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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148 views

Help with tense/aspect (past vs. non-past in Verb and Verbている)

I'm having difficulty with this sentence: Tense appears inconsistent to me. I need help understanding the correct use of verb forms. 冬休みにずっと九州に [Fill in the blank] おばあさんのうちにいました(past) 住む ...
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2answers
132 views

The nuance of 得る compared with ~ば

If we compare the following two sentences: でき得るならば、独立して事業を始めたい。 できれば、独立して事業を始めたい。 意味が同じですか?どう違いますか?すみませんが、説明して頂けませんか?
2
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1answer
124 views

meaning of はぐった

I would really appreciate your help. I just read the sentence またひるめしをくいはぐった and I can't quite figure out what はぐった means and what the basic grammar of this conjugation is. I'm kinda lost...
2
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1answer
69 views

How to interpret indirect passives?

While looking up some grammar points I stumbled across this paper which describes something that it calls "indirect passives". I can't think of anything similar in English, and I'm having trouble ...
2
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2answers
175 views

How should I say: When we talk, it sounds like we are singing

Because I am half-Swedish, I usually joke about this to other people. But now, I don't really know how to say it in Japanese! Maybe... 話すのとき、歌のように聞こえる。。。
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1answer
96 views

Usage of passive form

I've got a question about this part - それらの音が、世界の中心にあることを思い知らされ. I cannot understand why it's used passive form verb(思い知らされる) and それらの音が. If I'm understanding correctly, the ones who "make you realize ...
2
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2answers
132 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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3answers
297 views

できる vs ~えます form for “can”, “able to” [duplicate]

A couple of days ago I tried to express "I can ..." where "..." was some some verb or verb phrase. I used the ~て form of the ... verb followed by 出来ます but was told instead to change the form of the ...
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1answer
155 views

“高{たか}くっても” vs. “高くとも”、“低{ひく}くっても” vs. “低くとも”, etc. usage?

I'm really confused about the meanings of these two similar adjective inflections: 高い ---> 高くっても 高い ---> 高くとも   難{むずか}しい ---> 難しくっても 難しい ---> 難しくとも   "っても" might possibly be less formal(? because of ...
2
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263 views

using ように pattern to mean “so that” and its use in negative verbs

I have read this to learn about ように: http://www.guidetojapanese.org/learn/grammar/surunaru Part - 1 Going by the definition of よう which is more like "appearance/manner", I don't quite get how the ...
2
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1answer
102 views

もし without ~たら or ~えば

Can anyone explain this use of もし? I thought it had to come before ~たら or ~えば. もしテレビで観たという方、ぜひぜひツイッターで教えてください。
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1answer
80 views

translations of 楽にして?

How can I translate "楽にして" ? I read it change if transitive or intransitive... The sentence was: 私が楽にしてやろう! the context is: a guy asks to another about "being friends", but the other doesn't ...
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171 views

To use “ものです” to end a sentence

The original sentence is: 人間は一人では生きていけません。 and the requirement is to change the sentence with a "ものです" ending. I did this: 人間は一人では生きていけないものです. Am I right?
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2answers
205 views

Confusion on use of する with adverbs

I'm a little confused as to the role that する is playing in phrases like はっきりとした and はっきりしている I know this is classed as a する verb, but it still doesn't make sense in the same way that nouns used with ...
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2answers
166 views

Question about ように

I'm confused in ように in the following sentence. Maybe it connects to 聞こえる or maybe means "in order to" ? I'm not sure about it here. Some sort of translation: "Conversations in this period of time ...
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245 views

Does でしょう have a negative nuance?

I am reading the sentence... 他人に自分の内面を見られたくない人もいるのではないだろうか and wondering why it seems like there is a double negative that I'm not seeing もいる = + のではない = - だろう = ???? END RESULT = + だろうか has to be ...
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2answers
202 views

Is there an idiomatic Japanese equivalent of the construction “Let [infinitive verb]”?

In English, we have constructions like "Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York" (MLK's I Have A Dream speech) and "Let there be light" (Genesis 1:3, KJV and other versions). Is there ...
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2answers
273 views

Difference between 〜っぽい, 〜がち, and 〜やすい?

From what I understand, 〜っぽい, 〜がち, and 〜やすい all seem to suggest that someone has a general tendency towards doing something. It seems that 〜っぽい and 〜がち can attach to a noun or to the 連用形 of a verb, ...
2
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1answer
364 views

passive voice and potential voice

I'm having troubles with distinguishing between passive voice and potential voice in the following sentences, help me please. 鍔姫:「だから、弟が幼稚園の頃、母に頼まれて、よく風呂にいれていてだな。その、だから見慣れているというか」 幼稚園の頃……? ...
2
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1answer
68 views

Use of ご and にね

In the following sentence, how are にね and ご used in that first clause. I'm baffled. They seem to have no meaning. で、そんなご身分にね、一年も経てばいよいよ引け目を感じますよ。 Thanks for your help.
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268 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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2answers
192 views

しゅみについて meaning

My Japanese lesson has an oral exam, the title is しゅみについて. Can anyone explain what is the meaning of the title? Can I start the conversation with this? しゅみについてどう思いか?
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1answer
208 views

Past tense of なし in Classical Japanese?

Is it なしかりたらず as a usual し adjective? Or is it something weirder? I need this for a skit.
2
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1answer
181 views

What's the difference between the constructs (adverb) なる[naru] and (adverb)する[suru]?

e.g. what makes 相手になる different from 相手にする. I know that 「~になる」 is to be/become something, and 「~をする」 is to do something, but what does each imply when used?
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1answer
225 views

Limitations of に for emphasis?

I remember having learning that に can be used for a simple emphasis of the word before it, like so: 私はケーキを食べた - I ate cake 私にはケーキを食べた - I ate cake (the others may or may not have, but I did) ...
2
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1answer
178 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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2answers
306 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 ...
2
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1answer
390 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 ...
2
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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?
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1answer
2k views

Different ways to say “at least” / 「少なくとも」

I would like to know if there are other ways to say "at least~" (context below), along with the relevant nuances of each way. This is for a piece of writing I'm doing where for the sake of style I ...
2
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3answers
453 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 ...
2
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1answer
190 views

What is the difference in these two keigo terms?

My JLPT practise book has these two sentences to help explain the difference between お目{め}にかける and お目{め}にかかる in a context of keigo. それでは新製品{しんせいひん}お目{め}にかけましょう。 ...
2
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1answer
198 views

ほんの時々私の中で顔を出し、しばらくすると消えてしまうもの。Are there any other options to replace the で here?

ほんの時々私の中で顔を出し、しばらくすると消えてしまうもの。 My attempt at translation: "Every once in a while my inner feelings show themselves, only to disappear again." The above was taken from the following dialogue: ...
2
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1answer
117 views

Extracting from, and introducing to Universe of Discourse using は and が with こそあど-demonstratives

Consider the following: このりんご( は / が )食べないでください。 Person A: どちらが東ですか。  Person B: こちら( は / が )東です。 Workbook answers are は for 1. and が for 2. In 1., I would expect the person to ...
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1answer
88 views

Unnecessary に in “どんなに” in this sentence?

The following sentences are from a reading passage. I'm confused on the third sentence - the previous two are just given for context. 日本ではどこに行っても、「きまりですから」という言葉を耳にする。 これを言われてしまうと、こちらにはもう反論の余地はない。 ...
2
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1answer
118 views

How to parse 汚れた物ででもあるかのように、捨てるように

I wonder if someone could confirm my understanding of the grammar in the following sentence on p32 of the Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar: ...
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1answer
106 views

Translation of することになっている

I have the following sentence to translate for class. 森田さんは、 ヴァージニア州立大学を卒業してから 日本の映画の会社に就職することになっている So far I have the following. Morita-san after graduating from Virginia State University became ...
2
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3answers
211 views

Which is a Better Introduction?

If I were to introduce myself, which would be better? はじめまして、あかみです。どうぞよろしく。 はじめまして、あかみです。よろしくお願いします。 How would you introduce yourself? Any better recommendations instead of 1 & 2 ?! Thanks :D
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2answers
124 views

When an -i form (連用形{れんようけい}) of a verb seems to be a suffix rather than a prefix?

In a previous question about コーヒー割り I learned that 割り is a form of the verb 割{わ}る "to dilute". Now I'm trying to understand the grammatical process by which this 割り form of 割る can be added to nouns ...
2
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2answers
198 views

なってきています and なっています

What´s the difference between なってきています and なっています? For example: お隣の人達、大丈夫? ヤバくなってきているよ。 Would it´s meaning change significantly if it´s changed into: お隣の人達、大丈夫? ヤバくなっているよ。
2
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1answer
183 views

What is the difference between ふくむ and ふくめる

The Progressive-Japanese English Dictionary suggests 含める is the same as one meaning of 含む but it is not explained. Is this correct? I have two theories: 1. 含める= 含む when the latter means ...
2
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1answer
91 views

Question about されては堪らない

I cannot completely grasp the meaning されて堪らない. As far as I can understand ~てたまらない means "Really want to do, extremely.", but I'm a bit of unsere with passive voice in the following sentence. Some ...
2
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1answer
161 views

に particle and its conflicting functions

Ok, so I'm still trying to get used to the に particle and how it has many functions that make it easy for it to appear many times in a sentence and thus get confusing... But I am specifically looking ...
2
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1answer
232 views

Why are most Japanese songs and poems in normal form?

You would think that sentence structure would matter in songs and poems, especially when they have directed or dedicated lyrics, e.g. to a stranger, the president, someone of higher status. ...
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1answer
121 views

Confusion between nouns and adverbs in あと一部

この仕事はあと一部を残すだけだ。 Only one part of the job remains. Does one think of あと (remainder) as a noun (and object of 残す) and 一部 as a counter/adverb, or is あと the adverb and 一部 the noun here?
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159 views

Use of は with 自分 in a subordinate clause

Another sentence from Kanji in Context: 自分は偉いと思って人を見下しているとそのうち逆に他の人から見下されるようになる。 Those who think highly of themselves and look down on others will eventually themselves be looked down upon (by ...
2
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1answer
328 views

Why is ha appropriate for te ha ikenai?

Why does te ha ikenai use ha? I know its a construction, but where did it come from? Te form verbs are not nouns, it doesn't make sense to me that ha could be used with them.
2
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1answer
181 views

Why use 分 in this question?

I have come across the following sentence : そのダンボ-ルゴミに出す分ですか? I understand it means something like "Are you throwing out this cardbox?". But what does 分 mean in this context and why is it at that ...
2
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1answer
265 views

Meaning of 'だろうと'

What is the meaning of 「だろうと」 in the following sentence, and how can we translate last part of sentence(bold one). 今や人型の死とした存在は、無感動な声で終わりの拳を握り締めた。彼の攻撃を防げる者など存在せず、しかも何発だろうと発射可能。 Thank you very ...
2
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1answer
180 views

What does the 「っち」 in @「見守りっち」 translate into?

What does Verb in 「ます」form +「っち」 mean? What does the 「っち」 in @「見守りっち」 translate into?