In the last lesson of course “Find Out Basic Japanese” tbelow are two sentences that define somepoint that occurred some time ago. However, among them offers kan, indicating a duration of time, while the other sentence does not. I am confused!

First sentence:わたしは にかげつまえに アメリカに いきました - I checked out America two months ago

2nd sentence:わたしは ろくしゅうかん まえに にほんに きました - I concerned Japan 6 weeks ago

In my knowledge both sentences do NOT explain a duration of time. So why does the second sentence have actually kan had, yet the initially does not?

Somepoint else that i don’t gain is the “に” after まえ -> まえに. Why does it need to be there? Even the voice that reads the first sentence in the course does not say the に.

You are watching: What does kan mean in japanese

I’d appreciate it if someone might melted some light on this for me!

Milan (Milan ) March 19, 2018, 3:17pm #2

You’re correct in that the 間(かん) in the second sentence isn’t tbelow to represent a period of time. While it deserve to suppose a period of time, 週間(しゅうかん)is simply the method “week” or “weeks” is often created in Japanese. Just 週(しゅう)is feasible as well in many cases, however 週間(しゅうかん)is very frequently used, specifically once it comes to an amount of weeks. The same thing goes for 時間(じかん)which is the Japanese word for hour and also time in basic 今は朝ご飯を食べる時間です (いまは あさごはんをたべるじかんです)suggests “now is the time to eat breakfast” and also doesn’t need to perform with a period in time, as it’s actually more of a addressed allude in time in this situation.

In short: typically when you are talking around any kind of number of weeks 間(かん)is used. This is comparable to how as soon as you’re talking around a variety of months you regularly don’t simply use 月(げつ)but use among the many means to compose かげつ instead (ヶ月・か月・ヵ月・カ月).

I hope this explains it well sufficient for you.

crest2 (Crest2) March 19, 2018, 10:23pm #3

Thank you Milan for the comprehensive answer. That really gets rid of it up!

I have actually an additional question though, and because it involves the exact same sentences, i will include it in the next line (it’s actually already in my initially short article, but i think it’s tough to spot). I’d be really glad if someone might answer it


Something else that i don’t get is the “に” after まえ -> まえに. Why does it need to be there? Even the voice that reads the initially sentence in the course does not pronounce the に at all. When i look up まえ (前) in the dictionary, it means “ago, before”. Wouldn’t that be enough already? Why include a に? Does it convey a unique meaning?

Milan (Milan ) March 19, 2018, 11:11pm #4

Have you ever before heard of the term “particles” within the context of Japanese grammar? Because に is basically an extremely prevalent particle with a ton of offers. A few of its supplies need to execute through the direction in which you are headed (家に行く: いえに いく: to go to the house) or wright here someone is positioned (オランダに住んでいます: オランダに すんでいます: I live in The Netherlands) (ペンは店にあります: ペンは みせに あります: the pen is in the shop).

に has most various attributes and also one of them is to represent a solved suggest in time, in the cases of your example sentences “two months ago” and also “6 weeks ago”. Do know though that you don’t use に for all time expressions. 今日(きょう) which means “today”, for instance never uses に as much as I understand.

に isn’t also 100% vital in your instance sentences. Especially in casual/informal Japanese the particle is regularly dropped in instances choose this.

So yeah, basically it’s simply provided to signify the truth that it’s around a point in time. If you desire to know even more about once (not) to usage it, I might dig up my textbook from last year and look up some of the specifics for you.

Try not to gain also overwhelmed by に and also various other pwrite-ups, they can seem intimidating and strange at initially because you’re not used to them but they will certainly begin feeling type of logical pretty shortly.

But yeah, as you shelp it doesn’t really add as well much meaning in this instance because you deserve to hardly be puzzled about the reality that 週間前 takes place in the past and also is a point in time.

Edit: simply to be clear, the first couple of sentences are not intended to be patronizing, yet because I genuinely execute not know whether you have learned about particles yet. I simply realised that they might be interpreted as patronizing.

Thanks aacquire for your answer!

I understand に as a ppost of direction. But i didn’t know that you have the right to additionally use it for solved points of time, too.Until currently i never before encountered it in conjunction through まえ, particularly in many anime i only hear まえ, yet never before まえに. Or at least i never noticed!

When i usage google translate to translate “10 years ago”, it states 10年前 (10ねんまえ) - also confirmed by the translation to be correct.

See more: How Many Oinces In A Pint ? How Many Fluid Ounces (Oz) In A Pint

Using google, i only uncovered consumption examples of まえに and also that it indicates prior to or earlier, yet the complace of the word was unfortunately never explained.