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

9
votes
2answers
782 views

What's the purpose of な in なのに?

I don't understand the role of "な" when used before "のに" as in these two sentences (with given translations): 朝目がさめて初めて、外が雪なのに気がついた。 He noticed that there was snow outside only after he woke up ...
9
votes
1answer
215 views

Meaning of そこまで言うか

In a story book I found this construct: 「sentence where one character insults another」そこまで言うか。 Literally "Does he say until there". I can only guess that it means "He went as far as to say ..." ...
9
votes
1answer
347 views

Connecting adjectives, “does not have to A and B”

The simplest things seem to be the hardest. I am exercising the "does not have to be" structure. If I want to say "the book does not have to be expensive", it is (may be?): 本は高くなくてもいいです。 But ...
9
votes
2answers
573 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
889 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 〜". ...
9
votes
1answer
192 views

「めく」の使い方、どのような場合に「めく」を使うのが自然ですか。

goo辞書によると、「めく」という接尾語はいくつかの品詞(動詞を除く)に付き、五段の動詞を作ります。作られた動詞の意味は「〜という感じがする」に似ています。質問は、一般に「めく」という接尾語はどのような言葉に付きますか。 辞書の事例を見ると、「今更めく」や「仄{ほの}めく」などといった例が辞書に項目を持っているので、「めく」の使い方には制限があると感じます。
9
votes
3answers
653 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
185 views

Why does も move in sentences involving だれも etc

丸尾君はだれに頼まれたわけでもないのに、ひとりで教室の拭きそうじをしていた。 Although it's not the case that Maruo was asked by anyone, he did the classroom cleaning by himself. ...わけではない = It's not the case that ... だれも = anyone ...
9
votes
2answers
258 views

Looking for an explanation of the usage "あったものじゃない”

I'm looking for an explanation of the usage "あったものじゃない”. 例文 1)ムードも何もあったものじゃありませんね (context:Girlfriend and boyfriend were out on a date and the boyfriend's stomach made a large noise because he ...
9
votes
1answer
233 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Expressing hope: to nozomu and koto wo negau

I have a question about these two verbs for 'hope': と望む (to nozomu) ことを願う (koto wo negau) I also write down two examples, since I have a particular question about their use: ...
9
votes
2answers
2k 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. ...
9
votes
2answers
188 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
570 views

How the ~にあって form works - situations, places, times, what?

I finally started going through some JLPT N1 grammar the other day, and one of the ones I'm looking at has me a bit confused: the ~にあって・~にあっても form. The book describes its usage as such: ...
9
votes
2answers
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 ...
9
votes
2answers
850 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
791 views

semantic difference between two keigo verbal forms : に なる(ni naru) and なさる(nasaru)?

Japanese grammar has a rich subset of grammatical forms named 敬語 ("keigo", formal language or respect's language). The rules allowing to transform a normal verb into a keigo verb are complex and I'm ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

What's the difference between ~てください and ~ていてください?

This question has come up on the side of at least a couple of other questions, but I don't think it's been definitively answered, so let's see if we can come up with something solid. After going ...
8
votes
4answers
6k views

How can I say “Right now”, or “At that exact moment”?

Saying "now" is easy, with 今, but in my experience that doesn't express so much "right now, this instant" as it does "currently". I am looking for structure that translates these examples well: I ...
8
votes
2answers
241 views

Missing nominaliser in this sentence?

Just read this question and it reminded me of something I'd been meaning to ask. 私、そんなに悪いことしてるおぼえないんだけど... I don't remember doing such bad things but... Is the lack of a nominaliser on してる ...
8
votes
4answers
699 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
287 views

Why 次第 instead of によって in this very example?

I was randomly browsing this page and came across this sentence: 砂糖{さとう}は作{つく}るものしだいで使用{しよう}します。 This recipe happens to have a French equivalent En fonction des recettes, on utilise du ...
8
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
372 views

What function does 「しいて」 serve in this sentence?

I have this sentence in a JLPT study textbook, as an example of the use of しいて: 食{た}べたくなければしいて食べることないから、食べられるものだけ食べてね。 The translation is, "If you don't want to eat it, you don't have to, so ...
8
votes
4answers
609 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
votes
2answers
391 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
462 views

What is the difference between べからず and べからざる?

In my JLPT practise book, I have the following question: A:噂にまどわされる_____、とは言うものの・・・。 B:つい、信じちゃうよね。 べく 2.べき 3.べからざる 4. べからず I knew the answer was between 3 and 4, but I couldn't ...
8
votes
2answers
197 views

Combinatorical relative clauses

I have 3 sentences, each with relative clause as follows. By considering the English translation, is my understanding correct? A: 私が好きな女性はたばこを吸わない。 A': The woman who likes me does not smoke. ...
8
votes
2answers
533 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

What exactly does とばかりに mean?

My JLPT textbook has a section on the use of ~とばかりに. It explains that the term means to do something with such a strong implication that the meaning is obvious, even though one isn't directly stating ...
8
votes
2answers
237 views

いい人そう。using “seemingly” そう with nouns?

Recently I've been trying to wrap my head around the differences between 「らしい」「よう」「みたい」「そう」. I thought I was making some progress when I gave this example to a Japanese friend. ...
8
votes
5answers
708 views

Can ~たり~たり end with verbs other than する?

In the past, I have come across several examples of ~たり~たり seemingly being used with other final verbs than する, which is generally taught to be mandatory at the end of ~たり~たり phrases. Is this ...
8
votes
2answers
704 views

Is it grammatical to have more than one “WH question” words in a sentence?

In English it would be strange to have more than one "WH question" word in a sentence, For example: Tomorrow, where are we meeting, at what time and to do what ? It sounds like it's grammatical ...
8
votes
4answers
309 views

Is there a general rule for deriving xasu→xaseru intransitives such as 死なせる from 死なす?

There are a number of verbs where there is a 〜xasu → xaseru transformation to produce an transitive verb from an intransitive, eg: 死なす→死なせる 生かす→生かせる 飲ます→飲ませる Is this some kind of generalized rule? ...
8
votes
1answer
193 views

How to express the phrase “overrated” or “over-…”

What is the natural way to express the concept of 'overrated'? For example "this actor is overrated". The nearest I can think of is この役者はこうひょうかすぎる。But I don't know if this is even grammatically ...
8
votes
2answers
318 views

に vs で: 映画に見る vs 映画で見る

Branching off from the comments to this question: Do I say えいがにみました or えいがをみました ?: Preamble: The comment says 映画に見た is valid for "I saw it in a movie". I went to search for example sentences and ...
8
votes
2answers
429 views

Meaning of 「生きるにしても死ぬにしても」

In the video game Mother 3, there is a group of beings called the Magypsy, who are rumored to be very old. While talking to humans, one of them says the following: 人間なんて生きるにしても死ぬにしても精々たった100年。 ...
8
votes
2answers
517 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
298 views

How to say two actions are the cause of a third?

I want to say I did something because of more than one reason. For example: I stayed home so I could study AND feed the dog. I'm not sure how to name the reasons in Japanese. How I'm trying to ...
8
votes
4answers
870 views

How does “ ~ずにはいられない ” work?

時代の流れを感じずにはいられない。 I can't help but feel time passing by. 彼のことを同情せずにはいられない。 I can't help but to feel sorry for him. 私は、彼の才能を賞賛せずにはいられない。 I can't help but admire his talent. Would ...
8
votes
2answers
4k views

Does the volitional form of a verb mean both “lets” and “I want to”?

I was taught ages ago that the volitional form of a verb means "let's" do something. For example, if you take 行{い}く and change it to 行{い}こう, you get "let's go". However, I feel like I can use the ...
8
votes
2answers
176 views

Conflict among teachings of なら and ば

I recently read a helpful answer on a question asking for clarification on the ways to say "if" in Japanese: と, たら, なら, ば. The link is here: Differences among -たら、なら、-んだったら、-えば, etc According to the ...
8
votes
2answers
341 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

What's the difference between 「〜を通{とお}して」 and 「〜を通{つう}じて」?

I understand both can mean "by means of, through, throughout", but I'm sure there's a difference in nuance here. Could someone help explain this?
8
votes
3answers
953 views

Is this って equivalent to 「と」?

Is the って in the following sentence equivalent to 「と」 as in AはBと変わる/違う? 昔から好きな曲って変わらないみたい。 My favourite songs have not changed for many years. Does this mean it is equivalent to the と used ...
8
votes
4answers
744 views

なんか after て- form of a verb

I am confused by the use of なんか, especially after the て-form of a verb. What do: あきらめてなんかない, 消えてなんかない mean? How do they differ from simply saying あきらめていない, 消えていない? What is the purpose of なんか?
8
votes
2answers
2k views

The different usages of ことがある

If I understand correctly, the main usages of ことがある seem to be the following: Verb(plain)+ことがある: There are times when (I) Verb(past)+ことがある: (I) have experienced (something) before But after this ...
8
votes
1answer
383 views

Can と and を be interchanged with 思う the way I think they can?

Compare the following two sentences: あそこに[行]{い}こうと[思]{おも}っている あそこに[行]{い}こうを[思]{おも}っている If I'm right about this, they both mean that the speaker is thinking of going somewhere. However, the ...