文法. 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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2answers
165 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. ...
30
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5answers
2k views

i-adjectives used as na-adjectives: is there a difference? (e.g. 大きい versus 大きな)

There are at the very least several i-adjectives can be used as na-adjectives by dropping the final い and adding な in its place. The most common examples of this, as far as I am aware, are 大きい and ...
2
votes
2answers
473 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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1answer
323 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
367 views

In 君が代, what's the function of の?

I've got a question about the two instances of の in 君が代: さざれ石の巌となりて 苔の生すまで First, is さざれ石の巌 to be interpreted as a boulder made of pebbles (analogous to, say, 木製の槍)? Second, is the の in ...
3
votes
2answers
181 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 ...
3
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1answer
243 views

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

Could somebody tell me the meaning/use of both もs in bold in the following sentence? It is the background explanation for the essay titled 「さよなら、ゴジラ先生」 in the magazine, 中上級のにほんご. Also, I am not sure ...
4
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2answers
2k views

What are the general principles of using verbs to modify nouns (e.g. 焦げるトースト/焦げたトースト)?

In all the time I've studied the language, I've never heard or seen anybody even hint at whether the principles from a given language (like using “burnt toast” vs. “burning toast”) carry over, or if ...
3
votes
3answers
411 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 ...
4
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2answers
117 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
530 views

Come to ~: ~てくる vs. ~ようになる

Can someone please explain the fine nuances of these two? Things such as: Are there conditions/restrictions of when you can use one or the other? What are the "approximate" time periods that each ...
1
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1answer
125 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
117 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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1answer
133 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。 [...] ...
6
votes
3answers
964 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 ...
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1answer
230 views

Using double negative

Would appreciate if someone helped me understand the following word patterns with examples: なかなか〜ない ほとんど〜ない ぜんぜん〜ない Can any of them be used in a positive context too?
4
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1answer
387 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'.
3
votes
1answer
242 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: ...
2
votes
2answers
310 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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votes
1answer
118 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
110 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 ...
5
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1answer
152 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
671 views

what's the difference between とか and や?

what's the difference between とか and や?
3
votes
1answer
159 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?
2
votes
2answers
105 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。 ? ...
3
votes
1answer
94 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?
1
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1answer
77 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.
5
votes
1answer
152 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, ...
4
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1answer
328 views

Grammar of との, what is the meaning

So here in this sentence below "との" was used 2 times. What does との standfor? Can someone please explain it to me? ...
8
votes
2answers
741 views

How do you use 〜と知る?

I've often seen and heard the expression 〜と知る(知っている). When I think about it, it makes sense in the context of the quoatation-と, like with 〜と言う or 〜と思う. It seems like it means "Know that 〜". ...
2
votes
2answers
75 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 ...
3
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1answer
194 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
215 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 ...
3
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2answers
217 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. ...
1
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3answers
358 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
535 views

Does だけが mean “but only” or “not just”?

Earlier today I saw this sign: 煙{けむり}の行方{ゆくえ}。本人{ほんにん}だけが、他人{たにん}事{ごと}だった。 The English is different enough that I think we can mostly ignore it for the purposes of this question. It helpfully ...
7
votes
2answers
295 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
votes
3answers
148 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: ...
5
votes
1answer
276 views

Is けど a 接続詞 (conjunction) or 助詞 (particle)?

A book I've read states that けど is a 接続詞 (conjunction). However, another book I had read states that it is a 助詞 (particle). Who is right?
3
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2answers
173 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 ...
1
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1answer
52 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
138 views

I've never seen a sentence that uses か and は together like this before

交換プログラムに選ばれるのが難しいかやさしいかは、大学によって違うが、一般的に言えば、申し込む学生が多ければ多いほど、選ばれるのが難しくなる。 I've checked online but I can't seem to find a proper explanation on how かは is being used here. Individually, I know they ...
4
votes
2answers
144 views

何も means 'Nothing' instead of 'What also'

I recently learnt that 「何も」 means 'nothing' (e.g. 「何も怖くないです。」 means 'Nothing scares (me).'). But how do I say 'What else'? (e.g. 'What else goes well with this dress?' or 'What else never dies?)
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1answer
201 views

Japanese grammar structure order

Everything I have known about Japanese grammar structure till now is S-O-V. Japanese is S-O-V language. But what's about adj? Adverb?... Something like that. Of couse that I did some research about ...
3
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1answer
151 views

How to understand the meaning of 愛{いと}しさ

I know that from adjective we can make adjectival noun like: 高{たか}い -> 高さ - means high and hight. But how to understand/translate the word 愛しさ? I heard it in one of C-ute songs.
4
votes
1answer
169 views

How does the order of place and subject affect the meaning of a sentence using the verb iru

Consider the two sentences: うちに犬がいます。 uchi-ni inu-ga imasu 犬がうちにいます。 inu-ga uchi-ni imasu Is it correct to translate these as "There is a dog at home" "The dog is at ...
4
votes
1answer
213 views

名詞の修飾と「~か」・「~かどうか」についての質問

日本語の名詞を修飾する時、「が」しか使えないでしょう? 例えば、 私がいつも遊んでいたところはあの川の傍の公園です。 友達が買ってくれたパソコンはこれだ。 今私の質問は、~か/~かどうか についてはそういう文法がありますか?? そして、そういう思いの上で文を書いてみました(英語で同じ意味を表してみました、意味は正しくないなら 是非教えてくださいね): ...
5
votes
2answers
257 views

How to rephrase sentences with an ambiguous は to indicate the contrastive or thematic / 「主題」と「対比」の解釈の余地のある、あいまいな「は」の言い換え方

First, some background. My question is kind of an extension of this previously-answered question about the difference between は and が. While I am fairly clear on the different usages of は as a ...
3
votes
1answer
187 views

助詞「も」の意味を教えてください

「こういうことも、歳をとったらできなくなるだろうなあ」という文中の助詞「も」の意味を教えてください。
3
votes
1answer
616 views

What does やがんだ mean?

Right now, I'm reading the Japanese translation of Catcher in the Rye. This sentence has been puzzling me: 奴さん、ジャガーをもってやがんだよ。 I know that the author is saying that his brother owns a Jaguar, but ...