How to make your writing better in Japanese

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On this page, you can find what makes your Japanese writing composition more sophisticated.

Kanji

You should write in Kanji when necessary as Japanese people do. Assessors for tests or exams want to see if you can write basic Kanji symbols.

You don’t have to try to write difficult Kanji symbols. For example, strict is きびしい which is 厳しい in Kanji but you don’t need to write in Kanji. You can find basic 200 Kanji symbols here. Make sure you can write them properly.

Some people would think that they could make a sentence longer if they don’t use Kanji symbols. That is true, but it does not help you to get a better mark or make your writing sophisticated.

What you should consider is that you can say more things in a shorter sentence by writing Japanese words in Kanji. This is very important especially when you have a word limit for your writing test or exam. More information you convey (with various sentence patterns), better mark you can get.

Bad example

にほんではおしょうがつのあいだ、いえでかぞくやしんせきとすごすことがおおいです。

No words are written in Kanji. It cannot impress readers or examiners.

Good example

日本ではお正月の間、家で家族やしんせきとすごすことが多いです。

The sentence is written using the basic 200 kanji symbols. しんせき can be 親戚 in Kanji but you don’t have to write the Kanji symbols as they are out of the list of 200.

It is also about 10 ji (characters) less than the bad example sentence, which means to give you more space to write about other things in your whole writing composition.

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The length of a sentence

A sentence should not be too short or too long.

Too short

‘too short’ means a sentence consists of less than 10 ji (characters). It is good to have a short sentence sometimes, but you should not continue to write short sentences.

Bad example 1

私は日本人です。私は男です。私は二十五さいです。私はやさしいです。私はいしゃです。

This is not good because all of them are written with the A は B です sentence pattern.

Bad example 2

私は日本人で、男で、二十五さいで、やさしくて、いしゃです。

This is better than the first one but too many words connected with で.

Good example

私は日本人でいしゃです。年は二十五さいで男せいです。せいかくはやさしいです。

This sounds quite natural. It is good to have extra words such as 年 and せいかく to make it more sophisticated.

Too long

‘too long’ means a sentence consists of over 100 ji. If a sentence is too long, it could be hard for readers to focus on what you want to say as you can put a couple of different things to say in one sentence.

Bad example

東京とくらべると、北海道の夏はとてもすずしくてすごしやすいので、日本人だけでなく多くの外国人が夏に北海道をおとずれて、いろいろなかんこう地で食べ物やしぜんを楽しみます。

This sentence is not bad but it could be too long. See the good example below.

Good example

東京とくらべると、北海道の夏はとてもすずしくてすごしやすいですので、日本人だけでなく多くの外国人が夏に北海道をおとずれます。そして、いろいろなかんこう地で食べ物やしぜんを楽しみます。

The conjunction そして is used effectively. You can see the list of conjunction here.

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Relative Clause

Relative Clause is very powerful to create the depth of content in your writing.

You can usually use less ji (characters) if you use a relative clause which is great as you have more space to write about other things in your whole writing composition.

Question 1

Join the two sentences below to make one sentence using a relative clause.

  • 母はパスタを作ります。
  • 私はそれが好きです。

Answer

私は母が作るパスタが好きです。(4 ji less)

Question 2

Join the three sentences below to make one sentence using a relative clause.

  • 日本の乗りものはせいかくです。
  • そして日本は世界ではじめてインスタントヌードルをつくりました。
  • だから、日本は乗りものとインスタントヌードルで有名な国です。

Answer

せいかくな乗りもので有名な日本は世界ではじめてインスタントヌードルをつくった国ということでも有名です。(25 ji less)

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