Japanese Conversation

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Inviting friends and colleagues to events

いきましょう"Let's go"

The part remaining after taking masu from the verb ikimasu is called "stem" (iki-). When adding mashoo to the stem iki-, it becomes to mean "Let's do...".

Let's go!
Let's eat!

いきませんか"Won't you go?" or "Shall we go?"

Adding masen ka? or mashoo ka? to the stem of a verb makes an invitation or a suggestion. The masen ka? pattern and the mashoo ka? pattern can be used in many different contexts, such as inviting a friend to watch a movie or have a meal together.

a.ひるごはんに いきませんか。
Why don't we go and have lunch?
b.ひるごはんに いきましょうか。
Shall we go and have lunch?

These expressions are much alike but when the speaker expects the addressee to accept the speaker's invitation/suggestion, mashoo ka? is likely used and if the speaker is not sure if the addressee is going to accept the speaker's invitation/suggestion, masen ka? is more likely used.

c.いっしょに テニスを しませんか。
Why don't we play tennis together?

When inviting someone to do something using the above patterns, the word isshoni (together) is very often added, as in example sentence c., but this is not necessary since masen ka? and mashoo ka? already imply an invitation or a suggestion, i.e. doing something together.

なにを たべましょうか"What shall we eat?"

When you want to ask open questions, such as What (nani) shall we...?, Where (doko) shall we...? and When (itsu) shall we...?, use mashoo ka?. You can't use masen ka?.

a.なにを たべましょうか。
What shall we have (to eat)?
b.どこで あいましょうか。
Where shall we meet up?

When you know that you are dining with someone or meeting up with someone, ga ii desu is the word which is often used for telling what you fancy to eat or what time to suggest for the meeting as well as asking the person for his/her preferences.

c.グレッグさとうさんは なにが いいですか。
さとうわたしは カレーが いいです。
Greg:Satoo-san, what would you like (to eat)?
Satoo:Curry would be nice (to eat).
d.グレッグさとうさんは なんじが いいですか。
さとうわたしは 1じが いいです。
Greg:Satoo-san, what time would you like (to meet)?
Satoo:1 o'clock would be fine (to meet).

Please see Building Up Conversation if you would like to learn more about these invitation/suggestion expressions, as they are explained in detail in these materials.

きのう ラーメンを たべたから、

わたしは きのう ラーメンを たべたから、ほかの ものが いい。
I had raamen yesterday, so I would rather have something else.

Tabeta is the so-called ta form of tabemasu. In the above example sentence, it is simply used in the past tense and kara indicates the reason for the statement that follows in the example sentence.

See Building Up Conversation if you would like to learn more about this pattern in detail.

ひるごはんを たべて・・・

えいがの まえに ひるごはんを たべて・・・
We'll have lunch before the movie...

Mae ni means "before" in Japanese. Tabete is the so-called te form of tabemasu. The te form of verbs takes various roles in Japanese but here, it works like a conjunction. In the above example sentences, the statement which should follow tabete is omitted.

See Building Up Conversation if you would like to learn more about this pattern in detail.

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