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.

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2answers
299 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
votes
1answer
627 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
341 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
votes
1answer
424 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
votes
2answers
457 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?
6
votes
2answers
217 views

What is being abbreviated as っちゃあ in 「忙しいっちゃあ忙しいけど…」?

I see the pattern [Adj1]っちゃあ[Adj1](けど) relatively often, and I know that I've learned it before... I even know what it means. ...but what is it an abbreviation of? It is an abbreviation of something, ...
6
votes
2answers
146 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
votes
2answers
182 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
votes
2answers
236 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
votes
1answer
295 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
votes
1answer
376 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
303 views

Can we use negative form before ~てしまう : f.ex. なく+~てしまう?

Using the form ~てしまう we mean, that something happened in a way we did not expect. But what if we use a negative form before the ~てしまう ending? Will it be also grammatically right? For example: ...
5
votes
1answer
248 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
258 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
votes
1answer
306 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
votes
2answers
246 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
216 views

“You and I both know full well” = 「二人ともよく知っている」?

I'm writing a section of a relay manga for Hokkaido University's Manga Research Society. How you do you express "You and I both know full well..." and "our actual skills" in formal お嬢様っぽい Japanese? ...
5
votes
1answer
294 views

The difference between (な形容詞)さ and (な形容詞)性?

I'm in the middle of writing a paper in Japanese, and I can't quite figure out which is right. If I want to nominalize a な形容詞, should I affix さ or 性 at the end? I've been checking on search engines, ...
5
votes
2answers
477 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
432 views

How do I interpret this question that ends with よ?

In the 7th book of the awesome High School of the Dead, there's this page: The situation is that the main characters, a group of mostly teenagers who are surviving a zombie apocalypse, are walking ...
5
votes
2answers
423 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
987 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 ...
5
votes
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
210 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
votes
2answers
297 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. ...
4
votes
1answer
388 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'.
4
votes
2answers
1k 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
votes
1answer
225 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
522 views

Difference between intransitive and passive?

I was thinking about Japanese passive and made the following example 壊すー>壊される which means the be broken But looking at the English definition of to be broken, isn't there another Japanese word for ...
4
votes
1answer
515 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
360 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
votes
1answer
205 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
317 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
377 views

Does contraction and elision affect formation of relative clauses?

For example, やらなければならない can modify 時 to form やらなければならない時 and I know that the adjective い ending can simply have a noun appended after it. However when it's contracted to やらなきゃ can I simply add a ...
4
votes
1answer
946 views

The meaning of ~のみ

What is the meaning/significance of ~のみ? Does it have anything to do with 身 or 見? Some example sentences: しかし、予算の制限のため、差し当たり実験機のみを製造することになった。 But budget restrictions have allowed them to ...
4
votes
2answers
674 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". ...
4
votes
1answer
332 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
675 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
1answer
128 views

箱の中に何がありますか versus 箱の中に何がいますか when I don't know whether it is an animal or object

Suppose there is a box which can contain either an animal or object. I am confused in choosing either あります or います when asking the contents of the box. 箱の中に何がありますか。 箱の中に何がいますか。 Which should I use ...
3
votes
2answers
134 views

Grammatical name of the form used before -て, -たり, -た, -たら?

I'm looking for the Japanese name of the specific verbal form used before -て, -たり, -た, -たら: verb → 連用形 ren.yōkei → XXXX → + -て, -たり, -た, -たら 書く → 書き → 書い → 書いて, 書いたり, ...
3
votes
4answers
499 views

How do you use “omou” in the past tense? [closed]

For example, how would you say "I thought you were in Japan"? How about any other samples on how to use omou in past tense?
3
votes
2answers
380 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
178 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
votes
1answer
187 views

“は + verb” instead of “を + verb”?

I have stumbled upon instances where "は + verb" is used in situations where I thought "を + verb" should be used. For example recently I've seen "その覚悟はしてました" (I was prepared for that) and "楽な道は選ぶな" ...
3
votes
1answer
273 views

Why is the particle の used instead of が in these phrases? [duplicate]

Why is the particle の used instead of が in phrases like 身寄りのない人 or the sentence 琵琶湖の向こう岸に虹の立つのを、麻子は見た。? While I understand the meanings of these examples, I would have expected to find the nominative ...
3
votes
3answers
258 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
206 views

「を大好き」と「が大好き」の違いは何ですか?

What's the difference in usage and meaning when using を with 大好き or 好き versus using が? I would think that using が is stating that the subject that you are talking about is loved, while using を is ...
3
votes
1answer
373 views

how could a sentence end with (noun + “よ”?)

I'd thought you cannot end a sentence with a noun. Rather: noun + だ。 noun + です。 noun + である。 noun + であります。 noun + でございます。 But in a movie dialogue, I heard: "大切なのは、心よ。" Ending a sentence with a noun ...
3
votes
1answer
470 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.