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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

1
vote
1answer
145 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
419 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
391 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
284 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
451 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
635 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
310 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
687 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
474 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 ...
17
votes
1answer
575 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
182 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
236 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
190 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)" ...
7
votes
2answers
201 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
479 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
224 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
291 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
227 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
233 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
308 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
266 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
158 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
379 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
403 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
221 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
211 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
502 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
380 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
404 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
90 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
323 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
252 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
355 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
277 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
432 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
858 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
480 views

Plural in ancient Japanese?

It is known to Japanese learners that the Japanese verb isn't affected by the subject (number or gender). Today, a linguistics professor of my university told me he heard from his teacher that ancient ...
10
votes
2answers
328 views

Double subject construction?

I've recently been having trouble with constructions that seem to mark two subjects in the same clause. I've only encountered them in ~の方が... constructions, but I can't seem to make sense of them ...
2
votes
1answer
312 views

Is there a term for using conjugating verbs such that the sentence continues with another clause?

I'm referring specifically to using the て form to form a pseudo conjunction, and specifically the transformation of verbs in formal writing by using the verb stem instead of て form. For example the ...
4
votes
1answer
192 views

「こわいだから。」 versus 「こわい、だから[…]」

In an answer on another question, @TsuyoshiIto wrote: [U]nlike commas in English, 読点 in Japanese is rarely (if ever) grammatically required. Authors are free to use 読点 wherever they feel that it ...
5
votes
1answer
212 views

Function of に in 怒るに怒れない

In the book I'm reading, I came across the following sentence: あたしは[怒]{おこ}るに[怒]{おこ}れなくなった。 (furigana added by me) My translation is something like "I couldn't stay angry [at him]". ("My anger ...
2
votes
1answer
352 views

Explanation / Meaning of らしく in 例文

Hi in this sentence 'らしく' is used, but I am not really sure about the meaning of らしく. I found this explanation for it, but it doesn't helps me to understand its meaning in the sentence: way to use ...
9
votes
1answer
857 views

Expressing hope: to nozomu and koto wo negau

I have a question about these two verbs for 'hope': と望む (to nozomu) ことを願う (koto wo negau) I also write down two examples, since I have a particular question about their use: ...
3
votes
1answer
198 views

足って used in Ponyo Song [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What are these forms: かけちゃお, つないじゃお? Is this って equivalent to 「と」? From the Ponyo theme song: ペータペタ ピョーンピョン 足っていいな かけちゃお! Why is 足 given the て conjugation, as if ...
4
votes
1answer
259 views

General confusion ("Volitional+ともせず”, redundancy, uses of と, )

I'm having trouble understanding the grammar in some sentences even if I understand the basic idea of the sentence. I may post with more questions later. ...
5
votes
2answers
225 views

How can I express that X is as big/small/fast/… as Y?

I would like to know how to express that something is equal in some aspect to another thing (or person, if that makes a difference), as you would express in English by saying: X is as (adjective) as ...
3
votes
1answer
199 views

形容詞 ending in /ei/ and /ii/

This page discusses the "adjective" べき and mentions that if it had evolved like other adjectives, it would have been べい. That made me think: Why are there no 形容詞 ending in /ei/ or /ii/ (except for ...
5
votes
2answers
701 views

What is the difference between ずに and ない-form?

My wife is studying for the JLPT exam, and came across the following question: 2時間、_____立って話しました。 She narrowed the choices down to: すわらずに すわらないと Or another similar question: ...
4
votes
3answers
733 views

Are there any common grammatical errors made by native Japanese speakers?

Sorry if this is a really open-ended question, but one thing occurred to me when I was asking a prior question here; are there any particular grammatical errors frequently made by native Japanese ...
9
votes
3answers
540 views

Typo or am I missing something? 「ドイツ語も勉強しないとですね。」

Context: I have been chatting with a Japanese girl who is going to move to Germany, and I asked if she had any experience with the German language and told her I had been considering learning German ...