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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5
votes
2answers
404 views

Is 〜ている really this subtle?

With an action verb, like 食べる, I can count 5 meanings of this sentence: ジョンは納豆を食べている "John is eating natto." (progressive) "John is eating the natto." (progressive) "John eats natto." ...
6
votes
2answers
157 views

What is 「たもうた」 in 「 神の創りたもうた世界」?

I'd like to know what is the suffix たもうた used in the example phrase 「 神の創りたもうた世界」. I've found several more occurrences of it and it seem to work like some honorific equivalent of くださる used in ...
1
vote
1answer
202 views

particle に uses

I'm having difficulties in understand some of the uses of "ni" particle. If someone can help me explaining what is the function of the particle(like its representing movement, indicating location or ...
3
votes
1answer
136 views

Usage of「次第に」with the past tense

I am confused as if I should put the verb preceding 「次第に」 at the past tense or just use the dictionary version: ランチを食べた次第に帰った Or ランチを食べる次第に帰った Also, if this grammar is not appropriate in ...
3
votes
1answer
89 views

Is スポーツ a plural-only word?

Typically there is no pluralization in Japanese unless specified. For example: この車【くるま】は綺麗【きれい】。 This car is clean. / These cars are clean. Does スポーツ work in the same way? Considering the ...
1
vote
1answer
253 views

Does the particle に in に作られた mark the agent or the location here?

I'm confused about 「に作られた」 in the following sentence. Kindly explain this part to me. 「Central Base」とは、旧「アクアポリス・中央エアポート」に作られた、「ASDF」の陸上(?)基地のことだ。 Some sort of translation: Central base is, ...
0
votes
1answer
116 views

Meaning of 「緊張しながら」 and grammar of 「〜しながら」 part

Could you explain more precisely the meaning and grammar of 「緊張しながら」? I know that 「緊張」 means "nervous" or "tension", but 「〜しながら」 - I can't understand this part.
0
votes
1answer
112 views

example usage of ~kiri

It seems that one of the uses of ~kiri is to show continuance of state/condition. is it similar to '~ta mama' then? However,i have not been able to find an example of this usage. Appreciate help.
2
votes
1answer
214 views

I do not understand the meaning of として in the sentence

I do not understand the meaning of として in this sentence: 設備機器を固定資産として登録するために必要としているのでしょう.
2
votes
1answer
432 views

How to write “I'm going to sleep tomorrow”?

I'm supposed to write "I'm going to sleep tomorrow" using romaji. Would the romaji be watashi wa ashita neru e iku n desu because "I'm" is the subject which is "watashi wa" the time is ...
2
votes
1answer
143 views

When should I use a verb stem by itself?

I was recently listening to the Hunter x Hunter anime, and during a conversation, a passing character that the protagonist meets states, 頑張って、いいハンターになりな This struck me as a bit odd, as I ...
9
votes
2answers
268 views

Proportion and Rate

How do I form a sentence pattern for: The more/less X happens, the more/less Y happens E.g. The more you stir, the faster the salt dissolves. The colder the weather, the more ...
1
vote
1answer
110 views

Difference between 「受{う}ける」 and 「もらう」

What is the difference between 「受{う}ける」 and 「もらう」? Both translates as "receive"..
2
votes
3answers
180 views

Understanding the meaning and grammar of 出{で}て in 出{で}て来{き}ました

I'm trying to understand the grammar of 「出{で}て」 in 「出{で}て来{き}ました」. Why is 「て」 used here?
-2
votes
1answer
122 views

expressing 'among' in japanese

Sports (de ha/ni ha)soccer ga ichiban suki desu. Which one is correct? What is either of them used to express?
8
votes
1answer
299 views

What's the grammar of 持ちつ持たれつ?

持ちつ持たれつ (meaning approximately "supporting eachother") is commonly heard, but seems to be formed from some archaic grammar. I'm assuming it's an archaic form of 持って持たれて or something like that, but ...
-1
votes
1answer
80 views

Expressing concurrency

人口が増える [ に伴い/とともに ] 周辺もにぎやかになってきた。 Jinkou ga fueru (ni tomonai/to tomo ni) shuuhen mo nigiyaka ni natte kita Both the options seem grammatically correct. What's the difference then? Or do I ...
1
vote
1answer
104 views

Expressing 'if so'

暇(なら・としたら)ちょっと手伝って下さい。 Hima (nara/toshitara) chotto tetsudatte kudasai. Both the options seem grammatically correct. Is it not so?
2
votes
2answers
251 views

Explaining the phrase お世{せ}話{わ}になります and お世{せ}話{わ}になりました

I can understand what the phrase means 「お世{せ}話{わ}になりました」- "Thank you for everything". But literally it's quite strange to me. Could you explain the logic of it? Also would be very nice to know more ...
4
votes
1answer
125 views

「慎重すぎる」 and 「慎重に過ぎる」 - is there a difference?

In the short story I'm reading now (「ドライブ・マイ・カー」 by Haruki Murakami) there are two very similar phrases to express what I would translate as "too cautious": 「慎重すぎる」 and 「慎重に過ぎる」: ...
1
vote
2answers
145 views

Difference between 「なるベく」 and 「なるべき」

My Japanese coworker has been unable to explain clearly this. I know that the difference comes up naturally but as someone learning Japanese I need a few examples and grammar rules to know which one ...
4
votes
1answer
399 views

Meaning and grammar of やるっきゃない

I few minutes ago on NHK news 「注目」 I've heard/saw the phrase 「やるっきゃない」. I have no idea what it means.. And what grammar rules are here?
13
votes
2answers
380 views

What's the difference between くる and やってくる?

Can someone explain the nuance between them? They both mean "come", but I'm unsure of when they are interchangeable. My perception is that やってくる seems to put more emphasis on the actual action of ...
3
votes
2answers
211 views

Difference between usage of ように and ようにして

包み込むようにして、彼を抱きしめる 包み込むように   彼を抱きしめる The example could either use ようにして or 包み込むように抱きしめる(albeit written differently). What is the difference between these two usages? Can anyone explain the ...
3
votes
1answer
112 views

Explanation of 歌にのせて

From JapanesePod101, with their translation: ミュージカルは、歌【うた】にのせて物語【ものがたり】を展開【てんかい】する。 A musical can tell a story with songs. I understand that のせる means (amongst other things) "to take on board". Does ...
2
votes
1answer
110 views

How does one analyze “N + を前に + V”, where N is not an object of V

Note: This contains 3 parts but I think they are about 3 aspects of the same construct, hence I'm asking all 3 here instead of splitting into 3 questions. I guess this construct is quite common in ...
1
vote
1answer
86 views

N + sou desu is acceptable

kono kami ha yuki sou da - is this correct? I know that rashii and mitai can be used ~ but that's beside the point. Also,if 'sou da' can be used with 'N' - how do we differentiate 'seems like' ...
0
votes
1answer
114 views

Meaning of 具体的に [duplicate]

What is the meaning of 具体的に? Usage of particle に in this context is not very clear to me.
0
votes
2answers
204 views

How is て行く being used in すすんで行く and さいて行く? [duplicate]

I came across すすんで行く and さいて行く in a vocabulary list, and it was immediately obvious that there was probably some sort of grammatical construct involving て行く that was in use here. I don't really know ...
1
vote
2answers
147 views

What word and form is うってる?

I'm reading a children's book (no kanji) and the sentence is: いどうはんばいしゃは、 みんなが だいすきな たべものを うってるよ。 From the context, I figure it means: The mobile catering guy everyones favourite food ...
2
votes
0answers
167 views

Proper usage of 語 and 言語 and 言葉 when speaking about someone's language

Japanese language is 日本語. But if I want to say The language of Japanese people - should I write 日本人の言{げん}語{ご}? And if I want to say the same about animals, for example cat - like cat's language - is ...
1
vote
1answer
167 views

Repeating subject for emphasis okay?

For example I find myself saying things like: What did you win, bro? I could leave out the "bro" and the sentence would be complete but I unconsciously add emphasis with the subject again ...
8
votes
3answers
502 views

に and で revisited

Consider the statement A: ホテル(に/で)泊まる. For both cases would translate to "I stay at a hotel" in English. However they are answers to different questions. Consider the questions 1.どこに泊まる and ...
1
vote
1answer
107 views

Using が multiple times in one sentence

If you ask a question, such as 誰がこれが分かる? Is this still grammatical? Is it okay to use two が's in the same sentence?
0
votes
2answers
152 views

What is the function of にも in this sentence?

I found this sentence on a manga, and I can't find its meaning for I don't understand the function of にも in this case: 勉強にもスポーツにもそれから恋愛か。
3
votes
3answers
211 views

Question about 「まるで~ ~ように」

I have a question about ように in the following sentence. As far as I can understand まるで~ ~ように here emphasize counter factuality, and would be translated like "as if, just". However I cannot understand ...
11
votes
1answer
298 views

Two を in a single sentence - how to understand it?

In the book I'm reading (「キッチン」 by 吉本{よしもと}ばなな) I have found the following sentence: うしろで雄一がぞうきんを手に床をふいてくれていた。 I guess it can be translated to something like (sorry for a quite literal ...
6
votes
2answers
194 views

「どちら様でしたか?」 - why past form?

In a novel I'm reading (「キッチン」 by 吉本{よしもと}ばなな), there's this situation where the door opens and a woman enters the room asking for the main character by name. The main character, being surprised and ...
3
votes
1answer
242 views

Trouble understanding grammar in 「名を、柊という。」

In the novel I'm reading now (「キッチン」 by 吉本{よしもと}ばなな), there's this section where the protagonist is talking about her boyfriend's brother for the first time, introducing him to readers and giving his ...
2
votes
1answer
144 views

Usage of ていく in 死んでいく

世の中結局強い物が勝つ。 弱い奴らは死んでいく。 ただそれだけ 弱い奴らは勝手に死んでいくのだ Maybe a better way of phrasing this question would be asking the difference in using merely plain form and this form. e.g. ...
10
votes
1answer
379 views

Passive form - The exact difference between を and が

I've seen this question asked before, but i feel the answer didn't quite answer all my questions, so here goes. Now, I am rather sure that this: ケーキが食べられた Means: The cake was eaten. (by ...
2
votes
1answer
94 views

Need help with the meaning of this sentence (usage of ようとしている)

あいつは自分の嫁が決まってから、この呪縛を解除して自分の子供を産ませようとしてるんだ When this kind of construction (ようとする)is used with things like てから or simple te form before it does it then mean that this applies to all of them or only ...
9
votes
2answers
181 views

Looking for an explanation of the usage "あったものじゃない”

I'm looking for an explanation of the usage "あったものじゃない”. 例文 1)ムードも何もあったものじゃありませんね (context:Girlfriend and boyfriend were out on a date and the boyfriend's stomach made a large noise because he ...
4
votes
1answer
242 views

How are these two sentences not negating their premise?

In my JLPT textbook, 日本語総まとめN1読解, on page17, there are these two sentences (which are both part of a larger paragraph, but I hope I have included enough): ...
4
votes
1answer
183 views

If writing in である form, when is it necessary to use だ?

I know that the である style of writing is used as a somewhat-formal stylistic choice, often in editorials, and in rare cases, in particular styles of speeches. I remember being taught at some point, ...
1
vote
2answers
301 views

Some questions regarding ~てくる (edited)

Up to now my understanding of ~てくる has been very vague. No matter how many explanations I read, in practice my translations always feel uneasy. Here are a few unresolved doubts I have: From what I ...
4
votes
2answers
414 views

Asking a negative question

I've heard that it is supposed to be "less demanding" (or something in that regard) to ask a negative question when you're asking for a favor or anything alike. Let's say I want to turn this sentence ...
2
votes
1answer
62 views

Classical: On the subject of a sentence with 連用形/て clauses + ば condicional

I'm having some trouble with this beautiful passage from the Kana Preface to the Kokinshū, which is talking about us (spaced for clarity):  1 人まろ なくなりにたれど、  2 うたの こと ゝどまれるかな。  3. たとひ とき うつり こと ...
2
votes
1answer
71 views

Verb used for “being in a class”

I'm new to Japanese language. I was looking for a way to ask "what class are you in?" or similar (not sure if that's the right way to translate it to Japanese, but the idea is to ask him what class is ...
8
votes
1answer
180 views

What is the difference between 〜を〜とする and 〜を〜とした before nouns?

In everything I can find online, the constructions [N1]を[N2]とする[N3] and [N1]を[N2]とした[N3] are lumped together as basically having the same meaning. Is there any difference between them? My textbook ...