What happens when you don’t know how to say AND in Japanese? Things start to sound pretty long winded!
My car is fast. My car is red. My car is small.
It sounds much better to learn how to connect all the words together and just say “my car is fast, red, and small!”
But there’s quite a few different ways to say AND in Japanese. It all depends on where you use it (at the start of a sentence?), the number of things you use it with (just two things or more?), and what kinds of words you’re connecting (nouns, verbs, adjectives?) and a few other ways as well.
We’ll start with the simple ways to say it, and then move on to the more complicated ways. But don’t worry about it too much, I’ll make it easy for ya!
I’ll also give you some examples so that you can see how it works and really understand how use it. That way. you can apply what you’ve learned right away. Let’s get started!
At the start of a sentence
You probably won’t start off your very first sentence with the word AND, but you might say one phrase, and then start a follow up sentence with the word AND. That’s totally fine and here’s how you do it:
- 1st sentence) I ate pizza for for lunch.
hirugohan ni piza o tabeta.
- 2nd sentence) And for dinner too.
soshite, bangohan ni mo tabeta.
For the most part, anytime you are want to begin a sentence with the word AND, you can go ahead and use そして (soshite).
But there is another situation that calls for a different word. The most common scenario is when you are providing directions or instructions to someone in multiple steps. Like so:
- Go straight on this road. And then take a right.
kono micho o massugu itte kudasai. suruto, migi ni magatte kudasai.
So anytime you are explaining multiple steps for a person to take, go ahead and use すると (suruto) to connect the first step to the second step, and the second step to the third, etc.
Using すると (suruto) for explaining directions really helps the person to visualize the entire thing in manageable chunks. And using そして (soshite) will make you sound a lot more natural in your daily conversations.
Connecting nouns with と (to) and や (ya)
Even though そして (soshite) and すると (suruto) are nice, perhaps the most common way to use the word AND is simply to connect two or more items together. When it comes to connecting nouns, it’s really simple. You just add the と (to) particle or the や (ya) particle depending on what nuance you want to give it.
The と (to) particle is just your plain vanilla AND. You will probably use this one the most often:
- I have a book and a hat.
hon to boushi o motte iru.
But when you think about the と (to) particle for AND, it gives the statement a finality to it. As in, “I have a book and a hat AND NOTHING ELSE.”
But what if you are just giving an approximation? As in, “here are a few things I like, but there are some more as well.” That’s when you would use や (ya) to connect them.
- I like Bleach and Naruto (among other anime).
BLEACH ya NARUTO ga suki da.
The や (ya) particle is a way to use the word AND when listing off some things, but still leave that feeling of “this is not everything, there’s still some more stuff.”
You may like 100 different Anime shows, but just listing your favorite couple of them is enough for conversation purposes. That’s when you want to use や (ya).
Using AND with adjectives
This is where Japanese starts to differ from English in an interesting way. When you use adjectives (words that describe nouns) in English you connect them with the word AND. But in Japanese, you modify all the adjectives except for the final one.
1) i-adjectives change their final い into くて:
- A big and red apple.
ookikute, akai ringo.
Now sometimes in English we would just drop the AND that connects the adjectives together, but not always. You could have said “a big, red apple” and it would have worked too. In either case, you still need to modify the i-adjective in Japanese. Remember: only the final adjective retains its i-form.
- A big, delicious, and red apple.
ookikute, oishikute, akai ringo.
2) na-adjectives change their final な to で:
- A kind and special person.
shinsetsude, tokubetsuna hito.
And of course you can combine any い and な adjectives together as well:
- A young, kind, and special person.
wakakute, shinsetsude, tokubetsuna hito.
And that’s how you string multiple adjectives together within a single sentence in Japanese!
Now we move on to verbs
Can you believe it? Another way to say AND in Japanese, LOL! >.<
It does take a little getting use to at first, but with a little practice it becomes pretty normal to use these different ways of saying AND.
To connect two or more verbs with AND, you have to know the te-form of all the verbs except for the last one.
- I run and swim.
It kind of gives the sentence the feeling of “I do X, and then I do Y.”
- I dance and then sing a song.
odotte, uta o utau.
The te-form of Japanese verbs is actually pretty incredible when you learn all the different ways that it can be used. Getting familiar with it will help you out a lot as you continue to learn more Japanese. In fact, the te-form is what we used to connect the multiple adjectives together too! Although they did have their own rules that are different from verbs.
And as a final note on the te-form and the word AND, you can use it to connect several things to a single noun:
- My friend is a teacher and his name is Mike.
tomodachi wa sensei de, Maiku to iu.
Note: in this last example, the て was the voiced で version.
Think of it as smoother way to connect sentences together. And if you’re even not sure that you’re using it correctly, here’s a tool that will verify your work.
AAAAAND that’s all I got for ya!
Yes, finally done! 🙂
You might have only come here to learn one way to say AND, but I gave you a lot of them! Use what you need for now, and don’t worry about the rest!
UPDATE: You can also use それに (sore ni) to say “and what’s more…”
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Further Resources for Learning Japanese: