Learn Japanese – How would you describe your past?

Learn Japanese! This Japanese item might be more than you bargained for. Seriously, if you want to say things like “This gift is more than I expected!” you will learn how to do it here. Also, if you have any questions about formal and informal Japanese, this is the place to look. In this Japanese for beginners article, discover the many ways to use Nakanaka, a Japanese adverb meaning “quite, considerably,” or “more than expected.” Plus, you’ll find a complete review of formal and informal Japanese speech with helpful charts included. Don’t miss the one major exception to the rule that you’ll only find here!

Vocabulary: In this article, you will learn the following words and phrases:

okari – “welcome back, welcome home”

Tadaima. – “Am at home.”

ryokoo – “one way trip”

nakanaka – “quite, much, considerably”

tanoshii – “nice, fun” (-i final adjective)

samui – “cold” (final adjective -i)

kimochi – “feeling”

tsuaa – “round”

toshiyori – “the old, the old”

oh – “many, much” (-i final adjective)

hanasoo – “talk, talk” (verb 1)

Roppongi – “Roppongi” (a town in Tokyo)

kurabu – “disco, club”

tsurete iku – “to take someone” (verb 1)

wakai – “young” (final adjective -i)

Grammar: In this article, you will learn the following words and phrases:

Vocabulary and useful phrases


Nakanaka is an adverb meaning “quite, considerably” or “more than expected.”

For example:

  1. Kono hon wa naka naka omoshiroi yo.

    “This book is quite interesting.”


Toshiyori means “elders”. The honorific prefix Oh often precedes this word.

tsurete iku

In Beginner Series Season 4 Article 17, you learned the usage of the following words:

clod iku – “take something”

tsurete iku – “carry someone or an animal”

motte kuru – “take something”

tsurete kuru – “to carry someone or an animal”

*The address is marked with my gold neither and the object is marked by Oh.


  1. Watashi wa paatii ni wain o motte ikimasu.

    “I’ll bring wine to the party.”

  2. Watashi wa paatii ni kareshi o tsurete ikimasu.

    I’ll take my boyfriend to the party.

iku against kuru

Generally, iku corresponds to “to go”, and kuru corresponds to “to come” in English. However, we describe the action of the speaker approaching the listener with iku, No kuru.

For example:

  1. Watashi wa anata no, that is, neither shichi-ji nor ikimasu.

    “I’m going to your house at seven.” (Literally: “I’m going to go to your house at seven”).

  2. I am ikimasu.

    “I’m coming.” (Literally: “I’m leaving”).

Grammar review

In this article, we’ll learn more about formal and informal speech by reviewing the past form of adjectives.

“It was cold.”

informal: samukatta.

Formal: samukatta desu.

“It was not cold”.

informal: samukunakatta.

Formal: samukunakatta desu.

We explain how to form the past tense of sentences with nouns and adjectives in Nihongo Doojoo Newbie Series Style You and Beyond, Articles 23 and 24. Has reviewed non-past tense adjective conjugations in Beginner Season 4 Article 29.

Conjugation of –Yo final adjective: tanoshii – “fun”

part of speech / Informal speech / formal speech

No Past Affirmative / tanoshii / tanoshii desu

No Affirmative / tanoshikatta / tanoshikatta desu

No Past Negative / tanoshiku-nai / tanoshiku nai desu GOLD tanoshiku arimasen

negative past / tanoshiku nakatta / tanoshiku nakatta desu GOLD tanoshiku arimasen deshita


Informal / No Past Affirmative / No Affirmative / No Past Negative / negative past

Informal / I / yokatta / yokunai / yoku nakatta

Conjugation of –n/a adjective: beni – “Convenient”

part of speech / casual speech / formal speech

No Past Affirmative / beni da / benri desu

No Affirmative / benri datta / benri deshita

No Past Negative / benri ha nai GOLD benri dewa nai / benri ha nai desu GOLD benri dewa nai desu GOLD benri ha arimasen GOLD benri dewa arimasen

negative past / benri ha nakatta GOLD benri dewa nakatta / benri ja nakatta desu GOLD benri dewa nakattadesu GOLD benri ha arimasen deshita GOLD benri dewa arimasen deshita

*Yeah is a contraction of deva and it is less formal.

*no desu is more direct than arimasen.

Practice 1

Rewrite the following sentences in the past tense without changing the level of politeness.

  1. Tokyo wa omoshiroi.


  2. Hachii-gatsu wa atsui desu. (*hachigatsu means “August” and *atsu means, “hot.”) ______
  3. Samuku arimasen.


  4. Nihon-go wa kantan desu. (*kantan means “easy”.) ______
  5. Watashi wa genki janai.


  6. Eigo wa kantan dewa arimasen.


practice 2

Answer the following questions in Japanese.

  1. Kyoo, isogashikatta desu ka. (*isogashii means “busy”. _____
  2. Kyoo, samukatta desu ka.


  3. Kono ressun wa kantan deshita ka.


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