- Definition and meaning of tenki in Japanese
- Weather expressions in Japanese
- Similar words
- Summary and the rest
Definition and meaning of tenki in JapaneseFirst of all, let me check the definition and meaning of “tenki”.
- tenki – 天気 (てんき) : a noun meaning ‘weather’.
- ten – 天 (てん) : a kanji character widely used to mean ‘the sky’ or ‘the heaven’.
- ki – 気 (き) : a kanji character often used to mean a ‘feeling’, ‘mood’, ‘mind’, ‘atmosphere’, ‘air’, ‘spirit’ or some such.
Example using tenki
- kyo – 今日 (きょう) : a noun meaning ‘today’.
- wa – は : a binding particle working as a case maker or topic maker. In the Japanese example, it works as a case maker to help the noun, “kyo”, to become the subject in the sentence.
- totemo – とても : an adverb meaning ‘so’, ‘very’ or ‘really’. Its meaning varies depending on context and words used together.
- ii – 良い (いい) : an i-adjective meaning ‘good’, ‘well’, ‘fine’, ‘nice’ or some such.
- da – だ : an auxiliary verb put after other words to make a simple assertive or declarative sentence.
Weather expressions in JapaneseI will explain commonly used weather expressions as follows.
- hare – 晴れ (はれ) : a noun which corresponds well to an English adjective, “sunny”.
This is a typical sentence to express a sunny day in Japanese. As I mentioned above, Japanese people often use the noun, “tenki”, to mean ‘a good day’ or ‘good weather’ in daily conversation. So sometimes “hare” is replaced with it.
- kumori – 曇り (くもり) : a noun formed verb which corresponds to an English adjective, “cloudy”.
Japanese people usually use the noun formed verb, “kumori”, in order to say “it’s cloudy today” in Japanese.
- ame – 雨 (あめ) : a noun meaning ‘rain’.
Japanese people often use the Japanese sentence in the example above. Its latter part, “ame da”, itself is also widely used to mean ‘rainy’ in daily conversation. Actually, Japanese people often use it to say “it’s starting to rain” in Japanese.
- kaze – 風 (かぜ) : a noun meaning ‘wind’.
- ga – が : a case particle working as a case maker. Here it helps the noun, “kaze”, to become the subject in the sentence.
In the example above, you can see one difference between “wa” and “ga”. “Wa” is working more like a topic maker while “ga” is working as a case maker. From the grammatical point of view, the particle, “wa”, always has an aspect of topic maker. So even if it works as a case maker in a sentence, it could sound like a topic maker and could imply existence of other topics. For this reason, if it is put after the noun, “kaze”, instead of “ga”, a phrase “kaze wa” could sound like one of topics. It could imply existence of other topics, namely, other weather expressions. Actually, when Japanese native speakers hear “kaze wa”, they would expect other information of weather as well. This point could be a bit difficult for Japanese learners, but this is a part of the Japanese particles world.
- yuki – 雪 (ゆき) : a noun meaning ‘snow’. Like “ame”, it’s used like an adjective depending on context and other words used together.
Similar wordsIn the previous paragraphs, I explained typical weather expressions related to “tenki”. In the next paragraphs, I will explain two words which are very similar to “tenki”, but a bit different.
TenkoThe first one is “tenko”.
- tenko – 天候 (てんこう) : a noun meaning ‘weather’ or ‘a climate/climates’ depending on context.
- ko – 候 (こう) : a kanji character widely used to mean ‘a season/seasons’ or just ‘weather’.
As you can see both kanji expressions, “天気” and “天候”, look very similar. But their meanings are a bit different. The noun, “tenko”, can mean ‘climate’. Basically, the noun, “tenko”, can express the weather during a certain period of time. Generally, it would be several months. This period is very important in order to know the difference between “tenko” and the next word.
KikoA word, “kiko”, also looks similar to “tenki”, but their meanings are a bit different.
- kiko – 気候 (きこう) : a noun to mean ‘a climate/climates’.
Summary and the restIn this blog post, I’ve explained the noun, “tenki”, related weather expressions and also two words which are very similar to “tenki”.
Basically, in daily conversation, Japanese people don’t use “tenko” or “kiko” that often. They don’t talk about long-term weather. Mainly, they use “tenki” and related weather expressions like “ame”. To improve daily conversation skills, Japanese learners should master basic weather expressions first. The words to express long term weather should come after them.
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.