Now it’s time for today’s free Japanese grammar lesson!
Are you ready?
Today we’re going to talk about toki.
Today is a word that relates to time.
There’s a little bit to cover in today’s Japanese grammar lesson, so we’re going to get straight into it.
Consider these sentences:
A. kaisha ni iku toki, kissaten de shimbun o kaimashita
B. kaisha ni itta toki, shimbun o yomimashita
Looking at the first parts of the sentences, what do you notice?
In sentence A. iku (to go) is present or future tense.
In sentence B. itta (went) is past tense.
Same verb, just different tense.
If we use iku toki we are saying before we go somewhere or on the way to somewhere.
If we use itta toki we are saying I did something when I was there.
A. On the way to the office/before I went to the office, I bought a newspaper at the coffee shop.
B. When I went to the office at read the newspaper there.
Okay, so to revise:
Whatever you say in the second part of the sentence (ie. whatever you did) is affected by the first part of the sentence in terms of when you did it.
Use the present/future tense of “go” and it means “before I went” or “on the way to”.
Use the past tense of “go”and it means “while I was there”.
Let’s move on to the next part.
If you say no toki it tells about a period in time.
watashi wa akachan no toki, sukotorando ni sunde imashita
akachan means baby
sunde imashita means lived
The sentence translates to:
When I was a baby I lived in scotland.
So, whatever word or phrase precedes the no toki is the point in time marker. In this case akachan no toki means “when I was a baby”.
Here’s a test for you (answer is at the bottom of the page):
watashi wa juu kyuu sai no toki, rondon ni sunde imashita
Answer to no toki question: “When I was 19 years old I lived in London.”
Final use of toki for you:
Adding toki after a dictionary form verb indicates the time of the action.
watashi wa tegami o kaku toki, baaru-pen o tsukaimasu
I use a ball-point pen when I write letters.
Let’s break this one down:
kaku to write (dictionary form)
baaru-pen ball-point pen
tsukaimasu to use (dictionary form: tsukau)
Okay, that about does it for this Japanese Grammar lesson.
If you have any questions about this lesson, send me an email or leave a comment.
Okay, it’s sayounara from me (until tomorrow, of course).