Dialogue for Presentation 5
(Supplements for the textbook
Click on the links below to listen to each individual sentence.
John and Akiko, his Japanese-American friend, are both studying Japanese. They are at school having a conversation about their plans for the next couple of days.
ジョン： あきこさん、あした なにをしますか。
John and Akiko do not know each other very well. For that reason, they speak to each other using the polite style (the style that has ます at the end of most verbs).
John starts out the conversation by asking Akiko what she will do tomorrow. あした means “tomorrow” in Japanese. No particle is needed after words that represent a particular moment in time that is relative to the time where you are. (To put it another way, words like “today,” “tomorrow,” “the day after tomorrow,” “yesterday,” “next year,” and “last year” that imply a comparison between the time you are in now and another time, do not require any special particle.) なに means “what” in Japanese. を (pronounced “o”) is the particle that follows the direct object of a verb.
Akiko uses the echo question あしたですか in order to confirm that John is asking her about tomorrow. She tells him that she will study Japanese. The word にほんご is the direct object of the verb べんきょうします. That is the reason that it is followed by the particle を, which identifies the direct object. (If you are unsure what a direct object is, click here.)
John asks あ、そうですか, meaning “Oh, really?” or “Is that so?” He then uses an echo question, べんきょうしますか, “You will study?” in order to confirm that he understand her. He then asks what she will be doing the day after tomorrow. あさって means “the day after tomorrow.” The particle は (pronounced “wa”), when used with a rising question intonation means, “What about...?” In other words, あさっては？means “What about the day after tomorrow?”
Akiko uses an echo question to confirm he is talking about the day after tomorrow. She tells him that she will see a movie. えいが means “film, movie,” and みます is the verb meaning “watch.” What is the particle that connects them? Why is the particle を used in that location?
John says, “Oh really?” He then says that he will listen to music. Because he is starting to talk about himself now (he is no longer talking about Akiko), he makes the subject explicit by saying わたしは at the beginning of the sentence. おながく means “music” and ききます is the verb meaning “listen.” Again, the particle を is used after おんがく because music is the object of the verb “listen.”