Lesson 6 "I don't work at all."

 Here is a quiz question for you! Within the first minute when a person is talking to a stranger, how many lies on average does he or she tell? 

  A- Zero to one lie

  B- Three lies

  C- Five lies

 I personally never tell anyone lies at all. So I would guess the answer would be "A- zero to one lie, maybe?"

 Hahah... that was a lie. I do tell people lies from time to time, not that often though. But what about you? How often do you tell lies?


 So today, let's learn how to express frequency in Japanese like;

  Do you often tell lies?

  I always tell lies.

  I sometimes tell lies.

  I don't usually tell lies.

  I hardly ever tell lies.

  I don't tell lies at all. etc.


 When you finish this unit, you will be speaking Japanese like a native(^_^)

 (N.B. The answer to this quiz question will be at the end of the main contents of this page, before the comment section. So if you want to know the answer, you'll find it somewhere around the "Homework" section of this page.)

Grammar Focus 1 : Frequency words in Japanese 1

(positive sentences)

In the last lesson, we practice the following language structure;
       (watashi wa mainichi “verb in -masu form”)
        I do ___ every day.
Instead of "毎日(mainichi)" which means "every day," we can use other words and phrases to talk about different frequency of the action;
       (watashi wa itsumo “verb in -masu form”)
        I do ___ all the time.
NoteThe word order in Japanese is quite flexible. So all of the sentences below are correct.
1. 私はいつも冗談を言います。(watashi wa itsumo joudan o iimasu.)
2. いつも私は冗談を言います。(itsumo watashi wa joudan o iimasu.)
3. 冗談をいつも私は言います。(joudan o itsumo watashi wa iimasu.)
4. 私は冗談をいつも言います。(watashi wa joudan o itsumo iimasu.)
5. 冗談を私はいつも言います。(joudan o watashi wa itsumo iimasu.)
which all mean "I always tell jokes."

To review how to get "-ます(masu)" forms of verbs, please visit "Lesson 5"


Grammar Focus 2 : Frequency words in Japanese 2

(negative sentences)

In Japanese, to express "hardly ever do __" and "never do ___" we use the following structure;

"hardly ever do __."

   →『めったに __ません。』(metta ni __masen.)
       (watashi wa mettani shigoto o shimasen.)
        ---I hardly ever work. 

"never do __." / "don't do __ at all."

   →『全然 __ません。』(zenzen __masen.)
       (watashi wa zenzen shigoto o shimasen.)
        ---I never work. / I don't work at all.

Some examples of frequency words in Japanese:

sometimes=時々(toki doki)
hardly ever=めったに___ません。(mettani ___masen)
do not do at all=全然___ません。(zenzen ___masen)


Let's Try! (If you highlight the part next to "→" with your cursor, you'll see an example answer.)

A: Mitch, do you eat breakfast every day?

B: Yes. I eat breakfast every day.

A: Do you often eat fried chicken for breakfast?

B: No, I never eat fried chicken for breakfast. I usually eat Big Mac.


A: iMac?

B: No. That's a computer. I hardly ever eat computers.







Romanised version:

A→micchi san wa asagohan o mainichi tabemasu ka?

B→hai. mainichi asagohan o tabemasu.

A→asagohan ni huraido chikin wo yoku tabemasu ka?

B→iie. asagohan ni huraido chikin wa zenzen tabemasen. hudan biggu makku o tabemasu

A→aimakku desu ka?

B→iie. sore wa konpyūtā desu. konpyūtā wa mettani tabemasen.

Grammar Focus 3 : How to read a telephone number in Japanese 『電話番号の読み方』

1. We just need to simply read each number with the Chinese-origin number
2. A hyphen can be read as “の(no)"
3. Instead of reading a hyphen as "の(no)," you can also give a little pause.
For example, the following telephone number can be reas as;
0120-12-3456 (non-existent)
    zero ichi ni zero no ichi ni no san yon go roku
    zero ichi ni zero (pause) ichi ni (pause) san yon go roku
    zero ichi ni zero (pause) ichi ni no san yon go roku
        or in combination
    zero ichi ni zero no ichi ni (pause) san yon go roku

Oh, by the way, the number "0120" is the number for toll-free calls in Japan.

But there are some exceptions. The following two numbers are very important telephone numbers to remember;


110 (read as "hyaku tou ban")

--- to call the police call centre to report an accident or a crime.


119 (read as "hyaku juu kyuu ban")

--- to call the fire-ambulance-emergency rescue call centre.



Important phrases to remember:

誰か110番お願いします(dareka hyaku tou ban onegai shimasu)。 

---Anyone, please call the police!

誰か119番お願いします(dareka hyaku juu kyuu ban onegai shimasu)。

---Anyone, please call an ambulance/fire station!

More numbers in Japanese:

200-ni hyaku
400-yon hyaku
500-go hyaku
700-nana hyaku
900-kyuu hyaku

Additional Grammar & Phrases

    4-1(verb in dictionary form)好きですか?
         “verb in dictionary form” no wa suki desu ka
        —Do you like to do __?
    4-2(verb in dictionary form)得意ですか?
         “verb in dictionary form” no wa tokui desu ka
        —Are you good at doing __?
    5__円(en)--- __ yen (Japanese currency)

Other Words & Phrases
-テレビのリモコン---TV remote
(terebi no rimokon)
-ドライヤー---hair dryer
-目覚まし時計---alarm clock
(mezamashi dokei)
-バドミントンをする---to play badminton
(badominton o suru)
-サッカーをする---to play soccer
(sakkā o suru)
-テニスをする---to play tennis
(tenisu o suru)
-ジャンプをする--to jump
(janpu o suru)
-ゲームをする---to play games
(gēmu o suru)
-リラックスをする---to relax
(rirakkusu o suru)
-ジョギングをする---to go jogging
(jogingu o suru)

Lesson summery

雑談(zatsudan) Small Talk "Taking Off Shoes at Entrance"

 Last time, we talked about the toilet and the bathroom in a typical Japanese house. So today, I would like to talk about the entrance of a typical Japanese house. 

 In some cultures, people keep their shoes on at home, and in some other cultures, it is up to you whether to keep your shoes on or not. However, in Japan, usually, people take their shoes off at the entrance, leave their shoes there and then step on the floor of the house.

 First let me show you some of the typical entrances of Japanese houses.

 Typically, the floor of a Japanese house is higher than the ground. The entrance in the left picture is that my house and the one on the right is that of my friends'. In both pictures, you can see that the floor is approximately 20 centimeters (about 8 inches) higher than the ground.

 In some houses, the floor is set up even 50 to 60 centimeters (19 to 24 inches) higher than the ground. In my parents' house, the floor is so high that there are two footsteps to step on the floor. These photos below are the photos of the entrance of my parents' house.↓

 The reason for this elevation is that we usually take our shoes off when we enter the house. And in order to take our shoes off, we often need to sit on somewhere. So Japanese people sit on the floor, which is higher than the ground, and use the floor as a bench. 

 Then as you can see in the pictures, we often place our shoes on the border between the floor of the house and the ground. But what if we have many guests coming over or if each family member has more than a pair of shoes? We can't put all the shoes there, can we? Should we carry our shoes in with us?

 No no! Please keep your shoes away from the actual living space of the house. The Japanese do not like shoes to be inside of the living space of the house. 

 Then, what should we do if there is no space to line up our shoes in the entrance? Don't worry. In may Japanese houses, there is also a storage box inside the entrance. It is called 下駄箱(geta bako) and we usually keep our shoes there. So if your Japanese host knows, ahead of time, that you are visiting them, they will have put their shoes away into 下駄箱(geta bako) to make space for your shoes. 

Here are some pictures of 下駄箱(geta bako)↓

 So usually, all the shoes are kept somewhere inside of the entrance, not inside of the living room or in the bedroom, because Japanese people like to keep shoes and dirt off the actual living space of the house. So, that is also another reason why in many Japanese houses, the floor is higher than the ground; to keep away the dirt, which you might carry in with your shoes, from the actual living space of the house.

 If you stay at a hotel in Japan, this is not the case because hotels in Japan also host people from different cultural backgrounds. So I would say that it is completely up to you whether to take off your shoes or keep them on while in your hotel room.

 However, if you stay at a Japanese traditional hotel called "旅館(ryokan)" or "民宿(minshuku/guest house)" or if you stay at your friend's house, please keep the following steps in mind when you enter a house in Japan;

①Enter the entrance.

②Take your shoes off before you step on the floor of the house. You may use the floor as a bench to take your shoes off.

③Step on the floor.

④Line up your shoes neatly.

⑤And then walk in.

Useful Information:

 Looking for a share house in Japan? Or even if you had never though of it, I guarantee you it will be a great experience to stay at a share house while you are in Japan; you can make friends, experience real life of Japan, learn the authentic language and culture and more!

 Here is a site where you can find nice share houses for reasonable prices in Japan↓ The site is also available in English. Don't miss this opportunity!



1. Please write 5 activities that you do and 5 more activities that you normally don't do using the frequency word and "-masu/-masen" structures that we have practiced today. If you don't know how to say certain expressions in Japanese, please use a dictionary to look up the words. Don't be afraid of making mistakes. We will check your answers during the next lesson. Good luck!

2. If you are not quite familiar with the Japanese scripts, please watch the following two videos to practice 10 Katakana, Japanese phonetic scripts. 

Please turn in your homework in the comment section below↓. We will go over it during the next lesson.

By the way, here is the answer for the quiz question at the top of this page:

The answer is B- three lies.

 An average person will tell three lies within the first minute when he or she is talking to a stranger. And it is said that on average, people tell 200 lies each day. Wow amazing, isn't it? But don't worry. Those lies are mostly white lies.


Anyone can feel free to leave a comment as long as you;


1. 批判はしない。

do not criticize other people or other people's comments

2. 特定の個人やグループを非難・攻撃しない。

do not defame or attack a particular person or group of people

3. 語学学習に関係ないことは書かない。

do not leave comments which have nothing to do with language-learning

4. 個人を特定できる情報(メールアドレス、住所、電話番号など)は書かない。

do not write personal information such as e-mail addresses, home addresses, or telephone numbers.


コメント: 5
  • #1

    ジーナ (水曜日, 06 6月 2018 22:07)

    なるほど I see
    ヘルシー healthy
    べんきょうする study

    わたしはよくりよーりします。(to cook?)

  • #2

    サンドラ (木曜日, 30 8月 2018 19:14)

    いつも siempre
    時々 a veces
    たまに de vez en cuando, ocasionalmente
    全然…ません nunca
    何語を話しますか? que idioma hablas?
    言葉 palabra (a veces idioma)




  • #3

    J. K. (木曜日, 06 9月 2018 03:18)

    1.わたしはまいにちシャワーをあびます -watashi wa mainichi shawa o abimasu
    2.わたしはときどきほんをよみます - watashi wa toki doki hon o yomimasu
    3.わたしはよくゲームをします - watashi wa yoku gemu o shimasu
    4.わたしはよくお茶をのみます - watashi wa yoku ocha o nomimasu
    5.わたしは普段ランチをたべます - watashi wa hudan ranchi o tabemasu

    6.わたしはぜんぜんたばこをすいません - watashi wa zenzen tabako o suimasen
    7.わたしはぜんぜんテニスをしません - watashi wa zenzen tenisu o shimasen
    8.わたしはめったにテレビをみません - watashi wa mettani terebi o mimasen
    9.わたしはぜんぜんデートをしません - watashi wa zenzen deto o shimasen
    10. わたしはぜんぜんピアノをひきません - watashi wa zenzen piano hikimasen

  • #4

    Saravana (金曜日, 21 12月 2018 05:34)

    Watashi wa mainichi nihongo o benkyo o shimasu.
    Asagohan ni tamago o yoku tabemasu.
    Mainichi hudan undo o shimasu (I usually exercise every day)
    Watashi was zenzen jogingu o shimasen.
    Watashi wa mainichi Nana jikan neru.

  • #5

    ケーリンさん (木曜日, 28 2月 2019 08:29)