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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816 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. ...
3
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2answers
869 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 ...
3
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1answer
151 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
128 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
114 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
198 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
329 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
156 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
130 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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1answer
194 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
532 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
178 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
105 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
294 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 ...
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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 ...
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3answers
411 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 ...
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3answers
583 views

Using negative verb forms with はず

In the chapter Things that should be a certain way of Tae Kim's guide, the author states that in order to express the expectation of something not happening, one should use something like 「~はずがない」. I ...
3
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2answers
339 views

meaning of だけ in 分だけ

I'm confused in 「分だけ」 in the following sentence. As far as I can understand "The more you lack on magic energy, the more incomplete(?) distance(path) becomes." But I'm having doubts about it. ...
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2answers
262 views

Question about もらう

As I learned, we can use もらう like this 「私は彼女に弁当を作ってもらいました。」, where noun before に(から) - giver and は(etc.) - reciever. But I saw sentence like 「もっとも・・・・・・そんな風になっちまった以上は、因縁なんざ意味がないだろう。悪いが俺に譲ってもらうぜ」 ...
3
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1answer
141 views

What does the phrase んと流す mean?

Meaning of んと流す Can anyone please explain the meaning of 得させんとながす to me. Full sentence: 多くの人のために、罪の赦し得させんとながすものなり。 http://s.vndb.org/sf/25/36025.jpg Thanks you very much for the help!
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1answer
298 views

Can't quite understand this sentence

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 "忘れてしまう生き物" is 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".
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1answer
228 views

What is よ doing as a connector before a comma?

I saw this as a comment someone posted on Google+ in response to NHK announcing a show: 本気{ほんき}なら地上波{ちじょうは}でやれよ、受信料{じゅしんりょう}返{かえ}せ I think it's saying "If this is really what you intend to ...
3
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2answers
493 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 ...
3
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4answers
500 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
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2answers
283 views

Is 眠たい an adjective?

I was told 眠たい was an adjective, and that it is an exceptional case. How does it work as an adjective and what is its relation to the verb 眠る?
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2answers
105 views

Need help understanding 住んでいました

A question about a verb I don't understand 住んでいました - Sunde imashita jisho.org tells me: "住んでいました looks like an inflection of 住む, with these forms: Te-iru-form. It indicates an action that is ...
3
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2answers
160 views

Is a lengthy combination of words with hyphens could be exist in Japanese?

I was reading this question on English.SE Is a lengthy combination of words with hyphens like “the worst not-technically-in-a-recession year in American history” a new fashion of writing?. Surely, ...
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1answer
101 views

Do I have the right idea with ~てきた here?

「日記を書いていたらまさにお腹がすいてきた」 That's the sentence. I believe it'd be, "I am certain to get hungry when I write in my diary." I'm just not entirely sure I'm right simply because the it is きた instead of くる, ...
3
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1answer
80 views

Use of numbers in descriptions

So far I've only learned how to use numbers in the context of counting e.g. このピザは 5枚ある (this pizza has five slices). How do I express it in the following way: This is a five-slice pizza I would ...
3
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2answers
184 views

Change of viewpoint in mid-sentence

A man has just returned home to his wife and says: 今日は、雀のお宿へ行って、おいしい料理や雀の踊を見てきたよ。 Today, I went to the sparrow's house and (ate) delicious food and (came and) saw a sparrow dance. In the ...
3
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1answer
94 views

Are there any differences between 仕事 and 作業

I have ran across these two words being used in some articles and blog sites. It seems they both translates to "work" but when and why would you use one over the other? Thanks.
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1answer
123 views

Does 'this friday' take に

I'm happy that the following is correct: 金曜日にケーキを食べる. I will eat cake on Friday. But what about this: 今週の金曜日にケーキを食べる I will eat cake (on) this Friday In English putting "on" in ...
3
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2answers
163 views

「日本では美味しい和食が食べられる」と「日本は美味しい和食が食べられる」は違う?

(1)“日本では美味しい和食が食べられる” (2)“日本は美味しい和食が食べられる” どっちも使えるんですね。意味もわかりますけど、もうちょっと詳しい文法を知りたいです。 私はこう思います(正しいかどうかわからない): “日本では美味しい和食が食べられる” ⇒ “私は日本で美味しい和食が食べられる” から ...
3
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2answers
194 views

Understanding the subtleties behind [noun]する vs [noun]だ

I still notice this when I see [verbal noun]する instead of [verbal noun]だ. While I understand the meaning of both, I'm missing the qualities that often make する or がある seem to be a more natural choice ...
3
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1answer
91 views

X times bigger than

How can I say: X is 5 times bigger than Y (?)
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1answer
163 views

What's the difference between こそ and さえ in 「忙しくて昼ごはんを食べる時間___ない」

I don't know which to choose: 忙しくて昼ごはんを食べる時間さえない or 忙しくて昼ごはんを食べる時間こそない The explanation in my textbook is given in such a way that I can't understand the difference: It says こそ "expresses ...
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2answers
182 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
616 views

What does やがんだ mean?

Right now, I'm reading the Japanese translation of Catcher in the Rye. This sentence has been puzzling me: 奴さん、ジャガーをもってやがんだよ。 I know that the author is saying that his brother owns a Jaguar, but ...
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2answers
162 views

Translation help with this sentence? 何人も触れること能わぬ- everyone or no one?

何【なん】人【びと】も触れる【ふれる】こと能わぬ【あたわぬ】才媛【さいえん】 I'm having trouble with this sentence. I'm just confused as to whether '能わぬ' counts as a negative verb that affects 何人も or not. Since I know 何人も means ...
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1answer
192 views

Usage of「次第に」with the past tense

I am confused as if I should put the verb preceding 「次第に」 at the past tense or just use the dictionary version: ランチを食べた次第に帰った Or ランチを食べる次第に帰った Also, if this grammar is not appropriate in ...
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2answers
143 views

What is the difference between だらけ and ばかり

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flfi38e0NKk I'm watching the above video, and they are explaining だらけ, as being synonymous with ばかり. However, as is always the case when I come across words that have ...
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2answers
290 views

Meaning of そうして

I can't completely understand the meaning of そうして in the following dialogue. As far as I can guess it is similar to こうして, but what is the point of using そう? ...
3
votes
2answers
240 views

Modifying adjectives 「のように」

I cannot understand what exactly is ように modifying in the following sentence. And is it grammatically possible for 流れる濁流のよう to modify 急激な感情の? Because in phrase like this - 完璧に思ったとおりの仕上がり, 完璧に modifies ...
3
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1answer
247 views

-sou + negative past - what is the meaning? e.g. 行けそうで行けなかった場所, 解けそうで解けなかった謎

Still with the Zelda guidebook translation :) I cannot understand the meaning of the third line. It uses ・・・そう・・・なかった. I understand -そう as "seems like" and なかった as past negative, but how do these go ...
3
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1answer
139 views

How can transitive and passive be combined in 茎を編んで作られる?

In the following sentence, taken from an article about tatami the transitive and passive verbs (編む&作る)seem to be combined into one phrase to express what I have said translation but it does not seem ...
3
votes
1answer
142 views

わけ accompanied by な particle

What exactly does な particle mean when used with わけ? Example (pulled from Google): あいつが犯人なわけがないじゃないか. I know exactly what this sentence means, but I'm just a little unsure on what the な is ...
3
votes
4answers
794 views

What's the difference between ~てある and ~た (past form)?

As I understand it てある is rather different to ている in that it refers to a resultant state rather than an ongoing action. However I wonder, what then is the practical difference between a resultant ...
3
votes
1answer
218 views

とか vs. って vs. という vs. と言われている

can someone help me with the following questions: ねえ、このきじみて。きのうのスケート大会、青木選手が___。 a)優勝したとか b)優勝したんだって c)優勝したという Answer is b but I am not sure why a is wrong cause the guide says that ...
3
votes
1answer
103 views

Don't undestand this particular use of ない form

This is the example sentence from one of my textbooks. 時間があるから、昼ごはんを食べて行かない? Textbooks translation - "We have some time so how about we grab a bite to eat and then go?" I don't understand why the ...
3
votes
1answer
138 views

Is の後で textbook-ish Japanese?

In the textbook "Japanese For Busy People I" (which uses only kana, not kanji), on page 161, there is the following sentence. ごぜん 10じから ごご 3じまでです。かいぎの あとで さっぽろししゃに いって、さとうさんに あいます。 Using kanji, I ...