Conjecture, Hearsay and the conditional

Conjecture, Hearsay and the conditional in Japanese are still a big hassle for me when it comes formulating own sentences rather when reading a sentence. When I read a sentence and I recognise the typical forms for conditionals such as ~と、~たら、~なら、~ば it is rather clear how to translate it for myself, in my head. No problem here. But when it comes to express myself using a conditional, I am often unsure which one to topic.

Tae Kim writes in his famous Japanese grammar guide, that the usage is quite easy and one needs only to remember a few things. I wonder if that’s all I need to know in the beginning to formulate and express my “own” conditionals? Could somebody evaluate on this?

I doubt I’d learn the correct usage of the conditionals by using the sentence method in Anki. I have the ~たら ~なら ~と ~ば conditional forms listed as ‘Particles’ in my All about particles anki deck file, though I can’t really easily follow why this or that conditional form is actually used. But concerning sentences in general, I suppose I will go simply through the Kanzen JLPT 3-2 grammar deck available in the public deck directory in the summer hols, when I nearly approach the end of the core6k, as you may have recognised in my daily screenshots of Anki. Currently I’m approaching 3500/3600 (?) cards. I suppose it’d be more clever to stick to vocabulary, rather than grammar. What I recognised watching Ao no Exorcist* is that with just vocabulary and minimal grammar you can easily GUESS, logically, everything! Amazing~ Anothe proof consistency of vocabulary learning and the mass you learn if very very important.

On the other hand, those forms are troubling me (Conjecture):

そうだ1 – It looks…
そうだ2 – (Hearsay) I heard that…
かもしれない – perhaps (?)
でしょう – Like ね as a final sentence particle, I guess?

I know there is this cool book called “A dictionary for Basic Japanese Grammar”, but to be honest I quite dislike it. It’s like a huge recipe book and times the formulation is rather confusing than helping for a newbie, giving almost exact translations for two sentences using そうだ and the a-like form ようだ, I find. For me it’d be great to have some ‘scale’ or something similar, that tells me which form is the strongest (I guess I didn’t include it in the list above. It was ~に違いない. “Cannot be mistaken” -> It IS like this and that..) and which is the weakest form. Obviously ようだ and そうだ both are used for something the speaker visualises (i.e. verb of perception, like “to see”). Difference? – That’s what I was talking in my post above. Japanese grammar is supposed to be “easy” and I always eradicate the example sentences appearing in one or another anki deck telling 日本語の文法は難しくないです。, Japanese is not difficult. (fuck off) Once you’ve got some basic grammar and lots of vocabulary you *will* understand most what you read, except it’s some (rare) slang, some dialect you do not know or something highly-scientific requiring medical, chemical etc. vocabulary. BUT – when it comes to writing, i.e. as speaking production, haa.. Is Japanese grammar still easy? MUHAHA. Doubt it.

  • *Really recommendable.Having the Japanese subtitle (Shizuharu-Raws provides separate .ass subtitle files, but it usually takes a bit longer until they release. So far only Episodes 01-04 are only available), and the RAW (either Shizuharu-Raws, or if you wanna get the RAW with more speed, take the one of Leopard-Raws, since it’s seeded), knowing the vocabulary I know and a few special “magic” vocabulary needed for fantasy anime it becomes easy following the story line, really! And it’s fun, especially, when you liked stuff like To Aru Majusutu no Index (1/2) or Kekkaishi (from 2005).
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2 Responses to Conjecture, Hearsay and the conditional

  1. e_dub_kendo says:

    You need to read the small, simple book: Basic Connections: Making your Japanese Flow. . It’s really much better at explaining these things than any other book I’ve read or used.

  2. Yeah one of the conditional forms can’t be used in the past tense ( I THINK it’s the ば form but check for yourself) Also I know there a couple errors in the AAP deck at least the one you put up on anki. Not many and it’s definitely useable it was mostly just readings from Anki messing it up. I didn’t save any of the changes because I only picked and chose sentences from it. I’m sure you’re aware of this already. And でしょうimplies that you are pretty sure you’re correct about what you are saying. “I’m pretty confident but there may be a slight chance I’m wrong But I’m pretty damn sure I’m right”

    そうだーHeard from somebody
    ようだーMaking a conjecture based off visual evidence that it may be the case and takes more critical thinking that it may be the case ( You see A long line outside a movie theatre and then say “Oh It seems a good movie was just realeased” just in japanese)
    そうだー(another one) based on visual but more first hand and obvious. This cakes looks delicious ( different conjugation from the above そうだ
    らしいーaww shit I forget exactly So i won’t attempt
    のようなーA Noun like another Noun. SDN48のような女性.
    のようにーDone in the way as something else emphasis most likely on verb but not necessarly. 魚のように泳んでいる。

    All these should be checked I really shouldn’t be teaching Japanese lol =P.

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