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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1answer
206 views

なくてもいいです and なければなりません

My grammar book says: Verb/Adjective/Na-Adjective+なくてもいいです Is it OK to use Noun+なくてもいいです, like: 明日でなくてもいいです My grammar book also says: Verb/Noun+なければなりません Is it OK to use ...
2
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1answer
281 views

Volitional + と in ひとまず心を落ち着けようと、[…]

ひとまず心を落ち着けようと、飲みかけのオレンジジュースに手を伸ばす。 Please help. I came across this line and I don't really understand use of と here. How exactly does と work here?
2
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2answers
238 views

words that have kanji and begin with kana

"この先生き残るには" is a riddle that highlights the problem of not having spaces between words. But, I was able to read it pretty quickly. After blowing past "先生", I read "き", and that stopped me in my ...
4
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1answer
186 views

How does ダンスとかあったら全然だったと思う work/mean?

A:藤原さんは、もちろん歌だよね? B:うん。わたしにはそれしかないから……ダンスとかあったら全然だったと思う I don't get what the part ダンスとかあったら全然だったと思う is saying. 全然 is an adverb but there's no verb after it but 思う, but that's separated by a ...
3
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1answer
104 views

Dropping から when modifying a noun

I'm having trouble with Xからきた as a modifier... I have heard people say 住んでいるのはどこ? or something like that in order to say like, "where are you living?"... but what if someone wanted to say どこから来た? in ...
3
votes
1answer
196 views

How do you ask for ordinality (order in a sequence)?

What phrase do you use to ask for the n-th position of an object? Is there a straightforward and general way to do so? e.g. order of childbirth, place did the runner finish Since you can use 3人目 ...
2
votes
1answer
184 views

To use “ものです” to end a sentence

The original sentence is: 人間は一人では生きていけません。 and the requirement is to change the sentence with a "ものです" ending. I did this: 人間は一人では生きていけないものです. Am I right?
4
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506 views

ても “even if/though” doesn't seem right

I've been thinking of the ても pattern as "even though" or "even if". But this sentence from steins;gate uses it in a way that surprised me... ちょっと待ってくれ。そんなに急かされて【せかされて】も、転んでしまうよ Is this being ...
5
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1answer
259 views

をも… what on earth this particle combination?

In my book I found this sentence... Aさんの健康に関して、特にその食事に関しての心配が、Aさんの心も家族の心をも蝕んでいるのだ。 I understand the sentence, but I had no idea such a particle combination was possible... could someone please ...
4
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1answer
288 views

What is the し particle and how do you use it?

I understand that obviously every Japanese textbook will go into this topic briefly... but I can never really come to grips with what it means in Japanese. If anyone could link me to a good Japanese ...
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4answers
443 views

Trying to translate a 許せるはずもなく

I'm trying to translate a phrase、許せるはずもなく. Generally, I think the meaning should be along the lines of "We were not forgiven," but with the grammatical structure of verb + hazu + naku, would it be ...
6
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3answers
421 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 ...
6
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1answer
227 views

The の noun… does it have any intrinsic meaning?

I am having a bit of trouble separating の and もの when they serve the purpose of turning a verb phrase into a noun. The の noun seems to satisfy a few purposes... It seems to be like "one"... like when ...
4
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1answer
166 views

How come the よう in ~ようものなら can modify a noun?

I have the sentence in my book: 昔は、若い女性が男性と二人で出かけようものなら、町中のうわさになったものだ。 I was wondering if this means that it is possible to modify nouns with the volitional form. I have so far heard that it isn't, ...
4
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2answers
196 views

Understanding the の in ~ものの

I thought that の always had to modify a noun... so how come a sentence like the following is possible despite there being no nominalization of what follows の ? たたみに布団を敷いて寝てみたものの、背中が痛くて寝られなかった。 Is ...
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2answers
208 views

The に particle and potential form

これはアメリカ人にも読める日本語の本です。 I received this sentence as an example of に being used with potential form in a passive sense, but even though the person said they were Japanese (online) I have never seen ...
3
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2answers
403 views

What is the etymology of べき? How should I visualize it?

I like to visualise things to try and understand them as an idea not a rehearsed rule. I like to think of hazu in terms of it being a notch in a bow for the arrow as I hear the meaning stemmed from ...
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1answer
314 views

わけ、の、理由 in explanations… when do you use which one?

These all seem to be used for explanation... when do you use one over the other? Could you offer some examples? To clarify about の, I am talking about its use in providing information, like, ...
6
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3answers
426 views

Use of ~ていた vs ~ている to refer to a resultant state

This sentence is from Japanese the Manga Way panel 371, translation as given in the textbook. 和尚にたのまれていた肉体労働も今のうちに片づけてしまう。 I'll also go ahead and finish off that physical labour that the priest ...
2
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2answers
223 views

Can 「食べも飲みもしない」 be rewritten as 「食べなくも飲まなくもある」?

I'd like to see if I understand a couple grammar points correctly. I'd like to rewrite this sentence:  1. 食べも飲みもしない As either one of these:  2a. 食べなくも  飲まなくもある  2b. ...
4
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1answer
220 views

Meaning of さて after て

Hello everyone I cannot grasp the meaning of さて in the following sentence, as far as I can understand it's same as this, however I'm not confident about it. "...for young man it was like throwing the ...
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2answers
204 views

Interpretation of 注意する: to warn or to be warned?

I'm uncertain about the usage of 注意する in this sentence from Japanese the Manga Way, Chapter 25 page 198. The context is that a woman has noticed the following message written on the back of her ...
5
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1answer
230 views

The nuance of する

I know what する means in terms of basic usage and obvious usage... I've been studying for a while so like, this isn't going to be a "What's 1 + 1" question hopefully. The question is to do with how する ...
3
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1answer
160 views

What's the grammar behind お忘れなきよう?

There's a series that started airing where I live, 謎解きはディナーのあとで, and along with greatly enjoying the style, I've been very fascinated by the butler's very formal manner of speaking. What I never got, ...
2
votes
2answers
221 views

Confusion on use of する with adverbs

I'm a little confused as to the role that する is playing in phrases like はっきりとした and はっきりしている I know this is classed as a する verb, but it still doesn't make sense in the same way that nouns used with ...
4
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3answers
525 views

What does "Xの一つにYがある” mean?

I have a sentence in my book like this: 日本が アメリカによく聞かれて困る質問の一つに、”How are you?" は 日本語で何と言うか、というのがある。 and found a similar example here: アメリカでは大学への申込の手続きの一つに「なぜX大学に行きたいのか」ということに関してエッセイを書くというのがあります。 The ...
0
votes
1answer
278 views

Using the causative form (使役形) to create humble language (謙譲語)?

"この町に住ませて頂きたいんです。" is a line from a movie. That grammar makes sense to me. In this context, 使役形 is used to create a humble mood. (頂く) makes it even more humble. Based on that, today I said: ...
3
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2answers
191 views

Trouble parsing sentence with 合わず

I am a beginner Japanese student. I was reading this short text and have problem with this particular sentence (end of second paragraph). 盲導犬を飼いはじめて最初は、二人の息が合わず街に出かけても失敗ばかりでした。 Let's try to go ...
4
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2answers
1k views

童貞が許されるのは小学生までだよね - translation of まで

I'm interested in an exact translation of the particle まで used in this Internet meme: In case you can't read the image, here's a transcription: 「えーマジ 童貞!?」 「キモーイ」 「童貞が許されるのは小学生までだよねー」 ...
3
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1answer
306 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 ...
4
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2answers
333 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". ...
2
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2answers
200 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
6
votes
2answers
417 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!
1
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1answer
160 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」---> ...
6
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2answers
251 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
268 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 ...
2
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2answers
173 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 ...
5
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1answer
162 views

Replacing になっている with だ

A sentence from JapanesePod 101: 米は、多くの食事で、重要な糖質源になっている。 Rice is an important source of carbohydrates in many diets. The になっている seems unnecessary here. Could one simply end the sentence with ...
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 ...
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2answers
361 views

Difference between こと、もの and やつ

I am trying to understand the following clearly: 私のこと 私のもの 私のやつ When someone is talking about us, we can use こと。 ”いいえ、それは私のことではないです” - No, that is not something related to me. やつis used when we ...
1
vote
1answer
176 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 ...
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votes
4answers
336 views

Examples of ambigious sentences

I'm looking to test some Morphological Analysis tools, which split sentences into tokens and provide part of speech and pronunciation information (specifically, providing kana when given kanji). I'm ...
2
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1answer
252 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 ...
3
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2answers
223 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。 ...
5
votes
1answer
145 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
269 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 ...
0
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1answer
87 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
192 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
420 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
289 views

Can だ be used as a particle in a phrase?

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 is there simply no particle at all?