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

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61
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5answers
12k views

Differences among -たら、なら、-んだったら、-えば, etc

Japanese language has a lot of patterns for "if" clauses. What are the differences among the following patterns and how do we choose to use one over the others?: 行ったら 行くなら 行けば 行くんだったら 行くのなら 行くとしたら ...
6
votes
1answer
337 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. ...
2
votes
0answers
79 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
634 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 ...
17
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3answers
4k views

Is Japanese really an agglutinative language?

In the linguistics topic of language typology, Japanese is often included in lists of agglutinative (or agglutinating) languages, but when learning or reading about Japanese grammar exclusively this ...
4
votes
2answers
456 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
351 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
247 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
276 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 ...
3
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2answers
394 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
216 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 it'...
7
votes
3answers
415 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 it'...
6
votes
3answers
838 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
243 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
1k 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 "...
5
votes
2answers
1k 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, ...
18
votes
2answers
3k views

Why is 知りません the negative form of 知っています?

I'm reading Minna no Nihongo (Chapter 15) and it says what I wrote in the question. I would think the negative would be 知っていません。
8
votes
1answer
350 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。 いくつかのスペルミスを除けば、...
1
vote
1answer
743 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
454 views

What conjugation/form is the ませ (for example: いらっしゃいませ)?

I know it's used for greetings in a restaurant or store. But what type of verb conjugation (ex: polite, plain, honorific, imperative, or something else) is it? Is it used with other verbs? Is it ...
2
votes
1answer
394 views

Understanding ありやな

貯金も確かにありやな!! お金があったら何でも出来るし. I'm definitely into saving money too! If you have money you can do anything. My young friend wrote this to me. Would someone be kind enough to explain the やな for me?
2
votes
2answers
208 views

What is って doing in this sentence?

From Noir, Episode 2 (anime). I don't get what the って is doing in this sentence. For context, the father came home early from work. He quickly answers his wife in the first sentence then in the ...
2
votes
2answers
96 views

Translation for 食べ物を腐らせずに保存する

Saw this in my textbook. The translation is "to preserve food from decay". I get it, but I am not clear about the ず after 腐らせる. Where is it coming from?
5
votes
2answers
347 views

Can there be such a thing as のんでましょう?

I know のみましょう but I was wondering if the above was legal japanese as well.
12
votes
1answer
1k views

Where does the verbal form しとく come from?

In a manga I am currently reading, one of the character exclaims: 安心しな。秘密に しとく から。 The general meaning of the second part ("I'll keep it a secret") is quite obvious, and it seems that "しとく" (...
8
votes
1answer
314 views

Does the verb 死ぬ has a 死ぬる form?

I have come across a conjugation of 死ぬ verb which I've never heard before. It is 死ぬる, I have heard it in a TV show, you can see the relevant part in this video. Is this a depreciated form? If so, ...
8
votes
2answers
357 views

What's the meaning of ず in 通ず? (Not a negative)

It's from the Japanese saying, 読書百遍意自ずから通ず(Repeated reading makes the meaning clear). In this case, the ず ending doesn't make the verb negative. What is the function and nuance of this usage? Is this ...
4
votes
2answers
508 views

〜(ら)れる - Ambiguity between passive and Keigo

In my Japanese Bible, it often uses the 〜(ら)れる Keigo form when talking about God's actions. However, there are certain cases when talking about both people and God in the same sentence where the use ...
5
votes
3answers
414 views

what does it mean when a causative verb is conjugated in the causative form?

If ”かぶせる” is a "causative verb," what does it mean when a causative verb is conjugated in the causative form? プランターに生えているカタバミの葉を用意し、アルミホイルをかぶせさせる。 http://www.city.obama.fukui.jp/~edu/rika/...
5
votes
3answers
277 views

Is there a past tense conjugation form for ば?

I have been looking at conjunctive forms of verbs and my grammar books shows me a negative and affirmative version of ば but what about a past tense and a past tense negative? Would they be じゃなてれば and ...
4
votes
2answers
719 views

How to Convert Na-adjectives and Nouns to the ば-form?

I am practicing the ば-conditional and my main reference right now is the oxford grammar book. It only mentions how to convert keiyoushi or i-adjectives and not keiyoudoushi or na-adjectives. Can ...
5
votes
2answers
487 views

How is 「なう」most commonly appended to verbs?

I read the other two questions on なう on this site, and I want to know what the most common way to add なう after a verb is. I've seen なう most frequently with nouns. This is supported by http://nanapi....
8
votes
1answer
340 views

When is it appropriate to use [v] ないでくれ instead of [v] な?

Initially I wanted to compare the rudeness level of [v]ないでくれ。 and[v]な。 but since that may be a rather vague question: In what situation is it appropriate to use [v]ないでくれ。 but not [v]な。 ? In what ...
15
votes
4answers
463 views

“Unsolvable problem”

What is the correct construction of "unsolvable problem"? Is it "解{と}けられない問題{もんだい}"?(Question 1) Plain(intransitive): 解{と}ける "To be solved". Potential form(of intransitive): 解けられる "can be ...
2
votes
1answer
595 views

What does しちゃい mean?

I know it is some form of する。The context is this tweet: いいえ!無視は しちゃい けませんな(^-^)/気持ちは受け取って♪(´ε` )RT @PuyoPuyoStar: @shinji_sid すみません。先程ツイート送ったんですが、「無理してはいけません」と書きたかったところ、「無視してはいけません」と書いてしまいました。本当すみませ
9
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3answers
674 views

What's the difference between 言わないでほしい and 言ってほしくない

What's the difference between 言わないでほしい and 言ってほしくない ? If the intended message is "I don't want you to say it" which of the two above would be more suitable?
9
votes
1answer
656 views

Usage and meaning of [passive verb]-てみれば

I am familiar with the set phrase 「言われてみれば」 as a way to say "Now that you say that", but as I examine the phrase further, the phrase structure strikes me as strange. The 〜てみる conjugation is commonly ...
6
votes
1answer
246 views

おいてきてしまった vs おいてしまってきた

Is there any difference in the sentence when we mix the order of the conjugations in this sentence: 1) あいにく私はカメラを家においてきてしまった 2) あいにく私はカメラを家においてしまってきた Or are both "correct" and mean the same thing ...
7
votes
3answers
452 views

What's the difference between [V-ながら][V2] and [V-ている]間[V2]?

What's the difference between [V-ながら][V2] and [V-ている]間[V2] ? For example, is there any difference in nuance between these 2 sentences: トムはテレビを見てる間勉強していた トムはテレビを見ながら勉強していた
6
votes
2answers
1k views

い-Adjective Conjugation: かったです vs でした

When we first studied adjective conjugation in my Japanese class, I kept making the same mistake habitually; I would conjugate the past tense of い-adjectives with でした at the end instead of dropping ...
8
votes
2answers
397 views

Transitive/Intransitive + にくい (and +られる)

This question is based on the discussion arising from "Unsolvable Problem" Start of Excerpt Relevant discourse extracted from "Unsolvable Problem": Quoted from Derek Schaab's reply to "...
2
votes
1answer
152 views

How is 信じる being conjugated here?

信じようと信じまいと Believe it or not How is 信じる being conjugated here? I am unfamilar with the stem + まい pattern, if anyone could explain the ins and outs of that, or provide a more literal translation if ...
2
votes
1answer
231 views

What is ~なかって and how is it formed? [closed]

Taken from alc.co.jp: 家{いえ}の鍵{かぎ}が見{み}つからなくて、玄関{げんかん}のベルを鳴{な}らしたけど、君{きみ}、家{いえ}に居{い}なかってし、ここでずっと待{ま}ってたんだよ。 (I rang the doorbell because I couldn't find the house key, but you weren't home, so ...
4
votes
1answer
322 views

抱った vs 抱いた and 書った vs 書いた [closed]

I have always known that for a verb that ends with a く, the past/perfective form ends with いた and the conjugative form ends with いて. But today I found in Wiktionary that there are alternative ...
2
votes
1answer
277 views

What is the underlying grammar in the difference between `足らない` and `足りない`?

Based on the comments from Tsuoyshi Ito's answer to Translation of 竜すらも恐るるに足らない, 恐るるに足らない/恐るるに足りない is a set phrase meaning "not worth fearing". Based on my understanding of 一段 verbs like 足りる, ...
5
votes
1answer
572 views

What are the “slots” in the Japanese agglutinative verb system?

In another question we established that Japanese is an agglutinating language (more here), if only in its verb system. Since it is not traditional in Japanese grammar or teaching to go into this ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

How is なっている different from なっていた?

I apologize if I am beating a dead horse with this question but is this correct? なっている: have (already) become as opposed to なっていた: had become so often the meaning of なっている can be thought ...
5
votes
1answer
935 views

What would be the literal meaning of the causative form here? 暴風警報発令中のため本日の営業はお休みとさせていただきます。

暴風警報発令中のため本日 bōfū keihō hatsurei chū notame honjitsu の営業はお休みとさせて no eigyō wa oyasumi to sasete いただきます。 itadakimasu. 暴風 bōfū = storm winds 警報 keihō = warning 発令 hatsurei = official ...