Magic Sentence

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Japanese Complete

Welcome to Magic Sentence, a simple interactive scene designed to teach the basics of Japanese grammar.

On this page you can learn some fundamental grammatical particles of Japanese and how they work.

Click on the bunsetsu jars in the magic sentence to change the words included and thereby alter the scene.

You can use the slider above the orange button to move through four orthographic gradients:

  1. RO = romaji (romanization)
  2. SL = Japanese Complete Student Language (hybrid)
  3. HI = Hiragana
  4. JP = Japanese Hiragana and when applicable kanji and katakana.

Research suggests that the use of orthographic gradients helps with the rapid acquisition of vocabulary and especially kanji when studying Japanese.

The first bunsetsu jar has が (gah) for a lid, and indicates the grammatical subject of the sentence.

The second bunsetsu jar has で (deh) for a lid, and indicates the setting or locale of the sentence.

The third bunsetsu jar has と (toh) for a lid, and indicates the companion of the subject the sentence.*

The fourth bunsetsu jar has を (oh) for a lid, and indicates the direct object of the sentence.

The final jar holds the verb of the sentence.

What are Japanese particles?

Particles in Japanese are akin to the W-words of English: who, what, where-to, with-whom, where-at, and so forth. They give roles to each term in the sentence and are glued to the end of nouns [people, places, things] to indicate which role they serve in the meaning of the statement.

* N.B. The particle と (toh) has many uses, such as quotation, periodic happenings, and enumerating exhaustive lists.

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