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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5
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2answers
917 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
260 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
119 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
304 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
196 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. ...
5
votes
1answer
102 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
135 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
247 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
545 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
220 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:  ...
3
votes
3answers
303 views

Use of と in this sentence

I'm confused about how と is used in this sentence (乗るとすぐメールを・・・)... What purpose does it serve? 電車の中では携帯で話すことはできませんが、みんな電車に乗るとすぐメールを熱心に打っているのにびっくりしました。 Thank you!
10
votes
2answers
376 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 ...
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
173 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
126 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
212 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
108 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
181 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
270 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
206 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
221 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
211 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
225 views

Usage of particles で and に with ~的

A sentence from JapanesePod 101: 北米とヨーロッパでは通常スカートは女性がはくものと思われているが、世界的には多くの男性がスカートをはく。 In North America and Europe a skirt is thought of as something a woman wears, but in many countries men ...
2
votes
2answers
138 views

Usage of a clause to modify an い-adjective?

近所のバーは友達とお酒を飲むのにちょうどいい場所だ。 The neighbourhood bar is a great place to have a drink with friends. Does one think of the dependent clause 友達とお酒を飲むのに as modifying the い-adjective ちょうどいい (which then ...
3
votes
2answers
126 views

Usage of particles with 出てくる

Another sentence from Kanji in Context. 初めて[山奥]{やまおく}から町に出てきた村の人たちは見るものすべてに[驚]{おどろ}いた。 In this instance, does 山奥から町に出てきた mean "left the mountains and came to the city" (町)? Also, I would normally ...
2
votes
2answers
168 views

te-form without a final verb and its usage as a conditional

歩いて二十分ほどのところにある川原です。 It's a riverbank about twenty minutes away by foot. I have a couple of questions with the usage of 歩いて here: The usage of the te-form without an auxiliary verb (e.g. 歩いていく) or ...
2
votes
2answers
274 views

What is the most accurate (literal) translation of でしょう?

I understand the concept of でしょう. All my books say that it is like saying "probably". I have also been told that it is more accurately a means of adding doubt to a statement to seem less assuming and ...
0
votes
1answer
86 views

meaning of でも~くらい

I cannot understand what is 自分でも無様なくらいに means in the following sentence. I'd translate it like - "I felt so akward, that my voice trembled" 自分でも無様なくらいに声が震えていた Thank you very much for help!
2
votes
1answer
294 views

How to say a double negative in Japanese

My Japanese friend asked me whether I believe in an afterlife. I wanted to say, "I don't believe, but also I don't not believe." My point is that while I do not believe, I like to keep an open mind. ...
3
votes
1answer
127 views

Word order and particles in 能仕事に能力を生かす

I wanted to express the idea "performing to one's full abilities at work", and the obvious thing to write was 仕事に[能力]{のうりょく}を[生]{い}かす. Indirect object before direct object. But a look on google ...
-2
votes
1answer
219 views

What does おせわになってます mean?

あなたにいつもおせわになってますからね. What does the above sentence mean? I'm confused about the おせわになってます part.
4
votes
1answer
232 views

Use of く-form over くて in an い-adjective

何事も最初は難しく、やがてやさしくなる。 All things are difficult before they are easy. I've never seen an い-adjective used in this way (難しく). Would using 難しくて (which is what I would have used) change the meaning of the ...
4
votes
2answers
222 views

Grammatical justification for でしかない

The song eX Dream by Myuji (which appears in an anime OP) contains the sentence: [夢]{ゆめ}は夢でしかない The general point of the sentence is fairly clear, meaning "a dream is just a dream". But what is ...
8
votes
3answers
486 views

What's the difference between 広める 広げる and 広まる 広がる?

I find the difference between 「広める (他動詞) 広げる (他動詞)」 and between 「広まる (自動詞) 広がる (自動詞)」 to be complicated. Can someone explain?
2
votes
1answer
184 views

Use of は with 自分 in a subordinate clause

Another sentence from Kanji in Context: 自分は偉いと思って人を見下しているとそのうち逆に他の人から見下されるようになる。 Those who think highly of themselves and look down on others will eventually themselves be looked down upon (by ...
-1
votes
1answer
197 views

Meaning of 伝わる and AよりもB, 温かい, and て-form+から+でも

I need help understanding some Japanese sentences. All the sentences are connected except the last one. 今も手紙はたまに書きますよ。 mailよりも気持ちが伝わるんです。 I know that the first sentence means "people also ...
7
votes
1answer
290 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: ...
4
votes
2answers
216 views

Choice of さしあげる in お電話さしあげる

I'm a bit confused by the usage of さしあげる in this sentence from Kanji in Context: ただ今、来客中ですので、後ほどこちらからお電話さしあげます。 We have a guest at the moment, so we'll call you later. To me, お電話いたします or even ...
2
votes
3answers
325 views

Why does the 文語 version of the Bible have so many nonstandard readings?

For example in Genesis 1: 元始{はじめ}に神{かみ} 天地{てんち}を創造{つくり}たまへり Why are the kanji 元始 and 創造 given the interesting readings? Moreover, they seem to be given the readings of the less specific words 始め ...
3
votes
1answer
126 views

what does 何(+counter)+も+volitional mean? e.g. 何機も買おう

I found this sentence as an answer to the question "what are some of the symbols of Japan's wealth?" 次期主力戦闘機を何機も買おうとしていること I'm not sure wether it means they're buying a lot of next-generation ...
4
votes
2answers
346 views

Difference between 間 and 間に

I have some problems with understanding what is the difference between these two grammatical forms. The explanation that 初級日本語 gives me, is that 間 refers to certain time frame, while 間に refers to ...
6
votes
1answer
194 views

How can (の)目指すは be grammatical?

At the very start of final fantasy 9, バクー says: 我らの目指すはアレクサンドリア王国…… I also saw some time ago "目指すは" used in a headline here: シャーラウィ「目指すはシーズン20ゴール」 There's also another example in the full ...
2
votes
1answer
265 views

What does にゃ mean at the end of a sentence or as a particle?

From the title of a YouTube video: だるまさんが転んにゃ From the song じょんから女節: 春は私にゃ 遠すぎる I suspect the second usage might be a contraction of に and the 関西弁 copula や, but I'm not sure. Did the first ...
6
votes
1answer
423 views

What is the meaning of りゃ in this phrase?

I came across this phrase while reading an interview. そういう時はなんて答えりゃいいんだ。 I think it means "At a time like that, such a reply/response is good." But I don't understand the usage of りゃ . I couldn't ...
5
votes
2answers
256 views

What's the meaning of 〜というものではない?

I have two textbooks, and they seem to give opposite definitions for 「〜というものではない」. The first one says it means "it's not just a matter"; while the other one says that [It follows] a statement to ...
3
votes
1answer
363 views

Why is ha appropriate for te ha ikenai?

Why does te ha ikenai use ha? I know its a construction, but where did it come from? Te form verbs are not nouns, it doesn't make sense to me that ha could be used with them.
3
votes
1answer
109 views

The に in ように… Is it consistent?

Is the に particle in ように consistent in all its uses? For example... 1/ 明日は晴れるように or 覚えるようにします I understand the に here to be a target particle for what you are wishing for or trying to achieve. 2/ ...
3
votes
1answer
185 views

I don't understand this phrase もっとだ

I am watching a certain show at the moment where someone is talking about wanting to kill evil creatures. Please don't judge this question as childish just because the extract is from an anime. He ...
1
vote
1answer
214 views

Translation of 終わらせる

I'm having trouble with the translation of 終わらせている in the following sentence, and as far as I understand it likely translates here as "die". But I never found this meaning for 終わる in vocabulary, and ...