Minna no Nihongo lesson 1 – All vocabulary and grammar with explanation

Minna no Nihongo Lesson 1 will introduce you to 49 new words and 6 new grammar structures of Japanese

Vocabulary and grammar of Minna no Nihongo lesson 1 

  • Part 1: Vocabulary
  • Part 2: Grammar

Part 1: Vocabulary 

Listed below are 51 new words that appear in lesson 1. Let’s review these words before learning grammar.

NOWORDKANJIMEANING
1わたしI
2わたしたち私たちWe
3あなたYou
4あのひとあの人That person
5あのかたあの方Polite equivalent of あのひと
6みなさんEverybody, all of you
7~さんMr./Mrs. Title of respect added to a name
8~ちゃんSuffix added to child’s names instead of ~さん
9~くんSuffix often added to boy’s names
10~じん~人Suffix meaning nationality
11せんせい先生Teacher, instructor ( not used when referring to one’s own job)
12きょうし教師Teacher, instructor
13がくせい学生Student
14かいしゃいん会社員company employee
15しゃいん社員employee of…company (used with a company’s name)
16ぎんこういん銀行員bank employee
17いしゃ医者medical doctor
18けんきゅうしゃ研究者researcher, scholar
19エンジニアengineer
20だいがく大学university
21びょういん病院hospital
22でんき電気electricity, light
23だれ(どなた)who (どなた is the polite equivalent of だれ)
24―さい~歳― years old
25なんさい何歳how old (おいくつ is is the polite equivalent of  なんさい)
26はいyes
27いいえno
28しつれいですが失礼ですがExcuse me, but
29おなまえは?お名前はMay I have your name?
30はじめまして。初めてHow do you do (lit. I’m meeting you for the first time. Usually used as the first phrase when introducing oneself)
31どうぞよろしく[おねがいします]。どうぞよろしく「お願いします」。Pleased to meet you. (lit. Please be nice to me. Usually used at the end of a self-introduction)
32こちらは~さんです。This is Mr./Ms/…
33~からきました。~から来ましたI came (come) from…
34アメリカUSA
35イギリスU.K
36インドIndia
37インドネシアIndonesia
38かんこく韓国Korean
39タイThailand
40ちゅうごく中国China
41ドイツGermany
42にほん日本Japan
43フランスFrance
44ブラジルBrazil
45さくらだいがく桜大学fictitious university
46ふじだいがく富士大学fictitious university
 47IMC / パワーでんき /ブラジルエアーIMC / パワー電気/ブラジルエアーfictitious company
48AKCfictitious university
49こうべびょういん神戸病院fictitious hospital

Part 2: Grammar

1. Nは N2 です。

1) Particle は

The particle は indicates that the words before it is the topic of the sentence. You select a noun you want to talk about, add は to show that it is the topic and give a statement about the topic.

わたしは マイク・ミラーです。

I am Mike Miller

[Note] The particle は is read わ.

2) です

Nouns used with です work as predicates.

  • です indicates judgement or assertion.
  • です also conveys that the speaker is being polite towards the listener.
  • です inflects when the sentence is negative (see 2. below) or in the past tense (see Lesson 2)

わたしは エンジニアです。

I am engineer.

2. N1 は N2  じゃ ありません

じゃ ありません is the negative form of です. It is the form used in daily conversation. For a formal speech or writting, では ありません is used instead.

サントスさんは 学生 ( がくせい)じゃ ありません。

Mr.Santos is not a student.

[Note] は in では is read わ.

3. S か

1) Particle か

The particle か is used o express the speaker’s doubt, question, uncertainty, etc. A question is formed by simply adding か to the end of the sentence. A question ends with a rising intonation.

2) Questions asking whether a statement is correct or not

As mentioned above, a sentence becomes a question when か is added to the end. The word order does not change. The question thus made asks whether a statement is correct or not. Depending on whether you agree with the statement or not, your answer to such a question begins with はい or いいえ.

ミラーさんは アメリカ陣ですか。

Is Mr.Miller an American?

…はい、アメリカ人です。

… Yes, he is.

ミラーさんは 先生 (せんせい) ですか。

Is Mr. Miller a teacher?

…いいえ、先生じゃ ありません。

… No, he is not.

3) Question with interrogatives

An interrogative replaces the part of the sentence that covers what you want to ask about. The word order does not change, and か is added at the end.

あの方 (かた)は どなたですか。

Who is that man?

… [あの 方は] ミラーさんです。

… That’s Mr.Miller.

4. N も

も is added after a topic instead of は when the statement about the topic is the same as the previous topic.

ミラーさんは 会社員 (かいしゃいん)です。

Mr.Miller is a company employee.

グプタさんも 会社員です。

Mr.Gupta is also a company employee.

 5. N1 の N2

の is used to connect two nouns. Nmodifies N. In Lesson 1, N1 is an organization or some kind of group to which N2 belongs.

ミラーさんは IMC の 社員です。

Mr.Miller is an IMC employee.

6. ~さん

さん is added to the name of the listener or a third person to show the speaker’s respect to the person. It should never be used with the speaker’s own name.

あの方は ミラーさんです。

That’s Mr.Miller.

When referring directly to the listener’s name. The listener’s family name followed by さん is usually used.

鈴木 ( すずき): ミラーさんは 学生 (がくせい) ですか。

Suzuki             :      Are you a student?

ミラー     :      いいえ、会社員 (かいしゃいんです。

Miller            :       No, I’m a company employee.

The above is all knowledge about Vocabulary and Grammar of Minna no Nihongo lesson 1. To see other lessons, please click here.

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