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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

2
votes
1answer
180 views

Meaning of 虚ろに in this particular case

I was doing my daily dose of reading and I came by this particular sentence, which I had a little bit of trouble finding the meaning for. 「このあたりからまた意識が虚ろになってしまいました」 The context is a patient who had ...
2
votes
1answer
255 views

に - same meaning as として?

Could somebody please give me a hint about the meaning of に in 「反抗的な態度に映ったのか、隊長は舌打ちして前を向く。」. If I'm understanding correctly, に here has the same meaning as として. 内容・状態などを示す。「ーとして」の意。「ほうびにもらう」 Some ...
10
votes
3answers
609 views

Confusion about “Seemingly not ~”

So there are several ways to express something is "seemingly not ~": ~なさそう ~そうにない ~そうもない ~そうにもない (is this one even real?) I was always taught ~なさそう in my Japanese classes, and it was ...
5
votes
1answer
350 views

あなたがこの文のおかしいと思うところは?

The structure strikes me because the underlying transformation seems to be like this: [ あなたが ] [ この文の  ~ところを ] [ おかしいと ] 思う [ あなたが ] [ この文の  _____ ] [ おかしいと ] 思う ところは~ Another similar example is: ...
1
vote
1answer
271 views

「〜そうにない」 unfamiliar usage of そう [duplicate]

I'm playing a video game in Japanese, and one of the characters said 僕にもわかりそうにない。 I understand that (verb stem)そう means "it seems" or "it appears", but I've never seen (verb stem)そう used with ...
3
votes
2answers
220 views

Is setting a topic obligatory?

For instance, if I say the following as the first phrase in a conversation: おはよう!ピクニックでリナさんを探していましたが、どこもみえませんでしたね。 Hi! I was looking for you at the picnic, but couldn't find anywhere. Is it ...
6
votes
2answers
540 views

Is there a special way of asking hypothetical questions?

I'm not really sure there is an equivalent for hypothetical questions in Japanese, but here's hoping there is. In English, hypothetical questions are generally prefaced by "What would you do if..." ...
2
votes
1answer
128 views

Unnecessary に in “どんなに” in this sentence?

The following sentences are from a reading passage. I'm confused on the third sentence - the previous two are just given for context. 日本ではどこに行っても、「きまりですから」という言葉を耳にする。 これを言われてしまうと、こちらにはもう反論の余地はない。 ...
6
votes
1answer
676 views

Addressing strangers without knowing the name

How does one address a stranger in a casual conversation when name is unknown? For example, I had a conversation with an older Japanese lady and I wanted to compliment her on her English (but in ...
2
votes
0answers
45 views

~に~があります vs ~は~です in this sentence [duplicate]

The following sentence was found in a book: 日本社会の「きまり」にかかわる例の一つに、 会社への就職活動がある。 I'm wondering, assuming the translation is "An example of one of these "rules" related to Japanese society is ...
1
vote
2answers
181 views

“verb+ものです” has an additional meaning?

I am trying to remember if the following sentences have the meaning of "it is a custom/habit." (1)「日本では、家に入る前に、靴を脱ぐものです。」 (2)「日本業界では、自己紹介をする時に、名刺を交換するものです。」 (3)「日本社会において、3月の14日に、男は女の子にチョコを上げるものです。」 ...
6
votes
1answer
411 views

Forming a “habitual” sentence: “I usually get up at 7.15”

私は大抵七時十五分に起きます Would this be a correct way to say 'I usually get up at 7.15'? Not sure 大抵 is correctly placed before the time+に
77
votes
3answers
7k views

What's the difference between wa (は) and ga (が)?

When is it correct to use は but not が, and when is it correct to use が but not は? Are there any times when you can use either without changing the meaning of the sentence? How does switching change ...
6
votes
1answer
329 views

「どこでもある」と「どこにもある」の使い分け

I have come across this sentence: 一九七0年頃までは、どこでも銭湯がありましたが、今は、少なくなりました。 Why is it that it says どこでも X がある instead of どこにも X がある I understand that で and に are very similar as they have ties in ...
4
votes
3answers
859 views

Examples of Japanese nouns that seem like adjectives when translated into English eg 曇り

As above. This sentence came up in my test: 今日は曇りで、寒かったです。 and I was a bit puzzled why it wasn't kumokkute (I translated it as cloudy = adj) until I looked it up on Jisho.com. But I'm still ...
1
vote
1answer
176 views

読みます or 読んで form to express habit

In my textbook it says you can use the 読みます form to talk about habitual actions, such as 私はよく本を読みます But I read on the internet (source) that the correct form for this is 読んで and the sentence should ...
4
votes
2answers
739 views

うちに spot the difference

うちに has two rather confusingly different meanings. One is in line with its never seen kanji form. Whilst. Do x whilst y. Another means do x before y's situation changes. The two are quite ...
5
votes
2answers
187 views

The meaning of v-ta+であろう

What does v-た+であろう mean? For example: ほんの一、ニ分のやりとりであったであろうが、いかに屈託のない若い人たちの闊達さがさわやかであった。 Does it mean something is likely to be that way? But what then if it appears that this thing has already ...
3
votes
1answer
300 views

Meaning of 「のでは」

What does のでは mean in the following sentence? What changes if we write this sentence like this - デカイ腹に集中した、というのが? ...
8
votes
4answers
677 views

How does “ ~ずにはいられない ” work?

時代の流れを感じずにはいられない。 I can't help but feel time passing by. 彼のことを同情せずにはいられない。 I can't help but to feel sorry for him. 私は、彼の才能を賞賛せずにはいられない。 I can't help but admire his talent. Would ...
2
votes
2answers
226 views

「日焼{ひや}け」 is not representative of a means to nominalize verbs?

I was just thinking about the sunburn I will get during the upcoming 4th of July holiday. Then, I wondered if 「日焼{ひや}け」is a verb nominalization. If it is, I am not aware of such a pattern. Is it an ...
2
votes
1answer
506 views

How to say “about” as in “to read about”

I wonder how to say something like Now I'm reading about ways to get to Kyoto from Tokyo. I know the necessary words but I wonder how to say this "about". Will it be okay if I just write this? ...
8
votes
1answer
250 views

って vs が. JLPT question

I'm looking through JLPT N3 questions and have come across this one: A: ねえ (   ) どんなひと? B: とても親切でいい人だよ The possible answers are: 田中さんが 田中さんで 田中さんって 田中さんでも Number 4 makes no sense ...
6
votes
2answers
466 views

What does 側 at the end of a verb mean?

I haven't seen this very often at all, so this has got me stumped. Here's an example with it showing up frequently: http://www.orenoh.com/knowledge/mensetu-shikaku.html The title, for example: ...
2
votes
2answers
211 views

Some questions about the use of となる

According to what I read, となる is the written counterpart of になる. Nevertheless, I stumbled upon some use of となる that seems not to fall under the typical usage of になる (which, for me, means "to become" ...
5
votes
1answer
295 views

Unclear grammar elements (Verb - Noun)

Currently I'm learning Japanese by discovering vocabulary and new grammars which I can find in Japanese Windows XP. I have some trouble understanding these grammar elements in the following examples : ...
2
votes
1answer
132 views

meaning of はぐった

I would really appreciate your help. I just read the sentence またひるめしをくいはぐった and I can't quite figure out what はぐった means and what the basic grammar of this conjugation is. I'm kinda lost...
5
votes
3answers
262 views

I'm a bit lost on this sentence using なかろうか

As part of a long text on the use of られる, there is this sentence: られる は私{わたし}の父{ちち}が信{しん}じていたほどには効能{こうのう}を持{も}っていなかったのではなかろうか。 This sentence is from my JLPT textbook, but it seems a section of ...
3
votes
1answer
241 views

What is the meaning and grammatical construction of 人って?

I am trying to understand the grammar behind "[noun]って". I looked up some examples on space alc web, and 人って seems to mean people, someone, or some person. I have seen other examples of the [noun]って ...
8
votes
3answers
239 views

Is this は replacing が or を? (& is this 悪 read as あく or わる?)

This is the "sentence": 暴力は悪*だと非難する| condemn violence as evil Sounds simple? The English translation does not give a subject so I wonder are either が or をcorrect if I modify the sentence as ...
5
votes
1answer
236 views

What is the subject of this sentence? Is it the book (mentioned) or the author (who is not mentioned)?

The following sentence/phrase comes from the Progressive (プログレッシブ)dictionary: この本は自然主義について論じている|This book deals with naturalism In English people often say something like "This books addresses ...
1
vote
2answers
131 views

What is the “one type” being “wiped away” in this sentence?

As part of a larger block of text, my JLPT textbook has this sentence: 私{わたし}たちは、コトバに対{たい}して一種{いっしゅ}のぬぐいがたい軽視{けいし}、軽{かる}く見{み}る傾向{けいこう}が一般{いっぱん}にあるといっていいかもしれません。 I'm specifically confused about ...
3
votes
2answers
218 views

Modifying adjectives 「のように」

I cannot understand what exactly is ように modifying in the following sentence. And is it grammatically possible for 流れる濁流のよう to modify 急激な感情の? Because in phrase like this - 完璧に思ったとおりの仕上がり, 完璧に modifies ...
4
votes
1answer
203 views

Help with the meaning of 大絶賛 in this sentence

というわけで、俺は実家で只今大絶賛ひとり暮らし中である。 From what I can tell, the speaker is saying that for reasons mentioned he is living alone at home, but I don't see how 大絶賛 (which means very high praise) affects the ...
4
votes
1answer
155 views

Which part of the sentence is 離陸するまで modifying?

A sentence from JapanesePod101. 私たちは、離陸するまで二時間、飛行機の中で座っていた。 We sat on the airplane for two hours before it took off. The general meaning of the sentence is not in question, but is 離陸するまで ...
9
votes
1answer
479 views

why is it that some 形容動詞 accepts の after it while some only accepts な after it?

why is it that some 形容動詞 accepts の after it while some only accepts な after it? Examples: の only: 普通、大勢 な or の: 初心、特別、特殊 Is there a way for us to tell if a 形容動詞 needs a の or な particle after ...
5
votes
0answers
266 views

What are all the nuances and uses of 至る? (に至って) (に至っては) (に至っても) (に至る)

I'm studying for the N1. And there are several not so often used structures that you really need to know the minute differences between. One of these is the uses of 至る. As far as I know, these are ...
1
vote
1answer
102 views

How to add a specific day of the week when asking about opening & closing time

I know it's very basic but I am a beginner... If anybody could be of any help it would be fantastic :) I know how to ask about closing and opening time (of shops, offices etc) but I don't know how to ...
17
votes
2answers
369 views

Reading (and usage) of 他: when is it 【た】, when is it 【ほか】?

他 is one of these common words that still to this day confuses me... My general assumption is that: used as a prefix, it should always be read 【た】, e.g.: 他人【たにん】 when treated as a "substantive" ...
6
votes
3answers
327 views

Do you need です before から at the end of sentence?

バスに乗りましょう。タクシーは高いですから。 or can you simply say タクシーは高いから without the です?
1
vote
1answer
102 views

When should I use ~ている vs. ~ています?

The book says use ~ている for a) an action in progress and b) a past event that is connected with the present, and it has examples like スーさんは本を読んでいます, and all the examples are using ています. But when I look ...
6
votes
1answer
222 views

ってんだ with imperative

To describe the context...Girl A and a boy arrange to go to an amusement park to find some clues about...something. Or that's what she says to him, but the girl is actually tricking the boy into going ...
4
votes
2answers
2k 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」 ...
2
votes
2answers
460 views

What's the difference between the に祈る【いのる】 and を祈る【いのる】 forms?

What's the difference between the に祈る and を祈る forms? Like what's the difference between (1.) and (2.): うまく行くのに祈ってくださいね。 うまく行くのを祈ってくださいね。 EDIT: What's the difference between the ように祈る and のを祈る ...
0
votes
0answers
54 views

Nano/Nanoka Meaning [duplicate]

I heard nanoka was a childish way of saying nandesu, or something along those lines, but my dictionary says nano is a copula-what does nano mean?
3
votes
2answers
576 views

How to tell the difference between と as “and”/a conditional?

The particle と can mean either a fairly simple "And" or it can mean if X then Y. 1: 私は犬と猫が好きです - I like dogs and cats 2: びんを落すと壊れる - if drop the bottle, it breaks Taken independently either of ...
7
votes
1answer
193 views

How do jokes with “だけに” work?

There's a particular style of joke/pun in Japanese that I'm not sure how to describe, so let me provide some examples: カミングスーン、神だけに。 (said by someone who has recently become a 神) ...
5
votes
2answers
232 views

When is よう written in kanji as 様?

We have been taught a lot of uses of よう pattern like ように, Vます ように, sentence ending with ように, ようだ for comparison, etc. But everywhere in textbooks, the よう is written in hiragana. I recently found out ...
2
votes
1answer
194 views

difference using と and や ~ など

I know both of this particles are use to list items. So, I was trying to write the sentence "I like Japanese culture, history and stuff." 私は日本文化と日本史といろいろが好きです。 But someone told me it is accurate to ...
2
votes
1answer
169 views

Are anaphoric personal pronouns limited to the third person (彼, 彼ら etc)?

(I hope this question is just a sanity check but these things are sometimes worth asking.) On p31 of the Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar, Makino tells us that anaphoric personal pronouns ...