Dialogue for Presentation 5
Genki: An Integrated Approach, Vol. 1)
Click on the links below to listen to each individual sentence.
John is talking to Akiko on the phone.
もしもし is how Japanese people greet one another on the telephone. John then asks Akiko what she is doing right now. Notice that he puts the verb する in the –te form with います. As you can see in the grammatical explanations on p. 136 of your textbook, the –te form plus forms of the verb いる indicate a continuous or ongoing state. Typically this kind of pattern is used when someone is in the middle of something, doing an act that takes some time to complete – in other words, an act in progress.
You may want to note that when people are speaking quickly, the middle い at the beginning of the います in the (–te form+います) construction drops out. In other words, in colloquial Japanese, しています often sounds like してます. (When we recorded the dialogue for you, we were careful not to drop out the い in しています; however, be aware that many people pronounce it that way, especially when speaking quickly.) When people WRITE Japanese however, they never make that sort of contraction. They always write out しています, keeping the い intact, unless perhaps they are quoting a person’s speech.
Akiko responds that she is watching a video with Takashi. Notice that the verb she uses is 見ています. This is because she and Takashi are in an ongoing, continuous state of watching the video: “we are watching.” (The act of watching is not over in an instant; it is an ongoing action, and they are in the middle of the video.) Note that when people speak quickly, 見ています might sometimes sound like 見てます。
John asks, “Really?” then says “That’s nice.” He seems a little jealous.
Akiko says, “If it is alright, John, why don’t you also come to my house and watch a video?” よかったら means “if it is alright.” People use that a lot before making a suggestion. You will learn more about this form (called the conditional form) in subsequent semesters of Japanese. Because she is suggesting a series of things (first coming to her house, then watching a film), the first of the verbs (きます) is in the –te form (きて). Notice the final verb 見ます is in the negative form. That is because she is extending an invitation.
John says, “Oh, is it okay to go [to your house]?” The little えっ sound he utters is a sound of mild surprise or disbelief. He is surprised but pleased that Akiko wants to invite him over while Takashi is there.
Akiko answers, “Of course!” もちろん means “of course.” Sometimes people just use that alone in what is essential a sentence fragment, but she makes it a little more polite by adding on the です. She also includes a よ which is like a verbal exclamation point.
Updated February 26, 2008