JPNS 1010

Dialogue for Presentation 2


(Supplements for the textbook
Genki: An Integrated Approach, Vol. 1)



Click here to listen to the entire dialogue.

Click on the links below to listen to each individual sentence. 


John and Akiko are talking in their dormitory.   Although John and Akiko both still like each other, they still feel shy around each other.  As a result, they continue to use the  long, relatively formal です and ~ます forms of verbs rather than the more familiar dictionary forms, which are used among close friends and show a degree of intimacy. 


ジョン: あきこさんは どんなおんがくが すきですか


あきこ: おんがくですかそうですね クラシックがすきです


ジョン: クラシックですか私もクラシックがすきですよ


あきこ: そうですかじゃあ、しゅうまつ、コンサートにいきましょうか


ジョン: コンサートですかいいですねいきましょう


あきこ: じゃあ、あした、きっぷを二まい、かいます




John asks Akiko what sort of music she likes.  In John’s question, he puts the word どんな in front of おんがく (music)どんな is a question word that means “what kind of…?”  The word どんな only comes before nouns.  Can you guess what the following sentences mean?


あきこさんは どんな(ひと)ですか。

たけしは どんないえ がありますか。



As for Akiko-san, what kind of person is she? (What kind of person is Akiko-san?)

As for Takeshi-san, what kind of house does he have? (What kind of house does Takeshi-san have?)


In order to say “A likes B” in Japanese, one uses the structure AさんはBがすきです。  Although it would be translated as “like” (a verb in English), the word すきfunctions in Japanese like a noun.  Can you guess what the following sentences mean? 


ロバートさんは 日本ご すきです

あやこさんは おすしがすきです

メアリーさんは ミルクがすき じゃありません



Robert-san likes the Japanese language.

Ayako-san likes sushi.

Mary-san does not like milk.  


Note in the last sentence that to say that someone does NOT like something in Japanese, the です after すき turns into a じゃありません。That is just as you would predict, since the negative of です is じゃありません, right? 


Also, you should probably know that when people use the wordすき in Japanese to refer to a person, it shows feelings that are stronger than simply “liking someone” as a friend.  It implies a romantic interest.  For instance, if you wanted to ask if Takeshi-san was romantically interested in Akiko-san, you might ask, たけしさんは あきこさんがすきですか。


Anyway, back to the dialogue…  Akiko says an echo question that means “Music?” just to show that she has heard his question.  She pauses for a moment to think and says そうですね  As we mentioned in an earlier dialogue from last semester, people sometimes use this expression as “filler” as they are thinking about what to say next or how to answer a question.  She then responds that she likes classical music (クラッシク).  The names of many kinds of music are often written in katakana.  Can you guess what the following kinds of music are? 


ポップス  (pop music)







John responds with an echo question that indicates he has understood.  He tells her that he also likes classical music.  Notice where the particle goes in the sentence. 


Akiko says, “Oh really?”  She then says, “Well then, on the weekend, let’s go to a concert.”  The word “let’s go” in the polite style Japanese is いきましょう。Basically, the ~ます ending turns into ~ましょう。(In future chapters, you will learn how to modify a verb in the short, dictionary form, such as いく, and put it in a comparable “let’s ~” form, but that is somewhat more complicated.  For now, let’s stick with the ~ますlong form only.)  


When you put after  a “let’s ~”  word like いきましょう, the meaning becomes “Shall we ~?”  In this case, いきましょうか means “Shall we go?”  It is a kind of invitation. 


We already know another way of making an invitation: putting the verb in the negative form and adding .  For instance, you might say, いきませんか。 (Won’t you go?)  The main difference between いきましょうか and いきませんかis that いきましょうか also includes the speaker, whereas いきませんか does not necessarily include the speaker.  When the speaker says いきましょうか (“Shall we go?”) it is clear that the speaker includes him or herself, and is suggesting they do the activity together. 


John asks an echo question indicating he has understood.  He is pleased, so he makes the statement いいですね。(That sounds good.)  He puts a on the end because it is a spontaneous statement of reflection with which he assumes the listener (Akiko) will agree.  He then says, “Let’s go” (いきましょう).


Akiko says that she will buy two tickets tomorrow.  The word for ticket (きっぷ) is followed by the particle since ticket is the direct object of the sentence.  After the particle comes the word that means two (二まい).  You see that this expression is composed of the number two plus another little word called a “counter.”  A counter is a classifier used after numbers.   In English, we often do not use counters.  We usually count directly, then add a noun directly after it: “two boxes,” “three T-shirts,” “four tickets,” etc.  Sometimes, however, there are occasions when we use a counter: “two loaves of bread,” “three sheets of paper,” etc.  (We do not say “two breads” or “three papers.”)  The words “loaves” and “sheets” are counters in English.  In short, counters are words that are assigned to certain categories of objects and are used after numbers as a counting device. 


In Japanese, whenever you are referring to the number of an object, you always use a counter.  In fact, we have encountered at least one counter before: えん (yen) which is used to count money.  Here, we encounter another counter まい.  The counter まいis used for thin, flat objects such as tickets, sheets of paper, blankets, sheets, mats, records, and CDs.  Note that when you are using a number expression in a sentence, the number-plus-counter typically comes right before the verb.


きっぷ                    を                             二               まい          かいます。

direct object          particle                      number        counter        verb


Note the placement of number-plus-counter expressions in these sentences.

わたしはCD 二まい かいました。    (I bought two CDs.

てがみを二まいかきました。                   (I wrote two letters.)



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Updated January 17, 2008