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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2answers
126 views

Use of 自分を and もらう

I have trouble understanding the following sentence: ルーカスさんは、自分をファーストネームで呼んでもらいたいと言うけれども、三年も年上の人なので、どうも「トム」とは呼びにくい。 Is it. Mister Lukas wants to get called by his first name but it's hard to do ...
5
votes
1answer
134 views

When should I use で or を particles? [duplicate]

Newcomer here. Trying to learn Japanese on my own for years now. Here's a first question. How can I make sure to learn correctly the difference between using を and で in the context of an action ...
1
vote
1answer
99 views

Using the stem form of a verb like the て form, as in 燃えゆく or 飲みほして

What is the significance of sometimes using the stem form of a verb like how the て form would be? For example: 燃えゆく (from HANABI) 飲みほして (from Ambiguous) It's something I hear now and again, ...
10
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3answers
306 views

私は猫が好き and 猫は私が好き

I'm an absolute beginner. I've learned Japanese in my spare time for less than two months. This is my first question here. Even though I think this question is potentially trivial, it's perhaps the ...
5
votes
2answers
129 views

What is “koto” used for?

I know "koto" means thing, but I've seen it used like this in my Self-Study Japanese book: Nihon no koto ga yoku wakarimasu ka. and Chiimu no koto o kangaete imasshita Does this mean Japan's thing ...
1
vote
1answer
72 views

となる - Grammatical explanation please [duplicate]

can someone please explain となる ? I read it everywhere but still don't know what it exactly means. Here's just an example sentence: この世界が心つなぐ鍵となる
3
votes
1answer
182 views

What does adding お at the end of a word change?

An example would be: "watashi wa cake o(お) tabetai". What does the お do? I tried on google translate and it seems it gives pertenence to that thing..like it belongs either to you or me..but I still ...
3
votes
1answer
155 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" ...
7
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1answer
145 views

How to list numbers of things

Where do you place the counter in Japanese when you want to specify how many of something there are, especially if you're listing multiple things? I believe the counter usually goes after the ...
2
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1answer
166 views

Meaning of 虚ろに in this particular case

I was doing my daily dose of reading and I came by this particular sentence, which I had a little bit of trouble finding the meaning for. 「このあたりからまた意識が虚ろになってしまいました」 The context is a patient who had ...
3
votes
3answers
146 views

Valid interpretations of the (first) て-form in 何かを犠牲にして、その上で、平和は成り立っている。

What are the valid interpretations of the (first) て-form in the following sentence? 何かを犠牲にして、その上で、平和は成り立っている。 I'm having difficulties assigning a definite meaning to this sentence. There seems ...
1
vote
1answer
118 views

「〜そうにない」 unfamiliar usage of そう [duplicate]

I'm playing a video game in Japanese, and one of the characters said 僕にもわかりそうにない。 I understand that (verb stem)そう means "it seems" or "it appears", but I've never seen (verb stem)そう used with ...
2
votes
1answer
181 views

に - same meaning as として?

Could somebody please give me a hint about the meaning of に in 「反抗的な態度に映ったのか、隊長は舌打ちして前を向く。」. If I'm understanding correctly, に here has the same meaning as として. 内容・状態などを示す。「ーとして」の意。「ほうびにもらう」 Some ...
5
votes
0answers
164 views

In 君が代, what's the function of の?

I've got a question about the two instances of の in 君が代: さざれ石の巌となりて 苔の生すまで First, is さざれ石の巌 to be interpreted as a boulder made of pebbles (analogous to, say, 木製の槍)? Second, is the の in 苔の生すまで ...
4
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1answer
128 views

Grammar との - What is the meaning

so here in this sentence below "との" were used 2 times. What stand's との for? Can someone please explain it to me? ...
6
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2answers
470 views

Is there a special way of asking hypothetical questions?

I'm not really sure there is an equivalent for hypothetical questions in Japanese, but here's hoping there is. In English, hypothetical questions are generally prefaced by "What would you do if..." ...
2
votes
1answer
96 views

Unnecessary に in “どんなに” in this sentence?

The following sentences are from a reading passage. I'm confused on the third sentence - the previous two are just given for context. 日本ではどこに行っても、「きまりですから」という言葉を耳にする。 これを言われてしまうと、こちらにはもう反論の余地はない。 ...
4
votes
1answer
440 views

Addressing strangers without knowing the name

How does one address a stranger in a casual conversation when name is unknown? For example, I had a conversation with an older Japanese lady and I wanted to compliment her on her English (but in ...
2
votes
0answers
42 views

~に~があります vs ~は~です in this sentence [duplicate]

The following sentence was found in a book: 日本社会の「きまり」にかかわる例の一つに、 会社への就職活動がある。 I'm wondering, assuming the translation is "An example of one of these "rules" related to Japanese society is ...
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2answers
125 views

“verb+ものです” has an additional meaning?

I am trying to remember if the following sentences have the meaning of "it is a custom/habit." (1)「日本では、家に入る前に、靴を脱ぐものです。」 (2)「日本業界では、自己紹介をする時に、名刺を交換するものです。」 (3)「日本社会において、3月の14日に、男は女の子にチョコを上げるものです。」 ...
6
votes
1answer
221 views

Forming a “habitual” sentence: “I usually get up at 7.15”

私は大抵七時十五分に起きます Would this be a correct way to say 'I usually get up at 7.15'? Not sure 大抵 is correctly placed before the time+に
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2answers
209 views

Is setting a topic obligatory?

For instance, if I say the following as the first phrase in a conversation: おはよう!ピクニックでリナさんを探していましたが、どこもみえませんでしたね。 Hi! I was looking for you at the picnic, but couldn't find anywhere. Is it ...
6
votes
1answer
173 views

「どこでもある」と「どこにもある」の使い分け

I have come across this sentence: 一九七0年頃までは、どこでも銭湯がありましたが、今は、少なくなりました。 Why is it that it says どこでも X がある instead of どこにも X がある I understand that で and に are very similar as they have ties in ...
4
votes
3answers
701 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
104 views

読みます or 読んで form to express habit

In my textbook it says you can use the 読みます form to talk about habitual actions, such as 私はよく本を読みます But I read on the internet (source) that the correct form for this is 読んで and the sentence should ...
5
votes
2answers
144 views

The meaning of v-ta+であろう

What does v-た+であろう mean? For example: ほんの一、ニ分のやりとりであったであろうが、いかに屈託のない若い人たちの闊達さがさわやかであった。 Does it mean something is likely to be that way? But what then if it appears that this thing has already ...
4
votes
2answers
448 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
138 views

Meaning of 「のでは」

What does のでは mean in the following sentence? What changes if we write this sentence like this - デカイ腹に集中した、というのが? ...
6
votes
2answers
153 views

「どちら様でしたか?」 - why past form?

In a novel I'm reading there's this situation where the door opens and a woman enters the room asking for the main character by name. The main character, being surprised and not knowing the woman, ...
2
votes
1answer
183 views

How to say “about” as in “to read about”

I wonder how to say something like Now I'm reading about ways to get to Kyoto from Tokyo. I know the necessary words but I wonder how to say this "about". Will it be okay if I just write this? ...
2
votes
2answers
195 views

「日焼{ひや}け」 is not representative of a means to nominalize verbs?

I was just thinking about the sunburn I will get during the upcoming 4th of July holiday. Then, I wondered if 「日焼{ひや}け」is a verb nominalization. If it is, I am not aware of such a pattern. Is it an ...
6
votes
2answers
423 views

What does 側 at the end of a verb mean?

I haven't seen this very often at all, so this has got me stumped. Here's an example with it showing up frequently: http://www.orenoh.com/knowledge/mensetu-shikaku.html The title, for example: ...
8
votes
1answer
213 views

って vs が. JLPT question

I'm looking through JLPT N3 questions and have come across this one: A: ねえ (   ) どんなひと? B: とても親切でいい人だよ The possible answers are: 田中さんが 田中さんで 田中さんって 田中さんでも Number 4 makes no sense ...
5
votes
1answer
265 views

Unclear grammar elements (Verb - Noun)

Currently I'm learning Japanese by discovering vocabulary and new grammars which I can find in Japanese Windows XP. I have some trouble understanding these grammar elements in the following examples : ...
2
votes
1answer
129 views

meaning of はぐった

I would really appreciate your help. I just read the sentence またひるめしをくいはぐった and I can't quite figure out what はぐった means and what the basic grammar of this conjugation is. I'm kinda lost...
2
votes
2answers
175 views

Some questions about the use of となる

According to what I read, となる is the written counterpart of になる. Nevertheless, I stumbled upon some use of となる that seems not to fall under the typical usage of になる (which, for me, means "to become" ...
5
votes
3answers
228 views

I'm a bit lost on this sentence using なかろうか

As part of a long text on the use of られる, there is this sentence: られる は私{わたし}の父{ちち}が信{しん}じていたほどには効能{こうのう}を持{も}っていなかったのではなかろうか。 This sentence is from my JLPT textbook, but it seems a section of ...
5
votes
1answer
216 views

What is the subject of this sentence? Is it the book (mentioned) or the author (who is not mentioned)?

The following sentence/phrase comes from the Progressive (プログレッシブ)dictionary: この本は自然主義について論じている|This book deals with naturalism In English people often say something like "This books addresses ...
3
votes
1answer
236 views

Is に okay in 「田中さんはビデオゲームに遊んでいます」?

I have a question with the follow sentence: 田中さんはビデオゲームに遊んでいます Is the particle に okay?
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2answers
98 views

What is the “one type” being “wiped away” in this sentence?

As part of a larger block of text, my JLPT textbook has this sentence: 私{わたし}たちは、コトバに対{たい}して一種{いっしゅ}のぬぐいがたい軽視{けいし}、軽{かる}く見{み}る傾向{けいこう}が一般{いっぱん}にあるといっていいかもしれません。 I'm specifically confused about ...
3
votes
2answers
187 views

Modifying adjectives 「のように」

I cannot understand what exactly is ように modifying in the following sentence. And is it grammatically possible for 流れる濁流のよう to modify 急激な感情の? Because in phrase like this - 完璧に思ったとおりの仕上がり, 完璧に modifies ...
4
votes
1answer
140 views

Which part of the sentence is 離陸するまで modifying?

A sentence from JapanesePod101. 私たちは、離陸するまで二時間、飛行機の中で座っていた。 We sat on the airplane for two hours before it took off. The general meaning of the sentence is not in question, but is 離陸するまで ...
4
votes
1answer
182 views

Help with the meaning of 大絶賛 in this sentence

というわけで、俺は実家で只今大絶賛ひとり暮らし中である。 From what I can tell, the speaker is saying that for reasons mentioned he is living alone at home, but I don't see how 大絶賛 (which means very high praise) affects the ...
4
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0answers
117 views

What are all the nuances and uses of 至る? (に至って) (に至っては) (に至っても) (に至る)

I'm studying for the N1. And there are several not so often used structures that you really need to know the minute differences between. One of these is the uses of 至る. As far as I know, these are ...
1
vote
1answer
80 views

How to add a specific day of the week when asking about opening & closing time

I know it's very basic but I am a beginner... If anybody could be of any help it would be fantastic :) I know how to ask about closing and opening time (of shops, offices etc) but I don't know how to ...
1
vote
1answer
91 views

When should I use ~ている vs. ~ています?

The book says use ~ている for a) an action in progress and b) a past event that is connected with the present, and it has examples like スーさんは本を読んでいます, and all the examples are using ています. But when I look ...
3
votes
1answer
183 views

How to read 連体形 + 上

Taking an example from a page naruto linked in another thread: 外国人が日本語を習得する上で難しい点がたくさんあります。 My inclination is to read this as うえ since it's followed by で, however I've got a nagging feeling it ...
6
votes
1answer
152 views

ってんだ with imperative

To describe the context...Girl A and a boy arrange to go to an amusement park to find some clues about...something. Or that's what she says to him, but the girl is actually tricking the boy into going ...
0
votes
0answers
53 views

Nano/Nanoka Meaning [duplicate]

I heard nanoka was a childish way of saying nandesu, or something along those lines, but my dictionary says nano is a copula-what does nano mean?
8
votes
3answers
231 views

Is this は replacing が or を? (& is this 悪 read as あく or わる?)

This is the "sentence": 暴力は悪*だと非難する| condemn violence as evil Sounds simple? The English translation does not give a subject so I wonder are either が or をcorrect if I modify the sentence as ...