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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479 views

How does the use of いかんによっては in this question determine one answer over another?

In my JLPT practise book, in a section explaining the use of いかんによっては, which roughly means "depending on", they have the following question: ...
8
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1answer
211 views

Can けれども be analysed further?

Consider the conjunction ども, e.g.: 行けども 言えども Formation rule: Verb Hypothetical form (仮定形) + ども This leads me to hypothesise that the conjunction けれども (meaning "but; however; although") is ...
8
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2answers
271 views

The grammar of ~かれ~かれ

Consider these: 遅かれ早かれ 良【よ】かれ悪【あ】しかれ What is the underlying grammatical make up of this ~かれ~かれ pattern (if any)? Is this pattern productive(i.e. can be extended to arbitrary words)?
8
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1answer
555 views

Can I use 行っている間(に) in the sense of a habitual action?

Knowing that 行く is punctual, stative, and a motion verb, I also know that, 日本に行っている means "I/he/she have gone to Japan (and am still there)" rather than "I am currently going to Japan." I also feel ...
7
votes
3answers
272 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 ...
7
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2answers
426 views

Which verb receives a negation in a Japanese sentence?

I can say 歩いて渡る which translates to "to cross by walking". However, if I would like to say "I am not going to cross by walking, but by some other means", would I say 歩かないで渡る or 歩いて渡らない? There are ...
7
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4answers
1k 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 ...
7
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1answer
518 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? ...
7
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1answer
380 views

what does 可哀想{かわいそう}でならない mean?

I came across this expression in my JPLT N2 study materials. I deciphered the parts as 可哀想{かわいそう} means pitiable, pathetic でならない means can't help feeling so does it mean "can't help feeling ...
7
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2answers
407 views

What is the difference between 言うな! and 言ってんじゃねぇぞ?

1) What is the difference between 言うな! and 言ってんじゃねぇぞ!, in other words can we use them interchangeably at all times? 2) which is ruder?
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2answers
305 views

How to express appositives in Japanese

I have been searching high and low for how to express appositives in Japanese, yet the most I have come across is how to express something like "my friend John". I would like to know how to express ...
6
votes
1answer
271 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"?
6
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2answers
132 views

Modifying adjectives: カンペキ [に or な?] 思ったとおりの仕上がり

I have a question about カンペキに in the following sentence. As far as I can guess it modifies the whole 「思ったとおりの仕上がり」, but grammatically I cannot understand why. Well, 仕上がり is a noun, so wouldn't カンペキな ...
6
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2answers
177 views

Where does “歩けど” come from?

The other day I came across this line in a game: しかしそれ以外は誰とも出会わず、そして 歩けど歩けど 代わり映えしない通路と部屋ばかり。 I guessed that 歩けど meant 歩いても from the context, but I had never seen a verb conjugated like that before. ...
6
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3answers
439 views

Use of ~ていた vs ~ている to refer to a resultant state

This sentence is from Japanese the Manga Way panel 371, translation as given in the textbook. 和尚にたのまれていた肉体労働も今のうちに片づけてしまう。 I'll also go ahead and finish off that physical labour that the priest ...
6
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2answers
227 views

What is a better translation for 「自分だけバカを見る」?

I have this phrase in my JLPT textbook, as one example of the use of バカ: 自分{じぶん}だけバカを見{み}る The translation offered in the book is: Waste time and money among others The English is both ...
6
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1answer
228 views

Using に twice in the [Verb-連用形]に行く sentence pattern

Consider these example sentences given by my grammar dictionary: (1) 私はデパートへ贈り物を買いに行った。 (2) そこへ何をしに行くんですか。 Observation: The location is marked by へ instead of に. Considering that a ...
5
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1answer
233 views

What is the subject of this sentence? Is it the book (mentioned) or the author (who is not mentioned)?

The following sentence/phrase comes from the Progressive (プログレッシブ)dictionary: この本は自然主義について論じている|This book deals with naturalism In English people often say something like "This books addresses ...
5
votes
1answer
182 views

Usage (correctness) of だと after verbs

I've noticed だと showing up after verbs for a while now in various forms of media, such as blogs, anime, regular TV shows & also when speaking to Japanese people. However, I was originally told ...
5
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1answer
294 views

Ellipsis: does this と=として, what is the relevant verb in this extract?

The following is attributed to フジテレビHP/経済新聞. I wonder if someone could explain the grammar around the と? (I think it might be an "abbreviation" of として but it is very difficult to find an explanation ...
5
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2answers
228 views

Use of から vs を with 出て行く?:

Why are we using から and not を in the following sentence?: 出て行く:同居している恋人が家から出て行って、別に住むようになる。 I ask because the normal particle with 出る is を (eg 家を出る) so why do we have から here? My dictionary has ...
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2answers
361 views

What is the difference in terms of grammar between きり and っぱなし?

I'm pretty sure there is a difference between the use of these two words. I came across the example sentences: 息子は、自分の部屋に入ったきり出てこない。 母は入院している父をつきっきりで看病している。 電車が混んでいて、東京まで立ちっぱなしだった。 I ...
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2answers
712 views

understanding 対する

これが私の手紙に対する彼の返事だ。 This is his answer to my letter. 自分の中の彼に対する気持ちをどう表現していいのか分からないの。I don’t know how to express how I really feel to him. 彼に対して、彼を好きという私の気持ちを、どう表せばいいか、わからない。 I don't know ...
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2answers
2k views

Is there a form for “I have never heard of”?

Some examples of what I'm trying to convey: I have never heard that song before. I have never heard of Miyazawa Kenji I have never heard of that before? I've never heard of that store? ...
5
votes
1answer
191 views

Who is doing the thinking?

Observe the change: 彼女は行かないと思う。 "I think that she will not go" 彼女は行くまいと思う。 "She thinks that she will not go" 彼女は and と思う are conserved in the sentence, yet the person who is doing the ...
5
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2answers
283 views

What does 「つっぱしり」mean in this context?

I recently heard about a manga entitled つっぱしり元太郎, and I'm slightly confused about the meaning of the 「つっぱしり」 in its name. I've looked the word up in several dictionaries, but have gotten no results. ...
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179 views

Particles following ところ (に, を, and で)

料理をしているところに電話がかかってきて困った。 デートをしているところを友だちに見られてしまった。 電車に乗ったところで今日は祝日だと気づいた。 In the above sentences, what decide the particle following ところ? They all seem to indicate a happening ...
4
votes
2answers
607 views

Difference between そうです、 ようです and らしいです.

Here are the example sentences. デイビットは料理が上手そうです。 デイビットは料理が上手なようです。 デイビットは料理が上手らしいです。 Firstly, what does デイビット mean as based on reading alone its sounds like 'debit' to me which is a strange name ...
4
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1answer
197 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
312 views

What is the し particle and how do you use it?

I understand that obviously every Japanese textbook will go into this topic briefly... but I can never really come to grips with what it means in Japanese. If anyone could link me to a good Japanese ...
4
votes
1answer
252 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 ...
4
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1answer
192 views

「こわいだから。」 versus 「こわい、だから[…]」

In an answer on another question, @TsuyoshiIto wrote: [U]nlike commas in English, 読点 in Japanese is rarely (if ever) grammatically required. Authors are free to use 読点 wherever they feel that it ...
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2answers
378 views

<動詞の辞書形> + がよい ― How is this allowed?

I've come across this form many times in my Japanese Bible. The meaning is quite obvious based on context, and seems to be one of the following: ~べきです, ~ほうがいい, ~なさい, or ~ように (let it be ~). Here are ...
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2answers
571 views

入らない versus 入れない in a JLPT question

This question is in my JLPT practise book: このチームの試合{しあい}の切符{きっぷ}はなかなか手{て}に____ない。 A 取{と}れ B 入{はい}れ C 入{はい}ら D 持{も}て My translation is, "I can't easily get the tickets to this team's games". ...
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1answer
600 views

What would be the literal meaning of the causative form here? 暴風警報発令中のため本日の営業はお休みとさせていただきます。

暴風警報発令中のため本日 bōfū keihō hatsurei chū notame honjitsu の営業はお休みとさせて no eigyō wa oyasumi to sasete いただきます。 itadakimasu. 暴風 bōfū = storm winds 警報 keihō = warning 発令 hatsurei = official ...
4
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1answer
266 views

Is it true that only movement verbs can take [V-stem]に to express a purpose?

I decided to split this into a thread by itself because I was afraid of cramming too much into the first thread. Is it true that only movement verbs can take [V-stem]に to express a purpose? Will it ...
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votes
3answers
572 views

What is the difference between 〜ないではいられない and 〜ずにはいられない

I was taught that these two phrases are interchangeable and have the same meaning. However, I recently wrote a few practice sentences using this grammar point and they were corrected to use ずには ...
3
votes
2answers
251 views

How to say “had been [verbing]”?

In this excellent response by @DariusJahandarie , he covered how to say "I have been [verbing]" in Japanese by using ている. He had given many examples of how would could potentially translate ている or てい ...
3
votes
3answers
115 views

Reason for 「のか」 and 「かもしれません」 in 「何を言っているのかわからないかもしれませんけど」

One time I was formulating sentences on a website, to practice my Japanese and get natives to correct them. I had written 「何が言ってわかりませんけど」 which I now understand was wrong, but when they corrected my ...
3
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3answers
227 views

君に話しがある How does this work?

ちょっと君に話しがある I saw this sentence in my downloaded deck of cards. Does it make sense. Why does it feel like "You have a little bit of a story in you". How do you interpret this? What does the に? In ...
3
votes
1answer
409 views

Why is は appropriate for てはいけない?

Why does てはいけない use は? I know it's a construction, but where did it come from? て form verbs are not nouns, it doesn't make sense to me that は could be used with them.
3
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1answer
459 views

causative くれる and もらう

I am learning causative forms here 先生が参加させてくれました Teacher allowed me to participate what does 先生が参加させてもらいました mean?
3
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1answer
739 views

Can うちは mean the same thing as うちに?

Tell me please in the sentence below, can うちは means the same as うちに? Or it's just うち like "we" ? Thank you very much for help!
3
votes
1answer
635 views

What's the meaning of “という” at the end of a sentence?

I'm reading about this grammar in my book but I don't get it. According to the book it means - そうだ and - らしい. Here is an example: UPDATE: Full Sentence: 従来、病院といえば白い壁が基調の空間であった。 しかし、白くて冷たい壁を見ていると ...
3
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1answer
474 views

Joining adjectives with し before a noun

A recent question asked about joining two adjectives together. It used the following example: (example 1) きれいで静かな町 As I understand it, this is the combination of the 連用形 of きれいだ with the 連体形 of ...
3
votes
2answers
252 views

Why is も used instead of が in the sentence 「日本ではクモを見ると良いことがあると言う人もいますよ」

What is the exact sentiment expressed by も in this sentence as opposed to が? 日本ではクモを見ると良いことがあると言う人もいますよ It's a sentence in response to someone saying "I saw a spider in my room, I was scared".
3
votes
1answer
134 views

How is あっての used to define something?

I've previously asked about あっての, but now it seems to me that I've run into an additional usage of it (or perhaps the same usage I just can't wrap my head around it...). When the sentence is simply ...
3
votes
1answer
284 views

Differences between listing particles と, や and に

Consider the following: A, B and C came: AとBとCが来た AやBやCが来た AにBにCが来た What do I need to consider when deciding which of the three (と, や, に) to use? I think a large portion is determined by the ...
3
votes
1answer
215 views

Can ごとに be replaced by それぞれ in this question?

正月は家ごとに門松を立てる。 For example, could I say 正月はそれぞれの家に門松をたてる。 If so, the meaning remains the same, or are there any subtle nuances that comes with each word? It seems to me, whenever i see sentences ...
3
votes
2answers
932 views

Thank you for X: ~をありがとうございます

I've often heard this pattern, particularly in things like メッセージ/メール を ありがとうございます。 Since ありがとうございます is an adjective, why is it acceptable to use を in this situation? That seems about as ...