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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360 views

How to say “written by”

In a shop I want to ask "Are there any books by Haruki Murakami?" I don't know the natural way to express by in this context. I thought maybe I could use the passive form like this: ...
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2answers
926 views

How to say “even” in Japanese?

English version: As he is very lazy, he doesn't even wash his hands before eating. Japanese version (but incomplete): 彼は、非常に怠惰なので、食べる前に、手を洗っていない。 How do we add "even" in Japanese to my ...
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2answers
124 views

What does (volitional form) + ったって+(potential form of same verb) mean?

I came across this and don't quite understand is meaning. One character orders another to forget something, who nods agreement but thinks to themselves: 忘れようったって忘れられない What does 忘れようったって mean ...
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3answers
120 views

Confused in choosing でした or です in のは~だ grammar

Which one is the correct one between the following 2 sentences? Are my English translations correct? A: 昨日食べたのは肉まんです。 A': It is nikuman (steamed meat bun) that I ate yesterday. B: ...
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204 views

How to simplify a sentence with multiple ながら + たり?

How can I simplify what the student said in the following dialogue? 先生:昨日何をしましたか。 学生:お菓子を食べながら日本語を勉強したり、テレビを見ながら日本語を勉強したり、お酒を飲みなが ら日本語を勉強したり、音楽を聞きながら日本語を勉強したり、寝たりしました。
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256 views

Do you need a question mark to indicate a question in Japanese?

I was listening to a song and decided to check the lyrics to it. http://www.kasi-time.com/item-74499.html 夜風に吹かれ 考える 好き 嫌い 嫌い 好き 繰り返す Since there were no question marks, so it made me doubt if it ...
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1answer
326 views

What is a subsidiary verb?

What is a subsidiary verb? Could one explain it and give some examples of its application?
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3answers
950 views

Examples of Japanese nouns that seem like adjectives when translated into English eg 曇り

As above. This sentence came up in my test: 今日は曇りで、寒かったです。 and I was a bit puzzled why it wasn't kumokkute (I translated it as cloudy = adj) until I looked it up on Jisho.com. But I'm still ...
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1answer
223 views

Why does the grammar structure for “I think [statement]” work the way it does?

In my Japanese class, I've been taught that the structure for "to think" is "~と思う", but no explanation was given for why this is the way it is. For instance: 日本の中で食べ物は高いと思う。 Obviously the first ...
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4answers
318 views

S1 と S2 conditional S2 being in past tense

ごんは、家に着くと、ウナギを家の外に置いて、言いました。 In this sentence, a fox called ごん has run all the way home to escape an angry fisherman who he stole an eel from. Why is と the conditional used here? I could understand ...
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2answers
947 views

What exactly does the grammatical form NがNなだけに mean?

In my JLPT textbook, it has a section explaining the verb form [Noun]が[Noun]なだけに. By way of explanation, it says that this means, "unlike other things, [Noun] is special, so..." I'm having a hard ...
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1answer
620 views

The meaning of く

I was browsing fairly random old questions to see if I could learn a few little things ( I could) and stumbled across this one- The topic is the restaurant, or the conversation is at the restaurant? ...
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218 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
264 views

What is the difference between どころか or ものか?

This is a sentence from my JLPT prep book: 新しい首相に代わったが、景気は回復する (  )、悪化する一方であった。 The answer is: ものか, but I thought it was どころか. I can't figure out why どころか isn't correct or is unnatural. They ...
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2answers
125 views

What is the purpose of の in this sentence?

"このテレビの直し方わかりますか。" means "Do you know how to fix this TV?" but I can't figure out the purpose of の (after テレビ) in this sentence.
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353 views

Need clarification on a particular use of から

I saw this sentence recently and I'm particularly confused on the use of から in the sentence. まず君から殺す。 What does から mean here? What's the difference between that and まず君を殺す? How does から replace the ...
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1answer
96 views

Should: ほうがいい、べき、ことだ

So far, I have learned about three different ways to say "should" in Japanese. I'm interested in knowing the differences among ほうがいい、べき and ことだ. What are some situations that each form would be better ...
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2answers
112 views

と聞いて in this sentence

山に登るのは大変そうだから、本当は行きたくなかった。 Climbing mountain seems difficult so truthfully, i didn't want to go... The second sentence is the one i need help with... I wasn't sure if i get it right... でも ロープウェイを ...
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132 views

Meaning of 人材を作り上げる

This sentence is confusing me a bit, particularly the bold part: 国際社会に通用する人材を作り上げることに繋がるってわけなんだよ! Jisho.org has the definition of 人材 as: capable person; talented person; human resources; ...
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1answer
348 views

Another way to say “これはだれの___ですか?”

(the blank represents some noun/object) Is この__はだれのですか? grammatically correct and have the same meaning as the title?
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2answers
149 views

嘘ついてたんだ vs 嘘ついたんだ

I saw this being said in a drama, when A said to B, 嘘ついてたんだ and the translation was "So you lied!". My question is, why is it 嘘ついてたんだ and not 嘘ついたんだ? Thanks. Edit: How to tell the difference ...
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208 views

Meaning of nounってとこ

People are discussing the characters in a comedy show and one of them asks 高木ってとこじゃないの From the context I'm guessing it means "You like Takagi, don't you?" Again the dreaded って. Don't know if ...
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1answer
185 views

meaning of 歩けなくなっちゃって

I'm trying to translate 駅から歩けなくなっちゃって. I don't really speak Japanese but this is what I got so far: なっちゃって apparently means having done something against one's intention 駅から is "from the station" ...
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1answer
642 views

What does てくんない ending on a verb mean?

丸尾君、ちょっと辞書かしてくんない? I think it means "maruo, won't you lend me your dictionary?" But I'm really confused about the verb ending on かす. A look at some other posts suggests that it might expand to ...
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4answers
724 views

How to say “started to do something”?

I am writing a homework assignment and I am trying to write "I had to start bringing my umbrella". I know that to say "I started eating" it would be 食べはじめる,or to say "I started drinking" it would be ...
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2answers
125 views

Parsing and making sense of this sentence with multiple が's

So I was signing up for an account at a website, and I came across this line: 写真があった方があなたがどんな人なのかわかるし、フレンドも作りやすくなります。 I have never come across a sentence with 3 が's in it, much less one with 3 ...
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1answer
211 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: とにかく、このメンタルブロックをぶち壊さないと、願望は達成できない。人は願望を持った場合、「それは実現不可能だ」...
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2answers
517 views

Asking a negative question

I've heard that it is supposed to be "less demanding" (or something in that regard) to ask a negative question when you're asking for a favor or anything alike. Let's say I want to turn this sentence ...
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1answer
337 views

Question about the phrase「挑みかかる手前な顔」

I cannot understand the meaning of 手前 in the following sentence. As far as I know 手前 means "in front of my/your hands" or could be a pronoun. However I haven't seen before the usage like in the ...
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1answer
387 views

Use of ながら in this instance.

One of my textbooks is telling me that the sentence using ながら below is incorrect… いすにすわりながら、音楽を聞いている人はウィリアムさんです。 …whilst the following sentence is correct. いすにすわって、音楽を聞いている人はウィリアムさんです。 ...
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1answer
138 views

“働きいいように” missing a が?

The sentence below is from an essay. I'm confused about the grammatical components of "夫の働きいいように" ("to make the husband's work easy") — shouldn't there be a が just after 働き, or is it being casually ...
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1answer
222 views

How does ダンスとかあったら全然だったと思う work/mean?

A:藤原さんは、もちろん歌だよね? B:うん。わたしにはそれしかないから……ダンスとかあったら全然だったと思う I don't get what the part ダンスとかあったら全然だったと思う is saying. 全然 is an adverb but there's no verb after it but 思う, but that's separated by a ...
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1answer
156 views

What is the grammatical interpretation of じゃ ありません?

I have learned in school that じゃ ありましん is the "non-past negative" conjugation of です. Example: 私は日本人じゃありません。 "I am not Japanese." I have noticed that じゃ ありません contains the pronunciation of ...
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2answers
402 views

Choice of さしあげる in お電話さしあげる

I'm a bit confused by the usage of さしあげる in this sentence from Kanji in Context: ただ今、来客中ですので、後ほどこちらからお電話さしあげます。 We have a guest at the moment, so we'll call you later. To me, お電話いたします or even ...
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2answers
684 views

The topic is the restaurant, or the conversation is at the restaurant?

I have this sentence in my JLPT textbook: 話{はなし}の種{たね}に、新{あたら}しくできたレストランに食{た}べに行{い}ってみた。 I think I understand the part after the comma, which I believe is saying, "... tried to go eat at the new ...
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1answer
182 views

What does the phrase んと流す mean?

Meaning of んと流す Could anyone please explain the meaning of 得させんと流す to me? Full sentence: 多くの人の為に、罪の赦しを得させんと流すものなり。 http://s.vndb.org/sf/25/36025.jpg
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888 views

what does “mata ha” stand for in this sentence?

くるまはみぎ、ひだりまたはまっすぐいってもいいです i understand what mata normally means but, it doesn't seem to work in this sentence. please & thank you.
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3answers
446 views

Does contraction and elision affect formation of relative clauses?

For example, やらなければならない can modify 時 to form やらなければならない時 and I know that the adjective い ending can simply have a noun appended after it. However when it's contracted to やらなきゃ can I simply add a ...
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3answers
595 views

How does a noun phrase translate into a verb?

Ok. The whole sentence is: Person A bandages Person B's arm. Person B says: ありがとう。ずいぶん慣れた処置ね?看護婦でもやってたの? I get what the sentences are saying. But! For the life of me I can't parse ずいぶん慣れた処置ね? into ...
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1answer
705 views

なった versus なってきた

My friend recently said to me: 眠くなってきた 【ねむくなってきた】 Which, I think means "I became sleepy". But it seems to me that it is the same as saying: 眠くなった How does the addition of きた change this ...
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1answer
254 views

食べやすい and 食べにくい

I'm wondering what does 食べやすい mean exactly? "easily-eaten" doesn't seem to make any sense at all.. Does 食べやすい mean that something is soft and easy to swallow, or does it mean that something tastes ...
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1answer
168 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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342 views

How to say “A wants B to keep away from C.”?

I want to say A wants B to keep away from C. (A is a third person) My attempt is as follows, AはBにCを遠ざけてほしがっている。 Is it correct? Unnatural? Any comment and suggestion is really appreciated.
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294 views

Do I need to add “da” before “to iimashita”?

Not sure how to say "my mum said it was fun." Is this correct: watashi no okaasan wa, sore ga tanoshi to iimashita Or do I need to add "da"? As this is for speaking.
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2answers
349 views

Meaning of this 無手勝流の剣にしては!やる!line?

So came across this line on this page (link, previous and following pages included also) and it has that very odd 無手勝流の剣にしては!やる!bubble on it that's left me stumped, (the context is a friendly sporting ...
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1answer
71 views

らせる typo for される or different word?

暴風は擬神化された龍の如く、廊下と髑髏の面を飲み込もうと、その蛇体を螺旋らせる。 The strong wind, similarly to the quasi-deified dragon, makes its serpentine body twist like a spiral with the intention of swallowing the corridor and ...
4
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1answer
211 views

けど usage in this

I know that けど is a colloquial form of けれども and that is used to connect two sentences with the meaning of "but, although" but in the following sentence I cannot understand its usage. 僕達のホームにあった”...
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3answers
148 views

function of そう in the middle of a senctence

So far I encountered そう (if it doesn't mean "appearing, seeming ...") at the beginning of a sentence most of the time. Lately however, I read two sentences putting it in the middle. The first ...
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1answer
177 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 ...
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3answers
195 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 ...