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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1answer
458 views

Why are most Japanese songs and poems in normal form?

You would think that sentence structure would matter in songs and poems, especially when they have directed or dedicated lyrics, e.g. to a stranger, the president, someone of higher status. ...
5
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1answer
350 views

The use of でも and ででも in this sentence

A: あ……えっと……何か手伝うことは、ありますか? B: ん? あぁ、この辺はドシロウトにできるこっちゃないからな。 邪魔にならねぇように先にメシでも食って、後は舞台袖ででも大人しくしてな Pretty much in general でも and ても don't sit well in my mind. There have been a lot of times I ...
2
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1answer
320 views

なくてもいいです and なければなりません

My grammar book says: Verb/Adjective/Na-Adjective+なくてもいいです Is it OK to use Noun+なくてもいいです, like: 明日でなくてもいいです My grammar book also says: Verb/Noun+なければなりません Is it OK to use ...
2
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1answer
339 views

Volitional + と in ひとまず心を落ち着けようと、[…]

ひとまず心を落ち着けようと、飲みかけのオレンジジュースに手を伸ばす。 Please help. I came across this line and I don't really understand use of と here. How exactly does と work here?
4
votes
1answer
218 views

How does ダンスとかあったら全然だったと思う work/mean?

A:藤原さんは、もちろん歌だよね? B:うん。わたしにはそれしかないから……ダンスとかあったら全然だったと思う I don't get what the part ダンスとかあったら全然だったと思う is saying. 全然 is an adverb but there's no verb after it but 思う, but that's separated by a ...
2
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1answer
205 views

To use “ものです” to end a sentence

The original sentence is: 人間は一人では生きていけません。 and the requirement is to change the sentence with a "ものです" ending. I did this: 人間は一人では生きていけないものです. Am I right?
2
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2answers
268 views

words that have kanji and begin with kana

"この先生き残るには" is a riddle that highlights the problem of not having spaces between words. But, I was able to read it pretty quickly. After blowing past "先生", I read "き", and that stopped me in my ...
3
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1answer
115 views

Dropping から when modifying a noun

I'm having trouble with Xからきた as a modifier... I have heard people say 住んでいるのはどこ? or something like that in order to say like, "where are you living?"... but what if someone wanted to say どこから来た? in ...
3
votes
1answer
332 views

How do you ask for ordinality (order in a sequence)?

What phrase do you use to ask for the n-th position of an object? Is there a straightforward and general way to do so? e.g. order of childbirth, place did the runner finish Since you can use 3人目 ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

ても “even if/though” doesn't seem right

I've been thinking of the ても pattern as "even though" or "even if". But this sentence from steins;gate uses it in a way that surprised me... ちょっと待ってくれ。そんなに急かされて【せかされて】も、転んでしまうよ Is this being ...
2
votes
0answers
384 views

わけ、の、理由 in explanations… when do you use which one? [closed]

These all seem to be used for explanation... when do you use one over the other? Could you offer some examples? To clarify about の, I am talking about its use in providing information, like, ...
5
votes
1answer
245 views

The nuance of する

I know what する means in terms of basic usage and obvious usage... I've been studying for a while so like, this isn't going to be a "What's 1 + 1" question hopefully. The question is to do with how する ...
5
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1answer
471 views

をも… what on earth this particle combination?

In my book I found this sentence... Aさんの健康に関して、特にその食事に関しての心配が、Aさんの心も家族の心をも蝕んでいるのだ。 I understand the sentence, but I had no idea such a particle combination was possible... could someone please ...
5
votes
1answer
712 views

What is the し particle and how do you use it?

I understand that obviously every Japanese textbook will go into this topic briefly... but I can never really come to grips with what it means in Japanese. If anyone could link me to a good Japanese ...
-2
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1answer
289 views

What does おせわになってます mean?

あなたにいつもおせわになってますからね. What does the above sentence mean? I'm confused about the おせわになってます part.
6
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1answer
244 views

The の noun… does it have any intrinsic meaning?

I am having a bit of trouble separating の and もの when they serve the purpose of turning a verb phrase into a noun. The の noun seems to satisfy a few purposes... It seems to be like "one"... like when ...
11
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3answers
4k views

What´s the difference between による, により and によって?

I don't understand when you use it and what the difference is between each other. For example, when you say: 火事によって多くの森林が焼けてしまった。 今回の地震による津波の心配はない。
6
votes
3answers
603 views

Use of ~ていた vs ~ている to refer to a resultant state

This sentence is from Japanese the Manga Way panel 371, translation as given in the textbook. 和尚にたのまれていた肉体労働も今のうちに片づけてしまう。 I'll also go ahead and finish off that physical labour that the priest ...
4
votes
2answers
264 views

Understanding the の in ~ものの

I thought that の always had to modify a noun... so how come a sentence like the following is possible despite there being no nominalization of what follows の ? たたみに布団を敷いて寝てみたものの、背中が痛くて寝られなかった。 Is ...
4
votes
1answer
280 views

How come the よう in ~ようものなら can modify a noun?

I have the sentence in my book: 昔は、若い女性が男性と二人で出かけようものなら、町中のうわさになったものだ。 I was wondering if this means that it is possible to modify nouns with the volitional form. I have so far heard that it isn't, ...
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2answers
512 views

The に particle and potential form

これはアメリカ人にも読める日本語の本です。 I received this sentence as an example of に being used with potential form in a passive sense, but even though the person said they were Japanese (online) I have never seen ...
4
votes
1answer
357 views

Meaning of さて after て

Hello everyone I cannot grasp the meaning of さて in the following sentence, as far as I can understand it's same as this, however I'm not confident about it. "...for young man it was like throwing the ...
7
votes
2answers
290 views

Interpretation of 注意する: to warn or to be warned?

I'm uncertain about the usage of 注意する in this sentence from Japanese the Manga Way, Chapter 25 page 198. The context is that a woman has noticed the following message written on the back of her ...
6
votes
1answer
172 views

Replacing になっている with だ

A sentence from JapanesePod 101: 米は、多くの食事で、重要な糖質源になっている。 Rice is an important source of carbohydrates in many diets. The になっている seems unnecessary here. Could one simply end the sentence with ...
16
votes
3answers
3k views

When to use 欲しがる instead of 欲しい

When does one use 欲しがる instead of 欲しい? For example, in phrases like: 先生は野菜を食べて欲し​{いです・がっています}。 My incomplete understanding is that the がる form is more formal/polite, but it can only be ...
3
votes
1answer
183 views

What's the grammar behind お忘れなきよう?

There's a series that started airing where I live, 謎解きはディナーのあとで, and along with greatly enjoying the style, I've been very fascinated by the butler's very formal manner of speaking. What I never got, ...
2
votes
2answers
303 views

Confusion on use of する with adverbs

I'm a little confused as to the role that する is playing in phrases like はっきりとした and はっきりしている I know this is classed as a する verb, but it still doesn't make sense in the same way that nouns used with ...
6
votes
3answers
726 views

What does "Xの一つにYがある” mean?

I have a sentence in my book like this: 日本が アメリカによく聞かれて困る質問の一つに、”How are you?" は 日本語で何と言うか、というのがある。 and found a similar example here: アメリカでは大学への申込の手続きの一つに「なぜX大学に行きたいのか」ということに関してエッセイを書くというのがあります。 The ...
13
votes
4answers
549 views

correctness of い adjective + です

Generally, in all Japanese language classes, the rule you're taught is that です does not follow い adjectives. Instead, い adjectives can act like stative verbs, and as such terminate a sentence by ...
0
votes
1answer
420 views

Using the causative form (使役形) to create humble language (謙譲語)?

"この町に住ませて頂きたいんです。" is a line from a movie. That grammar makes sense to me. In this context, 使役形 is used to create a humble mood. (頂く) makes it even more humble. Based on that, today I said: ...
1
vote
2answers
689 views

Difference between こと、もの and やつ

I am trying to understand the following clearly: 私のこと 私のもの 私のやつ When someone is talking about us, we can use こと。 ”いいえ、それは私のことではないです” - No, that is not something related to me. やつis used when we ...
5
votes
4answers
411 views

Examples of ambigious sentences

I'm looking to test some Morphological Analysis tools, which split sentences into tokens and provide part of speech and pronunciation information (specifically, providing kana when given kanji). I'm ...
5
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2answers
727 views

Distinction between “not everyone” and “no-one”

I recently learnt that だれも means "everyone" with an affirmative verb and "no-one" with a negative verb. So, the literal translation of the Japanese "No-one is here" would be "Everyone is not here". ...
50
votes
1answer
9k views

What is the difference between the nominalizers こと and の?

As Derek mentioned in his postscript, both こと and の are nominalizers that can turn a verb into a noun. ピアノを弾く【ひく】。 I play the piano. ピアノを弾く【ひく】のが好き【すき】です。 I like playing the piano. ...
6
votes
2answers
264 views

Can one say “A decides that B will do X” with ことにする?

Can one use ことにする to express the idea "A decides that B will do X"? Take the sentence 私は外へ出ることにした. The way I see it, 私 is the subject of both 出る and した, with one usage omitted due to being ...
5
votes
2answers
428 views

A closer look at そう思う

I just realized today that for some reason I'm pretty uncomfortable with things like そう思う because the Japanese そう has a meaning akin to saying isn't that so in English. But when you say そう思う, そう is ...
10
votes
1answer
458 views

When choose の/こと or というの/ということ

I'm studying nominalizers and don't understand when to use の/こと and when to use というの/ということ. For example, in the sentence: こんなによく[遅刻]{ちこく}をするというのは[問題]{もんだい}ですよ。 Could I say: ...
3
votes
2answers
224 views

How do you say “The 10 most spoken languages in the world” in Japanese?

Would it be: 世界中10の最も話し言語 or 世界で10最も話されて言語
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vote
1answer
283 views

rules for “personification” with 「じん」、「しゃ」、「か」?

In English, "personification" is a literary device. But, I am talking about when you take a common noun, and then add 「人」、「者」、 or「家」: 「労働」--->「労働者」 「案内」--->「案内者」 「日本」---> 「日本人」 「社会」 --->「社会人」 「農業」---> ...
3
votes
2answers
238 views

Question about ように

I'm confused in ように in the following sentence. Maybe it connects to 聞こえる or maybe means "in order to" ? I'm not sure about it here. Some sort of translation: "Conversations in this period of time ...
3
votes
1answer
114 views

ぬかるむ Meaning and Use

ぬかるむ has the definition of "to be muddy" in my dictionary, but it is a verb. Furthermore, all the examples use it before a noun, as opposed to saying 丘はぬかるむ. Is it correct to say this? Why is ぬかるむ a ...
2
votes
1answer
300 views

Does でしょう have a negative nuance?

I am reading the sentence... 他人に自分の内面を見られたくない人もいるのではないだろうか and wondering why it seems like there is a double negative that I'm not seeing もいる = + のではない = - だろう = ???? END RESULT = + だろうか has to be ...
5
votes
2answers
850 views

What's the meaning of 〜ておきます?

What exactly does 〜ておきます mean in this context? 旅行{りょこう}する前{まえ}にホテルを予約{よやく}しておきます。 Is this trying to say something like "Before traveling, reserve a room". Is this a suggestion? An order? (If so, why ...
15
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3answers
2k views

Difference between 〜といい〜といい & 〜といわず〜といわず

Can somebody explain the difference between these two expressions? I have pasted the definitions and some examples from 日本語表現文型辞典 to help but they seem to come down to the same thing. (When can one ...
13
votes
2answers
461 views

What is the subject when time passes in a narrative (eg 1ヶ月を経る)

(This might be a quick easy question but sometimes the answers to these are unexpected.) What is the subject in the following sentences? I've given my best efforts for the examples 1-4 below. (I am ...
12
votes
2answers
365 views

Choice of tense with そばから

When using そばから in the sense of "as soon as", everything I find says that you can use either た form/past tense before it, or dictionary form, but not what the difference is. Sometimes people even use ...
3
votes
2answers
239 views

Problems parsing this sentence (ような before comma)

I was reading the examples from the book 日本語文型辞典 and I came across this example sentence which I have absolutely no idea of how to parse it: その子は、人と目が合うたびにやさしく笑いかけるような、そんな、人を疑うということを知らないような子だったと言う。 ...
5
votes
1answer
167 views

What does り have to do with this?

So I asked some Japanese guy if he really meant something (about speaking in certain language) with 本当ですか and I got this as an answer: 実はしゃべれるわけじゃなかったりする I understand what わけではない means, but ...
2
votes
2answers
197 views

How would you write the name Anibal in Japanese?

So my name is written Anibal, I'm from Brazil, just so you know. I'd like to know how would you write it in japanese, I'm in doubt between A-ni-ba-ru and A-ni-ba-e-ru. Any further explanation would be ...
11
votes
2answers
449 views

Do “direct object を” and “directional を” occupy the same slot?

A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar (ADoBJG) lists more than one を particle. In particular: On page 347, it lists o1, a particle which marks a direct object. On page 349, it lists o2, a particle ...