Dialogue for Presentation 3
Genki: An Integrated Approach, Vol. 1)
Click on the links below to listen to each individual sentence.
John comes to see Akiko in the library to ask a favor. He is going to have a test in the afternoon and has forgotten his watch. Akiko also has test in the afternoon, and so she is studying in the library.
John asks by asking Akiko if he can borrow her watch for a little bit. The word ちょっと literally means “a little,” and here implies “for a short time,” but the word often appears in requests, even ones that do not have to do with time. Some people call ちょっと a hesitation word, since it suggests that the person is somewhat reluctant to make a request. For instance, if you are hesitantly asking somebody if something is okay, you might say ちょっと、いいですか。This is kind of like saying, “Ummm… Is that alright?” Here, the ちょっと does not literally mean “a little”; it simply indicates hesitation on the part of the speaker.
John’s request is to borrow Akiko’s watch. かりて is the –te form of the verb かりる (in the –masu form, this verb is かります), which means “to borrow.” As your textbook explains, to make a polite request of someone in Japanese, you would say the –te form of the verb, then add もいいですか。As you can probably guess, the last part of this consists of the adjective meaning “fine” (いい) plus the copula です and the question word か.
Akiko uses an echo question to confirm that he is talking about a watch. Then she tells him that is fine. She then asks, “But why?” どうして is a Japanese word that means “why.” In polite conversation, the word どうして is usually followed by the copula です plus the question word か.
John explains that he has a test today, but he forgot his watch at home. The word わすれました is the past tense of the verb わすれます (わすれる in the short form) meaning “to forget.” Notice that to say you forgot something, you use the particle を, which marks the direct object. For instance, to say, “I forgot the book,” you would say in Japanese, ほんをわすれました。
Akiko uses the echo question あ、そうですか。She then hands him the watch saying はい、どうぞ。 People almost always say this when they are handing something to someone else.
John thanks Akiko. Akiko then explains that she too has a test today so she asks him to bring the watch back to her around 2:30 pm. もってきてください means “please bring.” To make a polite command in Japanese, you put the –te form of the verb before ください。もってきて is the –te form of the verb もってくる (or もってきます in the long –masu form), which means “to bring.”
John says that he has understood. He says that he will bring it.
You may be interested to know that もってくる is actually a compound verb. This means that is made of a combination of two verbs: the –te form of the verb もつ (もちます in the long –masu form) which means “to hold” plus the verb くる (きます) meaning “to come.” This particular combination of verbs means “to come with something in hand” or, in other words, “to bring.”
Updated February 3, 2008