Category Archives: N4

Difference between ように and ために


おはようございます (Good morning). This is a repost. =)

For this article, I did a reference from this book: 初級日本語文法と教え方のポイント by: 石川保子先生. Her books are really very good. Please support her books.

Let’s take a look at 「ために」 first.

A   ために、 B
Chinese translation of 「ために」: 因此,因而,所以
原因・理由を表す (Describing Cause/Reason)
For A: Put in a sentence that describes cause or reason. It can also be a sentence that describes a purpose. A sentence that should have with a cause/reason and result.

Let’s take a look at an example.

Sentence 1:
Because of some urgent business, i cannot attend the afternoon meeting.
Let’s take a look at another sentence.

Sentence 2:
Because of some urgent business, please allow me to rest from the afternoon meeting.

Sentence 2 is not correct. For B, you cannot have sentences that describe volition.
目的を表す (Describe Purpose/Aim)

When you are using this grammar for describing purpose and aim, it is ok to have sentences that describe volition for B

Example Sentences:

For the sake of protecting my family, i worked hard
For the sake of protecting your family, please work hard

For the sake of protecting your family, Work hard!
Now, for 「ように」

A ように B
Chinese translation for 「ように」: 为了

For A: Put in a sentence that describes a purpose.
Example Sentences:
In order to be able to understand Japanese conversation, every day i listen to the tape.

In order to raise the children up, the parents are working hard

In order for the cold not to get worse, do take your medicine and go to bed early.
There are lots of examples that before 「ように」, verbs that are non volitional or verbs with ない form are used.

You can take it as in order to achieve the result that is describe by B, A is done.

For 「ために」, you already know in your consciousness (意識) that you need to achieve something , so you express the will to want to complete something.

Like in this sentence,
For the sake of protecting my family, i worked hard

as compared to 「ように」 whereby you express the aim and what you are doing to achieve the aim.

In order to raise the children up, the parents are working hard
Some other good examples out there:

Introduction to 未然形 2 (Conjugation of ない-form/受身形/使役形)



Today i will be talking about conjugation of ない-form/受身形/使役形.

Yesterday we looked at 未然形 (in this post, i will refer it as 未).

Let’s take a look at how to change to the various forms.

Group 1 verbs/五段動詞

ない-form: 未+ない (かいますー>かいー>かわ (未然形)→かわない)

受身形: 未+れます (かいますー>かいー>かわ (未然形)→かわれます)

使役形: 未+せます (かいますー>かいー>かわ (未然形)→かわせます)

使役受身形: 未+されます (かいますー>かいー>かわ (未然形)→かわされます)

Exception: verbs on the さ row

使役受身形: 未+せられます (はなしますー>はなしー>はなさ (未然形)→はなさせられます)


Group 2 verbs/ 一段動詞

ない-form: 未+ない (たべますー>たべ (未然形)→たべない)

受身形: 未+られます (たべますー>たべ (未然形)→たべられます)

使役形: 未+させます (たべますー>たべ (未然形)→たべさせます)

使役受身形: 未+させられます (たべますー>たべ (未然形)→たべさせられます)


Group 3 verbs/ サ変動詞, カ変動詞



します→されます (Exception)

します→させます (Exception)

します→させられます (Exception)

Notice all the exceptions uses さ, instead of し? I will explain a bit more in the last article. So hold your doubts for the moment.


ない-form: 未+ない (きますー>きー>こ (未然形)ー>こない)

受身形: 未+られます  (きますー>きー>こ (未然形)ー>こられます)

使役形: 未+させます (きますー>きー>こ (未然形)ー>こさせます)

使役受身形: 未+させられます (きますー>きー>こ (未然形)ー>こさせられます)

Tomorrow, i will discuss on the basic grammar under ない-form.

Thank you.


Introduction to Keigo Part 6: 美化語



We have come to the last part of the Keigo family member, 美化語 (びかご).

By beautifying nouns, it expresses politeness towards the other party. It is used in a lot of situations, regardless of the other party’s status.


By attaching 「お」 or 「ご」to the word, it becomes a 美化語。Take note that not all words can become a 美化語。

お+和語(わご) :native Japanese words

ご+漢語(かんご): Japanese words of Chinese origin


さけ → おさけ






I have a good bible to help me some words to 美化語。敬語のお辞典-坂本-達/dp/4385364257/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?__mk_ja_JP=カタカナ&qid=1528245096&sr=8-2&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_FMwebp_QL65&keywords=敬語の辞典

Please don’t go yet! We still have 2 sections on this, 上下関係(じょうげかんけい) and the FAQs.


Introduction to Keigo Part 5: 丁重語


Today, we come to the “brother” of 謙譲語(けんじょうご)、the 丁重語(ていちょうご)。

We use this in a situation when there is no other party that we want to praise. By deprecating ourselves, we also express politeness.

日本語: 自分の動作をへりくだることで丁重な表現をする。高める相手がいない場合に使う。

Let’s also revise the difference between 謙譲語 (humble form) and 丁重語 (courteous form).

Some words in 丁重語 (ていちょうご)
いる ⇒ おる
言う ⇒ 申す
する ⇒ いたす
行く、来る ⇒ 参る
思う、知っている ⇒ 存じる
いる ⇒ おる、の例

If you have a difficult time trying to distinguish between 謙譲語 and 丁重語、you just need to remember that 謙譲語 is the one where your action is done on the other party (e.g 申し上げます (to say to the other party). On the other hand, 丁重語 does not require this (e.g 申します) .

It might be difficult at the start to memorize all of this. But, once you apply it into your life, it’s just a matter of time that you get the hang of it.

As a foreigner, if you can use Keigo properly, i think that Japanese will also start to respect you more.

Have a great day ahead!


Introduction to Keigo Part 4: 丁寧語


こんばんは。Next up, we have our 丁寧語 (ていねいご), one of the easiest of 敬語。

I guess most of us are familiar with ~です or ~ます. How about ございます or でございます?



This is what we call 丁寧語 (ていねいご) / Polite form. It express the politeness towards the other party through the usage of polite words. It is also used widely regardless whether there is a person of higher status or not. It is one of the most common forms that is used in daily life.

If you are having issues using Level 3 (尊敬語) or Level 0 (謙譲語), you might want to consider using Level 1 (丁寧語) instead. This is something that you will never go wrong. However, from the listener’s point of view, if they are of a higher status, they might get angry why you are not using Keigo.

I remembered i got my 1st job working as a Japanese call centre agent and i did the whole phone interview in Keigo. The IT manager and the director were very impressed with me (at that time, my level was only about N4), so knowing Keigo does help.

日本語: 丁寧な言葉づかいによって相手への敬意を表す。高める相手の有無を問わず幅広く使う。

Example sentences:

こちらは としょかんの じむしつ です。(This is the library’s administration office)

あそこは きのくにや です。 (Over there lies Kinokuniya (a Japanese book store)

There is something else that you guys might not know. That is joining adjectives with ございます。I read that it is not so commonly used. Nonetheless, let’s cover it.






I was asked some questions by some students on Reddit. I would reserve all the questions until the end of section and end off with the frequently asked questions.

Have a great day ahead.






Introduction to Keigo Part 3: 謙譲語


こんばんは。 I will be sharing what is 謙譲語 tonight.

What is 謙譲語 (けんじょうご)?
謙譲語(けんじょうご) is also known as humble form. It is used to lift up the other party’s status by deprecating speaker’s own action and to express the respect towards that person.

日本語: 自分の動作をへりくだることで相手を高めて、その人物に対しての敬意を表す。

In my table above, Level 1 refers to people who are in the same social status (i.e friends, acquaintances, etc).What about Level 0? In the aspect of Keigo, i take it the level which the speaker humbles himself/herself down to a lower social status (e.g an eunuch talking to the emperor).

Let’s take a look at some examples.

わたしは 土曜日(どようび)に 友達(ともだち)の家 (うち) に いきます。
I will go to my friend’s house on Saturday.

わたしは 月曜日(げつようび)に 御社(おんしゃ)に 伺います(うかがいます)。
I will visit your company on Monday.
(Speaker humbles himself/herself down to a lower social status)

How to form verbs in 謙譲語?

There are 3 ways where you can form verbs in 謙譲語.

  1. お+連用形/ます-form+します (For 五段動詞 (Group 1) and 一段動詞 (Group 2) ) 

Example sentences:

  1. わたくし は 本日(ほんじつ)の予定(よてい) を おおくりします。
    (I will send you today’s schedule)
  2. こちらは レポートを おかきします。 (We will write the report)


2. ご+漢語+します (漢語 means words like 説明(せつめい)します or 案内(あんない) します)

  1. 本日(ほんじつ)のスケジュールをご説明します。 (I will explain today’s schedule)
  2. 本館(ほんかん)の施設(しせつ)をご案内します。 (I will guide you on the facilitys of this institution)

3. Special Words

The last way would be to use the special words. Take note that not all the words are here as i have removed some which are under 丁重語 (ていちょうご).


Example sentences:

  1. せんせいに これを さしあげます。 (I will (humbly) give this to sensei)
  2. 月曜日に A社の社長 に お目にかかります。
    (I will (humbly) meet the CEO for Company A on Monday)
  3. その資料(しりょう)を 拝見 (はいけん) しても よろしいでしょうか。
    (Can i (humbly) take a look at that materials (that you have)?)
  4. 自分(じぶん) の意見 (いけん)  を申し上げます。
    I will (humbly) say my own opinions.


A lot of students feedback to me that they always have issues with 敬語。I personally feel it is lack of practice. If we can practice it a bit more in our daily life, then speaking it should not be a problem. Last time, when i was still studying this, i remember i would speak to myself and change all the verbs to 敬語 every day for about 3 months.

For example:

「わたしは 日本へ行きます。」「わたくしは 御社(おんしゃ)にうかいがいます」, etc, etc


I hope you have understood the usage of how to use 謙譲語 by reading this article. Feel free to let me know if you are having issues with 謙譲語。

Have a great day/night.



Giving and Receiving 3 with いただきます



I have fallen ill (burnout), but nonetheless, i still want to finish writing this set of posts.

Today, i will cover いただきます。Let’s take a look the difference between いただきます and もらいます。

For those who have not read Part 2 of the series, i will repeat myself again.

Level 2 refers to 目上の人(i.e superiors, seniors, teachers, etc).
Level 1 refers to people who are in the same social status (i.e friends, acquaintances, etc).

Let’s take a look at the following example from the post 2 days ago.

わたしは ともだちに 花(はな)を もらいました。 (I received flowers from my friend)

In the event, if you are receiving something from someone who is in a higher status than you, e.g seniors, superiors, teachers, etc, it may be better to use 「いただきます」instead of 「もらいます」。

Some examples would be:

わたしは せんせいに 花(はな)を いただきました。 (I received flowers from my sensei)

わたしは しゃちょうに おみやげを いただきました。 (I received souvenirs from my company director)

Red: Giver of action
Blue: Receiver of action
Green: Object

Take note that if you were to use 「もらいます」or 「いただきます」, the person receiving has to be you or someone who is emotionally close to you (e.g your family members, your colleagues at your company).


I hope you understand today’s article. Part 4 would be one of the hardest to understand, i would try to break it down so that it is easier for you.