Talking About School Subjects

This lessons has two purposes: 1) it's a vocab builder, and 2) it's a great topic for practicing the sentence structures from the last few lessons.

Recommended Background:

Words for School Subjects

You should definitely know these subjects in Japanese. For a more comprehensive list, see this post.

Note: the word for "subject" is 科目 (kamoku).

  Kanji Kana Romaji English
  英語 えいご Eigo English
1 日本語 にほんご Nihongo  Japanese 
2 数学 すうがく suugaku math 
3 科学 かがく kagaku science
  歴史 れきし rekishi history 
  社会 しゃかい shakai society (social science) 
  体育 たいいく taiiku physical education
  音楽 おんがく ongaku music 
  美術 びじゅつ bijutsu (visual) art

1 In Japan, "Japanese" as a school subject is known as 国語/Kokugo ("national language") rather than Nihongo.

2 In elementary school, "math" is 算数/sansuu ("arithmetic") rather than suugaku.

3 Kagaku also means "chemistry" – in this case the Kanji is 化学. In elementary school, "science" is 理科/rika rather than kagaku.


In the following example sentences we'll use the following adjectives:

Kana Romaji Meaning
やさしい yasashii easy
むずかしい muzukashii difficult
おもしろい omoshiroi interesting
つまらない tsumaranai boring
すき(な) suki(na) to be liked
きらい(な) kirai(na) to be disliked

And the following particles and conjunctions:

Kana Romaji Meaning
~より …yori (more) than ___
~ほど~[neg] …hodo…[neg] not as ___ as ___
そして~ Soshite… Also…
でも~ Demo… However…
だから~ Dakara… Because of that…
~が、~ …ga… although, but
~から、~ …kara… because, so
~から。 …kara. That's because…

If you need a refresher on any of these, here are the relevant lessons:

Now for the examples.

1.   しゃかいは かがくより やさしいです。
Shakai wa kagaku yori yasashii desu.
Social studies is easier than science.
2.   スペインごは  にほんごほど おもしろくないです。
Supein-go wa Nihongo hodo omoshirokunai desu.
Spanish is not as interesting as Japanese.
3. A: にほんごは おもしろいですか。
Nihongo wa omoshiroi desu ka?
Is Japanese interesting (to you)?
  B: (Several possible answers)

はい、おもしろいです。そして やさしいです。
Hai, omoshiroi desu. Soshite yasashii desu.
Yes, it's interesting. Also, it's easy.

はい。でも むずかしいです。
Hai. Demo muzukashii desu.
Yes, but it's difficult.

はい。だから すきです。
Hai. Dakara suki desu.
Yes, that's why I like it.

4. A: れきしが すきですか。
Rekishi ga suki desu ka?
Do you like history?
  B: いいえ、すきじゃありません。つまらないですから。
Iie, suki ja arimasen. Tsumaranai desu kara.
No, I don't like it. Because it's boring. 
5.   すうがくは むずかしいです。でも おもしろいです。
Suugaku wa muzukashii desu. Demo omoshiroi desu.
Math is hard. But, it's interesting. 
6.   すうがくは むずかしいですが、おもしろいです。
Suugaku wa muzukashii desu ga, omoshiroi desu.
Math is hard, but it's interesting.
7.   おんがくは やさしいです。だから すきです。
Ongaku wa yasashii desu. Dakara suki desu.
Music is easy. That's why I like it. 
8.   おんがくは やさしいですから、すきです。 
Ongaku wa yasashii desu kara, suki desu.
I like music because it's easy.

See Also

What Next?

 Coming Soon:

  • Japanese Verbs 

Having trouble understanding something? Anything I've missed? Please send your feedback using the contact form and help me improve this site. All questions, comments, and corrections are welcome.