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Practicing your skills

Welcome to the second practice session/mini-exam. We'll be practicing and testing the material covered in lesson 2 and hopefully make you feel you're getting better at applying your skills =)




  1. memorise what the particles が, か, を, に, へ and で mean.

Again, that's all I'm going to give you as excersises in this practice session. However, this time the assignment is a bit harder, because I didn't say "what they mean as only explained in lesson 2", but you are supposed to make sure you still remember what they mean from lesson 1 too.

Now for the particle test section...

  1. Explain in your own words what the difference is between へ and に.
  2. How many different interpretations for に can you think of? Write down each one.
  3. か is not "the question mark", so what is it? Can you think up a sentence where it is not used as a question mark but comes somewhere in a sentence?




Lesson 2 basically extends the oh-so-important conjugation tables to cover past tense as well. Which is good, you need that! In the next few assignments you will look at the differences between verbs and verbal adjectives, incorporate what you knew from lesson 1, and then put it all into practice in the little test section.

  1. Remember that there were two major verb classes? If you look at the conjugation tables, what are the main differences in conjugation that you see between the verb classes, and the verbal adjectives? (which inflections form differently?)
  2. Verbal adjectives lack a 命令形, but that doesn't mean you cannot form one by using some helping material - the verb ある. From what we know about the past tense, can you think of what the commanding form for a verbal adjective might look like?
  3. Write out the full conjugation schemes, using the proper terms (don't you dare write "a- ending" instead of みぜんけい for instance, because that's just false for 2 of the 3 word classes ;)



More verbs

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 verbals from the wordlists. Oh yes, we most definitely are. Head back to the wordlists of lesson 1 and lesson 2, and conjugate every 五段 and 一段 verb, and every verbal adjective, that you find on them, except for する and る.

So that leaves する and くる, which are special. Instead of listing them in the lesson, you will find them explained here. Why? Well, consider it sort of a payoff for doing the practice sessions too. You might miss important information that is required in the next lesson if you don't. For する the conjugation scheme is just like for any other 五段 verb, but because it has multiple 未然形 we need to know that we use the "し" one. For る things are a bit different, because in this verb the pronunciation of the verb stem actually changes (talk about maximum irregularity!). The bases for る are:

kanji form pronunciation
連体形 来る くる
已然形 来れ くれ
命令形 来い こい

With these fairly different bases, all we now need to know is that る conjugates like an 一段 verb.

So now for the final exercise: conjugate する and る.



Putting it together

Time to get combine two lessons and make some funky sentences. Let's get down, get practicing =)

  1. I saw a cat at school.
  2. We'll go to Tokyo today.
  3. There are no people over there.
  4. How is the tea?
  5. We will be spending our summer vacation by the lake, in a hotel.
  6. It's cold today.
  7. It's not warm today.
  8. This coffee is cold...
  9. Would you like this, or that one?
  10. Our teacher does not teach Japanese.

Right, 10 reasonably (if you know the trick to translation!) doable sentences. time to really make things interesting. I'm not going to ask you to actually translate anything directly. Instead I'm going to ask you to come up with sentence pairs in English and Japanese, using the words from lessons 1 and 2. How evil is that? Frankly, not very evil. This is an exercise in exploring what you've learnt; the best way to figure out whether what you now know is proper or not is to just apply it and hear back from people on whether or not you did it right. The whole purpose of this exercise is to have you make mistakes, so that they can be pointed out by people and you can learn from them.

Pop quiz time

We'll wrap up the practice session again with some word quizzing. Two quizzes, one for Japanese to English, one for English to Japanese.

  1. これ
  2. なんじ
  3. くろい
  4. おと
  5. ひこうき
  6. バス
  7. でる
  8. とまる
  9. こちら
  10. およぐ
  11. どんな[...]
  12. あっち
  13. いけ
  14. どう
  15. やすみ
  16. おしえる
  17. どれ
  18. あつい
  19. ここ
  20. はる
  21. たび
  22. おもう
  23. ない
  24. やすむ
  25. こんな[...]
  26. くるま
  27. へいあん
  28. どうも
  29. ながい
  30. いれる
  1. small
  2. that direction
  3. autumn
  4. winter
  5. cold (object)
  6. thin, sparse, bland
  7. summer vacation
  8. that
  9. delicious
  10. taxicab
  11. sky, air
  12. in group, inner circle
  13. that way, like that
  14. there
  15. to fear, to be in awe of
  16. big
  17. a going
  18. road
  19. what
  20. to make, to fabricate
  21. to stay, to come to a halt, to stop
  22. bicycle
  23. lake
  24. please, by all means
  25. white
  26. train
  27. to enter
  28. that kind of [...]
  29. trip, travel
  30. Heisei era (began in 1989)

Again, this only covers roughly half the words in the lesson 2 wordlist, so if you want you can do the remaining 50 words too, but if you don't, that's up to you of course (obviously I would hope you want to do them anyway =)

  1. その[...]
  2. へや
  3. いる
  4. あそこ
  5. それ
  6. どの[...]
  7. さむい
  8. とおす
  9. おもしろい
  10. うみ
  11. マレーシア
  12. こい
  13. おんびん
  14. みじかい
  15. そちら
  16. たのしい
  17. しかくい
  18. めいじ
  19. あつい
  20. まるい
  21. えど
  22. みなと
  23. りょかん
  24. ああ
  1. summer
  2. this [...]
  3. that kind of [...]
  4. this way, like so
  5. to lend a hand
  6. over there
  7. that direction
  8. to pass [by], to go through
  9. airport
  10. to fly
  11. hotel
  12. good
  13. Shouwa era (1926-1989)
  14. which direction
  15. this direction
  16. to get out, to come out
  17. where
  18. new, fresh
  19. expression of gratitude
  20. Taisho era (1912-1926)
  21. which direction
  22. to stop [something]
  23. that [...]
  24. winter vacation
  25. old



Sit back...

Aaaand, relax.

That's it for lesson 2. If all went well you pretty much had everything on this little exam right - if not, that's good too! Mistakes are invaluable to learning how to apply your knowledge; instead of being marked down for them, their worth is properly valued here. Any mistake you make is something that allows me and others to explain what went wrong, and what you may want to review or practice more.

Anyway, post your worked out quizzes to the forum and you'll be able to get some comments on what you came up with. Remember, just working on your own is usually *not* enough to know whether what you're doing is also correct. You need that human feedback to tell you you're still on the right track, or whether you started to deviate a little or a lot...

- Pomax