How To Read Manga Better, Part 2
In Part 1, we covered verbal sound effects.
Part 2: Get The Hang Of Grammar
Verbs are not something you can escape when reading Japanese manga. You must gain a good feel for them if you are to avoid getting lost. Let's use a simple example using my stepmother's precious little cat, Chiquitita, displayed above. (As the name implies, that's my stepmother's "little girl.")
Besides native Japanese verbs that have conjugations of their own, adding する (suru) as a suffix at the end of another word turns that word into a verb.
猫は椅子をバリバする。 (Neko wa isu o baribari suru.)
Neko = Cat
Isu = Chair
Bari bari = Sound Effect, "Rip, Rip"
So, in case kids at home are wondering... yes, I just turned a Japanese verbal sound effect into a verb. You can do that in Japanese.
On its own, suru would be the Japanese verb "To Do." Here, we use it as a suffix that turns "bari bari" into a verb.
バリバリする (bari bari suru) = Verb; To "Rip, Rip"
Rip, rip is a category of sound and can be applied to a number of different contexts. Here, "The cat scratches up the chair."
Now, する (suru) is the "dictionary form" or "plain form" of the verb. (Think: plain vanilla)
バリバリします (bari bari shimasu) is the "polite form" of the verb, and makes Chiquitita's scratching up the old chair sound more dignified.
バリバリした (bari bari shita) is the "plain past" form of the verb. So, Chiquitita scratched up the chair, in the past tense.
バリバリしました (bari bari shimashita) is the "polite past" form of the verb, making the fact the chair was scratched up sound more dignified.Continued on the next page