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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

4
votes
1answer
167 views

Direct and indirect quotes

This question is inspired by this question. In English I can quote something in two ways: She said "Seeing you smile is better". She said that seeing me smile is better. One uses quotes, and ...
4
votes
3answers
189 views

Can someone explain how this massive sentence works

アメリカやヨーロッパなど6つの国は、イランが核兵器をつくろうとしているのではないかと考えて、経済制裁(=貿易などを禁止すること)を続けていました。 America and Europe etc plus 6 countries (this is the topic) Iran is trying to make nuclear weapons Since it is not ...
4
votes
1answer
222 views

Why is しまいました needed here?

According to a grammar book I'm reading, the sentence "宿題をしないで、学校に出掛けてしまいました" translates into "He went off to school without doing [his] homework." However, I do not understand either why (or even if) ...
4
votes
1answer
70 views

Role of 時に in 暗殺は勉強の妨げにならない時にと言ったはずです

Taken from the manga 暗殺教室. 暗殺【あんさつ】は勉強【べんきょう】の妨【さまた】げにならない時【とき】にと言【い】ったはずです My best guess for this sentence would be: I'm sure there has been a time I've told you that assassinations ...
4
votes
1answer
92 views

What is the purpose of か in this sentence?

In my opinion, it would not function as interrogation or alternative explanation. Here is the sentence. 電源ボタンを押すと表示される電源メニューで「電源を切る」をタッチするか、電源ボタンを電源ランプが消えるまで押し続けると、電源がOFFになります。
4
votes
2answers
140 views

たくさんの本を読んで versus 本をたくさん読んで

What is the difference between たくさんの本を読んで and 本をたくさん読んで? Is たくさん an adverb in this case? Another example, 多くの食料が輸入される and 食料が多く輸入される where 多く is an adverb here.
4
votes
2answers
141 views

What is the Japanese term for putting an arm around another's shoulder?

What is the Japanese term for putting an arm around another's shoulder? it is kind of hard, at first I am thinking of 抱きしめる but I think it is more about embracing someone (tightly). Thank you for the ...
4
votes
1answer
110 views

i-adjective followed by だ

All of my studies so far have suggested that i-adjectives never take だ (です can be used to make the sentence polite). Then I came across this sentence: 私が世界で一番偉いだって?? I'm the greatest in the ...
4
votes
1answer
198 views

Why can は and を sometimes be used interchangeably?

For example: 肉は食べますが、すしを食べません。
4
votes
2answers
567 views

Multiple “wo”s in a sentence?

I had always been told this never happened. I was a little skeptical, but since I never saw a sentence with two of the particle, I gradually came to accept that it was probably true. Well ironically, ...
4
votes
3answers
247 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
172 views

using 〜ば〜ほど with adverbs

You can use this construct with verbs: 食べれば食べるほど太る and with adjectives: ジェットコースターは高ければ高いほど楽しい but what about adverbs? if, for example, I wanted to say of a windmill "the faster it turns, the more ...
4
votes
1answer
307 views

Simultaneous actions with the -te form

In English you can use conjunction to express two simultaneous actions: I was standing in front of an audience and presenting a new technology. Or simply juxtapose two participles where one ...
4
votes
2answers
269 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. ...
4
votes
1answer
280 views

How are these two sentences not negating their premise?

In my JLPT textbook, 日本語総まとめN1読解, on page17, there are these two sentences (which are both part of a larger paragraph, but I hope I have included enough): ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Are there any common grammatical errors made by native Japanese speakers?

Sorry if this is a really open-ended question, but one thing occurred to me when I was asking a prior question here; are there any particular grammatical errors frequently made by native Japanese ...
4
votes
1answer
382 views

What does “忘れてしまう生き物” mean?

この間、時間を見つけては、過去の歴史をひもといてみたのだが、再認識させられたのは、人間というのは、どれほど多くの涙とともに飲み下した教訓であっても、喉元を過ぎたとたんに忘れてしまう生き物であるということだった. Especially, what is "忘れてしまう生き物" supposed to mean in "喉元を過ぎたとたんに忘れてしまう生き物であるということだった" ?
4
votes
2answers
2k 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
2answers
353 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
2k 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
2answers
94 views

How to say “Several times but each on different day” in Japanese?

English version: The teacher scolded Nakamura kun several times but each on different day. More precisely, for example, Nakamura kun got scolded on Sunday once, on Wednesday once, and on Friday ...
4
votes
2answers
147 views

ておく → とく in other contexts; similar 2-kana to 1-kana shortcuts?

Recently I learned that おいておいて ("leave it there") can be shortened in casual speech (or speech to subordinates) to おいといて. (ておく → とく). I also learned that this can be used for any verb attached to ておく ...
4
votes
3answers
182 views

Is there any case in which we can use 今日の間に?

I asked some Japanese and they said that 今日のうちに is practically useful but 今日の間に is impractical (never used). Can anybody here give a confirmation about whether 今日の間に is really impractical or not? ...
4
votes
1answer
112 views

Marking questions in a story narration

In English if someone asks a question in a narrative it would go something like: "Where are you going?" he asked. but rarely, if ever: "Where are you going?" he said. Is the same true ...
4
votes
1answer
154 views

Trouble interpreting に思う in その武具に思うことはいっぱいあるみたい

類は友を呼ぶじゃないけどね、やっぱり実際使って直接肌で感じる冒険者の方が、その武具に思うことはいっぱいあるみたい。 I'm having trouble interpreting this part of the sentence. What does に思う do here? Does その武具に思うこと mean something like: "Thoughts about the ...
4
votes
1answer
139 views

Meaning of んな after verb in て form

関口やナベちゃんに「そんなとこ、ボッと立ってんなよ」と言われたことを思いだし、情けなさそうにうなずいた。 He recalled being told by 関口やナベ that ??? and bowed his head miserably. To be honest, I'm stuck on everything in the quotes (something about ...
4
votes
1answer
147 views

「食べていると話す」 Can this have two meanings?

Can this mean (ignoring likelihood or awkwardness) both He says I'm eating and He starts talking if/when I'm eating ?
4
votes
2answers
110 views

~られる connotations

I was looking through A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar recently and found this as an example under ni (3): 一男{かずお}は友達に手紙を読まれた。 Kazuo's friend read his (= Kazuo's) letter (and Kazuo was ...
4
votes
2answers
197 views

A bunch of questions about ところ

I think the word ところ in my questions have nothing to do with 所{ところ}. Please correct me if I am wrong. Let us consider the following sentences. Case 1 これから食{た}べるところなんですが。。。 今食{た}べているところなんですが。。。 ...
4
votes
3answers
281 views

How to say 'in 10 minutes' as in 'the bus comes in 10 minutes'?

Would the sentence below make sense? バスがじゅっぷんにきます。
4
votes
2answers
177 views

Activity verbs vs Change verbs

My textbook makes a difference between verbs that describe activities and verbs that describe changes. Two examples given are: 話す - activity 結婚する - change It then goes on to say that 話している ...
4
votes
2answers
723 views

How to say noun with/without noun

How do I express the concept of with/without in the following sentences: I'd like a coffee with sugar please. The best I can do is to use 'and': コーヒーとさとうを下さい And for 'without': I'd ...
4
votes
2answers
592 views

Is there any difference between そこで and それで?

I know that they can both mean "so, therefore, because of that" etc., so what is the difference when I use them with that meaning?
4
votes
2answers
224 views

How does the negative form of である get to be ではない?

http://www.guidetojapanese.org/learn/grammar/formal#part3 doesn't explain the reason clearly. Can anyone explain?
4
votes
1answer
277 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", ...
4
votes
1answer
624 views

というものでもない vs. というわけではない

I recently saw the sentence on a grammar example site: 多ければよいというものでもない。 From this example, it seems that this sentence means the same thing: 多ければよいというわけじゃない。 Do these sentence in fact mean the ...
4
votes
2answers
203 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
456 views

Interpreting active/passive voice in Japanese

As this game is selling well, I plan to buy one too. How would we express this in Japanese? よくうれているようだから よくうられているようだから Would the above sentence be interpreted as an active or ...
4
votes
2answers
454 views

How is かって being used here?

いつまでに送ればいいかっていうことですよ。 I can kind of get whats going on here. Forgive me if I'm mistaken but I think it means "When are you expected to send this thing, is what I mean". I don't understand how かって ...
4
votes
1answer
140 views

Is スポーツ a plural-only word?

Typically there is no pluralization in Japanese unless specified. For example: この車【くるま】は綺麗【きれい】。 This car is clean. / These cars are clean. Does スポーツ work in the same way? Considering the ...
4
votes
1answer
158 views

「慎重すぎる」 and 「慎重に過ぎる」 - is there a difference?

In the short story I'm reading now (「ドライブ・マイ・カー」 by Haruki Murakami) there are two very similar phrases to express what I would translate as "too cautious": 「慎重すぎる」 and 「慎重に過ぎる」: ...
4
votes
1answer
150 views

break down ~いていいと思ってる

平民が、貴族にそんな口[利]{き}いていいと思ってるの. Above is the full sentence from a book I'm reading. I get いいとおもっている part = think its nice (roughly), and already looked up 貴族に, そんな口利き, but the sentence as a whole ...
4
votes
1answer
267 views

Help with the meaning of 大絶賛 in this sentence

というわけで、俺は実家で只今大絶賛ひとり暮らし中である。 From what I can tell, the speaker is saying that for reasons mentioned he is living alone at home, but I don't see how 大絶賛 (which means very high praise) affects the ...
4
votes
1answer
135 views

Difference between 特別 and 特

Everywhere I look, they both just seem to be defined as "special" or "particularly/especially" (in the adverbial case). I'm trying to form a distinction in my head. Here's an example from my ...
4
votes
1answer
231 views

Is 拒絶反応対受け入れ a grammatically correct way to say “acceptance versus rejection”?

I am looking to translate "acceptance versus rejection" in the same sense as "acceptance versus alienation". Is the following statement grammatically correct? Does it make sense to word the following ...
4
votes
1answer
421 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
263 views

How do I determine the indirect object of a command?

I'm working my way through the core 2000, and came across this: [明日]{あす}、6[時]{じ}に[起]{お}こしてください。 I immediately thought, "Please wake up at 6am tomorrow." But the translation in the deck instead ...
4
votes
2answers
178 views

Unusual usage of 勝 (勝たしてくれ?)

I was reading a comic and came across the following usage of 勝 which confused me. この試合でオレを三橋に勝たしてくれ! I know what it means (Help me beat Mihashi in this game), but I'm not sure about how to ...
4
votes
3answers
475 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
904 views

Difference between intransitive and passive?

I was thinking about Japanese passive and made the following example 壊すー>壊される which means the be broken But looking at the English definition of to be broken, isn't there another Japanese word for ...