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

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2
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1answer
263 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
495 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
480 views

Is こればよかった correct or not?

The Tanos JLPT list contains this sentence: ディズニーランドはとても面白かったよ。君もこればよかったのに。 Disneyland was very interesting. You should have come with us. But the accepted answer at Chiebukuro for ...
0
votes
0answers
37 views

Use of passive past form + なかった [closed]

そういや、好きって言われたなかった。 I know that means - "Love was never said" "You never said you love me" or something like this. What i dont understand is that passive past form of 言う + ない 言われたなかった - Was not ...
8
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3answers
591 views

Are there more irregular verbs like 行く?

I thought when you have a consonant-stem verb ending with -ku you replace it with -ita. For example kaku ("to write") becomes kaita. But this doesn't happen with iku, which becomes itta, so I guess ...
2
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3answers
209 views

~ておく / とく for preparation (Conjugation and nuance)

A few quick questions regarding ~ておく and the casual form ~とく Firstly, when changing from ~ておく to the more casual ~とく I'm assuming the verb is first conjugated to the ~て form then the ~て is dropped ...
23
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7answers
3k views

Difference between negative forms {-ず} and {-ぬ}

{-ず} and {-ぬ} are two alternatives to the negative form {-ない} / {-ません}. But I noticed that depending on the word, it's either {-ず} or {-ぬ}, although it seems like some words can take both suffixes. ...
5
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2answers
188 views

と言います vs.と言われています

I'm playing The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past(ゼルダの伝説:神々のトライフォース)and this sentence came up (spoken by one of the 7 maidens): ハイリアの民は、ふしぎな力を あやつることが、できたと言います。 I think this means "It is ...
13
votes
4answers
429 views

In what ways do Japanese children overgeneralize conjugation patterns?

(Preface: I'm not well-versed in language acquisition, so the context I've provided here will be dumbed-down, or perhaps just dumb.) Context: When children acquire their first language, they ...
2
votes
2answers
71 views

Conjugating into なければ

To create ~なければいけません or similar forms, I've been having trouble finding the exact method for conjugating into ~なければ. I imagine (but also greatly doubt) that it's something like this: 食べる -> 食べない -> ...
3
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1answer
93 views

Meaning of て form + えん

I was watching an episode of One Piece, and while studying the transcript, I came across this sentence. ルフィに 会いてえんなら俺が 教えてやるよ Ace told the other pirates "If ya wanna meet Luffy, I'll tell ya where ...
3
votes
1answer
153 views

meaning of (verb stem)+ませぬな

I'm reading a manga, and in it one of the characters uses grammar that I've never seen before. The sentence is as follows: 小姓さんが見当たりませぬな。是非お会いしたかったのですが。 I understand pretty much everything else ...
3
votes
3answers
280 views

Do 形容詞 have a 未然形 in Classical Japanese?

I was reading Eiríkr Útlendi's answer about -い vs. -き in 形容詞 and noticed that he identified -く as the 未然形 of 形容詞. When I studied classical Japanese, though, I was taught that 形容詞 lack a 未然形 (and also ...
4
votes
3answers
378 views

When using もう and まだ does a negative verb always have to be in the (ている) present continuous form?

When using もう and まだ in a negative sense, does the negative verb always have to be in the present continuous form i.e. 来ていません、食べていません etc? If so why is that? Example sentences: いいえ、まだ買っていません。- ...
9
votes
1answer
232 views

Difference between 書かないようになった and 書かなくなった?

Example sentences: ぜんぜん長い手紙を書かないようになった。 ぜんぜん長い手紙を書かなくなった。 My Translation: I never write long letters anymore. I believe they both mean the same thing but there's obviously some difference I ...
5
votes
1answer
134 views

Difference between してください and なってください in this sentence

Is there a difference in translation and meaning between these two sentences or are they practically interchangeable? ギターのボリュームを小さくしてください。 ギターのボリュームを小さくなってください。 My translation: Please can ...
1
vote
1answer
105 views

Use of Causative-Passive Form and ために in this example

I’m struggling to translate and understand this example dialogue from my textbook. 学生:先生、どうして私たちはこんなにたくさん漢字を勉強させられるんですか。 先生:だれも勉強させていませんよ。だれのために勉強しているんですか。 学生: 自分です。 My attempt at translation: ...
1
vote
3answers
214 views

Difference between 建てられた and 建てました?

新しい大学のビルが建てられた。 新しい大学のビルを建てました。 Both translate to: A new university building was built. Even though the translation is the same (by my understanding) something to do with the meaning has to be ...
14
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2answers
811 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?
3
votes
1answer
145 views

-sou + negative past - what is the meaning? e.g. 行けそうで行けなかった場所, 解けそうで解けなかった謎

Still with the Zelda guidebook translation :) I cannot understand the meaning of the third line. It uses ・・・そう・・・なかった. I understand -そう as "seems like" and なかった as past negative, but how do these go ...
5
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2answers
285 views

For verbs with irregular humble/honorific forms, are the regular forms still used?

There are verbs with irregular humble forms, e.g. the humble form of 借りる is 拝借する. For these verbs, are the "normal humble conjugations" still used, or considered grammatical? Would お借りする be ...
7
votes
3answers
862 views

What does the “〜やしない” conjugation mean?

In episode 76 of Fairy Tail, Gildarts said this to Natsu: 本気でそう思ったら、止めやしないよ。 (honki de sou omottara, tomeyashinai yo) Which was translated in the subtitle as: If that's what you honestly ...
17
votes
2answers
483 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
797 views

About the な part in negative imperative verb form (e.g. 飲むな)

In the Japanese version of "don't drink and drive" slogan, 【乗るなら飲むな】 (also 【飲んだら乗るな】), what part of speech is the な that follows the plain verb 飲む (or 乗る in the second variation) to form the negative ...
4
votes
0answers
138 views

Iterative / repetitive る evolving from classical 連体形【れんたいけい】

This is somewhat related to the discussion of classical auxiliary verb ふ, mentioned in the answer to snailboat's question, What is the わ in 忌まわしい and 嘆かわしい?. Another apparent iterative / repetitive ...
4
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2answers
101 views

What are ある and わけ in 「どこにでもあるわけではありません」?

Here is the sentence for context. 独立系の映画館はシネコンと違っていて、チケットが安いのですが、どこにでもあるわけではありません。 My translation - Independent cinemas are different from multiplex ones as they have cheaper tickets but not ...
12
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
240 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
197 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 ...
23
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5answers
2k views

Does -ou / -you / -mashou conjugation have a negative form?

Does the -ou / -you / -mashou (the "let's X") form have a negative counterpart? For example, how do I say "let's not X" for the following?: 行こう 食べよう 寝ましょう As far as I can remember, the Japanese ...
3
votes
1answer
938 views

How do you conjugate i- and na- adjectives (into the presumptive, imperative, conditional, provisional, and progressive forms)?

I feel like mastering conjugations is a major contributor to self expression in Japanese. I realized that some of the grammar points I have been working on have taught me new conjugations. Usually ...
4
votes
1answer
162 views

Apparent reversals of conjugation patterns in classical 形容詞 and 動詞, origin?

We observe the following peculiar apparent relations between the conjugation patterns of 形容詞 and 動詞 (using 赤し and 行く as examples): 連体形: 赤き / 行きし (past recollective) 終止形: 赤し / 行きき (past recollective) ...
4
votes
1answer
114 views

Why is an anachronistic modern conjugation thrown into the lyrics of 軍艦行進曲?

軍艦行進曲 seems to be written mostly using Classical Japanese grammar. Here's the first stanza: 守るも攻むるも黒鐵{くろがね}の 浮かべる城{しろ}ぞ頼{たの}みなる 浮かべるその城{しろ}日{ひ}の本{もと}の 皇國{みくに}の四方{よも}を守{まも}るべし ...
1
vote
2answers
171 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. ...
2
votes
3answers
338 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
276 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 ...
13
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2answers
923 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
71 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
159 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? ...
3
votes
1answer
78 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?
4
votes
1answer
238 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
257 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
99 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

How to differentiate ~られる conjugation between passive form and potential form?

For verbs of group 2, whose ~ます form is formed by dropping the ending ~る from the plain form, both the passive and potential forms have the same conjugation: ~られる. Example: 食べられる 1. to be eaten ...
9
votes
1answer
308 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
106 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
112 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
151 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
3k 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)
5
votes
1answer
218 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 ...