Futari-wa dō-yatte shiri-atta-no? (How do you know each other?)

Situation 1: Mr. Okubo is talking with his niece Aki who is going to get married.

大久保: 彼とどうやって知り合ったの?

あき: 会社の同期だったんです。それで、いろいろ話すようになって。

Okubo: Kare-to dō-yatte shiri-atta-no?

Aki: Kaisha-no dōki-datta-n-desu. Sorede, iroiro hanasu yō-ni natte.

Okubo: How did you meet him?

Aki: We entered our company at the same time. So, we began to talk a lot.

Today, we will introduce the proper use of 合(あ)う, which attaches to a main verb. X [verb in masu form without masu] 合(あ)う adds the meaning that two or more people/things do the same action [X], creating a reciprocal effect. Some examples of this are 話(はな)し合う(to talk each other), 助(たす)け合う(to help each other), 教(おし)え合う(to teach each other), 愛(あい)し合う(to love each other), 知(し)り合う(to get to know each other), 語(かた)り合う(to talk each other) and 殴(なぐ)り合う(to exchange blows). For example: みんなで助(たす)け合って、何(なん)とかやっています (We are succeeding by helping each other). 前(まえ)の職場(しょくば)の人(ひと)たちと連絡(れ

んらく)を取(と)り合っています (I keep in touch with my ex-colleagues from my former office).

Situation 2: Mr. Hoan and Mr. Mita are chatting about commuting.

ホアン: 満員電車ではみんなが押し合っていて、疲れますね。

三田: ええ、日本の電車は朝、すごく混みますから。

Hoan: Man’in densha-dewa minna-ga oshi-atte-ite, tsukaremasu-ne.

Mita: Ee, Nihon-no densha-wa asa, sugoku komimasu-kara.

Hoan: Everybody pushes and shoves in crowded trains, it’s so tiring.

Mita: Japanese trains get really crowded in the morning.

X [verb in masu form without masu] 合(あ)う also adds the meaning that more than two people or things do the same action at same time [X] as in 出(だ)し合う(to chip in), 押(お)し合う (to jostle one another), 重(かさ)なり合う (to overlap, to lie on top of another). These expressions are not used with the word おたがいに (each other) even when discussing two people. みんなでお金(かね)を出(だ)し合って、彼(かれ)にプレゼントをあげよう。(Let’s chip in and get him a gift).

X [verb in masu form without masu] 合(あ)う can also be used as a noun in the form of X [verb in masu form without masu] 合(あ)い, and some verbs are used in this nominal form as in 話(はな)し合い (meeting, discussion), 助(たす)け合い (mutual aid), 言(い)い合い (quarrel), ふれあい (contact) and なぐりあ

い (exchange of blows).

Bonus Dialogue: Mr.Okubo is talking about his high school days to his wife.

夫: 来月(らいげつ)、高校(こうこう)のクラス会(かい)があるんだ。

妻: 高校の友(とも)だちとは今(いま)でもよく連絡(れんらく)を取(と)り合(あ)っているのね。

夫: うん。みんな仲(なか)がよかったからね。あのころは将来(しょうらい)のことについて語(かた)り合ったりしたよ。殴(なぐ)り合いのけんかをしたやつもいて、先生(せんせい)を怒(おこ)らせたけど、卒業(そつぎょう)のときはみんなでお金(かね)を出(だ)し合って先生(せんせい)にプレゼントをしたんだ。

妻: 青春(せいしゅん)ドラマみたいね。光男(みつお)にも話(はな)してやったら?

夫: うん。光男たちはメールやSNSで語り合っているだろうけど。そういえば、昔(むかし)はテストのとき、答(こた)えを教(おし)え合って助(たす)け合ったなあ。

妻: そんなことは光男に言(い)ってはだめよ!

Husband: I’m going to attend my high school reunion party next month.

Wife: You’ve been keeping in touch with your classmates since high school?

Husband: Yeah. We had a very good relationship. We used to talk to each other about our future in those days. Some guys exchanged blows, which made our teacher angry, but we chipped in and gave our teacher a gift when we graduated.

Wife: It sounds like a teen drama. You should tell Mitsuo.

Husband: Yeah. I think he and his friends talk about things using email or SNS these days. By the way, we also used to help each other by showing test answers to each other.

Wife: Don’t tell Mitsuo that!

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