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
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
248 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
353 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
274 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
423 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
826 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
479 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
318 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
311 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
191 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
210 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
343 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
824 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
194 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
253 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
223 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
196 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
671 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
722 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
538 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
204 views

Etymology of それはそうと

Can anyone explain the etymology of それはそうと【其れはそうと】and possibly the grammar of how it fits into a sentence, which does not seem to follow the normal rules (It should have a copula だ、そうだと?)? I think of ...
5
votes
2answers
155 views

Noun followed by 「っぱだ」

I'm currently reading a Japanese children's book, and a character says 「金色の葉っぱだ」 I'm assuming the 「っぱだ」 is like saying 「たくさん」 or 「いっぱい」, but I don't actually know. Any help is appreciated!
8
votes
1answer
250 views

How to make sense of this construct - “<名詞>、それは<名詞句>”

First, some real-world examples of "<名詞>、それは<名詞句>。" : イノセンス、それはいのち (catchphrase for the movie イノセンス) リゾートホテル、それは[極上]{ごくじょう}のサービスに[心]{こころ}[満]{み}たされる[空間]{くうかん} (catchphrase used by ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

の cannot be used as a pronoun meaning “one” for “highly abstract objects” but what is a “highly abstract object”?(amended)

(Italics are used to indicate revisions to the orginal question made in response to feedback so far) According to "A students' guide to Japanese grammar", by Naomi McGloin, の is used as a pronoun ...
2
votes
0answers
51 views

What is the difference between using なる with the particles に and と [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the difference between 〜となる and 〜になる? What is the difference between using なる with the particles に and と? When should which be used?
9
votes
4answers
340 views

How to translate: “Keep/leave something”. So, how to express intention to leave something unchanged

Consider questions like: Please leave the door open, thanks! Could you please keep the lift's doors open? Thankyou Please, leave it as it is. They all imply something common: not changing the ...
2
votes
3answers
109 views

Omitting ようだ at the end of a sentence

父はデジタルカメラの講習を受けに行ったが、あまりの難しさにびっくりしたようだ。 So this sentence is saying, "my dad went to take a short course on digital cameras, but it was difficult to the point of surprising him." Could you say ...
1
vote
2answers
129 views

Questions about this sentence

"当時の関係者何人かにあたって記憶を確かめてみたが、人の記憶の欠落部分というのは、捏造で補われる仕組みになっているらしく、共通の体験が、しばしば、お互いに矛盾する記憶になっていることに驚かされた。" What does "にあたって" mean there ? "驚かされた" is referring to what/whom exactly ? Does "関係者何人か" mean ...
1
vote
1answer
69 views

Grammar dictionary [closed]

The dictionary that I use primarily is http://dictionary.goo.ne.jp/ . I wanted to know of good sources online for looking up how different aspects of Japanese grammar work. I would prefer it if the ...
5
votes
3answers
331 views

Trouble understanding this use of あっての

I've previously asked two separate questions regarding あっての, (and there's a third on here from Pacerier) and I thought I had it figured out, but then I found this sentence (from a JLPT practice ...
3
votes
1answer
246 views

Can't quite understand this sentence

この間、時間を見つけては、過去の歴史をひもといてみたのだが、再認識させられたのは、人間というのは、どれほど多くの涙とともに飲み下した教訓であっても、喉元を過ぎたとたんに忘れてしまう生き物であるということだった. Especially what "忘れてしまう生き物" is supposed to mean in "喉元を過ぎたとたんに忘れてしまう生き物であるということだった".
6
votes
1answer
536 views

What is the difference between でなくand ではなく?

This is the sentence I have just read: 外国へ行くとしたら、ただの旅行ではなく、勉強を 目的として 行きたい。 If I ever have a chance to go abroad then I would like to go to study rather than just travel. The は feels ...
13
votes
2answers
569 views

Can someone explain the logic of the grammar “とは限らない”

I found this example sentence in "A Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar" under a grammar point unrelated to "とは限らない": "運動をよくする人が必ずしも長生きするとは限らない。" I understand the meaning of the sentence ...
3
votes
1answer
153 views

Help with a usage of 自慢

私は彼が自慢だ。 I'm Proud of Him 彼は私が自慢だ。 He is proud of me. I am confused by this pattern with 自慢. It kind of looks like 自慢 is being used as an adjective (?), but the definition in ...
3
votes
2answers
246 views

Why is も used instead of が in the sentence 「日本ではクモを見ると良いことがあると言う人もいますよ」

What is the exact sentiment expressed by も in this sentence as opposed to が? 日本ではクモを見ると良いことがあると言う人もいますよ It's a sentence in response to someone saying "I saw a spider in my room, I was scared".
4
votes
4answers
2k views

How do I say “before” or “used to” in Japanese?

朝、作文を書いた時、疑問に思いました。 How can I say something like: I didn't used to like this band.  Before, I didn't like this band.
5
votes
2answers
387 views

How do I say “the reason why” or “the purpose of” in Japanese?

While studying this morning, I became interested in how to say "When you were a child, did you read books for fun?" in Japanese. In this case, would I use ため? Or would it be something like this: ...
0
votes
1answer
176 views

Problems with particles

I'm trying to understand when to use appropriate particles in a sentence, and keep up with vocab too! Please someone help. customer: "そのぼうし[の, を, か, ね] ください" "たけしさん [か, の, よ, or no particle] ...
12
votes
3answers
335 views

Positioning of quantities (using counters)

Example 1 ビール一杯を飲む 一杯のビールを飲む ビールを一杯飲む Example 2 ネジ2本を取り付ける 2本のネジを取り付ける ネジを2本取り付ける Is there any difference between the above examples with the positioning of the ...
11
votes
4answers
274 views

Range of numbers

How would one express a range of numbers regarding an action? Example: I usually study anywhere between 2 to 4 hours a day. Would the からーまで grammar structure be appropriate here? ...
3
votes
2answers
251 views

How does は apply itself to によっては?

From the question: "How does the use of いかんによっては in this question determine one answer over another?", it is observed that: The use of によって means to change state or behaviour depending on, or ...
6
votes
1answer
169 views

Why does 考えて need も in the “て + ごらん” pattern?

Consider these three lists: てごらん 考えてもごらん てもごらん In the verb-te form + ごらん structure, it seems that only the verb 考える needs to have も. (It seems that 考える can be used without も, but a cursory look ...
4
votes
1answer
241 views

What is the difference between どころか or ものか?

This is a sentence from my JLPT prep book: 新しい首相に代わったが、景気は回復する (  )、悪化する一方であった。 The answer is: ものか, but I thought it was どころか. I can't figure out why どころか isn't correct or is unnatural. They ...
8
votes
2answers
338 views

Obligatory zero particle

Sometimes, particles are omitted. I've read, however, that this can be analyzed as inserting a "zero particle" instead. See for example Particle omission or zero particle by Mitsuaki Shimojo. See ...
5
votes
1answer
163 views

Function of the first の in とかの他の

Are ...とか他の... and ...とかの他の... equivalent? What is the function of the first の in the latter example? And why can't a の follow とか in ...とかその他...? Or can it?
2
votes
1answer
134 views

Grammar problem [closed]

I'd like to ask how can I say in Japanese 'a friend of mine reminded me this great band'? I thought I should use the ~思い出させてくれる form, but I guess it still too difficult for me.
8
votes
2answers
350 views

What is the difference between べからず and べからざる?

In my JLPT practise book, I have the following question: A:噂にまどわされる_____、とは言うものの・・・。 B:つい、信じちゃうよね。 べく 2.べき 3.べからざる 4. べからず I knew the answer was between 3 and 4, but I couldn't ...
8
votes
4answers
477 views

How does the use of いかんによっては in this question determine one answer over another?

In my JLPT practise book, in a section explaining the use of いかんによっては, which roughly means "depending on", they have the following question: ...
5
votes
1answer
407 views

What is “masu-stem + ざま”?

Here is a part of a sentence from my book: ・・・・手裏剣をよけざま・・・・ I can't find any help in any of my references on the pattern of "masu-stem + ざま", which makes me hesitant to say that's exactly what ...