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

8
votes
1answer
598 views

Usage of て-form in 知っての通り

I have just come across the phrase 知っての通り〜 (as you know...) I have never noticed this usage of て-form before and can't find an explanation. What is the difference (if any) between this and 知っている通り? ...
5
votes
1answer
272 views

When does こいつ refer to a situation?

I've always heard こいつ refer to a person. (That guy!) However, in my JLPT Reading workbook there is a line where it refers to a situation. The explanation says: 「こいつ」が状況を表し....ことに気づくこと。 It goes ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

の cannot be used as a pronoun meaning “one” for “highly abstract objects” but what is a “highly abstract object”?(amended)

(Italics are used to indicate revisions to the orginal question made in response to feedback so far) According to "A students' guide to Japanese grammar", by Naomi McGloin, の is used as a pronoun ...
2
votes
1answer
86 views

Explain ますよう + [noun]

Can someone please help me parse the following sentence: ...新商品をお試しくださいますようご案内申し上げます。 I guess the meaning is something like "We invite you to try our new product," but I don't understand how ...
0
votes
1answer
147 views

Words ending in consonants [duplicate]

Using Hiragana, how would you write a word/transcribe a sound which ends in a consonant? Such as 'kon'. Relevant to this, I don't understand why 'hajimemashite' doesn't pronounce the 'shi' in the ...
2
votes
1answer
102 views

How does 別に function as an adverb?

I know that 別に means "not particularly" sometimes, but what is its role in this sentence? 別に山田の私服を見るのは、はじめてってわけじゃないんだけどな。 I assume it means something like "it's not exactly the first time I've seen ...
2
votes
1answer
102 views

Is ために here a wrong one? [duplicate]

Could someone please help with the correct answer to this N3 challenge? I thought the correct one is ために but apparently I'm wrong. 今度の試合に勝てる (ために)一生けんめいがんばります。 Variants given: ために ことに ように みたいに
1
vote
2answers
119 views

Don't understand meaning and translation of these sentences

I’m having major trouble understanding and translating these example sentences. 試験や勉強で忙しくなると、どうして勉強しているのか忘れがちになる。でも勉強は自分のためにしているということを忘れないでほしい。 My translation: When you become busy with exams and ...
3
votes
1answer
127 views

「もんか」の使い方を教えてくれませんか?

How do you use もんか? Once, I saw this sentence: お前に俺の気持がわかるもんか. I understand the meaning but I don't know how you can use it
3
votes
2answers
293 views

Meaning and translation of 働かせっぱなし

Help me please with translation 働かせっぱなし in the following sentence それって、朝からずっと働かせっぱなしの人間に対して、掛ける言葉じゃ、ないと思うんだけど The main problem is that I cannot understand how to correctly translate ...
1
vote
2answers
143 views

Adjective conjugation of 小さい and 少ない in these sentences

I’ve come across some adjective conjugation that I don’t fully understand in two separate but related example sentences, and so my translations are definitely wonky. ...
29
votes
5answers
2k views

i-adjectives used as na-adjectives: is there a difference? (e.g. 大きい versus 大きな)

There are at the very least several i-adjectives can be used as na-adjectives by dropping the final い and adding な in its place. The most common examples of this, as far as I am aware, are 大きい and ...
2
votes
2answers
223 views

How to ask the 'looks like' or appearance of something?

Good day to everyone. I've been wondering on how you say 'looks like' or 'appears like' but not on terms of similarity. It is asking for a description or appearance on an object. For example: ...
1
vote
1answer
322 views

Topic marker in これは大きい本を食べる犬です

In the sentence これは大きい本を食べる犬です, I understand that 大きい本を食べる is a clause that describes 犬 as "a dog that eats large books"; and を only makes sense within that clause. However, I'm confused about ...
8
votes
2answers
362 views

In 君が代, what's the function of の?

I've got a question about the two instances of の in 君が代: さざれ石の巌となりて 苔の生すまで First, is さざれ石の巌 to be interpreted as a boulder made of pebbles (analogous to, say, 木製の槍)? Second, is the の in ...
2
votes
2answers
141 views

なんと versus どう usage

Consider the two questions: 1) せんせいの しつもんに なんと こたえました 2) せんせいの しつもんに どう こたえました I hope they both mean "How did you answer the teacher's question?" A previous question on this site suggested that なんと ...
3
votes
1answer
226 views

The use of も; spotting if it is comparison/contrast, or for emphasis

Could somebody tell me the meaning/use of both もs in bold in the following sentence? It is the background explanation for the essay titled 「さよなら、ゴジラ先生」 in the magazine, 中上級のにほんご. Also, I am not sure ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

What are the general principles of using verbs to modify nouns (e.g. 焦げるトースト/焦げたトースト)?

In all the time I've studied the language, I've never heard or seen anybody even hint at whether the principles from a given language (like using “burnt toast” vs. “burning toast”) carry over, or if ...
3
votes
3answers
393 views

知らない方がいいって事もあるんです

Original video I am trying to decipher: 知らない方がいいって事もあるんです The translation that is provided with this phrase is "Some things are better off left unknown." I'm trying to break this down but I'm ...
4
votes
2answers
112 views

Use of まで in this sentence

The sentence is 出口が無けりゃ作るまでよ. I'm pretty sure it means something along the lines of "If there is not a door, just make one" It confuses me because 出口が無けりゃ should mean "If there is not a door" and ...
8
votes
2answers
508 views

Come to ~: ~てくる vs. ~ようになる

Can someone please explain the fine nuances of these two? Things such as: Are there conditions/restrictions of when you can use one or the other? What are the "approximate" time periods that each ...
1
vote
1answer
102 views

Question about the それに

I have a question about the meaning of それに in the following passage(second one). Does it means something like "To that, after supressing this intense sleepiness, Taito said." So, this それに refers to ...
2
votes
1answer
111 views

Is it correct to use で in this sentence if I want to convey “and”?

My penpal and I were talking about a particular video game and I wanted to tell him: "The PC version (of the game) has its release date someday next month and I just can't wait any longer!" ...
1
vote
1answer
116 views

What is the difference between こだわり and 良{よ}い?

Consider for example this article with the following headline. 〈JAL〉機内食、こだわりの冬メニュー登場 日本航空(JAL)は「空の上のレストラン」をコンセプトに展開している機内食「スカイオーベルジュ BEDD(ベッド) by JAL」で12月1日から提供される冬のこだわりメニューを発表した。 [...] ...
6
votes
3answers
767 views

Strange usage of に particle

I saw an advertisement on the train that said 世界に友達を作りたい... My Japanese friend said that the difference with "世界で友達を作りたい” is that で means like "In the world" whilst に means "all over the world". I ...
0
votes
2answers
222 views

Using double negative

Would appreciate if someone helped me understand the following word patterns with examples: なかなか〜ない ほとんど〜ない ぜんぜん〜ない Can any of them be used in a positive context too?
4
votes
1answer
362 views

Use of ことです in this sentence

This is the example sentence: 私の趣味はギターを弾くことです。 My translation - Playing the guitar is my hobby. However, why is it not: '私の趣味はギターを弾きます。’ Basically I don't understand this use of 'ことです'.
3
votes
1answer
241 views

Does this “は” indicate a sequence of events?

I've noticed in the book 秘密 by 谷崎{たにざき}潤一郎{じゅんいちろう} that the particle は sometimes seems to be used to indicate that with "AはB", "B" comes after "A", for example: ...
2
votes
2answers
256 views

How does someone know when one word ends and the next one starts?

I may not know very much Japanese, but I still want to practice reading the language, to help lean hiragana, katakana, and kanji. However, since the Japanese do not use spaces to seperate words, I am ...
-2
votes
1answer
113 views

Specifying Objects in Japanese

How do you say and write 'this is' and 'that is' in Japanese? Expanding on this, how would you say and write 'these are' and 'those are'? Around this topic, are there any male and female words in ...
3
votes
1answer
95 views

Function of “でも” in “とでも言うべきであろうか”?

I've come across the phrase "〜とでも言うべきであろうか" in my reading. I understand most of it, but am a little confused as to what the "でも" is doing. I'm familiar with "でも" as a particle, but it appears to be ...
5
votes
1answer
142 views

When each of joining particles ~や~ and ~とか~ should be used? [duplicate]

What is the difference between ~や~ and ~とか~ joining particles? For example: 1) 飲み物やカップや~ 2) 飲み物とかカップとか~ It looks like the meaning is about the same of both sentences.. When each of particles ...
6
votes
1answer
625 views

what's the difference between とか and や?

what's the difference between とか and や?
3
votes
1answer
155 views

私は日本語と英語で思っています。

Is this the proper way to say "I think in Japanese and English", or should I be using a particle other than で?
2
votes
2answers
96 views

Future II Simple in Japanese

How can you express something like "Tomorrow I will have finished my work" or "Because I have to do hard word tomorrow, I will be very tired in the evening"? 明日、仕事を絶対終えたようとする。 ? ...
3
votes
1answer
90 views

What is the difference between 忘れないで and 忘れるなよ?

These two forms, ~ないで and the ~な particle seem to have similar meanings. Can someone please explain the difference between the two?
1
vote
1answer
77 views

What's the function of “と” in “海に行きたいといつしか話した”?

It's not hard to understand the meaning of this sentence but I just want to know which function the "と" serves in this case.
4
votes
1answer
136 views

Can I get a grammatical breakdown of “通りゃんせ”?

So, I recently learned that there's this song called 「通りゃんせ」, which I guess would be familiar to all of you who have lived in Japan. The grammatical form "通りゃんせ" (and later in the song, ...
4
votes
1answer
268 views

Grammar of との, what is the meaning

So here in this sentence below "との" was used 2 times. What does との standfor? Can someone please explain it to me? ...
8
votes
2answers
700 views

How do you use 〜と知る?

I've often seen and heard the expression 〜と知る(知っている). When I think about it, it makes sense in the context of the quoatation-と, like with 〜と言う or 〜と思う. It seems like it means "Know that 〜". ...
2
votes
2answers
74 views

interpretation of 玉を落とす in this sentence

どうせ何【なん】かの玉【たま】を落【お】とすのは分【わ】かり切【き】ってる This sentence uses 玉を落とす in a way that makes me think that 玉 is a noun being modified by を落とす to mean something like 'a ball intended to be dropped', in ...
3
votes
1answer
156 views

Meaning of ならずとも

This sentence is from a book about Japanese grammar written for native Japanese speakers: ところでこれに類したことは、寺村先生ならずとも、多くの日本語教師が経験することではないでしょうか。 The これ refers to a past incident where a Japanese ...
4
votes
1answer
185 views

How to ask for something, formally, but on the internet

I don't really have a great understanding of Japanese internet culture, but as a Korean, I'm guessing it would be quite similar to ours in terms of "formality," as both Korean and Japanese have ...
3
votes
2answers
207 views

「しまう」 as an auxiliary verb

I feel like I always see 「しまう」 at the end of sentences (not the verb "to put away"). I saw some examples here on Weblio. どうしても写真は実物より劣ってしまう。 Pictures really don't do it justice. ...
1
vote
3answers
243 views

What does the “だった” in “だったっけ” mean?

From what I can find out, "たっけ" is just an expression that shows that you're trying to remember something, but what does the "だった" part mean? I have a few guesses, but they don't seem to match that ...
4
votes
2answers
497 views

Does だけが mean “but only” or “not just”?

Earlier today I saw this sign: 煙{けむり}の行方{ゆくえ}。本人{ほんにん}だけが、他人{たにん}事{ごと}だった。 The English is different enough that I think we can mostly ignore it for the purposes of this question. It helpfully ...
7
votes
2answers
256 views

Polite Way of Saying “I can't…(answer the phone)” (しかねる vs. できない)

I'd like to ask about a polite way to say "I can't (do something for you)". I'm sure the answer will depend on the context, so specifically, I'm curious about how to convey "I won't be able to answer ...
3
votes
3answers
128 views

In だったっけ, why is the second “っ”(tsu) used when it can't be connected to “け”(ke)?

From what I understand, っ is used to "double" the "t" sound, so in だった it makes sense because it's pronounced "datta", but why is it used in the second part of the phrase? Full sentence: ...
5
votes
1answer
265 views

Is けど a 接続詞 (conjunction) or 助詞 (particle)?

A book I've read states that けど is a 接続詞 (conjunction). However, another book I had read states that it is a 助詞 (particle). Who is right?
3
votes
2answers
165 views

Making sense of をと

どのような状況下であっても必ず十分な結果をと思い必死に過ごした3か月でした。 I'm only able to understand "No matter what circumstances you are put through..." and then something about producing sufficient results- the words that ...