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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2answers
280 views

なったら vs. なると – usage in context

I came across the following exercise – I have to fill in the gap with the correct word that I have to choose from a series of 4. 信号{しんごう}があおに(    )、道{みち}を渡{わた}っていいです。 I eliminated 2 words and ...
4
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1answer
412 views

What's the meaning of も and また in 「これほど無駄な本というのもまた珍しい」?

I saw this scathing review of KY式日本語 on Amazon JP. This is the full sentence I'm asking about: 出版する意味を感じられない本は多数世に出ているが、これほど無駄な本というのもまた珍しい Ignoring the もまた part, what I get from this is ...
4
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1answer
440 views

ではないか Grammar translation

what does ではないか mean in the sentence below? And can someone please translate it? 耳に馴染みのない方も多いのではないかと思いますが、 (after that he explains the word)....
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1answer
165 views

Which part of the sentence is 離陸するまで modifying?

A sentence from JapanesePod101. 私たちは、離陸するまで二時間、飛行機の中で座っていた。 We sat on the airplane for two hours before it took off. The general meaning of the sentence is not in question, but is 離陸するまで ...
4
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1answer
193 views

When is “事” used instead of こと for past experiences?

In the "ことがあります" construction about past experiences, when is "事" used, and when is "こと" used? The textbook used in class uses "こと": 六本木の おんせんに 行った ことがあります。 If it wanted to use "事" instead of ...
4
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2answers
180 views

What are ある and わけ in 「どこにでもあるわけではありません」?

Here is the sentence for context. 独立系の映画館はシネコンと違っていて、チケットが安いのですが、どこにでもあるわけではありません。 My translation - Independent cinemas are different from multiplex ones as they have cheaper tickets but not ...
4
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1answer
313 views

The use of passive voice to describe the Emperor's activities

The Imperial Palace gardens were opened to the public recently to celebrate the Emperor's 80th birthday. Can someone confirm the use of the passive voice in the following sentence on the subject in ...
4
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3answers
470 views

How can I use できない and しまう? I'd like to apologize for not being able to do something

I'd like to apologize for not being able to do xyz. Rather than just saying 「すみません、何々ができません。」, could I say something like: 何々ができなくてしまいます。 Or is しまう always used with a positive te-form verb?
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4answers
905 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 ...
4
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1answer
269 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 ...
4
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1answer
185 views

Why is [しゃべる」an intransitive verb?

Just a straightforward question but why is しゃべる considered intransitive when I've seen it used on direct objects. Example from jisho.org: 私は英語を喋ることができる。 Is there something I'm missing?
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2answers
254 views

Understanding the の in ~ものの

I thought that の always had to modify a noun... so how come a sentence like the following is possible despite there being no nominalization of what follows の ? たたみに布団を敷いて寝てみたものの、背中が痛くて寝られなかった。 Is ...
4
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1answer
327 views

Meaning of さて after て

Hello everyone I cannot grasp the meaning of さて in the following sentence, as far as I can understand it's same as this, however I'm not confident about it. "...for young man it was like throwing the ...
4
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2answers
2k views

童貞が許されるのは小学生までだよね - translation of まで

I'm interested in an exact translation of the particle まで used in this Internet meme: In case you can't read the image, here's a transcription: 「えーマジ 童貞!?」 「キモーイ」 「童貞が許されるのは小学生までだよねー」 ...
4
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1answer
450 views

Use of く-form over くて in an い-adjective

何事も最初は難しく、やがてやさしくなる。 All things are difficult before they are easy. I've never seen an い-adjective used in this way (難しく). Would using 難しくて (which is what I would have used) change the meaning of the ...
4
votes
2answers
744 views

Difference between 間 and 間に

I have some problems with understanding what is the difference between these two grammatical forms. The explanation that 初級日本語 gives me, is that 間 refers to certain time frame, while 間に refers to ...
4
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1answer
256 views

The で particle before です

This may be slightly multifaceted because I have a larger question regarding で that is contextualized by a smaller one. It is improper to put で before です or だ right. If someone asks 何で来ましたか (How did ...
4
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2answers
223 views

Again question about modifying nouns

Seems that I stuck with modifying a noun again, in the following sentence is it only「破壊し尽す」 modifying 「背徳の欲望」 or both verbs 「玩弄し、破壊し尽す」 ? 浮世離れした幼い少女を思うさま玩弄し、破壊し尽す背徳の欲望が掻き立てられてやまない。 Full ...
4
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1answer
402 views

What exactly is this でね construction?

The following dialogue is from the video game Final Fantasy VI: 宿屋{やどや}の[親父]{おやじ}は、[余所者]{よそもの}が[嫌]{きら}いでね。 I think I understand this sentence. It means something like "the old man at the inn ...
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1answer
342 views

What is a good synonym for「〜のに」at the end of a sentence?

I'm trying to come up with a good synonymous expression to put on a flashcard for 「〜のに」at the end of a sentence like these 彼が出て行けばいいのに。(I wish he would go.) あの建物さえなければ、きれいな景色が見えるのに。(If it wasn't for ...
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1answer
480 views

The uses & etymology of で

In Japanese, the particle で seems to have multiple uses: Instrumental: 車{くるま}で大阪{おおさか}に行{い}った。 "I went to Osaka by car." Locative: 図書館{としょかん}で数学{すうがく}を勉強{べんきょう}している。 "I'm studying math in the ...
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1answer
715 views

What does として mean here?

警視庁は12日、父親を鈍器のようなもので殴ったとして東京都中野区に住む少年を、傷害の疑いで逮捕した。 Tell me please, what is として means in this sentence ?
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1answer
851 views

Meaning of 「そればかりか、〜Vーるというようなことさえ、始めはしない。」

I am struggling to grasp the meaning of this expression 「そればかりか、〜Vるというようなことさえ、始めはしない」It comes up in the following sentence. The English translation is my best effort but I am guessing from the ...
4
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1answer
162 views

Is を[noun]に, as in を条件に, a common construct?

I was a little confused by the following sentence because 条件 is a regular noun, but looking at examples I see that it means "on the condition of [object]": 財政危機におちいっているギリシャは、 ...
4
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1answer
219 views

What is the difference between 「食べるいいですか」 and 「食べていいですか」

They both mean "Can you/I eat?" So can they be used interchangeably? I know that the て-form is used when speaking a command to someone so is it a more direct(?) form of asking a question? Like asking ...
4
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1answer
401 views

Is it true that only movement verbs can take [V-stem]に to express a purpose?

I decided to split this into a thread by itself because I was afraid of cramming too much into the first thread. Is it true that only movement verbs can take [V-stem]に to express a purpose? Will it ...
4
votes
1answer
48 views

Doubts regarding 方がより

それならどちらか一人に絞って魔力を提供した方がより効率的という訳か。 If that is the case, Squeezing magic in one of them end supplying would be more effective. I think it means: This way is more effective. Am i right? ...
4
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4answers
155 views

〜のです(か) in email

A friend has sent me an email with questions scattered throughout ending in 〜のですか, should I have 〜のです at the end of all sentences that address/answer those questions in my reply? (EDIT: Because I've ...
4
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1answer
108 views

Difficulties understanding なのだと

その人間が最も恐れる罪の具現が悪夢なのだと悪夢は語った。 I really can't parse this. I know the meaning of the words but I do not understand the meaning of the sentence. Can someone explain? The bold part is what is ...
4
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1answer
95 views

Trouble with もう二度と列車や車には乗らん

I've been trying to read a manga book and there's one bit that I can't get my head around. The sentence: もう二度{にど}と列車{れっしゃ}や車には乗{の}らん I'm fine with most of it but I'm confused about why the は ...
4
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1answer
80 views

Causative, causative-passive and particles

俺一人に琥珀さんと翡翠をかまわせているのも申し訳ないから、とりあえず二人にはもとの仕事に戻ってもらった。 I am pretty sure it's the causative form here since the causative-passive would require 俺一人 to be marked with は. I am not sure why 俺一人 is ...
4
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2answers
143 views

Meaning of こともあるもんです

How should I translate こともある in this sentence (response to '何それ?'): あなたが辞書を使うなんて、はなはだ珍妙なこともあるもんです Literal translation of はなはだ珍妙なこともある would be 'there are also really odd things', but that makes ...
4
votes
1answer
436 views

How to shorten conjugations of “must” forms without sounding girly?

I know the full conjugations of expressing things that must/must not be done (ex:行かなくてはだめ)and their slang forms (ex:行かなくちゃ) but I've heard the ちゃ sounds like a little girl speaking? If that's true, ...
4
votes
1answer
105 views

What does “もんじゃない” mean?

I'm not too sure what it means. I've seen it used in a lot of different contexts, and the most I can gather is that it means something along the lines of, "it's not that" Is this correct, and if not, ...
4
votes
1answer
81 views

How do you express “the person I did something to”?

I want to say: One person I told about XYZ said, "...". Knowledgeably incorrect translation: XYZについて話した一人は「…」と言いました。 This makes it sound like they were the one telling me about XYZ. How do ...
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1answer
106 views

わたし は あまり はやい おきません Is this correct?

I was trying to make a sentence using the words あまり and はやい so I tried making a sentence saying: I don't get up early much. or わたし は あまり はやい おきません。 But the more I stare at it the more ...
4
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1answer
133 views

Use of 時{とき} in the following sentences

So, I've been told by a native Japanese that the following sentence sounds weird: LA VITA E'BELLAを見{み}る[時]{とき}、[感動]{かんどう}しました。 In her own words, 'because watching that video is a one time thing ...
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2answers
146 views

Ambiguity in giving suggesting and asking for suggestions?

When giving/asking for advice using a conditional (Such as たら) can there be ambiguity as to if the speaker is giving or asking for advice? For example 1.) アルバイトを探したらいいですか? Could the above ...
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votes
1answer
119 views

Question about とき

I am working on the みんなの日本語 標準問題集 初級 I Lesson 23. There is a question related to the usage of とき。 パスポートを(なくします ー>________)とき、どうしますか。 けさここへ (来ます ー>_________)とき、駅で新聞を買いました。 The answers are: ...
4
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2answers
224 views

Use of に in 「私には本物の若殿様がわかります」

What function is に serving in this sentence (the speaker has been asked to pick out the real lord from a group of people): 私には本物の若殿様がわかります I know who the real young lord is It seems to me ...
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1answer
170 views

Commas and relative clauses

Can't find rules on how commas work with relative clauses. Paragraph [click for full text] ...
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2answers
267 views

Which noun is being modified in アリスがふみとどまろうかと考えるひまもないうちに

I've been reading 不思議の国のアリス (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland) and there's a sentence that is baffling me. It reads: [After having fallen down the rabbit hole] ...
4
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1answer
121 views

what's the grammar of ださん?

I read in a Japanese tale (kachikachi yama) : An old man (a peasant) is happy since he just catched a tanuki and says to his wife : 「それじゃ ちょっくら まちへ かいものに いってくるから たぬきが にげださんように きをつけておくれ。」 ...
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2answers
155 views

何も means 'Nothing' instead of 'What also'

I recently learnt that 「何も」 means 'nothing' (e.g. 「何も怖くないです。」 means 'Nothing scares (me).'). But how do I say 'What else'? (e.g. 'What else goes well with this dress?' or 'What else never dies?)
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1answer
89 views

「高くはある」と「高い」の違い

「この花瓶は高くはあるが、それだけの値打ちはある」 I was studying with the "Dictionary of Japanese Grammar" and the above sentence appeared. I am curious about the meaning of the locution in bold and the difference it has ...
4
votes
1answer
555 views

Does ところを always mean the same thing as のに? What is the difference between ところへ and ところに?

One of my JLPT books, 総まとめ文法N2, uses the following examples to "explain" the grammar pattern ところだ: お忙{いそが}しいところをすみません。(=忙{いそが}しいのに) → I am sorry to bother you at this busy time. ...
4
votes
1answer
198 views

What is the etymology of the て-form?

What are the origins of the て-form? Was its meaning when it initially appeared different from what it is now?
4
votes
1answer
542 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? ...
4
votes
1answer
209 views

Why are 来る and する irregular?

I know that there are more irregular verbs than just this, but their changes are mostly euphonic and not really of any interest to me. What I would like to know is why 来る and する have developed the way ...
4
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1answer
455 views

What does ~ましょう ~おうmean when you say it to no one

I'm reading a children's book and this silly shrimp says ここで寝ましょう... but there's no one else around... If ましょう is a way to state that what you are saying is subjective not objective, and depends on ...