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.

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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?
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521 views

Which verb receives a negation in a Japanese sentence?

I can say 歩いて渡る which translates to "to cross by walking". However, if I would like to say "I am not going to cross by walking, but by some other means", would I say 歩かないで渡る or 歩いて渡らない? There are ...
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539 views

Imperative used instead of conditional form

This quesion: と言っても vs とは言え . reminded me of a similar case: どっちにしても vs どっちにしろ which are also synonymous as far as I can tell. That got me thinking: Is this coincidental? Are there ...
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What separates the different ways to ask a question in Japanese (何, どう, どんな, etc.)?

It's been something I've been thinking about for a while, but could never answer in a more concrete way. This is most apparent when I compare the functions of 何 and どう. I know that 何, どう and どんな are ...
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までに, まえに and うちに to express “before doing X, Y happens”

I've come across this sentence: 主人が帰ってくる までに 晩御飯の買い物と支度をしなければいけません.  I would have used まえに instead of までに. Is it correct? How does the meaning change? Furthermore, is it correct to say ...
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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? 雪隆:「ああ、そうだ。あの八角と慧の戦いを見ただろう?...
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153 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 ...
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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 ...
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486 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: ...
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Difference between -ていく and -てくる

Can someone explain the differences between v-ていく and v-てくる for me. I know that they both express some kind of ongoing action (like a place getting crowded). For example, what's the difference between ...
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489 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 ...
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Can うちは mean the same thing as うちに?

Tell me please in the sentence below, can うちは means the same as うちに? Or it's just うち like "we" ? Thank you very much for help!
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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 ...
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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 there'...
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617 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)....
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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 ...
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438 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?
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119 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 ...
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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? ...
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256 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 ...
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220 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 ...
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What's the analysis for たりとも?

Quoth Edict, たりとも means "(not) even; (not) any", and is probably used as such: 一問たりとも答えられなかった。(even one question, cannot answer) Is たりとも made up of the individual portions たり ("such things as") ...
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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 ...
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592 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 ...
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194 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 ...
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1answer
139 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, ...
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Problems with は and が

Consider: [A] 猫が好きだ To me this means [A']"I like cats." Contrast this to: [B] 猫は好きだ To me this means [B']"I like cats (among other animals)" I based my understanding of [B] from Derek ...
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353 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 ...
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607 views

Is ~も really marking the word just prior to it?

I'm translating an excerpt for fun, but this section struck me as odd: 彼女は、口に持っていきかけていたコップを、ゆっくりとテーブルに戻すと、それっきり、放心したように、黙り込んでしまう。微速度撮影でうつした、枯れていく花のように、みるみる両眼が落ちくぼみ、鼻がそげ、あれほどなめらかだった肌の色も、...
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108 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
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385 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 ...
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205 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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195 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 ...
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348 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 ...
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411 views

あなたがこの文のおかしいと思うところは?

The structure strikes me because the underlying transformation seems to be like this: [ あなたが ] [ この文の  ~ところを ] [ おかしいと ] 思う [ あなたが ] [ この文の  _____ ] [ おかしいと ] 思う ところは~ Another similar example is: [...
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1answer
633 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 ...
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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 ...
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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..." ...
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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 ...
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2answers
386 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。」 ...
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852 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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950 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 ...
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302 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 ...
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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 ...
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313 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 ...
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720 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? こいつは大らかというか・・・・・・いつも寝てばかりいる印象がある。ってかいつも寝てる。寝過ぎで余った栄養が全部そのデカイ腹に集中したのでは、というのが、...
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898 views

How does “ ~ずにはいられない ” work?

時代の流れを感じずにはいられない。 I can't help but feel time passing by. 彼のことを同情せずにはいられない。 I can't help but to feel sorry for him. 私は、彼の才能を賞賛せずにはいられない。 I can't help but admire his talent. Would ...
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245 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 ...
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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? ...
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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 ...