Talking about Possession in Japanese: Basic Grammar for Beginners

Today I want to talk about possession.

I’m talking grammatical possession here, NOT the Grudge-type possession.

Yikes.

(How do people watch that sorta spooky stuff, anyways?)

the grudge

This simple intro and explanation of possession is a great early grammar lesson for beginners, even those of you still in the hiragana and katakana learning stages.  I kept this really basic, I promise.

In English, we can indicate possession by using the words, my/mine/your/yours/his/hers/ours/theirs, or adding ‘s.

But in Japanese, we use the particle:   (pronounced: no).

Particles (in case you’re familiar with them yet) are a bit like the little laundry tags attached to the neck of t-shirts.

clothing tag

Except Japanese particles at attached to the ends of Japanese words in a sentence, not the back of your shirt.

And instead of giving you care instructions for your clothes, they give you grammatical “care instructions” for Japanese words.

And instead of chaffing your tender neck flesh, they burn your precious brain cells.

patrick

At least that’s how I feel for now. Hopefully particles won’t be such a painful part of speech down the road. Only time will tell. 🙂

Let’s start with some basic possessive pronouns created with the  particle:

Yours, Mine, Ours

There’s also:

HIS: かれの (kareno – pronounced ka-ray-no_

HERS: かのじょの (kanojyono – pronounced ka-no-joe-no)

Here’s the basic sentence structure for using  の as a possessive particle.

basic possessive sentence structure

As you can see, it’s pretty simple. You can also see how to use the particle to indicate possession with ‘s, as is done in English.

Lastly, here’s how to use the  particle to indicate possession in question sentences.

basic possessive sentence structure for questions

だれ (dare – pronounced da-ray) means whose.

です (desu), which is a verb coupla meaning. it is or to be.

The  (ka) at the end of the sentence is used as a question particle. (I can go more into the ka particle later)

You could also get more specific and ask: だれのすしですか?Whose sushi is that?

And a simple response might be: わたしのです。It is mine. OR あなたのです。It is yours.

Like I said, this is just a super simple intro and explanation to some really basic possessive Japanese grammar. Nothing fancy, just another small piece of the Japanese language learning puzzle. I hope you found it helpful. 🙂

Other links for learning possessive particle and grammar in Japanese:

PuniPuni Japan 

The Japanese Page

Thanks for reading!

Shiga Shar

If you enjoyed this post or learned something new, please share it on social media and consider donating a few bucks toward my 2017 Goodwill trip to Shiga through PayPal.

ありがとう // Arigatou // Thank you!

LET’S CONNECT AT THESE PLACES TOO  🙂

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10 Instagram Accounts to Follow if You’re Learning Japanese

If you’re not currently utilizing Instagram in your language learning, you’re missing out big time.

Instagram-novo-logo-1024x683

One way to use Instagram for learning a new language is as a “studygram,” where you post your daily handwriting practice, journal entries, etc. to hold yourself accountable and track progress. Following other studygram accounts for your target language is also a great way to hold each other accountable, learn together, and make new friends. 🙂

The other way to use Instagram for learning a new language is by following people who offer daily lessons or learning tips. I do follow some of these people on Facebook, too, but I try to avoid Facebook as much as possible these days since it seems like most posts are political and/or negative junk I’d rather not contaminate my good vibes.

Now on to the list!

@tofugu

Honestly, this doesn’t even need an explanation does it? Tofugu is the like the ultimate place to be following on every social media platform if you’re learning Japanese or need to satisfy your regular Japanophile cravings.

Language Level: Beginner to Advanced

@yukiko_ymgw

Daily posts of Japanese proverbs and lessons by a helpful Japanese native speaker.

Language Level: Intermediate to Advanced

@aringoaday

Daily posts of a Japanese word with an adorable illustration. There’s usually a helpful explanation in the caption, as well. Ringo in Japanese means apple, so A Ringo a Day is a play on words of the phrase, “An Apple a Day.”

Language Level: Beginner

@easyjapan_lessons (Crunchy Nihongo)

Mini grammar and vocabulary lessons. The Crunchy Nihongo website is a treasure trove of learning resources, too. They even have an app. (Android only at the moment)

Language Level: Beginner to Advanced

@japanese_langauge_mlc 

Instagram account for the MLC Japanese Language school in Tokyo. They always post great learning content, and a have a number of free resources and lessons available on their website. Material is organized by JLPT learning levels.  I’ve learned TONS thanks to MLC. They rock!

Language Level: Beginner to Advanced

@learn_japanese_with_nekomanga

Learn Japanese with this adorable cat comic. (Neko = cat, manga = comic book). Lots of romaji, which can be helpful for new learners. Having the context of the comic really helps reinforce the language learning. Plus, it’s just so darn cute!

Language Level: Beginner to Intermediate

@dailyjapanese

A mix of vocabulary and grammar. Most posts also include an audio file to hear pronunciation.

Language Level: Beginner to Intermediate

@kanzengrammar

Vocabulary, grammar, proverbs with well-written explanations by Romy Ellis, a native Japanese speaker and teacher.

Language Level: Beginner to Advanced

@aki.land.japonesemcores

Such a pretty page to follow. Vocabulary is taught using kana on sticky-notes next to pleasant visuals to really reinforce language learning. I believe the IG user is a native Spanish speaker, so some captions include Spanish, but it shouldn’t hold English speakers back from reading and learning from the content.

Language Level: Beginner

@japanglish616

Simple useful phrases in Japanese with a cute little illustration. This is mostly beginner level content, but you’ll definitely need to know your kana for sure.

Language Level: Beginner to Intermediate

BONUS #11 TO FOLLOW:

@renshuu

Renshuu means practice in Japanese. I meant to include this originally, but I didn’t think they had an IG account. But they do! やーた!!!!Yay!!! I really love the kawaii comic style of learning. Again, having context when learning is such a huge help for me when reinforcing what I’m learning.

Language Level: Beginner to Intermediate

Thanks for reading!

Shiga Shar

If you enjoyed this post or learned something new, please share it on social media and consider donating a few bucks toward my 2017 Goodwill trip to Shiga through PayPal.

ありがとう // Arigatou // Thank you!

LET’S CONNECT AT THESE PLACES TOO  🙂

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