Reading Japanese: How to write just as who you are

This was the question that someone asked on Quora in Japanese, “自分らしい文章を書く方法はなんですか?” which means “How to write just as who you are?” 

It was not easy to translate the question into English, but my understanding was that someone wanted to find a way to write without exaggerating nor pretending to be someone else. Therefore, here is a part of my answer. If you want to read the whole article, please click “Read the full episode”.

Japanese text






Japanese text in Hiragana and Pronunciations 


Chugakusei no koro, tokubetsu sakubun ga suki dato yuukotomo nakatta no desu ga, tamatama kaita sakubun ga tannin kyooshi ni kini irare,


“Kore, yoku kaketeru kara, moo chotto tenaoshi shite, sakubun konkuuru ni dashite minaika”


to iware mashita.


Sorede, jibun narini “suikoo” shite, teishutsu shinaoshita nodesu.


Tokoroga sono kyooshi (kokugo kyooshi datta) wa, kakinaoshita watashi no genkoo wo sonobade yomi, koo iimashita.


“Ng, mae no hooga yokatta na”

English Translation

When I was in junior high school I wasn’t particularly fond of writing, but I happened to write something that my Japanese teacher liked.

He said, “This is very well written, why don’t you revise it a bit and enter it in a writing competition?”

So I revised it and submitted it again the next day. However, he read my rewritten manuscript on the spot and said, “Well… I think the previous one was better.”

>Read the full episode in English on my blog

Pick up for beginners!


Today, I picked up two grammar tips from this short phrase. 

First, let’s check the conjugation of an i-adjective 良い (yoi / ii).

良い (yoi / ii) is an i-adjective that means “good” “well”. 良い has two ways to read; Yoi and Ii, and it is classified as irregular i-adjective. 

Here is the conjugation of 良い (yoi / ii) in the present and past tense. 

  • present: よい yoi / いい ii
  • negative present: よくない yokunai
  • past: よかった yokatta 
  • negative past: よくなかった yokunakatta

良い (yoi / ii) is a special adjective. You can see the conjugation above. In those four forms, you can pronounce both ways いい (ii) and よい (yoi) only for the affirmative present form while we only can pronounce “良” as “yo” with the other forms. 

Next, we are going to talk about how to compare two things in Japanese.

A (noun)+のほうがいい no hoo ga ii
A is better

When you want to say “than B (noun)”, you can use “より (yori)”. Please note that you need to add “より (yori)” after the noun to compare.

B (noun)+より+A (noun)+のほうがいい
A is better than B

In Japanese, there is another way to say this phrase, meaning exactly the same.

A (noun)+のほうが+B (noun)+よりいい
A is better than B

For example;

Kocchi no hooga ii.

This is better.

Ringo yori banana no hooga ii.

Bananas are better than apples.

Kinoo no hoteru no hooga yokatta.

Yesterday’s hotel was better.

いい can be replaced with other adjectives. For example,

Aso-san yori Fuji-san no hooga takai.

Mt. Aso is higher than Mt. Fuji.

Kono resutoran yori ano resutoran no ryoori no hooga oishii.

The dishes in that restaurant are more delicious than this restaurant.

Ringo yori banana no hooga suki desu.

I prefer bananas to apples.

Anata no hooga kanojo yori kireida.

You are more beautiful than she is.


  • 中学生 chuugakusei: a junior high school student
  • ころ koro: about, in that period
  • 特別 tokubetsu: especially, special
  • 作文 sakubun: writing
  • 好き suki: like, to like
  • なかった nakatta: didn’t, there wasn’t (negative past tense)
  • たまたま tamatama: accidentally 
  • 書いた kaita: wrote (plain form, past tense of u verb / godan verb 書く)
  • 文章 bunshoo: writing, sentences
  • 担任教師 tannin kyooshi: classroom teacher
  • 気に入られ kini irare: was liked
  • これ kore: this
  • よく書けてる yoku kaketeru: well-written
  • もうちょっと moo chotto: a bit more, a little more
  • 手直し tenaoshi: rework, later adjustment
  • コンクール konkuuru: contest, competition
  • 出してみないか dashite minaika: would you like to apply (suggestion)
  • いわれました iware mashita: (I) was told
  • それで sorede: therefore
  • 自分なりに jibun nrini: by myself, as much as I can
  • 推敲 suikoo: revision
  • 提出し直した teishutsu shi naoshita: resubmitted
  • ところが tokoroga: but
  • その sono: that
  • 教師 kyooshi: teacher
  • 国語 kokugo: national language (refer to Japanese classed in schools)
  • 書き直した kaki naoshita: re-wrote
  • 私の watashi no: my
  • 原稿 genkoo: manscript
  • その場 sonoba: there, at that spot
  • 読み yomi: read
  • こう言いました koo iimashita: said like this
  • うん ng: well,yeah
  • 前 mae: previous
  • よかった yokatta: was better