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How should I say "that's my train" (when waiting at a station)? My guess would be:

これはしんかんせんです。

I'm pretty much a total beginner so simpler expressions are preferred!

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up vote 12 down vote accepted

「これ新幹線{しんかんせん}です。」

There are a couple of items that I would like to point out.

First, the particle choice. The specific train that you have been waiting for has just arrived, yes? You are not pointing a finger to just any random Shinkansen train, right?

Then, that is definitely a が-situation, not a は-situation. If you learned only one thing from my answer today, I hope it would be this (instead of forming the Japanese equivalent of "That's my train.")

Moving on to how to say "That's my train." naturally. The best tip I could give you is to not translate it word for word. If you do that, you will end up forming a sentence that virtually no native speakers would use in this situation at the station.

Needless to say, that unnatural sentence would be 「これ私{わたし}の新幹線{しんかんせん}です。」.

Excellent particle choice, but practically no native speakers would say that in the situation we are talking about. Generally speaking, if you translate English sentences literally into Japanese, you will have pretty weird-sounding Japanese sentences. "That's my train." is one of those sentences.

The sentences and phrases that native speakers would often use in the given situations include:

(I am mostly imagining a male speaker here.)

「あっ、電車{でんしゃ}来た{きた}。」

「おっ、来た来た。[乗]{の}ろう。」、「おっ、やっと来た(か、よ、ね、ぞ, etc.)。」 ← You do not even have to use "train" because you know exactly what is coming. It is not a bus, a taxi or a dog that you have been waiting for.

「おっ、あれだ。」、「あっ、あれだ。やっと来た。」

「これ/あれ乗るやつだよ。」

「これ/あれボクの乗るやつだ。」← In case you must use a pronoun for some reason.

Note: 「やつ」 can be replaced with nominalizer 「の」 or the actual noun 「電車」 or 「新幹線」.

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You can say simply "あれが私の乗る電車です。"

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You're close -- your これは新幹線{しんかんせん}です sample simply says, "This is a shinkansen." You're missing the "my" part. Adding that in, we get これは私{わたし}の新幹線です。 → "This is my shinkansen."

Note: This is for the bullet train. For a regular train, swap out the word 新幹線 for the word 電車{でんしゃ}.

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3  
It's certainly a literal translation but would you actually say that in Japanese unless you owned the train? – user3856370 Feb 25 at 23:14
2  
@EiríkrÚtlendi Please check how those examples are not 私の電車. – user4092 Feb 26 at 1:05
12  
Yes you can safely say 私の電車/先生の飛行機/etc even when the person doesn't own the train/plane. But maybe they're a bit less common than my train etc. In situations where English speakers say "That's my train," we usually say "電車来ましたんで" (without explicit 私の), "これに乗ります", or something like that. – naruto Feb 26 at 1:15
3  
In addition, passengers won't speak like staff. – user4092 Feb 26 at 1:19
2  
Useful commentary, thank you both. @naruto, I'd suggest turning your comment into an answer. – Eiríkr Útlendi Feb 26 at 1:23

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