family or boyfriend, girlfriend.

      As for 単身赴任, it means “to be stationed to work away from my family” so it is possible to use ある

  93. HELLO MAGGIE SENSEI .first of all i want to thank you for this great site and for sharing your experience with us i’m really grateful for that >>
    i have a little question here .. i have already read the lesson about using “tokoro ” with verbs but i can’t really get the meaning of it in this sentence “私は喜びのあまり踊り出すところだろう” i know that we use” dasu ” when someone starts doing something suddenly so i think it means” i would dance of joy”.. but why “tokoro” is here , will it give us the same meaning if we just deleted it? >> sorry if it’s too long , thank you in advance…

    1. @zaria

      Hello zaria
      It is quite common to use ところだった “I would have done something (but I didn’t)” and I would say it is a bit unnatural to use ところ and だろう together but
      verb+ところ in that sentence means “I would end up/I would have ended up starting to dance with joy”
      FYI ところ+だった has a meaning of “you almost did something”

    2. Hello zaria!
      ところ here implies that the speaker was on the verge of doing something / was about to do something.
      私は喜びのあまり踊り出すところだった = I was so happy that I almost started to dance.

      Maggie correctly pointed out, that だろう is unnatural here, because it would imply that the speaker is not sure about his own statement.

      ~だす implies, as you noticed, that something happened suddenly, uncontrollable.


  94. Sensei, I hope this is not a terribly difficult question to answer. Is it possible that some kanji were created not long ago? Because it seems to me that some kanji that express a really high number would difficult for the ancient Chinese to come up with. Am I underestimating them? I mean, in kanji like 溝 and 垓 according to jisho might mean a hundred nonillion and a hundred quintillion, respectively. Those numbers seem very high for that time, before industrial revolution and that sort of time. I apologize if I come as a disrespectful person towards ancient cultures, I just found it odd. Thank you very much :)

    1. @Jeffery

      Wow. It is a hard question. I don’t know when the kanji such as 溝 and 垓 are made but it seems like the numeration system itself came to Japan in 17th century from China.

  95. First of all, I’d like to say that I’m incredibly thankful for this site! It’s helped me a lot so far with little and big doubts I had about Japanese :D. I’m sorry if this is very basic question. Is it ok to use ヴ since Japanese doesn’t naturally have the “v” sound? Would a more conservative person look down on me for using ヴィinstead of び. Thanks in advance, sensei!

    1. My third full stop should actually be a question mark. :D
      And び should’ve been a ビ. I’m sorry, I’m new to microsoft IME and it’s quite tricky haha.

    2. @Rod

      Hi Rod.
      I am very happy to hear you find this site helpful.

      Yes, we do use ヴ instead of ビ
      For example the famous brands,
      LOUIS VUITTON is spelled, ルイ ヴィトン
      Victora’s Secret →ヴィクトリアズ・シークレット

  96. ど〜もマギー!🤗
    I finally can try out some of the greetings you told me. Yay! 😊😉

    I was just curious about this expression


    Could you please tell me a little bit more about it. 😊😉🤗

    Thank you for always helping me 😊😉

    1. @Chii

      Haha, げんき、Chii?
      I wonder if you follow me on Twitter but I recently posted a mini lesson on How to talk like a Japanese person.
      よいしょ is one of them. When you lift up something heavy or when you relax after a long tough day, you say よいしょ.

      1. @maggie

        No I am sorry😞 I am like a lonely dinosaur living without any social media 😂😅 but thank you I will check this lesson out its sounds really interesting 😊😉 do you post a lot like this lesson on your social media?

        Thanks again for your help 😊😉

        1. @Chii

          No worries. Living without any social media is nice actually.
          (But I do teach new vocabulary, slang words, grammar points almost every day on Twitter.)

          1. @ maggie

            Yeah it’s quite a better life 😊 Oh but that’s sounds really interesting I will try to check it out 😉🤗😊 ありがとう for the information and your help 😉😊

      2. @maggie

        But I have another question about this word:


        It’s used like an expression I think maybe for a compliment or something like that. Am I right?


        1. @Chii

          Hi Chii! You don’t need to apologize when you ask a question. You are always welcome here!
          すごすぎ is from すごすぎる
          すごい (great) +すぎる (too + adjective) →すごすぎる= too great

          1. @maggie

            Oh thank you 😊 I will try to not apologise that much 😉 thank you for the explanation 😊😉 so can I use it as a expression or reaction for something i am surprised or amazed off like saying: wow that’s too great/amazing/cool
            Am I right? Please correct me if I got it wrong 😊😉

  97. Hi sensei ^^

    Sorry, I have so many questions all the time. I looked up the word 参るand it says “to go, to come, to call”, “to be defeated, to collapse, to die”, “to be annoyed”, “to be madly in love”. I am so confused, because the sentence I read was


    Does this mean, “I have come in to visit?”

    Thank you.

    1. @yuuna

      As you said 参る has many meanings but this one is for 謙譲語(kenjougo) humble expresson.
      1) to go or to come (referring to your own action when you are talking to someone superior)
      2) V-te form + 参ります。= a humble way to say V-te 来ます・行きます

      Since 入れる has many meanings and I can’t tell what is the context but
      After the speaker 入れる (to put something in, to make tea/coffee, etc) and come back to where the listener (someone superior) is, you say 入れてきます。→(more polite and humble) 入れて参ります。

  98. やあ😊

    I have just a short question about には and し in this sentence:


    Also want does 認めない here mean could it mean “not accept”


    1. @Chii

      This に is an object marker
      You use は to show the contrast.
      Maybe other people can beat me but not YOU!

      And right, 認めない in the sentence means “not accept (the fact)”

      (Chii, are you a girl? I think you meant やあ as “Hi” which you might have heard in anime but it is not so natural in real conversation especially for girls. 😉)

      1. So the に and は stand on their own here . Thank you I thought they would make a new particle together. 😉😊
        Does the し here indicates a reason or does it is used as an “and” here?
        Also yes I am a girl 😊 Yeah I meant is as a greeting thank you for the advice can you please tell me a girlish greeting if you don’t mind😊😉

        ありがとうございます😊 for the great explanation above

        1. @Chii

          That し is “and (also)”
          We don’t actually use “hi” equivalent greeting in Japanese.
          Though it is translated as “やあ” in many books or dictionary sites, it is rare to hear that in real conversation.
          If you are a boy, there are some slang words, such as ちわっす/ちーっす (rough) but girls would just say
          こんにちは or more casual ど〜も!

          1. Oh thank you 😊 so the sentence would mean something like:
            You guys can’t beat me and (also) I won’t accept it.
            Is this right?
            Also thank you for the greetings I will definitely try them out the next time 😊😉🤗

          2. Yeah I got the meaning right 😊🤗thank you again for your help 😊😉 haha I can image your how you must have felt when you were reading my comment (something like oh god not again what a weirdo) 😂😊

  99. Hello Maggie sensei! It’s nice to talk to you again after so long. I have a really urgent question today for you! Please help me as you always do!

    What is the meaning of カテラン or カテラン上位? Is it a slang term? I can’t find it in any dictionary but I see a few Japanese people on twitter using it in a mysterious context. My brain has turned to cream trying figure out what it means but there is literally no explanation.

    It’s like it’s a secret joke that everybody is in on (Since quite a few people use it) and yet there is nobody who will tell me what it means. Quite frankly i’m going insane looking for answers. So…pleasepleasepleaseplease help me please.The River Puppy

    1. @The River Puppy

      カテラン is an abbreviation of カテゴリーランキング

      カテ from カテゴリ = category + ラン from ランキング = ranking
      →ranking by category
      上位 = higher ranking

      Hope you can sleep well tonight.

  100. やっぼ〜 🤗
    I am really sorry for bothering you that often maggie 😞 But I hope that this is not so difficult to answer for you

    So I have this sentence:

    その 勇気 だけ は 評価 し て あげ なく も ない わ。

    I kind of struggling with the 勇気 + だけは can the meaning of だけは be at least? and the 評価してあげなくもないわ
    I know it’s a noun + する construction and the verb あげる in its negative form and もない and わ is a feminine particle t
    But I still can’t figure out the whole meaning of the sentence. And also I have trouble to understand the ないもない construction even though I have read your lesson about it


    I am really sorry thank you for taking your time to answer my comments

    1. やぁ, Chii!
      だけは in this sentence means “at least”
      ~てあげる implies to do something for (the sake of someone else)
      ~なくは/もない is a double negation, which implies possibility = can, may be (literally it means “it is not that…”). も part. adds more emphasis in the sentence.


      1. やあ天人!🤗
        I will try it so maybe it mean something like this:
        At least you have the courage (to face me)
        At least I have to appreciate your courage
        At least you don’t give up/ try it

        That’s what comes in my mind 😅 I hope that I am at least get close to the real meaning 😉

        1. I cannot match the first part of the sentence with the second without wider context.
          その勇気だけは = Heaving that courage at least
          評価してあげなくもないわ = It’s not that I don’t appreciate

          We have to wait for Maggie ^ ^

          1. Yes even for me it’s hard to think of an fitting translation even though I know he context which is basically the following they have like a marathon contest and the person who said this is sure that she wins and I think she’s trying to unsettle the others before the event starts but that’s just my interpretation. I can imagine it could be something like:
            It’s not that I don’t appreciate you for having that courage at least
            Does this make sense? I don’t know it sounds a little weird though. But thank you for helping me anyway 😊 At least I have a little wired but fitting translation 😉

          2. Okay, knowing now the background we will have: “Well, I can’t say I don’t appreciate at least that courage of yours” (=> she values the courage of the other person, but still she knows that only just courage is not enough to win the marathon contest).


            PS the わ particle used here adds more emphasis to the statement.

          3. To be clear: “values the courage of the other person” => of the person she is talking with.

          4. @天人 & マギー

            Thank you so much for taking your time to explain the words and the grammar to me 😊😉 also thanks a lot for the great translations there way better than mine😊🤗👍

            Thank you for explaining the meaning of the action of the person to me so detailed and understandable 😊👍

    2. Thanks for answering Maggie sensei! It all makes sense now! You’re a lifesaver! XD

      PS: After reviewing my message, I see that there’s something I didn’t add! I didn’t mean to sign off my message with (The River Puppy) it just seems to have appeared! I paste the username in the right box but somehow it ends up in the messages section…

      Is there like a trick to using the message boxes? It’s just kinda weird. It’s not a big issue though, the site works great for the most part! Anyway, thanks for helping me yet again Maggie-sensei!

  101. Sorry for submitting another comment sensei but do you know of a Japanese-English dictionary which will give me example sentences AND whether the Japanese word is slang/formal/casual ect?

    I know but they don’t tell me if the word is formal/casual

    Thank you!!

    1. @Forest

      I recommend ALC as well or Weblio but as you said they don’t tell you whether the sentences are casual or formal.
      If you are not sure if it is safe to use or not, you can ask me here anytime.

  102. Hi Maggie Sensei!

    Can you give me some example sentences that have a plain verb with a ni particle and explain it’s purpose?

    For example, my Japanese teacher told me that I could say 日本人と面白い会話をするには、日本語の力はまだまだだと思います。What’s the translation of the “ni” in here?

    Thank you sensei!!

    1. @Forest

      If you are following me on Facebook or Twitter, I just released a basic usage of a particle に. Go check this link

      So the に+は in your sentence
      V+には = in order to do something (purpose)

  103. Dear Maggie Sensei,

    Thank you for creating such a useful website.

    Kindly help me to clear whether we can use ~でございます in mails also.

    ”以下のメールはXXさんのでございます.” just to be more humble in mail language.

    1. @パルキン

      Hello, パルキン

      You use ございます when you talk to a customers/clients or someone superior or their family. But the balance is very important. You have to use proper honorific expressions which match to ございます.
      So XXさん→XX様
      is better.

    2. Thank you Maggie Sensei!

      I just noticed I replied in the wrong post before, sorry :)

      The link doesn’t work. Do you have another link?

  104. Hey, Sensei!

    I recently started to take interest in the rich asian cultures and languages. Unfortunately, I live in a small town, where there aren’t any courses in Japanese, Chinese, and so on. I’ve learned other languages before, but I’ve had teachers who guided me. Since there are no physical teachers close by, I decided to learn Japanese by myself (not exactly na easy thing for a western person I guess).

    I was very happy and considered myself extremely lucky to find a website just as this. I think I am making some progress (although slower than I’d like) thanks to your lessons and answers. My question is regarding the learning itself.

    What would you consider the best approach to study Japanese? I think I can handle myself pretty well with both Hiragana and Katakana (well, at least I’ve memorized them). But, what would say I should focus on at first? I have a very limited vocabular and the basics of grammar.

    Is it best that I learn a fair amount of vocabular before studying further grammar? I mean, the basics like colors, days of the week, places, food, etc. Or should I go straight to the grammar and acquire vocabular along the way?

    Thanks for dedicating your time and effort into this amazing project. It gives me hope that there are people like you that produce quality contente available to thousands of people. I’m sorry if this question is a bit off topic ^^.

    1. @Liza

      Hello Liza,

      I know everybody has their own way of learning languages and I can’t say this is the best way but I would say learn basic grammar along with basic vocabulary, not which one goes first.
      For example
      You learn the pattern
      X is Y
      along with basic the pronouns, occupations, days of the week.

      X is in (somewhere)
      You learn basic object names and location names.

      Once you learn the basic pattern, you will start to learn basic verbs and particles.
      A goes to location

      So little by little, you get to learn the sentence structure along with basic vocabulary. If you have enough vocabulary, you will learn how to switch the words.

      I know many people who have been learning Japanese on their own and their Japanese is amazing!!
      I’m always here for you!

  105. Hello, Sensei!

    It`s been a while since a last visited this site (I had some personal issues and unfortunately had to sort of abandon japanese learning for quite some time). The new layout is absolutely amazing, congrats!

    My question is about the usage of 教師 and  先生。What`s the difference between them (they both mean “Teacher” right?), and in which situations do I use them?

    Thanks in advance! I’ve Always enjoyed your lessons and patient replies to all your questions. It’s helped a lot so far, and I hope it does for many years to come :D

    1. @Mark F.

      Welcome back to this site, Mark!
      I’m glad to hear you liked the new layout. :)

      The difference between 先生 and 教師

      You use 教師 when you refer to someone’s profession as a teacher at school.
      In conversation, you may say
      = Watashi wa, koukou no sensei desu.
      = I am a high school teacher.
      But 高校の教師です。is more appropriate.
      When you write your job title as a teacher in your resume you write, 教師 but not 先生

      You never call someone with 教師
      When you have a question to a teacher, you don’t say
      X 教師、質問があります。
      = Kyoushi, shitsumon ga arimasu.
      You say
      = Sensei, shitsumon ga arimasu.

      person’s name + 先生
      (X マギー教師 sounds really strange.)

      先生 is used not just for teachers but also for doctors/politicians or someone who teaches something or specialist. 鍼(hari= acupuncture) の先生
      Also it is used to refer to them, Mr./Miss/Mis.Sir, Ma’am

      Hope you keep studying Japanese, Mark!

  106. こんにちはマギー先生とみんなさん!👩‍🏫🤗😉😊

    I am sorry to bother you again but I am really confused this time and I tried my best but nothing seemed to fit here.😞😓

    So here are the two sentences I am struggling with:

    うう … マラソン や だ な。

    あはは、友子 ちゃん 体育嫌い だ もん ね。

    1. The うう… is it a short form of saying ううん or is it a sound for a sniff, whimper
    2.the やだな part is something I am struggling with means it something like “amoung other things” or ” such as ” and what does the な stand for
    3. Then the もんね part is the one who totally confused me is it something like もんからね or am I totally wrong? Also I know that もん is a little childish and feminine does the person here mean it in a funny/ironic way like if he/she is kidding or is it used to show the nuance of seeking understanding。

    Also would you please be so kind to translate the two sentence for me 🙏

    I hope I could explain everything well for you. I am really sorry I know my interpretation maybe a little bit confusing but I still hope you can try to help me to understand it. 😉

    よろしくお願いします! 🤗😊

    1. @Chii

      Hello, Chii!
      1. In that case, うう../ううっ is like Ugh! to show one’s frustration.
      2. やだな is a casual contraction of 嫌だな (いやだな) to show one’s annoyance.
      = I hate marathon!) / It is such a pain to run a marathon!
      な suffix is to express one’s feeling.
      (いいな= It’s nice! / 困ったなあ = What should I to do.. / I am in a big trouble)

      3. もんね is another casual contraction of ものね ((だって〜もの= explain the reason  +ね tag question. right? huh? don’t you?, etc.)

      = It’s cause, you hate P.E., right?

      1. @maggie

        すごい😊🤗 ありがとうございます先生😊

        Thank you for the great and detailed explanation it was so helpful for me 😊🤗 Thank you for taking your time to help me 😊

        1. @maggie


          I have a question I was wondering if the あはは in my first sentence is really an expression for laughing or can it have another meaning.


          1. It’s an expression for laughing and has no other meanings.
            However, if you wrote it like あ、母は then it means: “Ah, mom is…”

          2. @Chii

            There are so many ways of expressing how you laugh in Japanese.
            あはは、あは、ハハハ, ワハハ…(If you want to learn more, check this lesson. → 笑う

            →You made me laugh so much in the morning.

            Quiz: Can you figure out this sentence?



          3. 笑うことは健康にいいよね~!^^

          4. @天人 &マギー

            I am sure it’s just a laugh 😂 But thanks 天人 the other example made my day 😉😊 i had to think about “oh mom” when somebody was laughing the whole time so I couldn’t hold myself and started laughing as well 😂 It was really fun though 😂😉😊

          5. 大正解で~す!さすがオレのマギーだぜッ!

            @maggie、@Chii 、@ゲストさん

    2. Thank you very much, sensei! :)

      Also, didn’t this site use to have a separate patreon page (apart from gimmeabreakman)? I can’t seem to find it.

    1. @rin

      だわな is a male speech/dialect.
      While だよな can be used to make sure something with someone, だわな is often used when you talk to yourself.

      Ex.そうだわな = I see. That things work…./ I knew it/ I got it.(You understand something.)
      Ex.そうだよな = So that how it works, right? (Talking to someone). You also use it when you talk to yourself when you question something.

      1. I see, so it’s a dialect. I often hear that, but not so sure what it means. Glad I asked. Thank you so much for explaining that, sensei.


    2. @MaggieSensei,

      Yes, am living in japan and want to make my kid to play with japanese kids freely,so i need to learn the conversation about how to get connected with the kids in the play ground. ( Like Throw the ball,kick it,catch it, swing etc..)

      Thanks in Advance.

      1. @Archana

        If there are more people who are interested in this subject, I will add it to the request lesson.
        Basically you can use te-form

        ボールをなげて= throw the ball
        ボールをけって = kick the ball
        こいで= Swing

  107. Hello ~
    Sorry to bother you Maggie-sensei but I have a few questions ._.

    1. What is the difference between でも and など in this context? :
    お茶でも飲みたいですか? (Would you like some tea?)
    お茶などが飲みたいですか? (Would you like some tea?)
    As far as I know, both mean are asking if they would like some tea, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be tea (could be water or coffe, etc). So what is the difference?

    2. How would you say “How tall are you?” Or “How big is your car?”
    I have heard something like 高さはどのぐらいですか?and 車の大きさはどのぐらいですか?
    But isn’t that asking for *approximately* how tall or how big it is? Because it uses ぐらい。
    I’m so confused ;-: but thanks in advance Maggie-sensei! :)

    1. @Lisa

      Hi Lisa,

      1. Would like some tea?
      The most natural translation is
      You don’t say

      でも:brings up some examples.

      If you are talking about what kind of tea you have,
      = We have Japanese tea, black tea and etc.
      (など = and etc. and so on: indicating there are more options)

      2. First, when you are talking about one’s height, you use 背(せ= se)/身長(しんちょう)
      tall = 背が高い/身長が高い

      When you ask about the size or how tall someone is, it is pretty common to use ぐらい/ くらい

      How tall are you? = 身長は?(しんちょうは)(どれぐらい?)?
      How big is it? = 大きさは(どれぐらい)?

  108. こんにちはマッギー先生!
    But I have a small question.
    Have you made a lesson on using くらい/ぐらい? I know it means something like “around” or “approximately”, like 40分ぐらい (around 40 minutes).
    But I have seen it used in other cases like どのぐらい:
    彼の高さはどのぐらいですか? (how tall is he?)
    How would you use this?
    Also, in sentences like 子供でもそんなくらいことができるよ。 (even a child could do this.)
    If you have made a lesson like this, could you please put a link to it? And if you haven’t, plz make one, it would be really really helpful.

  109. こんにちはマギー先生👩‍🏫😊🤗
    It’s me again I hope I have a easy question for you😊
    Basically I wanted to ask if you know this expression:


    And this sentence follows:

    そー ゆー こと だ から ヨロシク

    Could you please help me understanding it 😉🤗😊


    1. やっほ~、チイ!

      1) んじゃ is a colloquial equivalent of それでは, which mean “so”, “then” or “in that situation” depending of the context, as usual. So we have それでは =>それじゃ=>そんじゃ =>んじゃ, where それでは is the most formal expression.
      EX. んじゃ、行くよ!

      2) そー ゆー こと だ から ヨロシク = そうゆうことだからよろしく。
      It depends also from the context. よろしく is hard here to translate, because of its wide usage.
      The そうゆうことだから or そういうことだから part means “So”, “That’s why”, and is linked with the previous sentence, together with よろしく.

      Hope it helps ^ ^

      1. @天人&マギー


        @天人 thank you for your great and detailed explanation now I really can understand how it is used in this situation 😊😉 also thank you for the explanation of よろしくfunction as a conjunction in this situation I had trouble understanding that sentence as well 😉 Also I curious about the やっは〜 you used at the beginning of the post is it a kind of or an expression of like “yeah” or “all right” in English 🤗😉😊

        @ maggie
        Thank you two I think both yours and 天人s explanation and translation fit the situation perfect 👍😊

        1. It’s やっほ~ not やっは〜 ^ ^
          やっほ〜 is an colloquial 挨拶の表現 used by girls and it means something like “hi-de-ho”or “howdy” in English. It’s cute, that’s why I use it somethings, although I’m not a girl ^.^

          1. @天人
            Sorry for the late reply 🙇‍♀️ Thank you for the explanation I was really interested in this expression I will definitely try it out the next time thanks 😊😉🤗

    2. @Chii & 天人

      It seems like you had a nice Senpai helped you. :)
      んじゃ = also means “See ya!” / I’m off! “

  110. Hi sensei,

    I have a question about this one
    新連載攻勢 the first part I understand, but what does kousei mean when you put together with shinrensai? I know it means offensive and aggression and such. But that doesn’t sound right to me in this case.


    1. @rin

      Hi rin,
      As you say the literal meaning of 攻勢 is “offensive/aggression” and you don’t usually use with 新連載.
      It is a catch phrase so the readers can expect some new series will start or new stories are coming “aggressively”

      1. I see, so that’s how it is. I saw it a lot on the magazines, so I was wondering what it meant in context.
        Thanks sensei!!!

  111. 私は、マッギー先生のレッスンがとても好きですよ!
    I have some questions though… sorry to bother you.

    1. How do you say “continue doing something”, “start doing something”, “stop doing something”, etc. ? I imagine you would use 続ける combined with the te-form of the verb to make 読んで続ける (continue reading) but I’m not quite sure…
    I’ve also seen 出す used with the stem of the verb, like 動き出す or 歩き出す. What does that mean?

    2. How do you saying “going” or “coming”? As in, “He is going to the bank now.”
    I know that 行っている or 来ている means that you have already arrived at your destination. How would you say that you are currently in the process of going?


    1. @Kara


      * continue/keep doing something
      verb masu-stem + 続ける
      読みます→(masu stemu) 読み + 続ける →読み続ける keep reading
      食べます→(masu stemu)食べ+ 続ける →食べ続ける keep eating

      *start doing
      verb masu stem + 始める
      雨が降る →雨が降り始める
      verb masu stem + 始める
      (I have a lesson on 始める・出す・かける click this link)

      *stop doing something

      Verb masu stem + 終わる ( = owaru) or 終える ( = oeru )


      2. going = 行く
      He is going to the bank.
      If you want to describe he is in the process of going,
      You can still say

      Or you can say
      彼は銀行に向かっています。(He is heading to the bank)


  112. Hello! Do you by chance have any lesson for foreigners working in a nursing home? I’m looking all over the internet for something to study but nothing… Have a good day!

    1. @MLK

      Sorry. I don’t have that lesson. If you are going to work for a nursing home, I think they should provide proper materials for when you get a training.

      I did a little research for you. When you search, use Japanese google and type 介護の日本語 教材 ( = kaigo no nihongo kyouzai)

      Check this site. You can download some material free.
      They are going to sell a new book too
      Check this link.

  113. マギー先生こんにちは!
    I’ve been thinking about this for a long time. I know that normally when you meet someone, you would use their last name +san. Rarely do you ever use their first name or drop the -san (呼び捨て). However, in anime this rule seems to be completely ignored? For example in Naruto, all the genin just call each other by first names like it’s no big deal. Is this an exception in anime?

    Also, I notice that sometimes they will use the command form (like 返せ!or こい!) which is meant to be super rude, but they say it so casually and without intending to be hateful or anything.

    I hope I didn’t ask too much ;-; Thanks in advance!

    1. @Chris

      Hi Chris,
      Yes, it’s because it’s anime and Naruto! :) In real life, you use the last name or first name with “san” when you first meet someone.
      (Not me, here… hehehe)
      Also, in anime, you use the command form a lot to show their strength or roughness.
      If you use that form with someone in real life, it would be very offensive. (Unless, you are with your close friend and add the suffix such as よ
      返せよ/こいよ that tones down the rudeness a little.

  114. Hi Maggie sensei,

    I have been living in Japan for a while, so I feel confident in communicating in Japanese now, understanding any grammar is not a problem for me, and I can even translate into English fine, BUT…….
    I still feel bad about speaking Japanese simply because I don’t know how to be polite in many situations. I always feel so rude speaking, like there is a better way to say what I feel… So I want to take the next step and learn how to have socially tactful Japanese. I think it is the hardest part of Japanese, because it goes beyond the words you speak, and also is not really a part of western cultures. Sometimes we call this “savoir faire”, if you know this phrase. But I think Japanese “savoir faire” is much more intense and harder to master, and is never taught in textbooks.

    So, it would be very helpful to learn about how to be tactful in Japanese in many different social interactions. I hope you understand my poor explanation, and please consider making some lessons for this!

    Thank you always for your teaching!

    1. @lemoogle

      Hello lemoogle
      Your question is very interesting and deep.

      You choose the way you talk depends on various elements.

      1) who you talk to. (age/closeness/ position)
      2) What kind of social group (work, school, club, neighbors, friends)
      3) How close you are to that person.
      4) What kind of situation (party, daily life, work)
      4) your personality/ the listeners’s personality

      Nobody gets offended unless you talk to them “too casually” or using the rude form for example when you ask questions, avoid using “V / Noun + か?” ”Noun+のだ? ” forms. (元気か? ・ これは誰のだ?) or “slangy” expressions.
      If you are a man, avoid using 俺(=ore), etc. But I assume you already know that. :)

      When you talk to someone for the first time, it would be better to stick to desu/masu form.
      If you get to closer to that person and if he/she is around your age or younger, observe how they talk to you and use the same politeness. That is one of the tactics.
      Also there is an expressing, 気を読む ( = ki wo yomu). I have been thinking about making this lesson for a long time but you have to read people’s mind.
      If you feel some kind of awkwardness (I guess that is why you wrote the comment here), it is probably you are doing that. Then change the politeness towards that person.
      Also as I wrote in my ちょっと lesson, Japanese people avoid using straightforward expressions and mix with ambiguity.
      And this is something universal but you should know some caring expressions.

      So my suggestion for now is the importance of observing people. Observe how Japanese people around you talk to each other.

  115. マッギ先生、今日は !!

    ”腹落ち” と言う言葉をどのように訳すれば良いでしょうか。


    1. @パルキン

      最近、見かけるようになりましたね。腑に落ちる (ふにおちる)/腑に落ちない(ふにおちない)から出た言葉だと思います。
      腹落ち=納得する( = なっとくする)= to fully understand, to accept

  116. Hi sensei,
    I saw your omoi lesson. So I’m wondering does this mean (恋が重い) the person has too much love or being too serious. Am I right, sensei?


      1. Oh, this is (愛) what I meant to type. Sorry, I didn’t pay attention. Just like motsu and matte. Always type it wrong!! Silly me!! LOL

  117. Sensei! ;A;

    Is there a similar sentence to “It is a good buy” or “It was worth buying!” (If I am telling someone what they bought is a good purchase) but in Japanese? Is いい買って correct in this situation?

    1. @NekoNeko

      Hi NekoNeko,

      a good purchase is “いい買い物”
      If you are telling someone what they bought is a good purchase
      →「いい買い物をしましたね。」 (polite)
      「いい買い物をしたね。」 (more casual)

      If you are talking about your own purchase,

  118. Hello Maggie Sensei!

    There is a sentence that I would expect using a lot when talking to Japanese people, it is “I have always wanted to try -name of meal-” (As in, I have never eaten it before, but I have always wanted to try it out)

    From what I know, ずっと行きたかった means I have always wanted to go. (Please correct me if I’m wrong) So using that as a reference, I concluded that my sentence would be something like “ずっとみたらし団子食べたい” But I don’t feel confident about it, since ずっと means “always”, I’m worried my sentence might come out as “I want to always eat Mitarashi Dango”.

    Thank you so much in advance!

    1. Hello! If you have never done something, you can use
      ずっとVてみたかった or ずっとVてみたいと思っていた。pattern.
      By using “Vてみたい” you can express “want to try something/ try doing something”.


      (Right, if you say ずっとみたらし団子を食べたい it sounds like you have wanted to eat mitarashidango the whole time.

  119. Hi Maggie-Sensei (again) :D !
    Hope you don’t mind

    I’m having trouble with particles for this sentence:
    Based on what I’ve researched, は is a subject marker and is almost like “is”, or can be something that universal things that do not change (so this wouldn’t be an answer because motivation for 勉強 can change, am I right?),

    As for が (subject marker) I’m unsure because there’s already a が in the sentence and usually when I write sentences I don’t include two of the same particles and I’m not sure where this is allowed. I hope you can clear things up for me!

    I think it’s をbut I know at times が is also used. But I’m unsure why

    3)And for 住んでいます、usually に would be used for location, but if you are asking a question to someone like between two places, 田舎と都会どちら(に・が)住みたいですか。And が is used usually when asking questions, but then に is for location.

    One more thing, And I was wondering what 弱音をはく means separately, I’ve looked it up online but it doesn’t really help. I can’t seem to find what はく means but 弱音is to complain? (it comes up with weak sound- I’m assuming separately the two kanji means that)

    Thankyou so much! (I’m sorry if I bombarded you with a lot of questions)!

    1. @Samyi

      Hi Samyi

      1) 最近、勉強にやる気がでてきたんです。

      My first choice is に 

      勉強にやる気が出る = to be motivated to study / with studying

      に:in the field of something / with something / to something
      The subject is the speaker.

      If the speaker is motivated with something else too, you can say
      I am motivated also in studying.

      But there are other possibilities

      勉強のやる気が出てきた: When you focus on what kind of motivation
      motivation of studying
      The subject is やる気


      は = as for study,
      When you show some contrast, it’s possible. Maybe you are motivate to study but you are not motivated with something else.

      Just 勉強がやる気が出てきた doesn’t sound natural. You already used が in やる気が and 勉強 can’t be a subject.

      2) ~ 相手を見つけた方がいい

      You need an object marker

      I wouldn’t use が. It doesn’t make sense.

      3) It should be どちらに住みたいですか

      But if you are asking,

      Which one do you like? A or B?

      Whenever you get confused make a simple sentence to find the right particle.


      4) 吐く has many meaning, such as “to throw up, to exhale, to breath out”
      弱音を吐く is a stronger expression of 弱音を言う 
      It means “to whine”

      OK, I hope it helps.

      1. Thankyou so much again! I really appreciate it!

        Most teachers don’t even explain it like you do, they just say use this particle, give example sentences and makes us write sentences following the example given. So it’s confusing for me at times

        Excluding the sentence just が見つけた, would this also make sense (in a different context?)

        1. @Samyi

          Sが見つけた works when you emphasize the subject.

          Ex. A: 「Samyiなくした財布(さいふ)、誰が見つけたの?」
          = Who found your wallet, Samyi?
          S: 「父が見つけたの。」
          = My father found it.

          If you rephrase this situation in one sentence, you say

          1) You use “が” in question.
          2) When you emphasize who found it, you use “が”

  120. Hi Maggie-Sensei,

    Just wondering how do you know which particles to use infront of onomatopoeias? (Or is there a rule to follow)
    私の友達は陰(が・を・で etc.)コソコソする人じゃありません。

    I’m confused for this example since there’s a する and usually a に would be used, but because an onomatopoeia is included it consfuses me more

    Hope you can clear things up for me :)

    1. @Samyi

      There are many onomatopoeia words which you can use with a verb, する.
      It can be translated as an adjective or verb.
      For example

      ドキドキする to get nervous, to be nervous
      ムカムカする to get angry, to be angry, to feel sick
      コソコソする = to be sneaky, to do something in secret

      You don’t choose a particle by an onomatopoeia but the context.

      In this case, you need a location marker,
      * to do something “behind” one’s back”.

      “to do something “in / behind/at/on/in front of,etc.” ~ (location) ”
      = location で~する
      So the answer is で

      Let me show you the example without an onomatopoeia.

      Ex. 陰でうわさをする
      Ex. 陰でひどいことを言う。
      Ex. 私の前で歌う。
      Ex. 教室で食べる

      all these actions are done in certain locations so you use で.

      1. Thankyou Maggie-Sensei!
        I get it now!

        Thankyou so much for your detailed explanation!


  121. Hi sensei,
    This one here (恋愛枠) does it mean something else besides (love frame). To say love frame it doesn’t make sense though. So I’m wondering, does it have another meaning?


    1. @Rin
      枠 does mean a frame but you use it when you classify something/people.
      If you can see a person with romantic interest, you classify that person in 恋愛枠. If not, he belongs to 友達枠.

      1. Oh, I see. So that word means like that instead of frame. I knew it, because it didn’t make sense to me. Glad I asked.

        Thanks so much sensei!!

  122. Hello Maggie Sensei :)

    I was wondering how to describe one spending time doing A or B, etc.

    For instance, spending time taking a walk outside, drinking coffee, shopping. How would one say that? Thanks in advance!

    1. @Jenrais

      To do something doing ~
      You can use verb te-form

      To do something doing A or B


      1. Thank you for your reply. Out of curiosity, is て時間を過ごす a grammar pattern? I am not quite sure what the て form is doing here.

        1. It may be easier for you to think the function of this Vて is “by doing”
          Vて時間を過ごす = to spend the time by doing something

  123. こんにちわ!
    I was wondering if you had any lessons on saying you’re doing something before and after.
    e.g. I am going to do my homework before dinner.
    I study for school and your website has been a very great help!

    1. @Charlotte💕

      I am happy to hear you have been using my site.
      I don’t think I made a lesson on that particular topic but I can help you here.
      1) to do something before (noun)
      = (noun) の前に〜をする
      = ~ no mae ni ~ suru

      Ex. 食事の前に宿題をする
      = shokuji no mae ni shukudai wo suru
      = to do homework before dinner.

      2) to do something after (noun)
      = (noun) の後に〜をする ( = ~ no ato ni ~ suru)

      Ex. 食事の後に宿題をする
      = shokuji no ato ni shukudai wo suru
      = to do homework after dinner.

      3) to do something before Ving ~
      = V dictionary form 前に〜をする (~ V mae ni ~ suru)

      Ex. 宿題をする前に夕食を食べる
      =shukudai wo suru mae ni yuushoku wo taberu.
      = to have dinner before doing my homework.

      to do something after V-ing
      = V dictionary form 後に〜をする ( V ato ni ~ suru)

      Ex. 宿題をした後に夕食を食べる
      = Shukudai wo shita ato ni uushoku wo taberu
      = to have dinner afeter finishing my homework.

  124. Hi Maggie sensei! :) I had a question…
    About the grammar forms …くなる and …なくなる; to form them, do you just make it into たい or たくない form and take off the い? And then it would become ‘to grow to want to…’ or ‘to grow to not want to…’?
    Eg たこ焼きを食べたいです。
    ーたこ焼きを食べたくなります。 –> I’ve become wanting to eat takoyaki. (??)
    ーたこ焼きを食べたくなくなります。–> I’ve become not wanting to eat takoyaki…? (???)
    It all sounds a bit strange…. :o
    If you could, could you please explain to me how to use たくなる and なくなる and the meaning?? Thank you so much :) :)

    1. @Evelyn

      Hi Evelyn!

      Eg たこ焼きを食べたいです。
      ーたこ焼きを食べたくなります。  come to want to eat takoyaki
      ーたこ焼きを食べたくなくなります。 come not to want to eat takoyaki

      How to form:
      Vたい→Vたくなる/ Vたくなります
      Vたくない→Vたくなくなる/ Vたくなくなります

      past tense
      Vたい→Vたくなった/ Vたくなりました。
      Vたくない→Vたくなくなる/ Vたくなくなりました

      You may translate both Vたい and Vたくなる, just “to want to V” / “feel like Ving” but there is a difference as below.

      Vたい= want to V (Simply expressing one’s current feeling)
      Ex. たこ焼きが食べたい! = I want to eat takoyaki (now)!

      Vたくなる =Something makes you want to V / come to V (expressing one’s urge or change of one’s feeling. So you may not want to eat takoyaki before but something happens and you want to eat takoyaki. )

      1. Hello, Maggie!
        A crazy pattern came up into my mind.
        How about 食べたくなくなくなる ^ ^ Would it work?

        Second question is regarding the difference between たこ焼きが食べたい and たこ焼きを食べたい. I think the first one implies “I wanna eat !!たこ焼き!! (and nothing else) now!” – sounds very strong. The second one is more neutral, it doesn’t put so much emphasis on the noun. Am I correct?

        1. @天人

          1) 食べたくなくなくなる
          Haha my brain is about to explode.
          You don’t say that. You either say
          食べたくなくなる lose appetite
          食べたくなる to have an appetite

          Though some people do say Nを食べたい/ 飲みたい, in my opinion Nが食べたい/ 飲みたい is much more natural.

          For example, if you suddenly feel like eating takoyaki, you say
          たこやきが食べたい but not たこやきを食べたい.
          But if we need to compare the difference,
          たこやきが食べたい = stronger desire to eat takoyaki
          たこやきを食べたい = focusing on takoyaki more than the desire.


  125. Hello!

    I am trying to understand the meaning of masu form +は/もする
    For example:


    Is this a grammar pattern I havent found or? Its been driving me insane…
    Thanks in Advance!

    1. @Dan

      Hi Dan,
      They are both expressions to stress the meaning but

      Technically は shows the contrast. (I might do something else but) I WILL not leave (someone).
      SO in this case 離れはしない emphasizes the feeling of not leaving someone.

      Not even do something. I didn’t even think that she liked me.
      思いもしない = not even think ~

      1. Hi Maggie, Thanks!

        Just to understand it a bit more, these two can be used on any verb correct?
        As in 食べはしない ( I wont eat, but I will B?) 食べもしない(wont even eat?)

        What confuses me the most though is why is the pattern using する and not ない?

        Thanks in advance!

        1. @Dan

          I see your confusion.
          This 食べ is actually a noun form.

          I assume you already know this but you can make a noun from a verb with こと or の

          The usage is a bit different but you also make a noun with masu-stem.

          食べる →食べ (eating)
          離れる →離れ (separating, leaving)

          * 食べない。 (regular negative form) won’t eat/ don’t eat
          * 食べはしない (won’t eat but maybe does/do some other thing.) (←食べることはしない)
          * 食べもしない (not even eat )  (←食べることもしない)

          So by changing the verb 食べる into a noun form and add a particle on purpose so that you can express certain nuance because particles have many different functions.

          This usage is much deeper than this. When I have more time, I will make a lesson on this subject.

          1. Thank you Maggie :)
            This has helped me understand it a bit more, looking forward to the lesson!

  126. Hello I am a japanese learning student and i have a question

    Is there any difference with these 2 types of sentences?

    I did the whole thing(for eg in class after the teacher gives u a work)


    Sensei i did half of the homework

    Basically im not sure when to use 全部..after を or before the を

    1. @Saladchan

      type1.これを全部しました (これ (this one) is an object) I did this all.
      type2.これ全部をしました (これ modifies 全部) I did the whole thing.
      But the translation could be the same.

      The second one is not natural.

      1. Oooh i see so

        ^is better to use and more natural than type 2 right?
        But both ways can be Ok to use if the listener understands the context or know what the person is trying to say right?

        1. @Saladchan

          You may say that in conversation but I would stick to
          nounの前半(を)する (to do the first half of something)

  127. Hello again maggie-sensei,

    I came across something that is confusing me in this sentence. But it looks similar to ‘to omou to’ which i posted a bit ago. The rough translation is ‘and then’. Now this is what I came across: to kiku to. I’m guessing it means the same. In this case maybe it would mean:’as soon as I asked…’?

    Tada fushigina koto niha itsunomanika me ga tsuburete, aobouzu ni natteiru.
    And then here is the sentence that threw me off: jibun ga omae no me ha itsu tsubareta no kai to kiku to, nani mukashi kara sa to kotaeta.

    And the second thing that confuses me is if after ‘nani’ there is an ‘invisble’ comma?

    And is this translation of this sentence okay: But there is one strange thing, since when was my child blind and with a shaved head? I then asked,” when did you lose your sight? Then they answered,” what? since long ago.”


    1. @moereverie

      Hi moereverie,

      It will be easier if you add quotation marks.
      自分が 「お前の目はいつ、つぶれたのかい? 」 と聞くと、「なに、昔からのさ」と答えた。
      jibun ga 「omae no me ha itsu tsubareta no kai?」 to kiku to、「nani mukashi kara sa」 to kotaeta.

      1) So there are two と ( = to) in the sentence.
      〜と (1)、聞くと(2)〜
      = to (1), kiku to (2)

      (1) = to quote
      (2) = When/ and then (what happens)

      2) Yes, there is an invisible comma after なに ( = nani)


      Are there two people in the scene? If so that “jibun” means “I”
      When I asked that person when you lost your sight? He (that person) answered “Well, it’s a long time ago./It’s an old story. “

      1. Thank you again,

        The thing is this book didn’t have quotes or that comma after ‘nani’. But very true,

        Also, is it all right to post like 4 lines of a song, or a (short) section? the thing is i’ve read books of beginner and intermediate level, but I then read lyrics, listen to anime, read visual novels, and I can’t understand. I see things that weren’t covered.

        ルミリー by, ゲスの極み乙女。

        here’s a fun song as a thank you. but, maybe you already heard of it


        1. @moereverie

          If you don’t understand some lyrics, it is not because of your Japanese. It is hard to interpret and translate lyrics. The language is very different from how we usually talk.
          And a lot of times, visual novels have mistakes and it could be hard to understand without reading the whole page.
          As I told you before I don’t do the translation. I am sorry. But I don’t mind answering one or two simple questions here. :)

  128. First time visiting your blog!. And oh what a coincidence!!. I end up here while trying to understand what うそmeans. As a little background about me, I’ve started learning japanese this month, and i really like it. It’s an amazing lenguage and quiet a challenge to learn. and since i’m doing it by myself, finding your blog makes things more fun and handy.

    I’ve read the “about us” part on the blog, and was thinking to myself, where should i start? this place its pretty big… Any advises for a freshman starting to learn japanese. oh, i have some apps on the phone and i’m using the genki books if that helps..

    i’ll be looking forward for your answer :).

    have a nice day!

    And my natal language is Spanish, by the way. Japanese grammar get’s a bit hard to understand sometimes since it doesn’t work like english or spanish. ><|||

    1. @Zidgia

      Hi Zidgia
      Welcome to my site! Genki book is a good book to study with. So stick to that book for your main study and if you find some grammar difficult, come find the topics.
      (You can check the Index page. I put the basic lessons in the beginner sections.)
      And you are always welcome to ask questions here. (If one or two at at time.)
      I know a lot of people who have been studying Japanese on their own and their Japanese is amazing!

      Japanese is different from English and Spanish but that’s the fun part! :)

      Buena suerte!

  129. Hello maggie sensei,

    I’m hoping for a little help. I’m having trouble knowing what ‘to omou to’ means. I came across it at the start of a sentence in a short story.

    This is the sentence (in hiragana), just in case it is needed: to omou to, surarito yuragu kuki no itadaki ni, kokoromochi kubi wo katabuketeita hosonagai ichirin no tsubami ga, fukkurato hanabira wo hiraita.

    1. @moereverie

      Hi moereverie

      とおもう ( = to omou) is to quote what you think.

      = Sore wa muzukashii to omou.
      = I think it’s difficult.

      とおもうと or かとおもうと〜 is to show the contrast of what the writer says before the sentence.Or two events are happing at the same time/simultaneously, as soon as, at the same time . I have to read the previous sentence as well but I think your example is the later.
      “at the same time/ as soon as what it has mentioned in the previous sentence happened” → the flowers bloomed.

      1. thanyou for responding,

        here is the previous sentence. I know you explained but maybe if the sentences can be linked with ‘to omou to,’ it would be much easier to understand: mirumani nagakunatte choudo jibun no mune no atari made kite tomatta.

        1. @moereverie

          OK, then as I explained that とおもう is とおもうと ( as soon as ) or it could be just translated “and then”

          not sure what the subject is something grew rapidly and reached the height of the writer’s chest.
          +とおもうと links to this sentence and continue “as soon as it reaches the height of the writer’s chest it bloomed…”

          1. thankyou very much.

            I just have a difficult time understanding some things. Extra information is always helpful as it can provide different perspectives and different wording that might help me understand something.

            thank you again

  130. Hello Maggie sensei! It’s been awhile since I last posted a question but I have just one right now…

    1. I was taught that the difference between だ and です is that だ is declarative and thus not interchangebale with です. So while there is a ですか but no such thing as だか.

    So like, in the case of Maggie sensei…

    マギー先生は犬ですか (Is Maggie sensei a dog?)

    マギー先生は犬だ!?(Maggie sensei is a dog?)<—also works with raised intonation at the end if the person speaking is surprised that sensei is a dog…but I have ACTUALLY heard in some shows (Several times in fact!) people saying 「何だか」

    The dictionary says 何だか is an adverb that means "somewhat" or "somehow" but in the context I heard it, it seemed that the person saying it meant something along the lines of "what does that mean/what is the meaning of that?)

    So I really need to know if you can after all, attach a か to a だ. (Even if it is slang…)

    PS: After quite a long time since I last asked a question I have now collected many of them…but i'll ask them sometime else. Thanks as always Maggie-sensei! XD

    PPS: It seems I have managed to forget that your brithday was May 5th Yukari sensei! (I forgot and thought it was March 5th and that it had already passed a while ago but it seems I was wrong!)


    1. @The river puppy

      Hello!! おひさしぶり! 元気でしたか?

      です & だ are used when you state/conclude something and you add か to make a question.
      I’ll show you several patterns.

      Simple questions.
      マギー先生は犬か? (male speech/blunt)

      As you say you raise the intonation at the end to quote what you just heard.

      マギー先生は犬です!? ← マギー先生は犬ですって?

      Other patterns:
      When you express surprise feelings checking the fact
      マギー先生は犬なのか?(blunt/male speech)/ 犬なの? (neutral/casual but still friendly)

      So I suspect what you heard is なのか not なんだか. What do you think?
      If you are pretty sure, I need to know the whole conversation with なんだか.

      PS: OK, please ask me one or two questions at time.
      PPS: Yukari is super happy that you remembered her birthday!!! Big hug from her! ❤️

      1. Hello Maggie sensei! Thanks for the quick reply! XD Your explanation for the reason why (da) can be used for questions was great but I am pretty sure I heard「何だか」—>This is because the person saying it was saying it to him/herself (There wasn’t anybody to ask a question to)

        1. The dictionary says 「何だか」 is an adverb and it mean: a little, somewhat, somehow. Of course this doesn’t make sense in the context of what I heard (Because that person was saying it to mean something like—>And what does that mean?/and what was that supposed to mean) so perhaps it was a question to him/herself… nevertheless I am still pretty sure it was 「何だか」

        2. (Part of my series of new questions): What is the difference between 均整 and 対称? They are both supposed to mean symmetry and yet they are two seperate words. Are they interchangeable or is there a slight nuance?

        3. (Part of my series of new questions): Is the meaning of 気味 a physical feeling or an intuitive one or both? Like, is it:

        犬の毛の気味は柔らかい。(The feeling of the dog’s fur is soft)


        なんとなく悪い気味がする。(For some reason i feel a weird sensation)<—and in this case it is a mental feeling not that somebody is touching something weird

        or are both ok?

        1. @The river puppy

          1. Hmm it would help if you give me the whole sentence.
          Like you said, なんだか means “somewhat (similar to なんか) , something like” and you don’t use it to ask a question
          If you hear that again in a show on youtube give me the link and time. I will try to listen to it.

          2. I see. They both mean “symmetry” in English, huh. You use 均整 to describe a balance of 1) figure of people 2) art design
          the most common expression is 均整が取れている = well balanced/to have a great figure / 均整が取れていない= not balanced

          対称 is used to describe how two things are balanced./compare two things/ mathematical term.

          3. You don’t say 犬の毛の気味は柔らかい。(→犬の毛は柔らかい・柔らかい感触がする)・なんとなく悪い気味がする。(→なんとなく嫌な・変な気分がする)

          The usage of 気味 is very limited.

          気味が悪い / 不気味(ぶきみ) creepy
          疲れ気味 to be a little tire.
          風邪気味 = to have slight cold

          I have a lesson on 気味+がち please check this link.

  131. I was wondering what そろそろヤバイwould mean. Each word by themselves have such a broad meaning. One meaning soon or gradually depending on context, and then the other is confusing at the best of times.

    1. @Cathy

      Hi Cathy
      やばい has many meanings depending on the context. (Click this link→ my facebook quiz)
      So the word itself also has a positive meaning but そろそろヤバい is negative.
      The speaker/writer suspects that someone /some situation/something will be in a big trouble anytime soon.

      Or sometimes it won’t be so serious.
      = This cellphone is almost broken or The battery of this cellphone will be gone anytime soon.

      1. Okay. So in this case, the speaker gives a list of things that they have to do. Then,

        Afterwards, if I have time, I have to start working on my schoolwork.

        Would “I’m so overwhelmed” be a good translation (if close at all) or is “So much to do, so little time” better?

  132. Hello, maggie sensei,

    I was wondering if you know of any services where I can get help with translations that involve music or visual novels?

    1. @moereverie

      Hi moereverie,
      I don’t know if there is free service to translate from Japanese to English but if I find it, I will let you know.

    2. ありがとうございます! I’m trying to catch nuances and hoping I’m not overdoing it or even missing it entirely.

      1. @Cathy

        どういたしまして! Right, ヤバい changes the meaning depending on the context. So if you get confused, you can ask me here anytime with the whole sentence.

  133. Hello Maggie sensei,

    This is a piece from some lyrics. I was wondering if you could help with this. The first line confuses me. I’m not sure how to connect all the pieces, they all seem disconnected.

    Kako mo mirai mo ikusen mono hoshi ni natte

    Sora wo samayoutte
    wandering about the universe

    And is this translation acceptable? for sora wo…

    I appreciate any time you give me.

    1. @moereverie

      Hello moereverie
      As I wrote in the descriptions, I don’t do the translation here but yes, your translation is correct.
      Since these two sentences use て, which means “and” at the end, they are connected
      Your past and future become thousands of stars + < and> + wander about the universe

      1. i apologize, i read something in a comment section that said something like if you need help head to ‘maggie’s room’. after seeing you comment, I read what was underneath the picture and I then proceeded to face palm,

        my apologizes

  134. Goodmorning maggie sensei, your site helps me a lot, i just want to ask if you can do online teaching? Please let me inform about the requirements and cost. Thank you so much

    1. @April

      Since I am a dog angel, I can’t but Yukari does Skype Lesson. (4 x 30 min about $100.00/Japan time 10:00 am~ 7:00 pm )
      But she seems to be busy and she can only take a few more students.

      1. Actually i’m living in japan for around 2 yrs now. Can i have more details about online teaching? Thank you so much,

  135. Hello Maggie sensei!
    I had some stuff I was wondering about today! –>
    1. I noticed playing games in Japanese and stuff that often people use できる in a sense that isn’t ‘can do’? Eg すっごい人だかりができてるぞ. That isn’t the ‘can do’ できる is it? I’ve seen it used like that a lot, but how come??

    2. I’ve always been so confused about this! For past tense, if I want my sentence in past tense does every verb in it need to be in past tense? Eg:
    昨日学校は七時に始まったから、六時に起きるつもりだったけど、起きられなかったから間に合わなかった。 There are a lot of ったs in that sentence, sorry!I just wanted to make a point!>,<

    3. Another thing I've never seen in school but I see a lot in games! You don't have to explain it because I know you're busy, but could you tell me what pattern it is for verb + くなる? I can't find anything on it when I search it up, only on adj + く/になる. But I'm so sure you can say things like 話さなくなる!

    4. Again, something I hear all the time in games but never in school! What is it when people say (adj) + がる? I know (verb)+たがる, but it's not really the same is it… :o

    Thank you so much! I just want to let you know how much I appreciate you being here to answer questions, because I have some issues which means I can’t ask for help very easily. So I really, really appreciate this. Thank you so much <3

    1. @Jasmine

      1) I have a lesson on できる。
      Click this link → How to use できる

      “4”) Also I have a lesson the difference between たい&がる
      Click this link → たい&がる

      2) Your sentence is correct but you can also say

      I know I change the format a little but when there are a various verbs in a sentence, there are cases that you just use a past tense at the end of a sentence and use a present tense after certain prepositions, such as ながら/ので/から, etc.

      1. Hello Maggie sensei!
        For 3), I was asking about something a little different though? Not たがる but くなるfor verbs? Sorry to be so annoying :(

        1. @Jasmine

          Oops! Sorry! I wrote the wrong number in my previous comment. 3) should be 4)
          And I didn’t answer 3)

          Vくなる means “S comes to certain state”
          It express the change of some state.

          So 話さなくなる implies, Two people used to talk to each other but they start not to talk to each other anymore.

          1. Of course, it’s no problem <3 It's already enough that you replied at all!
            Thank you! I understand. Could you please tell me how to form them for group 1 and group 2 verbs? I thought it might be:
            Group 1: take off the last character and add くなる
            Group 2: plain form + になる
            But when I tried thinking of examples, it seemed a little strange…
            Thank you so much <3

          2. @Jasmine

            Here are the basic verb ones with なる

            verb dictionary form + ようになる


            potential form


            verb negative form  ない→なく

            potential form 〜ない→なく+なる


          3. Hello Maggie sensei!! This is such a late response, I’m sorry, but I still had something I was confused about!
            I know the form ようになる but I think there is also a way to do it without よう? Like わかるになる? I’m not sure if you can say that, but I swear I’ve heard it before….. :o
            Thank you :)

          4. @Jasmine

            Hi Jasmine,
            わかるになる→ No. You don’t say that. You need ようになる
            I don’t know where you heard it but
            You can say noun/adjective +になる = to become noun/adjective
            大人になる = otona ni nar = to become an adult
            きれいになる = kirei ni naru = to become beautiful
            大きくなる= ookiku naru = to become bigger
            But you don’t say
            verb dictionary form + になる (wrong)

  136. HELLO MAGGI SENSEI .i already have studied the usage of (yori) before but i can’t get the overall meaning of that phrase .怒りより悔しさよりほんとは恐ろしさのほうが強かつた..i can’t really get how they used (yori) twice here.does it mean (it was a lot more / really frightening than anger or regret )i’m confused .so please help me sensei..thank you in advance..

    1. @zara
      You have seen compareing two things
      C is stronger than A.

      You sometimes compare more than two things.
      C is stronger than A and/or B.
      The truth is fear is stronger than anger and/or frustration(regrets/resentment).

  137. Hello Maggie sensei!
    I was just wondering about intransitive/ transitive verbs.
    I know there’s a different form for them, like 始める and 始まる, but can you also use one verb as either intransitive/ transitive just by changing the particle?
    Eg 花が咲く–> ‘The blooming of the flowers’ 咲くis being used an intransitive verb (or at least that’s what I’m trying to do).
    花を咲く –> ‘The flowers are blooming’ 咲く being used an a transitive verb.
    Thank you!
    Actually I’d never heard of transitive/ intransitive verbs before studying Japanese! :o I think I’m still rusty on them, even in English…

      1. That’s what I thought!
        But then when I wrote 花を咲く my teacher corrected it to 花が咲く to make it intransitive, and I was confused because I thought intransitive meant the verb itself changed as well!
        Was that maybe just a mistake in conversation??

        1. @Dale

          Intransitive verb form and transitive verb form are usually different.
          咲く = intransitive verb
          So the basic form is
          Ex. 花が咲く Flowers bloom
          Ex. 桜が咲く Cherry blossoms bloom

          As your teacher said, you can’t say 花を咲く because を is an object marker and 咲く is a form for intransitive verb.
          Did you click the link in my previous comment? In that chart I explained the basic pattern.

          If you say
          something make the flower bloom, then you have to change the verb form. (In this case a causative form)

          Ex. 春の暖かい太陽が花を咲かせる
          = The warm spring sun makes the flowers bloom.

          1. I opened it before! I just didn’t realise 咲く was an intransitive verb! :o It all makes sense now, thank you :)

      1. ah sorry!! i didn’t check my post before i left of this site >///<

        i want to know how is different between
        頑張りましょう and 頑張っていきましょう

        can you give me some situation to let me know how to use both of them.

        1. @Rainie
          You use them both when you encourage someone to do their best.:Hang in there!/ Let’s do our best!/ Keep it up!
          So a lot of times they are interchangeable.
          But here is the nuance difference:

          頑張りましょう = It is used for present, past, future actions/events.
          When you encourage someone (who did/has been doing/is doing/is going to do something) to do their best now (or future)

          頑張っていきましょう = It is used for future actions/events.
          When you encourage someone (who is going to do something) to do their best from now on.

          So you can use them both for future actions.
          Ex. 明日の試合、頑張りましょう。
          Ex. 明日の試合、頑張っていきましょう。

          But when you encourage someone who is trying something right now you say 頑張りましょう! (it focuses on current situation more)

  138. Hello Maggie 先生!

    I’ve come across quite a big problem for me recently…when I’m reading a sentence and there’s more hiragana characters next to each other, I can’t figure out the meaning…for example 歴史小説とかも読みます – I’m not sure if it’s とか and も or if it’s と and かも.
    Do you have any advice how I can improve this please?

    Thank you! And thank you so much for putting your time and effort into making all of this for us. You are really amazing.

    1. @aida

      Hello, aida,
      First let’s compare the following three
      A と B = A and B
      A とか B= A and B and so on/etc. (implying there is other option)
      A とかBとかも= A and also B and so on/etc. (implying there is other option. / Emphasizing B more than とか by adding a nuance “also”)

      Now when you just use A,
      Aを読みます = I read A (it doesn’t mention other books)
      Aも読みます。= (You mention other book first) and then I also read A
      Aとかを読みます。= I read books like A.
      Aとかも読みます。= I also read books like A. (By adding も, it emphasizes A)
      If you want to study more about とか, please click this link. How to use とか

  139. Hello Maggie sensei! I recently made a Japanese friend to talk to!:D
    She said something I was wondering about though; she said 君のことは男の子だと思った (haha!). I was just wondering what the difference between 君のこと and 君 is? I’ve always been a very instinctual speaker, and I feel there are times when it’s okay to use it and when it’s not okay, but I’d like to know the rule! If there is one. :)
    Thank you! I love this site <3 You're so kind to reply so fast to everyone!

    1. @Sunny

      Hi Sunny
      You see ~ のこと ( = ~no koto) after a pronoun when it is used as an object.
      〜のことが好きです。= I like
      ~のことを誤解していました。= I misunderstood you.
      〜のことを〜と思っていた= I thought you were ~

      You don’t use のこと as a subject.

      1. Maggie sensei, I’m sorry to be such a pain… Could you please explain a bit more? I don’t really get it… What do you mean by used as an object and a subject? Is there a difference…?
        Sorry…. :(

        1. @Sunny
          OK forget about “subject” (I just wanted to say you can’t say “私のことはMaggieです。= I am Maggie” You have to say “私はMaggieです。”

          pronoun + のこと literally means “things about someone”
          I like you (I like things about you) = あなた・君、Sunnyのことが好きです。
          I have been thinking about you. (I have been thinking about things about you) = あなた・君、Sunnyのことを考えています。

          I will make a lesson on こと for you some day.

          1. Sorry to be such a huge pain, I’m so so sorry!
            But then when someone says 君のことは男の子だと思った, what is the difference than if they had said 君は男の子だと思った?

          2. @Sunny

            They could mean the same thing. I thought you were a boy.
            But if you just hear the sentence,
            It also means “You thought someone was a boy” because は can be a subject marker.
            (君のことは can’t be a subject)
            I know this may confuse you but if you just simply want to know why you use こと after a pronoun,
            N+の+こと= things about N. That’s all.

  140. Hello,
    your site and the lessons are great. Please keep up the good work.

    I’ve come across a term I have trouble translating and for some reason I couldn’t find anything anywhere about it. I only found one link on the web. It wasn’t helpful.
    The term: ゾッアズックヌン
    I figured it is applied to handsome man or fair woman but seems somewhat different.

    I apologize if this is not be the right place for it.

    1. @Mira

      Hi Mira,
      Sorry. I have never heard of it. I googled it myself as well. The only hit was from 2-chan and they were talking about Korean soccer.
      I wonder if it it is from other language (like Korean) and written in katakana.

    1. @Aruna

      Hi Aruna,
      始末 means “ends up/ in the end” and it is used in a negative context.
      For example something negative has been happening and someone ended up doing something/being in the state which is not usually good.(even worse result)

      Ex. お金がなくて、子供にお金を借りている始末だ。
      = Since I don’t have money, I ended up borrowing money from my child.

      Ex. 彼は毎晩飲み歩き、今日も会議中も疲れて寝ている始末だ。
      = He goes out for a drink every night and he ended up falling asleep during the meeting today.

  141. Hello Maggie sensei!
    I was just wondering about the use of に after names. I’ve always taken it to mean that whatever name comes before it, that person is ‘receiving’ that action from another person. But I’ve been reading sentences lately where the person doing something to some else- that person’s name is followed by に. Like if X did something to Y: Xに…Y….
    I was just wondering if there was some kind of pattern, or if it’s different depending on the actual sentence? Thank you! :)

    1. @Sarah

      Hi Sarah
      に has a lot of functions. This might confuse many learners but it has a meaning of “from” and “to”

      = Maggie gives Sarah flowers.

      マギーはSarahに花をもらう。/ マギーはSarahから花をもらう
      = Maggie received flowers from Maggie.


      So you use に when someone does something for you.
      = To get him fix my computer.

      1. Hello Maggie sensei!
        If you weren’t using あげる or もらう but another verb, and に, would there be a way to tell whether it’s ‘from’ or ‘to’? Or would that become obvious when you take the verb it’s used with into account?
        Thank you sensei :) <3

      2. Hello Maggie sensei!
        If you weren’t using あげる or もらう but another verb, and に, would there be a way to tell whether it’s ‘from’ or ‘to’? Or would that become obvious when you take the verb it’s used with into account?
        Thank you sensei :) <3

        1. @Sarah/Zarah
          (You posted two messages with different names so…)

          OK, for example
          = Sarah ni watashita tegami.
          = The letter that I gave to Sarah.

          = The letter that I got from Sarah.

          You can tell “from who” / “to whom” by the verb form.
          渡された is a passive form.

  142. Maggie sensei! Sometimes I feel like learning Japanese can be so hard :(
    I was just wondering, but how do you think would be best to learn? Your English is so good… :o I want to get better at Japanese soon as well…

    1. @Zarah

      Hi Zarah,
      Everybody is different so I can’t tell you what would be the best way to learn Japanese for you.
      Learning other languages is hard but you have to enjoy learning.
      Why do you want to study Japanese?
      What is your goal?
      How long have you been studying Japanese?
      How have you been studying?

      1. Maggie sensei, hello!
        I have to study it because I’m at school, but I also want to study it because I really like Japanese games and manga… I want to be able to read the text in Japanese games and manga. It sounds like a stupid reason, but that’s why I wanted to learn it. I’ve been learning it for around 3 years (don’t really know), and I don’t really study it (like rote learning), because I watch anime so I pick up a lot of what I know from that.
        I find it easiest to learn when I play games and things, but without a teacher to help me with some of the sentence structure it can get hard sometimes and I’m worried I’m attaching definitions to words which are wrong… :( :(

        1. @Zarah

          A lot of people study on their own and their Japanese is amazing! You already have interests. Get a notebook and write down all the new things you have learned and review them everyday.
          There are a lot of sites where you write Japanese sentences and native speakers correct your mistakes.
          Where there is a will, there is a way. がんばって!
          And of course, if you have a question, I am always here for you!

  143. Hi Maggie Sensei!

    First of all I want to say thanks to you because you make many many lessons with a lot of examples, and your site is very useful. I didn’t find anything about embended question sentences. For example: レストランで何を飲んだかを思い出してみてください。/田中さんはかわいいかどうか教えてください。Could you make a lesson of it?

  144. Good morning Maggie sensei
    Thank you for all the lessons that you have given, it was very useful for us to learn. It really helped me to go through the JLPT exam.
    I request you to teach the difference between transitive and intransitive verbs in which we don’t get a proper idea of how to use it. If possible please teach the keigo, sonkeigo forms too.
    Sorry if I am disturbing you too much and once again thank you for all the lessons.

    1. @keerthana

      Hi keerthana
      Keigo and transitive / intransitive verb are already on the request list.
      I made a keigo lesson many years ago but I guess it it is time for me to revise some of my old lessons. Please wait.
      Also please check my 開く / 開ける lesson meantime. You can see the basic difference between transitive/intransitive verbs.

  145. Maggie Sensei I have a question, there is a sentence in Japanese Folklore titled Momotaro saying ある日のこと、おばあさんが川でせんたくをしていると、大きなももがどんぶりこっこ すっこっこ と、ながれてきました, my question is what is the meaning from the word after どんぶり, it is saying こっこ すっこっこ. I’ll appreciate it so much if you could tell me the meaning or even a rough translation in English. I’ve tried to look up on the internet as well as my own Onomatopoeia Dictionary but still can’t found it. Thank you in advance

    1. @Jatnika
      どんぶらこっこ/すっこっこ are the sound of a giant peach flowing.
      There are a lot of onomatopoeia and mimetic words in Japanese and どんぶらこ /どんぶらこっこ/すっこっこ are one of the famous onomatopoeia from the Momotaro story.
      I don’t know if other writer have used that sound other than this story but it expresses the way a giant peach floats or flows splashing river water.

      1. Hi Maggie!
        One question from me regarding this question.
        ある日のこと… VS ある日…  の違いはなんですか。

        1. @天人

          Hi 天人!
          They both mean “one day”
          I would say ある日のこと is more literal and it gives stronger impression to the readers when you tell a story.
          Also, while you have to continue a sentence with ある日, you can once finish a sentence saying ある日のことでした and continue a story with a new sentence.

          とても天気のいいある日、〜〜〜 (You continue the story)
          とても天気のいいある日のこと、~~~ (You continue the story) / *とても天気のいいある日のことでした。 (start your story)

          *It makes a story introduction sound more interesting. We can expect something interesting will happen with this style more.

          1. Wonderful answer, thank you very much Maggie.
            Last question regarding this topic.
            I saw also – on the beginning of the sentence – と+ある+名詞 (EX. とある映画を文庫化した). The meaning is of course the same. Maybe you have an idea, why the と particle appears here? I think this might be more archaic style than modern. What do you think?

          2. @天人

            とある means “some” I don’t know the origin but it will be better not to think と as a particle.
            It is used to indicate a place where you happen to come across / somewhere around you. or when you just want to make it sound a little mysterious.

  146. マギー先生、こんにちは!
    I had a few questions :) If you could help me that’d be really good, because I can’t find the meanings in the dictionary…
    1. Is there another meaning for ごめん besides just ‘sorry’? Because I see/ hear often (something)はごめん, eg 面倒なことはもうごめん, and I don’t know the meaning of ごめん in this case…?
    2. Is there another way to use ほど besides using it for just comparisons? Eg 相手にするほどのものじゃない is a sentence I saw where ほど as a comparative word doesn’t seem to work…? Because there is nothing to compare 相手にする to….?
    3. Last one!!! Is there another meaning for ついて besides the ones in the dictionary? I know it has a lot of meanings, but I saw 頬杖ついて, which doesn’t seem to fit into any of the meanings….

    :( :( Sometimes I feel Japanese can be really hard! Thank you so much Maggie sensei, all different meanings for the same word confuses me so much…

    1. @Jenn

      1. ~はもうごめん= means “I’ve had enough for something. / No more ~ ”

      2. That ほどのものじゃない means “not worth doing something”
      相手にする= to deal with someone / to associate with ~


      杖= a cane / a stick
      If you walk with a cane/stick, you say 杖をつく
      頬杖をつく is an expression which means “to rest one’s chin in one’s hands”
      (Your hands are like “canes” to hold your 頰 (cheeks) )

      1. Oh, thank you so much!! :D :D
        About the ほどのものじゃない, is that a set phrase? Can you also say ほどじゃない and mean the same thing?
        Thank you Maggie sensei! I love your site :)

        1. @Jenny

          You’re welcome!
          Yes, you can also say ほどじゃない instead of ほどのものじゃない

          If you want to learn more about the usage of ほど, go check this lesson.