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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3
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3answers
364 views

How does a noun phrase translate into a verb?

Ok. The whole sentence is: Person A bandages Person B's arm. Person B says: ありがとう。ずいぶん慣れた処置ね?看護婦でもやってたの? I get what the sentences are saying. But! For the life of me I can't parse ずいぶん慣れた処置ね? into ...
10
votes
2answers
357 views

Can a noun + suru have an adjective modify the noun as well?

”I did some difficult studying last night." Could I say, "昨夜、難しい勉強しました。”? Basically, my question is: can an adjective, relative clause, or adjectival phrase modify a noun that has する attached, for ...
5
votes
3answers
429 views

Is my interpretation of the grammar in 「気にしてられないと思えるようになる。」 correct?

人の目なんて。 気にしてられないと思えるようになる。 You can't concern yourself with what other people think. I saw this on a TV show where the hosts were talking about coming out in public if you are gay. They had ...
4
votes
2answers
224 views

女性の身体は本来美しいもの. Is this sentence grammatical?

I found the sentence: 女性の身体は本来美しいもの。 'The female body is a fundamentally beautiful thing.' in the following passage: 毎食後2錠から3錠、油っこい食事のあとは少し多めに飲むだけと、とっても簡単にダイエットできてしまいます。 'An effective ...
12
votes
1answer
263 views

Does a list using と end with が?

Asking this other question has reminded me of another confusion I often have, one of my long standing bad habits that you'd think I'd have sorted after all this time in Japan. I'm never quite sure ...
3
votes
1answer
156 views

Does this と mean “and” or “with”?

Recenly, with Facebook's new "feed" feature, whatever the heck that is, I've been seeing this notification coming up a lot: [Friend One]さんと[Friend Two]さんがフィード購読{こうどく}を許可{きょか}しています。 I have to ...
15
votes
2answers
566 views

“太ってる猫” vs “太った猫”

I saw this sentence and its translation in a textbook 彼女は太った猫が好きじゃない。 She doesn't like fat cats I was under the impression that 「太ってる猫」 means something like “cat that is in the state of ...
5
votes
1answer
258 views

Usage of まるで with 見ているようだった.

その翼はとても滑らかに動くため、まるでコンピュータ・グラフィックスを見ているようだった。 Its wings were moving so smoothly that it almost looked like CGI. or would a more accurate translation be: Its wings were moving so smoothly ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

How is the “のです” working here?

目立つ事を恐れ、一緒でなければいけないという日本人が確実に減ってきているのです。 The strong feelings that Japanese have of being afraid of standing out and everybody having to do things together are starting to become less ...
2
votes
1answer
166 views

“一目ぼれから長持ちする関係は望めません。” この表現のニュアンスを説明して頂けませんか?

一目ぼれから長持ちする関係は望めません。 Falling in love at first sight won't bring you a lasting relationship. I found this sentence and translation without any other context, and have a few questions about ...
3
votes
1answer
707 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
121 views

Does this athlete intend to play in the street or for the street?

In a bizarre and transparently ineffective attempt to try and change the culture of Shibuya's central shopping district, the shopowners promotion association (商店街{しょうてんがい}振興{しんこう}組合{くみあい}) has changed ...
3
votes
2answers
697 views

Does anyone know which おり this is?

彼女は表情が生き生きとしておりとてもかわいい。 was translated awkwardly on ALC as She is very pretty for the liveliness of her expression. Which おり is this? I think I know it from the polite しております but is it here ...
1
vote
0answers
175 views

「わ」の使い方教えていただけませんか [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When women use わ at the end of a sentence, is it different from よ?     時に女の人が言っている言葉なんですが、いつ、だれと話す時使ったほうがいいでしょうか?
2
votes
1answer
208 views

ほんの時々私の中で顔を出し、しばらくすると消えてしまうもの。Are there any other options to replace the で here?

ほんの時々私の中で顔を出し、しばらくすると消えてしまうもの。 My attempt at translation: "Every once in a while my inner feelings show themselves, only to disappear again." The above was taken from the following dialogue: ...
5
votes
2answers
220 views

How do I ask about two different possible options?

Is this the correct way to ask which of two options is true? あの CD は トルコご の ですか えいご の ですか? ("Is that CD in Turkish or English?")
5
votes
1answer
221 views

“トムと話した” vs. “トムと話し合った”

This book (Chap. 29) says that for some verbs which can be unilateral or bilateral (like 相談する, 話す, 合う), The particle と implies that the verb is shared 50/50 between the two participants (bilateral), ...
4
votes
4answers
267 views

Shouldn't there be a のは in this sentence?

This is a an example sentence from a JLPT textbook to explain the use of たらしめる: 想像力{そうぞうりょく}こそ作品{さくひん}を芸術{げいじゅつ}たらしめる要素{ようそ}である。 I understand the meaning, which is something like, "The key ...
5
votes
1answer
263 views

“きのう、何をしていた。” vs. “きのう、何をした。”

What is the difference in nuance between きのう、何をしていた。 vs きのう、何をした。? To be fair, I can't really tell the difference between these two english sentences: What were you doing yesterday ? What did you do ...
5
votes
1answer
237 views

How does うんざり work in the Present Indicative, Causative, Passive, and Causative-passive tenses

Consider the following: そいつはひどく鼻持ちならないやつで、私をすっかりうんざりさせる。(That guy is so obnoxious that he really turns me off.) あなたをうんざりさせるものは何ですか?(What turns you off?) 痛み以上に私をうんざりさせるものはない。(Nothing turns ...
13
votes
2answers
727 views

The differences between ~がたい、〜にくい、〜づらい

I was wondering what the differences are between these three: ~がたい、〜にくい、〜づらい They all seem to be some sort of variant of "Hard to do ~". But it seems they are used with different verbs and/or imply ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the difference between “〜がる” and “〜がっている”

I want to know the difference between 〜がる and 〜がっている, and in what situations I can use them. My friend said 〜がる is used for a regular activity that someone does every day or every week, and the ...
8
votes
2answers
240 views

「悪気があっての答え」 vs 「悪気がある答え」

Hi all I was wondering what is the difference between these two sentences: 「決して悪気があっての回答ではないです。」 「決して悪気がある回答ではないです。」 I can't really make out the gist of the meaning of 「あっての」. WWWJDIC's ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Does Vて+いる always mean an action already completed?

For the longest time, I thought that a verb ending in て+いる meant that one was currently doing an action, similar to how we use ~ing in English to mean a contuinuing state. So 食{た}べている means "eating". ...
4
votes
1answer
599 views

What would be the literal meaning of the causative form here? 暴風警報発令中のため本日の営業はお休みとさせていただきます。

暴風警報発令中のため本日 bōfū keihō hatsurei chū notame honjitsu の営業はお休みとさせて no eigyō wa oyasumi to sasete いただきます。 itadakimasu. 暴風 bōfū = storm winds 警報 keihō = warning 発令 hatsurei = official ...
4
votes
1answer
262 views

"一生懸命な”のニュアンスを説明してもらえませんか。Nuances of 一生懸命な

一生懸命な彼に申し訳ない気がしました。そこで、私は一度彼と会って面と向かって断ろうと思ったのです。 'I felt I had to do something so I decided to meet him face to face and tell him I wasn't interested.' 一生懸命を副詞として使ったら 'eagerly, with utmost ...
15
votes
2answers
358 views

What are the various ways to express 'or' and when are they appropriate?

I'd like to get an idea of when it is appropriate to use different expressions for expressing disjunction (of the inclusive AND exclusive variety). 「AとBとCの中で...」、「どちら」、and 「か] come to mind, but I ...
8
votes
1answer
553 views

Can I use 行っている間(に) in the sense of a habitual action?

Knowing that 行く is punctual, stative, and a motion verb, I also know that, 日本に行っている means "I/he/she have gone to Japan (and am still there)" rather than "I am currently going to Japan." I also feel ...
2
votes
1answer
169 views

Help with tense/aspect (past vs. non-past in Verb and Verbている)

I'm having difficulty with this sentence: Tense appears inconsistent to me. I need help understanding the correct use of verb forms. 冬休みにずっと九州に [Fill in the blank] おばあさんのうちにいました(past) 住む ...
5
votes
1answer
291 views

Is this は or はいる: ~わかってはいるものの

たばこは体に悪いとわかってはいるものの、なかなかやめられない。 If it's は, does omitting は change the meaning in verb-te~はいる? And also, could you talk about what いる is doing? If it's はいる, in what sense would you describe はいる's ...
3
votes
2answers
695 views

What is the とも in this sentence? 日本人は英語を学ばずとも暮らせる環境に居ます。

日本人は英語を学ばずとも暮らせる環境に居ます。 Japanese people are in an environment where they can live without having to learn english. Is the とも in this sentence one word or is it two words: と and も ? I guess it is one ...
3
votes
1answer
180 views

Finding the subject in Japanese. 自分だったら、これを大きくなってから見たら感動するだろうな

This is from the comments on this youtube page where an infant is cuddling with a bemused cat. The commentator is writing on how cute the scene is. I am having trouble figuring out some of the ...
6
votes
3answers
338 views

What is the significance of the “の” in the sentence “誰が盗んだのか、誰か知りませんか。”

In another forum, someone said the difference between 誰が盗んだのか、誰か知りませんか。 and 誰が盗んだか、誰か知りませんか。 is that the former has more emphasis on the verb 盗む. Another person said that that's not the ...
1
vote
1answer
278 views

Name/Title at the end of a sentence. Vocative case?

Consider these stanzas taken from the opening song of Aria the Animation: Undine. Translations taken from this site Background information: An Undine as a mythical concept is a female water ...
2
votes
1answer
118 views

Extracting from, and introducing to Universe of Discourse using は and が with こそあど-demonstratives

Consider the following: このりんご( は / が )食べないでください。 Person A: どちらが東ですか。  Person B: こちら( は / が )東です。 Workbook answers are は for 1. and が for 2. In 1., I would expect the person to ...
2
votes
1answer
154 views

How is the あげたい working here?

On a TV show, an idol was given this task to think of: 心が晴れやかになる一言 'A word (or phrase) to lift someone's mood'  (My loose translation) The idol responded: アナタの心の雨を[止]{や}ませてあげたいな 'Let me ...
1
vote
1answer
168 views

幼いときに老けて、老いて子供に戻る。Can anyone explain the nuances of this sentence?

幼いときに老けて、老いて子供に戻る。 I can make a few guesses as to the specific meaning but I'm not sure which one is right.. does anyone know what would be the most correct translation of this sentence?
4
votes
1answer
102 views

Is this the denial of a statement, or a statement of denial?

This sentence originally came from a newspaper article. Unfortunately, I copied it onto a flashcard for later study and then lost the original context. 彼は、可能性について「念頭に全くない」と否定した。 【かれは、かのうせいに ...
3
votes
1answer
363 views

Is 「なので」actually a short-form for「それなので」?

In Tae Kim's Guide there is a conversation that goes like this: Tom: 時間がなかった。 Mary: だからパーティーに行かなかったの? I was wondering is 「だから」 actually a short-form of 「それだから」 ? Similarly, in the ...
3
votes
1answer
181 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
1
vote
1answer
412 views

“訳分からない” various uses of 訳

Here are a few examples of 訳 that I am having trouble with: 僕は決して農業が嫌いな訳じゃない。 Boku wa kesshite nōgyō ga kiraina wake janai. By no means do I dislike farming. (Lit: The reason is not that I dislike ...
3
votes
1answer
136 views

Is と necessary after a quoted phrase?

Hi all I was wondering if we want to treat a quoted phrase as a "noun", is it necessary to put a と particle behind the quoted phrase? For example: A) The "received" in "received from Tom" ...
4
votes
1answer
172 views

When is disjunctive-が appropriate in connecting sentences?

Consider the following: [1] 僕は日本人ではなく, シンガポール人です。 (I'm not Japanese, I'm Singaporean) [2] 僕は日本人ではないが, シンガポール人です。 (I'm not Japanese but Singaporean) Comparing my sentences to the worked ...
5
votes
1answer
163 views

Particle-が in restaurant's name. Genitive particle?

I was at a Japanese restaurant called 星岡 (ほしがおか). And I was trying to figure out what the が does in it. I instinctively translated it to "Starry hill" (Not sure of my translation though). ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Verbs +「~てくる」 , which verbs? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Difference between -て行く and -て来る my doubt is which verbs I can use with ~てくる (~ていく) ABOUT ME I don't want to say "I undestand", but I'd like to say "I'm understanding" ...
5
votes
2answers
207 views

Is this a valid use of どころか?

In the following, I feel it should be 会話が出来るどころか. ジムは日本語で会話が出来ないどころか、簡単な挨拶も出来ない。 Jim is not only unable to converse in Japanese; he cannot even make simple greetings. I was expecting the ...
5
votes
1answer
201 views

Using あまりに(も) in a sentence with <verb stem>過ぎる, is it redundant?

Using あまりに(も) in a sentence with 過ぎる, is it redundant because they both mean too much/excessive? In the following example stolen from Lukman (thank you), does the sentence change if you drop the あまりに ...
3
votes
1answer
932 views

Why does replacing だ to である changes the meaning of a the sentence?

「彼は映画スターであり、政治家もだ。」 means "He is a movie star, and a politician is a movie star, too" (from Tsuyoshi's comment below this other post) 「彼は映画スターであり、政治家でもある。」 means "He is a movie star and also a ...
11
votes
1answer
970 views

Where does the verbal form しとく come from?

In a manga I am currently reading, one of the character exclaims: 安心しな。秘密に しとく から。 The general meaning of the second part ("I'll keep it a secret") is quite obvious, and it seems that "しとく" ...
6
votes
2answers
457 views

Is it grammatical to have more than one “WH question” words in a sentence?

In English it would be strange to have more than one "WH question" word in a sentence, For example: Tomorrow, where are we meeting, at what time and to do what ? It sounds like it's grammatical ...