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Uki Uki NihonGO + Culture! - Lesson 9 - audience questions

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ウキウキ NihonGO! Lesson #9 Q&A Part 2

Welcome to Uki Uki NihonGO + Culture!

In today's lesson, we will continue to answer some of the comments and questions we received from our viewers.
(You can watch Q&A Part 1 here: https://www.youtube.com/wat...)

Q.1 What's the difference between ありがとうございます and ありがとうございました?

You use ありがとうございます(Arigatou gozaimasu) to thank someone immediately, e.g. when someone just served you tea, held the door for you, or gave you a present/compliment, etc.

ありがとうございました (Arigatou gozaimashita), on the other hand, has the past-tense ending. You use this to thank someone for a past act of kindness, and is often accompanied with words like 昨日は(kinou wa: yesterday), この前は(kono mae wa: the other day), and 先日は(senjitsu wa: the other day - more formal).
You also use ありがとうございました when you are about to end something, e.g. at the end of a speech, phone call, meeting, class, etc. In stores or restaurants, they will tell you ありがとうございました to thank you for shopping or dining as you are leaving.

Q.2 What is the intonation of common words like greetings?

Think of Japanese intonation like a wave -- it goes up, goes down, or stays flat.
Words with an upward wave: 犬(inu: dog)、鳥(tori: bird)、カエル(kaeru: frog), etc.
Words with a downward wave: 猫(neko: cat)、タヌキ(tanuki: Japanese raccoon)

Let's look at the waves in greetings.
Flat wave: こんにちは(Konnichiwa: hello)
Upward wave: おはよう(Ohayou: Good morning), よろしく(Yoroshiku: Nice to meet you), さようなら(Sayounara: Goodbye)
Up and down wave: ありがとう(Arigatou: Thanks), すみません(Sumimasen: Excuse me)

Sometimes, the tonal difference also gives different meanings.
e.g. はし(up: bridge)/はし(down: chopsticks), しろ(up: castle)/しろ(down: white), する(up: to do)/する(down: pickpocket, print)

Q.3 What's the difference between よ(yo) and ね(ne) at the end of a sentence?

ね(ne) is used when feelings/impressions/ideas are shared, similar to "isn't it?" or "right?" in English. For instance, on a very hot day, you say あついですね(Atsui desune) - "It's hot, isn't it?" because you know that the other person is also feeling the heat.

よ(yo), on the other hand, is used when you are providing new information. It's similar to saying "just so you know," or "for your information" in English. For example, if someone is trying to use a conference room that has a broken AC, you can inform him/her by saying あついですよ (Atsui desuyo) -- "Just so you know, that room is hot."

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