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

5
votes
1answer
102 views

Help with an expression that uses お笑い vocabulary

突っ込みどころ満載 I just have to butt in here. / I'd love to put my two cents in. I am having a hard time figuring out this expression. I see it uses vocabulary particular to お笑い, but I would ...
5
votes
2answers
287 views

Need clarification on a particular use of から

I saw this sentence recently and I'm particularly confused on the use of から in the sentence. まず君から殺す。 What does から mean here? What's the difference between that and まず君を殺す? How does から replace the ...
10
votes
1answer
188 views

What is this 〜な〜な pattern?

Today I was reading the story of David & Goliath and saw this strange pattern: ゴリアトは四十日の間、朝な夕なやって来て、同じ所に立った。ー サムエル記上 17:16 Goliath challenged the Israelites every morning and evening for ...
3
votes
1answer
106 views

Is 一緒に needed in this case?

Is 一緒に needed in this case? A: 買い物へ行きたい。 B: そう。 A: 一緒に行きましょうか? Or is it just ->> 行こう?
6
votes
3answers
825 views

I dont understand ~ような in this context

I know that ~ような means "looks like". In this context: ここで立ち止る ような 時間はない。 does it mean: "It appears it cannot stop here, there is no time"? What I do understand is that ような is followed by a ...
3
votes
1answer
202 views

Is -はない just another way of saying -じゃありません?

In the sentence: 彼の論文には大した価値はない Is the -はない another way of saying -じゃありません or -ではない? And is it read as wanai or hanai?
6
votes
2answers
475 views

Zero-nominalisation - Why and When?

Building on from Zhen Lin's answer to "The grammar of ~かれ~かれ", Brief explanation of Zero-nominalisation: Nominalisation refers to the process of turning a word, or more generally a phrase, into a ...
7
votes
2answers
671 views

Help on a specific usage of こそ

好きこそものの上手なれ。 We tend to be good at those things we like. / People become best at what they love the most. How does the こそ work here? Is this use of こそ common outside of proverbs?
4
votes
1answer
113 views

How do the two occurrences of the word など function in this sentence?

One of my life's strangest experiences was unexpectedly ending up in Cairo, where there was a sort of extremely cheap hotel full of Japanese backpackers, part of which is described below. ...
8
votes
2answers
259 views

The grammar of ~かれ~かれ

Consider these: 遅かれ早かれ 良【よ】かれ悪【あ】しかれ What is the underlying grammatical make up of this ~かれ~かれ pattern (if any)? Is this pattern productive(i.e. can be extended to arbitrary words)?
6
votes
4answers
987 views

Is this a proper use of tara and toki for “when”?

Consider: 気がついたら皆さんは寝ていた。 気がついたとき皆さんは寝ていた。 My English interpretation: When I woke up (came to), everyone was sleeping. Is "when" enough to capture the nuances of the Japanese sentences? ...
2
votes
1answer
455 views

The meaning of ~のみ

What is the meaning/significance of ~のみ? Does it have anything to do with 身 or 見? Some example sentences: しかし、予算の制限のため、差し当たり実験機のみを製造することになった。 But budget restrictions have allowed them to ...
4
votes
1answer
180 views

Understanding the grammar of 当て

I'm trying to understand the grammar behind 当て, and after a bit of investigation I still don't quite understand a could of points. The definition that I found for it is (n) depend on, expectations, ...
8
votes
4answers
472 views

なんか after て- form of a verb

I am confused by the use of なんか, especially after the て-form of a verb. What do: あきらめてなんかない, 消えてなんかない mean? How do they differ from simply saying あきらめていない, 消えていない? What is the purpose of なんか?
6
votes
1answer
228 views

What's the grammar of 持ちつ持たれつ?

持ちつ持たれつ (meaning approximately "supporting eachother") is commonly heard, but seems to be formed from some archaic grammar. I'm assuming it's an archaic form of 持って持たれて or something like that, but ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

How can I improve my Japanese vocabulary, grammar, and listening skills? [closed]

I consider myself at a lower intermediate level. I want to improve my Japanese vocabulary and grammar in order to expand my reading and speaking skills. I know enough Japanese to get around and have a ...
3
votes
2answers
234 views

Is 眠たい an adjective?

I was told 眠たい was an adjective, and that it is an exceptional case. How does it work as an adjective and what is its relation to the verb 眠る?
3
votes
2answers
394 views

2 versions of tara ii no ni

What is the difference in usage and meaning of: 行ったらいいのに =V/conditional and 行けたらいいのに = V/potential/conditional Can both be translated as "If only I could go..."? Thanks!
0
votes
1answer
237 views

How is this verb being conjugated and contracted?

" こんな馬鹿みたいな帽子かぶせやがって!!” " こんなくそみたいな帽子かぶせやがって!!” " こんなくそみたいな帽子かぶせんじゃねーよ!!” I believe I'm looking at a conjugation and contraction of the verb かぶる. What is the original conjugation and ...
0
votes
1answer
138 views

What is the meaning of 「…みけんならみけん…」?

I'm reading a book on how to draw manga style characters, and I came across this sentence. It is part of a larger block explaining how to make a character look the same from all different angles. ...
9
votes
3answers
453 views

Problems with は and が

Consider: [A] 猫が好きだ To me this means [A']"I like cats." Contrast this to: [B] 猫は好きだ To me this means [B']"I like cats (among other animals)" I based my understanding of [B] from Derek ...
4
votes
1answer
116 views

Help with newspaper shorthand

I was reading a short news article on students taking entrance exams in Japan, and it listed the number of students from the prefecture who took what test. Here is the excerpt I had a question about: ...
6
votes
2answers
440 views

Changing a question into a request for advice

How can I change a statement like どこへいきますか to mean "Where should I go"? Basically, what is the rule for changing a question into a request for advice?
4
votes
1answer
247 views

How is ほか used as a conjunction?

What does ほか mean when it is used in a sentence like this: [situationA] ほか, [situationB]" Specifically I would like a little help clarifying the following sentence: ...
6
votes
2answers
679 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
309 views

Why is を used in this situation? 私は先生がネコを好きだと思います

私は先生がネコを好きだと思います Why を and not が twice?
5
votes
3answers
242 views

Can でありますように be followed by a verb?

来年は是非明るい年でありますように願うばかりです I hope that the next year will be great for you Is this sentence grammatically incorrect? In what way(s)? If incorrect, why can でありますように not be followed by an explicit ...
3
votes
1answer
144 views

How are で and ばかりused in this expression?

来年は是非明るい年でありますように願うばかりです I hope that the next year will be great for you Why is で used in 年であります? Is であります an older form of です? Also, what would the ばかり translate to here? I thought maybe it ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

How does this ように work?

今年も良い年でありますように! I hope you have another good year! What is going on exactly where the ように means hope? Does the よう derive from a verb? I would also like to know how to describe this word in the ...
5
votes
1answer
306 views

Help with には and にとって

I need help understanding why にとって cannot be used in this circumstance: その仕事は私{には/*にとって}出来ない。 ( * denotes unacceptable) This is what I read: にとって cannot be used when it marks an experiencer ...
2
votes
1answer
129 views

How is 信じる being conjugated here?

信じようと信じまいと Believe it or not How is 信じる being conjugated here? I am unfamilar with the stem + まい pattern, if anyone could explain the ins and outs of that, or provide a more literal translation ...
3
votes
1answer
187 views

What is the underlying grammar in the difference between `足らない` and `足りない`?

Based on the comments from Tsuoyshi Ito's answer to Translation of 竜すらも恐るるに足らない, 恐るるに足らない/恐るるに足りない is a set phrase meaning "not worth fearing". Based on my understanding of 一段 verbs like 足りる, ...
3
votes
2answers
307 views

How do I add an object to noun を します verbs?

When you want to associate a noun を します action (what English-speakers would call "verbing a noun") with a specific noun, what particles are used and where? For example, if I was saying "I study", you ...
1
vote
1answer
156 views

How does this で work?

日本女性で電車の中で化粧をする人を見ると恥ずかしいくて嫌な気持ちになる。 In my understanding, the で following 日本女性 could correspond here to the english "of," or "speaking of." Thus one interpretation of this sentence (though in ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the difference between なぜなら、だから、and なので?

I'm trying to get clarification on how to use these three pieces of grammar and whether or not they all hold some kind of "Because" meaning.
5
votes
2answers
331 views

What is the って in 連れてってくれる?

ALC can give several examples of this, not only in 連れてって: いつ私たちを湖に連れてってくれるの? When are you going to take us to the lake? これ、帰りに叔母さんとこ、持ってってちょうだい。Will you take this to your aunt on your way home ...
7
votes
1answer
230 views

Difference Between べんきょう する And べんきょうを する

What is the difference between べんきょう する and べんきょうを する.
3
votes
2answers
461 views

Sentence ending に and のに compared to their non-sentence-ending form

Consider these: [A] 僕はいい仕事があったら美智子さんと結婚出来ただろうに [B] 僕はいい仕事があったら美智子さんと結婚出来たのに Is に in [A] related to the case particle に? Is のに in [B] related to the use of のに as a conjunction in ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the correct way to say: “where are you going?”

What is the correct way to say "where are you going?"? Is it: あなたはどこに行きますか or あなたはどこに行くの Also, can someone please explain that の in "あなたはどこに行くの"?
4
votes
1answer
264 views

Usage and reading of the Ampersand

In English, & is rather frequently used to mean "and". How should & be read in Japanese? I think these are some likely readings: や と アンド Case 1: Assume sentence structure is of the form ...
6
votes
2answers
850 views

The different usages of ことがある

If I understand correctly, the main usages of ことがある seem to be the following: Verb(plain)+ことがある: There are times when (I) Verb(past)+ことがある: (I) have experienced (something) before But after this ...
11
votes
1answer
341 views

usage of「ご迷惑をおかけ・・・」variants for a business apology

I have to apologize for a procedural error at work, and am unsure about selecting the right form of apology from the variants of 「ご迷惑をおかけ・・・」: 1.「ご迷惑【めいわく】をおかけして申【もう】し訳【わけ】ございません。」 ...
6
votes
1answer
404 views

Comparing three or more things

To compare two things, I would use: りんごのほうがみかんより美味しいです。 i.e. noun のほうがnoun よりadjective But how can I say, "Out of these five fruits, apples are the most delicious"? Or "Out of Seoul, Tokyo, and ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

How to use から and だから as conjunctions?

Recently I was studying the use of から and だから as conjunctions. Could anyone explain why one is used in these examples while the other is not? Are there rules as to whether から and だから can follow a ...
6
votes
3answers
367 views

what exactly does the suffix とはいえ mean?

I came across the structure [V simple-past]とはいえ、、、、 and I can't figure out exactly what it means. I found this いえ is 言え, and it means the same as とは言うものの...Which I don't really understand perfectly ...
1
vote
2answers
311 views

もらえる, 見える rules

From what I learned, もらえる = もらうことが出来る 'can be got' 見える = 見ることが出来る 'can be seen' This looks like there is some kind of a more general rule for this transformation. If there is a ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there a form for “I have never heard of”?

Some examples of what I'm trying to convey: I have never heard that song before. I have never heard of Miyazawa Kenji I have never heard of that before? I've never heard of that store? ...
8
votes
4answers
573 views

How does “ ~ずにはいられない ” work?

時代の流れを感じずにはいられない。 I can't help but feel time passing by. 彼のことを同情せずにはいられない。 I can't help but to feel sorry for him. 私は、彼の才能を賞賛せずにはいられない。 I can't help but admire his talent. Would ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I say “I am the best” ? の,は or が and 私 or 俺?

I'm making a shirt for a (rather egotistical) friend of mine and so am trying to do something with the slogan "I am the best" for fun. I need something with four characters only, and would like to ask ...
8
votes
1answer
549 views

When to use 他【ほか】の or 他【ほか】に

I always thought only 他の existed, but my teacher uses 他に a lot. Are there differences between when each can be used? Here are two examples of each from my online dictionary: だれかほかの人に聞いてごらん (Ask ...