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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3
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1answer
601 views

Can うちは mean the same thing as うちに?

Tell me please in the sentence below, can うちは means the same as うちに? Or it's just うち like "we" ? Thank you very much for help!
5
votes
3answers
231 views

What is くん doing in these sentences?

I have come across two sentences in a manga that is using くん in a way that I can't seem to find any information on, in both my books and online. I am guessing this may be some sort of slang, odd ...
8
votes
1answer
274 views

どうか, どうにか, どうかして - differences?

I was just wondering what the essential differences are between these and how I would use them in everyday speech. Thank you.
5
votes
1answer
262 views

What is the meaning of から here?

Tell me please, what から means in his sentence? If I'm guessing corrctly it would translate something like "She fall on her face really hard", but still... would ”顔面に全力で” be incorrect here? Sentence: ...
2
votes
2answers
381 views

How can a friendly person be “hard to approach”?

I have this phrase in my JLPT textbook: 私{わたし}の上司{じょうし}は気{き}さくで近寄{ちかよ}りがたい My translation, which must be incorrect in some way, is, "my superior is hard to approach as he/she is friendly." It ...
4
votes
1answer
301 views

When to use にしたら when to use には?

I don't get the difference in meaning between には and にしたら like in this sentence from my textbook: 大きすぎる親の期待は、子供にしたら苦痛だ。 Expectations of parents that are too big become agony for the children. ...
3
votes
1answer
250 views

Combining two い-adjectives without using て

In the JLU chat, Flaw recently typed up some instructions printed on a Japanese product. Here's what they said: 直射日光の当たらない涼しい所に保管してください It appears that 所 is modified by two phrases: ...
3
votes
1answer
315 views

The uses & etymology of で

In Japanese, the particle で seems to have multiple uses: Instrumental: 車{くるま}で大阪{おおさか}に行{い}った。 "I went to Osaka by car." Locative: 図書館{としょかん}で数学{すうがく}を勉強{べんきょう}している。 "I'm studying math in the ...
4
votes
1answer
254 views

Why are い-adjectives often used as nouns?

I can't really understand why sometimes い adjectives are transformed to nouns instead of just being used themselves. I.E. 白い鳥 has 300,000 google hits while 白の鳥 has 4 million. 近い家 has 113,000 ...
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vote
2answers
282 views

What separates the different ways to ask a question in Japanese?(I.E. 何, どう, どんな and so on)

It's been something I've thinking about for awhile, but could never answer in a more concrete way. This is most apparent when I compare the functions of 何 and どう. I know that 何, どう and どんな are great ...
6
votes
1answer
162 views

知っとった meaning of grammar?

What does the grammar form of 知るin the below sentence mean? 闇の世界とは関わるはずがないと知っとったんだろうな The sentence is from the Japanese version of Harry Potter I
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3answers
203 views

What words/structures indicate an argument? (e.g. Therefore, as a result, there's strong reason to believe (x) , etc.) [closed]

To me, once of the most important parts of learning a language is the ability to read the implied message behind someone's words, and part of that is knowing when they're making a point and they're ...
6
votes
1answer
173 views

How to express “with (x) as well” and “even with (x)”

I am trying to express something akin to these sentences: Even with a spoon, he digs well (でも?) Even without a shovel, he digs well I would also like to express this: With a shovel ...
2
votes
1answer
131 views

What does the phrase んと流す mean?

Meaning of んと流す Can anyone please explain the meaning of 得させんとながす to me. Full sentence: 多くの人のために、罪の赦し得させんとながすものなり。 http://s.vndb.org/sf/25/36025.jpg Thanks you very much for the help!
1
vote
1answer
137 views

Can より be used differently than saying “b more x than a”?

I could not find any examples of this usage, but what I'm basically asking is whether or not this is possible: 怒るより悲しいですよ Rather than being mad, I am sad Is this a legitimate way of using ...
4
votes
3answers
369 views

What does ものでして mean?

I can't manage to understand the meaning of ものでして. An example using a full sentence could be the following: 私はしばらく、隠棲していたものでしてね。まあ怠けているのは今に始まったことでもなし・・・
4
votes
5answers
353 views

Help with question word だれ

Every example I see with だれ and a copula has だれ placed at the end (あの方はだれですか。) Will changing the order to だれがあの方ですか。be acceptable or mean something else? Also, how do I write "Who has A car?" I ...
3
votes
1answer
270 views

Help me please with やらなればならない

Tell me please what is the meaning of やらなればならない, maybe it's やらなければならない but still... Full sentence: 国がやらなればならない全てのことを、不蝕金鎖が担い、一定の秩序をつくりあげたのだ。 Thank you very much for the help!
4
votes
1answer
354 views

What does として mean here?

警視庁は12日、父親を鈍器のようなもので殴ったとして東京都中野区に住む少年を、傷害の疑いで逮捕した。 Tell me please, what is として means in this sentence ?
3
votes
1answer
522 views

What's the meaning of “という” at the end of a sentence?

I'm reading about this grammar in my book but I don't get it. According to the book it means - そうだ and - らしい. Here is an example: UPDATE: Full Sentence: 従来、病院といえば白い壁が基調の空間であった。 しかし、白くて冷たい壁を見ていると ...
3
votes
1answer
292 views

Casual speech particles in Classical Japanese

I'm writing a simple Japanese skit for our JAPAN 112R class and there is a place where an ancient samurai needs to speak a few sentences of Classical Japanese. I can mostly make the sentences, but it ...
4
votes
1answer
502 views

What is the meaning of ようで?

I think ようで means "to look/look like", but I'm having trouble understanding it in the context of this sentence: 感動に水を差すようで悪いのだが、さっさと爾子に乗ってくれ。でなくば、城とともに潰れるぞ。 Also, is でなくば another form of でなければ?
3
votes
1answer
328 views

Joining adjectives with し before a noun

A recent question asked about joining two adjectives together. It used the following example: (example 1) きれいで静かな町 As I understand it, this is the combination of the 連用形 of きれいだ with the 連体形 of ...
16
votes
1answer
470 views

what is the difference between ごとに and おきに?

Both ごとに and おきに appear to mean "repeatedly at intervals". What is the difference between these two expressions?
1
vote
1answer
167 views

How do I use がする? (ex: いい香りがする)

I know the basic usage behind it, like saying "I wanna have lunch at Wendy's today", but I feel like there's a bunch of subtleties to it that I'm not really seeing yet
2
votes
1answer
181 views

What's the difference between the constructs (adverb) なる[naru] and (adverb)する[suru]?

e.g. what makes 相手になる different from 相手にする. I know that 「~になる」 is to be/become something, and 「~をする」 is to do something, but what does each imply when used?
5
votes
1answer
170 views

Expressing a sequence of actions using 〜たとき?

I am aware that one can explain that to things happen at the same time using plain non past form + とき: 電車に乗るとき転びました。"I fell when I got on the train (I was going through the door when it happened)" ...
6
votes
2answers
162 views

Can んだった and んじゃなかった be used like the past version of んだ and んじゃない?

I know that んだった and んじゃなかった can be used to say "Should have done" and "Shouldn't have done". I am wondering, however, if they can be used as a past version of んだ Take for example this conversation: ...
6
votes
2answers
444 views

What function did あり perform in classical Japanese 形容詞?

In classical Japanese, many uses of 形容詞{けいようし} had あり "embedded" in them, e.g.: 熱からず = 「熱し」の連用形+「あり」の未然形{みぜんけい}+「ず」 熱かりたり = 「熱し」の連用形+「あり」の連用形{れんようけい}+「たり」 熱かれ = 「熱し」の連用形+「あり」の命令形{めいれいけい} 熱かる人 = ...
4
votes
1answer
212 views

Question on expressing a half-completed action — 動作が中途である状態

手紙を書きかけたんですが、まだ書いていません。 I got started on the letter, but I haven't finished writing it yet. The ending かける indicates that an action has been started but has not been brought to a finish or ...
0
votes
2answers
282 views

Why is this sentence grammatically incorrect?

On a separate question about Japanese pitch, one of the examples I left was: '甘美(うまみ)の花は赤を見える' (Your flower looks red [talking to Umami]). One of the commenters claimed that it was ...
5
votes
2answers
222 views

What is a better translation for 「自分だけバカを見る」?

I have this phrase in my JLPT textbook, as one example of the use of バカ: 自分{じぶん}だけバカを見{み}る The translation offered in the book is: Waste time and money among others The English is both ...
2
votes
1answer
225 views

Limitations of に for emphasis?

I remember having learning that に can be used for a simple emphasis of the word before it, like so: 私はケーキを食べた - I ate cake 私にはケーキを食べた - I ate cake (the others may or may not have, but I did) ...
5
votes
1answer
293 views

Does the 助動詞「ます」 still have a 連体形 in modern Japanese?

Does the 助動詞「ます」 have a 連体形? According to 大辞林, it's ます, and I see the old forms ます/まする on 学研全訳古語辞典. However, in the comments on this question, Darius Jahandarie wrote the following: @snailplane ...
4
votes
1answer
256 views

When should the polite form of 〜たり be used?

I've noticed that I don't see 〜ましたり used very often, but it does seem to be an accepted form. I believe this form can be broken down like this: 動詞{どうし}の連用形{れんようけい}+「ます」の連用形{れんようけい}+「たり」 My ...
2
votes
0answers
157 views

Can't parse なるうるわけ [closed]

The full sentence is 数学的性質をもつ現象はすべてこの科学の対象となるうるわけであるから、それは数限りなくあり、また日々増えていて、これらをもらさず解説することは不可能に近い。 But I can't parse "なるうるわけ". Ignoring that part, I interpret the sentence as "All phenomena with ...
8
votes
1answer
293 views

Passive form - The exact difference between を and が

I've seen this question asked before, but i feel the answer didn't quite answer all my questions, so here goes. Now, I am rather sure that this: ケーキが食べられた Means: The cake was eaten. (by ...
7
votes
1answer
381 views

Does the nominalizer 〜の require the adnominal form before it? If yes, why?

A while back I was trying to break down 〜なの, and this is what I decided on (with the help of some of Bart Mathias's posts on mailing lists). My hypothesis is that the nominalizer 〜の requires ...
5
votes
1answer
212 views

How wrong is my constructed poem?

I tried writing a classical Japanese poem: 赤き空 青かりたり根 夢がごとし 元を返るべし 汚さざらまし And here is a rough literal translation: The red sky, The origin that was once blue, Like seeing a dream, It would be best ...
1
vote
1answer
204 views

Interpretation of て+もらえる

In the beginning of the music video for "Guns for Hands" by Twenty One Pilots (EDIT: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pmv8aQKO6k0), there's some subtitles: 君だって気付いてもらえないよ It gets translated as ...
8
votes
5answers
441 views

A は/が difference [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What’s the difference between wa (は) and ga (が)? I've been trying to wrap my head around the は/が differences, and I'm trying to figure out the differences between the ...
9
votes
2answers
248 views

What's the difference between くる and やってくる?

Can someone explain the nuance between them? They both mean "come", but I'm unsure of when they are interchangeable. My perception is that やってくる seems to put more emphasis on the actual action of ...
10
votes
1answer
286 views

What does 窓という窓 mean?

What does 窓という窓 mean? I found it in this sentence in Harry Potter: 木の扉に寄りかかってホグワーツを見上げると、窓という窓が夕日に照らされて赤くキラキラ輝いている。
3
votes
1answer
89 views

Where is the personal comparison in this phrase?

I was browsing a language exchange site and came across: 私のように明るく、前向きな方がいいです。 And the text under it (translation from the user who posted the entry) was: I'm hoping that you are cheerful and ...
6
votes
2answers
315 views

What's wrong with using 内に in this sentence?

My textbook claims that this is an incorrect usage of uchi ni: 彼が会社に行っている内に、贈り物が届きました While he is commuting to the office, a present arrived. Why is this wrong? It looks fine to me.
5
votes
1answer
239 views

The difference between (な形容詞)さ and (な形容詞)性?

I'm in the middle of writing a paper in Japanese, and I can't quite figure out which is right. If I want to nominalize a な形容詞, should I affix さ or 性 at the end? I've been checking on search engines, ...
13
votes
2answers
332 views

What is the subject when time passes in a narrative (eg 1ヶ月を経る)

(This might be a quick easy question but sometimes the answers to these are unexpected.) What is the subject in the following sentences? I've given my best efforts for the examples 1-4 below. (I am ...
8
votes
2answers
259 views

What function does 「しいて」 serve in this sentence?

I have this sentence in a JLPT study textbook, as an example of the use of しいて: 食{た}べたくなければしいて食べることないから、食べられるものだけ食べてね。 The translation is, "If you don't want to eat it, you don't have to, so ...
5
votes
3answers
343 views

AはB emphasizing B, rather than A

There are quite a few comments on another question discussing the sentence 彼が持っているのは二百円です, in which the emphasis apparently falls on 二百円. I posted a comment asking if this could be explained as the ...
15
votes
3answers
711 views

Difference between 〜といい〜といい & 〜といわず〜といわず

Can somebody explain the difference between these two expressions? I have pasted the definitions and some examples from 日本語表現文型辞典 to help but they seem to come down to the same thing. (When can one ...