Course: 1 Lesson: 8 – Dates and past tense

Course 1 Lesson 8
The Calendar
 About This Lesson このレッスンについてSubmit a Question
Natsumi Sensei


Know the following hiragana: まみむめも
Understand how to use question word どこ and how the particles and are used to stress.


There are three new question words in this lesson. Many people get them mixed up, so focus on understanding the differences. Also, the first ten days of the month might be difficult to remember. There’s no pattern to them, but do your best to memorize them – they’ll set the pattern for other areas of counting.
 New Phrases 新しいフレーズSubmit a Question
Here in the NEW PHRASES section you don't have to think about the grammar of each phrase. Simply memorize these phrases to increase your conversation skills.
1. おめでとう.
2. たnjoうび おめでとう.
Happy Birthday.
3. meri-・kurisumasu
Merry Christmas.
4. なnがつ です か.
What month is it?
5. なnにち です か.
What day of the month is it?
6. なnがつ、なnにち です か.
What month and day of the month is it?
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 New Vocabulary 新しい単語Submit a Question
By clicking on the button, you can hear how each word is pronounced. You can add any word, sentence or phrase to your "Notebook" by clicking on the word and then the save icon.
Japanese English Word Type
いつ when? question
なnにち what day of the month? question
なnがつ what month? question
kyoう today noun
あした tomorrow noun
きのう yesterday noun
kurisumasu Christmas noun
harouィ-n Halloween noun
どくriつきねnび Independence Day noun
たnjoうび birthday noun
purezento present, gift noun
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 Dates and Times 日付と時間Submit a Question
There most likely won't be any day where you interact with people and don't use a time, date, or time span. Whether it be riding a train or planning a lunch, knowing dates and times is important.

8-1. Months

Saying the months in Japanese is easy. As long as you can count from 1 to 12 you will be able to easily master the months.

Months つき
January いちがつ
February にがつ
March さnがつ
April never yonがつ しがつ
May ごがつ
June roくがつ
July never なながつ しちがつ
August はちがつ
September never kyuうがつ くがつ
October juうがつ
November juういちがつ
December juうにがつ
January – December いちがつ ~ juうにがつ

8-2. Days of the month

Learning the months was easy, but the days of the months are a bit more of a challenge. The first 10 days of the month are totally not what you might expect. They use a pattern of counting that isn’t officially introduced until Lesson 11 of this course, but the good news is that if you learn the days of the month you will have an easier time in Lesson 11.

After you get past the first 10 days the remaining days are easy. You simply add にち to the number. There are only 3 days that don’t follow this pattern: the 14th, 20th and 24th.

Days of the Month にち
1st ついたち 16th juうroくにち
2nd ふつか 17th juうしちにち
3rd みっか 18th juうはちにち
4th yoっか 19th juうくにち
5th いつか 20th はつか
6th むいか 21st にjuう いちにち
7th なのか 22nd にjuう ににち
8th yoうか 23rd にjuう さnにち
9th ここのか 24th にjuう yoっか
10th とおか 25th にjuう ごにち
11th juういちにち 26th にjuう roくにち
12th juうににち 27th にjuう しちにち
13th juうさnにち 28th にjuう はちにち
14th juうyoっか 29th にjuう くにち
15th juうごにち 30th さnjuうにち
31st さnjuう いちにち
1st – 31st ついたち ~ さnjuういちにち
 Cool Tools クール・ツールSubmit a Question
In this section, learn some shortcuts and interesting ways to remember Japanese!

The 4th and 8th day of the month

The fourth day ( yoっか) and the eighth day of the month ( yoうか) are often confused because they sound alike. This hint should help: the yo in yoっか is short, while the yo in yoうか has an after it which makes it double in length. Understanding this, remember that 8 is double the size of 4, so the eighth day of the month has the longer sound!

 Culture Clip カルチャー・クリップSubmit a Question
Culture plays an important role in learning Japanese. Knowledge of modern and traditional culture will help you retain more information and learn faster!

Celebrating Christmas in Japan

The Japanese celebrate Christmas every year, just as the majority of western society does. In Japan, though, it is a custom to eat a “Christmas cake” on the Christmas Eve with the entire family. However, due to a brilliant marketing effort by Kentucky Fried Chicken in Japan, on Christmas day they eat chicken! It’s a big event. The Japanese will actually reserve chicken meals for Christmas day!

Even McDonald’s in Japan has gotten into the act and sells chicken on Christmas day. And yes, there will be a line, so get your chicken early. Also, while in western countries Christmas is largely a family holiday, Christmas in Japan is more of a couples holiday. Many couples will book a hotel room for a romantic night on Christmas Eve.

 Grammar 文法Submit a Question
The Grammar sections of each lesson give you the building blocks necessary to speak Japanese properly. Make sure that you read and understand each section.

8-3. Making sentences in the past tense

でした is the past tense of です. It is used exactly like です except that it makes the sentence past tense.

sentence + でした instead of です

1. くruま は あかでした か.
Was the car red?
2. あか の くruまでした.
It was a red car.
3. Waたしでした か.
Was it me?
4. あなたでした.
It was you.
5. きのう は ついたちでした か.
Was yesterday the 1st?
6. ふつか は いつでした か.
When was the 2nd?

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Mini Quiz
Click the to reveal the English.
1. きのう は なnにちでした か.
2. Waたし の おとうさn は ねこ が すきでした.
3. たなかさn の たnjoうび は juういちがつでした.
4. くruまのかぎ は どこでした か.

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8-4. Saying complete dates

When saying full dates – for example, “December 10th,” or “the 20th of January” – you must always say the month and then the day of the month. If you also say the year, the full date is said in the order of year, month, and then day of month.


1. いちがつ いつか
January 5th
2. ごがつ ここのか
May 9th
3. juうにがつ にjuうににち
December 22nd

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Mini Quiz
Click the to reveal the English.
1. しがつ ついたち
2. juうがつ にjuうくにち
3. ごがつ juうyoっか
4. いちがつ みっか

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8-5. The particle

The particle is used quite often when speaking Japanese. It is always at the end of the sentence. The meaning changes depending on the intonation used when speaking. When spoken with a rising tone, it’s the equivalent of asking, “right?” or, “isn’t it?” at the end of the sentence. The rising tone is usually trying to prompt the listener for a response.

Example Q&A
1.       Kyoう は ついたち です ね?
    はい 、そう です.

 Today is the 1st, right?
 Yes, it is.
2.       そre は あなた の くruま です ね?
    いいえ、 ちがいます.

 That is your car, isn't it?
 No, it's not.

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When is spoken in a downward tone it is no longer prompting the listener for an answer. Instead, it is a nice way to end the sentence. It does however change the feeling of the sentence slightly. Notice how the feeling of these sentences is changed by adding .

1. いい です.
That's nice.
2. いい です ね.
That sure is nice.
3. こre は おいしい です.
This is delicious.
4. こre は おいしい です ね.
This sure tastes good.

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Don’t assume that means “sure.” This is merely how the feeling of the sentence changes in the English translation.

 Question and Answer 質問と答えSubmit a Question
Each question is presented with several potential answers. To test your pronunciation, try each question and answer out loud before you click the sound button.

1. いつ です か.
あした です.
Kyoう です.
When is it?
It's tomorrow.
It's today.
It was yesterday.
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2. あなた の たnjoうび は roくがつ です か.
はい、そう です.
いいえ、 しちがつ です.
Is your birthday in June?
Yes it is.
No, it is July.
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3. なnにち です か.
Yoっか です.
にjuうくにち です.
What day of the month is it?
It is the 4th.
It is the 29th.
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4. なnがつ です か.
しちがつ です.
Juうにがつ です.
What month is it?
It's July.
It's December.
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5. あした は なnにち です か.
あした は juうににち です.
あした は さnjuうにち です.
たぶn, とおか です.
What day of the month is it tomorrow?
Tomorrow is the 12th.
Tomorrow is the 30th.
Maybe it is the 10th.
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6. あなた の たnjoうび は なnがつ です か.
くがつ です.
What month is your birthday?
It's September.
It was yesterday.
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7. どくriつきねnび は なnがつ、なnにち です か.
どくriつきねnび は しちがつ yoっか です.
What is the month and date of Independence day?
Independence Day is July 4th.
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8. Kurisumasu は いつ です か.
Juうにがつ にjuうごにち です.
Waかriませn。でも、waたし の たnjoうび は juうがつ いつか です.
When is Christmas?
It's December 25th.
I don't know, but my birthday is October 5th.
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9. あなた の おじいさn の たnjoうび は ごがつ とおか です か.
はい、そう です.
いいえ、 さnがつ juういちにち です.
いいえ、 ちがいます.
Is your Grandfather's birthday on May 10th?
Yes it is.
No, it is March 11th.
No, it isn't.
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10. きのう は なnにちでした か.
きのう は にjuうyoっかでした.
What was the day of the month yesterday?
Yesterday was the 24th.
I don't know.
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 Comprehension 読解Submit a Question
Read the sentences below out loud, then click the play button to listen. If you don't understand the reading selection, go back and review the grammar in this lesson.
Waたし の なまえ は yuきこ です.

にjuうななさい です.

はちがつ みっか は waたし の たnjoうび でした.

たnjoうび の purezento は あかい はし と えいご の ほnでした.

Waたし は えいご が だいすき です.

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 More Practice 補充練習Submit a Question
In this section we will practice what was taught in the lesson and reinforce what was taught in prior lessons. Any new words or expressions are listed in the section.
A:     Kyoうは、なnにち です か.
B:     9ここのこ です.
A:     えっ、7なのかjaない です か.
B:     いいえ、 あしたは、10とおか です.
A:     どうしyoう…。きのうは、かのjo の たnjoうびでした.
B:     ほnとう です か.

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New words and expressions
どうしyoう What shall I do?
ほnとう です か. Really?

Course 1 Lesson 8
Hiragana やゆよ
 New Characters 新しい字Submit a Question
Learning the correct stroke order of the new characters is important, especially as your writing speed increases. The strokes are marked with arrows and numbers.
ya yu yo
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wa wo n
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 Writing Styles 書くスタイルSubmit a Question
This section shows you the various acceptable styles for writing in Japanese. The red character is a great example hand written Hiragana.
ya yu yo
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wa wo n
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 Writing Points 書くポイントSubmit a Question
The Writing Points in each lesson give you important information about how the symbols are used. Make sure that you read and understand each section.

W8-1. The Particle wo

The hiragana wo is only used as a particle (object marker). It is never used for any other purpose. can never replace wo as a particle. If you don’t know what an object marker is, don’t worry – it is covered later on in this course and in Course 2.

W8-2. What about the particle ?

You can never use wa (wa) as the topic marker. The topic marker can only be represented with , and remember that when is not being used as the topic marker it is always pronounced .

 Hiragana Words You Can Write 書ける言葉Submit a Question
You should practice writing these words at least 5 times each. Be sure to pay attention to stroke order. By clicking on the button, you can hear how each word is pronounced.

かんたん easy
たんさん carbonation
ゆびわ ring (for finger)
およめさん bride, wife
わかめ sea weed
きんようび Friday
こんや tonight
いわ rock
みずを のむ to drink water
やね roof
ゆうえんち amusement park
ようちえん kindergarten
わに alligator / crocodile
しわ wrinkles
しんかんせん bullet train
かんぺき perfect
うわさ a rumor
くるまを かう to buy a car
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 Lesson Quizzes クイズSubmit a Question
The quizzes will test your understanding of the material taught in each lesson. You can take each quiz as many times as you want to. The correct answers will be show at the end of the quiz.
 Additional Vocabulary 補充単語Submit a Question
The following words will possibly be used in the following lessons. Vocabulary is very important to attaining fluency in Japanese. The more words you know, the closer you will be to fluency!

Group K: food and drink

miruku milk
たまご egg
ごはn cooked rice
みず water
ju-su juice
くri chestnut
pan bread
ke-ki cake
aisukuri-mu ice cream
にnじn carrot
tomato tomato
だいこn radish
たまねぎ onion
こshoう pepper (as in salt and pepper)
しお salt
えび shrimp
(お)にく meat
poteto potato
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 Download Area ダウンロードSubmit a Question
Natsumi Sensei

Hiragana YA YU YO Writing Practice Sheet

Hiragana WA WO N Writing Practice Sheet

 Related Videos 関連ビデオSubmit a Question
The video(s) below help explain what is taught in this lesson. It is recommended that you first complete the lesson and then watch the video(s).

 Days of the Month Submit a Question
 Hiragana Match Submit a Question
 New Words Submit a Question
 The Months Submit a Question
 Chizu Challenge Submit a Question
 YesJapan Kana Attack! Submit a Question
 YesJapan Strike! Submit a Question

There are currently no questions for this lesson.