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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4
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1answer
241 views

What is meaning of 「〜ないように思えてなりません」?

Can somebody explain the grammar and meaning of this expression in the sentence below? It may be just my poor understanding of how なりません functions in the language but I'd appreciate an explanation. ...
7
votes
2answers
307 views

Does 甘い蜜 have another meaning?

甘い蜜 literally means "sweet honey". But in some sentences it seems to mean something different. For example, 1) たまに甘い蜜を与えて、また暗闇に落として……。 From time to time giving a sweet honey, but also dropping ...
2
votes
2answers
171 views

noun + の + adjective

I've seen a couple times examples of using this format of [noun] の [adjective] and I mostly see it in the form ~の高い Some specifics I'm referring to are: 人気の高い 柔軟性の高い I can't think of any more off ...
1
vote
1answer
429 views

Question about particle にも

I cannot grasp what にも means between 身のほど知らず and 敵対する愚 in the following sentence, maybe something like "foolishness of taking up arms not knowing their place" ? As far as I can understand the ...
1
vote
1answer
118 views

Subject/Topic/Object

私は犬が殺す // Watashi wa inu ga korosu Means I am killed by a dog 私は犬を殺す // Watashi wa inu o korosu Means I killed a dog Right? I want an in-depth answer for this if I was wrong.
1
vote
1answer
199 views

What is “うち” in “ごろうち”?

I recently came across this sentence: たかしは7時ごろうちに帰りました。 I do understand that it probably means たかし came home at around 7, but from what I learnt to say "around 7" it's: 7時ごろ. So it has no ...
1
vote
1answer
122 views

Who is doing what in these related sentences, and how do you know?

(Background: similar circumstances as this question; the speaker is a sleazy low-level gangster commenting on sex workers in his employ.) ...
4
votes
3answers
350 views

How would you say “A has the meaning of B” or “A conveys B”

For example, if I was trying to tell someone that in English when we say "sake" it already has the implication of it being "Japanese sake", so have the "Japanese" is redundant. My English brain wants ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Saying “I did X because of Y”

Is there a common way to express the reason for something after stating what the something is? All the ways I can think of explaining situations involve putting it before. I.e. ~から~です. I was hoping to ...
3
votes
1answer
351 views

What does ちゃい in やっちゃいねぇ mean?

Context: おれはおれの信念に後悔するような事は何一つやっちゃいねぇ!これからもそうだ! What does the ちゃい in やっちゃい mean? I suppose it's not やっちゃう aka やってしまう...
1
vote
1answer
99 views

「行きと違い」 phrase meaning

I completely cannot grasp the meaning of 行きと違い here: 夕食を終えた私は、なれない道に右往左往しながら寄宿舎へと向かっていた。行きと違い、友の案内がないだけで道を迷いそうになる。 "After I finished the dinner, I wandered an unfamiliar road to the dormitory. ...
5
votes
1answer
128 views

This PSA was written in the past tense. When is it correct to do this?

While riding a train, I read a public service announcement that said: たばこを持つ手は、子供の顔の高さだった。 Underneath, the English translation said: A lit cigarette is carried at the height of a child's ...
-1
votes
1answer
224 views

Meaning of かって?

胃に穴でも開けるんじゃないかって、見てるこっちが心配になった。 I see the point, but this かって confusing me. And んじゃない don't mean negative sense, right? And I guess that 胃に穴でも開ける mean "Shit a brick" but I can be wrong. So, what ...
3
votes
1answer
618 views

Meaning of のだろう?

I'm not sure when should I use particle の in front of だろう/でしょう? Is のだろう used when speaker wonders about something to himself? For example what would be translation of those sentences: ...
0
votes
1answer
120 views

What is the meaning of しちまおう?

I'm playing a video game and in this scene the character is on a hill and says: このまま昼寝しちまおうか My guess is that it's a conjugation of する but it doesn't look close to する at all. What conjugations ...
2
votes
1answer
117 views

もし without ~たら or ~えば

Can anyone explain this use of もし? I thought it had to come before ~たら or ~えば. もしテレビで観たという方、ぜひぜひツイッターで教えてください。
-1
votes
1answer
140 views

Meaning 良しとしましょう?

良しとしましょう I'm confused. What that mean?
4
votes
1answer
234 views

Meaning of ったらねえ

これだから女ってやつは移ろいやすいったらねえ。 "That's why girls are so variable". I guess. What about ったらねえ? I found that ったら you can use when you tired of repeating yourself or when you are exasperated with somebody ...
2
votes
1answer
103 views

Question about されては堪らない

I cannot completely grasp the meaning されて堪らない. As far as I can understand ~てたまらない means "Really want to do, extremely.", but I'm a bit of unsere with passive voice in the following sentence. Some ...
2
votes
1answer
56 views

can anyone explain 聞きたいっておっしゃてました

Im scratching my head trying to figure out grammar behind マリアさんの話を聞きたいっておっしゃってましたよ。 Its from my text book, which is translated into something like want to hear his word saying about it. I knew 聞きたい = ...
1
vote
1answer
120 views

Meaning of からに?

I have a little question. オマエは歩くのが遅ェからに決まってんだろ! グズグズしてる暇はねえんだよ! My question is about the first sentence. I guess it must be translated like: "You're walking slow! And we have no time to lose!" ...
0
votes
1answer
199 views

Vague method of description in Japanese

I just want to ask how people get over the vagueness of description in this language. Let me explain. Today I saw my friend say "これを見た電車の中で..." and I was just wondering... how do you deal with the ...
2
votes
3answers
237 views

What is the negative form of 勝ちそう?

しあいは勝ちそうでした。- meaning: I was about to win the game. How would I say: I was not about to win the game, (but at the last minute I won). A) しあいは勝ちくなさそうでしたけど... b) しあいは勝ちそうじゃなかったですけど... C) ...
4
votes
1answer
116 views

“働きいいように” missing a が?

The sentence below is from an essay. I'm confused about the grammatical components of "夫の働きいいように" ("to make the husband's work easy") - shouldn't there be a が just after 働き, or is it being casually ...
2
votes
1answer
90 views

translations of 楽にして?

How can I translate "楽にして" ? I read it change if transitive or intransitive... The sentence was: 私が楽にしてやろう! the context is: a guy asks to another about "being friends", but the other doesn't ...
5
votes
1answer
95 views

what is the difference between 徐々and だんだん?

I read that だんだん is more used in casual conversation, but is there any difference in meaning?
4
votes
2answers
273 views

せいで, when to use and not to use it

Hi^^ I'm studying the usage of せい and せいで, and it says (I'm using "Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar" as main reference) that it cannot be used to express a reason : 1)宿題がたくさんある *せいで ...
6
votes
1answer
116 views

How do you use 「どうか」 to mean please?

Sorry for the beginner question! I came across the vocabulary 「どうか(ください」. Could you please give an example of it's use? Thank you in advance!
3
votes
2answers
139 views

“一人にせず”? Meaning

お前も私も一人にせず、且つお前に 少しの 罰を 与える 方法を考えてみた。 In this phrase I've some doubt about "一人にせず". Using google, I can translate it as "not alone". But I read "せず" is a negative form of "する” and indicate that one ...
3
votes
2answers
245 views

Can adjectives in Japanese “stack” like in English?

Are both sentences below grammatically correct, and are they both used equally in conversation? Stacked adjective: あそこの奇麗な面白い人は、誰? Non-stacked adjectives: あそこの奇麗で面白い人は、誰?
1
vote
3answers
170 views

What does 「ならないようにする」 mean?

Source: http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/easy/k10013967481000/k10013967481000.html 「しかし、建物を地震に強くしたり、火事にならないようにすると、亡くなる人を2300人に減らすことができると言っています。」
4
votes
1answer
139 views

Are both phrases really correct?

Are both phrases grammatically correct and how do you translate both? 世界の一番ゆうめいです 世界で一番ゆうめいです
4
votes
1answer
124 views

Help with のに construction in a sentence

The sentence is 現代ほど自分の主体性、価値観を築き上げるのに難しい時代はないのである。 If I understand correctly, the sentence can be simplified to 現代ほど難しい時代はない (There is no time period as difficult as now) The entire sentence ...
3
votes
1answer
134 views

Is の後で textbook-ish Japanese?

In the textbook "Japanese For Busy People I" (which uses only kana, not kanji), on page 161, there is the following sentence. ごぜん 10じから ごご 3じまでです。かいぎの あとで さっぽろししゃに いって、さとうさんに あいます。 Using kanji, I ...
3
votes
1answer
131 views

隠れていなくて??! Is this correct?

I found this in a phrase: 隠れていなくて. I can translate it simply as "aren't hiding" or "were hiding"? By the way, is it correct or is better "隠れていません" By the way, the whole phrase is: ...
2
votes
1answer
204 views

What does 会えなくなっちゃって mean and why?

I'm very sorry, I just couldn't figure it out. If you could state what grammar pieces the term uses and how they affect the word, that would be great. So far I know that the 会えなくて is the te form of ...
5
votes
2answers
433 views

Is 〜ている really this subtle?

With an action verb, like 食べる, I can count 5 meanings of this sentence: ジョンは納豆を食べている "John is eating natto." (progressive) "John is eating the natto." (progressive) "John eats natto." ...
1
vote
1answer
108 views

「~たのは」という文型は何という意味?

What is the meaning of ~たのは? For context, the song bluebird by いきものがかり says 目指したのは青い青いあの空.
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votes
3answers
5k views

How do you use “koto”?

My book says that "koto" can convert verbs into nouns. It can also convert adjectives and adverbial nouns, but what does that mean? It gives examples like: Tori o tsukamaeru koto wa kantan ja ...
4
votes
1answer
133 views

に and として, what are the differences?

Hey what i the difference between に and として in the following example. お土産にチョコレートをもらった。 お土産としてチョコレートをもらった。 When is one more appropriate than the other?
3
votes
1answer
126 views

Adding でしょうか to ます to further emphasize doubt and politeness?

Let's use できる as an example. できる (I) can do (it)/possible (action/event). できるか? Can do?/Possible? できますか? Can do?/Possible? (polite) Believe it or not, できますか? still sounds too direct to me. Now ...
2
votes
1answer
177 views

に particle and its conflicting functions

Ok, so I'm still trying to get used to the に particle and how it has many functions that make it easy for it to appear many times in a sentence and thus get confusing... But I am specifically looking ...
8
votes
1answer
234 views

Splicing である with a topic

I came across this sentence: [意気地]{いくじ}なし!そして全くその通りで私はあったのだ。 "Coward! And that was, in fact, exactly what I was." (From 苦の世界, my translation.) I found in pretty weird that 私は dropped in the ...
3
votes
1answer
310 views

に Particle ambiguity

あまりにも子供じみた言動に呆れる。 だが、こういった[A]の対応には少なからず救われている部分があった. 深く踏みこまずに居場所を与えてくれるこの距離感に、周囲の人間も惹かれて集まってくるのだろう。 I'm tripped up on the second sentence. Is the 部分 part of the childish behavior, or the ...
4
votes
1answer
156 views

Why was は removed from this sentence?

So here is the sentence: このスプーンすてきですね Why didn't we say: このスプーンはすてきですね Isn't スプーン the topic of the sentence? Why did we remove it? Why did we leave it in a sentence like: とうきょうはきれいです
3
votes
1answer
477 views

Meaning of noun + だったりする

すごく背が低いけれど、いつも堂々とした態度で、颯爽とした雰囲気がある。 そして――‥‥彼女は僕の彼女だったりする。 What exactly is the meaning of "だったりする" here? I've read in A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar by Seiichi Makino that when たり is ...
5
votes
1answer
143 views

“It's sweet, for sake”

so, consider the following conversation: 「その日本酒、どう?」 「うん、わるくない。ちょっと甘い」 「本当?飲んでみる... げっ!全然甘くないよ! 「まあ、it's sweet, for sake Essentially I'm trying to say that something is not sweet in absolute terms, ...
8
votes
2answers
198 views

Using に with adjectives

I want to know if there is a rule or way of thinking that makes it easier to understand which adjectives can be used in the following pattern. 体にいいです。 健康にわるいです。 酒によわいです。 電車に詳しいです。 その場にふさわしかった。 I ...
2
votes
1answer
99 views

Help for translation: Object or agent? “お前に” or “お前を And person for ”思ってる"

お前に私が殺せると思ってるのか? I'm not sure about this phrase. Is correct "お前に" or it's better "お前を". Is object or agent? And which person is correct for 思ってる? "お前" or "私" It's a line from a comic I'm trying to ...
4
votes
2answers
245 views

Can you help me to translate this speech? 自分を理解してくれる者がいるというのは 心地よいものだよ

I'm trying to translate this text from a comic. I understood words, but the whole speech is difficult. 自分を理解してくれる者がいるというのは 心地よいものだよ。。。 一人というのは寂しかっただろう? 私もかつては自分を理解する者がいない 孤独に苛まれたよ。 I translated ...