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
322 views

Does V~たりする include the verb in a “perfect” sense or “varying” sense?

Does V~たりする include the mentioned verb in a "perfect" (specific) sense or "varying" sense? For example, in the sentence 「映画を見たりした。」, is (1) or (2) a more accurate depiction of the meaning of the ...
7
votes
2answers
187 views

Varying word order for stylistic effect

Sometimes, for stylistic or rhetorical effect, one wants to delay mentioning a word/concept until the end of a sentence. For example, it's often best to save the punchline for the very end: I was ...
1
vote
2answers
232 views

What does 御用の向きとは mean + usage of うぬ in the meaning of “you”

I have two questions: What's the meaning of a phrase: 御用の向きとは? Is it a set expression? I found a few examples where it was ended with a question mark, in some cases preceded by addressing an ...
3
votes
1answer
399 views

Does だけが mean “but only” or “not just”?

Earlier today I saw this sign: 煙{けむり}の行方{ゆくえ}。本人{ほんにん}だけが、他人{たにん}事{こと}だった。 The English is different enough that I think we can mostly ignore it for the purposes of this question. It helpfully ...
5
votes
3answers
314 views

Does 切った mean to “cut out” or “cut from”?

I was pretty sure that 切{き}った meant something was cut from something else. So ケーキから一人分{ひっとりぶん}を切{き}った would mean, "one piece was cut from the cake." However, I came across a usage which, at least at ...
2
votes
2answers
195 views

Different versions of より?

Here is one definition for より: より (adv,prt) (1) from; out of; since; at; (2) than; (3) other than; except; but; (4) more; I see that one of the definitions of this word is "more". Is より一層 a ...
10
votes
1answer
200 views

What is the significance of a large く character in literary texts?

I am currently reading an early story by Tanizaki Junichiro in Japanese. I have come across both the hiragana く and ぐ written twice the size they usually are, taking up the same amount of space on the ...
3
votes
2answers
844 views

Thank you for X: ~をありがとうございます

I've often heard this pattern, particularly in things like メッセージ/メール を ありがとうございます。 Since ありがとうございます is an adjective, why is it acceptable to use を in this situation? That seems about as ...
4
votes
1answer
110 views

What is the grammar behind 朝6時 (as opposed to 朝の6時)?

朝の6時 seems to be consistent with using の to have one noun modify another, while 朝6時 appears to be just two successive nouns (which I wouldn't think would be a grammatically valid construction).
4
votes
1answer
278 views

から ending a sentence

I've seen this in a few texts now and since it's appeared with some frequency I thought to post the question here. I tried searching online but came up with no real conclusions. ありませんから or plain form ...
10
votes
1answer
289 views

What exactly is ありき?

I think from looking up ありき that it means "based on", but it's usage is unclear to me. I've come across it in these two examples: まずは結論{けつろん}ありき Which I think means "the conclusion is based on ...
5
votes
1answer
229 views

What does it mean when a sentence ends with しなくもない?

A friend posted this in a comment on Facebook: これは深{ふか}い意味{いみ}があるような気{き}がしなくもない I think I get the general meaning, which is "This seems to have a deep meaning." But I'm fuzzy on the implications ...
3
votes
2answers
106 views

What is the purpose of の in this sentence?

"このテレビの直し方わかりますか。" means "Do you know how to fix this TV?" but I can't figure out the purpose of の (after テレビ) in this sentence.
4
votes
2answers
124 views

Is “今の” in “今のは誰?” considered a synthetic noun?

Good afternoon all, After a discussion, I was wondering is "今の" in "今のは誰?" considered a synthetic noun? My analysis of the sentence "今のは誰?" is: noun 今: just now genitive particle の ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Meaning of ~きて~ and ~しまいました in sentence

"あなたの本を車の中に置いてきてしまいました。" means "I left your book in the car." but what is the meaning of "きて" and "しまいました" in context?
3
votes
1answer
282 views

Does もさることながら imply a judgment?

In my JLPT textbook, it defines ~もさることながら as saying that the speaker feels one thing is true, and in addition another thing is true. One example they give which makes sense to me is: ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

How is the “のです” working here?

目立つ事を恐れ、一緒でなければいけないという日本人が確実に減ってきているのです。 The strong feelings that Japanese have of being afraid of standing out and everybody having to do things together are starting to become less ...
8
votes
2answers
634 views

Can we have two thematic は particles in a sentence?

Good afternoon all, From what I understand, there are two types of は-particle: The thematic-は (topic-marker) which is used to introduce things into the universe of discourse. The contrastive-は. ...
9
votes
1answer
197 views

Usage of doubled non-past tense “た”

I've recently been noticing some patterns which look like two repeated past-tense verbs, but I think which indicate a command rather than the past tense. For example: さあ、行った行った。 "Get along with ...
10
votes
4answers
10k views

だって (datte) meaning

What are the possible uses for だって?
3
votes
4answers
420 views

What is the たて in 取れる+たて?

Here are some examples: 取れる+たて -> 取れたて ・取れたてのたけのこ; fresh bamboo shoots that have just been harvested. できる+たて -> できたて ・できたてのごはん; fresh rice that has just been cooked. 生まれる+たて ...
3
votes
2answers
171 views

Understanding 〜たら良いか〜

The sentence 何と言ったら良いか分かりません means "I don't know what I should say." But what is the literal translation of this sentence? What is the purpose of the か in 良いか?
6
votes
2answers
142 views

Can 物 be added to any word to make it mean “things?”

I keep seeing examples of words where 物 is tacked on the end to mean "things." 食べ物, 飲み物, つまらない物, etc. Are there any restrictions as to what can precede 物? Can I, for example, say something like 青い物, ...
5
votes
1answer
287 views

What does ~んじゃなかった do in this sentence?

The following sentence was translated in the following ways: 窓を開けたままで寝るんじゃなかった。 I shouldn't have slept with the window open. I regret (that) I was sleeping with the window open. But why does ...
1
vote
1answer
140 views

Conjugation of いけない or いける?

In "宿題をしなくてはいけなかった" meaning "Had to do homework.", is the word "いけなかった" derived from "いける" (verb conjugation) or from "いけない" (i-adjective conjugation)?
4
votes
1answer
214 views

What does the pattern ~たりはしない do?

I keep seeing the pattern ~たりはしない and wondering what how the nuance/meaning is different from other forms. For example, how would the following sentences differ? "誰にも話したりはしない" and "誰にも話さない" "I ...
8
votes
2answers
327 views

“Grammatically-correct” particle-less phrases/sayings

I know that within an informal/familiar setting, people often leave out particles. Whether or not this is grammatically correct I'm not positive, but for the sake of this question, I'll say that it's ...
8
votes
1answer
570 views

How do you use 〜と知る?

I've often seen and heard the expression 〜と知る(知っている). When I think about it, it makes sense in the context of the quoatation-と, like with 〜と言う or 〜と思う. It seems like it means "Know that 〜". ...
18
votes
4answers
2k views

Why is it 日本語がわかります instead of 日本語をわかります?

From what I understand, は is the topic marker, が is the subject marker, and を is the object marker. One of the first sentences I learned doesn't seem to fit the rules I described above. The sentence ...
6
votes
4answers
230 views

Problem understanding a sentence

The sentence トムは私より身長が高いです。 means "Tom is taller than I me." but I'm trying to find the meaning of each word in order to understand the japanese sentence better. Here is what I have so far: トムは(Tom ...
4
votes
2answers
230 views

Understanding the たがい in 仲たがい

What is the etymology of the suffix(?)たがい in 仲たがい and how is it used to express discord? If this is a suffix as such, is it used in combination with any other words?
3
votes
2answers
194 views

Usage of “~だぴょん”

A fair while ago someone said something like 嘘だぴょーん! in a comment. But what kind of a connotation and usage does ~だぴょん have? Can it be used in a kind of humorous sort of way? Edit: Realized it was ...
7
votes
1answer
488 views

Usage of て-form in 知っての通り

I have just come across the phrase 知っての通り〜 (as you know...) I have never noticed this usage of て-form before and can't find an explanation. What is the difference (if any) between this and 知っている通り? ...
6
votes
1answer
331 views

Understanding “よりを戻す” and “止めておこう”

I don't think us getting together tonight is such a good idea. やっぱり今夜、よりを戻すのは止めておこう。 I would like to understand this sentence better, specifically the (idiomatic?) expression, "よりを戻す." I ...
11
votes
1answer
922 views

Where does the verbal form しとく come from?

In a manga I am currently reading, one of the character exclaims: 安心しな。秘密に しとく から。 The general meaning of the second part ("I'll keep it a secret") is quite obvious, and it seems that "しとく" ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Different ways to say “at least” / 「少なくとも」

I would like to know if there are other ways to say "at least~" (context below), along with the relevant nuances of each way. This is for a piece of writing I'm doing where for the sake of style I ...
15
votes
2answers
756 views

How to say 'X, let alone Y' in Japanese?

How to say X, let alone Y in Japanese? For example, how would one translate: I don't know hiragana, let alone kanji. He couldn't boil water, let alone prepare a dinner for eight. I ...
6
votes
1answer
382 views

Understanding the grammar behind ~かよ in 知るかよ and マジかよ etc

I think that 知るかよ! means "like I would know!"/"hell, if I know!" and that マジかよ! means something like "[are you/is this] for real?"/"seriously?", but is there an underlying rule behind the ~かよ pattern ...
5
votes
1answer
205 views

Help with this sentence fragment containing “思想統制”

I came across this example sentence for the grammar point ~にあって, which indicates that something is under a particular circumstance. 彼女は戦争中、思想統制下にあってなお、自由な精神を持ち続けた。 I understand the first and the ...
9
votes
1answer
396 views

How the ~にあって form works - situations, places, times, what?

I finally started going through some JLPT N1 grammar the other day, and one of the ones I'm looking at has me a bit confused: the ~にあって・~にあっても form. The book describes its usage as such: ...
13
votes
2answers
360 views

When does a suru-noun require し in front of a purposive-に?

According to Chocolate's comment to a question, some suru-nouns can be followed by the purposive に directly, but others require (the stem of) する in between.  面会しに行く  面会に行く  料理しに行く × 料理に行く ...
6
votes
1answer
288 views

What's the difference between these two transitive verb forms?

I've always been little fuzzy on transitive verbs, something which I was reminded of when looking at this answer. The answer says that 終{お}わらせる, 終{お}える, 済{す}ませる, and 済{す}ます are all transitive. They ...
7
votes
1answer
360 views

Does this convey “It's not surprising that ___”?

I am working on the grammar pattern ~にはあたらない, which is used to indicate that something is not necessary. I.e, "No need to ask" ==> 聞くにはあたらない. What I'm caught on is this example sentence: ...
7
votes
4answers
641 views

Are 終{お}わる and 済{す}ませる synonyms?

I know that they both mean "finish". But I wonder if there are situations or contexts where you can use one but not the other.
10
votes
1answer
401 views

Different ways to report one's impression/guess (~そう/~みたい)

雨が降りそうです 雨が降るみたいです Is there any difference between the two? Which one would be the most common way to say this? このセーターは家で洗えそうです このセーターは家で洗えるみたいです Both these also seem valid, but ...
12
votes
2answers
569 views

What are the valid potential forms of special “suru” verbs?

Good afternoon all, From what I understand, special "suru" verbs only have one potential form which is formed using the syntax: [verb-stem] + [せる] For example, 愛す・愛する → 愛せる and 訳す・訳する → 訳せる. ...
12
votes
1answer
453 views

“からだけ” vs “だけから”, which is grammatical?

Good afternoon all, I was wondering when we chain particles, should "から" come before "だけ", or should it be the other way round? For example, I'm expecting a mail from 健一, a mail from 健二, and a mail ...
7
votes
2answers
210 views

How to say two actions are the cause of a third?

I want to say I did something because of more than one reason. For example: I stayed home so I could study AND feed the dog. I'm not sure how to name the reasons in Japanese. How I'm trying to ...
10
votes
1answer
750 views

Aren't がる and たがる the same thing?

In my JLPT practise book, it has two different entries, one to explain がる and one to explaining たがる. It offeres these example sentences to differentiate them: うちの子{こ}は新{あたら}しいものを見{み}ると、すぐほしがる。 ...
6
votes
2answers
694 views

How to use the inflection “やがる”?

こんなくそみたいな帽子かぶせやがって! "こんな仕事させやがって!" "こんなまずいものを食わせやがって!" "あいつは本当に良いものを作りやがる" I was recently acquainted with the inflection "やがる," as illustrated in the examples above. Would it be ...