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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How to say “To start liking something”

As far as I know, one can say "I started doing X" by adding X-はじめました。 However, I don't think this applies to "to like", which is an adjective. So how to say for example "I started liking science"
6
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2answers
1k views

Causative-Passive Verbs: Vせられる and Vされる

Looking at the answer to this question, it seems that both 行かせられる and 行かされる are valid forms of the causative-passive of 行く. I've only been taught the first usage, so I have a number of related ...
5
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2answers
5k views

How to say “I hope you liked it” or “I hope you found it interesting” as a conclusion for a formal speech?

I am preparing a speech, and would like to finish it by saying "I hope you found it interesting" or "I hope you found my speech interesting", or similar. However, I am not certain of the different ...
29
votes
3answers
2k views

ことができる versus V~える form

Way back in the day when I was first learning Japanese, I learned that you could add ことができる to a verb to indicate potential. Like so: 食{た}べることができる (I) can eat (something) It became my ...
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1answer
120 views

What is the difference between using こと and かた in a sentence with できます and わかります?

e.g. はなすこと and はなしかた I am trying to learn about this grammar point for a test My notes for できます and わかります
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4answers
314 views

S1 と S2 conditional S2 being in past tense

ごんは、家に着くと、ウナギを家の外に置いて、言いました。 In this sentence, a fox called ごん has run all the way home to escape an angry fisherman who he stole an eel from. Why is と the conditional used here? I could understand ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

How to express “Today I would like to talk about X” when opening a speech

Can one use 「本日、Xを話したいです」 when opening a speech, or is it too rough? For example, translations for the sentence "Today I would like to talk about my past" that I can think of are 「本日、私の過去を話したいです」 or ...
1
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1answer
87 views

Question about ようにと

Could somebody please explain me the grammar in ようにと. Is there something omitted between ように and と? As far as I can guess the author is saying something like - "For now I'll try to not think about ...
3
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1answer
162 views

How can transitive and passive be combined in 茎を編んで作られる?

In the following sentence, taken from an article about tatami the transitive and passive verbs (編む&作る)seem to be combined into one phrase to express what I have said translation but it does not seem ...
3
votes
1answer
160 views

わけ accompanied by な particle

What exactly does な particle mean when used with わけ? Example (pulled from Google): あいつが犯人なわけがないじゃないか. I know exactly what this sentence means, but I'm just a little unsure on what the な is ...
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3answers
334 views

Use of と in this sentence

I'm confused about how と is used in this sentence (乗るとすぐメールを・・・)... What purpose does it serve? 電車の中では携帯で話すことはできませんが、みんな電車に乗るとすぐメールを熱心に打っているのにびっくりしました。 Thank you!
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2answers
4k views

Does the volitional form of a verb mean both “lets” and “I want to”?

I was taught ages ago that the volitional form of a verb means "let's" do something. For example, if you take 行{い}く and change it to 行{い}こう, you get "let's go". However, I feel like I can use the ...
7
votes
1answer
302 views

Other uses of “imperative prohibition” form eg わかるな ・すわんな

I saw a film where in two separate scenes the characters seemed to use the "imperative-prohibition" to invite the opposite action: 1.In one scene a father after explaining something to his son ...
9
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1answer
414 views
3
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1answer
198 views

Imperative before と言う

Does using the imperative form (i.e., よこす → よこせ) before と言う mean "[He] said I have/had to..."? I saw this sentence used: シートが砂で汚れたから、クリーニング代よこせと言いました! I think this sentence basically means: Because ...
4
votes
1answer
266 views

How do I determine the indirect object of a command?

I'm working my way through the core 2000, and came across this: [明日]{あす}、6[時]{じ}に[起]{お}こしてください。 I immediately thought, "Please wake up at 6am tomorrow." But the translation in the deck instead ...
7
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3answers
447 views

When is it acceptable to use “Newspaper grammar”?

It is often said that Newspapers use grammatical forms/ellipses not used elsewhere and, on the whole, these do not present a problem to read and understand. However the ellipses do not seem to be ...
9
votes
2answers
730 views

Usage of と at the end of a sentence

I'm having trouble translating this sentence from a manga. A guy who's already dead is talking to another. He says: 私を殺したあの時と And then the next page, it's only this speech bubble: 何一つ I would have ...
7
votes
2answers
578 views

Sentence (question) ending かい - how is it different from just か?

I sometimes find questions that are normally ended with the question particle か to end with かい. For example: いいかい? そうかい? あいつがどうかしたかい? And sometimes with just い without か (if I ...
5
votes
1answer
157 views

Why is an anachronistic modern conjugation thrown into the lyrics of 軍艦行進曲?

軍艦行進曲 seems to be written mostly using Classical Japanese grammar. Here's the first stanza: 守るも攻むるも黒鐵{くろがね}の 浮かべる城{しろ}ぞ頼{たの}みなる 浮かべるその城{しろ}日{ひ}の本{もと}の 皇國{みくに}の四方{よも}を守{まも}るべし ...
4
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1answer
328 views

The use of passive voice to describe the Emperor's activities

The Imperial Palace gardens were opened to the public recently to celebrate the Emperor's 80th birthday. Can someone confirm the use of the passive voice in the following sentence on the subject in ...
5
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1answer
318 views

Difference Between 僕たち and 僕ら?

Both 僕たち and 僕ら mean we. But is there any difference between them? I.e. one of them is more formal than the other, or any grammatical nuances? Edit: How is this a duplicate? The question linked by ...
4
votes
1answer
222 views

Need help with understanding X ことは X construction

I need some help with this grammar point ’ことは'. The definition I have is "Indeed one does something alright, but ~" Verb / い adj ことは V2/ い2 adj "話すことは” ”高いことは” Examples: ...
8
votes
1answer
223 views

Does なりやした mean なりました?

I received this message:「行けることになりやした」. Doing a quick Google search for なりやした, I found a few phrases like 「新米母になりやした!」and 「遅くなりやした。」 Is it a kind of slang for なりました?
5
votes
1answer
317 views

How 聞いてた differs from 聞いた in this context?

I think ていた/ている is often used in the following context. A:Bla Bla Bla A:話、聞いてた? B:ごめん。聞いてなかった。ちょっと、ボーッとしてた Another context A said something to B before he left, but B didn't hear it. ...
5
votes
1answer
443 views

Usage of 「なり」 with nouns

What is なり means in the following sentence, as far as I can guess it's close to the second one here. 「少なくとも、いきなり挑戦される可能性は低い。その間に、戦う準備なり勝つ方法を考えていかないといけないが…」 Some sort of translation: "At the ...
5
votes
1answer
341 views

Is there a relationship between ~たところで and するところだった?

I am studying an JLPT book on listening, and in two questions very close to each other, the grammatical forms ~たところで and するところだった came up. My book defines ~たところで as giving an impression of giving up ...
14
votes
1answer
997 views

ち suffix I've never heard of before

Ok, so I've been reading よつばと recently, and I've been seeing a suffix coming up that I cannot seem to find a meaning for. It's not in any dictionary, and I'm not sure if it's a name suffix, or some ...
6
votes
1answer
164 views

What is wrong with お書きになられたり?

I have the following sentence to translate for class. 岩田先生は、 退職なさるまで 全世界で貝の化石の御研究をされていて 雑誌などに記事をお書きになられたり テレビで放送された教育番組にも出られた So far I have the following. Professor Iwata until he honorably ...
2
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1answer
187 views

Translation of することになっている

I have the following sentence to translate for class. 森田さんは、 ヴァージニア州立大学を卒業してから 日本の映画の会社に就職することになっている So far I have the following. Morita-san after graduating from Virginia State University became ...
4
votes
1answer
165 views

Variations on sentence-ending 「〜だと!?」 (used when repeating something in surprise)

In a recent question, we talked about using sentence-ending 〜だと after a verb, quoting something you found surprising. The example given in the linked question is as follows: A「なんでもします!」 ...
1
vote
1answer
167 views

All the uses of わけ?

Ok, I've come across a few expressions involving the word わけ (訳)such as わけではない, to indicate that something differs from a notion the listener may have; わけがない, to indicate that there is no sense in ...
7
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3answers
3k views

How do I express “this made me laugh”?

This is the kind of simple question I'm often too embarrassed to ask, because I should probably know this by now. But here goes... I was ordering something at a cafe, and I noticed some slightly ...
4
votes
3answers
498 views

How can I use できない and しまう? I'd like to apologize for not being able to do something

I'd like to apologize for not being able to do xyz. Rather than just saying 「すみません、何々ができません。」, could I say something like: 何々ができなくてしまいます。 Or is しまう always used with a positive te-form verb?
4
votes
1answer
505 views

What does ~ましょう ~おうmean when you say it to no one

I'm reading a children's book and this silly shrimp says ここで寝ましょう... but there's no one else around... If ましょう is a way to state that what you are saying is subjective not objective, and depends on ...
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votes
1answer
332 views

Does “名詞{めいし}” mean “noun”, “形容詞{けいようし}” mean “adjective”, etc [closed]

I am unhappy with the translation of grammatical 専門用語{せんもんようご}. The technical terms used to describe English and Japanese grammar should never overlap. I see words such as ...
7
votes
3answers
922 views

How can I come to terms with the animate/inanimate distinction in Japanese?

According to this answer, "This made me laugh" would translate literally into Japanese as: これが僕{ぼく}を笑{わら}わせた。 However, the same answer explains that this would be an odd thing to say in ...
4
votes
1answer
89 views

Xの担当 - something X is in charge of OR something in charge of X?

Can Xの担当 have both of these meanings? If so, then without context to disambiguate the two meanings, is one of the two more commonly used? For example, how would you translate the sentence ...
1
vote
1answer
252 views

“どうしようもない” or “どうしよう__の__もない”, or neither?

This is my understanding: "どうしようもない" is a complete sentence. (There is nothing that can be done.) "noun + もない" is the sentence structure. therefore: "どうしよう" = "noun" "どうする" is a sentence ending ...
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6answers
614 views

Shouldn't this phrase using だけのこと mean “just for that”?

In a grammar textbook I have, there is this phrase: 幸{さいわ}い日本{にほん}で日本語{にほんご}を勉強{べんきょう}して、かなり話{はな}せるようになりました。日本{にほん}に行{い}っただけのことはありました。 The translation given is: Fortunately, I studied ...
0
votes
1answer
98 views

formal state of being

I'm reading through Tae Kims grammar guide and have just got into the last section. It says that である is the formal state of being. Can anyone tell me...why is this? It would seem logical to me ...
7
votes
2answers
239 views

Is this seat being chased, or is the person in it being chased from it?

In my JLPT textbook, I have this sentence: 彼{かれ}は国民{こくみん}の信頼{しんらい}を裏切{うらぎ}った。それゆえに、権力{けんりょく}の座{ざ}を追{お}われることとなったのである。 I think this sentence means, "He betrayed the trust of the people. As a ...
5
votes
4answers
6k views

How do I say “before” or “used to” in Japanese?

朝、作文を書いた時、疑問に思いました。 How can I say something like: I didn't used to like this band.  Before, I didn't like this band.
7
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1answer
139 views

Is answering with simple ない grammatically correct, when saying I physically don't possess some object

In Japan I often felt いいえ or 違う is not the best choice, when asked, if I don't carry something with me. Like at the airport security lady asked me, if I there were any forbidden objects in my luggage. ...
4
votes
1answer
115 views

Clarification needed - みたい (みたいな)

みたい as in like (someone) If I want to say "I like people like that woman", is it enough to simply say: 女性みたいな人が好きです。 Or do I have to specify the "that" part by putting it like this: あの女性みたいな人が好きです。 ...
4
votes
1answer
440 views

~としたら - when exactly used and what's the difference from other “if” structures

I'm a bit confused about ~としたら and its exact usage. What is the difference between this and other structures expressing "if" (~なら, たら-form, etc.)? For example, let's take a sentence from one of my ...
8
votes
2answers
373 views

Obligatory zero particle

Sometimes, particles are omitted. I've read, however, that this can be analyzed as inserting a "zero particle" instead. See for example Particle omission or zero particle by Mitsuaki Shimojo. See ...
6
votes
2answers
290 views

How would one say A implies B in Japanese?

My friend and I were talking, and they had an interesting question. How do you establish that something implies something else in Japanese - specifically in the form A implies B? The research I've ...
1
vote
2answers
107 views

How should I parse に従がって強制?

Good Day! I am currently translating a Japanese document and I encountered a problem. I can't find a way to parse 従がって強制 in this sentence: この文書はChartis SDLCによるHigh Level Designフェイズに従がって強制されている。 I ...
9
votes
1answer
824 views

semantic difference between two keigo verbal forms : に なる(ni naru) and なさる(nasaru)?

Japanese grammar has a rich subset of grammatical forms named 敬語 ("keigo", formal language or respect's language). The rules allowing to transform a normal verb into a keigo verb are complex and I'm ...