Loooooooong

In English, it’s easy to make long sentences.  Well, it may not be easy, but I’m accustomed to it, so it seems easy.  When you start learning a new language, though, your sentences tend to be short and your paragraphs choppy.  That’s why it kind of tends to sound like you’re writing a children’s book when you try to knock out a paragraph of Japanese.

Chapter 5 of 中級へ行こう is trying to address that problem.  The first half of the chapter is introducing grammar, but the second half seems to be focused on long sentences.  That is, finding ways to list off actions or ways to stich ideas together so that your sentences can be even longer and more ungainly.

There is the first I did this, then I did that, then I did the other thing kind of sentence.

日本語を勉強して、朝食を食べて、仕事絵へ行った。

Or…

日本語を勉強し、朝食を食べ、仕事へ行った。

Which means exactly the same thing but is, apparently, slightly more formal. (I studied Japanese, ate breakfast and went to work.)

Then we have -たり, -たりして for connecting one thing to another.  Here is a sentence from my homework:

夜なかなか寝られなかったり、夜中に何回も目が覚めたりして、医者に相談する人が多くなっています。

That’s a monster, isn’t it?  It seems to means something like, The number of people who are consulting with a doctor because they can’t really sleep at night or because something wakes them up during the night is increasing.

Mind you, the structure of the sentence is very different in Japanese and English.

And then we have this one:

夜遅くまで活動することや、通勤時間の長さが原因で、睡眠時間が減少し、体の不調を訴える陣が増えています。

Whew!  How about that?

Because people are doing things until late, and because of the length of commuting time, sleep time is decreasing, and the number of people complaining about poor physical condition is increasing.

I don’t know about you, but, in my book, that definitely qualifies as a long sentence.

Mind you, that kind of sentence does roll complete out of my brain.  I have to sit down and construct it with some effort and head scratching.  I’ll get there eventually.  Baby steps.

頑張って

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