Have you ever heard “もう moo” and “まだ mada” in Japanese?
They are a bit tricky.
Watch this video, and you will understand how to use them perfectly! 😉
もう moo means “already.”
It indicates the speaker’s expectations.
For example, if I ask you,
しゅくだいを しましたか。 Shukudai wo shimashita ka.
I just want to know whether you did your homework or not.
But if I ask you,
もう しゅくだいを しましたか。Moo shukudai wo shimashita ka.
It shows that I expect you have done your homework already and want to check it.
(It’s a very common teacher’s attitude, isn’t it? 😆)
How to answer “もう moo” question
If you have already finished your homework, you answer:
はい、(もう) しました。 Hai, (moo) shimashita.
*もう moo is optional.
It’s very easy if you are a good student who has finished your homework already and says yes.
But if you haven’t done it yet, it’s a bit tricky to answer.
いいえ、まだ していません。 Iie, mada shite imasen.
Many learners get confused and ask,
“Why should I use てform いません (te form imasen)???
Why shouldn’t I answer using the usual past tense, like “いいえ、まだしません Iie, mada shimasen.” ???”
Let me explain.
There are three situations
To answer this “もう moo” question, there are three situations.
- You have finished your homework already.
- You are currently doing your homework.
- You haven’t done it yet.
If you are in No.2 situation, you are currently doing your homework, and you answer like this.
はい、いま しています。Hai, ima shite imasu.
Yes, I am doing my homework now.
As you are currently doing your homework, you use て form + います imasu to show ongoing action.
If you haven’t done your homework yet, it means you haven’t been in that No. 2 situation.
That’s why you need to use a negative sentence of “て form + います (imasu).”
いいえ、まだ していません。Iie, mada shite imasen.
No, I haven’t done it yet.
Let’s recap! How to use もうmoo (already) and まだ mada (yet) in Japanese
- もう moo question shows the speaker’s expectation, “I suppose you have already finished it; let me check.”
- To answer this type of question, you can be in one of three situations.
1) You have already finished the ask.
はい、もう しました。Hai, moo shimashita.
2) You are currently working on the task.
はい、いま しています。Hai, ima shiteimasu.
3) You haven’t started the task yet.
いいえ、まだ していません。Iie, mada shiteimasen.
Now you can use もう moo (already) and まだ mada (yet) confidently! 😊