A collective term for syntax (the way sentences are put together) and morphology (forms of words, including the way new words are put together). Often used to describe function words such as particles, to describe word endings, and to talk about general sentence structure.

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The passive form

I'm new to this site (just made an account), I've been learning about the passive form of verbs but I'm a bit confused by what the passive form actually is... I tried googling but couldn't find an ...
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53 views

Placing a quantifier between a noun and particle?

this is my first question here so please bare with me. Until the other day I was aware of two different ways use counters As an adverb. ペンを3本買いました。 As a noun. 3本のペンを買いました。 ...
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56 views

Is it grammatically correct to use よう without な, に or だ(です)after it?

神の思し召しであなたとよき友情を育むためにあなたにメールするようお告げがありました I think the sentence roughly translates into: "For the sake of raising you and good friend into God's thoughts, you mailed a divine message" Instincts ...
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46 views

Meaning of “でも” in “食事でもどうですか?”

I've found this sentence on alc.co.jp 食事でもどうですか and I am puzzled as to meaning this でも conveys. How does it differ from 食事はどうですか which would be my first choice; however, according to ...
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71 views

Usage of の before です

For example この中でどれが一番難しいのですか。 数学が一番難しいのです Is the の here used as nominalizer meaning "one" or is it used as explanatory/emphasizing のです? I assume the sentences translate to "Amongst these ...
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65 views

Explaining the phrase 書{か}き込{こ}みによると

I have translated the phrase 書き込みによると which, and if I'm right, means "According to the writing". I want to know more about the structure and grammar rules used here. I found it in this article.
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84 views

What does 曰く mean when it is *not* preceded by a name?

Dictionary or other references are appreciated, as no dictionary I have referenced gives me an example of this kind of usage. Example: ...
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88 views

Meaning of いくら and って in this sentence

The speaker just stated that her father is too sure of himself. いくらママが死んじゃって いないからってさ! (there is a space in the manga as well) チャンピオンなのを利用していろんな女の人と遊びまくってんのよ! He uses his title to have ...
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115 views

興奮する to be excited or to get excited?

When I was looking at a dictionary the definition (in the English part) was given as be [get] excited; ((口)) be [get] worked up What exactly these [] are referring to is unclear to me. From my ...
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86 views

“The earlier we leave, the earlier we'll arive”-type construction [duplicate]

Was not sure how to title my question because I don't know who to explain such grammar pattern. I came across something like that in Tae Kim's guide: 勉強をすればするほど、頭がよくなるよ。 (The more you study, the ...
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98 views

What's the difference between こそ and さえ in 「忙しくて昼ごはんを食べる時間___ない」

I don't know which to choose: 忙しくて昼ごはんを食べる時間さえない or 忙しくて昼ごはんを食べる時間こそない The explanation in my textbook is given in such a way that I can't understand the difference: It says こそ "expresses ...
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134 views

Use of 一体 in this sentence

These two sentences have been giving me trouble in terms of understanding their meaning. 友達が恋人にふられて、とても落ち込んでいる。でも、一体何を言ってあげたらいいか、全然分からない。 My translation: My friend was able to trip up my ...
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73 views

Explain ますよう + [noun]

Can someone please help me parse the following sentence: ...新商品をお試しくださいますようご案内申し上げます。 I guess the meaning is something like "We invite you to try our new product," but I don't understand how ...
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85 views

How does 別に function as an adverb?

I know that 別に means "not particularly" sometimes, but what is its role in this sentence? 別に山田の私服を見るのは、はじめてってわけじゃないんだけどな。 I assume it means something like "it's not exactly the first time I've seen ...
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151 views

Usage of plain i-adjectives or た form (悪かったv悪い、良かったvいい etc)

Example 美人じゃなくて悪かったですね!(sarcastic) compared to someone who is using a room and is told あんまり広い部屋じゃなくて悪いな Or for example the difference between 無事でよかった and I can't think of the corresponding for ...
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91 views

Is ために here a wrong one? [duplicate]

Could someone please help with the correct answer to this N3 challenge? I thought the correct one is ために but apparently I'm wrong. 今度の試合に勝てる (ために)一生けんめいがんばります。 Variants given: ために ことに ように みたいに
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86 views

Don't understand meaning and translation of these sentences

I’m having major trouble understanding and translating these example sentences. 試験や勉強で忙しくなると、どうして勉強しているのか忘れがちになる。でも勉強は自分のためにしているということを忘れないでほしい。 My translation: When you become busy with exams and ...
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161 views

What is being abbreviated as っちゃあ in 「忙しいっちゃあ忙しいけど…」?

I see the pattern [Adj1]っちゃあ[Adj1](けど) relatively often, and I know that I've learned it before... I even know what it means. ...but what is it an abbreviation of? It is an abbreviation of something, ...
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115 views

「もんか」の使い方を教えてくれませんか?

How do you use もんか? Once, I saw this sentence: お前に俺の気持がわかるもんか. I understand the meaning but I don't know how you can use it
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117 views

Adjective conjugation of 小さい and 少ない in these sentences

I’ve come across some adjective conjugation that I don’t fully understand in two separate but related example sentences, and so my translations are definitely wonky. ...
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56 views

というものでもない vs. というわけではない

I recently saw the sentence on a grammar example site: 多ければよいというものでもない。 From this example, it seems that this sentence means the same thing: 多ければよいというわけじゃない。 Do these sentence in fact mean the ...
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302 views

Topic marker in これは大きい本を食べる犬です

In the sentence これは大きい本を食べる犬です, I understand that 大きい本を食べる is a clause that describes 犬 as "a dog that eats large books"; and を only makes sense within that clause. However, I'm confused about ...
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102 views

Use of まで in this sentence

The sentence is 出口が無けりゃ作るまでよ. I'm pretty sure it means something along the lines of "If there is not a door, just make one" It confuses me because 出口が無けりゃ should mean "If there is not a door" and ...
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2answers
109 views

なんと versus どう usage

Consider the two questions: 1) せんせいの しつもんに なんと こたえました 2) せんせいの しつもんに どう こたえました I hope they both mean "How did you answer the teacher's question?" A previous question on this site suggested that なんと ...
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2answers
125 views

How to ask the 'looks like' or appearance of something?

Good day to everyone. I've been wondering on how you say 'looks like' or 'appears like' but not on terms of similarity. It is asking for a description or appearance on an object. For example: ...
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103 views

What is the difference between こだわり and 良{よ}い?

Consider for example this article with the following headline. 〈JAL〉機内食、こだわりの冬メニュー登場 日本航空(JAL)は「空の上のレストラン」をコンセプトに展開している機内食「スカイオーベルジュ BEDD(ベッド) by JAL」で12月1日から提供される冬のこだわりメニューを発表した。 [...] ...
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93 views

Question about the それに

I have a question about the meaning of それに in the following passage(second one). Does it means something like "To that, after supressing this intense sleepiness, Taito said." So, this それに refers to ...
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106 views

Is it correct to use で in this sentence if I want to convey “and”?

My penpal and I were talking about a particular video game and I wanted to tell him: "The PC version (of the game) has its release date someday next month and I just can't wait any longer!" ...
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315 views

Use of ことです in this sentence

This is the example sentence: 私の趣味はギターを弾くことです。 My translation - Playing the guitar is my hobby. However, why is it not: '私の趣味はギターを弾きます。’ Basically I don't understand this use of 'ことです'.
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115 views

What's the difference between ね and でしょう for tag questions?

Both ね and でしょう can be used to form tag questions to confirm an opinion like so: 1) 疲れたでしょう。 (more of a guess based on evidence / polite) 2) 疲れたね。 (more forceful / the speaker is more ...
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235 views

Does this “は” indicate a sequence of events?

I've noticed in the book 秘密 by 谷崎{たにざき}潤一郎{じゅんいちろう} that the particle は sometimes seems to be used to indicate that with "AはB", "B" comes after "A", for example: ...
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77 views

Function of “でも” in “とでも言うべきであろうか”?

I've come across the phrase "〜とでも言うべきであろうか" in my reading. I understand most of it, but am a little confused as to what the "でも" is doing. I'm familiar with "でも" as a particle, but it appears to be ...
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2answers
225 views

How does someone know when one word ends and the next one starts?

I may not know very much Japanese, but I still want to practice reading the language, to help lean hiragana, katakana, and kanji. However, since the Japanese do not use spaces to seperate words, I am ...
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104 views

Specifying Objects in Japanese

How do you say and write 'this is' and 'that is' in Japanese? Expanding on this, how would you say and write 'these are' and 'those are'? Around this topic, are there any male and female words in ...
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127 views

Words ending in consonants [duplicate]

Using Hiragana, how would you write a word/transcribe a sound which ends in a consonant? Such as 'kon'. Relevant to this, I don't understand why 'hajimemashite' doesn't pronounce the 'shi' in the ...
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121 views

When each of joining particles ~や~ and ~とか~ should be used? [duplicate]

What is the difference between ~や~ and ~とか~ joining particles? For example: 1) 飲み物やカップや~ 2) 飲み物とかカップとか~ It looks like the meaning is about the same of both sentences.. When each of particles ...
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1answer
150 views

私は日本語と英語で思っています。

Is this the proper way to say "I think in Japanese and English", or should I be using a particle other than で?
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2answers
85 views

Future II Simple in Japanese

How can you express something like "Tomorrow I will have finished my work" or "Because I have to do hard word tomorrow, I will be very tired in the evening"? 明日、仕事を絶対終えたようとする。 ? ...
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83 views

What is the difference between 忘れないで and 忘れるなよ?

These two forms, ~ないで and the ~な particle seem to have similar meanings. Can someone please explain the difference between the two?
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75 views

What's the function of “と” in “海に行きたいといつしか話した”?

It's not hard to understand the meaning of this sentence but I just want to know which function the "と" serves in this case.
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120 views

Can I get a grammatical breakdown of “通りゃんせ”?

So, I recently learned that there's this song called 「通りゃんせ」, which I guess would be familiar to all of you who have lived in Japan. The grammatical form "通りゃんせ" (and later in the song, ...
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2answers
70 views

interpretation of 玉を落とす in this sentence

どうせ何【なん】かの玉【たま】を落【お】とすのは分【わ】かり切【き】ってる This sentence uses 玉を落とす in a way that makes me think that 玉 is a noun being modified by を落とす to mean something like 'a ball intended to be dropped', in ...
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1answer
139 views

Meaning of ならずとも

This sentence is from a book about Japanese grammar written for native Japanese speakers: ところでこれに類したことは、寺村先生ならずとも、多くの日本語教師が経験することではないでしょうか。 The これ refers to a past incident where a Japanese ...
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165 views

How to ask for something, formally, but on the internet

I don't really have a great understanding of Japanese internet culture, but as a Korean, I'm guessing it would be quite similar to ours in terms of "formality," as both Korean and Japanese have ...
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2answers
192 views

「しまう」 as an auxiliary verb

I feel like I always see 「しまう」 at the end of sentences (not the verb "to put away"). I saw some examples here on Weblio. どうしても写真は実物より劣ってしまう。 Pictures really don't do it justice. ...
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3answers
180 views

What does the “だった” in “だったっけ” mean?

From what I can find out, "たっけ" is just an expression that shows that you're trying to remember something, but what does the "だった" part mean? I have a few guesses, but they don't seem to match that ...
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3answers
113 views

In だったっけ, why is the second “っ”(tsu) used when it can't be connected to “け”(ke)?

From what I understand, っ is used to "double" the "t" sound, so in だった it makes sense because it's pronounced "datta", but why is it used in the second part of the phrase? Full sentence: ...
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2answers
196 views

Polite Way of Saying “I can't…(answer the phone)” (しかねる vs. できない)

I'd like to ask about a polite way to say "I can't (do something for you)". I'm sure the answer will depend on the context, so specifically, I'm curious about how to convey "I won't be able to answer ...
3
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2answers
151 views

Making sense of をと

どのような状況下であっても必ず十分な結果をと思い必死に過ごした3か月でした。 I'm only able to understand "No matter what circumstances you are put through..." and then something about producing sufficient results- the words that ...
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1answer
45 views

If 「は」 marks a topic, and 「が」 marks a subject, what does 「です」 do in terms of nuance?

When using 「は」 it means the word before it is the topic of the sentence, it also implies contrast. (e.g. 「私は犬です」 means, "As for me, I am a dog" This means that I'm not a cat.) When using 「が」 it means ...