- Itsu meaning from its components
- Itsu desu ka
- Itsu demo
- Itsu kara
- Itsu made
Itsu meaning from its componentsBefore checking itsu meaning itself, let me explain kanji characters which form the word, “itsu”.
- 何 : a kanji character widely used as an indefinite demonstrative pronoun meaning ‘what’.
- 時 : a kanji character widely used to mean a ‘moment’, ‘time’ or some such. When it is put after a numeral, it means ‘hour’.
- itsu – 何時 (いつ) : an indefinite demonstrative pronoun meaning ‘when’. Japanese people often use its hiragana expression since there is a homonym pronounced “nanji”, meaning ‘what time’.
Example of itsu
- anata – あなた : a pronoun meaning ‘you’.
- wa – は : a binding particle working as a case maker or topic maker. In the example sentence, it works as a case maker to help the noun, ‘anata’, to become the subject.
- Kyoto – 京都 (きょうと) : a noun which is a name of one of the most famous Japanese cities.
- ni – に : a case particle put after a noun to indicate a place one goes to or a target of act expressed by a verb. In the example sentence, it’s put after the noun, “Kyoto”, and indicates a place which “anata” goes to.
- iki – 行き (いき) : one of conjugations of a verb, “iku”, meaning ‘to go’. “Iku” is a plain form, but now conjugated for better connection with an auxiliary verb, “masu”.
- masu – ます : an auxiliary verb for polite expressions. Perhaps, it is well known for a part of “masu form”. In the example, it’s put after the verb, “iki”, to make its polite expression.
- ka – か : a sentence ending particle put at the end of a sentence. It is widely used to make interrogative expressions, namely, questions.
The example above showed how to use “itsu” together with a masu formed verb. In the next paragraphs, I will show you a bit different usage of it.
Itsu desu ka
- no – の : a case particle put after a noun to make its possessive case. In the example, it expresses what possesses the festival. “Kyoto” is it.
- daimonji yaki – 大文字焼き (だいもんじやき) : a noun which is a name of very famous festival in Kyoto. Its official name is “gozan no okuribi”.
- desu – です : an auxiliary verb put after a noun or adjective to make a polite expression. Perhaps, it is well known for a part of “desu form”.
Mastering a use of the phrase, “itsu desu ka”, would help Japanese leaners a lot to improve their conversation skills.
Itsu demoIn the next paragraphs, I will explain “itsu” with some particles through examples. First let me start with “demo”.
- demo – でも : a binding particle. When it’s put after an indefinite pronoun, they form a phrase together. Depending on the indefinite pronoun used together, it can mean ‘whoever’, ‘whatever’, ‘whenever’, ‘wherever’ or some such.
Example of itsu demo
- kitai – 来たい (きたい) : a tai form of a verb, “kuru”, meaning ‘to come’. Tai formed verbs are used to express what you want to do. So, here, “kitai” means ‘want to come’.
- toki – 時 (とき) : a noun meaning a ‘moment’, ‘time’ or ‘when’. In the example sentence, there is the phrase, “itsu demo”, so ‘whenever’ in Japanese is already used. In a way, words which have similar meanings are repeated in one sentence.
- ni – に : a case particle which is a bit different from one used in the first example above. Here it is used to indicate a moment when something happens or someone does something. In the example, it indicates a moment when “you want to come”. In the Japanese sentence, the subject, “you”, is omitted though.
- kite – 来て (きて) : a te form of the verb, “kuru”, meaning ‘to come’. Te forms are widely used as casual command forms in daily conversation. Here it is used to ask “you” to come.
- kudasai – 下さい (ください) : a command/imperative form of a verb, “kudasaru”, meaning ‘to give’, ‘to pass’ or some such. It is a verb, but can also be used like an auxiliary verb after a te formed verb to make a polite command form. Actually, in the example, it directly follows the te formed verb, “kite”, and makes its polite command form.
Itsu karaSecond, I will explain how to use “itsu” together with “kara”.
- kara – から : a case particle used to indicate when or where something starts. Depending on context and other words used together, a start would be a place, time, person or perhaps reason.
Example of itsu kara
- ki – 来 (き) : one conjugation of the verb, “kuru”, meaning ‘to come’. This is one of the most famous irregular conjugations in Japanese.
- mashi – まし : one conjugation of the auxiliary verb, “masu”, which is widely used to make polite expressions of verbs in Japanese.
- ta – た : an auxiliary verb used to make the past tense of Japanese verbs and auxiliary verbs. Most probably, it is well known for a part of ‘ta form’.
Itsu madeThird and finally, I will explain how to use “itsu” together with “made”.
- made – まで : an adverbial particle used to indicate when or where something ends. Depending on context and other words used together, an end would be a place, time or person.
Example of itsu made
- i – 居 (い) : one of conjugations of a verb, “iru“, meaning ‘to stay’. Depending on context and other words, it can correspond to English be verbs.
SummarySo far, I’ve explained itsu meaning and related expressions that are widely used in daily conversation. Let me summarize them as follows.
- itsu – 何時 (いつ) : an indefinite demonstrative pronoun meaning ‘when’. It is often written in hiragana since there is a homonym pronounced “nanji”, meaning ‘what time’.
- itsu desu ka – いつですか : this phrase corresponds well to the English expression, “when is blah blah”. By adding it just after nouns, we can make simple questions in a polite way.
- itsu demo – いつでも : this phrase means ‘whenever’. By using it, we can make “whenever” expressions in Japanese.
- itsu kara – いつから : this expression is used to make “from when” expressions in Japanese.
- itsu made – いつまで : this expression can be used to make “by when” or “until when” expressions in Japanese.
Japanese Particles Master
Masaki Mori is a Japanese particles master. Through teaching Japanese language, he is trying to spread the culture of Japan. His goal is to preserve it as much as possible.