文法. 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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Jlpt/n5q5: 弟は部屋◯掃除をしました。◯: の versus に option

In the JLPTN5, 5th question, "弟は部屋◯掃除をしました" I'm trying to understand why the の option is more appropriate than the に option. Both appear to be correct in English. With に we are taking "the room" as ...
3
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2answers
170 views

What is the difference between できました and しました?

The answer to this question explains how できる can have more uses than just as a potential verb. However, are there any differences in usage between できます and します? They both seem like they can be used to ...
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2answers
111 views

Need help translating a sentence - あるひ?

I'm trying to read a children's book and have already gotten stumped by the first sentence. "context" The picture shows an autumn day. It reads: ある つめたい かぜの ふく ひ。 So far I've got ... (chilly ...
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2answers
136 views

Grammatical name of the form used before -て, -たり, -た, -たら?

I'm looking for the Japanese name of the specific verbal form used before -て, -たり, -た, -たら: verb → 連用形 ren.yōkei → XXXX → + -て, -たり, -た, -たら 書く → 書き → 書い → 書いて, 書いたり, ...
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2answers
127 views

Order of verbs in this sentence

I'm trying to translate the English sentence below into Japanese: Each theory has a different understanding of how countries like China, Japan and South Korea behave towards each other. My best ...
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4answers
554 views

How do you use “omou” in the past tense? [closed]

For example, how would you say "I thought you were in Japan"? How about any other samples on how to use omou in past tense?
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1answer
309 views

Meaning of させてもらう + 事にする in this sentence

The sentence is taken from a manga in which the character kills people at a TV station in order to threaten the world : おはよう世界の諸君...これからほんのわずかな時間だけ... Hello (ladies and gentlemen of the) ...
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2answers
202 views

Using declarative だ with negative i-adjectives

I am complete beginner and I've got a question that I wish to ask you: When negating an i-adjective (-くない), should we, as in the affirmative form, omit the declarative "だ"? For example, is it ...
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1answer
136 views

Using も in place of を

I'm currently trying to get back into studying Japanese. I want to take the JLPT N3 this summer. To get myself in the mode for this I am first looking at the N4 tests on the JLPT website. The ...
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2answers
138 views

Are both of these sentences grammatically correct? (stem+に+行く vs て+行く)

These are the sentences: ユニオンへサンドイッチを買いに行きました。 ユニオンへサンドイッチを買って行った。 Are they both grammatically correct? Also do they both mean the same thing, which by my translation is "I went to the ...
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198 views

Trouble parsing sentence with 合わず

I am a beginner Japanese student. I was reading this short text and have problem with this particular sentence (end of second paragraph). 盲導犬を飼いはじめて最初は、二人の息が合わず街に出かけても失敗ばかりでした。 Let's try to go ...
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1answer
1k views

Why does replacing だ to である changes the meaning of a the sentence?

「彼は映画スターであり、政治家もだ。」 means "He is a movie star, and a politician is a movie star, too" (from Tsuyoshi's comment below this other post) 「彼は映画スターであり、政治家でもある。」 means "He is a movie star and also a ...
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1answer
145 views

Can using ある in place of いる be offensive?

Considering that ある is objectifying wouldn't it be offensive to use it in いる's place when talking about a person, or would it just be seen as a mistake?
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2answers
303 views

How to express that you “find” something boring, interesting etc

How can I express the nuance "I 'find' studying Japanese interesting"? 日本語を勉強していることが面白い Studying Japanese is interesting 日本語を勉強していることが面白いと思う I think studying Japanese is interesting ...
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2answers
184 views

Meaning of だけども / ですけども

I was watching はじめしゃちょー on youtube, and I noticed that he keeps adding だけども / ですけども at the end of sentences. I fully understand the usage of けど, however I have never encountered も (or is it ...
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1answer
286 views

help with translation! what's ようわからんなんて?

In a manga I found this line: よう わからんなんて、こっちの台詞だ。 What's that よう at the beginning? Is different from "you ni"? And わからんなんて? Since the character is confused about a phrase another one said, ...
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2answers
151 views

What's the difference between 最近、このごろ and 近頃?

I always thought that they had similar meanings, however I got an exercise where I got all 3 of them and one only is the right choice.
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2answers
176 views

Making sense of をと

どのような状況下であっても必ず十分な結果をと思い必死に過ごした3か月でした。 I'm only able to understand "No matter what circumstances you are put through..." and then something about producing sufficient results- the words that ...
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2answers
176 views

Do you need to use の when using へ to modify a noun?

For example, I was listening to a song, and the lyric 願いや野望や空想が知らない次元【レベル】へドアをたたいて came up. Don't you usually need to use a の to make 知らない次元へのドア or else 知らない次元へ might get confused as modifying たたいて? ...
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1answer
221 views

Is saying 「XはYは…」 acceptable?

In いっすんぼうし, a very popular fairy tale, this line appears: だいじんは からだは ちいさいけれど げんきな いっすんぼうしを たいそう きにいり じぶんの いえで はたらかせることにしました。 Is 「だいじんは からだは」 grammatically correct? What would be done to make ...
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289 views

Is は used when asking if something already discussed exists?

If I've talked about a thing before, and want to ask whether or not it exists in another place (or time), would I use "は"? For example, if I said "In Sydney, I saw a ryokan. Are there ryokans in ...
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478 views

Trouble parsing sentence with どうしても and a triple negative

I am using an easy-to-read VN to get some grammar experience. The following sentence has been troubling me for about half an hour now: 生徒会に入ったら、どうしてもこっちを着なきゃだめなの? The topic of 着る is 制服 if that ...
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1answer
222 views

What does adding お at the end of a word change?

An example would be: "watashi wa cake o(お) tabetai". What does the お do? I tried on google translate and it seems it gives pertenence to that thing..like it belongs either to you or me..but I still ...
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3answers
189 views

Valid interpretations of the (first) て-form in 何かを犠牲にして、その上で、平和は成り立っている。

What are the valid interpretations of the (first) て-form in the following sentence? 何かを犠牲にして、その上で、平和は成り立っている。 I'm having difficulties assigning a definite meaning to this sentence. There seems ...
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1answer
331 views

Trying to make sense of some JLPT practice questions

Last year's JLPT tests were made available for download recently, and so to gauge my progress and plan what to study I decided to take the N2 test. I'm right at the threshold of passing (58% overall ...
3
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1answer
148 views

「こんな夢を見た。」- why not この?

This is the first line of 夏目漱石's story 第一夜, The first night. The story then goes on to describe the narrator's dream. It is translated as "I had dream" but I am struggling to align the normal meaning ...
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1answer
400 views

What does ちゃい in やっちゃいねぇ mean?

Context: おれはおれの信念に後悔するような事は何一つやっちゃいねぇ!これからもそうだ! What does the ちゃい in やっちゃい mean? I suppose it's not やっちゃう aka やってしまう...
3
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1answer
491 views

How do you say “like when you” or “the way you ”in Japanese?

SO basically, how do you say something like "talk to the boss the way you talk to your father!" You know with a threatening tone. Thanks in advance
3
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1answer
274 views

How do you ask for ordinality (order in a sequence)?

What phrase do you use to ask for the n-th position of an object? Is there a straightforward and general way to do so? e.g. order of childbirth, place did the runner finish Since you can use 3人目 ...
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325 views

Use of と in this sentence

I'm confused about how と is used in this sentence (乗るとすぐメールを・・・)... What purpose does it serve? 電車の中では携帯で話すことはできませんが、みんな電車に乗るとすぐメールを熱心に打っているのにびっくりしました。 Thank you!
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2answers
235 views

What's the difference between these two instances of “yearning”?

I have these two sentences in my JLPT practise book. They are in different sections, so the book isn't making a deliberate comparison, but I couldn't help but wonder about the similarities. ...
3
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1answer
172 views

Explain づき in the given sentence

First of all, hi everyone. In the beginning of an anime episode I often see a message to turn on the lights in the room and not to sit too close to the screen. Leaving some stuff out it looks like ...
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2answers
222 views

More fun with the present progressive

I found this example sentence in grammar book: 門の前に車が止まっています。 A car is parked in front of the gate. I was told that instead of 止まる, 停まる would be a more accurate fit for "parked". Does that ...
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3answers
842 views

Does this use of だろうか indicate assertion of an opinion?

I always get a bit confused with だろう, which I've asked about before. In my other question, I got the impression that たろう meant a certain amount of assertion, and だろうか left some room for uncertainty. ...
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2answers
903 views

Does anyone know which おり this is?

彼女は表情が生き生きとしておりとてもかわいい。 was translated awkwardly on ALC as She is very pretty for the liveliness of her expression. Which おり is this? I think I know it from the polite しております but is it here ...
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1answer
152 views

Can 差す be an intransitive verb?

WWWJDIC lists 差す as an intransitive verb, but in all of the example sentences I've seen it looks more like a transitive verb. So my question is, is 差す a transitive or intransitive verb?
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1answer
129 views

箱の中に何がありますか versus 箱の中に何がいますか when I don't know whether it is an animal or object

Suppose there is a box which can contain either an animal or object. I am confused in choosing either あります or います when asking the contents of the box. 箱の中に何がありますか。 箱の中に何がいますか。 Which should I use ...
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1answer
118 views

Old fashioned grammar structure?

I just read the short story 高瀬舟 and I got a bit confused by this sentence: [...]庄兵衛、まだどこやらに腑に落ちぬものが残っているので、なんだかお奉行さまにきいてみたくてならなかった。 In particular the last part of it, きいてみたくてならなかった きいてみたい + くて ...
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3answers
213 views

思うようにならず - what does it mean?

A definition of 辛気臭い【しんきくさい】 (三省堂): 思うようにならず、いらいらするさま。また、気がめいるさま Nara often implies something happening naturally, zu stands for 'without', so does the whole compound adverb stand for ...
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1answer
340 views

Why is the negative form of [べき] べからず?

On http://www.guidetojapanese.org/learn/grammar/should#part5, the author doesn't explain the etymology of べからず. Can anyone explain?
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1answer
170 views

とする(か) VS Volitional, conjectural and と思う

The speaker just finished preparing a ring for a tournament when he says this sentence by himself (there is no hearer in the scene) : さて...テレビ局に行くとするか。 I know that とする can mean "to decide to", ...
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1answer
140 views

What does 曰く mean when it is *not* preceded by a name?

Dictionary or other references are appreciated, as no dictionary I have referenced gives me an example of this kind of usage. Example: ...
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2answers
193 views

なんと versus どう usage

Consider the two questions: 1) せんせいの しつもんに なんと こたえました 2) せんせいの しつもんに どう こたえました I hope they both mean "How did you answer the teacher's question?" A previous question on this site suggested that なんと ...
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1answer
200 views

Meaning of ならずとも

This sentence is from a book about Japanese grammar written for native Japanese speakers: ところでこれに類したことは、寺村先生ならずとも、多くの日本語教師が経験することではないでしょうか。 The これ refers to a past incident where a Japanese ...
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4answers
545 views

What is the meaning of 座っておいで?

The おいで after the Te-form seems to convey a kind of command. Could you explain the usages of this word, what part of speech is it and how it differs from the other kinds of commands?
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3answers
188 views

Reason for 「のか」 and 「かもしれません」 in 「何を言っているのかわからないかもしれませんけど」

One time I was formulating sentences on a website, to practice my Japanese and get natives to correct them. I had written 「何が言ってわかりませんけど」 which I now understand was wrong, but when they corrected my ...
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1answer
108 views

How to say “As a <position>, …”

Example : As a friend, I think we should... What do you add to ともだち to add the "As a" prefix? Also, after that part, does the rest of the sentence follow the normal rules of a Japanese sentence? ...
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1answer
307 views

Difference between ~そう and ~見える when saying “how something looks” / “what something looks like”

Difference between 大きそう and 大きく見える when saying "how something looks" / "what something looks like" When talking about how something looks we can use ~そう. However, I have realized that the verb 見える ...
3
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1answer
102 views

Grammatically correct but good writing?

The following sentence comes from 中上級の日本語 magazine for february: 新聞記事は、記者がコツコツと取材をしてデータを集め、それをもとに出来事を調べたり、関係者の話を聞いたりして書かれています。 It is grammatically correct but I find the change from active to ...
3
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3answers
420 views

知らない方がいいって事もあるんです

Original video I am trying to decipher: 知らない方がいいって事もあるんです The translation that is provided with this phrase is "Some things are better off left unknown." I'm trying to break this down but I'm ...