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Teach Us, Teacher

ICHIBAN (Lesson 42)

When you compare three or more things, you express the best of them by saying it is ICHIBAN (the best, the most, number one). Then, what do you say, for example, when you want to say "it is the most interesting"? "Interesting" is OMOSHIROI. So, you say ICHIBAN OMOSHIROI DESU. The adjective, OMOSHIROI, does not change.

You show the range of comparison by the particle, DE. "Number one in Japan" is NIHON DE ICHIBAN. What about "Mt. Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan"? "High" is TAKAI. So, you say FUJISAN WA NIHON DE ICHIBAN TAKAI DESU. Then, let's make questions, using ICHIBAN (number one, the best, the most). You use different interrogatives before ICHIBAN, depending on what you compare.

If you compare things both the speaker and the listener are looking at, you use DORE GA (which). So, let's say "which do you like best?" "To like" is SUKI. So, you say DOREGA ICHIBAN SUKI DESU KA. If you compare things that are not around you, you use NANI GA (what). So, "what do you like best?" is NANI GA ICHIBAN SUKI DESU KA.
If you compare persons, you use DARE GA (who).
If you compare places, you use DOKO GA (where).
And if you compare dates, you use ITSU GA (when).
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