After learning the key particles for topics, subjects, and how desu works, you deserve a minor break. That is, if you consider learning TWO grammar points instead of one a break. This is a challenge after all. Luckily they are both two sides of the same coin, the two versions of the word ‘and‘.
These two fun grammar points are both used to create lists of nouns, or be used as ‘and’.
The first is と (to). To is used when listing or combining multiple nouns or noun phrases. One of the important points behind と is that とcreates exhaustive list. This means that if you use と your list only includes the nouns/things that are mentioned, nothing more. So, when と is used, everything that you want to include on your list must be marked by と or it won’t be considered.
A & B
A と B
Just A & B
わたしは アメリカじん と にほんじん です。
I’m American and Japanese.
パン と チーズ です。
It’s bread and cheese.
The second is や (ya). Ya is used when listing or combining multiple nouns or noun phrases. This works in a very similar way to the Japanese と and can often be used interchangeably. It’s also important to note the difference between とand や in Japanese. They both act similarly to the English “and” by linking nouns, however, when と is used the list is exhaustive, and や is used when the list is in-exhaustive. This means that the list includes things that aren’t explicitly mentioned in the speaker’s list. The listener should be able to assume other things might be on the list but aren’t mentioned.
A & B
A や B
A, B, and maybe C or D too
たべもの は すし や パン です。
The food is sushi and bread and things like that.
かぞく や ともだち だ。
These are my friends and family and such.
Improve your Japanese faster with the 30 Day Challenge Field Guide.
In the West, the days of the week are based off of the Norse god. Frei’s day is Friday, Thor’s day is Thursday etc. In the East they are the Dao elements. These are inicated by the Kanji (Chinese symbol) at the beginning of the word. We won’t get into explaining Kanji right now, but there are more than one reading for many Kanji. Which is why the word sounds different when it reads Sunday (Nichiyoubi) verses Sun (hi). This is good to keep in mind if you are wanting to learn Kanji in the near future. Furthermore, Kanji readings can also change when they are combined with other Kanji; thus, hi becomes bi when it’s combined with one of the elements and you, making (element) youbi – same Kanji (日) different reading (hi/bi).