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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1answer
199 views

The passive form [closed]

I'm new to this site (just made an account), I've been learning about the passive form of verbs but I'm a bit confused by what the passive form actually is... I tried googling but couldn't find an ...
1
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1answer
139 views

Using “Nara” with Different Verbs

I recently learned that if you are asked if you've, say, been to Japan, you can use "nara" and reply with "I've been to China, but I have not been to Japan" to sort of lesson the blow of your reply. ...
4
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1answer
174 views

というものでもない vs. というわけではない

I recently saw the sentence on a grammar example site: 多ければよいというものでもない。 From this example, it seems that this sentence means the same thing: 多ければよいというわけじゃない。 Do these sentence in fact mean the ...
3
votes
1answer
89 views

verb+ようにと、 or verb+かと、

Ch.16 of the textbook 中級から学ぶ日本語 introduces the ~と、 structure, with this example: 早く花がさくようにと、毎日水をやっている。 Without the と particle I would read this as 'I water the flowers everyday so that they ...
4
votes
3answers
209 views

What is the difference between ために and -masu root verb+ に?

What is the difference between these two grammar patterns? わたしは 大学で 教えに 英語を 習っています わたしは 大学で 教えるために 英語を 習っています
1
vote
1answer
113 views

What is the grammatical analysis of the sentence 「君を笑いに来た」?

In English, the popular translation of 「君を笑いに来た」 is "I came to laugh at you," but ever since I heard the original in Japanese, I was curious as to what is going on in the sentence from the grammatical ...
1
vote
3answers
140 views

How to use の particle and the で particle if I want to say “I bought the shoes in Tomoyo's shop”

If I wanted to say "I bought the shoes in Tomoyo's shop", how would the particles work? I know "shoes" would take the を particle. But when it comes to "Tomoyo's shop" would I place the の particle ...
5
votes
2answers
250 views

The use of へ towards an abstract concept

I understand the obvious uses of へ. My understanding gets a bit fuzzy when it comes to things other than a physical direction toward a physical place. For example; a sentence such as this: 勝ちへ向かう Is ...
14
votes
3answers
670 views

Can someone explain the logic of the grammar “とは限らない”

I found this example sentence in "A Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar" under a grammar point unrelated to "とは限らない": "運動をよくする人が必ずしも長生きするとは限らない。" I understand the meaning of the sentence ...
6
votes
4answers
180 views

What's the difference between 大きいケーキ and 大きなケーキ?

I'm studying for Japanese exam of the second year and teacher corrected this sentence-mistake: 音楽 を 聞いた あとで、大きい ケーキ を たべました。 was corrected to  音楽 を 聞いた あとで、大きな ケーキ を たべました。 What is the ...
1
vote
2answers
109 views

Which grammar rules are applied when でいい is conjugated to nouns?

"ここに名前を書くだけでいいですか?" means "Is it ok to just write [my] name here?" I'm confused about where でいい comes from. http://www.guidetojapanese.org/learn/grammar/must#part5 is about conjugating ていい /でいい to ...
2
votes
2answers
367 views

~ないでいる verb ending

This is dialogue from a book I have, where a doctor is talking about a patient: 気分が極端に変りやすくなっていて、自分で自分をコントロールできない。神を呪うかと思うと、神に祈る。呪う自分と祈る自分と、絶えず入れ替っていて、どっちが本当の自分か判断できないでいる。 My question is about ...
2
votes
2answers
139 views

“To the East/West/North/South are distinct [feature-rich] areas that fill the land”

Could I check my understanding of the last part of this sentence please? For those who don't play games, Hyrule is a fictional place in the Legend of Zelda videogames (this is from a guidebook I am ...
6
votes
1answer
148 views

Placing a quantifier between a noun and particle?

this is my first question here so please bare with me. Until the other day I was aware of two different ways use counters As an adverb. ペンを3本買いました。 As a noun. 3本のペンを買いました。 ...
4
votes
1answer
104 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
91 views

Is it grammatically correct to use よう without な, に or だ(です)after it?

神の思し召しであなたとよき友情を育むためにあなたにメールするようお告げがありました I think the sentence roughly translates into: "For the sake of raising you and good friend into God's thoughts, you mailed a divine message" Instincts ...
4
votes
1answer
371 views

Difference between 生まれてくる and 生まれる

What is the difference between 生まれてくる and 生まれる? I looked up くる in 大辞林 and found the following: ある事態が出現し,またある現象が現れる意を表す。 「生まれてくる子供のために」 「なくした本が出てきた」 But this still doesn't help me understand ...
2
votes
1answer
74 views

Meaning of “でも” in “食事でもどうですか?”

I've found this sentence on alc.co.jp 食事でもどうですか and I am puzzled as to meaning this でも conveys. How does it differ from 食事はどうですか which would be my first choice; however, according to ...
0
votes
1answer
69 views

Explaining the phrase 書{か}き込{こ}みによると

I have translated the phrase 書き込みによると which, and if I'm right, means "According to the writing". I want to know more about the structure and grammar rules used here. I found it in this article.
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1answer
104 views

Usage of の before です

For example この中でどれが一番難しいのですか。 数学が一番難しいのです Is the の here used as nominalizer meaning "one" or is it used as explanatory/emphasizing のです? I assume the sentences translate to "Amongst these ...
5
votes
1answer
105 views

Meaning of いくら and って in this sentence

The speaker just stated that her father is too sure of himself. いくらママが死んじゃって いないからってさ! (there is a space in the manga as well) チャンピオンなのを利用していろんな女の人と遊びまくってんのよ! He uses his title to have ...
3
votes
1answer
99 views

What does 曰く mean when it is *not* preceded by a name?

Dictionary or other references are appreciated, as no dictionary I have referenced gives me an example of this kind of usage. Example: ...
1
vote
1answer
148 views

興奮する to be excited or to get excited?

When I was looking at a dictionary the definition (in the English part) was given as be [get] excited; ((口)) be [get] worked up What exactly these [] are referring to is unclear to me. From my ...
9
votes
2answers
306 views

Proportion and Rate

How do I form a sentence pattern for: The more/less X happens, the more/less Y happens E.g. The more you stir, the faster the salt dissolves. The colder the weather, the more ...
2
votes
1answer
142 views

Use of 一体 in this sentence

These two sentences have been giving me trouble in terms of understanding their meaning. 友達が恋人にふられて、とても落ち込んでいる。でも、一体何を言ってあげたらいいか、全然分からない。 My translation: My friend was able to trip up my ...
3
votes
1answer
119 views

What's the difference between こそ and さえ in 「忙しくて昼ごはんを食べる時間___ない」

I don't know which to choose: 忙しくて昼ごはんを食べる時間さえない or 忙しくて昼ごはんを食べる時間こそない The explanation in my textbook is given in such a way that I can't understand the difference: It says こそ "expresses ...
5
votes
2answers
155 views

Usage of plain i-adjectives or た form (悪かったv悪い、良かったvいい etc)

Example 美人じゃなくて悪かったですね!(sarcastic) compared to someone who is using a room and is told あんまり広い部屋じゃなくて悪いな Or for example the difference between 無事でよかった and I can't think of the corresponding for ...
3
votes
2answers
316 views

Do ちょうだい、ごらん、ください、おいで constitute an own class of part of speech?

They are all used after the Te-Form of Japanese verbs similar to subsidiary verbs, but they seem to differ from subsidiary verbs. What is their true nature?
8
votes
1answer
591 views

Usage of て-form in 知っての通り

I have just come across the phrase 知っての通り〜 (as you know...) I have never noticed this usage of て-form before and can't find an explanation. What is the difference (if any) between this and 知っている通り? ...
5
votes
1answer
262 views

When does こいつ refer to a situation?

I've always heard こいつ refer to a person. (That guy!) However, in my JLPT Reading workbook there is a line where it refers to a situation. The explanation says: 「こいつ」が状況を表し....ことに気づくこと。 It goes ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

の cannot be used as a pronoun meaning “one” for “highly abstract objects” but what is a “highly abstract object”?(amended)

(Italics are used to indicate revisions to the orginal question made in response to feedback so far) According to "A students' guide to Japanese grammar", by Naomi McGloin, の is used as a pronoun ...
2
votes
1answer
83 views

Explain ますよう + [noun]

Can someone please help me parse the following sentence: ...新商品をお試しくださいますようご案内申し上げます。 I guess the meaning is something like "We invite you to try our new product," but I don't understand how ...
0
votes
1answer
144 views

Words ending in consonants [duplicate]

Using Hiragana, how would you write a word/transcribe a sound which ends in a consonant? Such as 'kon'. Relevant to this, I don't understand why 'hajimemashite' doesn't pronounce the 'shi' in the ...
2
votes
1answer
101 views

How does 別に function as an adverb?

I know that 別に means "not particularly" sometimes, but what is its role in this sentence? 別に山田の私服を見るのは、はじめてってわけじゃないんだけどな。 I assume it means something like "it's not exactly the first time I've seen ...
2
votes
1answer
101 views

Is ために here a wrong one? [duplicate]

Could someone please help with the correct answer to this N3 challenge? I thought the correct one is ために but apparently I'm wrong. 今度の試合に勝てる (ために)一生けんめいがんばります。 Variants given: ために ことに ように みたいに
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vote
2answers
103 views

Don't understand meaning and translation of these sentences

I’m having major trouble understanding and translating these example sentences. 試験や勉強で忙しくなると、どうして勉強しているのか忘れがちになる。でも勉強は自分のためにしているということを忘れないでほしい。 My translation: When you become busy with exams and ...
3
votes
1answer
123 views

「もんか」の使い方を教えてくれませんか?

How do you use もんか? Once, I saw this sentence: お前に俺の気持がわかるもんか. I understand the meaning but I don't know how you can use it
3
votes
2answers
283 views

Meaning and translation of 働かせっぱなし

Help me please with translation 働かせっぱなし in the following sentence それって、朝からずっと働かせっぱなしの人間に対して、掛ける言葉じゃ、ないと思うんだけど The main problem is that I cannot understand how to correctly translate ...
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vote
2answers
132 views

Adjective conjugation of 小さい and 少ない in these sentences

I’ve come across some adjective conjugation that I don’t fully understand in two separate but related example sentences, and so my translations are definitely wonky. ...
29
votes
5answers
2k views

i-adjectives used as na-adjectives: is there a difference? (e.g. 大きい versus 大きな)

There are at the very least several i-adjectives can be used as na-adjectives by dropping the final い and adding な in its place. The most common examples of this, as far as I am aware, are 大きい and ...
2
votes
2answers
165 views

How to ask the 'looks like' or appearance of something?

Good day to everyone. I've been wondering on how you say 'looks like' or 'appears like' but not on terms of similarity. It is asking for a description or appearance on an object. For example: ...
1
vote
1answer
314 views

Topic marker in これは大きい本を食べる犬です

In the sentence これは大きい本を食べる犬です, I understand that 大きい本を食べる is a clause that describes 犬 as "a dog that eats large books"; and を only makes sense within that clause. However, I'm confused about ...
8
votes
2answers
359 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
131 views

なんと versus どう usage

Consider the two questions: 1) せんせいの しつもんに なんと こたえました 2) せんせいの しつもんに どう こたえました I hope they both mean "How did you answer the teacher's question?" A previous question on this site suggested that なんと ...
3
votes
1answer
222 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
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
373 views

知らない方がいいって事もあるんです

Original video I am trying to decipher: 知らない方がいいって事もあるんです The translation that is provided with this phrase is "Some things are better off left unknown." I'm trying to break this down but I'm ...
4
votes
2answers
107 views

Use of まで in this sentence

The sentence is 出口が無けりゃ作るまでよ. I'm pretty sure it means something along the lines of "If there is not a door, just make one" It confuses me because 出口が無けりゃ should mean "If there is not a door" and ...
8
votes
2answers
505 views

Come to ~: ~てくる vs. ~ようになる

Can someone please explain the fine nuances of these two? Things such as: Are there conditions/restrictions of when you can use one or the other? What are the "approximate" time periods that each ...
1
vote
1answer
99 views

Question about the それに

I have a question about the meaning of それに in the following passage(second one). Does it means something like "To that, after supressing this intense sleepiness, Taito said." So, this それに refers to ...