Basic Grammar: Lesson 1

In this series you will learn Japanese grammar from the ground up in a way that is effective and easy to understand. 

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Once you are done viewing the video lesson go over the lesson notes below which covers the topic of Japanese sentence structure more in depth and consolidates what you learned in the video.

Japanese sentence structure & word order

The very first thing you must learn about the Japanese language is it’s sentence structure. There is one major difference in structure between an English and a Japanese sentence. What is that difference? Well, Japanese is known as an SOV language meaning that the grammatical structure of a basic Japanese sentence is:

Subject | Object | Verb

While English is known as an SVO language meaning that the grammatical structure of a basic English sentence is:

Subject | Verb | Object

Let’s compare:

English Word Order Japanese Word Order
Subject Verb Object Subject Object Verb
I eat apples. I apples eat.

Let’s take a look at some example sentences that illustrate this difference:


watashi wa ringo wo tabemasu.
I apples eat.

As you can see the sentence word order in Japanese is a bit odd, since we are literally saying “I apples eat.”…..this is the first major difference you will encounter when learning Japanese.


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