Sign In

Lessons

Lists

Learn Japanese with Anime - Words Are Like Knives

Video Lessons »
18 Sentences|77 Words|69 Kanji

Learn Japanese with Anime - Words Are Like Knives

In this video we’re going to analyse Conan’s quote from Detective Conan (Meitantei Conan/Case Closed).

If you enjoy the video lessons from Easy Peasy Japanesey, please subscribe to their channel on YouTube.Please Subscribe!

Analysis

言葉は刃物なんだ

言葉 means “words”.

は is the particle that indicates the topic of the sentence.

刃物 means “bladed objects”, “cutting tools” or “knives”.

ん is the broken version of the particle の, and when it’s used with the auxiliary verb だ, it expresses the speaker’s strong declaration based on a certain reason or background. It’s often used when explaining something to convince the listener.

It can be attached to a verb or i-adjective such as;

  • 僕は行く (Verb) んだ! meaning “I’m going!”
  • ここのラーメンはおいしい (I-adjective) んだ meaning “the ramen here is delicious”

But when it’s attached to a noun or na-adjective you need to add な before んだ such as;

  • 犯人は俺 (noun) なんだ meaning “the culprit is me”.
  • この仕事は大変 (na-adjective) なんだ meaning “this job is hard”.

刃物 is a noun so な is added before んだ.

So 言葉は刃物なんだ directly means “words are knives” in an convincing way, but since it’s a metaphor we translate it as “words are like knives”.

使い方を間違えると厄介な凶器になる

There are two clauses in this sentence. 使い方を間違えると is the subordinate clause and 厄介な凶器になる is the main clause.

The stem of a verb masu-form followed by 方 means “how to do something” or “the way of doing something”. 使い is the stem of the verb 使います meaning “to use” so 使い方 means “how to use” or “the way of using”.

“Something を間違える” means “to get something wrong”.

And “The conjunction particle と following a verb dictionary form” means “if one does something”.

So the subordinate clause 使い方を間違えると directly means “if you get the way of using wrong” so it can be translated as “if you use them the wrong way”.

厄介な is a na-adjective meaning “troublesome” which is used for something causing a lot of problems. And it modifies the following word 凶器 meaning “murder weapons”. So 厄介な凶器 can be translated as “dangerous weapons”.

And “something になる” means “to become or turn into something”.

So the main clause 厄介な凶器になる means “they will turn into dangerous weapons”.

Sentences

Conan’s Quote

Words are like knives. If you use them the wrong way, they can turn into dangerous weapons.

Noun A は Noun B なんだ (“A is B”)

This dog is sick. Please give him good care.
This stone is a power stone. If you have it, something good will happen.

〜を間違える (to get something wrong)

I took the wrong way and I got lost.
It’s rude to get someone’s name wrong.

Verb Dictionary-Form +と (if)

This flower will die if you give it too much water.
If I tell you now, you might get confused so I’ll tell you later.

NOTE: Difference Between と, ば, たら and なら (if one does/doesn’t do something)

Verb Dictionary-Form/Nai-Form + と

  • expresses general truths/constant results (if “A” happens, “B” will unavoidably happen) such as natural phenomenons, habitual actions, programmed actions, etc.
  • can also express one’s discovery following a certain action in the past
  • cannot express one’s volition, invitations, requests, commands, etc.
If you heat up ice, it melts.
If I don’t drink hot milk, I can’t sleep.
If you press this button, the door will open.
I went to the supermarket to find it was closed.

Verb Conditional-Form + ば

  • expresses general truths/constant result (can be substituted for と)
  • can also express hypothetical conditions (if “A” happens (hypothesis), “B” will happen)
  • basically cannot express one’s volition, invitations, requests, commands, etc.
If the typhoon comes, the school will be closed.

*EXCEPTION: if the subject of each clause was different, or if the condition “A” is the state of being, it can express one’s volition, invitations, requests, commands, etc.

If you don’t disturb me (subject: you), I will study with you (subject: I).
If you are hot (= state of being), you can turn on the air conditioner.

Verb Ta-Form + ら

  • expresses hypothetical conditions and actual conditions (when “A” happens “B” will happen)
  • can also express one’s discovery following a certain action in the past (can be substituted for と but たら is more casual)
  • can express one’s volition, invitations, requests, commands, etc.
  • can be widely used to express “if”
If you had a million yen, what would you use it for?
When the next lesson finishes, let’s go buy coffee.
I went to the supermarket to find it was closed.

Verb Plain-Form + なら

  • used to make someone’s statement provided before into a condition
Your sister: I’m going to the library. You: If you’re going to the library, can you return this book for me?

Vocabulary

Romaji Hide|Display Default|Add to ▼
kotoba
noun
  1. words
hamono
noun
  1. edged tool
machigaeru
ichidan verb, transitive verb
  1. to make a mistake (in); to commit an error (e.g. in calculation)
nanda
auxiliary
  1. it is assuredly that ...; can say with confidence that ...
tsukaikata
noun
  1. way to use something
yakkai
na adjective, noun
  1. trouble; bother
kyouki
noun
  1. dangerous weapon
kono
pre-noun adjectival
  1. this (something or someone close to the speaker (including the speaker), or ideas expressed by the speaker)
inu
noun
  1. dog (Canis (lupus) familiaris)
byouki
noun, no adjective
  1. sickness
ageru
ichidan verb, transitive verb
  1. (after the -te form of a verb) to do for (the sake of someone else)
chanto
adverb, noun, suru verb
  1. properly
sewa
noun, suru verb
  1. looking after

Kanji

Display Default|Add to ▼
Stroke Count
1 Strokes
English Meaning
  1. one, one radical (no.1)
Readings
Kun'yomi: ひと、ひと.つ、はじめ、てん、かづ、かつ、いる、まこと、かず、おさむ、か、かた、くに、さね、すすむ、たか、ただ、ち、のぶ、はじむ、ひ、ひじ、ひで、ひとし、まさし、もと、もろ、ひと-。
On'yomi: イチ、イツ。
Stroke Count
2 Strokes
English Meaning
  1. person
Readings
Kun'yomi: ひと、-と、-り。
On'yomi: ニン、ジン。
Stroke Count
4 Strokes
English Meaning
  1. circle, yen, round
Readings
Kun'yomi: まど、まる、まど.か、まる.い、まろ.やか。
On'yomi: エン。
Stroke Count
4 Strokes
English Meaning
  1. water
Readings
Kun'yomi: みず、みづ、み、みず-。
On'yomi: スイ。
Stroke Count
4 Strokes
English Meaning
  1. dog
Readings
Kun'yomi: いぬ、いぬ-。
On'yomi: ケン。
Stroke Count
5 Strokes
English Meaning
  1. book, present, main, origin, true, real, counter for long cylindrical things
Readings
Kun'yomi: もと。
On'yomi: ホン。
Stroke Count
5 Strokes
English Meaning
  1. stone
Readings
Kun'yomi: いし。
On'yomi: コク、シャク、ジャク、セキ。
Stroke Count
6 Strokes
English Meaning
  1. rest, day off, retire, sleep
Readings
Kun'yomi: やす.む、やす.まる、やす.める。
On'yomi: キュウ。
Stroke Count
6 Strokes
English Meaning
  1. name, noted, distinguished, reputation
Readings
Kun'yomi: な、-な。
On'yomi: ミョウ、メイ。
Stroke Count
6 Strokes
English Meaning
  1. spirit, mind, air, atmosphere, mood
Readings
Kun'yomi: いき。
On'yomi: ケ、キ。
Stroke Count
7 Strokes
English Meaning
  1. flower
Readings
Kun'yomi: はな、わ。
On'yomi: ケ、カ。
Stroke Count
8 Strokes
English Meaning
  1. study, learning, science
Readings
Kun'yomi: まな.ぶ、まな、まなぶ。
On'yomi: ガク。
Stroke Count
10 Strokes
English Meaning
  1. exam, school, printing, proof, correction
Readings
Kun'yomi: かせ。
On'yomi: ギョウ、キョウ、コウ。
Stroke Count
3 Strokes
English Meaning
  1. ten thousand, 10,000
Readings
Kun'yomi: よろず。
On'yomi: マン、モン、バン。
Stroke Count
4 Strokes
English Meaning
  1. now
Readings
Kun'yomi: いま。
On'yomi: コン、キン。
Stroke Count
4 Strokes
English Meaning
  1. direction, person, alternative
Readings
Kun'yomi: かた、まさ、-かた、-がた。
On'yomi: ホウ。
Stroke Count
5 Strokes
English Meaning
  1. pedestal, a stand, counter for machines and vehicles
Readings
Kun'yomi: うてな、しもべ、つかさ、ゆろこぶ、われ、だい、もと。
On'yomi: タイ、ダイ。
Stroke Count
6 Strokes
English Meaning
  1. going, journey
Readings
Kun'yomi: い.く、ゆ.く、おこな.う、おこな.い、C、-い.き、-ゆ.き、-いき、-ゆき、おこ.なう。
On'yomi: C、A、ゴウ、コウ、アン、ヒン、A、ギョウ。
Stroke Count
7 Strokes
English Meaning
  1. what
Readings
Kun'yomi: なに、なん、あが、なに.の、なん.の、なん.ぞ、いず.れ、なに-、なん-。
On'yomi: ガ、カ。
Stroke Count
7 Strokes
English Meaning
  1. map, drawing, plan, unexpected, accidentally
Readings
Kun'yomi: はか.る、え。
On'yomi: ズ、ト。

Comments for this video

If you have a question or would like to make a comment on this video, please do so below. Your comment will appear in the forum for other users of the site to view and discuss.



Only registered users may post comments. You can register your free 楽しい Japanese account here.