Yamamoto: Ojii-dan to obaa-san wa ogenki desu ka. おじいさんとおばあさんはお元気 げんき ですか． Is your grandparents well?
Michael: Sofu wa mou nakunarimashita kedo, sobo wa mada pinpin shite imasu. 祖父 そ ふ はもうなくなりましたけど、祖母 そ ぼ はまだピンピンしています My grandfather has already passed away, but my grandmother is still well.
Yamamoto: Hitori-gurashi desu ka. 一人 ひとり 暮 ぐ らしですか． Does she live alone?
Michal: Ie, uchi no ryoushin to issho ni sunde imasu. いえ、うちの両 親 りょうしん と一緒 いっしょ に住 す んでいます． No, she lives with my parents.
Yamamoto: Sore wa anshin desu nee. それは、安心 あんしん ですねえ。That’s nice (worry-free).
ojiisan おじいさん grandfather (formal)
obaasan おばあさん grandmother (formal)
genki (na) げんき（な） 元気 healthy; spirited; energetic
ogenki おげんき Polite version of genki
＋byouki びょうき 病気 sick; disease
＋gobyouki ごびょうき ご病気
sofu そふ 祖父 grandfather; my grandfather (plain)
mou もう already
nakunaru なくなる pass away
＋shinu しぬ 死ぬ die
sobo そぼ 祖母 grandmother; my grandmother(plain)
mada まだ still
pinpin shite iru ピンピンしている full of life; very much alive
hitori gurashi ひとりぐらし 一人暮らし living alone
＋kurasu くらす 暮らす live (everyday life)
issho いっしょ together
sumu すむ 住む live; take residence
sunde iru すんでいる 住んでいる live; be in residence
anshin あんしん 安心 relief; feel at ease
＋shinpai しんぱい 心配 worry; feel worried
＋petto ペット pet
＋inu いぬ 犬 dog
＋neko ねこ 猫 cat
Mou and Mada: A Change or No Change in Status
Earlier, we learned that when complemented on our language skills, we might respond by saying Mada mada desu. This is a humble response saying “not yet not yet” and implying that there is still a long way to go.
Mada is often translated as ‘still’, or ‘(not) yet’ in a negative sentence. Its basic meaning is that there is no significant change in the situation.
Wakarimashita ka. Did you understand it?
Ie, mada wakarimasen. No I still don’t get it.
Oda-san, kaerimasita ka. Has Ms. Oda gone home?
Ie, mada imasu. No, she is still here.
Basu, kimashita ka. Did the bus come?
Ie, mada kite imasen. No, it hasn’t come yet.
or Mada desu. No yet.
As you can see in the last example above, when the context is clear, you can just say mada alone.
Mou, on the other hand, indicates that there is a change in the situation, and is often translated as ‘already’, or ‘(not) any longer’ in a negative sentence.
Hirugohan, tabemasen ka. Won’t you eat lunch?
Mou tabemashita. I’ve already eaten.
Keeki mada arimasu ka. Is any of the cake still left?
Ie, mou arimasen. No, there is no more.
Do not confuse this mou with the other mou meaning ‘more.’ Note the contrast of the rising and falling intonation.
Mo-U hito-tsu arimasu. We have one more. (with a rising intonation)
MO-u hito-tsu arimasu. We already have one. (with a falling intonation )
Mou and mada carry a clear implication regarding a prior situation, and therefore they are not superfluous. Compare the following.
Yasui desu. It’s cheap. (No implication regarding how it was before)
Mada yasui desu. It’s still cheat. (It was also cheap before.)
Mou yasui desu. It’s cheap now. (It was not cheap before.)
Also note how mou and mada express different perspectives. This is similar to whether you see a glass half full or half empty. Consider the difference in the following.
Mou 25-sai desu. I’m already 25 years old. (I’m old.)
Mada 25-sai desu. I’m still 25 years old. (I’m young.)