Lesson 7 - Possessions

Look at this sentence: Watashi no neko desu. This sentence means "It's my cat". If you take out the neko, it simply becomes Watashi no desu, which merely tranlates to "It's mine". Now you can easily tell people which things belong to you. You can also say what things belong to other people. For example, if a pencil belonged to Mamoru, you would say Mamoru san no enpitsu desu.

If you wanted to ask who something belonged to (say someone's book), you would say the following: Dare no hon desu ka. It translates to "Whose book is this?" If you wanted to simply ask "Whose is it?" you would just say Dare no desu ka. You can also ask if it is someone's. Say you found a bag and you thought it was Sakura's. You would then say, Sakura san no kaban desu ka or merely Sakura san no desu ka, which is "Is it Sakura's?"

If you wanted to ask someone if it was theirs, you would use the word anata, which, if you remember, means "you". The sentence would be Anata no desu ka or "Is it yours?" With these sample sentences, you can construct various different sentences.
If you want to say something isn't yours, you would use the verb dewa arimasen. Look at this sample dialogue:

Kimi: Anata no kasa desu ka.
Jon: Iie, watashi no kasa dewa arimasen.

Kimi asked Jon if it was his umbrella. Jon replied "No, it's not my umbrella."
There are also various ways to ask this. If you wanted to say, "The cat is not mine" the sentence would change to Neko wa watashi no dewa arimasen. Similarly, if you wanted to say "The book is mine", you would say Hon wa watashi no desu. Using these sample sentences, you can also create various other sentences as well.
Let's have another sample conversation, this one between Jodi and Carrie.

Jodi: Konnichi wa, Carrie san. Anata no hon desu ka.
Carrie: Iie, hon wa watashi no dewa arimasen. Jill san no hon desu.
Jodi: Aa, dare no PEN desu ka.
Carrie: Watashi no PEN desu.

PEN is the Japanese word for "pen", except you would not write this word in Hiragana; it would be written in Katakana since it is a word of English origin. In this conversation, Jodi asked Carrie if it was her book. Carrie replied "No, the book is not mine. It's Jill's book." Jodi then replies, "Oh, whose pen is it?" Carrie replies it is her pen.
Try using various vocabulary words and names to practice this more. Once you get the basic sentence structure down, it is easy to remember.