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
votes
2answers
171 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
297 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
89 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
317 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
226 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
252 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
234 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
514 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
221 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
210 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
295 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
227 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
335 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
130 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
391 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
196 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
279 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
452 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
288 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
409 views

Why is は appropriate for てはいけない?

Why does てはいけない use は? I know it's a construction, but where did it come from? て form verbs are not nouns, it doesn't make sense to me that は 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
190 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
227 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
178 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
214 views

The に particle outside of location and direction

I am well aware of how に works compared to で and how to use it in various situations. I still have trouble with a few uses that keep popping up, as they don't seem to gel with my current ...
4
votes
1answer
232 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
180 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 ...
7
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
652 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
632 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
128 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
217 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
187 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
531 views

Is 「でいい」 the same as 「でもいい」?

For example in the sentence: 書くだけでいいですか.
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?
2
votes
1answer
380 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.
4
votes
1answer
420 views

History of だ、です、 and である

Historically where did all of these different forms arise, and when are they used? I noticed that だ and である both have their place in different 文法形, what is the difference in their meaning? I know that ...
2
votes
2answers
340 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
233 views

Difference between Vるのにともなって and Vるにともなって?

I've been trying to work out the usage of にともなう, にともなって, and so on, but am having difficulty understanding the difference between placing the particle の after a verb and before にともなう. One grammar ...
1
vote
4answers
683 views

How to say “I am unfortunately getting frustrated”

I was trying to say " I am unfortunately getting frustrated." which seemed to suggest some combination of 挫折してしまいました and ざせつしています but I can't seem to figure out how to put these together. Any ...
2
votes
2answers
644 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
50 views

無念なり - what is なり? [duplicate]

I saw a cartoon character(平沢唯, 「けいおん!」, ep.2) use this exclamation: 「無念なり」 expressing her regret at the lack of money. I'd like to find a grammar point explaining the use of 「なり」 here. After some ...
0
votes
1answer
172 views

About the conditional と

I'm wondering if と, that the Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar says lead to a uncontrollable event, is, in addition to this, used with the meanning of a fact that will for sure happen if the ...
3
votes
1answer
233 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
131 views

Can はbe omitted as a shortcut in speech? [duplicate]

So I have this book, "Easy Japanese, A Direct Learning Approach for Immediate Communication". I notice that は is often omitted in sentences. So instead of saying: 猫はどこですか。 It might read: 猫どこですか。 ...
5
votes
2answers
457 views

Why is the も particle used when asking to borrow something?

If I ask, "Can I borrow a pencil?" I might say: エンピツを借りてもいいですか? Why do we use the も particle here, since we're not saying also this or that? To express also is the main usage of mo I'm familiar with. ...
2
votes
1answer
385 views

passive voice and potential voice

I'm having troubles with distinguishing between passive voice and potential voice in the following sentences, help me please. 鍔姫:「だから、弟が幼稚園の頃、母に頼まれて、よく風呂にいれていてだな。その、だから見慣れているというか」 幼稚園の頃……? ...
2
votes
3answers
196 views

Ordering / Apposition with の?

When using の, I'm well aware that "X の Y" means "Y of X", and the modification expands leftward, per se. However, I've come across some select examples where I'm confused at the order of the words, ...
1
vote
0answers
62 views

Pronunciation of 千鳥 and 鳥 [duplicate]

In the Naruto manga, character Sasuke Uchiha performs a technique called “chidori” (千鳥), which means one thousand birds. However, as I understand it, “bird” (鳥) is pronounced “tori,” not “dori.” Why ...