How Do You Write Homework In Japanese

There are many ways to say "after" in japanese. There is no one to one translation, since you can use different words as "after" depending one the overall meaning of the sentence.

-て から

One of the most common translations and one of the first one learns would be:

-て から

This shouldn't be confused with the reason-giving から which is not used with the て-form of a verb.


家に 帰ってから すぐに食べました。(ieni kaettekara sugunitabemashita.) "After returning home, I ate immediately."

Note. I believe it is better to say that there is one から. The distinction between the "after"-から and the reason-giving-から is there for learning purposes. If one where to give one translation for から that would be "from". Eg 「日本から」(from Japan). So, in the above context of time, the exact translation would be "from (the time I have) returned home, I ate.", meaning that "I started eating from (as origin) my having returned home". For more info on から and to fully get the gist of it, read the excellent IMABI

-た 後で

Another usual translation is:

-た 後で

後 means "behind" when you use it in a spatial context (and it is then pronounced as 「うしろ」) or "after" when you are speaking about time (and it is then pronounced as 「あと」. So, in a way, the concept of "after" for the Japanese is similar to that of "behind", while "before" is similar to "in front". This is particularly interesting in 「午前」 and 「午後」(ごぜん and ごご)that mean "am" and "pm" respectively. You could also use that formation in other words, eg 「今後」 which means "from now on", literally "after now".


家に 帰ったあとで、すぐに 食べました。(ieni kaettaatode, suguni tabemashita.) "After returning home, I ate immediately."

Note that 「、」 was not traditionally used in Japanese and it is written there mainly to help foreigners.


Another way to say after is by using just the て-form of the verb.


家に 帰って、食べました。(ieni kaette, tabemashita) "After I returned home, I ate"

Note: The thing with て-form is there is no exact match for this grammatical phenomenon in English. If I were to choose I would say that it is closer to the past participle. But that is just an, at times, convenient translation. If I were to literally translate this sentence then, it would be "At home returned, I ate." In any case, one has to just accept things as the are at some point!

Also, note that the て-form can be used to give reasoning.


You can also use the -ます form of a verb without the ます ending, to denote the succession of actions.


家に 帰り、食べました。

Note: This is more like a listing of the things you did. The ます form of the verb without ます is a strange artifact as in many cases it is used as a noun. For instance, 帰り in the example sentence means "the returning, the coming back". So, again, if you want to translate exactly the example in English, you will have some trouble. If you feel it helps translate it as the present participle.


In more advanced levels, one learns of many other expressions. Those expressions are used depending on context and, while they might be translated as "after", the meaning takes a special nuance. For instance:

  • -たら: this is one of the few ways to create a hypothesis. But, as in English, hypothesis might have a suspicion of time. Eg 「家に 帰ったら、電話をかけて。」(ieni kaettara, denwawokakete) "If/When you arrive home, call me."

  • -とたん: it means "exactly when", "just". Eg 「寝たとたん、眠りました。」(netatotan,nemurimashita.) "Just as I lied to sleep, I fall asleep.", This can be translated as "exactly after".

  • -次第(しだい): it also means "exactly when", "just", but the use cases are different. Literally, it means "the next in line", so it is frequently used to request, suggest, ... actions. Eg 「家に 帰り次第、電話をかけてください。」(ieni kaerishidai, denwawokaketekudasai.) "First thing to do when you return home, please call me.) Again, it might be translated as "immediately after you arrive home,...".

  • -上で: it is a more polite version of -てから. Here, again, we notice the use of a spatial adjective to express time.

  • -上は: it is better translated as "since" or "given that", eg 「試験を受けることにした上は、勉強するしかない。」(shikenwoukerukotonishitaueha, benkyouusurushikanai.) "Since I decided to take the exam, there is nothing else to do but study". Here, "since" is more like "because" but it also contains the meaning of "after".

  • 以上: quite similar to 上は, but it rather gives reason that expresses time.

The list could be going on, but the more one adds, the more they deviate from the meaning of 'after'. All in all, if you are a beginner, stick to what the books say. "-tekara means after", "taatode means after" and so on. As you become more comfortable and acquainted with Japanese, try to sense those words. Listen to how Japanese people use them, their emotion and so on. Not everything can be translated 100%. Also, some words are more usually written than said and vice versa. The above is how I understand things.


=Nanka (or Nanika) monku arimasu ka?

= “Any objection?” 

I think many of you have taken Japanese or other language classes. Perhaps some of you have had experiences teaching English or other languages in Japan.

But I, Maggie-sensei, am your teacher here!! So please respect me!

So today we’ll learn about school related Japanese vocabulary.


• 学校  (  = gakkou) school

• 語学学校 ( = gogaku gakkou) language school

cf. 英会話スクール ( = eikaiwa sukuuru) English school

• 専門学校  ( = senmon gakkou) professional training/ career college

Ex. 私は、語学学校に通っています。

= Watashi wa gogaku gakkou ni kayotte imasu.

= I go to a language school.

通う ( = kayou) = 通学(する) ( = tsuugaku suru) = go to school, to commute

• 保育園   ( = hoikuen) nursery school

• 幼稚園  ( = youchien) kindergarten

• 小学校  ( = shougakkou) elementary school

• 中学校  ( = chuugakkou) junior high school

• 高校  ( = koukou) high school

• 大学  ( = daigaku) university

• 短期大学  ( = tanki daigaku) junior colldege, 2 year colldege

→ short form短大  ( = tandai)

• 4年制大学  ( = yonensei daigaku) 4 year colldege, university

• 大学院  ( = daigakuin) graduate school


• 学位  ( = gakui) diploma

• 学士  ( = gakushi) bachelor

• 学士号  ( = gakushi gou) bachelor degree

• 修士  ( = shuushi) master

• 修士号  ( = shuushi gou) master degree

• 修士号を取る  ( = shuushi gou wo toru.) to get amaster degree

• 博士号  ( = hakase gou) Doctor of Philosophy degree

Note: Japanese education system:

義務教育 ( = gimu kyouiku) compulsory education :

9 years (elementary and junior high school)

→• 6 years in elementary school (from age 6 to 12 years)

→• 3 years in junior high school (from age 13 to 15 years)

• 3 years in high school (from age 16 to 18)

• 2 years in junior college or

• 4 years in university

• 予備校  ( = yobikou) cram school for university

• 塾  ( = juku)(学習塾  =gakushuu juku)cram school

• 公立  ( = kouritsu) public

Ex.公立高校  ( = kouritsu koukou) public high school

• 私立  ( = shiritsu/watakushiritsu) private

• 男女共学  ( = danjo kyougaku) co-education

• 中高一貫教育  ( = chuukou ikkan kyouiku) unified school programs(continuous study from junior high school to high school)

• 教育  ( = kyoiku) education

• 語学教育  ( = gogaku kyouiku) language education

• 幼児教育  ( = youji kyouiku) child education


• 先生 ( = sensei)  teacher

Note 1): We always address teachers with their name +  先生.

Ex. マギー先生 ( = Maggie sensei) They never call teacher with さん( = san)like マギーさん ( = Maggie san) “Miss Maggie”)

Also some other occupations could be called 先生  ( = sensei) such as doctors, lawyers, politicians,novelists and artists, etc.

Note 2): If you are a techer, you are not supposed to address yourself to others ” 先生” because the word sensei has feeling of respect and we don’t use honorific expression for yourself. So you say or you write in a document 教師 ( = kyoushi) instead of 先生 for your occupation. But we do hear in daily conversation people addressing yourself 先生.

(Ex. If you deal with children, you call yourself, your name+ 先生)

•担任 ( = tannin) teacher in charge/homeroom teacher

←担任の先生 ( = tannin no sensei) homeroom teacher

• 教授  ( = kyouju) professor

• 助教授  ( = jokyouju) associate (assistant) professor

• 講師  ( = koushi) an instructor

• 校長(先生) ( = kouchou (sensei))  principal

• 教頭(先生)(=kyoutou (sensei)) vice principal

• 学長  ( = gakuchou) president of the university

• 学部長  ( = gakubuchou) dean


• 学生  ( = gakusei) student

• 生徒  ( = seito) student

• 小学生  ( = shougaku sei) elementary school student

• 中学生   ( = chuugaku sei) junior high school student

• 高校生  ( = koukou sei) high school student

• 大学生  ( = daigaku sei) university student

• 大学院生 ( = daigakuin sei) graduate school student

• 予備校生 ( = yobikou sei) preparatory school student

• 塾生 ( = juku sei) cram school student

• 1年生 ( = ichi nen sei) first year grade, first-year student, freshman

• 2年生  ( = ni nen sei) second grader, second-year student, sophomore


 = kare wa koukou ni nen sei desu.

=  “He is a second-grader in high school.”

• 3年生  ( = san nen sei) third grader, third-year student, junior

• 4年生  ( = yo nen sei) fourth grader, fourth-year student, senior

• 留年 ( = ryuunen) to repeat a year (the same grade)

• 留年する ( = ryuunen suru)

• 浪人生 ( = rounin sei) a student who failed an entrance examination for university

• 浪人 ( = rounin) originally a samurai who doesn’t have their masters and wander around, now refers to students between high school and university — who are studying in order to pass university exams.

Ex. 彼の息子は浪人している。( = kare no musuko wa rounin shiteiru.)

• 一浪 ( = ichi rou) first year after you failed 、2浪 ( = ni rou) 2nd years after you failed..

Ex.一浪する。( =  ich rou suru.)

• クラスメート ( = kurasu meeto) classmate

• 同級生 ( = doukyuu sei) classmate

• 先輩  ( = senpai) senior, It refers to an older grade student

• 後輩  ( = kouhai) junior It refers to an younger grade student

Cultural note: Traditionally they have to show respect to older people in Japan. They have built this senpai-kouhai (superior-inferior, older-younger) relations in schools, companies and society in Japan. Sometimes it is very strict especially in sports clubs in schools. Kouhai (juniors) have to obey their senpai, seniors.

<To enter or graduate from a school>

• 入学  ( = nyuugaku) entrance、enter a school

• 卒業  ( = sotsugyou) graduate


= Maggie wa “Wanwan shougakkou” wo yatto sotsugyou shita

= “Maggie finally graduated “bowwow elementary school.”

• 入学式  ( = nyuugaku shiki) entrance ceremony

• 卒業式  ( = sotsugyou shiki) graduation ceremony

Culture note :
In Japan, they sing as graduation songs, 「蛍の光」( = Hotaru no hikari) (“Auld Lang Syne”,a Scottish folk song) or 「仰げば尊し 」( = Aogeba toutoshi, which shows gratitude and respect to your teachers.) in graduation ceremonies.
They also play 「蛍の光」( = Hotaru no hikari) (“Auld Lang Syne” ) when they close department stores.

• 大学卒  ( = daigaku sotsu) college graduate

• 高卒  ( = kousotsu) high school graduate

• 彼女は高卒だ。

= Kanojo wa kousotsu da.

=  She is high school graduate.

• 中卒   ( = chuusotsu)  junior-high graduate
• 首席  ( = shuseki)  summa cum laude、top of the class

Ex. 首席で卒業する 

 = shuseki de sotsugyou suru.

= to graduate summa cum laude

Ex. 彼は〜大学を優秀な成績で卒業しました。

=Kare wa ~ daigaku wo yuushuu na seiseki de sotsugyou shimashita.

= He graduated ~ University with excellent grades.


• 教室  ( = kyoushitsu) classroom

• 黒板  ( = kokuban) black board

• ホワイトボード  ( = howaito boodo) white board


• 机  ( = tsukue) desk

• 椅子  ( = isu) chair

• ロッカー  ( = rokkaa) locker

• クラス  ( = kurasu) class

• レッスン  ( = ressun) lesson


• 科目 ( = kamoku) <Subjects>

• 国語  ( = kokugo) Japanese study

• 算数  ( = sansuu) arithmetic

• 数学  ( = suugaku) math

• 理科  ( = rika) science

• 化学  ( = kagaku) chemistry

• 科学  ( = kagaku) science

• 社会科  ( = shakaika) social studies

• 体育  ( = taiiku) gymnastics


• ゼミ  ( = zemi) seminar (Usually you have to make a group under a professor to study or research something in University.

• 専攻  ( = senkou) major


= Senkou wa nan desu ka?

= “What is your major?”

• 学部  ( = gakubu) faculty, department

Ex. 文学部  ( = bungakubu)faculty of letters

Ex. 医学部  ( = igakubu)faculty of medicine

Ex. 法学部  ( = hougakubu)faculty of law

Ex. 経営部  ( = keieigakubu) faculty of business administration

• 文系  ( = bunkei)humanities

• 理系 ( = rikei)science course


= Kare wa rikei da

=  He is in the science ( and engineering) majors

<School events>

• 遠足  ( = ensoku) excursion

• 修学旅行  ( = shuugaku ryokou) school trip

• 運動会  ( = undoukai) athletics meets, sports festival

• 体育祭  ( = taiku sai) athletics meets, sports festival

• 学芸会  ( = gakugeikai) school play

• 文化祭 ( = bunka sai) cultural festival

• 大学祭  ( = daigaku sai)(学祭 =gakusai)school festivals in university

• 研修旅行  ( = kenshuu ryokou) study/research tour

• 父兄参観日  ( = fukei sankan bi) the day when parents can observe the class.

• 給食  ( = kyuushoku) school lunch (Mainly for elementary school.)

• 学食 ( = gakushoku) school cafeteria

Cultural note:

In Japanese schools (besides universities and cram schools), usually students stand up, bow and sit down beginning of the class all together for .
A student on a daily duty is called 日直 ( = nicchoku) and he/she say the followings:

• 「起立」( = kiritsu) “All rise!”

• 「礼」(  =rei) “Bow!”

• 「着席」( = chakuseki) “Sit down!”


= Chakuseki shite kudasai.-

=  “Please sit down!”

• 放課 ( = houka) break time

• 放課後 ( = houka go) after school

• 職員室 ( = shokuin shitsu) teachers’ room

• チャイム  ( = chaimu) bell

Ex.チャイムが鳴る ( = chaimu) ring the bell

(In many Japanese schools, when class starts or ends, you hear the bell.)


• 成績  ( = seiseki) grades

Ex.よい成績を取る ( = yoi seiseki wo toru) to get a good grade

Ex.成績が悪い  ( = seiseki ga warui) bad grade

• オール5 ( = ooru go) A+

(Note: 5 is the best grade in Japanese elementary school.)

• A+ = エープラ ( = ei purasu or ei pura)


 •試験  ( = shiken) exams

• テスト  ( = tesuto) test

• 期末テスト  ( = kimatsu tesuto) end-of-term exam

• 中間テスト  ( = chuukan tesuto) mid-term exam

• 小テスト  ( = shou tesuto) quiz

• 抜き打ちテスト  ( = nukiuchi tesuto) pop quiz

• 追試  ( = tsuishi) make-up exam

• 入学試験  ( = nyuugaku shiken)(入試 = nyuushi short form)

• 卒業試験  ( = sotugyou shiken) graduation exam

• 受験する  ( = juken suru) to take an (entrance) exam.

• 受験勉強  ( = juken benkyou) studying for entrance exam.

• 受験戦争  ( = juken sensou) entrance exam war、race

• 受験地獄 ( = juken zikoku)examination hell

Cultural note:

The competicion for entrance exams has been very severe in Japan. If you get in a good high school, there is more chance to get in a good university and get a good job in future. It has spreaded to even preschool ages. 「お受験」( =ojuken) is a word for those children who are forced to take an entrance exams for a good elementary school. There is a special school for those lower aged children to pass the exam and they teach social manners and specific knowledges to get in a good elementary schools.

• 合格  ( = goukaku) to pass (the exam)

• 合格する  ( = goukaku suru) to pass (the exam)

• 受かる  ( = ukaru) to pass

• 有名高校に受かった。 ( = Yuumei koukou ni ukatta.) “I have passed a famous high school.”

Also パスする ( = pasu suru) to pass

• 試験にパスする  ( = Shiken ni pasu suru.) to pass the exam.

• 不合格  ( = fugoukaku) to fail

• 落ちる  ( = ochiru) to fail

Ex. 試験に落ちる  ( = shiken ni ochiru) to fail the exam.

• 単位  ( = tan-i) credit

Ex. 単位を取る  ( = tan-i wo toru) to get courses credit

Ex. 単位が足らない  ( = tan-i ga tarinai) not earn sufficient credits

Ex. 単位を落とす ( = tan-i wo otosu) to fail a class


• レポート  ( = repooto) report 

• 作文  ( = sakubun) composition

• 論文  ( = ronbun) thesis

• 卒業論文  ( = sotsugyou ronbun) graduation thesis

• 宿題  ( = shukudai) homework

• 予習  ( = yoshuu) prep

• 復習  ( = fukushuu) review

• 研究  ( = kenkyuu) study, research

• 研究する  ( = kenkyuu suru) to study, to research

• リサーチ  ( = resaachi) research


• 出席する  ( = shusseki suru) to attend 

• 欠席する  ( = kesseki suru) to be absent

• ずる休み  ( = zuru yasumi) play hooky

Useful sentences for teachers!

• 「さあ、今日のレッスンを始めましょう。」

=”Saa, kyou no ressun wo hajimemashou.”

= “OK, let’s start today’s lesson”

• 「それでは出席を取ります。」

=”Soredewa shusseki wo torimasu.

= “OK, I’ll have a roll call.”

• 「〜さんは今日は欠席ですか?」

=~san wa kyou wa kesseki desu ka?


= Oyasumi desu ka?

= Is ~ absent today?”

• 「プリントを配ります。」

= Purinto wo kubari masu.

= “I’ll pass out the handouts!”

• 「繰り返して言って下さい。」

= Kurikaeshite itte kudasai.

= “Please repeat!”

• 「後について言って下さい。」

= Ato ni tsuite itte kudasai.

= “Repeat after me!”

• 「〜は日本語(〜語)で何と言いますか?」

= ~ wa nihongo (~ go) de nanto iimasu ka?

= “How do you say ~ in Japanese (other language)?”

言語  ( = gengo) language(s)

~語 ( = ~go) language

フランス語  ( = furansu go) French、スペイン語  ( = supein go) Spanish、英語  ( = eigo) English、中国語  ( = chuugoku go) Chinese、韓国語 ( = kankokugo) Korean、オランダ語 =oranda go) Dutch、ドイツ語 ( = doitsu go)German

• 「合っています。」

= Atte imasu.

= “It’s correct.”

• 「間違っています。」

= Machigatte imasu.

= “It’s not correct.”

• 「見て下さい。」

= Mite kudasai.

= ”Please look!”

• 「聞いて下さい。」

= Kiite kudasai.

= “Please listen!”

• 「言って下さい。」

= Itte kudasai.

= “Please say/speak”

• 「読んで下さい。」

= Yonde kudasai.

= “Please read!”

• 「しっかり勉強してきて下さい。」

= Shikkari benkyou shitekite kudasai.

= “Please study hard!”

• 「もう少し大きな声で言って下さい。」

= Mou sukoshi ookina koe de itte kudasai.

= “Please speak a bit louder.”

• 「はっきり発音して下さい。」

= Hakkiri hatsuon shite kudasai.”

= “Please pronounce clearly.” “Please enunciate!”

• 「必ず復習をして来て下さい。」

= Kanarazu fukushuu wo shitekite kudasai.

= “Please be sure to review!”

• 「宿題は34ページです。/34ページをやって来て下さい。」

= Shukudai wa sanjuu yon peiji wo yatte kite kudasai.

= Please study p.34 for homework.”

• 「何か質問はありますか?」(ありませんか?」)

= Nani ka shitsumon wa arimasuka?) (arimasenka?)

= “Do you have any questions?”

• 「先週のところで何か質問はありませんか?」

= Senshuu no tokoro de nanika shitsumon wa arimasenka?)

= “Do you have any questions about last week class?”

• 「これで終わります。」

= Kore de owari masu.)

= “Let’s finish here.”

Useful phrases for students:

• 遅刻 ( = chikoku) to be late


= Chikoku shite sumimasen.

= “I am sorry I am late.”

• 早退(=soutai) to leave early


= “Kyou wa soutai sasete kudasai.

= “Please let me leave early today.”

• 「綴り(スペル)が違っています。」

= Tsuzuri (or superu) ga chigatte imasu.

= “The spelling is wrong.”

• 「綴り(スペル)を教えて下さい。」

= Tsuzuri (or superu) wo oshiete kudasai.)

= “Please tell me how to spell ~.”

• 「綴り(スペル)はどう書けばいいですか?」

= Tsuzuri (or superu) wa dou kakeba ii desu ka?

= “How do you spell ~?”

• 「〜はどういう意味ですか?」

= ~ wa douiu imi desu ka?

= 〜はどういう意味か、教えて頂けますでしょうか? more polite

= ~ wa douiu imi ka oshiete itadakemasu de shouka?

= “What does ~ mean?” (“Could you tell me the meaning of ~, please?”)

• 「〜の意味を教えて下さい。」

= ~ no imi wo oshiete kudasai.

= 〜の意味を教えて頂けますでしょうか? more polite

= ~no imi wo oshiete itadakemasu de shouka?

“Please give me the meaning of ~. ” (“Could you~ tell me the meaning of ~, please?”)

• 「〜について教えて下さい。」

= ~ni tsuite oshiete kudasai.

•〜について教えて頂けますでしょうか?)more polite

= ~ni tsuite oshiete itadakemasu deshouka?

= “Please teach me about ~” (“Could you~”)

• 「今週の宿題は何ですか?」

= Konshuu no shukudai wa nan desu ka?

=“What is this week homework?”

• 「どこからどこまでが宿題でしょうか?」

= Dokokara dokomade ga shukudai de shou ka?

= “From where to where is our homework?”
• 「すみません。宿題を忘れました。」

= Sumimasen. Shukudai wo wasure mashita.

= “Excuse me. I forgot my homework.”

• 「ノートを忘れました。」

= Nouto wo wasure mashita.

= “I left /forgot my note book”

• 「先生、質問があります。」

= Sensei, shitsumon ga arimasu

= “Mr. /Ms. ~, I have a question! “

• 「質問してもいいですか?」

= Shitumon shitemo iidesu ka?

= “Can I ask you a question? “

• 「質問してもよろしいでしょうか?」

= Shitsumon shitemo yoroshii deshou ka?

= “May I ask you a question?”

• 「発音をもう一度教えて下さい。」

= Hatsuon wo mou ichido oshiete kudasai.

= “Please teach me/us the pronunciation again.”

• 「〜の意味がよくわかりません。」

= ~ no imi ga wakarimasen.

= “I don’t understand the meaning of ~ “

• 「すみません。全くわかりません。もう一度教えて頂けますか?」

= Sumimasen,. Mattaku wakarimasen. Mou ichido oshiete itadakemasu ka?

= ”Excuse me. I don’t understand at all. Could you teach me again?”

says in the picture above:


= Nanka (or Nanika) monku arimasu ka?

=  “Any objection?” “Any complaints?” ” Do you have something to say?”

文句 ( = monku) complaints

Ex. 文句がある。( =Monku ga aru.) I have a bone to pick.

Ex. 彼女はいつも文句ばかり言っている。

 = Kanojo wa itsumo monku bakari itte iru.

= She is always complaining (bitching).

 Maggie先生より  =Maggie sensei yori =  From Maggie-sensei



= Soredewa kyou no ressun wa kore de owarimasu. Nanika shitsumon wa arimasen ka?

Eh? Maggie sensei wa nande sonnani utsukushii no desu ka tte? Sore wa jibun demo wakarimasen. Shizen ni kou nan desu.

=OK, we will finish today’s lesson now. Any questions? What? How come Maggie-sensei is so beautiful? Well, I don’t know the answer myself. That’s the way I am….

chikokugakkouJapanese learningnihongoSchoolSchool related JapaneseStudying Japanese学校

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