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Japan-easy#18What did you do the day before yesterday at night?

Using time words

1. ototoi/ asatte

Today, we’ll learn about how to speak of past things, talking about yesterday and the day before. Our good friend Detective Michael is investigating a crime that occurred three days ago. He will ask the suspect what he was doing in the past few days. Will Detective Michael be able to capture the culprit?

Michael: “Anata wa ototoi no yoru wa nani o shiteimashitaka?”
Man: “Ototoi no yoru wa kinjo no konbini de kaimono o shimashita.”
Michael: “Dewa, kinō no yoru wa?”
Man: “Kinō no yoru wa, watashi wa Tanaka kun to bideo o mimashita.”

Detective Michael asked about the day before yesterday. In the man’s answer, “ototoi” means "the day before yesterday." The suspect said he was shopping at a nearby convenience store.

Detective Michael asked about last night as well. In the man’s answer, “kinō” is "yesterday," so “kinō no yoru” means "yesterday night." The suspect claimed that he was watching a video with Mr. Tanaka.

Next, we get to the bottom of the crime. Detective Michael is shocked at seeing Mr. Tanaka come out when he was supposed to be dead. Mr. Tanaka said that he played a dead person in a movie. Now, they’ll talk about the future, so let’s learn that too.

Tanaka: “Ashita, boku wa zonbi no yaku desu.”
Man: “Soshite asatte de, satsuei wa subete owari desu.”

“Ashita” is "tomorrow." “Asatte” is "the day after tomorrow." The man was saying that the movie shoot ends the day after tomorrow.

Now let's review about the past and future. By the way, "today" in Japanese is “kyō.” The day before is “kinō,” two days before is “ototoi.” Furthermore, three days before is “mikka mae.” After “mikka mae,” it's “yokka mae,” “itsuka mae,” and continues to follow a pattern. Also, tomorrow is “ashita” and the day after that is “asatte.” Make sure you remember that!

2. Kanji-easy!

There are about 2,000 “kanji” that are regularly used.
This section will use various methods that will allow you to visualize kanji.
We hope you will become acquainted with kanji while having fun.
Today, we have kanji related to farming.

3. Raishū no doyōbi

Let’s learn how to express time in more detail.
Detective Michael is messing up a lot at work.
It's a Sunday, but he seems to be feeling down.

Michael: “Kyonen wa yokatta. Shikashi kotoshi wa suranpu da.”

“Kyonen” is "last year" and “kotoshi” is "this year.” “Suranpu” is “slump.”

He had a great year as a detective last year, but he’s failing a lot this year. He’s comparing his work from last year to this year.

And so, Detective Michael decides to go on a vacation with his wife for a change of pace. He goes to a travel agency to buy plane tickets. Let’s learn about the future in their conversation.

Michael: “Raishū no doyōbi, sanji no Hokkaidō iki, otona nimai onegai shimasu.”
Lady: “Saturday? I'm sorry. All the seats are booked for 3 p.m.” 

“Raishū” is "next week." “Doyōbi” is "Saturday." “Sanji no Hokkaido iki” means "the 3 o'clock plane to Hokkaido."
By the way, “otona nimai” means "two adult tickets." When buying tickets, simply combine the destination with the time.

However, the Saturday plane that Michael requested was full. Michael decides to change his plans and asks about Thursday or Friday.

Michael: “Jā, sono mae no mokuyōbi ka kinyōbi wa dōdesuka?”

Michael went to get his tickets on a Sunday. Since he tried to get tickets for Saturday, these two dates would be the Thursday and Friday before that.
“sono mae no mokuyōbi ka kinyōbi. ”

When using words to describe time, the word “no” was used as well. You use this word by starting with a wider time frame and narrowing it down.

4. Phrase-easy!

You will learn useful Japanese phrases and real-life experiences relating to those phrases. On the menu today, we have “osusume.”

Tea Break

Hyūganatsu no kuzukiri

Hyūganatsu no kuzukiri

Hyūganatsu is a specialty of Miyazaki Prefecture. It has a bright, yellow color and is a bit larger than a tangerine. Eating the thin, white pith inside the peel along with the flesh gives a distinct taste like no other citrus.

This dessert uses a hyūganatsu syrup mixed with a slightly hard jelly made from kudzu plant. It’s a great balance of sweet and sour and its refreshing flavor will surely get you hooked.

on the Net #18

Question 1

Instruction:Fill in the blanks with correct Japanese words.

English Nihongo
the day before yesterday


おととい (ototoi)


きのう (kinō)
today きょう (kyō)


あした (ashita)
the day after tomorrow


あさって (asatte)

Question 2

Instruction:A detective is asking about your schedule. Given today is October 19, answer what you did in the three days.

17-Oct 10- playing tennis with Denis
19- shopping at Save'n'Save
18-Oct 8- jogging
12- lunch with Amanda
19-Oct 18- watching a movie



(ototoi no asa nani o shimasita ka)


The day before yesterday, what did you do in the morning?



(denisu to tenisu o shimashita)


I played tennis with Denis.



(kinō no hiru nani o shimashita ka)


Yesterday what did you do in the afternoon?



(amanda to gohan o tabemashita)


I ate lunch with Amanda.



(kyō nani o shimasu ka)


What are you going to do today?



(ēga o mimasu)


I am going to watch a movie.