How to use 今 = いま = ima

今からレッスンするよ。」 

= Ima kara ressun suruyo.

= We are going to start the lesson now. 

無断転載禁止(All rights reserved)

Hi everyone! I am Cookie! 

Today’s lesson is basic Japanese.

I will teach you how to use = いま = ima.

I will include very conversational examples as well. 

 

= いま = ima = now, this moment/ these days /recently 

Ex. 、何時ですか?

= ima, nanji desu ka?

= What time is it now?

(casual) 今、何時?

= ima, nanji? 

Ex. 、何をしていますか?

= ima, nani wo shite imasuka?

= What are you doing now?

(casual) 、何しているの?/ 何してんの?

= Ima, nani shiteiru no? / nani shiten no?

Ex. 、どこにいますか?

= Ima, dokoni imasu ka?

= Where are you now?

(casual) 、どこにいるの?

= ima, doko ni iru no?

Ex. 、何て言いましたか?

= ima, nante iimashita ka?

= What did you just say?

(casual) 、何て言ったの?

= ima, nante itta no? 

When you emphasize something happened/you did something “JUST now”, you say 

* たった今 = たったいま = tatta ima 

Ex. たった今 、家を出たところです。

= Tatta ima, ie wo deta tokoro desu.

= I just left my house.

(casual) たった今 、家出たとこ。

= Tatta ima, ie deta toko.

Note: Related word 先程 = さきほど = sakihodo / (casual) さっき = sakki 

 先程 ( = さきほど = sakihodo)/さっき ( = sakki) can be also translated “just now” but it could be a little while ago/earlier 

Ex. 先程、荷物が届きました。

= Sakihodo, nimotsu ga todokimashita.

= I received a package a little while ago.

(casual) さっき、荷物が届いたよ。

= Sakki, nimotsu ga todoita yo.

You use   ( = いま = ima) in the meaning of “these days/recently” = 最近 = さいきん = saikin / この頃 = このごろ = konogoro 

Ex. 、コスプレにハマっています。

= Ima, kosupure ni hamatte imasu.

= I have been into Cosplay lately. 

* 今は = いまは = imawa = as for now

As many of you know, when you show the contrast, you use ( = wa) 

Showing the contrast between past – present / future-present 

It is used to be ~ (talking about the past) / I will be ~ (talking about the future) but as now ~   今は ( = ima wa)

Ex. 昨日はコンピューターの調子が悪かったのですが、今は問題なく動いています。

= Kinou wa, konpyuutaa no choushiga warukatta no desuga, ima wa mondai naku ugoite imasu.

= There was something wrong with my PC yesterday, but it is working fine now.

(casual) 昨日はコンピューターの調子が悪かったけど、今は問題なく動いている。

= Kinou wa, konpyuutaa no chouchi ga warukatta kedo, ima wa mondai naku ugoite iru.

Ex. 今は彼とうまくいっていますか?

= Ima wa kare to umaku itte imasu ka?

= Are things between you and your boyfriend going OK now? /Are you getting along with your boyfriend now?

(casual) 今は彼とうまくいってるの?

= Ima wa kare to umaku itteru no?

(Note: This questions implies there was something wrong in past.)

* 今から = いまから = imakara = from now on (Note: the literal translation is “from now” but it is often translated “now” in English)

Ex. 今から原宿に行きますが、一緒に行きませんか?

= Ima kara Harajuku ni ikimasu ga, issho ni ikimasen ka?

= I am going to Harajuku now. Would you like to come?

(casual) 今から、原宿に行くんだけど一緒に行かない?

= Imakara, Harajuku ni ikundakedo issho ni ikanai?

Note: You can also say これから ( = korekara) in this sentence.

Ex. 今から3年前にここで彼女に会いました。

= Ima kara sannen mae ni koko de kanojo ni aimashita.

= I met her here three years ago.

(casual) 今から3年前にここで彼女に会った。

= Ima kara sannen mae ni koko de kanojo ni atta.

Ex. 今から10年後に私は、何をしているのでしょうか。

= Ima kara juunengo ni watashi wa, nani wo shite iru no deshou ka.

= I wonder what I will be doing in 10 years.

(casual) 今から10年後に私は、何をしているんだろう。

= Ima kara, juunengo ni watashi wa, nani wo shite irun darou.

Ex. 今から5分後に家を出ます。

= Ima kara gofungo ni ie wo demasu

= I am leaving the house in five minutes.

(casual) 今から5分後に家を出るからね

= Ima kara gofungo ni ie wo deru kara ne.

Ex. また日本に行ける日が今から楽しみです。

= Mata Nihon ni ikeru hi ga ima kara tanoshimi desu.

= I am already looking forward to the day that I can go back to Japan.

(casual) また日本に行ける日が今から楽しみ!

= Mata Nihon ni ikeru hi ga ima kara tanoshimi!

* 今すぐ = いますぐ = imasugu = right now, at once, immediately/as soon as possible

Ex. 今すぐ来てください。

= Ima sugu kite kudasai.

= Please come right away.

(casual) 今すぐ来て!

= Ima sugu kite!

= Come right away! 

* 今まで = いままで = imamade = up to now, until now (Note: This may not appear in English translation sites when it is in present perfect tense.)

Ex. 今までこの本を使って日本語を勉強していましたがこれからマギー先生のサイトを使って勉強します。😉

= Imamade, kono hon wo tsukatte nihongo wo benkyou shite imashita ga korekara Maggie Sensei no saito wo tsukatte benkyou shimasu.

= I’ve been studying Japanese with this book, but I will be using Maggie Sensei’s site from now on.

(casual) 今までこの本を使って日本語を勉強してたけど、これからマギー先生のサイトを使って勉強するよ。

= Imamade kono hon wo tsukatte nihongo wo benkyou shiteta kedo, kore kara Maggie Sensei no saito wo tsukatte benkyou suruyo.

Ex. 今までどこにいたのですか?

= Imamade doko ni ita no desu ka?

= Where have you been?

(casual) 今までどこにいたの?

= Ima made doko ni itano?

* 今の今まで = いまのいままで = ima no imamade = until now

It emphasizes 今まで = いままで = imamade

Ex. 今の今まで知りませんでした。

= Ima no ima made shirimasen deshita.

= I didn’t know that  up to now.

(casual) 今の今まで知らなかった。

= ima no ima made shiranakatta.

It adds some accusing tone when you use it with someone. 

Ex. 今の今まで何をやっていたのですか?

= Ima no ima made nani wo yatte ita no desu ka?

= What were you doing up until now?

(casual) 今の今まで何やってたの?

= Ima no ima made nani yatteta no?

* 今でも = いまでも = imademo = still now/ even now

Ex. 今でも彼女のことが好きです。

= Ima demo kanojo no koto ga suki desu.

= I still love her.

(casual) 今でも彼女のことが好きだ。

= ima demo kanojo no koto ga sukida.

Ex.子供の頃に母に買ってもらった熊のぬいぐるみを今でも持っていますよ

= Kodomo no koro ni haha ni kattemoratta kuma no nuigurumi wo imademo motte imasu yo.

= I still have the Teddy Bear that my mother bought me.

(casual) 子供の頃に母に買ってもらった熊のぬいぐるみを今でも持っているよ。

= Kodomo no koro ni haha ni kattemoratta kuma no nuigurumi wo imademo motteiru yo.

* 今なお = ima nao = still even now (more literal than 今でも = いまでも =  imademo)

Ex. 今なお、この歌は多くの人を勇気づけています。

= Ima nao, kono uta wa ooku no hito wo yuukizukete imasu.

= This song has been encouraging many people even now.

* 今更 = いまさら = imasara = too late 

Ex. 今更後悔しても始まらない(Expression)

= imasara koukai shite mo hajimaranai.

= There’s no point regretting what you have done.

(*Vても始まらない = V+ temo hajimaranai = means “there is no point doing ~  ) 

 Ex. 今更、こんなことは言いたくありませんが、

= Imasara, konna koto wa iitaku arimasen ga.

= I know it is too late to tell you this but…

(casual) 今更、こんなこと言いたくないけど..

= Imasara, konna koto iitaku nai kedo.

Ex. 今更、私のことが好きだなんて遅すぎます。

= Imasara, watashi no koto ga sukida nante ososugimasu.

= It is too late for you to say you like me.

(casual) 今更、私のことが好きだなんて遅すぎるよ。

= Imasara, watashi no koto ga sukida nante ososugiru yo.

* 今頃 = いまごろ = imagoro  = around this time/ now/ at this time

Ex. 今頃、マギーは何をやっているのでしょう。

= Imagoro, Maggie wa nani wo yatteirunodeshou.

= I wonder what Maggie is doing now.

(casual) 今頃、マギーは何やってるんだろう。

= Imagoro, Maggie wa nani yatterun darou.

Ex. 去年の今頃はもっと涼しかった。

= Kyonen no imagoro wa motto suzushikatta.

= It was cooler around this time last year.

* 今か今か = いまかいまか = imaka imaka = (literal) wait  ~ eagerly / anxiously / impatiently 

 Ex. 子供達はお父さんの帰りを今か今かと待ち侘びていた。

= Kodomotachi wa otousan no kaeri wo ima ka ima ka to machiwabiteita.

= The children were waiting eagerly for their father to come back home.

***

Maggie先生より = Maggie Sensei yori = From Maggie Sensei

クッキーは今頃、どこで何をやっているのかなあ。

= Cookie wa imagoro, doko de nani wo yatte iru no ka naa.

= I wonder where Cookie is and what he is doing now. 

***

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2 Comments

  1. Thanks for all of your helpful articles! Even something as simple as 今 can be used in so many ways!!

    I have a question about 今や. I have seen this used a lot in novels, but I have never really understood the nuance to it. From what I’ve seen, it emphasizes the present instead of the past, but is there a specific meaning to it different from your examples in this article like 今は?

    I look forward to your response. Thanks as always!

    1. Dear JP,

      Thank YOU for everything, too, JP!
      Ah, good question.
      今や is an expression to stress “今” to show the contrast to the past.

      For example, you are talking about someone who used to be an ordinary person like any other people but he/she became a big star.
      昔は、ありきたりの人だったが、今は大スターだ。
      →emphasize the contrast
      昔はありきたりの人だったが今や大スターだ。(You also say 今では)

      Ex.

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