In our last lesson, we focused on starting to learn some beginner’s kanji. Keep practicing those symbols as you continue with these lessons. There will be kanji lessons again soon, so make sure you have fully mastered the first kanji lesson before taking on those! This lesson will focus on teaching you how to talk about the days of the week and time. We will use the verb する (します/しません) a lot, but you should remember that verb from Lesson 5.
In This Lesson
- Days of the week vocabulary
- Answer key
Vocabulary for Days of the Week
In the table below, you will find the Japanese words for all of the days of the week. The kanji for these terms will be taught in a later lesson. For now, just focus on learning the hiragana! Below the table, there are some examples of how to talk about the days of the week.
As you can see, each day of the week ends in the same sound (ようび). Only the first few syllables change, so the days of the week are easy to learn. In order to use them in a sentence, you can place the particle に after the day you are talking about. Normally, the day of the week you are talking about will go at the beginning of the sentence. This may change later as you get more comfortable with Japanese and learn more about the language. For now, leave the days of the week at the front of the sentence.
You can ask someone what they are doing on a specific day by saying ______になにをしますか. Or you can say ______になにがありますか. The latter means “what do you have on ______ (day of the week)?” This is usually used when talking about a schedule. But you can also just simply ask “What are you doing on _____? with the first option listed above.
Since we have not had a lesson on あります yet, we will mostly focus on the first type of question for now. Later, you can learn how to answer an あります question.
Here is a sample conversation:
Here is the translation: Person A says “What are (you) doing on Monday?” Person B answers: “Going to class. What are you doing on Monday?” Person A then responds: “I am going to my part-time job.”
This is a simple and typical conversation that really illustrates how to use the days of the week. You can replace げつようび with any of the days. You can also replace the activity that you are doing.
To use しゅうまつ, きょう, and あした, you can simply use that word where you would normally place a name like Monday or Tuesday. This time, however, you can leave off the に particle. Here is an example: “あしたがっこうにいきます.” This means “I am going to school tomorrow.” The word for “yesterday” is also listed in the vocabulary list above; however, since we have not covered past tense verbs yet, let’s save this word for later!
Section 1: Look at the images of the activities below. Make sentences about them in Japanese and choose a day of the week to place in the sentence. (Note: There is no answer key section for this part because you can make up several different scenarios for the pictures!)
Section 2: Translate the following from Japanese into English.
- Are you going to school on Friday?
- No, I’m not going to school on Friday.
- What are you doing this weekend?
- On Monday I will study Japanese.
- On Wednesday I will go to class.
- On Thursday I will not go to my part-time job.
- On Tuesday I will play tennis.
- Tomorrow I’m going to the bank.
- Today I’m going to the department store.
- This weekend I’m going to Kyoto.
- Are you returning home on Sunday?
- Yes, I will return home on Sunday.
- What day is today?
- Today is Friday.
- Tomorrow is Saturday.