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
217 views

Meaning of 「生きるにしても死ぬにしても」

In the video game Mother 3, there is a group of beings called the Magypsy, who are rumored to be very old. While talking to humans, one of them says the following: 人間なんて生きるにしても死ぬにしても精々たった100年。 ...
0
votes
1answer
114 views

Is there a difference between the particle お (o) and the particle を (wo) [duplicate]

So I'm just confused. I've read that when writing を is used, but when talking お is used. Is this true or are they entirely different?
3
votes
2answers
192 views

Meaning of そうして

I can't completely understand the meaning of そうして in the following dialogue. As far as I can guess it is similar to こうして, but what is the point of using そう? ...
0
votes
1answer
121 views

can I get away with not having a subject in a sentence if the subject is not relevant to the meaning?

I would like to reference a question I have about this thread that I asked a few days ago: 「思っているようです。」or 「思っている。」 for describing another person's opinion That question was clearly answered. This ...
7
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2answers
211 views

Does 友達 have the plural marker たち “built-in”?

I cannot recall this very clearly so I'm sorry if this is all not correct but someone once told me that the word 友達{ともだち} has the plural marker たち "built-in" and therefore you cannot say 友達たち about ...
0
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2answers
201 views

How is て行く being used in すすんで行く and さいて行く? [duplicate]

I came across すすんで行く and さいて行く in a vocabulary list, and it was immediately obvious that there was probably some sort of grammatical construct involving て行く that was in use here. I don't really know ...
4
votes
2answers
215 views

Why do we have to use ている form of 思う with third person subject [duplicate]

I've read from many grammar books that when we are talking about a third people thinking about something, we must use 思っている, and it means "think" instead of "be thinking". For example: ...
4
votes
1answer
115 views

What's the meaning of も and また in 「これほど無駄な本というのもまた珍しい」?

I saw this scathing review of KY式日本語 on Amazon JP. This is the full sentence I'm asking about: 出版する意味を感じられない本は多数世に出ているが、これほど無駄な本というのもまた珍しい Ignoring the もまた part, what I get from this is ...
9
votes
3answers
229 views

How do ことになる and ようになる differ? (When ことになる cannot = “It has been decided that”)

I understand that ことになる has the meaning "It has been decided that" and can be used to point to a ritual or habit of a society like taking off your shoes. However, I don't get what it means when it is ...
3
votes
1answer
106 views

ではないか Grammar translation

what does ではないか mean in the sentence below? And can someone please translate it? 耳に馴染みのない方も多いのではないかと思いますが、 (after that he explains the word)....
5
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2answers
227 views

What are the differences amongst 「ならびに」, 「かつ」 and 「および」?

In which situations can I choose one of them to use?
1
vote
1answer
117 views

What is the meaning of masu-stem + proposition

Example sentence: オオカミのことばに従い、 森に行った。 What is the meaning of this construction? Does it have a special meaning?
3
votes
1answer
120 views

What is the difference between ~あろうが and ~あろうと?

I'm writing a report for a class, and at first I wrote:  […]どのような批判があろうが[…] But then I sat back and thought, maybe it should actually be:  […]どのような批判があろうと[…] But now I'm not sure if ...
3
votes
1answer
133 views

な, の, である and ために

When used with a noun ために could have two meanings : (1) 学生のために、奨学金がある。 There are scholarships for (the sake of) students. (2) 学生のために、学校の規則に従わなければならない。 Since s/he is a student s/he ...
3
votes
1answer
91 views

How to say “As a <position>, …”

Example : As a friend, I think we should... What do you add to ともだち to add the "As a" prefix? Also, after that part, does the rest of the sentence follow the normal rules of a Japanese sentence? ...
2
votes
1answer
96 views

When is it possible to split である in で+ある

It is very difficult to find literature on this topic and the only related question is Splicing である with a topic whose answer is (to my view) a bit elusive and the reference provided by snailboat is ...
3
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2answers
134 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
137 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
103 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
316 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
140 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
186 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
157 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
159 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
168 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
158 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 ...
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1answer
141 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
200 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
170 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
130 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
485 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
98 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。 ...
6
votes
1answer
496 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
133 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
232 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
3
votes
2answers
211 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
202 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
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3answers
763 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
114 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
148 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
465 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
153 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
186 views

「どちら様でしたか?」 - why past form?

In a novel I'm reading (「キッチン」 by 吉本{よしもと}ばなな), 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
200 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
204 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
437 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
217 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
275 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 : ...