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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66 views

Meaning and usage of ~としたことが

I came across the expression ~としたことが, for example: 私としたことが I'm trying to figure out the meaning and usage of this phrase, but I can't find any English resources that explain it. What does this ...
3
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2answers
191 views

と particle usage - am I understanding it correctly?

These two sentences don't seem to fit to the grammar rules on と that I've been able to dig up so far: ぼんやりとした意識{いしき}のまま窓{まど}に視線{しせん}をやると、とっくに日が昇{のぼ}っていた。 This form seems to fit と as an 'if/when' ...
3
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2answers
144 views

How to denote length or any other measurement

How exactly would I say that a certain object is a certain length. Would it just be (noun)の 長さは (number) (units)。 This question got me wondering how I would say any other sort of measurement. Can ...
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9answers
4k views

What is the こと in sentences such as あなたのことが好きだ?

There were a lot of great answers here. I gave the checkmark to ento's answer because I felt it most completely explained all aspects of this use of こと. But many of the other answers are excellent, so ...
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1answer
133 views

How do は and もの work in this sentence?

Consider the following bolded sentence from Fate/stay night (previous and next 2 sentences provided for some context). 古来より、魂というものは扱いが難しい。 在るとされ、魔術において必要な要素と言われているが、魂《それ》を確立させた魔術師は一人しかいない程だ。 ...
3
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1answer
98 views

Noun + さえ + Verb (infinitive)

Struggling to grasp this sentence: 残像{ざんぞう}さえ霞む{かすむ}高速{こうそく}の打突{だとつ}。 Rapid strikes that [verb clause starts] ... Applying structures from here and here hasn't made sense to me so far. Thinking ...
2
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2answers
130 views

How to interpret this comma?

ですから、一回限りの人生、かけがえのない自己を大切にしようではありませんか。 So, shall we value this irreplaceable self in this life that we have but once? (example sentence from A Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar) ...
2
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0answers
71 views

Te form + はいる question [duplicate]

Watching street commotion from a long distance at night, the vision is blurry: それは見えてはいるけれど、見えていないという状態だ。 My guess is that it translates into "you can call it a situation where (things) can both ...
2
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4answers
106 views

Which particle to use to say, “for (occasion)”?

I want to translate: "I gave my little sister a doll for her birthday". I do not want to use 私 but imply that I did it, so the right particles are crucial. I've come this far, but I'm not sure ...
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2answers
78 views

How do とは and に/された work in 「N700系とはどこが違う?N700Aに搭載された性能」

I saw this on the cover of a book about trains that was at least similar to a magazine: N700系とはどこが違う? N700Aに搭載された性能 This is a little confusing: とは is used to define things. It is often ...
2
votes
1answer
47 views

後だったので v 後で interpretation

たくさんの階段を昇った後だったので彼女は完全に息を切らしていた。1 (original example sent.) たくさんの階段を昇った後で彼女は完全に息を切らしていた。2 My guess: there is a strong causal link between this and that in 1. 2 just means "A happened, then ...
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votes
2answers
184 views

Does this double negative make a positive or negative sentence?

Is that sentence saying that you will worry, or that you won't worry? 最初からユニコーンを見つけるくらい大変だって知っていれば心配しないじゃないですか I'm pretty sure it's saying that you will worry, since she said that a unicorn is ...
1
vote
1answer
109 views

How is からだ used here?

How should I parse the part that comes after 許さない: その形容から打突こそ主体と思われるが、槍{やり}の基本戦術は払いにある (1)。長さに物を言わせた広範囲の薙{な}ぎ払いは、もとより身を引いて躱{かわ}す、などという防御を許さないからだ (2)。 Feels like it makes the sentence flow a bit ...
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3answers
205 views

The use of なんというお名前ですか?

Basically, I've been corrected on Lang-8 that [あなたの名前はですか] should be changed to [なんというお名前ですか], or [あなたの名前何といいますか]. After a quick search around, I found that なんという means how as in [how [beautiful]]. I ...
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vote
2answers
109 views

How to describe a recurring/retrieved condition?

I don't understand how to describe a recurring or retrieved condition. Is there a special way to express sentences like: a) I was sick, but now (just now), I am finally better again. I want to ...
2
votes
1answer
90 views

Trying to understand 私のこと in this sentence [duplicate]

According to a tweet from @real_eikaiwa, the following sentence: こんなに私のこと笑わせてくれる人なかなかいないって思ってる! Translates to: "I don't think I've ever met anyone that made me laugh so much!" But this ...
3
votes
2answers
166 views

When can an adverb use の to modify a noun

In this sentence 僕はまったくのひとりぼっちで、まわりには誰もいない。 the adverb まったく uses の to modify ひとりぼっち (which I'm assuming is a noun in this context. I'll come back to that.) How do you know when an adverb can be ...
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1answer
98 views

When to use と and こと?

I was talking to one of my friends about these particles (Hes a native speaker of the langauge, and I thought he might know) and here's what he told me: 私は芋が彼を殺すと思います => I think the potato is killing ...
0
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1answer
107 views

when should I use を instead of が?

it happens a lot that I'm not sure which of the two is the more correct one. を marks the object and が the subject, I know that. still I get them wrong because it's not that simple, maybe there some ...
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1answer
128 views
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2answers
109 views

The meaning of の in この役立たず and お兄ちゃんのばか

It seems の doesn't always express possession as in 私の本. What does it mean in such phrases as この役立たず and お兄ちゃんのばか? And, what does の do in "埃だらけのテレビをちゃんと拭いてくれない?"?
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2answers
136 views

What's the difference between 最近、このごろ and 近頃?

I always thought that they had similar meanings, however I got an exercise where I got all 3 of them and one only is the right choice.
4
votes
1answer
157 views

What's the difference between だから, そこで and それで?

I've read that だから is more like a personal opinion which puts emphasis on the reason whereas それで is a more "natural" reason. no idea about そこで though.
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1answer
67 views

What does と mean all by itself here?

So, I have this sentence: "つまりパスポートもビザもない、と" The first part is pointing out that someone doesn't have a passport or visa (since they threw their bag at someone earlier). But what is that 「と」 doing ...
3
votes
2answers
117 views

Activity verbs vs Change verbs

My textbook makes a difference between verbs that describe activities and verbs that describe changes. Two examples given are: 話す - activity 結婚する - change It then goes on to say that 話している ...
4
votes
2answers
456 views

Multiple “wo”s in a sentence?

I had always been told this never happened. I was a little skeptical, but since I never saw a sentence with two of the particle, I gradually came to accept that it was probably true. Well ironically, ...
4
votes
1answer
108 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
124 views

~の帰り - what does this mean?

会社の帰りに本屋に寄るのが楽しみです Does this means on the way back to company or start from company, and back to some where else ? And also why use に after 帰り, what does that mean?
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votes
2answers
120 views

Use of 何か in this sentence

Please explain the grammar behind how 何か is used in this sentence そこにはきっと何かお話があるに違いない。 I'm translating it as There must surely be a story there But I don't understand what 何か is doing. Can ...
4
votes
2answers
161 views

How to say noun with/without noun

How do I express the concept of with/without in the following sentences: I'd like a coffee with sugar please. The best I can do is to use 'and': コーヒーとさとうを下さい And for 'without': I'd ...
1
vote
1answer
119 views

Sentence structure between two clauses question

I don't have a Japanese sentence example of something long, but let's say I have to sentence that has two clauses that are separated with a が followed by a comma. You feel that this second clause that ...
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0answers
38 views

japanese conditional, when to use what? [duplicate]

I mainly have problems with たら and ば. please correct me if I'm wrong but と is used when something occurs naturally, "if you press the button the door opens", and similar situations. たら can be used ...
2
votes
1answer
63 views

Is this a 仮定形 (kateikei) form, and how to analyse it?

I'm stuck with the word かけ in the following text below (towards the beginning of Japanese tale, Kachikachi yama). Obviously, "(こしを)かけ" stands for "(腰を)掛ける" (to sit down). But what's the grammar ...
2
votes
1answer
137 views

What does のに at the end of a sentence mean?

does it have a similar meaning to "が、ので etc." which basically make the sentence "softer" and imply something that isn't stated but that should be obvious to the listener? something like "though" in ...
4
votes
1answer
142 views

How do I say “it was the first time X (of this extent) happened?”

おはよう! I've across come this sentence and I've been wondering how to deconstruct its grammar for my own understanding/use (if I understood it correctly in the first place, that is). ...
3
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2answers
119 views

Order of verbs in this sentence

I'm trying to translate the English sentence below into Japanese: Each theory has a different understanding of how countries like China, Japan and South Korea behave towards each other. My best ...
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1answer
96 views

Help with 第一夜 by 夏目漱石: 「大きな潤のある眼で、長い睫に包まれた中は、ただ一面に真黒であった」

I bought the book "Breaking into Japanese Literature - Seven Modern Classics in Parallel text" and burned some billions of neurons to (try to) understand just the first page (lol). Well, I am having ...
9
votes
1answer
283 views

Connecting adjectives, “does not have to A and B”

The simplest things seem to be the hardest. I am exercising the "does not have to be" structure. If I want to say "the book does not have to be expensive", it is (may be?): 本は高くなくてもいいです。 But ...
2
votes
1answer
59 views

Significance of と in ~からといって

From what I've read, からいって means "considering this..." 人気や知名度からいって、彼が選挙で当選するのは確実だろう。 But when you add "と" to form "からといって" it becomes "even though..." すぐにメールの返事が来ないからといって、心配することはないと思う。 ...
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vote
1answer
116 views

Reading this sentence right

I've studied Japanese a long time ago and decided to pick it up again. I'm reading from this novel but I want to make sure if I'm reading this sentence right. I having issues when sentences are long. ...
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votes
1answer
265 views

What's the meaning of 届けて

Can I ask a favour? I am trying to catch on the meaning of the song 涙をとどけて. I have caught everything except for the following 4 lines, which remain vague for me. 涙をとどけて 本当のこと 想いをとどけて 言えないこと ...
6
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1answer
194 views

Grammar in a modern translation of the 古事記 : ~ようもない

I recently started studying the 古事記. In the beginning of the modern translation, there is a piece of grammar which, while not terribly confusing in itself, still fascinates me. The whole sentence is ...
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vote
2answers
98 views

Is there a difference between 爆発しないといい and 爆発しないとよくなる?

I'm having a hard time understanding how と works with negative verbs. With positive verbs, it is easy to see the timeframe of いい because it occurs after the verb happens, but if the verb ends in ない, ...
3
votes
3answers
154 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
249 views

Proper usage of 語 and 言語 and 言葉 when speaking about someone's language

Japanese language is 日本語. But if I want to say The language of Japanese people - should I write 日本人の言{げん}語{ご}? And if I want to say the same about animals, for example cat - like cat's language - is ...
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votes
2answers
232 views

How to express an exception, being able to do sth. normally, but not today?

I want to express an exception and don't know which sentence would be appropriate. I want to say that I just wasn't able to do it today, but I am able to do it normally. Which of the following ...
3
votes
1answer
154 views

S1 たら S2, with S2 being past tense AND volitional

So I was reading through A Dictionary of Basic Japanese grammar and I noticed a strange contradiction in the たら and あとで entries. In the あとで entry we see the following note: Vinf·past ato de can ...
3
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2answers
126 views

Is there any difference between そこで and それで?

I know that they can both mean "so, therefore, because of that" etc., so what is the difference when I use them with that meaning?
2
votes
2answers
183 views

Difference of まさか and まさに

Please help understand the difference between まさか and まさに. A look-up for meanings seems to indicate them to exactly opposite to each other. まさか - not at all まさに - surely However,i have not been ...
2
votes
2answers
138 views

when to use 丁寧語 and/or 尊敬語 [duplicate]

as the title says, I'm asking in which situations I'm supposed to use those 2. I know what they mean, more or less. is it just a matter of one being "superior or inferior" to you? e.g., I'll be in ...