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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4
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2answers
303 views

Distinction between “not everyone” and “no-one”

I recently learnt that だれも means "everyone" with an affirmative verb and "no-one" with a negative verb. So, the literal translation of the Japanese "No-one is here" would be "Everyone is not here". ...
33
votes
1answer
3k views

What is the difference between the nominalizers こと and の?

As Derek mentioned in his postscript, both こと and の are nominalizers that can turn a verb into a noun. ピアノを弾く【ひく】。 I play the piano. ピアノを弾く【ひく】のが好き【すき】です。 I like playing the piano. ...
22
votes
3answers
30k views

でも (demo) versus けど (kedo) to mean “but”

I learned that you can use でも (demo) at the beginning of a sentence to mean "but," and that you can use けど (kedo) at the end of a sentence to mean "though." However, I don't see a difference between ...
6
votes
2answers
363 views

What's the difference between 「〜を通{とお}して」 and 「〜を通{つう}じて」?

I understand both can mean "by means of, through, throughout", but I'm sure there's a difference in nuance here. Can someone help and explain? Thanks!
6
votes
2answers
246 views

Can one say “A decides that B will do X” with ことにする?

Can one use ことにする to express the idea "A decides that B will do X"? Take the sentence 私は外へ出ることにした. The way I see it, 私 is the subject of both 出る and した, with one usage omitted due to being ...
5
votes
2answers
255 views

A closer look at そう思う

I just realized today that for some reason I'm pretty uncomfortable with things like そう思う because the Japanese そう has a meaning akin to saying isn't that so in English. But when you say そう思う, そう is ...
7
votes
1answer
277 views

When choose の/こと or というの/ということ

I'm studying nominalizers and don't understand when to use の/こと and when to use というの/ということ. For example, in the sentence: こんなによく[遅刻]{ちこく}をするというのは[問題]{もんだい}ですよ。 Could I say: ...
2
votes
2answers
196 views

How do you say “The 10 most spoken languages in the world” in Japanese?

Would it be: 世界中10の最も話し言語 or 世界で10最も話されて言語
1
vote
1answer
145 views

rules for “personification” with 「じん」、「しゃ」、「か」?

In English, "personification" is a literary device. But, I am talking about when you take a common noun, and then add 「人」、「者」、 or「家」: 「労働」--->「労働者」 「案内」--->「案内者」 「日本」---> 「日本人」 「社会」 --->「社会人」 「農業」---> ...
0
votes
0answers
52 views

What is the difference between ように and 風に【ふうに】? [duplicate]

What is the difference in use and nuance between ように and 風に【ふうに】? どうしてそんなように考えるのですか どうしてそんな風に考えるのですか Are these sentences okay? Can anyone give me some examples of how they are supposed ...
2
votes
2answers
167 views

Question about ように

I'm confused in ように in the following sentence. Maybe it connects to 聞こえる or maybe means "in order to" ? I'm not sure about it here. Some sort of translation: "Conversations in this period of time ...
0
votes
0answers
59 views

How to express the separate nuances for “should” [duplicate]

I THINK I understand the nuances of hazu and wake... not so much beki... yet none of them seem to fit the sort of sentences below, could you help me understand how to say "should" and "supposed to" in ...
3
votes
1answer
111 views

ぬかるむ Meaning and Use

ぬかるむ has the definition of "to be muddy" in my dictionary, but it is a verb. Furthermore, all the examples use it before a noun, as opposed to saying 丘はぬかるむ. Is it correct to say this? Why is ぬかるむ a ...
1
vote
1answer
155 views

Do adjectives/adjective-like verb forms in informal speech need a copula?

The class I go to uses the «Minna no Nihongo» textbook, and according to it you can say the following in informal language: そのカレーライスおいしい? わたしは富士山にのぼりたい。 (See book 1, lesson 20) So I ...
2
votes
1answer
246 views

Does でしょう have a negative nuance?

I am reading the sentence... 他人に自分の内面を見られたくない人もいるのではないだろうか and wondering why it seems like there is a double negative that I'm not seeing もいる = + のではない = - だろう = ???? END RESULT = + だろうか has to be ...
5
votes
2answers
362 views

What's the meaning of 〜ておきます?

What exactly does 〜ておきます mean in this context? 旅行{りょこう}する前{まえ}にホテルを予約{よやく}しておきます。 Is this trying to say something like "Before traveling, reserve a room". Is this a suggestion? An order? (If so, why ...
15
votes
3answers
734 views

Difference between 〜といい〜といい & 〜といわず〜といわず

Can somebody explain the difference between these two expressions? I have pasted the definitions and some examples from 日本語表現文型辞典 to help but they seem to come down to the same thing. (When can one ...
13
votes
2answers
339 views

What is the subject when time passes in a narrative (eg 1ヶ月を経る)

(This might be a quick easy question but sometimes the answers to these are unexpected.) What is the subject in the following sentences? I've given my best efforts for the examples 1-4 below. (I am ...
12
votes
2answers
252 views

Choice of tense with そばから

When using そばから in the sense of "as soon as", everything I find says that you can use either た form/past tense before it, or dictionary form, but not what the difference is. Sometimes people even use ...
4
votes
1answer
301 views

Habitual aspect

My (poor) understanding of things is that there are two ways to get habitual semantics in Japanese: use the dictionary form of the verb: 毎日、映画{えいが}を見に行く "I go to the movies every day." use the ...
3
votes
2answers
216 views

Problems parsing this sentence (ような before comma)

I was reading the examples from the book 日本語文型辞典 and I came across this example sentence which I have absolutely no idea of how to parse it: その子は、人と目が合うたびにやさしく笑いかけるような、そんな、人を疑うということを知らないような子だったと言う。 ...
3
votes
1answer
248 views

how could a sentence end with (noun + “よ”?)

I'd thought you cannot end a sentence with a noun. Rather: noun + だ。 noun + です。 noun + である。 noun + であります。 noun + でございます。 But in a movie dialogue, I heard: "大切なのは、心よ。" Ending a sentence with a noun ...
5
votes
1answer
141 views

What does り have to do with this?

So I asked some Japanese guy if he really meant something (about speaking in certain language) with 本当ですか and I got this as an answer: 実はしゃべれるわけじゃなかったりする I understand what わけではない means, but ...
0
votes
1answer
84 views

Help with this passage

Well I didn't know how to title this question, but I'd like help with this passage. It is from the workbook 日本語総まとめN2 ...
1
vote
3answers
160 views

でしょうか as a question

I am having a little trouble understanding the nuance of でしょうか in comparison to ですか. People say it makes it more hesitant and polite, but that doesn't explain the nuance enough for me. Why would you ...
0
votes
1answer
236 views

Can だ be used as a particle in a phrase?

I have this doubt for some time now, I'm a new Japanese learner and I'd like to say ''Tomorrow is monday''. Is it correct for me to say あしただげつようび? Or there simply isn't any particle at all? Thanks in ...
2
votes
2answers
122 views

How would you write the name Anibal in Japanese?

So my name is written Anibal, I'm from Brazil, just so you know. I'd like to know how would you write it in japanese, I'm in doubt between A-ni-ba-ru and A-ni-ba-e-ru. Any further explanation would be ...
10
votes
2answers
362 views

Do “direct object を” and “directional を” occupy the same slot?

A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar (ADoBJG) lists more than one を particle. In particular: On page 347, it lists o1, a particle which marks a direct object. On page 349, it lists o2, a particle ...
1
vote
1answer
206 views

Question about particle に

I'm confused in 「に作られた」 in the following sentence. Kindly explain this part to me. 「Central Base」とは、旧「アクアポリス・中央エアポート」に作られた、「ASDF」の陸上(?)基地のことだ。 Some sort of translation: 1) Central base is, ...
5
votes
2answers
296 views

I am wondering if someone can shed light on this tweet from Japan?

A friend of mine recently translated a Japanese article from Japan's October issue of An An magazine and sent her a tweet in English telling her that it was completed. The author replied with the ...
5
votes
2answers
687 views

What's the short way to say “me too” and “me (n)either”?

I am just learning about the も particle and the textbook has examples like this: やまださんはがくせいです。わたしもがくせいです。 Yamada is a student. I am also a student. I am wondering whether the repetition of ...
1
vote
1answer
117 views

となし in 「往{ゆ}け八紘を宇{いえ}となし」

I'm currently listening to 「愛国行進曲」, which is apparently a Shōwa-era patriotic song. It is written in a rather confusing mix of modern and Classical Japanese, but I think I can understand most of it ...
10
votes
2answers
556 views

When is 「だ/である」required between a noun and the quotation particle と?

Note: Edits in response to comments have been added in italics The sentence prompting this question is: 時下ますますご清栄のことと、お喜び申し上げます Which I have always "loosely" taken to mean: I am glad to ...
4
votes
2answers
228 views

Interpretation of 思われる (spontaneous or passive?)

My understanding is that 思われる, in addition to being the passive form of 思う, can also be used in the sense of "to spontaneously think; to appear". 北米では通常スカートは女性がはくものと思われている。 In North America a ...
1
vote
2answers
193 views

Meaning of ようにできる

A sentence from Kanji in Context: 人にはそれぞれ長短があって、それで世の中はうまくいくようにできているのです。 I get that it means something like everyone has individual strengths and weaknesses, and thus the world can go smoothly. ...
3
votes
1answer
133 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
452 views

Negation with ではありません vs. じゃない

I tried to say "I'm not a high school student". But I read you can use じゃない to 'deny' something. In this case which one should I use? でわありません or じゃない? 私はこうこうの学生でわありません。or 私はこうこうの学生じゃないです。?
5
votes
1answer
98 views

Replacing a negative nominalised verb with a ない-form

人と比べるのではなく、過去の自分と比べる。 Do not compare yourself to other people, compare yourself to your past self. Without any change in meaning, (though I guess it would be less formal in tone), could the ...
5
votes
1answer
208 views

Is there something omitted after だか in this sentence?

The following paragraph is from page 20 of 涼宮ハルヒの憂鬱:  ...
0
votes
0answers
44 views

what is the difference beween おんなみたい、おんならしい and おんなっぽい。 [duplicate]

what is the difference beween おんなみたい、おんならしい and おんなっぽい。 could any one please clear the difference between them with example.
2
votes
1answer
155 views

Verb in te-form with 中に, as in “通って中に”

I have started to read a novel for practice. I came across these sentences. I can't make sense of the part 通って中に. 少年はあそこ一夜過ごすことに決めた。彼は羊の群れが、壊れかけた門を通って中に、入るのを見届けてから、夜中に羊が迷い出さないように、何本かの棒を門にわたした。 I ...
5
votes
1answer
148 views

Is 圧力 countable?

Consider the following sentence (emphasis mine): ひょっとしたら僕が​圧力の一つや二つをかけられて​いることも知っているのかもしれない。 The bolded part is kind of confusing me. I get that 圧力をかけられる means "to be pressured" or "to have ...
2
votes
1answer
121 views

Confusion between nouns and adverbs in あと一部

この仕事はあと一部を残すだけだ。 Only one part of the job remains. Does one think of あと (remainder) as a noun (and object of 残す) and 一部 as a counter/adverb, or is あと the adverb and 一部 the noun here?
1
vote
2answers
198 views

The origin of しなさい

勉強しなさいよ! i know what this means.. but what is the origin of しなさい ? Does it come from する (to do verb) ?? Is it short form of something? or what?
2
votes
3answers
107 views

Nuance due to absence of は

その帽子に赤いマフラーが似合いそうだ。 A red muffler seems to go well with that hat. Is there a difference in nuance between the above sentence and the following one? その帽子には赤いマフラーが似合いそうだ。 I get that it's ...
2
votes
1answer
174 views

The use of も; spotting if it is comparison/contrast, or for emphasis (revised)

(Apologies for lack of clarity but thx for the quick feedback. Now on my nml PC.) Could somebody tell me the meaning/use of both もs in bold in the following sentence? It is the background explanation ...
1
vote
1answer
218 views

Period + に + frequency

I'm looking at JLPT4/5 grammar list and see such grammar point. But I can't find any information about it (truthfully I don't know how to). Though I found some examples: 1 shuukan ni ikkai - once a ...
1
vote
1answer
198 views

How does 生まれ translate in this context?

こんにちは、皆さん。ちょっと質問があります。 今日、この歌を聞きました。 最初の歌詞はこれです: アイデンティティがない 生まれない らららら でも意味が分かりません。英訳するができない。 「(If you) have no identity, (you) haven't been born」と思いますが、確かめたいです。 日本語で説明していい。手伝てくれてありがとう!
1
vote
2answers
206 views

Use of に with -てあげる/-てくれる with a human direct object

Quoting from page 292 of A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar (DBJG), entry for に, note 2: "Any transitive verb used in the V-てあげる or V-てくれる construction can take に, if the verb does not take a ...
2
votes
2answers
203 views

Is there an idiomatic Japanese equivalent of the construction “Let [infinitive verb]”?

In English, we have constructions like "Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York" (MLK's I Have A Dream speech) and "Let there be light" (Genesis 1:3, KJV and other versions). Is there ...