It’s almost lunchtime.
Michael: Ohiru wa obentou desu ka? Do you have Bento for lunch?
お昼 ひる はお弁当 べんとう ですか。
Honda : Ie, gaishoku desu. No, I eat out.
いえ、外 食 がいしょく です。
Michael and Ms. Honda are deciding on a restaurant.
Honda: Nani ga suki desu ka? What do you like?
何 なに が好 す きですか。
Michael: Boku wa raamen ga tabetai desu kedo… I want to eat ramen, but….
ぼくはラーメンが食 た べたいですけど。
Honda: Ii, raamen-ya-san ga arimasu yo. There is a good ramen shop.
いいラーメン屋 や さんが、ありますよ。
At a Ramen shop
Honda: Ohashi, daijoubu desu ka? Are you okay with chopsticks?
おはし、大丈夫 だいじょうぶ ですか。
Michael: Mochiron desu. Of course.
hiru ひる 昼 noon, lunch
(o)bentou おべんとう お弁当 boxed lunch
gaishoku がいしょく 外食 eating out
nani なに 何 what
ga が particle
suki(na) すき（な） 好き like, be fond of
raamen ラーメン ramen
tabetai たべたい 食べたい want to eat
~ya 〜や 屋 shop
~ya refers to the business establishment that sells the item to which ~ya is attached. (pan-ya, obentou-ya, hon-ya, etc.)
raamen-ya ラーメンや ラーメン屋 ramen shop
raamen-ya-san ラーメンやさん ラーメン屋さん ramen shop (polite)
ohashi おはし お箸 chopsticks
＋gohan ごはん ご飯 cooked rice, a meal
＋hirugohan ひるごはん 昼ご飯 lunch
＋asa あさ 朝 morning
＋asagohan あさごはん 朝ご飯 breakfast
＋ban ばん 晩 evening
＋bangohan ばんごはん 晩ご飯 dinner
＋washoku わしょく 和食 Japanese food
＋youshoku ようしょく 洋食 Western food
＋chuuka ちゅうか 中華 Chinese food
＋furenchi ふれんち フレンチ French food
＋itarian いたりあん イタリアン Italian
＋kirai (na) きらい（な） dislike, hate
＋daisuki(na) だいすき（な） 大好き like very much
＋daikirai(na) だいきらい（な） dislike very much, detest
A Japanese sentence can have more than one subject phrase. This is called a double-subject sentence.
Maikeru-san wa [ohashi daijoubu desu.] Michael is fine with chopsticks.
In the sentence above, ohashi is the subject of the bracketed sentence, and Maikeru-san is the subject of the entire sentence. In other words, the bracketed sentence ‘chopsticks are fine’ is an attribute of or a description about Michael. Similarly, in the examples below, the bracketed sentences are facts about the preceding nouns.
Furansu wa [keeki ga oisii desu] . France has good cake.
Honda-san wa [eigo wa jouzu desu] kedo… Honda-san is good at English, but….
Dare ga [eigo ga dekimasu] ka. Who can speak English?
Watashi mo [sushi ga suki desu] kedo. I like sushi, too.
As shown above, both of the subject nouns (inside and outside of the brackets) can take the particles ga, wa, mo, or no particle. Depending on which particle is used, there is a shift in meaning (ga=new information, wa=contrast, mo=addition, or no particle= neutral).
Special note should be taken of nouns such as suki ‘like’, and kirai ‘dislike’, and the verbs such as wakarimasu ‘understand’, dekimasu ‘can do’, arimasu ‘have’, and irimasu ‘need.’ These all indicate a state rather than an action in Japanese. Therefore, unlike their English translations, they do not take an object. What you like, what you understand, etc., can be marked by the particles ga, wa, or mo, or no particle, but not by the particle o.
Honda-san wa sushi ga suki desu. Ms. Honda likes sushi.
Watashi wa terebi wa irimasen. I don't need a TV.
Kono daigaku wa arabiago no jyugyou mo arimasu. This university has an Arabic class, too.
By the way, there is no such thing as a double-object structure in Japanese. Whew!
Verb Stem +tai 'want to do x'
Tabetai desu means ‘ I want to eat’. To make the tai form of a verb, replace ~masu with ~tai desu.
Tabemasu -> Tabetai desu I want to eat it.
Mimasu -> Mitai desu I want to see it.
A ~tai form is an adjective. All of its forms follow the adjective patterns.
With the ~tai form, the object of the verb can be marked either by the particle ga or o (ga/o conversion). Both of the following sentences are possible and mean ‘I want to study Japanese.’1
Nihongo o benkyou-shitai desu. What I want to do is to study Japanese.
Nihongo ga benkyou-shitai desu. What I want to study is Japanese.
Unlike the English forms such as ‘do you want to’ or ‘would you like to’, which can be used to invite someone to do something, the ~tai forms are not generally used as invitations or suggestions in Japanese. For invitations and suggestions, negative questions are more commonly used.
Tabemasen ka? Would you like to eat it? (Invitation)
Tabetai desu ka? Do you want to eat it? (Question)
The verbs that do not occur in the ~mashou form also do not occur in the ~tai form. These include wakarimasu, irimasu, arimasu and dekimasu.