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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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
189 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
166 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!」 B「...
1
vote
1answer
171 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
votes
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
506 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
529 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 ...
-5
votes
1answer
343 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 名詞{めいし}=noun、動詞{どうし}=verb、...
7
votes
3answers
937 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 Japanese,...
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
257 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 ...
9
votes
6answers
617 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 ...
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
votes
1answer
140 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
116 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
465 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
375 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
298 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
108 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
856 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
352 views

How should I say: When we talk, it sounds like we are singing

Because I am half-Swedish, I usually joke about this to other people. But now, I don't really know how to say it in Japanese! Maybe... 話すのとき、歌のように聞こえる。。。
1
vote
1answer
140 views

Introductions and grammar

I'm learning how to introduce myself and am trying to figure out the basic grammar. I know that in Japanese the subject is often left off if it's clear what is being spoken of. I'm not too sure, ...
3
votes
2answers
130 views

トライしてみて. Usage?

I just came across this in a magazine 'トライしてみて'. I know it's saying 'try', but does it actually make grammatical sense? Would I be able to use that in a formal situation, or is it just to sound cute.
2
votes
1answer
148 views

Usage of passive form

I've got a question about this part - それらの音が、世界の中心にあることを思い知らされ. I cannot understand why it's used passive form verb(思い知らされる) and それらの音が. If I'm understanding correctly, the ones who "make you realize ...
5
votes
1answer
325 views

What does の頃【ころ】 mean in this sentence?

I don't know what の頃【ころ】 means in this sentence. I know ころ means 'about' or 'around' but I still don't understand its use here. ロンドンに来たばかりの頃【ころ】、私は「Chip Butty」を知りませんでした。 My best translation: I've ...
4
votes
3answers
513 views

Why should I use つかれました and not つかれたです

I said to a Japanese person last night, meaning to say "I'm tired": つかれたです。 She corrected me to: つかれました。 I'm curious as to why this is. I thought つかれたです was grammatically correct. Does it ...
2
votes
3answers
404 views

Which is a Better Introduction?

If I were to introduce myself, which would be better? はじめまして、あかみです。どうぞよろしく。 はじめまして、あかみです。よろしくお願いします。 How would you introduce yourself? Any better recommendations instead of 1 & 2 ?! Thanks :D
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Can you use the polite form ます with ので?

I was recently told by someone that you cannot use the polite form ~ます and ので; that is, ので must be used with the plain form. (Specifically, he was saying that 「勉強していますので」 was wrong, and had to be ...
1
vote
2answers
244 views

~った with a noun (生い立ち > 生い立った) - what's really going on?

I just started trying to read the Japanese translation of Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha. I've struck a problem in the first sentence that my native Japanese speaking friends can't seem to help me with. ...
0
votes
1answer
947 views

present perfect tense in Japanese [duplicate]

How often does Japanese use present perfect tense? My friend has been asking to watch a Japanese anime movie called 風たちぬ, this is the first time I have ever seen this 'nu' particle usage. Before I ...
8
votes
2answers
270 views

In Okinawan, what is the ン in ウチナーンチュ?

The Okinawan word for "Okinawa" is ウチナー, for "person" is チュ, and for "Okinawan" (person) is ウチナーンチュ. I'd like to know where this ン comes from between the part for "Okinawa" and the part for "person". ...
4
votes
2answers
227 views

Again question about modifying nouns

Seems that I stuck with modifying a noun again, in the following sentence is it only「破壊し尽す」 modifying 「背徳の欲望」 or both verbs 「玩弄し、破壊し尽す」 ? 浮世離れした幼い少女を思うさま玩弄し、破壊し尽す背徳の欲望が掻き立てられてやまない。 Full ...
5
votes
1answer
321 views

Ellipsis: does this と=として, what is the relevant verb in this extract?

The following is attributed to フジテレビHP/経済新聞. I wonder if someone could explain the grammar around the と? (I think it might be an "abbreviation" of として but it is very difficult to find an explanation ...
3
votes
2answers
160 views

Do you find this use of 信じてもらえなくなる to be odd?

On the following reddit thread: http://www.reddit.com/r/LearnJapanese/comments/21l6aa/meaning_of_自分も信じてもらえなくなるってことだ/ the following sentence was posted, with a number of people trying to interpret it:...
5
votes
2answers
291 views

Use of から vs を with 出て行く?:

Why are we using から and not を in the following sentence?: 出て行く:同居している恋人が家から出て行って、別に住むようになる。 I ask because the normal particle with 出る is を (eg 家を出る) so why do we have から here? My dictionary has ...
3
votes
3answers
804 views

Using negative verb forms with はず

In the chapter Things that should be a certain way of Tae Kim's guide, the author states that in order to express the expectation of something not happening, one should use something like 「~はずがない」. I ...
3
votes
1answer
520 views

Meaning of させてもらう + 事にする in this sentence

The sentence is taken from a manga in which the character kills people at a TV station in order to threaten the world : おはよう世界の諸君...これからほんのわずかな時間だけ... Hello (ladies and gentlemen of the) ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Double negatives in Japanese

To be clear, I'm talking in this case about double negatives originating in Japanese, not ones that are being translated into it. When I was in college, one of my professors taught the class to use [...
4
votes
2answers
515 views

When an -i form (連用形{れんようけい}) of a verb seems to be a suffix rather than a prefix?

In a previous question about コーヒー割り I learned that 割り is a form of the verb 割{わ}る "to dilute". Now I'm trying to understand the grammatical process by which this 割り form of 割る can be added to nouns ...
4
votes
1answer
452 views

Use of が vs を with transitive verb, 受け入れる(+もらえる)

This is probably fairly basic but, not being a native speaker, I'd like to confirm if my understanding of grammar of the following sentence (from 中上級日本語, Feb'14) is correct and what is natural. In ...
1
vote
2answers
303 views

Forms and conjugation of Intransitive Verbs

Can Intransitive verbs be used in Meirei form, Volitional form, ください form and other forms? According to my knowledge, Intransitive verbs are just used to state facts. So these forms should not exist....
3
votes
1answer
320 views

can あいだ / あいだに be used with non-past tenses

Last week I learned to use あいだ and あいだに to express things that happen at the same time (are parallel) or things that happen while other are occurring. But I noticed that all the examples on the book (...
2
votes
3answers
965 views

できる vs ~えます form for “can”, “able to” [duplicate]

A couple of days ago I tried to express "I can ..." where "..." was some some verb or verb phrase. I used the ~て form of the ... verb followed by 出来ます but was told instead to change the form of the .....
3
votes
1answer
110 views

Grammatically correct but good writing?

The following sentence comes from 中上級の日本語 magazine for february: 新聞記事は、記者がコツコツと取材をしてデータを集め、それをもとに出来事を調べたり、関係者の話を聞いたりして書かれています。 It is grammatically correct but I find the change from active to ...
1
vote
1answer
125 views

Meaning of “[気張]{きば}らずゆっくりやっていこうね”

気張らずゆっくりやっていこうね 'ゆっくりやっていこう’ means "I'll keep on going slowly", right? But what is 気張らず?
3
votes
1answer
431 views

Trying to make sense of some JLPT practice questions

Last year's JLPT tests were made available for download recently, and so to gauge my progress and plan what to study I decided to take the N2 test. I'm right at the threshold of passing (58% overall ...
6
votes
1answer
224 views

is ~だ~だ another way of listing things, or does my JLPT book have a typo?

In my JLPT practise book, there is this sentence: 学生{がくせい}時代{じだい}は学費{がくひ}だ合宿{がっしゅく}だとお金{かね}がかかり、就職{しゅうしょく}したらしたで給料{きゅうりょう}だけで生活{せいかつ}できず、親{おや}に頼{たよ}ってしまい申{もう}し訳{わけ}ない。 I'm really just wondering ...
5
votes
1answer
233 views

“決{き}まっている” and “決められている” have the same meaning, right?

I came across this sentence written by a native speaker: (1) "学年{がくねん}ごとに学習{がくしゅう}する漢字{かんじ}が決められています。" To communicate the same meaning, I would have said: (2) "学年ごとに学習する漢字が決まっています。" #1 is passive ...
11
votes
1answer
955 views

When the agent takes を in the causative form

I've seen a few sets of terminology when referring to the causative form, so for the basic case, I will use the following: instigator が agent に 〇〇 を v-させる。 In its most basic, text-book form, we have ...