The inflections of verbs. How the endings of verbs change to reflect grammatical factors such as tense and aspect.

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154 views

~った with a noun (生い立ち > 生い立った) - what's really going on?

I just started trying to read the Japanese translation of Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha. I've struck a problem in the first sentence that my native Japanese speaking friends can't seem to help me with. ...
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1answer
61 views

Difference between 出向させられる & 出向する

Is there any reason to use one tense over the other with this verb (and others like it such as 出動, as in軍隊が出動する)? Based on the following sample sentences from my Apple dictionary, they seem ...
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3answers
228 views

できる vs ~えます form for “can”, “able to” [duplicate]

A couple of days ago I tried to express "I can ..." where "..." was some some verb or verb phrase. I used the ~て form of the ... verb followed by 出来ます but was told instead to change the form of the ...
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1answer
116 views

Te form of もっていく

Quick question regarding the -te form of the verb もっていく (to take). From my understanding the verb is a combination between もって+ いく(to go) and as such conjugates its -te form as もっていって is this correct? ...
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1answer
67 views

What form of suru is the “されていた” part of 支配されていた?

I understand that 支配する means to rule. So I'm guessing the "されていた" in 支配されていた is a weird form of する. Is it in passive past te-form?
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152 views

The use of ~た、~ている、~ていた to refer to a resultant state (new question)

Can someone explain why 持った is used in place of 持っている in the following sentence (from Monday's Japan Times)? 会話能力を持った初の人間型ロボットキロボが宇宙飛行士の若田幸一さんと国際宇宙ステーションで雑談した。 The first humanoid robot with ...
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1answer
212 views

What is the difference between まだしません and まだしていません?

These are the two sentences in question: いいえ、まだしません。 いいえ、まだしていません。 From my understanding they both mean something like "No, I didn't yet" or even simply "No, not yet" but there must be a ...
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92 views

how does いと + 形容詞 work as a pattern?

The phrase "いと高き" occurs pretty frequently in the Japanese 新改訳 bible in the book of Daniel. Doing a little sleuthing I'm also seeing いと低き and 素晴らしき as somewhat similar constructions. I get that いと ...
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1answer
97 views

Passive usage of 「済まされない」 in sentences

I cannot get my head around the verb 「済ます」/「済まされない」 in this sentence. 月10万円では済まされない。 I found this in the プログレッシブ和英中辞典 on goo dictionary's page for the verb 「済ます」. The page says that the sentence ...
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271 views

Accent changes in conjugation

I find that Japanese pitch accent seems to have some sort of interaction with the morphology. For example, 早い is pronounced [はやい]{LHL}, but 早く is pronounced [はやく]{HLL}. Are these changes regular? No ...
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99 views

What is the meaning of しちまおう?

I'm playing a video game and in this scene the character is on a hill and says: このまま昼寝しちまおうか My guess is that it's a conjugation of する but it doesn't look close to する at all. What conjugations ...
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1answer
109 views

When conjugating, is 'なる’ a potential verb, like '分かる'?

So, 分かる is never used as 分かれる, right? Because 分かる is already a potential-form verb, according to my Japanese grammar dictionary. About なる: can it be conjugated as なれる? Or how about ならせる? For ...
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1answer
146 views

Potential form for godan verb: register's/dialectical differences?

According to all standard book and webpage I consulted, godan verb's potential form are produced by first changing to え (e) form, and then add in る (ru). But a native Japanese speaker (who is also ...
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1answer
842 views

How to say after (verb) (ex. after eating, after running) in Japanese?

How do you say after (insert verb here) in Japanese? like after studying, after drinking? would after studying be benkyotte kara? (べんきょうってから)
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167 views

negative verb confusion

Slightly mundane question here. Do negative verbs translate as x "does not" do this action or simply "not" e.g 食べない "not eat" as opposed to "does not eat". The reason I ask is because On Tae kim's ...
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1answer
123 views

What conjugation is 助けて, when used as an interjection?

According to Wiktionary, the only conjugation I can match this to is the conjunctive form, but that doesn't make any sense, given the context (as in "Help me!"). What would the equivalent conjugation ...
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1answer
127 views

What is the grammatical interpretation of じゃ ありません?

I have learned in school that じゃ ありましん is the "non-past negative" conjugation of です. Example: 私は日本人じゃありません。 "I am not Japanese." I have noticed that じゃ ありません contains the pronunciation of ...
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147 views

Questions about 背負う

背負う is pronounced せおう, but many dictionaries also list a second pronunciation as しょう. I've never heard it pronounced as しょう in practice. In what situations does it have this pronunciation? Is ...
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1answer
188 views

When did 全然 get restricted to the negative?

全然 means "completely" in Chinese, and also in Classical Chinese. Why does 全然 only go with negative conjugations in Japanese? My teacher also says that you cannot say とても with negative things in ...
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501 views

Why isn't 「ある」's negative form 「あらない」?

ある is listed in dictionaries as having ラ行五段活用, which would suggest a negative form of あらない. However, that form does not exist. Why not? Confusing things further, おっしゃる is derived from ある, yet おっしゃる ...
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601 views

Meaning of ぬ added to 連用形 / masu-stem, as in 風立ちぬ

What does the ぬ at the end of 立ち specify? I can't find a verb that is just 立ちぬ, is this some kind of special form? Can this be done with other verbs as well? 風立ちぬ, for reference, is Miyazaki's new ...
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256 views

What kind of verbs can the suffix たて (立て) attach to?

Why can -たて attach to some verbs and not others? What is a more precise definition of how to use it? I had been aware of the suffix -たて as meaning 'an action just/newly completed/occurred' for a ...
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1answer
180 views

Etymology of the copula だ

I think of だ as being the only copula, which can be inflected to で and な. In my mind all other copula-like words are derived from these forms, i.e. です ⇔ であります じゃない ⇔ ではない だろう ⇔ であろう etc. ...
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0answers
76 views

相変わらずだよWhat is the meaning of this ending -azu in verbs [duplicate]

Not long ago, I peeked into a slang book where I found the following expression: "あいかわらずだよ" 変わる means to change but what happens in this case with the meaning? kawarazu Thank you for your answer ...
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1answer
216 views

What does しやがって imply? shiyagatte doesn't seem to show up directly in dictionaries

I've run across the expression/word a few times in manga, and generally the context indicates that it's a conjugation of する with the ~がる indication of "3rd party appearance of internal state" (as in ...
2
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1answer
206 views

What is the etymology of 〜ません(でした)?

I have always been interested in the negative polite (〜ません) and negative past-polite (〜ませんでした) inflections of verbs. My understanding is that ます is an inflectable function word (助動詞), so I'm ...
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2answers
241 views

What does みても mean here? Problem from workbook

From "Japanese for Busy People Level II" p 46, there is the following question: Fill in the blank with the appropriate particle: この くつを (   )みても いいですか。(はきます) In other words, modify はきます so that the ...
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1answer
250 views

Does the 助動詞「ます」 still have a 連体形 in modern Japanese?

Does the 助動詞「ます」 have a 連体形? According to 大辞林, it's ます, and I see the old forms ます/まする on 学研全訳古語辞典. However, in the comments on this question, Darius Jahandarie wrote the following: @snailplane ...
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1answer
179 views

Meaning of せい conjugation of する?

I came upon this line of dialogue in a book I'm reading, from a character who has old-fashioned speech patterns: できる限りの鶏肉を用意せい… I assume this せい is some form of the verb する, though I'm not even sure ...
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1answer
337 views

Is ない an “auxiliary verb”?

My dictionary says 助動詞{じょどうし} means "auxiliary verb". This sounds intuitively correct; 動詞 means verb, so 助動詞 sounds like a type of verb. But the 助動詞「ない」 looks like an auxiliary adjective, not an ...
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155 views

Help to understand the ending verb “動かねーんじゃね”

Original sentence: アドビやら、お絵描き系のアプリは、誰かが実証しない限り、動かねーんじゃね? I can't understand the structure of the last verb. So far I understood that 動か(conjugated form) + ねー(negative particle) + んじゃ(???) + ね(question ...
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2answers
232 views

I am confused about the meaning of the conjugations of [買]{か}う

I am on Livemocha and it says that 買います。 means "I am going to buy it." But I figure that should be 買いに行きます。 . Also I know that ぎゅうにゅうを買っています。 is "I am buying milk." But for some reason, I thought that ...
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1answer
180 views

足って used in Ponyo Song [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What are these forms: かけちゃお, つないじゃお? Is this って equivalent to 「と」? From the Ponyo theme song: ペータペタ ピョーンピョン 足っていいな かけちゃお! Why is 足 given the て conjugation, as if ...
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425 views

Positive Past Plain form of Iku is Itta not iita?

I thought when you get a type one verb ending with "ku" you replace it with ita. For example Kaku (to write) goes to Kaita. So I'm guessing Iku is an exception, does this happen with other verbs too ? ...
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1answer
137 views

What does the ぬ in 詰まぬ mean?

I encountered a Shogi saying: 三桂あって詰まぬこと無し And I'm pretty confused about the ぬ there. If it was る I'd expect the meaning to be something like: "If you have 3 knights, you can't be mated" But ...
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1answer
364 views

“don't say it, if you don't want to” in japanese

Don't say it, if you dont want to. You don't have to say it, if you don't want to. How do i convey these in japanese correctly? My idea is 言えないこと言ってないもいいです。 But I am really confused by verb ...
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1answer
115 views

言わない VS 言わなくない A negative verb conjugated as an adjective?

While reading a text in Japanese, I came up with the phrase "何も言わなくなったから" I don't understand what the ~くない stands for. As far as know is used as the negative for of an adjective... but 言う is a verb! ...
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213 views

Which forms of a verb do I need to memorize to distinguish ichidan from godan?

Can I get away with memorizing only these two forms of a verb? Dictionary form かえる ("to return") Positive polite non-past form, like かえります If I compare these two forms, I can determine whether ...
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3answers
248 views

It's time to [verb]

I know this is dangerously close to a translation question, but bare with me. Today I found out a co-worker of mine is studying Japanese as well. And at the end of the conversation I wrote: Jikan wa ...
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1answer
179 views

Can けれども be analysed further?

Consider the conjunction ども, e.g.: 行けども 言えども Formation rule: Verb Hypothetical form (仮定形) + ども This leads me to hypothesise that the conjunction けれども (meaning "but; however; although") is ...
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504 views

Help with the difference between causative and the causative-passive for the verb 笑う

I've always had a hard time immediately understanding the differences between passive, causative, and causative-passive. If I really sit down and try to work out the meaning I can generally get it, ...
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1answer
254 views

Is 来おった the 連用形{れんようけい} of くる plus おる → おった?

I came across the following dialogue, which occurs right as the hero arrives: 「やっと来おったか。」 I'm not sure how to parse 来おった. Is it 来{き} + 居{お}る? If so, what exactly does this form mean? Do other ...
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1answer
193 views

What is going on with 書けている? What is Potential Form+ている?

I'm having difficulty in understanding 書けている (initially observed from an answer to "パソコンが 得意だ/わかる/上手だ"). Also observed from SPACEALC: この小説は上手に書けている。 最もよく書けている記事。 ...
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1answer
569 views

[plain form]-んじゃない

When I was first learning Japanese, I learned that the explanatory form, -んです is always constructed by conjugating the verb in short form and adding -んです, and that the です part is never conjugated. But ...
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1answer
509 views

Examples of when passive form in English takes active/non passive form in Japanese

Can anyone give a few more common examples (or even more insight) of when we should be "switching" from English passive into Japanese active/non-passive? (A joint effort might help a lot of us to ...
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2answers
416 views

Why is it なさそう and not なそう

"It seems there is none" is なさそう, which escapes the usual rule for 形容詞 (イ-adjectives), which says "drop the い and add そう". Is there a historical explanation for this exception? And does it have ...
3
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1answer
196 views

What forms of verbs (potential or passive) are more frequent in Japanese?

A simple question to those speaking and the native ones. What of the two forms (potential verbs or passive voice verbs) in Japanese verbs is more frequent? This question may seem strange, but I need ...
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2answers
312 views

What is the purpose of the suffix “さ” on adjectives?

What is the purpose of the suffix "さ" on adjectives like 美しさ and 多さ? The former is the title of an essay by Banana Yoshimoto, so I don't have much context for it. The book editors translated it as ...
8
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1answer
1k views

How to distinguish between passive and potential forms of the verb?

I've read that potential form of the ru-verb is formed by replacing る with られる, which is exactly the same for the passive form of ru-verbs. How can we tell the passive form and potential apart in this ...
5
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1answer
523 views

How many forms can a Japanese verb take?

Japanese verbs are quite complex compared to English verbs (Most English verbs have five or six forms and to be has eight not including archaic forms). Their agglutinative nature means they have ...