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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5
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2answers
359 views

What is the difference in terms of grammar between きり and っぱなし?

I'm pretty sure there is a difference between the use of these two words. I came across the example sentences: 息子は、自分の部屋に入ったきり出てこない。 母は入院している父をつきっきりで看病している。 電車が混んでいて、東京まで立ちっぱなしだった。 I ...
2
votes
1answer
495 views

The difference between ~ようだ, ~ように見える, ~ように思える and ~みたい

In a Japanese English grammar textbook, "seems" is translated as ~のように見える, for example: He seemed to have been ill. 病気であったように見えた。 I've also seen "seems" written as ~(の)ように思える in various ...
9
votes
3answers
413 views

What are the rules for substituting の with ん?

I've noticed that sometimes the hiragana の can be shortened to ん. For example, 部屋のなか → 部屋んなか (inside of the room) 俺のうち → 俺んち (my house) 俺のところ → 俺んとこ (my place) (More examples can ...
3
votes
1answer
195 views

What particles can be used in the ~よう ~まい pattern?

In the pattern ~よう ~まい, I've found from several sources that you can use が and と (i.e ~ようが ~まいが), and using one over the other doesn't change the meaning or have a particular nuance. What's confusing ...
10
votes
1answer
289 views

Unifying concept for noun-adjectives of the pattern Xかな

Consider these: ~か: 静か 愚か 厳か ~やか: 穏やか 鮮やか 賑やか ~らか: 柔らか 滑らか 明らか There are many more that I've not listed. The か/やか/らか at the end of these words ...
12
votes
2answers
354 views

What is the te-form of 問う?

What is the correct te-form of 問う? Is it 問って or 問うて or both?
8
votes
1answer
264 views

Can the word まだしも be broken up into distinct meanings?

I'm studying grammar, and one of the new forms that I'm learning uses the word まだしも. I looked it up and I found: 類語: まだいいが / まだ何とかなるが Based on how the word is used in the following ...
9
votes
1answer
421 views

Is 「3人いるだと」 grammatical?

3人いるだと!? Can you say 3人いるだ as a statement? If だと is simply だ + と, I would expect 3人いるんだと. Is だと considered a particle in its own right, with different rules than だ? Transcription of the ...
3
votes
2answers
364 views

Does ~たり~たりする mean “and” or “or” in dictionary definitions?

I think that ~たり~たりする generally means "do things like (among other things)", but in dictionary definitions, can the pattern ~たり~たりする mean "and", "or" or "and/or"? In e.g. XたりYたりする would it imply ...
7
votes
1answer
617 views

When trying to convey 'apparently', when do you use, だそう, and when do you use そう?

I have seen both だそう and そう written at the end of a sentence to convey "apparently". Do you use だそう when trying to convey "according to" (によると)?
7
votes
1answer
817 views

〜ものだから 〜もの What are the differences?

What is the connotation when using 〜ものだから and 〜もの in a sentence? In my text, they state these examples: The first set is 〜ものだから: 上着を脱いでもいいですか。 暑いものですから。 Can I take my jacket off? I'm feeling ...
4
votes
1answer
136 views

Can we use すら without negation?

From what I understand, すら is commonly used with the negative conjugation (~ない, ~なかった) of verbs. For example: 「ひらがなすら書けない。」 I expected (him) to be able to write hiragana. But even hiragana, (he) ...
3
votes
1answer
144 views

Is を[noun]に, as in を条件に, a common construct?

I was a little confused by the following sentence because 条件 is a regular noun, but looking at examples I see that it means "on the condition of [object]": 財政危機におちいっているギリシャは、 ...
2
votes
2answers
336 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
197 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
678 views

The meaning of and difference between ~を中心に and ~をめぐって

What is the meaning of and difference between ~を中心に and ~をめぐって? Space ALC defines ~を中心に as "with a focus on" and ~をめぐって as "centering on", but I'm having trouble figuring out the meaning and ...
7
votes
1answer
298 views

understanding hōgejaku — an archaic imperative?

I would like to understand this Zen calligraphy: ...
2
votes
2answers
201 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
418 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
327 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
202 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
971 views

Stative verbs: ~ている vs ~てある vs ~(ら)れる

I'm not sure if I'm wording this properly, but I want to know the nuances of these "stative" type verb forms that act kind of like adjectives. For example, you could describe an open window with any ...
8
votes
2answers
458 views

Come to ~: ~てくる vs. ~ようになる

Can someone please explain the fine nuances of these two? Things such as: Are there conditions/restrictions of when you can use one or the other? What are the "approximate" time periods that each ...
3
votes
2answers
927 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
296 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
407 views

What does 遅れに遅れて mean?

I'm pretty sure ~れに~れて is a grammar form that I have studied in my JLPT textbooks, but I came across it again in a text and I can't for the life of me find it again in my grammar dictionaries. I also ...
10
votes
1answer
299 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
246 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
113 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.
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?
4
votes
2answers
125 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
293 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: ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Is there a difference between んがため and ために?

My JLPT textbook has a section about the use of んがため, which they define as "making an effort in order to realize the intended purpose." Which to me sounds like plain ol' ために. For example, they have ...
8
votes
3answers
732 views

What exactly does とばかりに mean?

My JLPT textbook has a section on the use of ~とばかりに. It explains that the term means to do something with such a strong implication that the meaning is obvious, even though one isn't directly stating ...
8
votes
2answers
736 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
205 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
11k views

だって (datte) meaning

What are the possible uses for だって?
3
votes
4answers
447 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
179 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
146 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, ...
4
votes
1answer
240 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
145 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)?
5
votes
1answer
292 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
190 views

Cohortative ましょう with and without the auxiliary construction ~てみる

In "何かしてみましょう。" meaning "Let's try/do something.", what is the literal translation of "してみましょう"? I've got "して" means "doing" and "みましょう" means "let's watch or let's?". How is "してみましょう" different ...
6
votes
4answers
233 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
234 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
198 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
604 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 〜". ...
8
votes
2answers
353 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 ...