I Like Ramenラメンが好きです。

sukida すきだ  adj. na (な)
Like;  be fond of, love
S.t or Slo is what s.o. likes
Antonym:  Kirai (hate)

Lesson Target


In this episode you will learn how to use like in Japanese with nouns. At the end of this study you will be able to:

  • say that you like objects (nouns) in Japanese;
  • be able to say that you do not like someone or something in Japanese;
  • ask someone if they like or don't like something or someone in Japanese;
  • be able to ask someone a negative question using like in Japanese: - Masa, you don't like ramen do you?; and
  • use in a more colloquial and practical fashion once you've got the basic principle down.

This sounds like a lot, but in fact once you have bedded down the key sentence structure these are all variations of that. These tutorial notes and video will help to prepare you for what is covered in our online session. Don't worry too much as you will gain mastery through our online session.

Key Sentence

Topic (experience)
Linked Object
Particle



マサさん
Masa-san

wa
ラメン
ramen

ga
好きだ/好きです
sukida / sukidesu

(Masa likes ramen)

A Few Important Things to Remember (technical stuff)


This tutorial covers how to use like in Japanese only with nouns.  This is a basic sentence structure and is used a lot in Japanese so it is really worthwhile understanding.

The key sentence usuage changes when you use subordinate clauses. I've left a note at the bottom about this for your information and awareness, however, this is not covered in this tutorial.

After you have the basic sentence structure and its variations 'down pat' we'll look at how to use this more naturally or colloquially. Here are the important points:

  • like in Japanese is suki or sukidesu;
  • sukidesu is an adjective in Japanese whereas it is classified as a verb in English;
  • there are two types of adjectives in Japan that will be covered briefly below;
  • sukidesu requires the 'wa - ga sentence pattern'.  That is, the experiencer or person who likes someone or something is marked by(は)wa and the liked object by(が)ga.
  • exceptions (as there always is with language) is in the use of subordinate clauses. There is a note at the end for your information.  

How to Say You Like Something


The key sentence pattern follows the pattern of topic (wa) noun (ga) sukidesu.  You can see this in the model sentence:  Masa-san wa ramen ga sukidesu.

Key sentence 

Topic (experience)
Linked Object
Particle



マサさん
Masa-san

wa
ラメン
ramen

ga
好きだ/好きです
sukida / sukidesu

(Masa likes ramen)

Here are a few more examples:


As you can see from the examples you can keep the same sentence pattern and just change the topic (in front of wa) or change the noun (in front of ga). 

A note on Japanese Sentence Order

As long as you have the correct information in front of the correct particle you can swap the sentence order around and it will still make sense.  However, this is no longer considered an orthodox sentence structure.  I would encourage you to stick with the conventional Japanese sentence structure:  subject + verb + object.  Sentences are made more complex by adding other parts of speech and subordinate clauses.

How to Make this a Question


To Make this is sentence is very easy in Japanese.  Simply add か ka to the end of the sentence.  So our key sentence becomes:  Masa-san wa ramen ga suki desuka.  Too easy?

How to Say you Don't Like Something (make negative)

Just add janai between suki and desu.  Our model sentence becomes:  Masa-san wa ramen ga suki janai desu.

However, this is very casual speech and while it is good to use with people you are close with it is easy to make it more forma.  Instead of janai you can use dewa nai desu, so our key sentence becomes:  Masa-san wa ramen ga suki dewanai desu.


Another way to make this more polite is to use arimasen instead of desu.  So our key sentence becomes: masa-san wa ramen ga amari suki dewanai desu.


So, here are three ways we can use like in a negative.  Building on the previous notes above, are you able to make this into a negative question?  HINT - there is just one thing you require to add onto the sentence.

How to use Colloquially 


, in Japanese, once the topic is understood it is often omitted.  You can simple say:  ramen ga suki desu ka.

A typical model answer would be:  Hai, ramen ga suki desu. Yes, I like ramen. Or in the negative:  iie, ramen ga suki janai desu.  No, I don't like ramen.

The question can also be asked simple through intonation.  It becomes:  ramen ga suki?  (with intonation rising) The answer to this becomes:  ramen ga suki.  (with intonation falling). 

Important:  Note on Adjectives in Japanese


The only exceptions to keep in mind includes subordinate clauses where the experiencer is also marked by(が)ga.  Below are two example sentences for your information only.  At this time we are not covering subordinate clauses.

There are two kinds of adjectives in Japanese.  Adjectives either end in the letter i (い)or the letters na (な)in Japanese.  These are referred to as I adjectives and na adjectives. This is important due to the way that the adjectives connect with the rest of the sentence.  However, the trick is that there are a few examples that end in i that are really na adjectives. An example would be the adjective for small - 小さい chiisai (small) in Japanese. Example usage:  a small car - 小さいな車, chiisai na kuruma rather than 地小さい車 chiisai kuruma. There are not very many exceptions, and they simply have to be memorised.

Note on Subordinate Clauses


The only exceptions to keep in mind includes subordinate clauses where the experiencer is also marked by(が)ga.  Below are two example sentences for your information as this is not covered in this tutorial.  At this time we are not covering subordinate clauses.In subordinate clauses, the experiencer is also marked by (が) ga, as in examples (1) and (2) below.  The following is for your information and won’t be studied at this time.

  • The use of sukidesu is always accompanied with "が" ga. 
  • Note that the liked object is marked by GA "が" and not by "を" O.

(1). 私がステーキが好きなことはみな知っている。(Everybody knows that I like steak).

  watashi ga keiiki sukina koto wa mina shiteiru.

(2) トームが好きな音楽はロークです。(Lit. The music Tom likes is rock = Tom's favourite music is rock).

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