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5-minute Japanese Class by Hitomi Hirayama

Vol. 3
atama kao mimi hana me kuchi
There are many interesting expressions that use words for body parts, head face ear(s) nose eye(s) mouth
I was in a coffee shop the other day and overheard an and they are frequently used in daily conversation. Can you guess, for
■ Did all the expressions on the left make sense to you? Now, let's
interesting conversation between two young women at example, how many expressions use the word "eye(s)" (目[me])? The
the next table. One of them asked the other, "So what is see if you can apply what you just learned to the phrases below.
answer is as many as 140! In this lesson, let us look at some useful
your boyfriend like?" Her friend replied, "Well, his face is expressions combining i-adjectives and body parts. The good news is, Education for children is a nagging problem to parents
wide and his head is soft, but his mouth is a little light."
What is this man really like? Soft head? Is there
you can create sophisticated expressions by using beginning-level 頭 in any country, isn't it ?
i-adjectives at below left. Mr. Pole, don’t think so hard. If you look below,
Mr. Pole
something wrong with her boyfriend? 子供 の 教育 は どの 国 の 親 も to worry over ですね。
you will understand what this man is like. kodomo no kyoiku wa dono kuni no oya mo a problem desu ne
education for children any country parents also isn't it?

i-adjectives ■ For answers to fill in the

head 頭 あたま 
boxes, check with i-adjectives
on the left that have corres-
ponding numbers.
nose 鼻 はな 
If you keep saying such things, you will be ridiculed
for being old-fashioned .
1 12
nice いい そんな事 を 言っていると、 old- と 笑われますよ。
bright ; smart ; sharp to be proud of
good ii sonna-koto o itte-iru to fashioned to waraware-masu yo
頭 が 鼻が
1 good  hana ga
10 high  such things keep saying will be ridiculed I tell you
atama ga
2 15 bad
warui fool ; not smart  to be flirtatious; to like women
Ah You know a variety of people. You must have a
頭 が 2 bad 
e! 鼻 の下 が 11 long  顔 wide circle of acquaintances .

atama ga hana no shita ga
old 古い

3 ss
furui いろいろな 人 を 知っています ね。 have a wide circle ですね。

・There are many other expressions that

old-fashioned iro-iro na hito o shitte-imasu ne of acquaintances desu ne

have similar meanings, but this one is
t a s ecret. That m

頭 が humorous and less offensive compared

痛い variety of people know
4 9
hurtful 3 old  to others. It applies to men.
atama ga
painful itai

h e knows a l o t
What ? You already know about it! You are
to worry over a problem

頭 が

hard め  quick-eared , aren't you?
5 13
katai atama ga
4 painful  eye(s)
g ou

えっ? もう その話 を 知っていますか。 ですね。


e? mo sono hanashi o shitte-imasu ka desu ne
柔らかい inflexible ; stubborn

have an expert eye for

6 soft already that story know
lu r

yawarakai 頭 が 目 が



5 12 good 
atama ga

me ga


spacious  広い th
n' is Being told the same thing over and over, I am quite embarrassed .
7 a fle
wide hiroi flexible ; receptive to new things ec
いつも 同じ事 を 言われて です。
th le in
頭 が h i s thinking, bu be ashamed to hear

6 soft  くち  itsumo onaji-koto o iwarete desu
early  はやい
atama ga mouth kuchi always same matter being told
fast hayai ・By adding "desu" to these expressions,
you can make a sentence. can keep a secret ; closed-mouthed

みみ  That person keeps secrets , so please don't worry. 

e.g., Mr. Pole is smart.
tall 高い Pole-san wa atama ga ii desu ear(s) 口が
10 mimi 13 hard 
high takai kuchi ga あの人 は です から 安心 を して下さい。
ano hito wa desu kara anshin o shite-kudasai
quick-eared ; have sharp ears cannot keep a secret  that person please relax
11 long 長い
face 顔 かお 
kao 耳 が
mimi ga
8 fast 
kuchi ga
14 light 
He is a good person, but has a bad mouth .
have a wide circle of acquaintances be ashamed to hear  have a sharp tongue ; have a bad mouth いい人 なん です が、 です。
軽い has a bad mouth
14 light 顔 が 耳 が 口が ii hito nandesu ga desu
karui 7 wide  9 painful  15 bad 
kao ga mimi ga kuchi ga good person ...but

Copyright 1999 The Yomiuri Shimbun