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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1answer
569 views

Different ways to show intention to do something

How can one say "I am going to", express intention to do something in the future. I know some expressions such as: たいと思う -  I'm going to/ I want to ましょう - I will/ Why don't I ...
3
votes
1answer
374 views

How does this たる function in this JLPT sentence?

Please bear with me as I reveal my tenuous grasp on advanced grammar... While studying for the Grammar section of the JLPT (N1) I came across this grammar point to study: たる I came across a lot of ...
8
votes
2answers
350 views

The meaning of 切る on the end of verbs

Is there a general meaning for 切る on the end of verbs? I think it might have to do with "completely doing" something. If that's the case, how does ~切る on the end of verbs differ from ~てしまう, for ...
7
votes
4answers
346 views

Analyzing sentences like 日本がピンチだ and 明日は雨だ

How are sentences like 日本がピンチだ (Japan is in a pinch) and 明日は雨だ (tomorrow it will rain) analyzed? Translating them trivially, as 日本がピンチだ Japan is a pinch 明日は雨だ Tomorrow is rain doesn't make ...
-1
votes
1answer
362 views

男が空き缶などに入れた唾液を女子高生の制服や頭に直接かける

With the following sentence: 西東京市内では昨年12月〜今年2月、男が空き缶などに入れた唾液を女子高生の制服や頭に直接かける事件がほかに3件発生。 Does 空き缶などに入れた modify 唾液? Does it mean 唾液 was put in an empty can?
0
votes
1answer
98 views

grammar in a specific sentence

With the following sentence: 自分の唾液を入れたポリ袋を女子高校生の背中に投げ付けたとして、警視庁田無署は6日までに、暴行の疑いで埼玉県新座市野寺、派遣社員工藤清哉容疑者(41)を逮捕した。 Does 自分の唾液を入れた modify ポリ袋? Does it make sense? Is ポリ袋 the object of the verb ...
-1
votes
2answers
452 views

What does 女子高生に唾液かけた疑い 逮捕の男「困る姿楽しい」 mean?

What does the following sentence mean? 女子高生に唾液かけた疑い 逮捕の男「困る姿楽しい」 Especially the relationships between: 唾液 and かけた 困る姿 and 楽しい Is 困る姿 楽しい?
5
votes
2answers
567 views

This use より baffles me

From the anime Noir, Episode 2. Context: The husband comes home and his wife and son greet him outside. Wife: おかえりなさい。今日は早いのね? Husband: ああ、思ったより早く仕事が終わってね。 The wife's line, I get. The ...
4
votes
1answer
419 views

が早いか versus や否や

が早{はや}いか and や否{いな}や both seem to mean "as soon as". They describe a relation between two actions, where one action occurs when another does. I'm a little fuzzy on the difference, though. I think, ...
6
votes
3answers
581 views

Which ところ is this?

I had my sentence of 今日は友達の車で警告を読んで、和英翻訳してみることにします ("Today I will read the warning in my friend's car and try to do a Japanese to English translation of it") corrected to become: ...
6
votes
2answers
170 views

What is the meaning of なす? Specifically when preceded by a color

I came across this phrase in a book: 緑なす半島 Obviously (and also confirmed by Weblio) it is describing a quality of the peninsula, but I'm curious as to what exactly it means, and how/when it can ...
4
votes
2answers
299 views

~たい forms of double-subject sentences

I ocasionally hear sentences such as 髪が長くなりたい I want long hair 心が美しくありたい I want to have a beautiful heart Although I might use similar constructions myself, I do not consider them fully ...
2
votes
3answers
293 views

Does contraction and elision affect formation of relative clause?

For example, やらなければならない can modify 時 to form やらなければならない時 and I know that the adjective い ending can simply have a noun appended after it. However when it's contracted to やらなきゃ can I simply add a ...
5
votes
2answers
434 views

How many verb endings to express “do this (please)”?

I'm familiar with the て and てください forms of a verb to give a command/request and request, respectively. However, I've run across these other forms and really don't know which to use in what situation. ...
4
votes
2answers
302 views

What does the うち in ならないうちに mean?

日本人には、見知らぬ人と会話を始めてまだくつろいだ気分にならないうちに、相手の、年齢や地位、既婚か未婚かなどの個人的な事柄を知りたがる傾向がある。 There is a tendency for Japanese to want to know a certain amount of personal information about someone such as age, ...
7
votes
3answers
388 views

たり sentence without the final たり

I just read a sentence in an answer key as follows: 雨が降ったら、買い物をしたり、おいしい物を食べるつもりです。 I would have thought that the sentence should be: 雨が降ったら、買い物をしたり、おいしい物を食べたりするつもりです。 Is there any ...
5
votes
2answers
333 views

How do I accurately convey “enough to make a difference”?

I want to say "it's different enough to make a difference," but I'm struggling a bit to get there. Partly because the two uses of "different" in this sentence are doing two different jobs. The first ...
5
votes
2answers
567 views

Using げ to turn adjectives and nouns into adverbs

「自慢げに話す」「得意げに話す」「誇らしげに話す」 Is this げ a simple way to turn adjectives and nouns into adverbs? (are the first two examples nouns turned into adverbs, or were they adjectives as well to begin with?)
7
votes
2answers
226 views

What is the difference between あるまい and ありません?

From what I understand, they both mean "is not". But from what I've been able to gather from the few times I've heard it, it seems that あるまい may not be as strong or definitive as ありません. Am I on the ...
2
votes
1answer
237 views

“Rather than”-construction

I found these two sentences which seem to me to be quite similar in the translation but are constructed in a different way: 魚を食べる ぐらいなら 飢えたほうがましだ 'I rather starve than eat fish.' 恥 よりも ...
1
vote
1answer
226 views

Particle confusion

I'm about halfway through Genki II, and the particles are starting to mess with me like never before. In particular を, が and に. I know the general principles like が and に making a subject or indirect ...
6
votes
1answer
332 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
939 views

In what way is the negative form of a verb an adjective?

I was reading the wikipedia page on "predicate," where it mentioned that in Japanese, the negative form of a verb is an adjective. I thought that this was too expansive a statement to be true, but ...
5
votes
2answers
919 views

食べたそうだ vs. 食べそうだ, 静かだそうだ vs. 静かそうだ

I saw this as a comment on this question, Why does そう in 「美味しいそう」 not mean "seem" the way I think it should?-そう-in-「美味しいそう」-not-mean-seem-the-way-i-think-it-should, and would love to ...
5
votes
3answers
513 views

How do you express “did” + verb in Japanese?

For instance, you can ask someone: Did you go to the store today? or You went to the store today? Would those both be translated as: 今日、乾物屋{かんぶつや}に行ったか? Or is there another way to ...
5
votes
2answers
553 views

understanding 対する

これが私の手紙に対する彼の返事だ。 This is his answer to my letter. 自分の中の彼に対する気持ちをどう表現していいのか分からないの。I don’t know how to express how I really feel to him. 彼に対して、彼を好きという私の気持ちを、どう表せばいいか、わからない。 I don't know ...
6
votes
2answers
512 views

What would be the difference in meaning between 違っていた and 違った?

昔は違っていた。 昔は違った。 It was different a long time ago. Do these two Japanese sentences mean the same thing? Here is the sentence in the original context. The translations are not mine, but ...
4
votes
3answers
561 views

How does だからって usually work?

馬鹿だからって知らないわけじゃない I translated this sentence as "It's not like I don't know that I'm stupid," while my friend who wrote it translated it as "I'm stupid, but I know that." So I feel I understand ...
4
votes
1answer
202 views

What is the equivalent use of need and need + Verb?

If I see someone struggling to pick up a box, I'd say: "Do you need help with that?" Or I have to run an errand very soon, I could say: "I need to buy this gift by 4 pm." Or if someone's car has ...
2
votes
3answers
540 views

い-Adjective declension apparent inconsistency when turning into a noun

Consider these adjectives: 赤い 近い The い-declension works for sentence ending as well as directly modifying a noun: Now if I want to express the adjective as a noun, for example I'm talking about ...
5
votes
1answer
430 views

Confusion between causatives and intransitive-transitive

I read the answer to this question How different is 冷やかす from 冷やす? And 散らかす from 散らす? but somehow wasn't satisfied. What's the difference between the 2 causative forms ~す and ~せる, e.g. 待たす and ...
1
vote
1answer
304 views

How to use こと when expressing the experience of something?

v.。。。ことが。。。。。 How can i talk about the experience of something using こと? 買うことがdきます。 would this be the experience of being able to buy? If you understand my problem please show me more examples!
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votes
2answers
580 views

Sentence ending のを(だ)

I do not understand the meaning of のを: a. 彼は家を買った。 しかも大きい庭付きのを(だ)。 (だ is indicated as optional) Is it different from: b. 彼は家を買った。 しかも大きい庭付きだ。 (I'm not sure if this is grammatical) c. ...
4
votes
1answer
209 views

What does the verb 好く do?

Observation: The verb 好く exists. 好く is transitive. By extension, "to like ~" is predicted to be: a. ~を好く。 However, empirical data shows that this pattern is the accepted form: b. ~が好きだ。 ...
6
votes
2answers
168 views

Is その always or only occasionally a demonstrative adjective?

The following Japanese sentence was translated with その as "the": その 仕事の一部を誰かにやってもらったほうがいい。 You should get someone else to do some of the work for you. while I translated it with その as "that": ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Passive vs. active form of verb (past) What is the difference?

I was wondering what the difference is if I use passive form or active form of a verb. For example: ネズミは猫に食べられた。The mouse was eaten by the cat. 猫は、ネズミを食べた。The cat ate the mouse. What EXACTLY is ...
5
votes
1answer
104 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
291 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 ...
9
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 ...
4
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
859 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
204 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
481 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
697 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?
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votes
1answer
115 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
267 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)?
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votes
4answers
1k 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? ...
3
votes
1answer
485 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
195 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
484 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?