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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

7
votes
3answers
3k views

What are the general principles of using verbs to modify nouns (e.g. 焦げるトースト/焦げたトースト)?

In all the time I've studied the language, I've never heard or seen anybody even hint at whether the principles from a given language (like using “burnt toast” vs. “burning toast”) carry over, or if ...
5
votes
1answer
112 views

Maths sentences: 足す and 掛ける

I noticed a lack of case marking particles in mathematical sentences: 1足す2は3である。 3掛ける4は12である。 足す and 掛ける are verbs, does subject and object analysis apply to this? Do they take on the ...
3
votes
3answers
408 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
96 views

Use of に in ぼくにも出来る

So I was watching the Pokemon Super Bowl Commercial, and around :40 seconds in I hear the phrase ぼくにも出来る Now I know it basically means "I can also do that", but what is the function of the に ...
3
votes
1answer
84 views

た or ていた? Is “turned right” a state or an action?

In this link, Past Unreal Conditional, user l'électeur has given an answer pointing to the tense issues in the original sentence given in the question, stating that ていた needs to be used instead of た: ...
4
votes
3answers
165 views

Is there any case in which we can use 今日の間に?

I asked some Japanese and they said that 今日のうちに is practically useful but 今日の間に is impractical (never used). Can anybody here give a confirmation about whether 今日の間に is really impractical or not? ...
1
vote
4answers
127 views

Why should we say 応えられなくなってきて and not 応えられなくてきて?

Why should we say 応えられなく_なって_きて and not 応えられなくて_きて? I have been told that 応えられなくてきて is not correct by a japanese friend of mine but the explications were... light. Thank you
3
votes
1answer
104 views

Causative-Potential or Causative-Passive

Does a verbal form like this exist. I found this sentence while reading. 一体どこの誰に、今のこいつを黙らせられるっていうのか。 Or should I say, who the hell could be able to silence her. I think the meaning is ...
4
votes
1answer
95 views

とまらない in One Punch Man OP meaning とまれない (negative potential)

The negative form of 止{と}まる (to stop) is 止まらない, and the negative potential form is 止まれない. However, I've noticed that 止まらない can be used in the sense of 止まれない. For example, the OP for One Punch Man ...
2
votes
1answer
60 views

A question on event timing

Sentences in which event A happens 風呂からあがり、パジャマに着替えたまる子の口がポカンとあいたのは、それから一時間後のことだった。 Sentences in which event B happens What event does それから refer to? Is it saying that the time when Maruko ...
0
votes
0answers
47 views

Mnemonical phrases/verses/songs for Japanese grammar [migrated]

In Russian, we have mnemonical phrases for memorizing things like grammatical cases, conjugations of verbs, detecting adverbs, etc. They are somewhat similar to Roy G. Biv mnemonic, but most often are ...
4
votes
1answer
70 views

N3 Pattern: Difference of 「~かわりに」、「~反面」、「~一方(で)」

こんにちは! ちょっと困ったことがありますが、誰か手伝ってくれるといいんですが・・・ Hello! I'm having a little confusion with this sentence from 新完全マスター3級・文法 In the explanation from the book, it is said that 「~反面」、「~一方」and 「~かわりに」means ...
2
votes
0answers
25 views

is the ので particle a part of keigo [duplicate]

My grammar book is going over ので and から, and since at the time it was introduced I wasn't fully aware of what keigo was, I didn't ask myself the question, and it's not specified in my book, but is the ...
2
votes
1answer
99 views

Help understanding “口に出しては何も言わない”

I've seen this phrase used a few times and i don't think I get it. What meaning does the "ては" indicate? Here are examples from google: そんな彼女を直子はちらりと見たものの、口に出しては何も言わない。    ...
3
votes
3answers
162 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
886 views

How can we determine the subject of 「彼{かれ}が来{こ}ないことを知{し}りませんでした。」?

Consider the following sentence. 彼{かれ}が来{こ}ないことを知{し}りませんでした。 I really get confused in determining the subject. Which is the correct translation? I did not know that he will not come. He did ...
3
votes
1answer
100 views

'私は学生です' & '夜に部屋では電気をつけない' : 'は' 'では'

I'm so confused about the sentence structure'...では...' we say '私は学生です' 'は' here can mean 'be' but Japanese people would say '夜に部屋では電気をつけない' and 'その店では洋書が売られている' So the first sentence mean '(I) don't ...
4
votes
2answers
75 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
114 views

Should you use は or が when you have a compound subject?

What do you put in as the subject marker if there is more than one subject? For example Adam と Sarah ___ すしがすきです.
3
votes
1answer
96 views

I keep seeing ため

I understand that ため means "in order to" or "goal". I don't understand how it works in this sentence though. Could someone please explain. バスの事故が続いているため出発前に警察などが調べ This is how I interpret it: ...
3
votes
1answer
67 views

Usage of 以前 here

From conversation in an anime (へうげもの、第15話): (古田佐助) 遠く南蛮に至るまで小さきが良いなどと聞いたこともございませぬ。 (千宗易) 茶頭である以前に、しがない魚問屋にすぎぬ私ですらわかるのです。いずれ皆にも伝わることでしょう。(字幕) Is it 以前 ② or ③ from here? I'm confused because ...
0
votes
1answer
163 views

お世辞にも and quote

セイバーはどこに連れて行ってもいつもの調子だし、時には本気で怒っているのでは、と不安になるほど黙り込む事もあった。 お世辞にも楽しんでいた、と説明するのは憚られるぐらいの無反応ぶりに対して、こっちは次こそは次こそはと躍起になる。 Wherever I took Saber she looks the same as always, sometimes she goes so ...
4
votes
1answer
148 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
481 views

Does Japanese have free indirect speech?

In English (and, I assume, its relatives), there is a style of narration called free indirect speech, some examples of which are given in the linked article. I'm having trouble figuring out whether ...
2
votes
1answer
80 views

Trouble understanding postponed quote

俺も泣き顔より笑顔の方が格段にいいと思う。 だから笑わないセイバーには苛々していた。 なのに、彼女は言っていた。 笑えと言う自分に、笑っている俺を見ている方がいいと。 それは。 望遠鏡から覗く、届かない星と同じ。 My translation is the sequent: I too believe a smiling face is way better ...
3
votes
1answer
254 views

How do I say “x is y kilometres from z”?

Very basic grammar but for some reason I cannot easily find an answer online. For example, "My house is 5km from school." Kind of like かかります but for distance instead of time.
10
votes
4answers
239 views

して行{い}かない versus しないで行{い}く

Do they have the same meaning? A: 宿{しゅく}題{だい}をして行{い}かない生{せい}徒{と}が多{おお}いです。 B: 宿{しゅく}題{だい}をしないで行{い}く生{せい}徒{と}が多{おお}いです。
2
votes
1answer
89 views

What's the difference between あって vs ありまして?

I was taught that the て form of the verb ある is あって, but I sometimes see the word ありまして acting in the same way. What's the difference and when would you use one or the other?
2
votes
1answer
78 views

Why does 七時 need に but 今日 does not?

Consider the following sentences: A: 七時に学校へ行きます。 B: 今日学校へ行きません。 I think both 七時 and 今日 are nouns. What I don't understand is why 七時 (as in A) needs に but 今日 (as in B) does not. Can ...
2
votes
1answer
58 views

How is まま used here?

From here 珍道中 読み方:ちんどうちゅう めずらしい旅。旅の途中で珍奇な出来事にまま遭遇するような旅のこと。 What does まま modify here, what clause(word?) is it part of?
1
vote
1answer
55 views

What does this structure (~ + も + verb/adjective) mean?

What does Noun-verb + も + する mean? I'm not even sure this is actually a structure. I found it in these 2 sentences: 昨日のパーティーは料理もおいしかったし、雰囲気もよかった。(料理 [も] 美味しかった [し]) リサはよく勉強 [も] する [し]、アルバイト ...
3
votes
2answers
79 views

The usage of だと and それなりに in this sentence

I ran into this sentence and I'm a bit confused. 魔法の事についてだけはあいつもそれなりに真摯なのだと I guess I'm more confused about the "da to" part. Is this supposed to mean "suppose to"? And so the sentence would be ...
2
votes
1answer
77 views

Should I use とor という or something else in this phrase

I'm getting confused with my と and my という again. I want to say: Writing "A" sounds good but writing "B" sounds bad. My attempt is: 「A」という書くのはいいそうけど、「B」という書くのは悪いそうです。 My main concern is ...
4
votes
2answers
187 views

Is 何か an adverb?

何かいいことがあったか? 何か一言を言ってください In sentences like these, is 何か an adverb? I have read that counters such as 一つ are adverbs when used in sentences like りんごを一つ食べた. Is it possible that 何か is ...
1
vote
2answers
114 views

How to say “How do you say~?”

I have always wondered how to ask someone (like my Japanese teacher) to tell me how to say something in Japanese. For example, I wanted to ask Kato Sensei how to say "Please send me a photo via ...
7
votes
2answers
135 views

Difference Between “何も” and “何でも”

What is the difference between "何も" and "何でも"? I have commonly heard that "何も" means "everything/nothing" and "何で" means "anything" until my Japanese teacher (a native speaker) told me that the ...
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
votes
1answer
56 views

Modifying nouns with question phrases

The sentence at hand: サンタクロースをいつまで信じていたかなんて事はたわいもない世間話にもならないくらいのどうでもいいような話だが、・・・ I assume なんて here serves a derogatory role as など does in the following sentence: あの人の言ったことなど気にする事はありません。 As ...
2
votes
1answer
66 views

verb-ている in potential form やってられないよ

A girl is moaning about how she is treated for not doing her homework then pauses and says: やってられないよ I assume this is a contraction of やっていられないよ which would literally be "I can't be doing it". ...
2
votes
1answer
57 views

Understanding a sentence 〜声が誰のものか

それでも、俺はその繊細な声が誰のものかすぐに気づく。 Does もの here refer to a voice? If so, would there be any difference between the above and the following? それでも、俺はその繊細な声が誰の声かすぐに気づく。 Is it simply to avoid ...
1
vote
2answers
90 views

The Use of "の時” in This Sentence

If I were to write "二〇一五年間の時に" for "during the year of 2015", would the "の時" be redundant and/or grammatically incorrect due to the fact that the "間" in "年間" already implies the meaning of "during ...
4
votes
3answers
162 views

Colloquial grammar question: …が出来たから…ってくれって言ってきたんだろうが!

My colloquial Japanese needs some brushing up on, in particular with grammar. I'm currently reading a manga, the context is that Character 1 showed up and Character 2 seems surprised that he's there. ...
4
votes
1answer
338 views

How does the present tense work in a relative clause?

そんなわけで、まだ日も暮れない夕方の通学路を、駅に向かってゆっくりと歩く俺と加藤。 I encountered this quote in a light novel and am stuck on how to interpret it. It feels like 歩く should be "walking" in this context, but it is not 歩いている. ...
5
votes
1answer
90 views

Is there a difference between に and に対して?

デメテルに続いて言葉を連ねる女神たちに、ヘスティアは微妙な顔付きをした。 vs デメテルに続いて言葉を連ねる女神たちに対して、ヘスティアは微妙な顔付きをした。 What is the difference between these two sentences? In what cases can you use に to replace に対して? Thanks!
7
votes
2answers
136 views

Conflict among teachings of なら and ば

I recently read a helpful answer on a question asking for clarification on the ways to say "if" in Japanese: と, たら, なら, ば. The link is here: Differences among -たら、なら、-んだったら、-えば, etc According to the ...
3
votes
3answers
130 views

「ある」と「ない」は動詞か形容詞か…

「ある」と「ない」はどんな品詞名か教えてください。​​​​​
4
votes
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 ...
7
votes
1answer
624 views

Habitual aspect

My (poor) understanding of things is that there are two ways to get habitual semantics in Japanese: use the dictionary form of the verb: 毎日、映画{えいが}を見に行く "I go to the movies every day." use the ...
7
votes
3answers
831 views

What’s the difference between [v] たとしても and just the plain ても

What’s the difference between [v] たとしても and just the plain ても? Example: (1) 説明書を読んでも分かりにくい (2) 説明書を読んだとしても分かりにくい
2
votes
1answer
124 views

文の組み立て Question about word order

I am having problems with some sentences in those JLPT problems where one has to assemble the sentence from 4 piece of text phrases. The book contains the correct answer, but doesn't tell me the ...