JPNS 3000

Dialogue for Presentation 2


(Supplements for the textbook
Genki: An Integrated Approach, Vol. 2)


Click here to listen to the entire dialogue.

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


Sue and Ken are close friends so when they speak to each other, they do so in plain-style, without using です・ます forms.  Sue happened to have recently run into their mutual friend Takeshi, who has been working for a travel agency in recent months.  They have the following conversation about their mutual friend Takeshi. 















Ken starts off by saying that since Takeshi has graduated, Ken hasn’t seen him at all, then asks if he was well.  (Note that he does not use a polite honorific at the beginning of 元気because he is not talking directly to Takeshi-san, and there is no real need to be polite to him.) 


The grammatical pattern “Verb A in form + から+Verb B” is new grammar in Lesson 17.  First, before we talk about this, let’s think about other instances of the particle から that we have encountered.  We are familiar with the expressions that use から with places or times.  For instance アメリカから来ました means “[I/he/etc.] came from America,” and じゅぎょうは三時からです means “Class is from three o’clock onwards.”  In this case, marks the origin or starting point.  Another instance of から that we have encountered is the one that means “therefore.”  For instance, 病気だからじゅぎょうに行きません means “[I] am sick; therefore, [I] am not going to class.”  In this case, から marks the origin in a causal sense.  The speaker became sick, and that was the reason that he did not go to school. 


Now, we introduce a new combination: “Verb A in form + から+Verb B.”  The textbook contains an explanation on p. 101, but basically, once again から marks the origin, this time in a temporal sense.  The meaning is “Verb A happened, then Verb B.”  Here are some sample sentences.



I went to Japan, then I came home to America. 



I consulted with the teacher, then I became a Japanese minor. 



It is your birthday so you will probably eat cake then receive some presents.


Let’s compare the following three sentences. 


(1)            ジョンさんは病気になって、仕事をやめました。
John, getting sick, quit his job. 

(2)            ジョンさんは病気になっから、仕事をやめました。
John got sick, then quit his job.

(3)            ジョンさんは病気になっから、仕事をやめました。
John got sick; therefore, he quit his job.


Sentence (a) tells us that John’s quitting of work happened in relation to John’s getting sick.  There is a connection implied, but that connection is not made terribly specific.  Sentence (b) emphasized that the two things happened in a sequence: he got sick THEN quit the job.  Sentence (c) specifically identifies John’s sickness as the reason for quitting the job. 


To return to the dialogue, 卒業してからぜんぜん会ってない means, [Takeshi] graduated, then [after that] we did not meet. 


Sue says, うん、そうねえ。ずいぶんつかれて()みたいだった。Her うん、そうねえ is one of doubt.  Notice that when you listen to her tone of voice, she does not sound convinced that he is 元気.  She says that he seemed to have been extremely worn out.  As you will remember from Lesson 8 つかれる is a verb that means to wear out.  When you put this in the ~ている form as つかれている, it means to be tired or to be worn out.  (In other words, one is in the state that results from wearing out.)  Frequently, when people pronounce the ~ているquickly, the drops out, and it gets contracted into ~てる.  You might notice that in the sound files. 


There is an explanation of the expression みたいです on p. 100 of your textbook.  As the book says, it follows verbs in direct-style, nouns, and occasionally adjectives to mean “it seems to be~” or something “resembles .”  Here are some sample sentences. 


(1)            あの人は先生みたいです。                     That person seems to be a teacher.

(2)            あまり学校に行かないみたいです。 [He] appears not to go to school very often.

(3)            彼は何でもできるみたいです。           [He] seems to be able to do anything.


There is often external evidence to support these claims.  For instance, a person might utter sentence (1) if they see a person walking across campus who seems to be a little older and dressed in a more formal way than one might see on a student.  One might say (2) if the speaker has heard rumors or seen evidence that the person being talked about is playing hookey.  One might say (3) if the person being talked about gets really good grades and goes well at all sorts of things. 


The expression ~みたい more often in colloquial Japanese than in written Japanese.  It also appears sometimes after adjectives, but as you book comments on p. 100, it is more common to use the pattern “adjective base+そうです” to say something “seems . 


Please note that ~みたいcan function like a adjective.  Take a look at the following sentences. 



               Over there is a person who looks like a teacher.



               Why are you dressed in those clothes that look like a student’s?



               John said something that seemed like what a Japanese person would say.

               (literally “John said something that seemed like a Japanese person’s thing.”)


Back to the dialogue… Ken agrees with Sue and says that, after all, it is really hard to be a salaryman.  サライーマン is an example of an English-sounding word invented in Japan.  It refers to a company employee that receives a regular salary (as a opposed to an employee that only works part time and gets an hourly wage).  Japanese salarymen are famous for working hard and long hours. 


Sue agrees and says that she hears there are many customers making appointments (よやく).  (That is the reason that Takeshi is so busy.) The wordお客さん means “guest” (as in a guest who visits a person’s home) or “customer” (as in a person who comes to a company).  At the end of the utterance, note that Sue uses the extended predicate ~んだ.  As explained on p. 230 and 231 of Genki Vol. 1, the extended predicate ~んだ is often used in explaining things. 


The particle って is a new bit of grammar in lesson.  って is a quotative particle used after a quoted part of speech.  It is an informal way of saying the same quotative particle that you encountered in the expression “~と思います” (think that ~) or “~と言います” (say that ).  Basically, here, the particle って is an informal, abbreviated form of “~と聞きました” (I heard that ).  In terms of function, it is a less formal way of saying “predicate +そうです,” which we saw in the last dialogue. 


Sue continues to say, however, she has heard that it is alright if he does not work on the weekend.  (She mentions this because lots of Japanese salarymen are compelled to the weekend when their work gets really busy.) Once again, she uses the expressionって to indicate that the information is something she has heard from someone. 


The expression ~なくてもいい is explained in p. 99 of the textbook, but basically it means, “it is okay if ~ does not happen” or “it is fine if [you/he/I] do not do ~.”   Let’s look at a sample sentence. 


(1)            じゅぎょうに行かなくてもいいです。
It is alright not to go to class. 

(2)            くつをぬがなくてもいいです。
It is alright not to take off your shoes. 

(3)            パーティーに来てください。でも、何も持ってこなくてもいいです。
Please come to the party.  However, it is alright not to bring anything. 


Most often, these sentences are used as a polite way to give advice: “It is fine (and perhaps even best) not to do X.”  However, they are not absolute.  In sentence (3) for instance, the listener does not HAVE to bring anything to the party.  However, if the listener wants to, then that would probably also be acceptable too.  The same goes for sentence (1).  It is alright for the listener not to go to class; however, if the listener really, really wanted to go, then that would probably be acceptable as well.  


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Updated September 17, 2010