Sunday, October 6, 2019

で Copula

WIP: this article is incomplete and might change in the unforeseeable future.
In Japanese, the de で particle is sometimes actually a copula. Specifically, it's the te て form of the da だ copula, and consequently the te て form of na-adjectives and no-adjectives.

Grammar

The te て form can be used to connect two adjectives.
  • chiisai
    小さ
    [It] is small.
  • kawaii
    可愛
    [It] is cute.
  • chiisakute kawaii
    小さく可愛
    [It] is small and, is cute.

Above, we see the te form of i-adjectives, ~kute ~くて.

With na-adjectives, the na な copula is used attributively, and the de で copula is used as the te て form.
  • heibon da
    平凡
    [It] is average.
  • {heibon na} koukousei
    平凡高校生
    A high school student [who] {is average}.
    An {average} high school student.
  • {heibon de tsumaranai} koukousei
    平凡つまらない高校生
    A high school student [who] {is average and, is boring}.
    An {average and boring} high school student.

With no-adjectives, the no の copula is used attributively, and the de で copula is used as the te て form.
  • futsuu da
    普通
    [It] is normal. (noun.)
  • {futsuu no} koukousei
    普通高校生
    A high school student [who] {is normal}.
    A {normal} high school student.
  • {futsuu de tsumaranai} koukousei
    普通つまらない高校生
    A high school student [who] {is normal and, is boring}.
    A {normal and boring} high school student.

The de で copula can connect a na-adjective to a no-adjective, or vice-versa, too.
  • heibon de futsuu da
    平凡普通だ
    [It] is average and, is normal.
  • futsuu de heibon da
    普通平凡だ
    [It] is normal and, average.

In the attributive, the copula of the last adjective, right before the noun, is used to connect it to the noun.
  • {heibon de futsuu no} koukousei
    平凡で普通高校生
    A high school student [who] {is average and, is normal}.
    • Here, futsuu, a no-adjective, comes before the noun koukousei, so the no の copula is used.
  • {futsuu de heibon na} koukousei
    普通で平凡な高校生
    A high school student [who] {is normal and, is average}.
    • Here, the na-adjective comes before the noun, so the na な copula is used instead.

Compounds

Like any other te て form, the de で copula can be marked by the wa は particle, forming the compound dewa では.
  • futsuu dewa nai
    普通ではない
    Normal, it isn't.
  • futsuu dewa aru
    普通ではある
    Normal, it is.

This dewa では compound is often contracted to ja じゃ, sometimes to jaa じゃあ.

In particular, dewa nai ではない, or janai じゃない, is the normal way to say something "is not" in Japanese.
  • sono koukousei wa futsuu janai!
    その高校生は普通じゃない!
    That high school student isn't normal!

The phrases sore dewa それでは and sore ja それじゃ are often used to say "bye."" and so are just dewa では and jaa じゃあ.

Like other te-wa ては phrases, it sometimes forms a condition, whose consequence is often omitted.
  • kono mama dewa!
    このままでは!
    This way (...)!
  • kono mama dewa dame da!
    このままではダメだ!
    This way, [it] is no good!
    We have to do something about this!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave your komento コメント in this posuto ポスト of this burogu ブログ with your questions about Japanese, doubts or whatever!

Comments containing spam, links to illegal websites, or deemed inappropriate will be removed.