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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2answers
467 views

Distinction between “not everyone” and “no-one”

I recently learnt that だれも means "everyone" with an affirmative verb and "no-one" with a negative verb. So, the literal translation of the Japanese "No-one is here" would be "Everyone is not here". ...
2
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2answers
209 views

How do you say “The 10 most spoken languages in the world” in Japanese?

Would it be: 世界中10の最も話し言語 or 世界で10最も話されて言語
6
votes
2answers
647 views

What's the difference between 「〜を通{とお}して」 and 「〜を通{つう}じて」?

I understand both can mean "by means of, through, throughout", but I'm sure there's a difference in nuance here. Can someone help and explain? Thanks!
1
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1answer
203 views

rules for “personification” with 「じん」、「しゃ」、「か」?

In English, "personification" is a literary device. But, I am talking about when you take a common noun, and then add 「人」、「者」、 or「家」: 「労働」--->「労働者」 「案内」--->「案内者」 「日本」---> 「日本人」 「社会」 --->「社会人」 「農業」---> ...
6
votes
2answers
256 views

Can one say “A decides that B will do X” with ことにする?

Can one use ことにする to express the idea "A decides that B will do X"? Take the sentence 私は外へ出ることにした. The way I see it, 私 is the subject of both 出る and した, with one usage omitted due to being ...
5
votes
2answers
311 views

A closer look at そう思う

I just realized today that for some reason I'm pretty uncomfortable with things like そう思う because the Japanese そう has a meaning akin to saying isn't that so in English. But when you say そう思う, そう is ...
2
votes
2answers
195 views

Question about ように

I'm confused in ように in the following sentence. Maybe it connects to 聞こえる or maybe means "in order to" ? I'm not sure about it here. Some sort of translation: "Conversations in this period of time ...
6
votes
1answer
168 views

Replacing になっている with だ

A sentence from JapanesePod 101: 米は、多くの食事で、重要な糖質源になっている。 Rice is an important source of carbohydrates in many diets. The になっている seems unnecessary here. Could one simply end the sentence with ...
3
votes
1answer
114 views

ぬかるむ Meaning and Use

ぬかるむ has the definition of "to be muddy" in my dictionary, but it is a verb. Furthermore, all the examples use it before a noun, as opposed to saying 丘はぬかるむ. Is it correct to say this? Why is ぬかるむ a ...
1
vote
2answers
475 views

Difference between こと、もの and やつ

I am trying to understand the following clearly: 私のこと 私のもの 私のやつ When someone is talking about us, we can use こと。 ”いいえ、それは私のことではないです” - No, that is not something related to me. やつis used when we ...
2
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1answer
221 views

Do adjectives/adjective-like verb forms in informal speech need a copula?

The class I go to uses the «Minna no Nihongo» textbook, and according to it you can say the following in informal language: そのカレーライスおいしい? わたしは富士山にのぼりたい。 (See book 1, lesson 20) So I ...
4
votes
4answers
372 views

Examples of ambigious sentences

I'm looking to test some Morphological Analysis tools, which split sentences into tokens and provide part of speech and pronunciation information (specifically, providing kana when given kanji). I'm ...
2
votes
1answer
271 views

Does でしょう have a negative nuance?

I am reading the sentence... 他人に自分の内面を見られたくない人もいるのではないだろうか and wondering why it seems like there is a double negative that I'm not seeing もいる = + のではない = - だろう = ???? END RESULT = + だろうか has to be ...
3
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2answers
233 views

Problems parsing this sentence (ような before comma)

I was reading the examples from the book 日本語文型辞典 and I came across this example sentence which I have absolutely no idea of how to parse it: その子は、人と目が合うたびにやさしく笑いかけるような、そんな、人を疑うということを知らないような子だったと言う。 ...
5
votes
1answer
152 views

What does り have to do with this?

So I asked some Japanese guy if he really meant something (about speaking in certain language) with 本当ですか and I got this as an answer: 実はしゃべれるわけじゃなかったりする I understand what わけではない means, but ...
3
votes
1answer
335 views

how could a sentence end with (noun + “よ”?)

I'd thought you cannot end a sentence with a noun. Rather: noun + だ。 noun + です。 noun + である。 noun + であります。 noun + でございます。 But in a movie dialogue, I heard: "大切なのは、心よ。" Ending a sentence with a noun ...
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1answer
101 views

Help with this passage

Well I didn't know how to title this question, but I'd like help with this passage. It is from the workbook 日本語総まとめN2 ...
2
votes
3answers
464 views

What's the difference between でしょうか and ですか at the end of a question?

I am having a little trouble understanding the nuance of でしょうか in comparison to ですか. People say it makes it more hesitant and polite, but that doesn't explain the nuance enough for me. Why would you ...
5
votes
2answers
573 views

What's the meaning of 〜ておきます?

What exactly does 〜ておきます mean in this context? 旅行{りょこう}する前{まえ}にホテルを予約{よやく}しておきます。 Is this trying to say something like "Before traveling, reserve a room". Is this a suggestion? An order? (If so, why ...
1
vote
1answer
357 views

Can だ be used as a particle in a phrase?

I'd like to say “Tomorrow is Monday”. Is it correct for me to say 「あしただげつようび」? Or is there simply no particle at all?
2
votes
2answers
150 views

How would you write the name Anibal in Japanese?

So my name is written Anibal, I'm from Brazil, just so you know. I'd like to know how would you write it in japanese, I'm in doubt between A-ni-ba-ru and A-ni-ba-e-ru. Any further explanation would be ...
1
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1answer
257 views

Does the particle に in に作られた mark the agent or the location here?

I'm confused about 「に作られた」 in the following sentence. Kindly explain this part to me. 「Central Base」とは、旧「アクアポリス・中央エアポート」に作られた、「ASDF」の陸上(?)基地のことだ。 Some sort of translation: Central base is, ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

What's the short way to say “me too” and “me (n)either”?

I am just learning about the も particle and the textbook has examples like this: やまださんはがくせいです。わたしもがくせいです。 Yamada is a student. I am also a student. I am wondering whether the repetition of ...
12
votes
2answers
297 views

Choice of tense with そばから

When using そばから in the sense of "as soon as", everything I find says that you can use either た form/past tense before it, or dictionary form, but not what the difference is. Sometimes people even use ...
1
vote
1answer
125 views

となし in 「往{ゆ}け八紘を宇{いえ}となし」

I'm currently listening to 「愛国行進曲」, which is apparently a Shōwa-era patriotic song. It is written in a rather confusing mix of modern and Classical Japanese, but I think I can understand most of it ...
5
votes
2answers
324 views

I am wondering if someone can shed light on this tweet from Japan?

A friend of mine recently translated a Japanese article from Japan's October issue of An An magazine and sent her a tweet in English telling her that it was completed. The author replied with the ...
1
vote
2answers
216 views

Meaning of ようにできる

A sentence from Kanji in Context: 人にはそれぞれ長短があって、それで世の中はうまくいくようにできているのです。 I get that it means something like everyone has individual strengths and weaknesses, and thus the world can go smoothly. ...
5
votes
1answer
118 views

Replacing a negative nominalised verb with a ない-form

人と比べるのではなく、過去の自分と比べる。 Do not compare yourself to other people, compare yourself to your past self. Without any change in meaning, (though I guess it would be less formal in tone), could the ...
4
votes
1answer
140 views

What is the grammatical interpretation of じゃ ありません?

I have learned in school that じゃ ありましん is the "non-past negative" conjugation of です. Example: 私は日本人じゃありません。 "I am not Japanese." I have noticed that じゃ ありません contains the pronunciation of ...
4
votes
2answers
326 views

Interpretation of 思われる (spontaneous or passive?)

My understanding is that 思われる, in addition to being the passive form of 思う, can also be used in the sense of "to spontaneously think; to appear". 北米では通常スカートは女性がはくものと思われている。 In North America a ...
1
vote
1answer
895 views

Negation with ではありません vs. じゃない

I tried to say "I'm not a high school student". But I read you can use じゃない to 'deny' something. In this case which one should I use? でわありません or じゃない? 私はこうこうの学生でわありません。or 私はこうこうの学生じゃないです。?
5
votes
1answer
262 views

Is there something omitted after だか in this sentence?

The following paragraph is from page 20 of 涼宮ハルヒの憂鬱:  ...
3
votes
3answers
321 views

Use of と in this sentence

I'm confused about how と is used in this sentence (乗るとすぐメールを・・・)... What purpose does it serve? 電車の中では携帯で話すことはできませんが、みんな電車に乗るとすぐメールを熱心に打っているのにびっくりしました。 Thank you!
10
votes
2answers
402 views

Do “direct object を” and “directional を” occupy the same slot?

A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar (ADoBJG) lists more than one を particle. In particular: On page 347, it lists o1, a particle which marks a direct object. On page 349, it lists o2, a particle ...
0
votes
0answers
45 views

what is the difference beween おんなみたい、おんならしい and おんなっぽい。 [duplicate]

what is the difference beween おんなみたい、おんならしい and おんなっぽい。 could any one please clear the difference between them with example.
2
votes
1answer
210 views

Verb in te-form with 中に, as in “通って中に”

I have started to read a novel for practice. I came across these sentences. I can't make sense of the part 通って中に. 少年はあそこ一夜過ごすことに決めた。彼は羊の群れが、壊れかけた門を通って中に、入るのを見届けてから、夜中に羊が迷い出さないように、何本かの棒を門にわたした。 I ...
5
votes
1answer
150 views

Is 圧力 countable?

Consider the following sentence (emphasis mine): ひょっとしたら僕が​圧力の一つや二つをかけられて​いることも知っているのかもしれない。 The bolded part is kind of confusing me. I get that 圧力をかけられる means "to be pressured" or "to have ...
2
votes
1answer
137 views

Confusion between nouns and adverbs in あと一部

この仕事はあと一部を残すだけだ。 Only one part of the job remains. Does one think of あと (remainder) as a noun (and object of 残す) and 一部 as a counter/adverb, or is あと the adverb and 一部 the noun here?
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vote
2answers
297 views

The origin of しなさい

勉強しなさいよ! i know what this means.. but what is the origin of しなさい ? Does it come from する (to do verb) ?? Is it short form of something? or what?
2
votes
3answers
111 views

Nuance due to absence of は

その帽子に赤いマフラーが似合いそうだ。 A red muffler seems to go well with that hat. Is there a difference in nuance between the above sentence and the following one? その帽子には赤いマフラーが似合いそうだ。 I get that it's ...
3
votes
1answer
228 views

The use of も; spotting if it is comparison/contrast, or for emphasis

Could somebody tell me the meaning/use of both もs in bold in the following sentence? It is the background explanation for the essay titled 「さよなら、ゴジラ先生」 in the magazine, 中上級のにほんご. Also, I am not sure ...
1
vote
1answer
481 views

Period + に + frequency

I'm looking at JLPT4/5 grammar list and see such grammar point. But I can't find any information about it (truthfully I don't know how to). Though I found some examples: 1 shuukan ni ikkai - once a ...
1
vote
1answer
226 views

How does 生まれ translate in this context?

こんにちは、皆さん。ちょっと質問があります。 今日、この歌を聞きました。 最初の歌詞はこれです: アイデンティティがない 生まれない らららら でも意味が分かりません。英訳するができない。 「(If you) have no identity, (you) haven't been born」と思いますが、確かめたいです。 日本語で説明していい。手伝てくれてありがとう!
1
vote
2answers
250 views

Use of に with -てあげる/-てくれる with a human direct object

Quoting from page 292 of A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar (DBJG), entry for に, note 2: "Any transitive verb used in the V-てあげる or V-てくれる construction can take に, if the verb does not take a ...
2
votes
2answers
229 views

Is there an idiomatic Japanese equivalent of the construction “Let [infinitive verb]”?

In English, we have constructions like "Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York" (MLK's I Have A Dream speech) and "Let there be light" (Genesis 1:3, KJV and other versions). Is there ...
3
votes
2answers
258 views

Usage of particles で and に with ~的

A sentence from JapanesePod 101: 北米とヨーロッパでは通常スカートは女性がはくものと思われているが、世界的には多くの男性がスカートをはく。 In North America and Europe a skirt is thought of as something a woman wears, but in many countries men ...
2
votes
2answers
155 views

Usage of a clause to modify an い-adjective?

近所のバーは友達とお酒を飲むのにちょうどいい場所だ。 The neighbourhood bar is a great place to have a drink with friends. Does one think of the dependent clause 友達とお酒を飲むのに as modifying the い-adjective ちょうどいい (which then ...
3
votes
2answers
139 views

Usage of particles with 出てくる

Another sentence from Kanji in Context. 初めて[山奥]{やまおく}から町に出てきた村の人たちは見るものすべてに[驚]{おどろ}いた。 In this instance, does 山奥から町に出てきた mean "left the mountains and came to the city" (町)? Also, I would normally ...
2
votes
2answers
177 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
382 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 ...