中級日本語ーUse of Verb DESU
October 25, 2010 § Leave a comment
Use Of Verb Desu
Like the English verb to be, desu (deh-soo) expresses the identity or state of people and things. Desu is used in a construction, X wa Y desu (X wah Y deh-soo; X is Y). Instead of saying “X is Y,” the Japanese say “X Y is.” The particle wa (wah) is the topic particle discussed earlier in this chapter.
|Desu follows either a noun or an adjective. For example, Ototo wa gakuse desu (oh-tohh-toh wah gah-koo-sehh deh-soo) means “My little brother is a student.” Watashi wa genki desu (wah-tah-shee wah gehn-kee deh-soo) means “I am fine.” Now you know why many Japanese sentences end in desu.
Conjugation-wise, desu doesn’t look like any other verb. The reason is that desu didn’t start out as a stand-alone verb. It was the combination of the particle de, the verb aru (ah-roo; to exist), and the polite suffix -masu.
The table below shows the patterns of desu. To help you see the point, I use the same noun gakuse (gah-koo-sehh; student) in each example.
Formal Form of Noun Plus Desu
Informal Form of Noun Plus Desu
Ja (jah), which you see in the negative forms in the above Tables, is the contraction of dewa (deh-wah).Most Japanese people use ja in everyday conversation, but they use dewa occasionally. Be prepared to hear either one.