Home > My ideas > Knowing subjects, the secret to polish our English

Knowing subjects, the secret to polish our English

We, Japanese who have been learning English, often forget to add a letter ‘s'(or -es) to verbs when the subjects are third-person singulars.

I just had a dream one day in which I was thinking why we often forget to add them and how we reduce such a mistake. I thought in my dream that we have to pay attention to subjects of English sentences more than those of Japanese sentences.

As you know, you often omit subjects when you speak/write Japanese. Additionally, we don’t care the number of the subjects that you refer to while speaking/writing Japanese;It doesn’t matter whether or not the subject is singular. I guess such a characteristic of Japanese doesn’t give us a chance to develop our sense that cares about verbs.

I used to play FPS games with my friends, and my friends used to report an enemy/enemies through Skype like this, ‘teki hakken! when we were under clan wars. It might have literally mean, ‘I got enemy!(no articles)’, but you didn’t at least know how many enemies the friend had encountered. If the friend had encounters multiple enemies, we would have helped him. If not so, we would not have needed to do it. We had to make sure how many enemies he got after his words. It gave our enemies enough time to attack us. The leader of our clan often suggested that we reported the specific number of the enemies clearly.

Omitting subjects when you speak/write Japanese is also to help us make awkward sentences in English. I don’t know why, but almost conversations in Japanese go well without any problems, except when the speakers/writers are fighting with each other. Maybe, Japanese don’t want to show who(or what) has responsibilities for the actions which are indicated in the sentences. We sometimes become confused when we don’t know who is the subject or who is taking the action during conversations. Let me show an example. I don’t know if I will be able to demonstrate a Japanese conversation in English properly.

A: Hey, you have to hear this. My mother just bought computer.(We don’t need to make sure if the mother bought one computer.)
B: Wow, that’s great.
A: — is not good at computing. (B has to guess the subject is A’s mother.)
B: But — will learn it soon, right?(A has to perceive A’s mother is the subject.)
A: Yeah, but — think — should help her.(B has to guess the subjects are A.)

Hmm, I don’t think it’s a good sample. Anyway, you have to pay attention to subjects while speaking/writing in English; you have to bear in mind who the subjects are or what the subjects are. You will be able to polish your sentences with such an idea like holistic medicines.

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  1. anna
    July 11, 2011 at 9:27 am

    you can do,with a little patient,i think nihonngo is more difficult than english,lol,gambatte!!!

    • honeypotter
      July 12, 2011 at 4:43 pm

      Hi, Anna. 😉

      The more I learn English, the more strongly I feel Japanese is too complicated for people coming from other countries. Yeah, I’ll keep learning. 🙂

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