Friday, August 28, 2015

Let's start!

A few months ago, my father started to learn Chinese. He said he's really bad at studying and always got a terrible grade in a language class when he was a student (long long ages ago!!). So I introduced him a great teacher who can teach him step by step in a fun way, for free! Who's that? ...It's me!! XD

*Japanese Word of the Day*
/gaikokugo no benkyou wo hajime mashita/
I've started to learn a foreign language.

*外国語(がいこくご) /gaikokugo/ = 外国(foreign country) + 語(language)
*勉強(べんきょう) /benkyou/ learning, study
勉強する /benkyou suru/ to learn, to study
*始(はじ)める /hajimeru/ to start, to begin
I added ました(the past form of ます) to make the sentence polite.

I've featured this verb 始める before in this post.
Please look at the original post to see its translation and additional explanation. Now as you know, 始めて/hajimete/ is so-called te-form of 始める. Japanese verbs end with te(or de) when it connect to the following words. I'm not going to explain about grammar in detail, but I picked it up again because I want to tell you about a confusing word, 初(はじ)めて/hajimete/. And this was a question from Arman. Thank you Arman! :)

Both 始めて and 初めて are pronounced as /hajimete/, but they're totally different words. 始めて is a verb as I explained above, but 初めて is an adverb. It means "for the first time".

/hajimete sushi wo tabeta kansou wa/
How did you feel when you first ate Sushi?

/hajimete kare ga waratteiru no wo mita/
I saw he lauging for the first time.

Speaking of which, "for the first time" cannot always be translated as 初めて. Please check out this post to see how we say it in Japanese.

Now I want to introduce another verb which is closely related to 始める. Let's see an example sentence to begin with.

/mousugu shingakki ga hajimaru/
The new semester will start soon.
*もうすぐ /mousugu/ soon, before long
*新学期(しんがっき)new semester
*始(はじ)まる /hajimaru/ to start, to begin

It's confusing, I know. 始める and 始める, and they're both translated as "to start" in English. Though we never say 勉強を始まる or 新学期が始める. What's the difference?

These verbs are usually explained as (1)transitive verbs and (2)intransitive verbs. Well, I won't (can't!) give you a detailed grammatical explanation but you'll find a lot of website and Youtube videos if you want to know more about it. :P

I give you some example sentences and its simple explanation!

(1)transitive verb ―勉強を始める
It is a verb which has an object. is a particular which comes after the object.
ドア(どあ)を開(あ)ける /doa wo akeru/ open the door
予定(よてい)を決(き)める /yotei wo kimeru/ decide the plan
成績(せいせき)を上(あ)げる /seiseki wo ageru/ improve the grade
声(こえ)を出(だ)す /koe wo dasu/ utter a voice
All of these sentences omit the subjects, but it's talking about the action what the subject does.

(2)intransitive verb ―新学期が始まる
It just describes a situation. It usually implies that the occurance or movement is not intended.
ドア(どあ)が開(あ)く /doa ga aku/
―The door opens but the one who opens the door isn't the speaker, or the speaker doesn't intend to open the door but it does.
予定(よてい)が決(き)まる /yotei ga kimaru/
―It doesn't matter who decided the plan but the speaker is talking about what happened on the plan.
成績(せいせき)が上(あ)がる /seiseki ga agaru/
声(こえ)が出(で)る /koe ga deru/
―This sentence implies that the voice comes out without intention.

Let's recap the point:
- A transitive verb has an object, and the particular is following after the object. It's talking about the action.
- An intransitive verb sometimes imply that it happened by itself or it's not intended by the speaker. It's talking about the situation.

transitive verb intransitive verb
(〜を)始める 始まる
(〜を)開ける 開く
(〜を)決める 決まる
(〜を)上げる 上がる
(〜を)出す 出る

<< Quiz >>
Let's say that you're a teacher and going to start the class. Which sentence is correct?
1) 授業(じゅぎょう)を始(はじ)める。
2) 授業(じゅぎょう)が始(はじ)まる。
*授業 /jugyou/ class, lesson
Incidentally, from students' point of view, which sentence is more appropriate?

You're watching a movie and it was so heart warming that impressed you a lot. You found that a tear's running down your cheek. Which sentence is more appropreate?
1) 涙(なみだ)を出した。
2) 涙(なみだ)が出た。
*涙 /namida/ tears
*出した(past form)=出す // 出た(past form)=出る

That's all for today! If you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment! Thank you for reading. :)


  1. Replies
    1. Wow, thank you Jose! It's been a while, isn't it? I'm very happy to know that you still remember my blog! X)


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