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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what does 何(+counter)+も+volitional mean? e.g. 何機も買おう

I found this sentence as an answer to the question "what are some of the symbols of Japan's wealth?" 次期主力戦闘機を何機も買おうとしていること I'm not sure wether it means they're buying a lot of next-generation ...
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137 views

Imperative before と言う

Does using the imperative form (i.e., よこす → よこせ) before と言う mean "[He] said I have/had to..."? I saw this sentence used: シートが砂で汚れたから、クリーニング代よこせと言いました! I think this sentence basically means: Because ...
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132 views

Question about 仕事 vs. 仕事場

While studying Japanese through Rosetta Stone, I've run across these two sentences: 私は仕事に行きます。 私は仕事場にいます。 I'm confused as to why the first sentence doesn't use "仕事場" since the person is going to ...
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542 views

Verbs which are more frequently used to built the honorific passive forms

I'd like to ask you a question about this honorific form. I will give an example as detailed as possible to make this question clear. The verb yomu is often used in passive form to show respect: ...
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306 views

Combining two い-adjectives without using て

In the JLU chat, Flaw recently typed up some instructions printed on a Japanese product. Here's what they said: 直射日光の当たらない涼しい所に保管してください It appears that 所 is modified by two phrases: ...
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199 views

足って used in Ponyo Song [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What are these forms: かけちゃお, つないじゃお? Is this って equivalent to 「と」? From the Ponyo theme song: ペータペタ ピョーンピョン 足っていいな かけちゃお! Why is 足 given the て conjugation, as if ...
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279 views

How does は apply itself to によっては?

From the question: "How does the use of いかんによっては in this question determine one answer over another?", it is observed that: The use of によって means to change state or behaviour depending on, or ...
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688 views

Why do we use 楽しめそう and 楽しみ rather than 楽しい・楽しそう in these sentences?

Could someone explain why we use 楽しめそう instead of 楽しそう in the first sentence and what exactly 楽しみ means and why? (The translations are my best guess at what the sentences might mean.) ...
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252 views

What does そこによるところは大きい mean?

could anyone help me with a sentence? It was from an article in the Asahi about the leadership change in North Korea. The full sentence is 拉致被害者の早い救出も、そこによるところは大きい。I understand the first part of the ...
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225 views

What is the difference between 「Adj-さと言ったらなかった」&「Adj-いと言ったらなかった」?

Could someone explain the difference between the following two expressions: 恐ろしさといったらなかった 恐ろしいといったらなかった I am struggling with the first which my text book tells me means とても恐ろしかった. Why is ...
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234 views

What is the ったい / -ttai suffix called?

In response to my question about くすぐったい, I was told of the specific suffix in use, the "ったい." What is this ったい / -ttai suffix called in English and in Japanese (or what would one call it if it does ...
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304 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: ...
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509 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!
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567 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 ...
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156 views

Does this と mean “and” or “with”?

Recenly, with Facebook's new "feed" feature, whatever the heck that is, I've been seeing this notification coming up a lot: [Friend One]さんと[Friend Two]さんがフィード購読{こうどく}を許可{きょか}しています。 I have to ...
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387 views

Is 「なので」actually a short-form for「それなので」?

In Tae Kim's Guide there is a conversation that goes like this: Tom: 時間がなかった。 Mary: だからパーティーに行かなかったの? I was wondering is 「だから」 actually a short-form of 「それだから」 ? Similarly, in the ...
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150 views

S1 たら S2, with S2 being past tense AND volitional

So I was reading through A Dictionary of Basic Japanese grammar and I noticed a strange contradiction in the たら and あとで entries. In the あとで entry we see the following note: Vinf·past ato de can ...
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73 views

What's the difference between ために/ため, ように and のに meaning “in order to”?

I know they all mean "in order to" and similar translations, sometimes however I see that some are used instead of others. Also it's not clear if ために and ため have different usages. I know that ように is ...
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110 views

Plain Form of にくいです and とくいです

If I want to add から(because) to にくいです, would it become にくいだから or にくいから Also, if I want to add けれども to とくいです、is it とくいだけれども or とくいけれども Thank you!
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86 views

verb+ようにと、 or verb+かと、

Ch.16 of the textbook 中級から学ぶ日本語 introduces the ~と、 structure, with this example: 早く花がさくようにと、毎日水をやっている。 Without the と particle I would read this as 'I water the flowers everyday so that they ...
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87 views

What is the difference between 忘れないで and 忘れるなよ?

These two forms, ~ないで and the ~な particle seem to have similar meanings. Can someone please explain the difference between the two?
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121 views

I've never seen a sentence that uses か and は together like this before

交換プログラムに選ばれるのが難しいかやさしいかは、大学によって違うが、一般的に言えば、申し込む学生が多ければ多いほど、選ばれるのが難しくなる。 I've checked online but I can't seem to find a proper explanation on how かは is being used here. Individually, I know they ...
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131 views

How to understand the meaning of 愛{いと}しさ

I know that from adjective we can make adjectival noun like: 高{たか}い -> 高さ - means high and hight. But how to understand/translate the word 愛しさ? I heard it in one of C-ute songs.
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155 views

What happens if なの is used, but not at the end of a sentence?

大学から歩いてニ十分ぐらいの所に適当なのを見つけた。 What does it mean when なの is used in a sentence like the one above? The を that comes after it is really throwing me off. I came across a similar question on here but ...
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316 views

Do ちょうだい、ごらん、ください、おいで constitute an own class of part of speech?

They are all used after the Te-Form of Japanese verbs similar to subsidiary verbs, but they seem to differ from subsidiary verbs. What is their true nature?
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100 views

Meaning of 楽に済ませようとする

How should I translate this phrase? 楽に済ませようとする。 My literal translation is, "Decide to cause to finish/complete having fun," but that doesn't seem to make much sense. Does 楽に済む mean to enjoy ...
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112 views

In “[Vます stem] + し+ [noun]” what does し mean? [duplicate]

I've seen this in multiple combinations, but the one I was specifically looking at was: 「背負いし者」 ...from 「宿命を背負いし者」. Similarly, 「かつて来たりし者」 Scouring through all my grammar books, I can't ...
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246 views

Trouble understanding grammar in 「名を、柊という。」

In the novel I'm reading now (「キッチン」 by 吉本{よしもと}ばなな), there's this section where the protagonist is talking about her boyfriend's brother for the first time, introducing him to readers and giving his ...
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182 views

Can 「〜たら〜た。」structure mean “If I had~then I would have~”?

This is probably a basic question on tense / aspect in conditional sentences but I can't find an explanation and it would be very useful to resolve. I will illustrate my question with an example ...
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142 views

What is the difference between ~あろうが and ~あろうと?

I'm writing a report for a class, and at first I wrote:  […]どのような批判があろうが[…] But then I sat back and thought, maybe it should actually be:  […]どのような批判があろうと[…] But now I'm not sure if ...
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256 views

Meaning of 「のでは」

What does のでは mean in the following sentence? What changes if we write this sentence like this - デカイ腹に集中した、というのが? ...
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192 views

How to read 連体形 + 上

Taking an example from a page naruto linked in another thread: 外国人が日本語を習得する上で難しい点がたくさんあります。 My inclination is to read this as うえ since it's followed by で, however I've got a nagging feeling it ...
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148 views

Do you find this use of 信じてもらえなくなる to be odd?

On the following reddit thread: http://www.reddit.com/r/LearnJapanese/comments/21l6aa/meaning_of_自分も信じてもらえなくなるってことだ/ the following sentence was posted, with a number of people trying to interpret ...
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186 views

Particle に (and で) in this sentence

I don't get why に is used in addition to は in the following sentences. 指示詞 に はコソアドで始まる規則的な体系があります。 Concerning the demonstratives, there is a regular system (of words, i guess) that starts by ...
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124 views

Question about 「その」 usage

I have a question about その手 part in this text. As far as I can guess 真琴 is talking about her own hand, but in this case shouldn't it be with この, "my hand". The only thought I have is that 真琴's hand, ...
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176 views

Do adverbs necessarily modify the first verb after it?

Specifically in a case like this: 私が迷っているうちに、次第に登校する生徒の数は少なくなり、予鈴が鳴った。 Does 次第に modify 登校する or 少なくなり? I thought that maybe 登校する生徒の数 is considered as one unit and thus 次第に modifies 少なくなり. Is that ...
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331 views

Why do things which attach to the 連用形 of 動詞 attach to the stem of 形容詞?

When you want to connect a 活用語 (inflectable word) to something else, generally you inflect it to the 連用形 (continuative form). However, with 形容詞 (i-adjectives), there are certain times where you affix ...
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113 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 ...
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311 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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110 views

The に in ように… Is it consistent?

Is the に particle in ように consistent in all its uses? For example... 1/ 明日は晴れるように or 覚えるようにします I understand the に here to be a target particle for what you are wishing for or trying to achieve. 2/ ...
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507 views

What's the meaning of とこに?

Pretty much I couldn't find this とこに in my dictionary so I was wondering what it means. Here the context to better understand: あんなとこにタオル落ちてる Also is あんな a slang for あのな? Thanks in advance c: I ...
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319 views

How can I understand など followed by a noun phrase?

The following two sentences are from 日本語文法ハンドブック, page 116: 移動を表す表現にはいくつかありますが、「行く」と「来る」は補助動詞としての用法を持つ点で文法的に重要です。補助動詞としての「〜ていく」と「〜てくる」(この場合は普通ひらがなで書きます)には、話し手など文中の特定の人物の視点を基準にした空間的な移動の方向性を示す用法と、特定 ...
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525 views

What's the difference between どうして and どうやって?

I've read on Stack Exchange that どうやって can be used to mean "what did you do in order to x" どうやってお医者になったか? — What did you do in order to become a doctor? This definition makes a lot of sense to ...
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296 views

Help me please with やらなればならない

Tell me please what is the meaning of やらなればならない, maybe it's やらなければならない but still... Full sentence: 国がやらなればならない全てのことを、不蝕金鎖が担い、一定の秩序をつくりあげたのだ。 Thank you very much for the help!
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90 views

Where is the personal comparison in this phrase?

I was browsing a language exchange site and came across: 私のように明るく、前向きな方がいいです。 And the text under it (translation from the user who posted the entry) was: I'm hoping that you are cheerful and ...
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165 views

Help with a usage of 自慢

私は彼が自慢だ。 I'm Proud of Him 彼は私が自慢だ。 He is proud of me. I am confused by this pattern with 自慢. It kind of looks like 自慢 is being used as an adjective (?), but the definition in ...
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224 views

Can ごとに be replaced by それぞれ in this question?

正月は家ごとに門松を立てる。 For example, could I say 正月はそれぞれの家に門松をたてる。 If so, the meaning remains the same, or are there any subtle nuances that comes with each word? It seems to me, whenever i see sentences ...
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200 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 ...
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150 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 ...
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424 views

What are the “slots” in the Japanese agglutinative verb system?

In another question we established that Japanese is an agglutinating language (more here), if only in its verb system. Since it is not traditional in Japanese grammar or teaching to go into this ...