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I'm supposed to write "I'm going to sleep tomorrow" using romaji.

Would the romaji be

watashi wa ashita neru e iku n desu

because

  • "I'm" is the subject which is "watashi wa"
  • the time is "ashita" which is "tomorrow" and comes after the "watashi wa"
  • "sleep" is "neru"
  • I'm using the particle "e" for direction, and
  • "iku" is "to go".

For conversational Japanese, I need to add "n desu" for the sentence.

Would that be correct or am I missing something?

  • As far as [~んです]{~ndesu}, you're changing the verb phrase into a noun phrase, and then declaring that it is (more or less). E.g. [私]{watashi}[は]{wa}[あした]{ashita}[ねる]{neru}[んです]{-ndesu} means literally "It is (a fact) that I will sleep tomorrow." Alternatively, it could mean something like "I will definitely/I have determined that I will sleep tomorrow." You may find this answer useful in understanding the use of this construction. – Wlerin Oct 2 '14 at 12:28
  • @Wlerin: Comments are not for answers. – istrasci Oct 2 '14 at 15:36
  • @istrasci at least I made an attempt before posting on here. I remember reading that if users just open questions without attempts, then it will be closed. Unless I'm misunderstanding something like when giving an answer you shouldn't cram it in the comment box. – usukidoll Oct 3 '14 at 5:42
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    @istrasci Agreed. I was not answering the question, only addressing one small sub-point. – Wlerin Oct 3 '14 at 6:44
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    @usukidoll istrasci's comment was directed toward the other commenter. No one said you were doing anything wrong. This question is fine :-) (I am not sure why it was downvoted―possibly because of romaji?) – snailcar Oct 3 '14 at 9:00
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There are several issues with the translation you're suggesting there.

Let's start with the English sentence:

I am going to sleep tomorrow.

The way you've parsed it to translate "going to" is taken to mean the motion verb "to go". But is sleep a place that you are going to?

Unless, this is some really poetic English, I think less colloquially what you are saying is either:

I will sleep tomorrow [interpreting go as the future tense]

in which case the translation I would go with with is ...

[わたし]{watashi}[は]{wa}[明日]{ashita}[寝]{ne}[る]{ru}.

OR

I plan to sleep tomorrow [interpreting go as a volitional construction]

in which case I would say

[わたし]{watashi}[は]{wa}[明日]{ashita}[寝]{ne}[る]{ru}[つもり]{tsumori}[です]{desu}.


Regarding the statement

For conversational Japanese, I need to add n desu for the sentence.

I am not sure where you are getting that rule, but at least for me (as a non-native speaker of Japanese), there are only a limited number of types of conversations where I would end sentences with [んです]{ndesu}.


One further place where I could be misunderstanding you which would affect the translation. Do you mean "I am going to sleep all-day tomorrow" or simply that your plans for tomorrow include sleep?

  • I'm studying conversational Japanese which means I use the dictionary forms of the verbs rather than the masu form. Ex. iku is the dictionary form of ikimasu. The handout says that I have to add ndesu because it keeps the person interested in the conversation. I haven't learned the word "plan" yet but the first sentence which is watashi wa neru is fine... but it translates to I'm sleep? – usukidoll Oct 2 '14 at 8:41
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    the sentence translates where? Automatic translation generally don't work for Japanese and English. Handout from what? – virmaior Oct 2 '14 at 9:00
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    @usukidoll In Japanese there are only two tenses, past and non-past. Present tense and future tense use the same form, and which is intended must be determined from context (in this case, ashita places the action in the future). – Wlerin Oct 2 '14 at 11:58
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    @usukidoll What do you mean you don't know how to write hiragana on this site? Do you mean you know how to write it by hand but you don't know how to type it on a computer? If it's the latter, Coscom has a nice tutorial on the topic. – 3 to 5 business days Oct 3 '14 at 6:06
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    @usukidoll - Setting up your computer to use an Input Method Editor (IME) can be done in just a few minutes on any modern operating system. On my Windows 7 machine: Bring up the Start menu, type Input method into the search box, and Change keyboards or other input methods is the first result. Click on that, click on the Change Keyboards button. You'll see a list of keyboards installed currently (probably just English (United States)). Click Add and scroll down to the Japanese entry in the dialog that appears. Check the box by Microsoft IME and you're done! – William - Rem Oct 9 '15 at 23:21
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The simplest way to translate your English sentence is 「あした ねる」。

We typically won't say 「わたしは」 or 「あなたは」 unless the subject is unclear from context. In conversation, there's a general understanding that if you are telling me about something that someone will do, that someone is you unless otherwise stated. We omit subjects like this in conversational English occasionally, but it's almost a rule in Japanese.

Because there is no future tense in Japanese, you have to use what is called the non-past tense, which is often referred to as the present tense. You express that you will do something in the future by simply giving a time reference: ねる - I sleep あした ねる - Tomorrow, I will sleep.

If this is a plan you're making, you could say 「あした ねる つもり だ」 ("The plan is to sleep tomorrow" / "I plan to sleep tomorrow"), but if it's in response to a question asking why you aren't asleep yet, you might say 「あした ねる の だ」 ("It's that I will sleep tomorrow") or 「あした ねる んだ から」 ("It's because I will sleep tomorrow").

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明日は眠ります。「Ashita wa nemurimasu」is the answer to this. Or, "Tommorow (I) will sleep. This here is the way that someone who is Japanese would say it. You could also say, 僕は明日は眠ります。「Boku wa ashita wa nemurimasu」, though I would advise you to use the first one, as Japanese people find that using "I" 「私と僕」too much sounds "unnatural". I hope this helps you positively!

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    ちょ・・・「日本人」って名前で「ねります」ってさぁ・・ – Chocolate Oct 8 '15 at 18:04
  • I was under the impression that 眠る was more unintentional. I've sort of mentally equated it with "to pass out" rather than "to fall asleep". – William - Rem Oct 16 '15 at 14:28

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