Practicing your skills
This page will help you practice the material taught in the lesson. As the lesson is split up in several sections, we'll do our practicing in several sections too. Considering this a combination workbook and exam =)
- memorise what the particles の, が, は, と, に, を and か mean.
That's all I'm going to give you as excersises in this practice session.
Now for the particle test section... Basically asking you what each particle means when you can just look it up on the wordlist page is a bit silly. I kind of assume that if you want to test yourself, you already learnt them that way anyway, so if you can't tell me what の is for instance, there is very little sense in doing this little exam quite yet. Instead we'll do things a tad differently.
- Explain in your own words what の does.
- Explain the difference between context and subject. If you find you are using more than 2 sentences for it, you don't know the difference yet, and you should definitely reread the section on confusing は and が
- If I were to explain someone particles, and I would hit upon a particular subject that required me to explain を and に in the same breath basically, what am I explaining?
This section is essentially just pure test. Study the lesson first, and practice and memorise all the names of the verb classes, bases, and conjugation verbs... you're going to have to rely on them in later lessons.
- There are two main verb classes in Japanese (not counting the two and a half irregular verbs). Which ones? Why are they called this way (knowing this means you actually know what distinguishes them too, so you better be able to answer this =)
- Each verb has five bases. Because the names of verb bases are pretty damn important when you want to learn Japanese the power-learning way, you are required to know the names of these bases. So what are they? I'm mainly interested in the Japanese name (use hiragana!) but if you know the english grammar terms for them too, that would be even better of course.
- The first section on verb grammar ended with the "simple conjugation scheme". This scheme is so ridiculously important that I'm not even going to sketch how important with obtuse analogies: if you do not know this scheme, there is no point in moving on to lesson 2 yet. So with that in mind, can you recreate the scheme yourself? Write out how to form the plain affirmative, plain negative, polite affirmative and polite negative of any and all verbs that I can think of; I want to see base names and suffixes here, no self-cheating by using verb examples, the point is that you *know* this scheme, not that you can convince me!
This section is essentially exercise and test in one, because you cannot really exercise this stuff without immediately testing yourself at the same time. So off we go!
We're going to conjugate all the verbs from the wordlist. Oh yes we are! That is to say, I can conjugate them without pen and paper or even second thoughts, so it's mostly going to be you doing the conjugating, and then we'll see how close you came. Because this is both exercise and test at the same time, feel free to do this as often as you feel you need to do to get the conjugation scheme down.
Go back to the wordlist, write over all the verbs without writing down what their verb class is, and then come back to this practice page. Now, let's get cracking: start conjugating those verbs! After you conjugate a verb, write down which verb class you used as starting point, and why. The second is quite important too; if you cannot explain why you conjugate a verb as one or the other major verb class, then you don't know how to distinguish them yet, and one of the main issues in this lesson is that you can.
Putting it together
Before we can put things together, we need some things to put together. Let's start simple with a few definition lines. Can you give translations for the following phrases? Just do each sentence in both plain and polite version, just to be sure you know both
- I am a cat.
- A cat is not a dog.
- Our dog is a pet.
- Cows and horses are not pets.
Now let's make it a bit more difficult by using the additional verbs:
- My cat is not here.
- My dog is here.
- The cows walk.
- The horses run.
- Birds fly.
- Sheep don't fly.
- The window opens.
- Doors don't open.
- Doors sleep.
- Sheep don't become cows.
- I become a parent
Right, time to really make things interesting. I'm not going to ask you to actually translate anything directly. Instead I want you do something more fun. We're going to play puzzles with words.
- create a sentence that has a subject and an object for the verb あるく.
- create a sentence with a context, and a subject for the verb なる in negative form.
- create a sentence that has an object for the verb みる, and is in polite affirmative form.
- create a sentence that has a context, a subject and involves a copula. You'll need an additional word to define the subject as something of course. Just for good measure, do this sentence for all four conjugations.
If you think that was a very short exercise, do it again! but this time make different sentences. As final part of your exercise, post them to the forum, in the "lessons" section. Of course, this means you'll have to type all your worked out exercises over on the computer. *this is a good thing* the more you repeat these exercises the better. However, make sure to first do them by hand, writing everything out in nice legible hiragana (or katakana if you've picked a few katakana words of course). The purpose is not to "get something online", but to master this lesson.
A modest word quiz
We'll wrap up the practice session with a bit of quizzing. First off, Japanese to English. Sort of as an easy starter. English to Japanese is always a bit harder because you are more likely to have learnt it the other way first. If you did: let this be a lesson too - if you start learning them one way, invest a tiny bit more effort in learning them the other way around because you'll most likely spend not as much time as you think you are on the reverse matching.
Now, this only covers roughly half the words in the lesson 1 wordlist. If you really want you can also do the following 60, but they're optional. Not that you don't need to know them (you do～!) but if you don't feel like testing on them, then I'm not going to force you...
That's it for lesson 1, if all went well you pretty much had everything on this little exam right - if not, no worries, you're not being marked for future reference: this is about you, and you learning this material, not about you passing some artificial grade or deadline. That would be horrible... no one would learn a damn thing... come to think of it I just summarised quite few educational institutes >_>;;
Anyway, if you want you can post your results to the forum so that other people can give feedback or learn from what you did - I'm going to be mean and not just put the answers online, so if you want the answers, you're going to have to ask for them, just like in a real learning situation =) (and like in a real learning situation, if you don't ask for the answers, you might be very wrong without ever hearing it. Not very conductive to getting on the right side of a first lesson)