Take the 2-minute tour ×
Japanese Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Japanese language. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sorry if this is a really open-ended question, but one thing occurred to me when I was asking a prior question here; are there any particular grammatical errors frequently made by native Japanese speakers?

For example, in English there are quite a few obvious mistakes that native speakers make - your vs. you're and me and Sally went... rather than Sally and I went... and often non-native speakers of English are better at distinguishing between them than native speakers.

Is there any such Japanese grammar that is commonly used incorrectly by native speakers?

I am more interested in common mistakes than obscure mistakes; mistakes where one would think that a native speaker should know better.

share|improve this question
2  
「通り」should be written 「とおり」 in hiragana but I've seen many people write it as 「とうり」。 (Wait, is this a "grammatical" error?) Maybe「ら抜き言葉」is seen as a grammatical error (but I'm not sure). And many people say/write "~~たり~~する" but I learned at school that we should say/write "~~たり~~たりする" –  Choko Nov 21 '12 at 21:32
1  
Now I remembered we often say 「すごい寒い~!」「すごい嬉しい~!」「すごい+ an adjective」. I think we use すごく when we write formally though. –  Choko Nov 21 '12 at 23:10
2  
Maybe this should be community wiki? There also seems to be some confusion between the imperative of ichidan verbs and godan verbs ending in -iru and -eru. Is it しゃべれ or しゃべろ, みれ or みろ etc. There might be some dialectal influence on this too, not sure. –  dainichi Nov 22 '12 at 0:25
1  
Interesting question. Try not confuse evolution of modern Japanese vs real grammar mistake. –  oldergod Nov 22 '12 at 1:50
4  
Those aren't really good examples of "grammatical errors". "You're"/"your" is just spelling and most of the time its not even a legitimate mistake. Also mistakes in text/print are usually not mistakes of language but mistakes of typing or editing and whatnot. I would also take special heed to oldergod's comment on the distinction between "semi-tolerated emergent conventions" and a true linguistic error. The latter are by far much more interesting, especially when the culprit is perverse enough to violate a linguistic universal, and not just a language particular. –  taylor Nov 22 '12 at 3:04

3 Answers 3

Don't know about native speakers, but I know that a commonly made mistake is to use a grammatical structure such as ~と思う without the necessary だ if preceded by a noun or な adjective.

share|improve this answer

I'm not sure if it is common, but I asked a question once about something I often saw: (I think these types of mistakes are common though when you mix up to words)

環境を配慮した家 <-- Should be に not を

Using たり only once (reference):

×本を読んだり、手紙を書く暇もありません。  

→○本を読んだり、手紙を書いたりする暇もありません。

Using two words that mean the same thing in a row (very common):

まず初めに

今現在

Using 申し訳ない as 申し訳ありません or 申し訳ございません. Technically 申し訳ない is a 形容詞.

なので at the beginning of a sentence.

すいません instead of すみません (perhaps more of a spoken thing).

こんにちわ instead of こんにちは

share|improve this answer
    
That point about 申し訳ない is interesting. So is 申し訳ありません prescriptively incorrect? I could have sworn we had been taught it. –  jogloran Nov 22 '12 at 3:50
    
@jogloran: Prescriptively, yes. Here is a link in Japanese talking about it. However, it is so common, taking a descriptive approach might be better (still up for debate). –  Jesse Good Nov 22 '12 at 4:04
1  
Thanks for that. As the link says, 申し訳ありません is incorrect in the same way that 危ありません is incorrect, but the descriptive tendency is probably because 申し訳 also occurs as a standalone noun while 危(あぶ) does not. Also, I would never have thought 申し訳のう to be the correct combining form. –  jogloran Nov 22 '12 at 4:19
    
Why is なので at the beginning of a sentence incorrect? –  istrasci May 29 '13 at 14:28
    
@istrasci: The of なので is the same one as seen in 簡単な問題, so grammatically it is used to connect 形容詞, etc. (called 連体形) to other words. When な is used at the beginning of a sentence, its incorrect because it isn't attached to anything. –  Jesse Good May 29 '13 at 19:57

If some construct is common among native speakers, is it a grammatical error, or an artifact of a shared dialect? It's an error in the prescriptive sense, in that it is contrary to some preferred dialect that is promulgated by schools and institutions.

Here is an example: using 全然 (zen zen, [not] at all), in the positive sense (totally).

"昨日, 全然楽しかったよ!” (Kinou, zen zen tanoshikatta, yo! Yesterday was totally fun!)

share|improve this answer
    
Oh yes~~ I say 全然いいよ very often, knowing it's wrong! >▽< –  Choko Nov 21 '12 at 22:41
4  
@chocolate: Actually, that is a common misconception, see here. –  Jesse Good Nov 22 '12 at 0:15
    
@JesseGood Ewww so 全然+肯定文 is not incorrect? I didn't know that~ 遠慮なく使おう・・・w –  Choko Nov 22 '12 at 11:42
    
Well, the misconception is that some usage which a community of speakers accept and use can be "wrong". –  Kaz Nov 22 '12 at 15:47

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.