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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When referring to herself, is there any pronoun other than お母さん when speaking to her children?

Consider the following conversation quoted from a textbook used in my class. 鈴木 is the mother of 鈴木伸. 鈴木:伸ちゃん、お母さんが試着している間、ここで待っていてね。 鈴木伸:うん。 In my understanding, お母さん is used to refer to ...
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153 views

Still confused with tenses

Which is the correct one? テレビが壊れているから、見られないんです。 テレビが壊れているから、見られていないんです。 テレビが壊れるから、見られないんです。 テレビが壊れるから、見られていないんです。 テレビが壊れたから、見られないんです。 テレビが壊れたから、見られていないんです。 When do we have to use either ...
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103 views

Grammar and meaning of 凝りに凝って出された

The author complains that when men cook they only put one dish (type of food) on the table: なぜならその一品は、素材を選び抜いて、奮発して、時間をかけて、腕によりをかけて、凝りに凝って出された逸品なのだから。 If (you ask) why that one dish, it's ...
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606 views

Three conflicting interpretations of “ことになりそう”

To beef up my listening skills, I've been watching some anime targeted at young-adult or older audiences, and got hung up on this line of dialogue: また一年、こうして通{かよ}い詰{つ}めることになりそう、ね。 While I ...
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3k views

What does “nanode” mean? What are its grammatical rules?

What's the meaning of this sentence and what does なので mean here? If possible, I would like to know the grammatical rules of なので as well. 英語と日本語なので私にとっても良い勉強になります。
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2k views

うちに spot the difference

うちに has two rather confusingly different meanings. One is in line with its never seen kanji form. Whilst. Do x whilst y. Another means do x before y's situation changes. The two are quite ...
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607 views

How to tell the difference between と as “and”/a conditional?

The particle と can mean either a fairly simple "And" or it can mean if X then Y. 1: 私は犬と猫が好きです - I like dogs and cats 2: びんを落すと壊れる - if drop the bottle, it breaks Taken independently either of ...
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1k views

What is this sentence using ~たら~たで trying to say about televisions and computers?

I have this sentence in my JLPT practise book: テレビでもパソコンでも、なかったらなかったでなんとかなるものだよ。 It's part of a review question about the grammatical form ~たら~たで, which I understand to mean something close to "...
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How to express: I am going to Japan to study?

This is an exercise from Genki 1, Chapter 12. Now the way I would word that sentence is: 私{わたし}は日本{にほん}に勉強{べんきょう}しに行{い}きます。 However, I put that same [English] phrase in Google Translate and got this: ...
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89 views

How does the までに work in ご参考までに

I know it means roughly "for your reference", but I can't really grasp why it means that based on my understanding of までに (which I consider roughly as 'before' or 'by'). I can't really come to any ...
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3answers
136 views

Should I use ~てきた or ~て来た?

In the examples below 彼は私のところに荷物を送ってきた。 彼は私のところに荷物を送って来た。 荷物が私のところに送られてきた。 荷物が私のところに送られて来た。 would it be better to use the termination/set phrase てきた? (no kanji) because this is changing ...
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132 views

Grammatical construction「placeはsubplace、story」 as an introduction

In old stories I often find the following structure: general place は specific place 、 story unfolds for example: ① 江戸は芝、増上寺門前町で (例: ◯◯人が歩いた) ② 東海道は宮宿、ただいま名古屋市の熱田神宮辺で (例: ◯◯浪人の二人が出会った) I ...
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1answer
621 views

Grammar of 彼の日本語のレベルは私と同じくらいだ

I'm Jeroen, from the Netherlands and I'm currently learning Japanese. I'm using Anki, and it's a great tool, and I came across this sentence in the Japanese Core 2000 #1 set: 彼{かれ}の日本語{にほんご}...
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330 views

How much does it matter if I use the wrong 'if'?

Specifically talking about ば、なら、たら、and と here. I just read Derek Schaab's excellent reply to this question on when to use the different forms of conditionals -- something I'm really struggling with ...
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2answers
132 views

Need help translating a sentence - あるひ?

I'm trying to read a children's book and have already gotten stumped by the first sentence. "context" The picture shows an autumn day. It reads: ある つめたい かぜの ふく ひ。 So far I've got ... (chilly ...
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1answer
170 views

私は日本語と英語で思っています。

Is this the proper way to say "I think in Japanese and English", or should I be using a particle other than で?
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3answers
487 views

How to translate て-form + ろ

In the Japanese exclamation: 待ってろよ! What function does ろ have and how should it be translated to English? I've searched everywhere, but I can't seem to find a decent explanation. The only thing ...
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581 views

Meaning of ~と言えよう

Just as the title says, I'm looking for the meaning of this construction, as it is used in the following sentence: 野菜や果物の害虫を防ぐために、さまざまな農薬が使われているが、これは人間の健康の面から考えると、問題があると言えよう。
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182 views

“一人にせず”? Meaning

お前も私も一人にせず、且つお前に 少しの 罰を 与える 方法を考えてみた。 In this phrase I've some doubt about "一人にせず". Using google, I can translate it as "not alone". But I read "せず" is a negative form of "する” and indicate that one ...
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688 views

~ないでいる verb ending

This is dialogue from a book I have, where a doctor is talking about a patient: 気分が極端に変りやすくなっていて、自分で自分をコントロールできない。神を呪うかと思うと、神に祈る。呪う自分と祈る自分と、絶えず入れ替っていて、どっちが本当の自分か判断できないでいる。 My question is about ...
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200 views

Emphasis instead of negation in 「そんなバカなことはありません」

In this quote by Akihiro Miwa, 「そんな~ことはありません」 isn't used the way I'd expect it to be: 努力{どりょく}をしない人も[平等]{びょうどう}になどと、そんなバカなことはありません。 It's (extremely?) foolish to treat people who don't make an ...
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372 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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977 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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148 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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2answers
207 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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336 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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952 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
224 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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322 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
979 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
633 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
266 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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126 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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355 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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205 views

What does と in “対象とする” mean?

In Japanese version of Magic: the Gathering cards, there is a common idiom "[target description] を対象とする。[subject] それに [action]." For example, in this card: the Japanese text says "...
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1answer
113 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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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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350 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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151 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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217 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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201 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
651 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
816 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
218 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
522 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 ...
4
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1answer
342 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 ...