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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2
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3answers
390 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
97 views

Grammatically correct but good writing?

The following sentence comes from 中上級の日本語 magazine for february: 新聞記事は、記者がコツコツと取材をしてデータを集め、それをもとに出来事を調べたり、関係者の話を聞いたりして書かれています。 It is grammatically correct but I find the change from active to ...
1
vote
1answer
94 views

Meaning of “[気張]{きば}らずゆっくりやっていこうね”

気張らずゆっくりやっていこうね 'ゆっくりやっていこう’ means "I'll keep on going slowly", right? But what is 気張らず?
3
votes
1answer
269 views

Trying to make sense of some JLPT practice questions

Last year's JLPT tests were made available for download recently, and so to gauge my progress and plan what to study I decided to take the N2 test. I'm right at the threshold of passing (58% overall ...
5
votes
1answer
186 views

is ~だ~だ another way of listing things, or does my JLPT book have a typo?

In my JLPT practise book, there is this sentence: 学生{がくせい}時代{じだい}は学費{がくひ}だ合宿{がっしゅく}だとお金{かね}がかかり、就職{しゅうしょく}したらしたで給料{きゅうりょう}だけで生活{せいかつ}できず、親{おや}に頼{たよ}ってしまい申{もう}し訳{わけ}ない。 I'm really just wondering ...
5
votes
1answer
129 views

“決{き}まっている” and “決められている” have the same meaning, right?

I came across this sentence written by a native speaker: (1) "学年{がくねん}ごとに学習{がくしゅう}する漢字{かんじ}が決められています。" To communicate the same meaning, I would have said: (2) "学年ごとに学習する漢字が決まっています。" #1 is passive ...
10
votes
1answer
514 views

When the agent takes を in the causative form

I've seen a few sets of terminology when referring to the causative form, so for the basic case, I will use the following: instigator が agent に 〇〇 を v-させる。 In its most basic, text-book form, we have ...
5
votes
1answer
214 views

Meaning of inversion in questions: 「何ですか、今の音は?」

I often hear questions where a phrase marked with は is moved to the end of the sentence: 今の音は何ですか? 何ですか、今の音は? I heard the second sentence above in the anime となりの関くん. A student has just ...
9
votes
2answers
352 views

Likely Sentences (Nuance in use of 〜てもらう vs Passive form)

Our professor gave us some problems where you are suppose to circle which statement the person is more likely to say. Below is an example. おまわりさん よく道を聞かれます。 よく道を聞いてもらいます。 I think this means ...
4
votes
2answers
476 views

What exactly does the grammatical form NがNなだけに mean?

In my JLPT textbook, it has a section explaining the verb form [Noun]が[Noun]なだけに. By way of explanation, it says that this means, "unlike other things, [Noun] is special, so..." I'm having a hard ...
6
votes
2answers
479 views

What function did あり perform in classical Japanese 形容詞?

In classical Japanese, many uses of 形容詞{けいようし} had あり "embedded" in them, e.g.: 熱からず = 「熱し」の連用形+「あり」の未然形{みぜんけい}+「ず」 熱かりたり = 「熱し」の連用形+「あり」の連用形{れんようけい}+「たり」 熱かれ = 「熱し」の連用形+「あり」の命令形{めいれいけい} 熱かる人 = ...
6
votes
2answers
200 views

What´s the (entire) direct object in this sentence?

人の手を刺す        stab someone in the hand. 人の手に短剣を刺す     stab a dagger in someone's hand. What's the direct object in the second sentence? Is it just 短剣 or 人の手に短剣? I ask because in the first ...
4
votes
1answer
322 views

Help translating this japanese sentence please?

I really really need help with this sentence I have tried everything but I don't get its structure and how to translate it so I'd appreciate if someone could help please? オレ一人 ore hitori ...
0
votes
1answer
144 views

whats the difference between し and と?

I thought I knew this but it has just been explained to me in Japanese class and now I am totally confused. I had always thought と was "and" but apparently it more usually means "or"; when you want ...
6
votes
3answers
455 views

のに and のが. How do they differ in the context below?

この本は読むのに簡単だ。This book is easy to read. この本は読むのが簡単だ。This book is easy to read. I was wondering if anyone could explain to me how these two readings differ in nuance? When there is a sentence ...
8
votes
3answers
684 views

Is this って equivalent to 「と」?

Is the って in the following sentence equivalent to 「と」 as in AはBと変わる/違う? 昔から好きな曲って変わらないみたい。 My favourite songs have not changed for many years. Does this mean it is equivalent to the と used ...
4
votes
2answers
149 views

meaning of て-form + られない

I assume that 死んでられない is 死んでる in the negative potential form, which means it would mean something like "I can't be dying" or "I can't be dead". Can anyone help me understand this better?
6
votes
2answers
132 views

Modifying adjectives: カンペキ [に or な?] 思ったとおりの仕上がり

I have a question about カンペキに in the following sentence. As far as I can guess it modifies the whole 「思ったとおりの仕上がり」, but grammatically I cannot understand why. Well, 仕上がり is a noun, so wouldn't カンペキな ...
14
votes
8answers
2k views

What are other language equivalents to Japanese particles?

When a person is learning は and が in terms of particles, what are the best way to relate them to English equivalents? The closest I can come to explaining them to others is "the" and "a" but I'm not ...
4
votes
2answers
143 views

Unusual usage of 勝 (勝たしてくれ?)

I was reading a comic and came across the following usage of 勝 which confused me. この試合でオレを三橋に勝たしてくれ! I know what it means (Help me beat Mihashi in this game), but I'm not sure about how to ...
2
votes
1answer
205 views

Why use 分 in this question?

I have come across the following sentence : そのダンボ-ルゴミに出す分ですか? I understand it means something like "Are you throwing out this cardbox?". But what does 分 mean in this context and why is it at that ...
4
votes
1answer
421 views

History of だ、です、 and である

Historically where did all of these different forms arise, and when are they used? I noticed that だ and である both have their place in different 文法形, what is the difference in their meaning? I know that ...
3
votes
2answers
134 views

Using declarative だ with negative i-adjectives

I am complete beginner and I've got a question that I wish to ask you: When negating an i-adjective (-くない), should we, as in the affirmative form, omit the declarative "だ"? For example, is it ...
1
vote
1answer
249 views

推量の助詞、「う」… does this particle exist?

On this site, when asking about でしょう・だろう, as well as ましょう etc, I have been told that it is a combination of the verb's 未然形 and the 推量 particle "う". However, I have never been able to find anything on ...
4
votes
1answer
512 views

The meaning of く

I was browsing fairly random old questions to see if I could learn a few little things ( I could) and stumbled across this one- The topic is the restaurant, or the conversation is at the restaurant? ...
5
votes
1answer
366 views

Could somebody please translate this and show me what I'm missing?

Just for a little bit of context: There's a flyer about a Japanese church's beach retreat that's been sent around, and I'm trying to translate it for practice. That being said, the flyer has been ...
2
votes
1answer
313 views

Is there a term for using conjugating verbs such that the sentence continues with another clause?

I'm referring specifically to using the て form to form a pseudo conjunction, and specifically the transformation of verbs in formal writing by using the verb stem instead of て form. For example the ...
6
votes
2answers
589 views

How to use に with “masu-stem (連用形 stem) + に + Verb” structure

Could somebody provide a bit more explanation, possibly giving correct and incorrect examples on how to use に with "masu-stem (連用形 stem) + に + Verb" as illustrated in the following examples? Both ...
6
votes
1answer
228 views

Using に twice in the [Verb-連用形]に行く sentence pattern

Consider these example sentences given by my grammar dictionary: (1) 私はデパートへ贈り物を買いに行った。 (2) そこへ何をしに行くんですか。 Observation: The location is marked by へ instead of に. Considering that a ...
3
votes
1answer
315 views

Why do things which attach to the 連用形 of 動詞 attach to the stem of 形容詞?

When you want to connect a 活用語 (inflectable word) to something else, generally you inflect it to the 連用形 (continuative form). However, with 形容詞 (i-adjectives), there are certain times where you affix ...
1
vote
1answer
207 views

What is the meaning of もらう here?

I know that もらう has the meaning of 'get' or 'receive', but I am confused with it when it is used in the sentence below: 面白いのでたくさんの人に読んでもらいたい How do I understand the auxiliary verb 'もらう' in this ...
3
votes
3answers
228 views

How to translate て-form + ろ

In the Japanese exclamation: 待ってろよ! What function does ろ have and how should it be translated to English? I've searched everywhere, but I can't seem to find a decent explanation. The only thing ...
1
vote
1answer
121 views

What is the purpose of る in the sentence?

I know the form ている, but is there any other form like just てる without an い between ? This is the sentence that I'm confused with : 写真の右に写ってる小物が気になります。なんやろね?
2
votes
1answer
154 views

Superfluous 何か/どれか etc

I saw in my Deathnote manga the sentence, 何か欲しいものはない? I also saw in my game I'm playing in Japanese "これらの絵でどれか気に入るものがありますか". I was wondering, why do どれか and 何か seem superfluous? It seems like they ...
2
votes
1answer
133 views

Using を/に+伴う and meaning of 後接させる (+ 現場指示 and 文脈指示)

Here is the sentence (from the 日本語文法ハンドブック : 疑問詞が 「が」 「を」 以外の格助詞を伴う時はその格助詞の後にそのまま 「も」 を後接させます。 My guess : When the interrogatives are accompanied by a case-marking particle other than "が" ...
3
votes
2answers
971 views

What's the difference between「~と言いました」and「~と言っていました」?

「~と言{い}いました」and「~と言{い}っていました」 basically the difference between します and しています.
4
votes
2answers
212 views

Meaning of ~と言えよう

Just as the title says, I'm looking for the meaning of this construction, like used in the following sentence: 野菜や果物の害虫を防ぐために、さまざまな農薬が使われているが、これは人間の健康の面から考えると、問題があると言えよう。 Thanks in advance for ...
16
votes
1answer
975 views

Japanese Buts: でも, しかし, ただ, ただし, ところが, が, けど, けれど, けれども

I'm sure someone asked a similar question but I did a search and couldn't find any. Usually I just translate everything into but, but (no pun intended) I think it's about time I got into the nitty ...
1
vote
1answer
265 views

「[壁際]{かべぎわ}の前と同じ場所」とはどういう意味ですか?

壁際の前と同じ場所に彼は立っていた。 これはどういう意味ですか。 太字の部分が理解できません。 お願いいたします。
3
votes
1answer
117 views

Using も in place of を

I'm currently trying to get back into studying Japanese. I want to take the JLPT N3 this summer. To get myself in the mode for this I am first looking at the N4 tests on the JLPT website. The ...
3
votes
2answers
175 views

Particle に (and で) in this sentence

I don't get why に is used in addition to は in the following sentences. 指示詞 に はコソアドで始まる規則的な体系があります。 Concerning the demonstratives, there is a regular system (of words, i guess) that starts by ...
5
votes
1answer
225 views

Meaning of として in this sentence

I don't get why として is used instead of を in this sentence, as it doesn't seem to fit with the "as" sense that I know. 品詞と無関係にコソアドとして一括して扱うのが一般的です。 What I understand is this: Treating コソアド as ...
2
votes
1answer
75 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
562 views

What is the difference between でなくand ではなく?

This is the sentence I have just read: 外国へ行くとしたら、ただの旅行ではなく、勉強を 目的として 行きたい。 If I ever have a chance to go abroad then I would like to go to study rather than just travel. The は feels ...
2
votes
1answer
214 views

The に particle outside of location and direction

I am well aware of how に works compared to で and how to use it in various situations. I still have trouble with a few uses that keep popping up, as they don't seem to gel with my current ...
6
votes
3answers
491 views

Strange usage of に particle

I saw an advertisement on the train that said 世界に友達を作りたい... My Japanese friend said that the difference with "世界で友達を作りたい” is that で means like "In the world" whilst に means "all over the world". I ...
3
votes
3answers
227 views

君に話しがある How does this work?

ちょっと君に話しがある I saw this sentence in my downloaded deck of cards. Does it make sense. Why does it feel like "You have a little bit of a story in you". How do you interpret this? What does the に? In ...
1
vote
4answers
686 views

How to say “I am unfortunately getting frustrated”

I was trying to say " I am unfortunately getting frustrated." which seemed to suggest some combination of 挫折してしまいました and ざせつしています but I can't seem to figure out how to put these together. Any ...
3
votes
3answers
323 views

知らない方がいいって事もあるんです

Original video I am trying to decipher: 知らない方がいいって事もあるんです The translation that is provided with this phrase is "Some things are better off left unknown." I'm trying to break this down but I'm ...
3
votes
1answer
173 views

とか vs. って vs. という vs. と言われている

can someone help me with the following questions: ねえ、このきじみて。きのうのスケート大会、青木選手が___。 a)優勝したとか b)優勝したんだって c)優勝したという Answer is b but I am not sure why a is wrong cause the guide says that ...