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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2
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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
122 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
199 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
176 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
224 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
209 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
204 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
206 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
132 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
122 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
166 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
247 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
80 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!
3
votes
1answer
126 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
277 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. ...
4
votes
2answers
210 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
204 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
319 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
458 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?
-1
votes
1answer
177 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
168 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
212 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
191 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
329 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
3answers
584 views

The meaning of and difference between ~を中心に and ~をめぐって

What is the meaning of and difference between ~を中心に and ~をめぐって? Space ALC defines ~を中心に as "with a focus on" and ~をめぐって as "centering on", but I'm having trouble figuring out the meaning and ...
3
votes
1answer
119 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
245 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
231 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
335 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
105 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
180 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
182 views

Can ことはない be used to express something other than 'you don't have to'?

I understand that ことはない is used to state that something does not have to be done, such as: 時間は十分あるから急ぐことはない。 However, I am currently translating a survey from Japanese to English for a friend and ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Difference between ために and ように

I've got a question regarding difference in usage of 辞書形+ように and 辞書形+ために with verbs' dictionary forms, i.e. 飛行機に乗り遅れないように、前日早寝したのです。 彼は質問をするために手を上げました。 The notion I get is that the first is used ...
0
votes
1answer
204 views

Asking the best method or way to <verb> something

In English we say things like: What is the best way to <verb> something? I understand 方法{ほうほう} as a method and 方{かた} after verb stem. The sentence that caused me to contemplate was (in ...
1
vote
1answer
206 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
172 views

Can someone explain the form: xに関するどんな

I apologize in advance for the poor title. I'm really not sure how to phrase my question. I often see in Japanese sentences structures like the following: エホバに関するどんな事実を強調しましたか。 In the above, エホバに関する ...
4
votes
1answer
222 views

The で particle before です

This may be slightly multifaceted because I have a larger question regarding で that is contextualized by a smaller one. It is improper to put で before です or だ right. If someone asks 何で来ましたか (How did ...
3
votes
2answers
390 views

Proper use of ため to thank someone for doing x?

I know ため can be translated into English as "for" such-and-such. But is it appropriate to use it to thank some one for doing something? For example, "Thank you for your email address." Would it be ...
0
votes
1answer
165 views

How to express a verb acting upon another verb?

How would I express a verb acting upon another verb? For example, 'I love to dance', or 'I hate to fight!' Would you say: 喧嘩するを憎むよ 喧嘩してを憎むよ 喧嘩するのを憎むよ 喧嘩しを憎むよ Are any of these correct? If not, how ...
2
votes
2answers
282 views

Difference between 〜っぽい, 〜がち, and 〜やすい?

From what I understand, 〜っぽい, 〜がち, and 〜やすい all seem to suggest that someone has a general tendency towards doing something. It seems that 〜っぽい and 〜がち can attach to a noun or to the 連用形 of a verb, ...
3
votes
1answer
335 views

The という in things like 〜ということ・〜というの・〜という感じ・〜というわけ etc

I have been trying for ages to understand the reason という is used so frequently, in other words, what does it add to the sentence and what connotations does it have in Japanese. I understand the ...
1
vote
2answers
125 views

modifying of 後ろ

I've got troubles with modifying 後ろを付いていく in the following sentence. Can somebody please explain this part for me. As far as I understand the sentence "Kicking around piled up snow, I'm following ...
2
votes
2answers
590 views

Why are Japanese song lyrics often so seemingly ungrammatical?

For example, Natsukawa Rimi's 島唄 has this has most of the verbs in plain 連用形 with no apparent reason: でいごの花が咲き 風を呼び 嵐が来た でいごが咲き乱れ 風を呼び 嵐が来た くり返す悲しみは 島渡る波のよう ウージの森であなたと出会い ...
1
vote
3answers
443 views

why use という in this sentence

Actually there are two instances of という in this sentence (regarding the recent nsa scandal) そのスノーデンは、「NSAは中国に対するハッキングをやっていた」という[暴露]{ばくろ}を行なってアメリカの中国に対する「人権外交」にダメージを与えたり、G8会議が北アイルランドで始まるというタイミングで、... ...
1
vote
0answers
65 views

Particle for “in the water” [duplicate]

In Miyuki Nakajima's song "ファイト!" there is this line: 冷たい水の中をふるえながらのぼってゆけ I don't understand the use of the particle を in this context. Shouldn't it be に or even で?
7
votes
1answer
573 views

When trying to convey 'apparently', when do you use, だそう, and when do you use そう?

I have seen both だそう and そう written at the end of a sentence to convey "apparently". Do you use だそう when trying to convey "according to" (によると)?
2
votes
1answer
285 views

What are the various uses of あまり?

I'm a beginner and I would like to know how あまり is used.