http://ameblo.jp/uncle-joke-joke/entry-11613818795.html <-- This is a page making fun of "This is a pen." and "I am a boy."

These sentences have achieved legendary status. For example, see :

http://detail.chiebukuro.yahoo.co.jp/qa/question_detail/q13142319713 -- アニメ クレヨンしんちゃんで、風間くんが 「I am a boy. This is a pen.」 と繰り返し言っている回はなんと言う題名ですか?

riki-english.hatenablog.com/entry/2015/12/01/222707 -- 2015/12/01 - その昔、中学校に入ったばかりの1年生は、 I am a boy. とか、 This is a pen. とかいったような、いささかシュールなセンテンスから英語の勉強を始めたものでした。 今はもうこのような英文が授業で扱われることはまずありません。

My question is : what are the equivalent sentences for Jp learners ?

( It's so common that most beginners encounter them, and/or the sentences seem so useless that it's funny. )

  • 2
    「これは鉛筆です」 is the first sentence I ever learned.
    – user1478
    Sep 21 '16 at 4:53
  • for the longest time I thought it funny as well, until recently it struck me. If you know nothing of a language that is gramatically structured different, what better sentence than "this is a pen" SVO, no filler, no bending of the rules, just pure, right to the point SVO.
    – Mark
    Sep 21 '16 at 6:02
  • 2
    @Mark Not to nitpick, but "This is a pen" is not a SVO sentence. It's a SVC sentence. It doesn't have any objects, but has a subject complement.
    – marasai
    Sep 21 '16 at 8:45
  • @marasai yeah, though it sure looks like an object when you see one ;)
    – Mark
    Sep 21 '16 at 23:44

The following may be one:

わたし は げんき です。

Or perhaps the whole phrase:



Maybe its just me, but every Japanese class I've ever taken always had "お名前は(insert name)です。” within the first week.

  • 5
    名前は(name)です」 for introducing yourself?
    – Chocolate
    Sep 21 '16 at 7:48
  • Actually, more like お名前は何ですか。Followed by お名前は(name)です。 Though I've always been told its more natural to respond with something like (name)です。 or formally (name)と呼んでいます。Does that help?
    – Joe32
    Sep 23 '16 at 19:17
  • う~ん・・ちょっとわかんないんですけど。。自分の名前を聞かれたときの話ですよね? I recommend using 「名前はXXです。"My name is XX."」(with no honorific prefix お) or「XXと呼ばれています。"I am called XX."」(using the passive form 呼ばれる) when replying to お名前は何ですか?"What is your name?"
    – Chocolate
    Sep 23 '16 at 23:36

The first things I ever learned (to speak), on the first day, were:


A: すみません。
B: いいえ。

A: 分かりますか?
B: ええ、分かります。

This was a number of years ago, so I'm only really sure about the above; but based on my old textbooks, I think I also learned the below:

The first week I think I learned other things like 違います and します and 今日, 明日 and ね and よ.

Basically, I first learned affirming and negating (はい、いや等), a couple ritual expressions (おはよう), distal style verbal conjugation, sentence particles, and a couple other words I didn't quite understand at the time but soon learned were nominals.

I don't think I learned 私 for a couple weeks (probably around the time I learned about how to form nominal predicates).

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