Particles, conjugations and endings for verbs and adjectives, and general sentence structure.

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9
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2answers
312 views

What is the purpose of the suffix “さ” on adjectives?

What is the purpose of the suffix "さ" on adjectives like 美しさ and 多さ? The former is the title of an essay by Banana Yoshimoto, so I don't have much context for it. The book editors translated it as ...
6
votes
1answer
180 views

How do we roll a ball along a street from A to B?

This question is a follow up to この道をまっすぐ行ってください。Why “を” and not “で”? posted earlier. If: 道で転ぶ = fallover on the road ボールが道を転がる = a ball rolled along the street 〜を転がす = roll something ...
4
votes
2answers
500 views

Help with the difference between causative and the causative-passive for the verb 笑う

I've always had a hard time immediately understanding the differences between passive, causative, and causative-passive. If I really sit down and try to work out the meaning I can generally get it, ...
9
votes
2answers
223 views

How close are なりつつある and なっている?

語学学習は私の新しい習慣の一部になりつつあるのでしょうか? "Is learning languages becoming a part of my new daily routine?" なりつつある here seems similar to なっている... are they often interchangeable? Would I be able to ...
6
votes
2answers
209 views

ひき or 頭 for horses?

Initially I'd thought ひき is for small animals and 頭 is for animals that are not small ("big" animals) however EDICT (http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/cgi-bin/wwwjdic.cgi?1MUE%E3%81%B2%E3%81%8D) ...
5
votes
1answer
95 views

Equivalence of Traversal Verb + て and で of Means/Instrumentality

Consider: XにYで行く 学校に自転車で行く "Go to school by bicycle" ("means/instrumentality" interpretation) "Is* bicycle and go to school" (Questionable?) (Verb conjunctive interpretation) XにTraversal ...
10
votes
2answers
491 views

What does 逃げっこなしにしよう mean?

So, I was reading a children's story and came across this sentence: 「いいか、この最後のローソクが消えたら、本当のお化けが出るかもしれん。だが、どんなお化けが出ようと、お互いに逃げっこなしにしよう」 What I'm having trouble understanding and dictionaries haven't ...
6
votes
1answer
192 views

What is going on with 書けている? What is Potential Form+ている?

I'm having difficulty in understanding 書けている (initially observed from an answer to "パソコンが 得意だ/わかる/上手だ"). Also observed from SPACEALC: この小説は上手に書けている。 最もよく書けている記事。 ...
3
votes
1answer
502 views

Examples of when passive form in English takes active/non passive form in Japanese

Can anyone give a few more common examples (or even more insight) of when we should be "switching" from English passive into Japanese active/non-passive? (A joint effort might help a lot of us to ...
10
votes
3answers
612 views

In what situations can you use "ぞ” as a sentence ender

When can one use the sentence ender ぞ? I've only ever heard it anime, so I'm unsure of it's actual usage in the real world. Is it not used that often or limited to specific age/gender groups?
14
votes
4answers
297 views

Questions with ~か or without: how to choose?

Studying Japanese on my own, I've learned that in order to make a question, you usually add the particle "~か", like this: 今何時ですか。 It's also true that a question can be asked without it, using ...
3
votes
1answer
169 views

What is the difference between 「Adj-さと言ったらなかった」&「Adj-いと言ったらなかった」?

Could someone explain the difference between the following two expressions: 恐ろしさといったらなかった 恐ろしいといったらなかった I am struggling with the first which my text book tells me means とても恐ろしかった. Why is ...
1
vote
1answer
146 views

~なければならない and ~によって auxiliary meanings

I am having trouble with the bold part of this sentence from wikipedia: バブル経済(バブルけいざい、economic ...
3
votes
2answers
312 views

<動詞の辞書形> + がよい ― How is this allowed?

I've come across this form many times in my Japanese Bible. The meaning is quite obvious based on context, and seems to be one of the following: ~べきです, ~ほうがいい, ~なさい, or ~ように (let it be ~). Here are ...
4
votes
1answer
162 views

Is 「~べくして」 related to 「~べき」 / 「~べく」?

How I understand it, ~べく, meaning "for the purpose of..." / "In order to....", is the conjunctive form of ~べき, which indicates something that should be done. たくさん本を読む べき (you should read many ...
7
votes
2answers
352 views

〜しては is this a grammar pattern?

I was trying to translate this sentence: 僕はアルバイトしてはレコードばかり買っていたから、一日半働けばLP一枚買えるな、と思って働いていた。 I think I get the overall meaning as: Because I spent all my wages on records I went to work thinking "If ...
4
votes
2answers
483 views

Please help me understand this grammar: ようになるだけではなくて

I'm having trouble understanding this grammar. Could someone please help. 「ようになるだけではなくて」 Taken from the sentence: 本を読めるようになるだけではなくて Thanks in advance.
10
votes
2answers
3k views

How to say “also” or “too”

The sentence "I also ate in Tokyo" can mean three different things: (Aside from my friends who ate there), I also ate in Tokyo. (Aside from the other places where I tried local cuisines), I also ate ...
4
votes
1answer
492 views

Meaning of 「そればかりか、〜Vーるというようなことさえ、始めはしない。」

I am struggling to grasp the meaning of this expression 「そればかりか、〜Vるというようなことさえ、始めはしない」It comes up in the following sentence. The English translation is my best effort but I am guessing from the ...
1
vote
2answers
253 views

What does the construction “passive voice + ままに” mean? (~{ら}れるままに)

I generally know ~まま as used in the sense that something is left in a certain state, for example: 窓を開けたまま寝る. Does this have a different meaning or connotation when used following the passive voice? ...
6
votes
2answers
498 views

The difference between “follow” using についていく、「あと?」をつける、「あと?」をついていく

What is the difference between and how can we explain the grammar in the expressions for "follow" in the examples below? 子供が母親のあとをついていく

 (A child is following his/her mother) 母親の買い物についていく (go ...
6
votes
2answers
226 views

Expressing desire of a third party using したいそうです

姉は学校を卒業後は海外留学したいそうです。 ane ha gakkou wo sotsugyougo ha kaigairyuugaku shitai sou desu. My sister says that she wants to study abroad after graduating from school. I found this ...
7
votes
2answers
196 views

What does 「のいう」 mean in this sentence?

I'm familiar with 「という」 and was somewhat confused why I saw 「のいう」 in the following sentence: 人間対応能力は、ドラッカーのいう「他の人間とともに働く能力」のことです。 What is the role of 「のいう」 in this sentence? Is it incorrect to ...
3
votes
1answer
199 views

What is よ doing as a connector before a comma?

I saw this as a comment someone posted on Google+ in response to NHK announcing a show: 本気{ほんき}なら地上波{ちじょうは}でやれよ、受信料{じゅしんりょう}返{かえ}せ I think it's saying "If this is really what you intend to ...
6
votes
2answers
364 views

Are times after noon expressed in military time?

How are times after noon expressed when speaking? I assume that if it's obvious from context that it's after noon, then people will just say 5時. But what if it's not obvious from context? My ...
16
votes
1answer
364 views

What are the differences between 〜ので and 〜から?

When I was studying this, my 先生 kind of brushed over the point, and then years later, I realize that they are different, but I don't know exactly how. The only thing I understand is that ので is more ...
3
votes
2answers
187 views

More fun with the present progressive

I found this example sentence in grammar book: 門の前に車が止まっています。 A car is parked in front of the gate. I was told that instead of 止まる, 停まる would be a more accurate fit for "parked". Does that ...
7
votes
1answer
246 views

思っている/言っている with third person subject?

So i was reading A dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar, and in the part where it explains the uses of いる as an auxiliary verb after て、 it says something like that: "(...) Also, verbs like 言う and 思う ...
19
votes
3answers
1k views

When is Vている the continuation of action and when is it the continuation of state?

Last night, when I asked my wife to send an email to me, she said もう送っている which I took to mean that she was "sending the message". (The message had a big attachment so I imagined that it could take a ...
4
votes
1answer
351 views

How do I interpret this question that ends with よ?

In the 7th book of the awesome High School of the Dead, there's this page: The situation is that the main characters, a group of mostly teenagers who are surviving a zombie apocalypse, are walking ...
11
votes
2answers
598 views

What is the proper use of だろう, is it “masculine”, and how is it different from と思 【おも】う?

Like a lot of foreign guys, some Japanese I picked up from imitating the women I spoke to. Certain affectations made me sound unwittingly effeminate in the early days when I had less grasp on the ...
8
votes
1answer
898 views

得意とするところ explanation?

As far as I'm aware this expression means "(a persons) strong points', but I'm not sure how とする is being used in this context. My best guess would be something like "the thing (a person) tries to do ...
10
votes
3answers
381 views

How do I say “He already went to do X for me”, implying he is still in the process of X, not finished?

The other day at some festival a few japanese friends asked me something to the effect of アイスを買ってくるけど、行く? But I had already asked a friend, who had not yet returned, to get some for me. So I said ...
3
votes
1answer
128 views

How is あっての used to define something?

I've previously asked about あっての, but now it seems to me that I've run into an additional usage of it (or perhaps the same usage I just can't wrap my head around it...). When the sentence is simply ...
11
votes
3answers
776 views

Is there a difference between んがため and ために?

My JLPT textbook has a section about the use of んがため, which they define as "making an effort in order to realize the intended purpose." Which to me sounds like plain ol' ために. For example, they have ...
10
votes
2answers
325 views

Why is it that ~かねる can refer to oneself, yet ~かねない must refer to another person?

When I tried to use ~かねない to express my own feeling about a situation, I was told by a native that it sounds incorrect and strange. However, ~かねる is appropriate and fine. For example, this is the ...
9
votes
1answer
448 views

Is it true that にしたって is the colloquial form of にしたところで?

I've been thinking if it is true that にしたって is the colloquial form of にしたところで. In other words, are the bottom two sentences identical in meaning and nuance? 1) ...
7
votes
2answers
223 views

Does くりかえし mean a single iteration or multiple ones?

For example, in this sentence: 彼は、失敗をものともせず、 何度もくりかえし 挑戦し続けた。 くりかえし is modified by 何度も, implicitly stating that the action was repeated multiple times. My question is that if the sentence was ...
6
votes
1answer
251 views

What does the word ゆける signify?

I have the sentence: この国に生まれ老い、良かったと死んでゆける高齢化社会。 This is the first time I've seen 「死んでゆける」 or 「ゆける」. What does it mean? Is this a grammatical form? I also tried looking up more examples with ...
6
votes
1answer
163 views

Other uses of “imperative prohibition” form eg わかるな ・すわんな

I saw a film where in two separate scenes the characters seemed to use the "imperative-prohibition" to invite the opposite action: 1.In one scene a father after explaining something to his son ...
8
votes
1answer
140 views

What is the difference between あっての and とあって?

From what I can tell they both mean "Because of", and the only differences in meaning I can see seem to be very subtle. あっての: Because of A (strong emphasis), B Thanks to (various ...
10
votes
1answer
143 views

Word order: what does 迷惑きわまりない modify?

In my JLPT practice book, there is a question that asks you to put words in the correct order: 朝の満員電車の中で、大きな音で ____ ____ ____ ____ 若者がいる。 What I put down was: 朝の満員電車の中で、大きな音で ...
8
votes
1answer
315 views

Use of を and に with 頼る (to depend on)

Why is the direct object taking を in (1) and に in (2)? What are basic rules that drive these two sentence constructions? (1) 叔母は父を頼っている 'My aunt is counting on my father's help.' (2) ...
2
votes
1answer
338 views

connecting phrases with the stem of masu-form

When is it possible to connect sentences using the stem of masu-form? Are there restrictions on the use of this form? Thanks in advance.
2
votes
2answers
210 views

What is the ったい / -ttai suffix called?

In response to my question about くすぐったい, I was told of the specific suffix in use, the "ったい." What is this ったい / -ttai suffix called in English and in Japanese (or what would one call it if it does ...
4
votes
2answers
382 views

ii na to omoimasu

I read that ... to ii na to omoimasu means "I hope that ...". Is the na here a final particle that adds the first person's subjective feeling to the proposition as in sawa’s answer to using ...
5
votes
2answers
229 views

When is it appropriate to choose にわたって or を通じて in regard to time?

I seem to have a hard time recognizing when to choose either にわたって or を通じて in the following question: この地方は一年(  )暖かく、とても過ごしやすい。 The correct answer is を通じて. My idea is that を通じて would make this ...
18
votes
2answers
1k views

The difference between が and を with the potential form of a verb.

When using the potential form of a verb, I was taught that the particle を becomes が. However, in real life this seems to not always be the case. I've even heard Japanese people use を instead of が ...
7
votes
3answers
320 views

Help with the particle も

If you look at my translation of the sentence below from a text book (soumatome N3 dokkai), I think you will agree that I have guessed the meaning correctly but can anyone explain the grammar to the ...
5
votes
1answer
169 views

Is 名詞 or な形容詞 + ながら a general case?

Not sure if this is a noun or a na-adjective but is something like 好きながら, 貧乏ながら, 親切ながら, 貧弱ながら, et cetera, a general grammar pattern of noun or na-adjective + ながら? What I mean is, do all these work, ...