Japanese 101

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Japanese generally employs a subject-object-verb order, using particles to mark the grammatical functions of the words: 私がハンバーガーを食べる watashi-ga hamburger-o taberu, "I-subject hamburger-object eat". It is common to omit subjects and even objects if these are clear from previous context.

Verbs and adjectives conjugate by tense and politeness level, but not by person or number. There is no verb "to be" as such, but the polite copula desu can be used in most cases: John desu ("I am John"), Ringo desu ("This is an apple"), Akai desu ("It is red"), etc. Note that the exact meaning will depend on the implied subject!

The good news is that Japanese has none of the following: gender, declensions or plurals. Nouns never conjugate and almost all verbs are regular.

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