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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3
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3answers
262 views

Asking “have you tried X” or “have you ever Y”?

This has always been a problem for me, so I'm hoping you guys can answer it once and for all. Often, I want to ask somebody if they've ever done something before. For example, in an email yesterday I ...
4
votes
1answer
168 views

Is 拒絶反応対受け入れ a grammatically correct way to say “acceptance versus rejection”?

I am looking to translate "acceptance versus rejection" in the same sense as "acceptance versus alienation". Is the following statement grammatically correct? Does it make sense to word the following ...
2
votes
2answers
216 views

How do you express “In exchange/In return”?

I am trying to figure this out, but online searches don't seem to be helping. In particular what I'm looking for is something like "In exchange for helping you, please help me" or put more simply "In ...
3
votes
0answers
124 views

Are there any restrictions on the usage of the て-form as a continuation? [closed]

How freely can sentences be combined with the て-form? Are there any cases where it cannot be done?
3
votes
1answer
154 views

Are all 3 sentences the same?

1。本を六ページ読んだ。 2。本の六ページ読んだ。 Is sentence 2 the same as sentence 3? 3。本の六ページを読んだ。
4
votes
1answer
160 views

Why does the grammar structure for “I think [statement]” work the way it does?

In my Japanese class, I've been taught that the structure for "to think" is "~と思う", but no explanation was given for why this is the way it is. For instance: 日本の中で食べ物は高いと思う。 Obviously the first ...
1
vote
1answer
185 views

A little question about polite Japanese

I can't understand why is it used polite form in -「いらっしゃい。逃げ切れるとは思わないで」, I would translate it like this - "Come! Don't think you can run away!". And as far as I can guess シオン is telling it to an ...
5
votes
1answer
209 views

Does Japanese have free indirect speech?

In English (and, I assume, its relatives), there is a style of narration called free indirect speech, some examples of which are given in the linked article. I'm having trouble figuring out whether ...
4
votes
1answer
181 views

Why are 来る and する irregular?

I know that there are more irregular verbs than just this, but their changes are mostly euphonic and not really of any interest to me. What I would like to know is why 来る and する have developed the way ...
3
votes
1answer
219 views

Using “page” in these sentences? (using counters and の to modify a noun)

I always get confused with these kinds of Japanese sentences. Which is correct? ​ 1. 六ページの本を読んで。 ​ 2. 六ページ目の本を読んで。 Are sentence 3 & 4 ungrammatical?  ​3. 本の六ページ目を読んで。 ​ 4. 本の六ページを読んで。
2
votes
1answer
101 views

What word is a good replacement for から used as “because” in informal speech?

What word should I use in informal speech for connecting cause and effect just like から does in polite form?
4
votes
0answers
111 views

ゆく used in auxiliary sense - instead of いく?

I'm reading a novel 「キッチン」by 吉本ばなな at the moment and I noticed that she uses ゆく in some places as an auxiliary verb to signify the action progression from here or from now (if my understanding is ...
5
votes
1answer
240 views

I am struggling with the sometimes conflicting uses of 先

Rikaisama's definition of 先 includes meanings like previous; prior; former; some time ago. However it also includes meanings such as front; ahead; the future; destination. I am struggling to make ...
4
votes
1answer
112 views

When is “事” used instead of こと for past experiences?

In the "ことがあります" construction about past experiences, when is "事" used, and when is "こと" used? The textbook used in class uses "こと": 六本木の おんせんに 行った ことがあります。 If it wanted to use "事" instead of ...
3
votes
2answers
109 views

What are some different ways to use これから?

I know the basic usage of it, e.g. これから (thing the speaker wants to do), but there are some contexts where the usage doesn't seem to make any sense, like when someone just says it by itself. Anyone ...
1
vote
3answers
215 views

Difference between 建てられた and 建てました?

新しい大学のビルが建てられた。 新しい大学のビルを建てました。 Both translate to: A new university building was built. Even though the translation is the same (by my understanding) something to do with the meaning has to be ...
3
votes
2answers
175 views

Verb + うる form. What is this?

Can't really understand this form: I've seen already this form with 考える and translated it like this: 考えうることだ - conceivable (possible) However how do you translate with other verbs? is this ...
5
votes
2answers
119 views

センスで嗅覚も研ぎ澄ます - “sense of sense of smell?” Why use センス?

In the Zelda video game guidebook I am translating there is a part of the game where you transform into a wolf and have to rely on your senses. The title of this section of the guidebook is ...
6
votes
1answer
205 views

よると or よれば? Which one is “according to”?

I read some of your post (very very helpful!) and I was wondering if you could write a post about the difference between よると and よれば. Which one is used to mean "according to"?
2
votes
1answer
79 views

How to interpret indirect passives?

While looking up some grammar points I stumbled across this paper which describes something that it calls "indirect passives". I can't think of anything similar in English, and I'm having trouble ...
5
votes
1answer
218 views

What does 「VほうもVほうだ」 mean?

I've noticed a grammar pattern recently: 「V方{ほう}もV方{ほう}だ」. From what I can tell, it always repeats the same verb twice, and it seems like ほう is often written in kana: 行くほうも行くほうだ And if it's a ...
4
votes
2answers
101 views

What are ある and わけ in 「どこにでもあるわけではありません」?

Here is the sentence for context. 独立系の映画館はシネコンと違っていて、チケットが安いのですが、どこにでもあるわけではありません。 My translation - Independent cinemas are different from multiplex ones as they have cheaper tickets but not ...
6
votes
2answers
181 views

How to write about something in the future where something will have happened

How could I write about something in the future where something will have happened? That is, I'm writing from the perspective of the current time, about a perspective in the future where something has ...
3
votes
1answer
194 views

Difference between ~そう and ~見える when saying “how something looks” / “what something looks like”

Difference between 大きそう and 大きく見える when saying "how something looks" / "what something looks like" When talking about how something looks we can use ~そう. However, I have realized that the verb 見える ...
3
votes
1answer
178 views

Why is the particle の used instead of が in these phrases? [duplicate]

Why is the particle の used instead of が in phrases like 身寄りのない人 or the sentence 琵琶湖の向こう岸に虹の立つのを、麻子は見た。? While I understand the meanings of these examples, I would have expected to find the nominative ...
7
votes
2answers
765 views

How to say “To start liking something”

As far as I know, one can say "I started doing X" by adding X-はじめました。 However, I don't think this applies to "to like", which is an adjective. So how to say for example "I started liking science"
1
vote
1answer
74 views

What is the difference between using こと and かた in a sentence with できます and わかります?

e.g. はなすこと and はなしかた I am trying to learn about this grammar point for a test My notes for できます and わかります
3
votes
1answer
138 views

When do I use できます as opposed to わかります in a sentence?

I know the difference in meaning between the two: できます being "to be able to" or "can do", and わかります being "to understand how to" or "to know". I also know a simple sentence structure for both: "Person ...
1
vote
1answer
169 views

The use of “で” and "を” in this sentence

こうえんをさんぽします。 Why in this sentence do we use を and not で。
1
vote
1answer
67 views

Question about ようにと

Could somebody please explain me the grammar in ようにと. Is there something omitted between ように and と? As far as I can guess the author is saying something like - "For now I'll try to not think about ...
2
votes
1answer
119 views

How to express “Today I would like to talk about X” when opening a speech

Can one use 「本日、Xを話したいです」 when opening a speech, or is it too rough? For example, translations for the sentence "Today I would like to talk about my past" that I can think of are 「本日、私の過去を話したいです」 or ...
3
votes
1answer
114 views

How can transitive and passive be combined in 茎を編んで作られる?

In the following sentence, taken from an article about tatami the transitive and passive verbs (編む&作る)seem to be combined into one phrase to express what I have said translation but it does not seem ...
4
votes
4answers
212 views

S1 と S2 conditional S2 being in past tense

ごんは、家に着くと、ウナギを家の外に置いて、言いました。 In this sentence, a fox called ごん has run all the way home to escape an angry fisherman who he stole an eel from. Why is と the conditional used here? I could understand ...
3
votes
1answer
116 views

わけ accompanied by な particle

What exactly does な particle mean when used with わけ? Example (pulled from Google): あいつが犯人なわけがないじゃないか. I know exactly what this sentence means, but I'm just a little unsure on what the な is ...
3
votes
2answers
875 views

How to say “I hope you liked it” or “I hope you found it interesting” as a conclusion for a formal speech?

I am preparing a speech, and would like to finish it by saying "I hope you found it interesting" or "I hope you found my speech interesting", or similar. However, I am not certain of the different ...
4
votes
3answers
161 views

How to express “X is the most important for Y”?

I am not certain how to say "X is the most important for Y". For example, "A teacher is the most important person for a student." It could be 「先生は学生にいちばんたいせつな人です」 or 「がくせいは先生がいちばんたいせつな人です」, but I ...
4
votes
1answer
188 views

How do I determine the indirect object of a command?

I'm working my way through the core 2000, and came across this: [明日]{あす}、6[時]{じ}に[起]{お}こしてください。 I immediately thought, "Please wake up at 6am tomorrow." But the translation in the deck instead ...
1
vote
0answers
92 views

Meaning of 自慢の目利き [closed]

Could you please tell me how should I understand and translate 自慢の目利き in the following sentence. この季節は、町内の市場は休みがないため、下苧坪さん(he's a 魚の仲買人- fish dealer) は、毎朝漁港に出かけ、その自慢の目利きで、新鮮な海の幸を仕入れる。 Source: ...
7
votes
3answers
254 views

When is it acceptable to use “Newspaper grammar”?

It is often said that Newspapers use grammatical forms/ellipses not used elsewhere and, on the whole, these do not present a problem to read and understand. However the ellipses do not seem to be ...
4
votes
1answer
114 views

Why is an anachronistic modern conjugation thrown into the lyrics of 軍艦行進曲?

軍艦行進曲 seems to be written mostly using Classical Japanese grammar. Here's the first stanza: 守るも攻むるも黒鐵{くろがね}の 浮かべる城{しろ}ぞ頼{たの}みなる 浮かべるその城{しろ}日{ひ}の本{もと}の 皇國{みくに}の四方{よも}を守{まも}るべし ...
4
votes
1answer
234 views

The use of passive voice to describe the Emperor's activities

The Imperial Palace gardens were opened to the public recently to celebrate the Emperor's 80th birthday. Can someone confirm the use of the passive voice in the following sentence on the subject in ...
7
votes
2answers
252 views

Sentence (question) ending かい - how is it different from just か?

I sometimes find questions that are normally ended with the question particle か to end with かい. For example: いいかい? そうかい? あいつがどうかしたかい? And sometimes with just い without か (if I ...
4
votes
1answer
184 views

Difference Between 僕たち and 僕ら?

Both 僕たち and 僕ら mean we. But is there any difference between them? I.e. one of them is more formal than the other, or any grammatical nuances? Edit: How is this a duplicate? The question linked by ...
8
votes
1answer
163 views

Does なりやした mean なりました?

I received this message:「行けることになりやした」. Doing a quick Google search for なりやした, I found a few phrases like 「新米母になりやした!」and 「遅くなりやした。」 Is it a kind of slang for なりました?
2
votes
2answers
139 views

Particles に, で for temporal vs spatial location

What does it mean to put で after a temporal expression? I was taught that only に should be used for times but I still see sentences with で sometimes. This is basically my current understanding: ...
2
votes
1answer
304 views

〜たい form vs. 〜てほしい

When first learning Japanese grammar, one is usually taught that to express a desire to do something one should use the 〜たい form of the verb: 東京へ行きたい On some occasions, however, I've also seen ...
4
votes
1answer
133 views

Need help with understanding X ことは X construction

I need some help with this grammar point ’ことは'. The definition I have is "Indeed one does something alright, but ~" Verb / い adj ことは V2/ い2 adj "話すことは” ”高いことは” Examples: ...
5
votes
1answer
200 views

Usage of 「なり」 with nouns

What is なり means in the following sentence, as far as I can guess it's close to the second one here. 「少なくとも、いきなり挑戦される可能性は低い。その間に、戦う準備なり勝つ方法を考えていかないといけないが…」 Some sort of translation: "At the ...
11
votes
1answer
824 views

ち suffix I've never heard of before

Ok, so I've been reading よつばと recently, and I've been seeing a suffix coming up that I cannot seem to find a meaning for. It's not in any dictionary, and I'm not sure if it's a name suffix, or some ...
4
votes
1answer
189 views

How 聞いてた differs from 聞いた in this context?

I think ていた/ている is often used in the following context. A:Bla Bla Bla A:話、聞いてた? B:ごめん。聞いてなかった。ちょっと、ボーッとしてた Another context A said something to B before he left, but B didn't hear it. ...