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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6
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2answers
253 views

This instance of のに is opposite from my expectations

I have this sentence in one of my JLPT practise books: 電子{でんし}レンジは冷{さ}めた料理{りょうり}を温{あたた}めるのに重宝{ちょうほう}だ。 I thought のに meant something like "in spite of". So, to me, this sentence seems to be ...
6
votes
2answers
189 views

の performing back referral? の used adjectivally?

Consider the following sentence: その薬は去年期限切れのだったので、捨てました。 I'm trying to explain what the bolded の does in the above sentence. This is what I came up with: の is used as a back referral ...
6
votes
3answers
397 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
156 views

の as a substitute for beings

In a comment, I've read 「目が見えないのは誰ですか」. I remember that, some 10 years ago, I was told that "の" could not replace human beings. But here, since we use 誰, it's clearly a person that の refers to. Is ...
8
votes
2answers
376 views

Transitive/Intransitive + にくい (and +られる)

This question is based on the discussion arising from "Unsolvable Problem" Start of Excerpt Relevant discourse extracted from "Unsolvable Problem": Quoted from Derek Schaab's reply to ...
3
votes
2answers
645 views

Sentence ending に and のに compared to their non-sentence-ending form

Consider these: [A] 僕はいい仕事があったら美智子さんと結婚出来ただろうに [B] 僕はいい仕事があったら美智子さんと結婚出来たのに Is に in [A] related to the case particle に? Is のに in [B] related to the use of のに as a conjunction in ...
2
votes
1answer
142 views

How is 信じる being conjugated here?

信じようと信じまいと Believe it or not How is 信じる being conjugated here? I am unfamilar with the stem + まい pattern, if anyone could explain the ins and outs of that, or provide a more literal translation ...
5
votes
2answers
805 views

“To call” or “To receive a call”

Consider these example sentences taken from SPACEALC: [a] (人に)電話をかける。 "put in a call to ~" [b] ~が(主語に)電話をかける。 "receive a telephone call from" My observations: Both sentences use かける. ...
1
vote
1answer
273 views

What is あっちゃう in this sentence? [closed]

My friend sent me an email saying her mobile phone is having problems. Specifically, she said this: 携帯{けいたい}の電池{でんち}が電話{でんわ}すると5分{ふん}でなくあっちゃうようになった I get the overall meaning, which is that when ...
4
votes
1answer
210 views

What is the difference between 「食べるいいですか」 and 「食べていいですか」

They both mean "Can you/I eat?" So can they be used interchangeably? I know that the て-form is used when speaking a command to someone so is it a more direct(?) form of asking a question? Like asking ...
2
votes
1answer
253 views

What is the underlying grammar in the difference between `足らない` and `足りない`?

Based on the comments from Tsuoyshi Ito's answer to Translation of 竜すらも恐るるに足らない, 恐るるに足らない/恐るるに足りない is a set phrase meaning "not worth fearing". Based on my understanding of 一段 verbs like 足りる, ...
4
votes
1answer
477 views

What are the “slots” in the Japanese agglutinative verb system?

In another question we established that Japanese is an agglutinating language (more here), if only in its verb system. Since it is not traditional in Japanese grammar or teaching to go into this ...
1
vote
1answer
184 views

How does this で work?

日本女性で電車の中で化粧をする人を見ると恥ずかしいくて嫌な気持ちになる。 In my understanding, the で following 日本女性 could correspond here to the english "of," or "speaking of." Thus one interpretation of this sentence (though in ...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the difference between なぜなら、だから、and なので?

I'm trying to get clarification on how to use these three pieces of grammar and whether or not they all hold some kind of "Because" meaning.
10
votes
1answer
287 views

Difference Between べんきょう する And べんきょうを する

What is the difference between べんきょう する and べんきょうを する.
6
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the correct way to say: “where are you going?”

What is the correct way to say "where are you going?"? Is it: あなたはどこに行きますか or あなたはどこに行くの Also, can someone please explain that の in "あなたはどこに行くの"?
5
votes
1answer
353 views

Usage and reading of the Ampersand

In English, & is rather frequently used to mean "and". How should & be read in Japanese? I think these are some likely readings: や と アンド Case 1: Assume sentence structure is of the form ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

How to use から and だから as conjunctions?

Recently I was studying the use of から and だから as conjunctions. Could anyone explain why one is used in these examples while the other is not? Are there rules as to whether から and だから can follow a ...
6
votes
1answer
566 views

Comparing three or more things

To compare two things, I would use: りんごのほうがみかんより美味しいです。 i.e. noun のほうがnoun よりadjective But how can I say, "Out of these five fruits, apples are the most delicious"? Or "Out of Seoul, Tokyo, and ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Is there a form for “I have never heard of”?

Some examples of what I'm trying to convey: I have never heard that song before. I have never heard of Miyazawa Kenji I have never heard of that before? I've never heard of that store? ...
5
votes
3answers
282 views

Who is performing the actions in this sentence?

I have a question about the last sentence here taken from this essay: やっぱり旅っていいな…としみじみ感じます。 'Then you will know the true joy of travelling.' 食事の後はちょっと外へ出てみましょう。 'After your meal, go ...
3
votes
1answer
177 views

The different ways of producing nouns

What are the different ways to produce nouns from other parts of speech and how are they different? For example, 高い has these nouns produced from it: 高さ 高み For 近い : 近く Also nouns can be ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

When to use 他【ほか】の or 他【ほか】に

I always thought only 他の existed, but my teacher uses 他に a lot. Are there differences between when each can be used? Here are two examples of each from my online dictionary: だれかほかの人に聞いてごらん (Ask ...
3
votes
3answers
842 views

Does this use of だろうか indicate assertion of an opinion?

I always get a bit confused with だろう, which I've asked about before. In my other question, I got the impression that たろう meant a certain amount of assertion, and だろうか left some room for uncertainty. ...
2
votes
1answer
223 views

What is the difference in these two keigo terms?

My JLPT practise book has these two sentences to help explain the difference between お目{め}にかける and お目{め}にかかる in a context of keigo. それでは新製品{しんせいひん}お目{め}にかけましょう。 ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

“Instead” using 代わりに

Excerpt from A Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar: Consider the difference in the sentences below: [a] 昼間遊ぶ代わりに夜遊ぶつもりだ。 I intend to play at night instead of having fun in the daytime. ...
1
vote
1answer
393 views

What's the difference between “な感じ” and “という感じ” when written after quotation marks?

な感じ was crossed out and replaced with という感じ in a sentence that I wrote that was similar to this one: その文には「それは私にはもったいない」 な感じ という感じ があると思う。 I think that sentence has a feeling of "that's more ...
2
votes
1answer
125 views

Can things hope?

This sentence in my JLPT book is explaining the nuance of 映{は}える, but actually it's the use of ほしい that's a puzzling me a bit: このピンクのスカーフが映{は}える服{ふく}を選{えら}んでほしい。 This is saying that the pink ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

How is なっている different from なっていた?

I apologize if I am beating a dead horse with this question but is this correct? なっている: have (already) become as opposed to なっていた: had become so often the meaning of なっている can be thought ...
4
votes
2answers
162 views

Emphasis instead of negation in 「そんなバカなことはありません」

In this quote by Akihiro Miwa, 「そんな~ことはありません」 isn't used the way I'd expect it to be: 努力{どりょく}をしない人も[平等]{びょうどう}になどと、そんなバカなことはありません。 It's (extremely?) foolish to treat people who don't make an ...
8
votes
2answers
169 views

Use of に and を with 触れる

The verb 触れる challenges my concept of what を does; to mark a direct object. Consider these uses of 触れる: (人)の頬に指を触れる (Touch a finger to someone's cheek) (人)の頬に手を触れる (Touch someone's cheek ...
1
vote
1answer
156 views

Does には in this sentence imply vagueness of the source?

This comes from a friend's post on Facebook. The situation is that my friend had injured his leg a while back, but it has since healed and he's now in for a checkup. His leg is in great condition, so ...
5
votes
1answer
214 views

Who is doing the thinking?

Observe the change: 彼女は行かないと思う。 "I think that she will not go" 彼女は行くまいと思う。 "She thinks that she will not go" 彼女は and と思う are conserved in the sentence, yet the person who is doing the ...
4
votes
1answer
138 views

Is this sentence making a comparison?

This sentence comes from my JLPT practise book: 宗教{しゅうきょう}とは何{なん}か、迷信{めいしん}とは何{なん}かを正確{せいかく}に定義{ていぎ}するのは困難{こんなん}だ。 I think it's basically saying: Things like religions and supersitions are ...
1
vote
1answer
249 views

How do the two ideas in this sentence come together?

I have this sentence as part of a question in my JLPT practise book: スリのグループがボスの合図{あいず}で乗客{じょうきゃく}から金{かね}を盗{ぬす}むのを目{ま}の当{あ}たりにして恐{おそ}ろしかった。 Part of the sentence means, "the pickpocket group ...
5
votes
2answers
300 views

What does 「つっぱしり」mean in this context?

I recently heard about a manga entitled つっぱしり元太郎, and I'm slightly confused about the meaning of the 「つっぱしり」 in its name. I've looked the word up in several dictionaries, but have gotten no results. ...
18
votes
3answers
884 views

How do I express sentences like: He is dying?

For instance, "He is eating" is "Kare wa tabete iru". However, "He is dying" is not "Kare wa shinde iru". Another example is "He is going to Japan" is not "Kare wa nihon ni itte iru". So if I can't ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

How are 〜上, 〜上は and 〜上に different?

I'm wondering about these, mainly because I don't see how they change the meaning. これほど確かな証拠がある上は、Aが犯人だと認めないわけにはいかない。 Since there's such solid evidence, there's no denying that A's the culprit. ...
5
votes
1answer
198 views

What kind of conjugation is 済{す}ませた?

This is from the anime Noir, Episode 1 starting at 23:13 at the school: [The two characters A and B are leaving the country.] A: 出国{しゅっこく}の手配{てはい}は済{す}ませた。  'I've made the arrangements to ...
5
votes
1answer
523 views

らしい / っぽい / みたい question: Why 黒{くろ}っぽい車{くるま} and not 黒{くろ}みたいな車{くるま}?

I'm using Nihongo So-Matome 文法{ぶんぽう} while preparing for JLPT N3, and having some issues with some of the grammar descriptions. This StackExchange answer was awesome in clearing up most of my らしい / ...
7
votes
1answer
425 views

what does 可哀想{かわいそう}でならない mean?

I came across this expression in my JPLT N2 study materials. I deciphered the parts as 可哀想{かわいそう} means pitiable, pathetic でならない means can't help feeling so does it mean "can't help feeling ...
3
votes
1answer
232 views

Dictionary entry and derived forms, were they equal at some point?

I will first state the dictionary entry, and then other formations that also yield the dictionary entry. Consider the following : 思える - to seem/appear, potential form of 思う - can think 合わせる - ...
4
votes
2answers
242 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
308 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
275 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
227 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), ...
10
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
176 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
282 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
622 views

へ or に particle for 曲がる?

i was wondering what may be the difference in nuance between 右へ曲がる and 右に曲がる ? Example: Take a right turn and you'll see the library. 1) 右へ曲がると、図書館がある。 2) 右に曲がると、図書館がある。 As for [noun-location] ...