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.
たとえ安くても、買わないほうがいい。 Even if it's cheap, you shouldn't buy it. たとえ静かでも、寝られない。 Even if it's quiet, I can't sleep. たとえ私は忙しくても、パーティーに行くつもりです。 Even if I'm busy, I'm planning to go to the party. たとえみんあで掃除をしても、きれいになると思えません 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:
私の国に山はたくさんあるのですが、エベレストほど高い山はないでしょう There are many mountains in my country, but none as tall as Everest. 美味しいものは沢山ありますが、どら焼きほど美味しいものはないでしょう 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:
私の国に山はたくさんあるのですが、エベレストほど寒い山はないでしょう There are many mountains in my country, but none as cold as Everest.
On top of that, there were a few expressions that were covered by the book, all of which involved cats:
猫の手も借りたい to be really busy / wanting the help of a cat 猫の額 tiny area / cat's forehead 猫に小判 pearls before swine; waste resources / coins to a cat 猫舌 having a cat's tongue / can't deal with hot foods フワフワ fluffy
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:
思ったより大変ぞ 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!