As of June 30, 2018, live e-Tutoring has been discontinued.
Please click here for more information.

How to say "together" in Japanese

edited April 2013 in Japanese
Do you know how to say “together” in Japanese? You may respond, “Sure, it’s 一緒に issho ni!” While this is correct, it’s worth noting that “together” sometimes should be translated as 一緒 issho (i.e. without に ni).

What’s the difference between the two? Let’s first look at some usage examples.

“together” as 一緒に issho ni
(1) 一緒に映画に行きましょう。
   Issho ni eega ni ikimashoo.
   Let’s go to the movie together.

(2) 全部一緒にこの袋に入れます。
   Zenbu issho ni kono fukuro ni iremasu.
   I’m going to put everything together in this bag.

“together” as 一緒 issho
(3) 私達は一緒です。
   Watashitachi wa issho desu.
   We are together.

Did you get the difference? 一緒に issho ni is used to modify an action verb. If you want to say “together” as in “do something together”, “go somewhere together”, “put something in somewhere together”, etc, then 一緒に issho ni is the expression to use.

In contrast, use 一緒 issho when there is no action verb to modify, just like in the above example, “We’re together”. In this case, we’re not doing anything together. We are just being together.

Technically speaking, 一緒 issho is a noun while 一緒に issho ni is an adverb.

一緒 issho is also used to mean something like “same” or “shared”. In this case, 一緒 issho is used to modify nouns. Since 一緒 issho is also a noun, you need to insert the particle の no in between. Let’s look at some examples.

(4) 一緒のバッグが欲しいです!
   Issho no baggu ga hoshii desu!
   I want the same bag!

(5) 一緒の部屋に泊まります。
   Issho no heya ni tomarimasu.
   Literal translation: We’ll stay at a shared room.
   (i.e. We’ll share a room.)

Please note that you can rewrite (5) as following:

(6) 一緒に部屋に泊まります。
   Issho ni heya ni tomarimasu.
   We’ll stay in a room together.

Do you see the difference between (5) and (6)? If you use 一緒の issho no, it modifies the noun 部屋 heya. Hence, “shared room”. But if you use 一緒に issho ni, it modifies the action verb 泊まります tomarimasu (“stay overnight”). Hence, “stay together”.

Can you also rewrite (4) using 一緒に issho ni? No, you can’t. Do you see why? It’s because the expression 欲しいです hoshii desu (to want) is not an action verb; it rather expresses some psychological state.

Register or Sign In to comment.