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Help understanding sentence structure...

Joe
Asked 1 month ago

それは だれの セーターですか。So I've got this question here that my tutor used, I was learning stuff from chapter 2 today in Genki 1, and I'm not fully understanding the word order here. I know that は marks the topic of the sentence so the topic is それ. And だれ is asking whose sweater. I know this stuff will come over time but I'd like to try and understand as much as possible as I learn it. Thank you for taking the time to help :)

I'm not understanding why それ is first and not だれ.

Joe
Commented 1 month ago

Q: それはだれのぼうしですか。 A: このは私のぼうしです。 Q: Whose hat is that? A: That is my hat.

Joe
Commented 1 month ago

Know someone who might be able to answer this question?

3 Answers

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Hi Joe! Japanese sentence structure is very different from English. When it comes to basic sentence structure, Japanese is a SOV language while English is SVO. SOV means subject-object-verb. 

それ (subject) は (particle) だれのセーター (object) ですか (verb)? 

“です” is a verb that means “is” which comes at the end of the sentence. The topic is first, the verb is last, and everything else is in the middle. 

You can also sometimes ommit the “それは” at the beginning of a clause in informal conversation when it is obvious who or what we are referring to and just say “だれのですか? to the listener. 

I hope this somehow answers your question. :)

Anji
Answered 1 month ago

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A: このは私のぼうしです is Incorrect.

The correct sentence pattern would be

このぼうしはわたしのです。

This hat is mine.

これ+の=この

When “これ” comes before nouns, it becomes この. それ becomes その, and あれ becomes あの. 

Example: このペンはあかいです。This pen is red. 

You can learn more about this lesson under the Beginner lessons tab at https://www.nihongomaster.com/japanese/lessons/view/87/this-one-that-one-no-that-one .

Anji
Answered 1 month ago

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joe is correct

Viva
Answered 1 month ago