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I'm on chapter eight of Genki 1 and I'm struggling with a couple of pieces of dialogue and their translations.

Here's the first:

たけしさん、あしたみんなでバーベキューをしませんか。

The given translation is "Takeshi, would you like to have a barbecue party tomorrow?"

My best effort of a direct translation is, "Takeshi, would you like to do a barbecue all [together] tomorrow?" I don't see where the reference to "party" is, and I'm confused by the use of "みんな" (which I take to mean "all" or "everyone").

Here's the second:

[何か]{なにか}[持って]{もって}いきましょうか。

The given translation is "Shall I bring something?"

I'm assuming the root verb being used is 持ってくる, but I can't figure out how it's being conjugated into 持っていき. I'm hoping someone can clear that up.

  • Apologies if I should have typed the above sentences. My concern is that I would mistype them, thus compounding my confusion! – Tom Ewer Nov 13 at 20:34
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  1. Both translations are correct, although in yours you wouldn't say "do a barbecue" in English. The "party" part is implied by "having a barbecue"; it doesn't need to be explicit. 「みんな」 (notice the で) means "with everyone" or "altogether".

  2. The root verb is 持っていく ("take"), not もってくる ("bring"). Note that in Japanese, there is a fairly strict distinction between "going" and "coming" (and by extension, "taking" and "bringing"). Even though the following it is often said in English

  • A: Are you coming to my party tomorrow?
  • B: Yes, of course I'll come!

, you can never say it this way in Japanese, because for "come", it's always said from the location being converged upon. Person A can say くる because it's their party; Person B must use いく because he is not at that location.

It is the same with "bring" and "take". You can only use 持ってくる from the point of view of the party's location. Since Takeshi is not currently at the location of the BBQ, he must use 持っていく.

For more on direction, see:

  • 1. Ah – I was missing an understanding of the function of the で particle in this context. So, the "with everyone" is implied in the translation without necessarily being stated. Presumably you could remove みんなで from the sentence and retain the overall meaning? 2. I was already familiar with the "come" and "go" nuance, so that makes perfect sense. Many thanks! – Tom Ewer Nov 14 at 13:52
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    Whether or not removing みんなで would change the overall meaning depends on the context. If they're already hanging out in a group, and someone asks Takeshi who just showed up, then it's kind of implied. If it's only a cute girl and Takeshi, and she asks him, then he might think she's asking him on a date. – istrasci Nov 14 at 16:54
  • Understood; thanks again! – Tom Ewer Nov 15 at 14:18

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