Code and Stuff

Japanese Grammar - たとえ~ても, ~ほど~はない and cat expressions

by Don on September 27, 2020 underjapanesejlpt n3

Recently, working with the teacher I mentioned in the past article, we started covering some grammar points from a new book, 中級から学ぶ日本語. Thusfar, I’ve largely been working with Tobira, so this was a new and interesting experiment, and rather challenging. The first chapter covers three primary grammar points, so I’m going to go through those now, largely for my own sake, but if someone else finds this particularly useful, then great.

たとえ~ても - even if ~ is the case

Noun たとえ + Noun + でも
Verb たとえ + Verb [て form] + も
な adj たとえ + adj + でも
い adj たとえ + adj (without い) + くても

So, I’ll take a crack at some example sentences using this grammar, though I’m not positive I got these quite right.

Even if it's cheap, you shouldn't buy it.

Even if it's quiet, I can't sleep.

Even if I'm busy, I'm planning to go to the party.

Even if everyone cleans, it doesn't seem very clean.

たとえ~ても、とは思えません is always negative.

~ほど~はない - ~ is not as ~ as

Noun + ほど + Verb/Adjective (ない)

This is a sort of superlative expression. Some example sentences:

There are many mountains in my country, but none as tall as Everest.

There are a lot of delicious foods, but none more delicious than dorayaki.

Something worth noting is that the first example isn’t really correct, as this grammar is, I’m told, supposed to be used for subjective opinions, not facts. Thus, it might be better to say:

There are many mountains in my country, but none as cold as Everest.

Cat Expressions

On top of that, there were a few expressions that were covered by the book, all of which involved cats:

to be really busy / wanting the help of a cat

tiny area / cat's forehead

pearls before swine; waste resources / coins to a cat

having a cat's tongue / can't deal with hot foods


Bonus Grammar - より~の方が~

I’ve been reading through volume 2 of Mingo by Peppe, and I picked up a nice piece of grammar which I hadn’t thought of before. The line was:

It's harder than I thought

This is just the typical comparison grammar:

Noun Noun より Noun の方が~
Verb Verb より Verb 方が~ 
な adj な adj より な adj な方が~
い adj い adj より い adj 方が~ 

This is pretty simple N5 grammar, but for whatever reason, I never think to actually use it with verb phrases like the one above. Something to keep in mind!

© 2021 Don Walizer Jr