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151. The verb 言う

Learn Japanese
Lesson 151: The verb 言う

is the Japanese word for to say or to speak. It behaves like other verbs but it is used in conjunction with two different particles: the particle when making a quotation, or the particle for non-quotes. You can also use to ask how to say something in Japanese using this useful pattern: XXXXは日本語にほんごなんいますか?

English Japanese
How do you say "car" in Japanese? ”Car”はほんなんいますか?
"Car" ha nihongo de nanto iimasu ka?
"Watermelon" is "suika" in Japanese. ”Watermelon”はほん西すいいます。
"Watermelon" ha nihongo de suika to iimasu.
Please say it again. もういっかいってください。
mou ikkai itte kudasai.
She didn't say that. かのじょはそれをいませんでした。
kanozyo ha sore wo iimasen desita.

Note that in the last sentence the particle is used instead of . Otherwise, the sentence would have meant: She didn't say "that".

Lesson contributors

Denholm Nahon
Erik