Substituting なん

なん meaning ‘what’ and used in different contexts.

Following on from what we already know; です and か putting those together with なん in front of them simply allows us to say “what is that/it/this?”

It is also often used as a substitute attached to other words to ask what they ask; for example, なんがつですか - what/ month/ is it/ ?

いちがつです - January/ it is

So by putting the ‘nan’ in place of the number of the month (ichi) - before the word for month, it is a simple way of asking the question.

Vocabulary & Words Learnt This Week 11/7/11

  • 右(みぎ)right
  • 左(ひだり)left
  • はちみつ honey
  • ぺこぺこ very hungry
  • さがし search/look for
  • でかけ depart/go out

Vocabulary & Words Learnt This Week 16/5/11

verbs

  • kaku かくto write
  • yomu よむ to read
  • nikui にくい hard to do
  • yasui やすい easy to do

Vocabulary & Words Learnt This Week 02/05/11

  • ginkou 銀行(ぎんこう) = bank
  • akaruu 明るう(あかるう)= bright
  • takai 高い(たかい)= expensive
  • yasui 安い(やすい)= cheap
  • warui 悪い(わるい)= bad
  • ie いえ = house
  • soto 外(そと)= outside
  • kyou 今日(きょう)= today
  • kore これ = this
  • sore それ = that
  • are あれ = yonder
  • dore どれ = which
  • koko ここ = here
  • soko そこ = there
  • asoko あそこ = over there
  • doko どこ = where

Vocabulary & Words Learnt This Week 25/4/11

  • tsukurikata - 作り方 = recipe/making
  • mizu - みず = water
  • nigari - にがり = brine
  • iroirona/iroiro - いろいろな = variety
  • tsukurimasu - つくります = making
  • fuyu - ふゆ = winter
  • atsui - あつい = hot
  • natsu - なつ = summer
  • tsumetai - つめたい = cold
  • oishii - おいしい = delicious/tasty
  • machimasu (matsu) - 待ちます = wait
  • shuukan - 週間(しゅうかん)= weeks
  • arimasu - あります = to exist/there is
  • asa - あさ = morning
  • natto - 納豆(なっと)= fermented soybeans
  • kusai - くさい = stinking
  • boku - ぼく = male casual form “I”
  • kirai - 嫌い(きらい)= hate
  • kanpai - 乾杯(かんばい)= cheers
  • ii - いい = good
  • mono - もの = tangible thing

Vocabulary & Words Learnt This Week 18/4/11

  • mashou - ましょう = let’s/I’ll/we’ll
  • mae - まえ = before
  • shashin - しゃしん = photo
  • shuu - しゅう = week
  • gurai - ぐらい = about/aprox
  • chiru - ちる = falling/scatter
  • mata - また = again
  • rai - 櫐(らい) = next

Vocabulary & Words Learnt This Week 11/4/11

  • kameraman - カメラマン = cameraman (photographer)
  • bideogeemu - ビデオゲーム = video game
  • nippon no anime - 日本のアニメ = Japanese anime
  • 絵 (え) - drawing
  • yomu - よむ = read
  • bun - 文 (ぶん) = text
  • benkyou - べんきょう = study
  • masu - ます = grow
  • kirei - きれい = pretty
  • mada - まだ = yet
  • mousugu - もうすぐ = soon
  • gomennasai - ごめんなさい - sorry
  • haha - 母 (はは) = mother
  • chichi - 父(ちち) = father
  • taberu - たべる = eat
  • jouzu - 上手    (じょうず) = skillful/good
  • shitate - 下手  (したて) = not good
  • yama - 山(やま)= mountain
  • kouen - 公園(こうえん) = park
  • gakkou - 学校(がっこう)= school
  • minna - みんあ = everybody/everyone
  • mi - 見(み)look/view
  • shita - した = under
  • obentou - お弁当(おべんとう)= Japanese boxed lunch

Grammar points:

  • no - の = posessive particle (belongs to)
  • yo - よ = emphatic particle (exclaiming)
  • he - へ = destination particle (heading…)
  • koto - こと = nominalizes a verb (turn into noun) “thing”
  • wo - を = object particle (the object of a verb - the object of action) comes after object & before verb [also note: pronounced “o" as particle]
  • masu/imasu - ます/います = current formal
  • masen/imasen - ません/いません = current negative formal
  • nai/anai - ない/あない = current negative casual
  • mashita/imashita - ました/いました = past tense pos formal
  • ta - た = past tense pos casual
  • suru - する = to do (irregular verb)
  • kuru - くる = to come (irregular verb)

[Quick Note] Negative Copular Verb - Dewa (ha) Arimasen

The formal negative verb for desu is ではありません dewa arimasen.

So to say “it is not, I am not” etc
e.g. It is not a cat. ねこではありません neko dewa arimasen.

It again uses “ha” hiragana for “wa” as the particle.

Reminder: desu is equivalent to “am, is, are”

Vocabulary & Words Learnt This Week 4/4/11

  • ohayo - おはよう = good morning
  • sensei - センセイ = teacher
  • onna no ko - おんなのこ = girl
  • seibetsu - せいべつ = gender/sex
  • toshi - とし = age
  • namae - なまえ = name
  • tanjoubi - たんじょうび = birthday
  • iie - いいえ = no
  • hai - はい = yes
  • nan - なん = what (in sentence)
  • nani - なに = what?
  • yoroshiku onegaishimasu - よろしくおねがいします = nice to meet, etc
  • oishii - おいしい = delicious
  • shippo - しっぽ = tail
  • mijikai - 短い = short
  • nagai - ながい = long
  • ookii - 大きい = big
  • igirisu - イギリス = united kingdom
  • shumi - しゅみ = hobby
  • sai - さい = age
  • numbers 1 - 10

Grammar points

  • desu - です = it is, she is, that is, they are, etc.
  • ka - か = question
  • wa - は = topic marker
  • ga - が = discussion point within topic
  • no - の = posessive particle (belongs to)
  • mo - も = also

NihongoUp Quizzes

The quiz at the end of each lesson on the NihongoUp website is so bloomin’ fantastic. It’s really effective. The questions are challenging and diverse enough to really make you think, recall what you have learnt, and apply the knowledge. If you get under a certain amount correct you have to re-take the quiz afterwards, giving you time to go back and check the lesson, read over notes, etc and look at the content and information to make sure you understand, then return to the quiz - ensuring that it remains in your head. It’s actually quite good getting it incorrect a few times as it gives you that golden opportunity to brush up on the learnt material and really solidify it in your brain. It is also very useful seeing all the answers available and recognizing what is actually incorrect or wrong; in turn helping you remember and recognize what is correct in future - the quizzes are very well laid out in that they are randomized each time you take them and they also do not give you the correct answers or wrong answers afterwards, so it ensures that you cannot simply just guess or put less work in. You have to be very confident in your answer and knowledge learnt.

I found by the end of a few of them I had a much better understanding and had actually learnt fully how a certain thing works; a particle for instance, or numbers - and I have since been able to recognize them in other texts, or utilize them. The quizzes themselves hit on only very important and key elements of the lesson, so they are things that you should definitely have learned and therefore need to remember. There’s no unnecessary content. It is very liberating and satisfying to see, learn, remember and then understand and be able to use this knowledge in the real world.