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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221 views

Can ごとに be replaced by それぞれ in this question?

正月は家ごとに門松を立てる。 For example, could I say 正月はそれぞれの家に門松をたてる。 If so, the meaning remains the same, or are there any subtle nuances that comes with each word? It seems to me, whenever i see sentences ...
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196 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
3k views

How can I improve my Japanese vocabulary, grammar, and listening skills? [closed]

I consider myself at a lower intermediate level. I want to improve my Japanese vocabulary and grammar in order to expand my reading and speaking skills. I know enough Japanese to get around and have a ...
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1answer
148 views

How are で and ばかりused in this expression?

来年は是非明るい年でありますように願うばかりです I hope that the next year will be great for you Why is で used in 年であります? Is であります an older form of です? Also, what would the ばかり translate to here? I thought maybe it ...
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407 views

What are the “slots” in the Japanese agglutinative verb system?

In another question we established that Japanese is an agglutinating language (more here), if only in its verb system. Since it is not traditional in Japanese grammar or teaching to go into this ...
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76 views

Function of “でも” in “とでも言うべきであろうか”?

I've come across the phrase "〜とでも言うべきであろうか" in my reading. I understand most of it, but am a little confused as to what the "でも" is doing. I'm familiar with "でも" as a particle, but it appears to be ...
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93 views

How can we understand and translate はず used with facts of known truth?

I've thought for a while that there was something a little "strange" about the way はず is used in Japanese, and I recently thought of a way of explaining it that I've not seen elsewhere. Half of this ...
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162 views

Please teach me more about ハダカ格

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agent_(grammar): In certain languages, the agent is declined or otherwise marked to indicate its grammatical role. In Japanese, for instance, the agentive ...
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148 views

Purpose of ~とは in 「あなたにとって仕事とはなんでしょうか」

あなたにとって仕事【しごと】とはなんでしょうか What is the purpose of とは above? Would using は alone have been any different? If とは is a grammatical construct, I would appreciate additional examples clarifying its ...
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265 views

How to say “had been [verbing]”?

In this excellent response by @DariusJahandarie , he covered how to say "I have been [verbing]" in Japanese by using ている. He had given many examples of how would could potentially translate ている or てい ...
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3answers
166 views

Sentence structure: “I can accomplish (a) by doing (b)”

I'm trying to say sentences like "I can accomplish (a) by doing (b)." in Japanese, and I can't seem to figure it out. An example sentence would be "I can earn good grades by studying hard." Maybe ...
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113 views

Explanation of 歌にのせて

From JapanesePod101, with their translation: ミュージカルは、歌【うた】にのせて物語【ものがたり】を展開【てんかい】する。 A musical can tell a story with songs. I understand that のせる means (amongst other things) "to take on board". Does ...
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2answers
221 views

Difference between usage of ように and ようにして

包み込むようにして、彼を抱きしめる 包み込むように   彼を抱きしめる The example could either use ようにして or 包み込むように抱きしめる(albeit written differently). What is the difference between these two usages? Can anyone explain the ...
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168 views

Problems understanding なの in this sentence

I remember once I have seen 「なの」 was not placed at the end of a sentence (meaning it was not a question) ever since then I wondered what it meant but didn't have any clear examples. Today I saw this ...
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1answer
80 views

Need Help Understanding ーているよう

I am trying to translate the following small text (taken from a VN): もうこんなことはやめようか―― 心配そうな眼差しは、まるでそう言っているようだった。 So far my attempts have led me to this: It was as though his worrying ...
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160 views

When do I use できます as opposed to わかります in a sentence?

I know the difference in meaning between the two: できます being "to be able to" or "can do", and わかります being "to understand how to" or "to know". I also know a simple sentence structure for both: "Person ...
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88 views

can あいだ / あいだに be used with non-past tenses

Last week I learned to use あいだ and あいだに to express things that happen at the same time (are parallel) or things that happen while other are occurring. But I noticed that all the examples on the book ...
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1answer
429 views

Meaning of のだろう?

I'm not sure when should I use particle の in front of だろう/でしょう? Is のだろう used when speaker wonders about something to himself? For example what would be translation of those sentences: ...
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122 views

Adding でしょうか to ます to further emphasize doubt and politeness?

Let's use できる as an example. できる (I) can do (it)/possible (action/event). できるか? Can do?/Possible? できますか? Can do?/Possible? (polite) Believe it or not, できますか? still sounds too direct to me. Now ...
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214 views

What is this な between a noun and the particle の?

What is the role of the な in bold in this sentence? Is it a nominalized だ? 考えれば考える程彼女がどういう女なのか分からなくなってきます。
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106 views

Dropping から when modifying a noun

I'm having trouble with Xからきた as a modifier... I have heard people say 住んでいるのはどこ? or something like that in order to say like, "where are you living?"... but what if someone wanted to say どこから来た? in ...
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324 views

How to say a double negative in Japanese

My Japanese friend asked me whether I believe in an afterlife. I wanted to say, "I don't believe, but also I don't not believe." My point is that while I do not believe, I like to keep an open mind. ...
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420 views

Why is は appropriate for てはいけない?

Why does てはいけない use は? I know it's a construction, but where did it come from? て form verbs are not nouns, it doesn't make sense to me that は could be used with them.
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234 views

Difference between Vるのにともなって and Vるにともなって?

I've been trying to work out the usage of にともなう, にともなって, and so on, but am having difficulty understanding the difference between placing the particle の after a verb and before にともなう. One grammar ...
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316 views

What does 彼のままだった mean?

In the following phrase:「時{とき}が過{す}ぎても彼{かれ}のままだった。」what does the「彼{かれ}のままだった」part mean? My guess is that I can translate this phrase into something like "He's the same" or "he didn't change", but I'm ...
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1answer
175 views

Using two or more quotes

How would one combine two or more quotes together? In English we just do something like "He said 'Quote A', 'Quote B' and 'Quote C'". In chat, snailboat gave these possibilities: 「Quote A」「Quote ...
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1answer
254 views

What does 手になる mean?

As the title says. I found it on weblio dictionary and it says ある人がその事に当たる。, but that doesn't help me a lot, as I can't find example sentences (and the one I have on the book I'm reading isn't too ...
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501 views

Joining adjectives with し before a noun

A recent question asked about joining two adjectives together. It used the following example: (example 1) きれいで静かな町 As I understand it, this is the combination of the 連用形 of きれいだ with the 連体形 of ...
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135 views

How is あっての used to define something?

I've previously asked about あっての, but now it seems to me that I've run into an additional usage of it (or perhaps the same usage I just can't wrap my head around it...). When the sentence is simply ...
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1answer
287 views

Differences between listing particles と, や and に

Consider the following: A, B and C came: AとBとCが来た AやBやCが来た AにBにCが来た What do I need to consider when deciding which of the three (と, や, に) to use? I think a large portion is determined by the ...
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88 views

Difference between 「で」助詞 and 「だ」助動詞の連用形「で」

Could you please explain me what exactly is the で in the following sentences and how can we distinguish 「で」助詞 and 「だ」助動詞の連用形「で」? ...
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1answer
177 views

助詞「も」の意味を教えてください

「こういうことも、歳をとったらできなくなるだろうなあ」という文中の助詞「も」の意味を教えてください。
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143 views

な, の, である and ために

When used with a noun ために could have two meanings : (1) 学生のために、奨学金がある。 There are scholarships for (the sake of) students. (2) 学生のために、学校の規則に従わなければならない。 Since s/he is a student s/he ...
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303 views

に Particle ambiguity

あまりにも子供じみた言動に呆れる。 だが、こういった[A]の対応には少なからず救われている部分があった. 深く踏みこまずに居場所を与えてくれるこの距離感に、周囲の人間も惹かれて集まってくるのだろう。 I'm tripped up on the second sentence. Is the 部分 part of the childish behavior, or the ...
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1answer
128 views

Word order and particles in 能仕事に能力を生かす

I wanted to express the idea "performing to one's full abilities at work", and the obvious thing to write was 仕事に[能力]{のうりょく}を[生]{い}かす. Indirect object before direct object. But a look on google ...
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475 views

causative くれる and もらう

I am learning causative forms here 先生が参加させてくれました Teacher allowed me to participate what does 先生が参加させてもらいました mean?
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3answers
289 views

How can I translate けど in this sentence?

I don't get these sentences; the first one ends with けど (plus I don't get why there is the use of !? at the end) Here the sentences: 俺モデル! 顔命なの です けど!? んなに 硬くねーだろ> I know that けど ...
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1answer
168 views

The different ways of producing nouns

What are the different ways to produce nouns from other parts of speech and how are they different? For example, 高い has these nouns produced from it: 高さ 高み For 近い : 近く Also nouns can be ...
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216 views

Dictionary entry and derived forms, were they equal at some point?

I will first state the dictionary entry, and then other formations that also yield the dictionary entry. Consider the following : 思える - to seem/appear, potential form of 思う - can think 合わせる - ...
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1answer
734 views

Help with adverbs with とする and としている

Taking yadokari's sentence: 彼女は表情が生き生きとしておりとてもかわいい。 The part that I need help understanding is the relation of 生き生きとして with 表情 and 居る. Looking up the dictionary entry for 生き生き, it is "an adverb ...
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1answer
164 views

“は + verb” instead of “を + verb”?

I have stumbled upon instances where "は + verb" is used in situations where I thought "を + verb" should be used. For example recently I've seen "その覚悟はしてました" (I was prepared for that) and "楽な道は選ぶな" ...
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39 views

Is 「出なくては。」 the same as 「出なくてはいけない。」? [duplicate]

I guess the novel I'm reading (「キッチン」 by 吉本ばなな) will be a source of many questions. The part I want to ask about now is the passage where the main character is thinking about moving house. The ...
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126 views

Are there any restrictions on the usage of the て-form as a continuation? [closed]

How freely can sentences be combined with the て-form? Are there any cases where it cannot be done?
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1answer
205 views

Why is the particle の used instead of が in these phrases? [duplicate]

Why is the particle の used instead of が in phrases like 身寄りのない人 or the sentence 琵琶湖の向こう岸に虹の立つのを、麻子は見た。? While I understand the meanings of these examples, I would have expected to find the nominative ...
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1answer
216 views

The use of も; spotting if it is comparison/contrast, or for emphasis

Could somebody tell me the meaning/use of both もs in bold in the following sentence? It is the background explanation for the essay titled 「さよなら、ゴジラ先生」 in the magazine, 中上級のにほんご. Also, I am not sure ...
3
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2answers
322 views

How do I add an object to noun を します verbs?

When you want to associate a noun を します action (what English-speakers would call "verbing a noun") with a specific noun, what particles are used and where? For example, if I was saying "I study", you ...
3
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1answer
182 views

それは彼の身に応えだした。 Can anyone explain this?

それは彼の身に応えだした。 [ex #4531] It is beginning to tell on him. can anyone explain this sentence? is it useful or archaic? is it related to this? 骨身にこたえる
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328 views

Keigo: そんけいご & けんじょうご

I've started learning keigo and already having difficulty with it, with the same problem in both そんけいご and けんじょうご. In particular, I'm having trouble understanding the combination of the use of ...
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1answer
67 views

“The earlier we leave, the earlier we'll arive”-type construction [duplicate]

Was not sure how to title my question because I don't know who to explain such grammar pattern. I came across something like that in Tae Kim's guide: 勉強をすればするほど、頭がよくなるよ。 (The more you study, the ...
3
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2answers
132 views

Usage of particles with 出てくる

Another sentence from Kanji in Context. 初めて[山奥]{やまおく}から町に出てきた村の人たちは見るものすべてに[驚]{おどろ}いた。 In this instance, does 山奥から町に出てきた mean "left the mountains and came to the city" (町)? Also, I would normally ...