Live Seminar

How to say “I am~”/”I am not~” in Japanese


How to say “I am~”/”I am not~” in Japanese

Hello everyone! In this live-stream, Wasabi tutor Naomi explained in simple Japanese and English how to say “I am~” and “I am not~” in Japanese:

I am ~.

I am not ~.

“です” is the formal version of to be. For complete beginners, we recommend learning the formal version first.

Let’s see some examples:

I am Naomi.

I am Japanese.

As you see, you put whatever noun you want to use between “わたしは” and “です”.

Here is another example:

I am from Kyoto.
(Please note “京都出身きょうとしゅっしん” is a noun, and can literally be translated as “originating from Kyoto” – “I am from Kyoto” is simply the more elegant translation.)

Next, let’s take a look at the negative form “わたしは~ではありません”.

I am not Japanese.

I am not Naomi.

The noun is placed between “わたしは” and “ではありません”.

Now, if you want to ask somebody else if they are something, you can simply replace “わたし” (I) for “あなた” (You), and then add “か” at the end of the sentence. “か” is the general question particle in Japanese.

Are you Japanese?

In Japanese “あなた” is not commonly used, so you can also omit. Alternatively, you can put the name of the person you are addressing plus “さん”, which is a polite suffix attached to people’s names.

Are you Japanese?

Ms. Naomi, are you Japanese?

That’s it for today. If you have any questions, you can always clear them up by booking a lesson with one of our native Japanese tutors. See you next time!

単語たんごリスト(Vocabulary list)
日本人にほんじん Japanese
ジン Attached to a country it means a citizen of that country, e.g. “アメリカ人” = American, “ドイツ人” = German, “インド人” = Indian, etc.
出身しゅっしん One’s birthplace, the place where one originally comes from
ほかに Additionally, in addition
つぎ Next
もう一度いちど One more time

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