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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

1
vote
1answer
74 views

Verbal forms allowed to determine a noun

I'm not confident that the English grammatical words I'm using are okay; feel free to correct me. Let's start with the phrase 読{よ}む本{ほん} meaning, among other acceptable translations "the book I do ...
2
votes
1answer
89 views

why is there a double “が” here: “… 岐阜県警が捜索したが見つからず、…”?

From the newspaper article titles 北アルプス・涸沢岳で2人滑落、1人行方不明, the second paragraph reads: 男性1人が行方不明となり、岐阜県警がヘリコプターで捜索したが見つからず、同日夕、日没のため打ち切った。1日午前から捜索を再開する。 my guess of a translation: Being that ...
18
votes
3answers
3k views

Usage of commas in Japanese sentences

This might sound like a strange question, but how does the usage of commas differ when used in Japanese compared to English? I believe りんご、オレンジとバナナ wouldn't work, but that it's OK to list like ...
4
votes
1answer
117 views

Volitional + というのだった?

In the short story 「悪魔」by 星新一 , a man walks onto a frozen lake to go ice fishing, carves out a small hole in the ice, and throws in the line. But after throwing in the line, there's a 文型 I've never ...
0
votes
0answers
103 views

Qualifying Nouns With verbs and adjectives in japanese

If possible could someone explain this to me? I have the Genki I book that explains it pretty well but I guess I'm still having difficulty grasping it. I'll leave a example sentence in case my ...
4
votes
2answers
138 views

noun + ばかり [exclusivity sense] ambiguity

My understanding of ばかり so far (please correct if any of this is wrong): After TE form, the meaning is unambiguous as it applies to the verb, e.g.: 本を読んでばかりいる。Do nothing but read books. ...
1
vote
1answer
82 views

How do you indicate sections in a report if there are more than 5? (まず、つぎに、さらに、そして、最後に)

If you need to indicate more sections in a report than five (beginning each section with 「まず」、「つぎに」、「さらに」、「そして」、「最後に」 respectively), what word(s) should you use to indicate the start of the additional ...
4
votes
2answers
117 views

How do I know what the questioner wants me to answer?

I am learning Japanese from a book. The excerpt of a dialogue is given as follows. Q: 夏休みに国へ帰りますか。 A: いいえ、夏休みには帰りません。冬休みに帰ります。 My question is how do we know what the questioner wants us to ...
5
votes
1answer
119 views

In 十日と待たずに what does the と mean?

Probably a silly question, but in this sentence: 仕事ができなかったら十日と待たずに解雇されるだろうと思う。 What does the と in 十日と待たずに mean? Is it the "if" と, e.g. "when/if 10 days pass, I'd get fired without hesitation?". ...
3
votes
2answers
190 views

Understanding the subtleties behind [noun]する vs [noun]だ

I still notice this when I see [verbal noun]する instead of [verbal noun]だ. While I understand the meaning of both, I'm missing the qualities that often make する or がある seem to be a more natural choice ...
29
votes
2answers
4k views

Why does Japanese have two kinds of adjectives? (-i adjectives and -na adjectives)

Japanese has two kinds of adjectives known by several terms but the ones I know are i-adjectives and na-adjectives - why? I recall that Japanese adjectives are much more like verbs than in English ...
1
vote
1answer
71 views

combining several participle of verb + miru

I am practicing expressing "to try to do something", using the participle of verbs plus 見る. If I understand correctly, a sentence like このビールを飲んでみました。 means something like "I tried to drink this ...
5
votes
1answer
172 views

Frequency adverb locations

When using frequency adverbs like ぜんぜん,あまり,よく and so forth. Where is the correct location in the sentence to structure it? In my Genki I textbook it says the sentence structure is Topic Frequency ...
1
vote
1answer
130 views

Meaning of お支払いを希望される方

I am having trouble understanding the following sentence: クレジットカードによるお支払【しはら】いを希望【きぼう】される方【かた】は、次【つぎ】の注意【ちゅうい】をお読【よ】みください。 In particular, I am having trouble comprehending the first clause: ...
7
votes
2answers
220 views

Are the words in Japanese quotes 「」 always literally what is being said?

When 「」 is used to quote, are the words contained always literally what they say, or are they paraphrasing? For example, in a sentence such as 「助けて」と叫びながら走っていた人が多かった, does it exclude people from ...
2
votes
3answers
208 views

How does 〜しなくても済んだだろう work?

せめて親でも生きていてくれたら、こんなに苦労しなくても済んだだろう I wouldn't have so many difficulties, if only my parents were still alive. [Example sentence from Japanese Postpositions: Theory and Practice ISBN-13: ...
2
votes
2answers
144 views

How do you tell when 言っている is progressive or resultive?

ている verbs can indicate either the result of something (死んでいる) or that you are in the process of doing something (食べている). However, I am having trouble differentiating between the two with certain verbs ...
3
votes
1answer
114 views

The meaning of それを昨日、今日、司教になったようなのが!

Context: This old man, one of the candidates to become the new pope, had one of his subordinates secretly check how the various churches had voted for who they want to be pope, and he noticed that the ...
2
votes
1answer
137 views

sense of a displaced “adverb” in a sentence written by Sōseki Natsume

I read in that thread : 「自分{じぶん}は死{し}ぬ前{まえ}に一目{ひとめ}思{おも}う女{おんな}に逢{あ}いたいと云{い}った。」 in 夢十夜, 第五夜 : "I explained that before I died, if only for a moment, I wanted to see the woman I loved." ...
3
votes
1answer
159 views

Connecting adjectives in a sentence

If I were to say "Mr. Li is cheerful, healthy, and interesting." It would be リさんはあかるくて、げんきで、おもしろいです。 What I don't understand is how to connect negative adjective sentences, like if I wanna say "Mr. ...
3
votes
1answer
237 views

Subject and beneficiary of 〜くれる

I can't completely understand the meaning of くれる in the following dialogues. In the first example, if I'm understanding, it is something like this: せっかくミストリアはエルドにこう言ってくれているんだし So the one who ...
2
votes
1answer
81 views

Understanding particle-ni when there is no verb

I'm trying to understand the lyrics of the song 細氷【さいひょう】. Here's the part of the lyrics I don't understand: さって行くあなたの背中に 「さよなら」 I see it as: "your leaving figure (back)" + "ni" + ...
5
votes
1answer
152 views

How to say 'they will suffer'?

I'm trying to say, that if there is a natural disaster, the whole of Japan will suffer. However, I'm finding it quite difficult to translate this into Japanese. Do either of these make sense? ...
2
votes
1answer
79 views

The meaning of 「気が合わない人といっしょに生活するぐらいなら、このまま独身でいたい。」

I would like to clarify my understanding of the following sentence. 気【き】が合【あ】わない人【ひと】といっしょに生活【せいかつ】するぐらいなら、このまま独身【どくしん】でいたい。 I believe it means something along the lines of, "if I am going to be ...
1
vote
1answer
77 views

Meaning of 次の日はないようにする

The sentence is found in a monologue about a persons working habits, particularly how they don't have time to sleep, and are constantly working at their 3 jobs. The paragraph goes: ...
5
votes
1answer
371 views

How does 一目 work in this sentence?

Trying to make sense of this sentence: 自分は死ぬ前に一目{ひとめ}思う女に逢{あ}いたいと云った。 Daijirin lists 一目 as a noun. However, it doesn't connect with 思う according to normal rules (there is no particle). To ...
1
vote
1answer
83 views

Trouble with sentence structure and particles

I've been having a hard time understanding how to construct a sentence. If I were going to say something along the lines of: "Learning Japanese on your own is difficult." Would this be grammatically ...
3
votes
1answer
138 views

Do 〜によれば and 〜によると differ regarding the speaker's opinion of the following statement being true?

From a newspaper: 16日の発表によると、ドイツ経済の今年の成長率は2.1%、来年が1.8%の見込み。 I think that means: According to the report of April 16th, it is expected that the growth of the German economy will be 2.1% ...
2
votes
1answer
72 views

How does ようにして work when followed by a verb/al?

Off these excerpts from 夢十夜: A 「田圃{たんぼ}へかかったね」と背中で云った。 B 「どうして解る」と顔を後うしろへ振り向けるようにして聞いたら、 A 「だって鷺{さぎ}が鳴くじゃないか」と答えた。 "asked by turning my head towards my back"? ...
2
votes
2answers
154 views

「日本では美味しい和食が食べられる」と「日本は美味しい和食が食べられる」は違う?

(1)“日本では美味しい和食が食べられる” (2)“日本は美味しい和食が食べられる” どっちも使えるんですね。意味もわかりますけど、もうちょっと詳しい文法を知りたいです。 私はこう思います(正しいかどうかわからない): “日本では美味しい和食が食べられる” ⇒ “私は日本で美味しい和食が食べられる” から ...
3
votes
1answer
121 views

How to say “email me at this mail address”?

I was wondering how I would say to someone that they can reach me at this email address or they can mail me here at this email address. I would guess it would use the potential form of send for ...
5
votes
1answer
142 views

What is the difference between 一層, 一段と and より一層?

I know that they all mean "more, much more" but is there any difference between them? also do they have the same usage as もっと?
2
votes
1answer
77 views

How is the past tense in this sentence translated?

I'm studying Japanese adjectives right now, and I see that adjectives can be formed to refer to past tense. For example, 自転車は楽だったです。 So, I'm trying to understand a little bit better how the ~だった ...
4
votes
1answer
147 views

Commas and relative clauses

Can't find rules on how commas work with relative clauses. Paragraph [click for full text] ...
6
votes
1answer
421 views

Meaning and usage of 〜してからにしろ

From the manga yotsubato!, casual conversation: 早く寝るのはいいけど、せめて晩飯食って風呂入ってからにしろ In this sentence how does からにしろ at the end change it? I know the full sentence means this: It's ok to go to bed ...
1
vote
2answers
140 views

Can とこに配属され be used for being assigned to a position?

I'd like to understand whether the とこに配属 within this dialogue (and in general) can be used in reference to assignment of a position such as proxy, instead of just assignent to a division. For ...
2
votes
1answer
131 views

Difference between て-form and と/や for connecting adjectives/verbs

I was reading about the て form and trying to understand it, then I came across some sentences using て form and a question came into my mind: What changes if instead of using the て form for all verbs ...
3
votes
1answer
75 views

What is the function of と in verb-ていると form

I read this sentence in a book for beginners, but I can't find the grammar in any of my books or online: おばあさんが川で洗濯をしていると、川上のほうから、大きな桃が「どんぶらこ、どんぶらこ」と流れてきました。 Which I translate as While the ...
1
vote
2answers
166 views

What does の apply to after a list of items with と?

I've looked around, but I couldn't find an answer for this question. Here's the example phrase that I'm trying to translate that I pulled from a light novel: せりとレタスとキャベツの違い I'm not sure whether ...
2
votes
1answer
80 views

The use of 恩着せがましい with と思う in this sentence

I understand most of the below sentence, but when I get to 恩着せがましいと思うのではないか, things get confusing. 日本人は人見知りが激しいので打ち解けあうまでは時間かかりますが、仲良くなると恩着せがましいと思うのではないかと思います。 My translation: A Japanese person's ...
4
votes
1answer
93 views

Can と imply と言わんばかりに?

I can't understand how と is used in the bolded sentence below. Does と in that sentence imply と言って ("Understand it please - said ボイスくん looking at me."), or does it imply と言わんばかりに ("ボイスくん was looking at ...
2
votes
1answer
139 views

Usage of しか~ない in this piece of anime monologue

This monologue piece is is taken from an anime (魔法少女まどか☆マギカ, episode 2, this starts at ~10:55). It makes sense to me except for the highlighted part: 別に珍しくなんかないはずだよ 命と引き換えにしてでも 叶えたい望みって ...
4
votes
2answers
257 views

Which noun is being modified in アリスがふみとどまろうかと考えるひまもないうちに

I've been reading 不思議の国のアリス (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland) and there's a sentence that is baffling me. It reads: [After having fallen down the rabbit hole] ...
1
vote
1answer
74 views

“It was not my intention.”

How do I say the above sentence in Japanese? I would suppose it's それは私の意向はなくなかったら。 (sore wa watashi no ikou wa nakunakatta.) But I'm not sure about the 'nakunakatta'. It might be a double-negation? ...
5
votes
1answer
154 views

Ambiguity in meaning of sentences with a noun qualifed by an adjective with が particle

I was wondering if there is any ambiguity with sentences that have adjectives qualifying a noun, especially regarding the が particle. For example: 1.) 僕が好きな人 Can this sentences have an ambiguous ...
2
votes
2answers
91 views

The expression “but” used twice in row in a sentence

Why does it look like this sentence is using "but" twice in a row? でも、 そうかと言って、 もう一つ下のレべルのクラスだと、 やさしすぎてつまらないと思いますよ。 To my knowledge, でも means "but". On the other hand, my textbook says the ...
2
votes
1answer
87 views

X times bigger than

How can I say: X is 5 times bigger than Y (?)
4
votes
1answer
96 views

Is there a difference between 終わりたい and 終わってほしい

Actually, I'm not even sure, if the ~たい-form of a intransitive verb is possible, or grammatically correct, but I sometimes read 終わりたい or 終わりたくない like for example まだ終わりたくない But from everything I ...
3
votes
2answers
147 views

接続助詞は名詞修飾節の中に使えますか?・接続助詞で作る文は他の接続助詞で作る文を修飾できますか?

偶然この質問を思い出しました。 Question 1 英語で Hey, look! The car over there is the car which I would buy if I were rich. という文があると思います。 その「if I were rich」は従属接続詞(if)で「I would buy」を修飾しているのです。それだけではなく、実は「I ...