Our second season’s second episode of the Nihongo Master Podcast introduces a language series in the mix: Study Saturday! In this series, we bring you a new grammar episode every Saturday — bite-sized and full of vocabulary words. They’re going to be very similar to the lessons Nihongo Master offers, so if you realise you love Study Saturday, you’ll love our interactive online learning system.

The series episode flow goes like this: grammar point, roleplaying scenarios, vocab recap.

And for our very first episode, we looked at one I personally use every day: Have you ever…? Like… Have you ever needed to ask someone if they had ever done something? Or tell someone that you have or have never done something before? Yes? Exactly! 

If you missed that episode, go check it out! Here’s a recap of what we covered in that episode, along with a list of vocabulary words that we used.

Have You Ever…ことがある?

Before we get to playing “Never Have I Ever”, we gotta know how to ask the basic question: Have you ever…?

To ask this question in Japanese, all you have to do is add “koto ga aru” (ことがある) / “koto ga arimasuka?” (ことがありますか) to the casual past tense of any verb.

We looked at this example: “Have you ever been to Europe?” 

For this question, we’ll use the verb for “to go” which is iku (行く), then change it to the casual past tense: itta (行った). Then, just add the phrase we mentioned before to make “itta koto ga aru” (行ったことがある) / “itta koto ga arimasuka” (行ったことがありますか). So when you have the subject and put it all together, you get: “yoroppa ni itta koto ga aru?” (ヨーロッパに行ったことがある?) / “yoroppa ni itta koto ga arimasuka?” (ヨーロッパに行ったことがありますか?)

In the episode, we gave a few more examples — check it out for more clarity.

We also looked at how to reply. There are two ways to go about this kind of question: “Yes, I have…” or “No, I haven’t…” While you could get away with a simple “hai” or “iie”, but why not up your game a bit? 

To say you’ve done something, the formula is pretty much the exact same as the question. Reply the example question with “yuroppa ni itta koto ga aru” (ヨーロッパに行ったことがある) / “yuroppa ni itta koto ga arimasu” (ヨーロッパに行ったのとがあります). As simple as ABC! Or, you could even cut it short to “itta koto ga aru” (行ったことがある) / “itta koto ga arimasu” (行ったのとがあります) — leaving out the subject. 

For the negative reply “No I haven’t…”, we gotta make a slight change to the ending — aru (ある) has to be in its negative form, which is nai (ない) or arimasen (ありません). So then it becomes: “yuroppa ni itta koto ga nai” (ヨーロッパに行ったことがない) / “yuroppa ni itta koto ga arimasen” (ヨーロッパに行ったのとがありません). Similarly, you can cut it short by leaving out the subject:  “itta koto ga nai” (行ったことがない) / “itta koto ga arimasen” (行ったのとがありません).

In short, the formula to ask “Have you ever…” is: 

subject + particle  + verb in the casual past tense + koto ga aru/arimasuka (ことがある/ことがありますか).

And for the answer of “I have/have never…”, it’s the same with a slight difference at the end: 

subject + particle + verb in the casual past tense + koto ga aru/koto ga arimasu (ことがある/ことがあります) for positive; koto ga nai/koto ga arimasen (ことがないことがありません) for negative.

For the full explanation with everyday examples, head over to Spotify or Apple Podcasts — we even have a few roleplaying scenarios using this grammar language a few times!

Vocab Recap

Just like our previous episodes, we wrapped it up with a vocab recap for all the Japanese words we used. Here’s a compiled list of it:

Kouhai (後輩) — people of lower status

Tomodachi (友達) — friend

Senpai (先輩) — people of higher status

Kazoku (家族) — family

Iku (行く) — to go

Yoroppa (ヨーロッパ) — Europe

Taberu (食べる) — to eat

Kankoku (韓国) — South Korea

Ryouri (料理) — cuisine

Kohi (コーヒー) — coffee

Koucha (紅茶) — black tea

Nomu (飲む) — to drink

Nominomo (飲み物) — drink

Tabemono (食べ物) — food

Ichiban suki (一番好き) — literally translates to number one like, but it actually means favourite

Igai (以外) — with the exception of, or except

Suki (好き) — like

Daisuki (大好き) — love

Meccha (めっちゃ) — a casual way to say really

Chuugoku (中国) — China

Ippai (いっぱい) — a lot

Onaka tsuita (お腹ついた) — to be hungry

hyaku pacento (百パーセント) — 100% 

Eigo (英語) – English language

Jetto kosuta (ジェットコスタ) — roller coaster

Noru (乗る) — to ride

Muri (無理) — impossible

Kowasou (怖そう) — looks scary

 Hitori de (一人で) — alone

Uso (うそ) — a lie

Tanoshii (楽しい) — fun

Issho ni (一緒に) — together

Ikou (行こう) — let’s go. It comes from the word “iku”

Shiata (シアター) — theatre

Pafomansu (パフォマンス) — performance

Miru (見る) — to see or to watch

Majikku (マジック) — magic tricks. you can also call it tejina

Omoshirosou (面白そう) — looks interesting

Chotto (ちょっと) — a bit, but it can also mean “wait”

Tanomu (頼む) — please

Tabun (多分) — maybe

Yakusoku (約束) — promise

And that’s the recap of our very first episode of our language series, Study Saturday. If this recap has been useful to you, perfect! You’ll love the Study Saturday podcast series — so pop open your preferred streaming app and give Nihongo Master Podcast a listen!