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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12
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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 ...
6
votes
2answers
346 views

I am wondering if someone can shed light on this tweet from Japan?

A friend of mine recently translated a Japanese article from Japan's October issue of An An magazine and sent her a tweet in English telling her that it was completed. The author replied with the ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

What's the short way to say “me too” and “me (n)either”?

I am just learning about the も particle and the textbook has examples like this: やまださんはがくせいです。わたしもがくせいです。 Yamada is a student. I am also a student. I am wondering whether the repetition of ...
1
vote
1answer
139 views

となし in 「往{ゆ}け八紘を宇{いえ}となし」

I'm currently listening to 「愛国行進曲」, which is apparently a Shōwa-era patriotic song. It is written in a rather confusing mix of modern and Classical Japanese, but I think I can understand most of it ...
10
votes
2answers
652 views

When is 「だ/である」required between a noun and the quotation particle と?

Note: Edits in response to comments have been added in italics The sentence prompting this question is: 時下ますますご清栄のことと、お喜び申し上げます Which I have always "loosely" taken to mean: I am glad to ...
5
votes
2answers
482 views

Interpretation of 思われる (spontaneous or passive?)

My understanding is that 思われる, in addition to being the passive form of 思う, can also be used in the sense of "to spontaneously think; to appear". 北米では通常スカートは女性がはくものと思われている。 In North America a ...
1
vote
2answers
266 views

Meaning of ようにできる

A sentence from Kanji in Context: 人にはそれぞれ長短があって、それで世の中はうまくいくようにできているのです。 I get that it means something like everyone has individual strengths and weaknesses, and thus the world can go smoothly. ...
4
votes
1answer
155 views

What is the grammatical interpretation of じゃ ありません?

I have learned in school that じゃ ありましん is the "non-past negative" conjugation of です. Example: 私は日本人じゃありません。 "I am not Japanese." I have noticed that じゃ ありません contains the pronunciation of ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Negation with ではありません vs. じゃない

I tried to say "I'm not a high school student". But I read you can use じゃない to 'deny' something. In this case which one should I use? でわありません or じゃない? 私はこうこうの学生でわありません。or 私はこうこうの学生じゃないです。?
5
votes
1answer
136 views

Replacing a negative nominalised verb with a ない-form

人と比べるのではなく、過去の自分と比べる。 Do not compare yourself to other people, compare yourself to your past self. Without any change in meaning, (though I guess it would be less formal in tone), could the ...
6
votes
1answer
333 views

Is there something omitted after だか in this sentence?

The following paragraph is from page 20 of 涼宮ハルヒの憂鬱:  ...
0
votes
0answers
45 views

what is the difference beween おんなみたい、おんならしい and おんなっぽい。 [duplicate]

what is the difference beween おんなみたい、おんならしい and おんなっぽい。 could any one please clear the difference between them with example.
2
votes
1answer
283 views

Verb in te-form with 中に, as in “通って中に”

I have started to read a novel for practice. I came across these sentences. I can't make sense of the part 通って中に. 少年はあそこ一夜過ごすことに決めた。彼は羊の群れが、壊れかけた門を通って中に、入るのを見届けてから、夜中に羊が迷い出さないように、何本かの棒を門にわたした。 I ...
5
votes
1answer
164 views

Is 圧力 countable?

Consider the following sentence (emphasis mine): ひょっとしたら僕が​圧力の一つや二つをかけられて​いることも知っているのかもしれない。 The bolded part is kind of confusing me. I get that 圧力をかけられる means "to be pressured" or "to have ...
3
votes
1answer
149 views

Confusion between nouns and adverbs in あと一部

この仕事はあと一部を残すだけだ。 Only one part of the job remains. Does one think of あと (remainder) as a noun (and object of 残す) and 一部 as a counter/adverb, or is あと the adverb and 一部 the noun here?
1
vote
2answers
429 views

The origin of しなさい

勉強しなさいよ! i know what this means.. but what is the origin of しなさい ? Does it come from する (to do verb) ?? Is it short form of something? or what?
2
votes
3answers
115 views

Nuance due to absence of は

その帽子に赤いマフラーが似合いそうだ。 A red muffler seems to go well with that hat. Is there a difference in nuance between the above sentence and the following one? その帽子には赤いマフラーが似合いそうだ。 I get that it's ...
1
vote
1answer
900 views

Period + に + frequency

I'm looking at JLPT4/5 grammar list and see such grammar point. But I can't find any information about it (truthfully I don't know how to). Though I found some examples: 1 shuukan ni ikkai - once a ...
1
vote
2answers
306 views

Use of に with -てあげる/-てくれる with a human direct object

Quoting from page 292 of A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar (DBJG), entry for に, note 2: "Any transitive verb used in the V-てあげる or V-てくれる construction can take に, if the verb does not take a ...
2
votes
2answers
259 views

Is there an idiomatic Japanese equivalent of the construction “Let [infinitive verb]”?

In English, we have constructions like "Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York" (MLK's I Have A Dream speech) and "Let there be light" (Genesis 1:3, KJV and other versions). Is there ...
2
votes
2answers
183 views

Usage of a clause to modify an い-adjective?

近所のバーは友達とお酒を飲むのにちょうどいい場所だ。 The neighbourhood bar is a great place to have a drink with friends. Does one think of the dependent clause 友達とお酒を飲むのに as modifying the い-adjective ちょうどいい (which then ...
3
votes
2answers
158 views

Usage of particles with 出てくる

Another sentence from Kanji in Context. 初めて[山奥]{やまおく}から町に出てきた村の人たちは見るものすべてに[驚]{おどろ}いた。 In this instance, does 山奥から町に出てきた mean "left the mountains and came to the city" (町)? Also, I would normally ...
2
votes
2answers
204 views

te-form without a final verb and its usage as a conditional

歩いて二十分ほどのところにある川原です。 It's a riverbank about twenty minutes away by foot. I have a couple of questions with the usage of 歩いて here: The usage of the te-form without an auxiliary verb (e.g. 歩いていく) or ...
3
votes
2answers
566 views

What is the most accurate (literal) translation of でしょう?

I understand the concept of でしょう. All my books say that it is like saying "probably". I have also been told that it is more accurately a means of adding doubt to a statement to seem less assuming and ...
0
votes
1answer
217 views

meaning of でも~くらい

I cannot understand what is 自分でも無様なくらいに means in the following sentence. I'd translate it like - "I felt so akward, that my voice trembled" 自分でも無様なくらいに声が震えていた Thank you very much for help!
3
votes
1answer
137 views

Word order and particles in 能仕事に能力を生かす

I wanted to express the idea "performing to one's full abilities at work", and the obvious thing to write was 仕事に[能力]{のうりょく}を[生]{い}かす. Indirect object before direct object. But a look on google ...
4
votes
1answer
531 views

How to say a double negative in Japanese

My Japanese friend asked me whether I believe in an afterlife. I wanted to say, "I don't believe, but also I don't not believe." My point is that while I do not believe, I like to keep an open mind. ...
4
votes
2answers
398 views

Grammatical justification for でしかない

The song eX Dream by Myuji (which appears in an anime OP) contains the sentence: [夢]{ゆめ}は夢でしかない The general point of the sentence is fairly clear, meaning "a dream is just a dream". But what is ...
4
votes
1answer
479 views

Use of く-form over くて in an い-adjective

何事も最初は難しく、やがてやさしくなる。 All things are difficult before they are easy. I've never seen an い-adjective used in this way (難しく). Would using 難しくて (which is what I would have used) change the meaning of the ...
2
votes
3answers
385 views

Why does the 文語 version of the Bible have so many nonstandard readings?

For example in Genesis 1: 元始{はじめ}に神{かみ} 天地{てんち}を創造{つくり}たまへり Why are the kanji 元始 and 創造 given the interesting readings? Moreover, they seem to be given the readings of the less specific words 始め ...
11
votes
3answers
859 views

What's the difference between 広める 広げる and 広まる 広がる?

I find the difference between 「広める (他動詞) 広げる (他動詞)」 and between 「広まる (自動詞) 広がる (自動詞)」 to be complicated. Can someone explain?
-1
votes
1answer
370 views

Meaning of 伝わる and AよりもB, 温かい, and て-form+から+でも

I need help understanding some Japanese sentences. All the sentences are connected except the last one. 今も手紙はたまに書きますよ。 mailよりも気持ちが伝わるんです。 I know that the first sentence means "people also ...
4
votes
2answers
384 views

Choice of さしあげる in お電話さしあげる

I'm a bit confused by the usage of さしあげる in this sentence from Kanji in Context: ただ今、来客中ですので、後ほどこちらからお電話さしあげます。 We have a guest at the moment, so we'll call you later. To me, お電話いたします or even ...
8
votes
1answer
204 views

How can (の)目指すは be grammatical?

At the very start of final fantasy 9, バクー says: 我らの目指すはアレクサンドリア王国…… I also saw some time ago "目指すは" used in a headline here: シャーラウィ「目指すはシーズン20ゴール」 There's also another example in the full ...
4
votes
2answers
870 views

Difference between 間 and 間に

I have some problems with understanding what is the difference between these two grammatical forms. The explanation that 初級日本語 gives me, is that 間 refers to certain time frame, while 間に refers to ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

The meaning of and difference between ~を中心に and ~をめぐって

What is the meaning of and difference between ~を中心に and ~をめぐって? Space ALC defines ~を中心に as "with a focus on" and ~をめぐって as "centering on", but I'm having trouble figuring out the meaning and ...
6
votes
2answers
454 views

What's the meaning of 〜というものではない?

I have two textbooks, and they seem to give opposite definitions for 「〜というものではない」. The first one says it means "it's not just a matter"; while the other one says that [It follows] a statement to ...
3
votes
1answer
111 views

The に in ように… Is it consistent?

Is the に particle in ように consistent in all its uses? For example... 1/ 明日は晴れるように or 覚えるようにします I understand the に here to be a target particle for what you are wishing for or trying to achieve. 2/ ...
4
votes
1answer
232 views

I don't understand this phrase もっとだ

I am watching a certain show at the moment where someone is talking about wanting to kill evil creatures. Please don't judge this question as childish just because the extract is from an anime. He ...
3
votes
3answers
222 views

Can ことはない be used to express something other than 'you don't have to'?

I understand that ことはない is used to state that something does not have to be done, such as: 時間は十分あるから急ぐことはない。 However, I am currently translating a survey from Japanese to English for a friend and ...
11
votes
3answers
7k views

Difference between ために and ように

I've got a question regarding difference in usage of 辞書形+ように and 辞書形+ために with verbs' dictionary forms, i.e. 飛行機に乗り遅れないように、前日早寝したのです。 彼は質問をするために手を上げました。 The notion I get is that the first is used ...
0
votes
1answer
278 views

Asking the best method or way to <verb> something

In English we say things like: What is the best way to <verb> something? I understand 方法{ほうほう} as a method and 方{かた} after verb stem. The sentence that caused me to contemplate was (in ...
1
vote
1answer
319 views

Translation of 終わらせる

I'm having trouble with the translation of 終わらせている in the following sentence, and as far as I understand it likely translates here as "die". But I never found this meaning for 終わる in vocabulary, and ...
1
vote
1answer
194 views

Can someone explain the form: xに関するどんな

I apologize in advance for the poor title. I'm really not sure how to phrase my question. I often see in Japanese sentences structures like the following: エホバに関するどんな事実を強調しましたか。 In the above, エホバに関する ...
4
votes
1answer
259 views

The で particle before です

This may be slightly multifaceted because I have a larger question regarding で that is contextualized by a smaller one. It is improper to put で before です or だ right. If someone asks 何で来ましたか (How did ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Proper use of ため to thank someone for doing x?

I know ため can be translated into English as "for" such-and-such. But is it appropriate to use it to thank some one for doing something? For example, "Thank you for your email address." Would it be ...