I'm "learning" Japanese and I need a bit of help regarding an exercise from the Genki I Textbook.

Lesson 6, Question 6, Example 3. I need to make a conversation between 2 people (A and B).

This is what I'm given for A:

You are asked to return your friend's video today, but you forgot to bring. You want to return it later.

Description for B:

You asked your friend to return your video today. You need it today because you want to watch it with another friend.

This is how I made the conversation.

A: Video を わすれました. あした に もってくる

Now regarding the response with B.. I don't know what is the right way to say it.

I would start with something like でもきょうは but I don't know what is the right word to continue with. Hopefully someone can help me.

On another note, is it okay if I ask questions like this? There is no one I know that can help me with this and on the one forum I found it always takes a while to get a response.

Is it okay if I make more questions about translation? Or will it be considered spam?

EDIT: B example. でもきょうがvideoをもている. ともだちとoみています

closed as unclear what you're asking by Dono, Questioner, Flaw Aug 13 '17 at 14:35

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 4
    Please note typo corrections. I think you need to at least give an attempt for B (even if it's wrong), so that we can see what vocabulary and grammar you are expected to use. – user3856370 Aug 6 '17 at 18:38
  • okay i added it now. sorry about the typos i usually hit thewrong letters on the keyboard, but now my lighbulb went out so i'm in the dark :D. – Proxy Aug 6 '17 at 20:38
  • 2
    You said you're supposed to create a conversation, but the sentences you're providing aren't conversations at all. If there are two people, there should be some back and forth, not just a sentence per scenario. So, you should imagine, perhaps in English first, what sort of conversation might be exchanged, then try to translate each of the sentences over to Japanese. – A.Ellett Aug 6 '17 at 23:10
  • And how is that not a conversation? If i need to say to my friend in english the same thing it would go "i forgot to bring your video, i will bring it tomorrow". He would reply "yeah, but i need it today. i will watch it with another friend". Where is the difference? – Proxy Aug 7 '17 at 7:08
  • Now that you put it that way, I see how you created a conversation. Perhaps it's just that there's so much explanatory stuff between the two sentences, I failed to see how you viewed Japanese portions as one unit. My bad. – A.Ellett Aug 7 '17 at 15:16

I don't remember exactly what kind of grammar has been covered by Genki until chapter six. I'll try to answer using very basic constructions, if there is something you don't understand please ask in a comment and I'll expand the explanation.

First how I would do the dialog:

A: ビデオを忘{わす}れました、ごめんなさい。明日{あした}返{かえ}してもいいですか?

B: あ、そうですか?今日{きょう}Cさんと一緒{いっしょ}に観{み}たかったんですけど。。。

In English:

A: I forgot the video. Can I return it tomorrow?

B: Ah, really? I wanted to watch it with C-san today...

Explanation for A

This part should be clear enough. Compared to what you attempt I added a simple apology (ごめんなさい) and removed the particle に after tomorrow (you don't need it since it's a generic time. As a general rule, you use に when you are indicating specific times like 8月11日に...). Also, I changed the verb to 返{かえ}す which means "to return (something)". In case you haven't studied that yet the construction " verb in て-form (I assume you studied the te-form already) + もいいですか" is a standard polite way to ask "may I/ is it OK if I do verb?". So in our example that becomes "is it OK if I return it tomorrow?".

Explanation for B:

This is a bit tricky maybe since it is hard to guess what is your grammar background. I tried to keep it as simple as possible but I still feel it might be hard to understand. If so please ask (in case I'll think of something even simpler I'll edit the answer).

Well the first thing should be fine. He just asked "Ah, really?" since I imagined he would be surprised expecting the video to be returned today. Then he explains that he wanted to watch it today with C in this way (literal translation):

"Today, together with (一緒{いっしょ}に) C wanted to watch..."

There are a few things here to explain:

  • The conjugation in ーたい of the verb (みるー>みたい) which expresses wanting to do something. But I guess this is studied early so maybe you have that covered. The only thing here is that it's conjugated in the past tense (which becomes ーたかった). Nothing really special
  • The second thing that probably is hard for now is that ん. This is a bit tricky to explain in a few words but to put it simply let's say that it is a way to connect a verb when it's followed by something like ~ですが ~ですけど etc. You can find plenty of references on this I will add some link later. At this link you can find a lot of examples and explanations about this.
  • The last thing is maybe the most subtle.. as you noticed I didn't explicitly write anything about returning the video today. This is very Japanese in the sense that as you probably heard people seldom ask things directly but they let the partner infer instead. In this case, B probably wouldn't directly say "please return it today", but rather "ah, I wanted to watch it with C today". This automatically implies that he wants the video back today so technically there is no need to specify it. Now, in a context of friends obviously B could very well just add "今日[返]{かえ}してください" but I tried to keep it that way to add this quite important point of the Japanese culture.

Edit: As @mackygoo pointed out in a comment. Notice that in a real conversation between two friends/peers, you would unlikely hear "そうですか". That indeed sounds quite formal for such a situation. You would probably hear more things like "まじ??" or "え?困{こま}ったなあーー". I used そうですか because I would imagine that you heard that for sure while you probably haven't studied yet the casual/conversational Japanese. While I'm at it, I will also write below how I imagine the conversation would happen for real:

A: ビデオ忘{わす}れちゃった。。ごめん!明日返していい?


  • 1
    OPの学習レベルを推察しての回答に敬服します。 B: Ah, really? に当たる日本語訳「あ、そうですか?」は、要求が少し弱い気がします。私ならこの部分は、「まじ!?(これは少し口語的すぎる気もしますが...。)」か「え!? 困ったなあ。」ぐらいの表現を使います。 – mackygoo Aug 7 '17 at 1:26
  • @mackygoo そうですね。私も「あ、そうですか?」は多分最適じゃないかなと思っていた。でも、Genkiという本は初級レベルの本なので、OPはまだ「まじ?」、「困ったなあ」みたいな語彙を分からなかったら答えにもっと当惑するかなと思って教科書らしく回答しました。 – Tommy Aug 7 '17 at 1:51
  • @mackygoo 論評ありがとうございました、回答を更新しました。 – Tommy Aug 7 '17 at 2:02
  • 1
    also extra thanks for the "real life" example. – Proxy Aug 7 '17 at 7:18
  • 1
    @Proxy you might wanna try some of these websites where you have language partners (such as Japanese who want to learn English) and you help each other out. In many of these you can record and send voice messages as well which might help for pronunciation. I can't recall any names now but if you google a bit I'm sure you will find good ones. – Tommy Aug 7 '17 at 7:34

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.