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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Amount of time and 間

When expressing "It takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes", would it be best to say 1時間15分掛かる。 or 1時15分掛かる。 or maybe 1時15分間掛かる。 ?
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512 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 ...
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2answers
441 views

The meaning of 切る on the end of verbs

Is there a general meaning for 切る on the end of verbs? I think it might have to do with "completely doing" something. If that's the case, how does ~切る on the end of verbs differ from ~てしまう, for ...
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613 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 ...
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556 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 ...
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195 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?
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4answers
789 views

The という in things like 〜ということ・〜というの・〜という感じ・〜というわけ etc

I have been trying for ages to understand the reason という is used so frequently. In other words, what does it add to the sentence and what connotations does it have in Japanese? I understand the ...
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442 views

どうか, どうにか, どうかして - differences?

I was just wondering what the essential differences are between these and how I would use them in everyday speech. Thank you.
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989 views

得意とするところ explanation?

As far as I'm aware this expression means "(a persons) strong points', but I'm not sure how とする is being used in this context. My best guess would be something like "the thing (a person) tries to do ...
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151 views

What is the difference between あっての and とあって?

From what I can tell they both mean "Because of", and the only differences in meaning I can see seem to be very subtle. あっての: Because of A (strong emphasis), B Thanks to (various ...
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213 views

Grammatically correct, yet improper?

Yesterday, I mentioned the fact that I was grateful for having someone play music for me, and letting me play music as well. I first said something like: ピアノを弾いてもらったり、弾かせてもらったりして、嬉しいです。 Then, I ...
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477 views

Difference between ながら, がてら and つつ

What is the difference between ながら, がてら and つつ?
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2k views

The difference between からすると、から見ると、から言うと?

Are there any differences between these three sets: からして、からすると、からすれば vs. から見て、から見ると、から見れば vs. から言って、から言うと、から言えば These 'sets' seem to be used in 2 basic ways: Presents something as ...
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276 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 ...
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2answers
364 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 ...
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240 views

Is this は replacing が or を? (& is this 悪 read as あく or わる?)

This is the "sentence": 暴力は悪*だと非難する| condemn violence as evil Sounds simple? The English translation does not give a subject so I wonder are either が or をcorrect if I modify the sentence as ...
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2answers
1k views

Can we have two thematic は particles in a sentence?

Good afternoon all, From what I understand, there are two types of は-particle: The thematic-は (topic-marker) which is used to introduce things into the universe of discourse. The contrastive-は. ...
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165 views

Use of に and を with 触れる

The verb 触れる challenges my concept of what を does; to mark a direct object. Consider these uses of 触れる: (人)の頬に指を触れる (Touch a finger to someone's cheek) (人)の頬に手を触れる (Touch someone's cheek ...
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347 views

Obligatory zero particle

Sometimes, particles are omitted. I've read, however, that this can be analyzed as inserting a "zero particle" instead. See for example Particle omission or zero particle by Mitsuaki Shimojo. See ...
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245 views

How is this もって used?

I have this sentence as an example for the grammar point をもって: I国が起こした戦争は、世界中に衝撃をもって伝えられた。 をもって can either refer to [1] the means through which something is done, or [2] a point in time where ...
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291 views

Can the word まだしも be broken up into distinct meanings?

I'm studying grammar, and one of the new forms that I'm learning uses the word まだしも. I looked it up and I found: 類語: まだいいが / まだ何とかなるが Based on how the word is used in the following ...
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704 views

Ending sentence with ~だもの or ~ですもの

I've been listening songs and anime dialogues that end sentences with ~もの or even cuter version ~もん for so long that I am able to see how the word denotes reasons or excuses like: おなか空いたもん (when ...
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2answers
347 views

What is the difference between と, たら and 時【とき】?

First, I came across this sentence using と in a way I've never encountered before. ピノキオはうそを吐くと、鼻が長くなります。 My translation: When/As Pinocchio tells lies his nose becomes longer. After a little ...
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197 views

Using に with adjectives

I want to know if there is a rule or way of thinking that makes it easier to understand which adjectives can be used in the following pattern. 体にいいです。 健康にわるいです。 酒によわいです。 電車に詳しいです。 その場にふさわしかった。 I ...
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1answer
268 views

How to make sense of this construct - “<名詞>、それは<名詞句>”

First, some real-world examples of "<名詞>、それは<名詞句>。" : イノセンス、それはいのち (catchphrase for the movie イノセンス) リゾートホテル、それは[極上]{ごくじょう}のサービスに[心]{こころ}[満]{み}たされる[空間]{くうかん} (catchphrase used by ...
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2answers
401 views

“Grammatically-correct” particle-less phrases/sayings

I know that within an informal/familiar setting, people often leave out particles. Whether or not this is grammatically correct I'm not positive, but for the sake of this question, I'll say that it's ...
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700 views

Verb volitional form (動詞の意志形) - usage

I have a couple of questions about the volitional form of verbs that I've become unclear on lately. Here is a Bible passage containing the grammar in question: (Note that I'm using a Bible passage ...
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220 views

In Okinawan, what is the ン in ウチナーンチュ?

The Okinawan word for "Okinawa" is ウチナー, for "person" is チュ, and for "Okinawan" (person) is ウチナーンチュ. I'd like to know where this ン comes from between the part for "Okinawa" and the part for "person". ...
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492 views

Shouldn't this phrase using だけのこと mean “just for that”?

In a grammar textbook I have, there is this phrase: 幸{さいわ}い日本{にほん}で日本語{にほんご}を勉強{べんきょう}して、かなり話{はな}せるようになりました。日本{にほん}に行{い}っただけのことはありました。 The translation given is: Fortunately, I studied ...
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How do I express “this made me laugh”?

This is the kind of simple question I'm often too embarrassed to ask, because I should probably know this by now. But here goes... I was ordering something at a cafe, and I noticed some slightly ...
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3answers
261 views

Are there inflections/endings that can be applied to verbs but not i-adjectives? (or vice versa)

After reading in an answer to another question that Japanese adjectives are less inflected than Japanese verbs I'm wondering if there are inflections that can be applied to verbs but not i-adjectives? ...
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4answers
595 views

What's the most appropriate negative potential form for this situation?

This morning my co-worker asked me if I wanted some coffee. I said, "No thanks, I can't drink coffee because it upsets my stomach." I was thinking of how I'd say this in Japanese, but I'm not sure ...
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2answers
237 views

What is the difference between あるまい and ありません?

From what I understand, they both mean "is not". But from what I've been able to gather from the few times I've heard it, it seems that あるまい may not be as strong or definitive as ありません. Am I on the ...
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3answers
754 views

How can I come to terms with the animate/inanimate distinction in Japanese?

According to this answer, "This made me laugh" would translate literally into Japanese as: これが僕{ぼく}を笑{わら}わせた。 However, the same answer explains that this would be an odd thing to say in ...
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3answers
1k views

I dont understand ~ような in this context

I know that ~ような means "looks like". In this context: ここで立ち止る ような 時間はない。 does it mean: "It appears it cannot stop here, there is no time"? What I do understand is that ような is followed by a ...
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4answers
3k views

What is the difference between は and のは?

The following sentence means "seeing all the different foreign people was interesting." This, according to my Japanese friends is incorrect: 色々な外国人を見ているは面白かった。 ... and this is correct: ...
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3answers
375 views

What is the difference between “verb+て+みる” and “verb+(よ)う+とする”?

In Japanese there are words which mean "to try something or attempt at doing something", e.g. 試す, 試みる and つとめる. However, at the same time we also have two grammatical constructions "verb+て+みる" and ...
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3answers
503 views

What is the difference between がる and ぎみ?

In one of my study flashcards, I have this sentence: 疲{つか}れぎみだけど生{い}きてます。 Which should translate to something like, "[He] appears worn out but [he's] still kicking." The main point is that in ...
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1k views

what is the past tense of お腹が空いた?

if お腹が空いた means "I'm hungry", then what would be the past tense of お腹が空いた since (i think) it's already in the past tense?
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993 views

Are there verbs that are neither intransitive nor transitive?

i was taught that verbs are either transitive or intransitive. but what kind of verb is 分かる ? WWWJDIC lists it as intransitive. Yet the replies/comments from this thread Why is it 日本語 [[が]] わかります ...
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433 views

けれども as a neutral connector

In this thread on appositives, @OskarLindberg had mentioned that けれども could be used as a neutral connector. My understanding up until now was that it presented contrasting ideas, being translated as ...
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2answers
293 views

Does 友達 have the plural marker たち “built-in”?

I cannot recall this very clearly so I'm sorry if this is all not correct but someone once told me that the word 友達{ともだち} has the plural marker たち "built-in" and therefore you cannot say 友達たち about ...
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2answers
1k 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"
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1answer
339 views

Why is it である not にある in this sentence?

Today I saw this sentence: イラクで戦争がある。 I didn't understand why that would be the case instead of イラクに because if it is で I feel like it could be rewritten: 戦争はイラクである。 which just sounds like Iraq is ...
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426 views

Encountered な with ten-ten

I am currently reading a manga for studying Japanese and encountered something strange. A girl exclaims「な゛?!」 The situation is that she has just had water squirted up her nose, so I am guessing it's ...
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3answers
421 views

たり sentence without the final たり

I just read a sentence in an answer key as follows: 雨が降ったら、買い物をしたり、おいしい物を食べるつもりです。 I would have thought that the sentence should be: 雨が降ったら、買い物をしたり、おいしい物を食べたりするつもりです。 Is there any ...
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190 views

What is “koto” used for?

I know "koto" means thing, but I've seen it used like this in my Self-Study Japanese book: Nihon no koto ga yoku wakarimasu ka. and Chiimu no koto o kangaete imasshita Does this mean Japan's thing ...
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2answers
454 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 ...
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2answers
868 views

〜しては is this a grammar pattern?

I was trying to translate this sentence: 僕はアルバイトしてはレコードばかり買っていたから、一日半働けばLP一枚買えるな、と思って働いていた。 I think I get the overall meaning as: Because I spent all my wages on records I went to work thinking "If ...
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4answers
1k views

Is this a proper use of tara and toki for “when”?

Consider: 気がついたら皆さんは寝ていた。 気がついたとき皆さんは寝ていた。 My English interpretation: When I woke up (came to), everyone was sleeping. Is "when" enough to capture the nuances of the Japanese sentences? ...