Lesson 15: Frequency Adverbs and Invitations

In the last few lessons, you learned how to conjugate verbs and use particles. Now, you can expand on that knowledge and make more complicated sentences by adding frequency adverbs. The purpose of adding frequency adverbs to your sentences is to add a description of how often you do or do not do something.

The frequency adverbs are as follows:

まいにち        every day

いつも            always

よく                often

たいてい        usually

ときどき        sometimes

あまり            not often

ぜんぜん        never

まいにち、いつも、よく、たいてい、andときどき are all positive adverbs. This means that they occur with verbs conjugated in the affirmative case. あまり and ぜんぜん are negative adverbs and must always appear with the negative conjugation of a verb.

Take a look at the following examples.

A: しゅうまつはたいていなにをしますか。

B: たいていおんがくをききます。でも、とこどきえいがをみます。

A: What do you usually do on the weekends?

B: I usually listen to music. But sometimes I watch movies.

A: にくをたべますか。

B: まいにちにくをたべます。

A: Do you eat meat?

B: I eat meat every day.

A: テレビ をみますか。

B: あまりみません。

A: Do you watch television?

B: Not very often.

A: さかなをたべますか。

B: ぜんぜんさかなをたべません。

A: Do you eat fish?

B: I never eat fish.

Previously, you learned how to form the present tense affirmative and negative forms of verbs. You can also use the negative form to invite someone to do something with you. This is known as the invitation sentence structure. Please note that you cannot use the affirmative form in order to extend an invitation.

To invite someone to an event, you must conjugate the verb into the negative form and add the question particle か.

いっしょに is a good vocabulary word to know for invitations. いっしょに means “together.”

For example:

いっしょにレストランでばんごはんをたべませんか。

Would you like to have dinner together at a restaurant?

ゲム をしませんか。

Would you like to play a game?

To respond to an invitation, you can say いいですね which means “That sounds good.” If you want to decline an invitation, you can do so politely by saying ちょっと。。。

Example:

きんようびにテニスをしませんか。

Would you like to play tennis on Friday?

あの、きんようびはちょっと。。。

Um, Friday is a little… (inconvenient.)

ちょっとis a very common response when declining an invitation. The word implies the day or time is not convenient for you without giving a specific reason why. You can, if you wish, elaborate why the time is not good for you, but in most cases, ちょっとexplains enough. Japanese people are very, very polite, so that is why they reply with the politeちょっとinstead of “no,” when declining an invitation.

Check out the following invitation examples below. Try to translate them yourself before scrolling down to reveal the answers.

いっしょにひるごはんをたべませんか。

えいがをみませんか。

かいものにいきませんか。

いっしょにうちでべんきょうしませんか。

がっこうでにほんごをべんきょうしませんか。

としょかんでほんをよみませんか。

 

Would you like to eat lunch together?

Would you like to watch a movie?

Would you like to go shopping?

Would you like to study together at my house?

Would you like to study Japanese at school?

Would you like to read books at the library with me?

 

A note on sentence structure: Although Japanese is fairly lenient when it comes to sentence structure, there are patterns. The two most common patterns are listed below.

Topic, time, place, object, verb.

わたしはあしたうちでおんがくをききます。

I will listen to music at home tomorrow.

Topic, frequency, time, goal, verb.

わたしはまいにちななじごろうちにかえります。

I return home around seven every day.

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