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Generic Nouns

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Special Expressions with Generic Nouns

We've already learned how to use generic nouns in order to modify nouns here. Now we will go over some special expression used with generic nouns.

Using 「こと」 to say whether something has happened

When you combine 「こと」, the generic word for an event with 「ある」, you can talk about whether an event exists or not.


(1) 徹夜して宿題することある
- There are times when I do homework while staying up all night.

(2) 一人行くことありません
- I never go by myself.

Using the past tense of the verb with 「こと」, you can talk about whether an event has ever taken place. This is essentially the only way you can say "have done" in Japanese so this is a very useful expression. You need to use this grammar any time you want to talk about whether someone has ever done something.


(1) パリ行ったことありますか。
- Have you ever gone to Paris?

(2) お寿司食べたことある
- I've had sushi before.

(3) 日本映画観たことないの?
- You've never seen a Japanese movie?

(4) ヨーロッパ行ったことあったらいいな。
- It would be nice if I ever go to Europe.

(5) そういうのを見たことなかった
- I had never seen anything like that.

(6) 一度行ったことないんです。
- I've never gone, not even once.

Using 「ところ」 as an abstract place

ところ」() is usually used to indicate a generic physical location. However, it can also hold a much broader meaning ranging from a characteristic to a place in time.


(1) 早くきて映画は、ちょうどいいところだよ。
- Come quickly. We're at the good part of the movie.

(2) は、優しいところあるよ。
- His personality has some gentle parts too.

(3) 授業終ったところです。
- Class has ended just now.

(4) これから行くところでした。
- I was just about to go from now.

Using 「もの」 as a casual feminine way to emphasize

The generic object noun 「もの」 can be used as a casual and feminine way of emphasizing something. This is identical to the explanatory feminine emphasis expressed by the 「の」 particle. Just like the explanatory 「の」 particle, the 「の」 is often changed into 「ん」 resulting in 「もん」. Using 「もん」 sounds very feminine and a little cheeky (in a cute way).


質問) どうしてこなかったの?- Why didn't (you) come?
(1) 授業あった。- I had class. (feminine explanatory)
(2) 授業あったもの。- I had class. (feminine explanatory)
(3) 授業あったもん。- I had class, so there. (feminine explanatory)

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This page has last been revised on 2004/12/16