How Does Your Japanese Compare?

Which is better, your English or your Japanese? As you know, you make comparisons all the time. To get around Japan faster, you may want to ask, “which is faster, the bus or the train?” On the other hand, you might ask, “which is better, sushi or tempura?” There are all sorts of comparisons that will help you make the best decisions in Japan. Use this Beginner Japanese article to learn to make comparisons. Master dochira no hoo ga (“which of the two”) to ask which of two choices is better. You will constantly be comparing quantities or qualities in Japanese, and this article gives you the skills to do it correctly. Along with the sentence structures that allow you to compare two things, you’ll pick up vocabulary words such as, “cold,” “car,” “young,” hachi-papa and many others. If you want your Japanese to stack up, you need this Beginner Japanese article!

Vocabulary: In this article, you’ll learn the following words and phrases:

eki – “train station”

Keisei Skairainaa – “Keisei Skyliner”

futsuu – “normal, ordinary”

dochira – “which”

yasui – “cheap, inexpensive” (-i ending adjective)

zutto – “by far, all along, the whole time”

hayai – “fast, quick” (-i ending adjective)

eki’in – “station attendant”

roojin – “the elderly, old person”

Grammar: In this article, you’ll learn the following words and phrases:

Useful Vocabulary and Phrases

Kore wa Narita e ikimasu ka.

“Does this train go to Narita?”

This sentence structure has already been introduced in Newbie series Nohongo Doojoo, “Welcome to Style You: Article 24.”

Sentence Structure

Subject / Wa / Destination / Ni or E / Ikimasu ka.

Kore / wa / Narita / e / ikimasu ka.

Kono densha /wa / Tokyo / ni / ikimasu ka.

Kono basu / wa / kuukoo / ni / ikimasu ka. * kuukoo means “airport”

Today’s Target Phrase:

Keisei-sen to Keisei-Sukairainaa to dochira no hoo ga yasui desu ka.
Keisei-sen no hoo ga yasui desu.
The focus of today’s lesson is sentences that compare two quantities or qualities.

Which is more…?

[A] to [B] to dochira no hoo ga [adjective] desu ka.

“Which alternative is more [adjective], [A] or [B]?”

Dochira no hoo ga means “which one of two.” When asking a comparative question, use the following sentence structure:

[Choice A] + To + [Choice B] + To / Dochira no hoo ga / [Adjective] + desu ka.

Nihon to Furansu to / dochira no hoo ga / ookii desu ka.

Densha to basu to / dochira no hoo ga / hayai desu ka.

Shichi-gatsu to hachi-gatsu to / dochira no hoo ga / atsui desu ka.

Kyooto to Nara to / dochira no hoo ga / shizuka desu ka.

Densha to basu to / dochira no hoo ga / benri desu ka.

Haru to aki to / dochira no hoo ga / suki desu ka.

*We often drop no hoo, in donira no hoo ga.

Please review the following definitions:

* atsui “hot”

* shizuka “quiet”

* benri “convenient”

* haru “spring”

* aki “autumn”

[A] is more…

[B] yori [A] no hoo ga [adjective] desu.

“The alternative [A] is more [adjective] than alternative [B].”

[B] yori means “more than [B].” When answering a comparative question, we use the following sentence structure:

[One of the Choices] + Yori / [One of the Choices] + No hoo ga / [Adjective] + Desu.

Basu yori / densha no hoo ga / hayai desu.

Shichi-gatsu yori / hachi-gatsu no hoo ga / atsui desu.

Haru yori / aki no hoo ga / suki desu.

*In the conversation, we often omit [B] yori.

[One of the Choices] + No hoo ga / [Adjective] + Desu. / “English”

Densha no hoo ga / hayai desu. / “Trains are faster.”

Hachi-gatsu no hoo ga / atsui desu./ “August is hotter.”

Aki no hoo ga / suki desu. / “I prefer Autumn.”

Practice 1:

Please practice saying the following questions aloud.

For example: fish or meat / likable

Sakana to niku to dochira no hoo ga suki desu ka.

Tempura or Sushi / likable
train or bus / convenient
March or November / cold
Tanaka-san or Suzuki-san / young
Train or taxi / cheap
More Helpful Definitions:
*samui “cold”

*wakai “young”

Practice 2:

Please answer the following questions in Japanese.

In your country: Ichi-gatsu to hachi-gatsu to dochira no hoo ga atsui desu ka.
In the city you live: Densha to kuruma to dochira no hoo ga benri desu ka. (*Kuruma means, “car.”)
Haru to aki to dochira no hoo ga suki desu ka.

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http://www.japanesepod101.com/index.php?p=1243&src=ezine

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