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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Contrasting 〜てならない、〜てしょうがない and 〜てたまらない

These three phrases can be used to express emotions and feelings that cannot be controlled. For example in the following sentences: a) 1点差で負けたので、悔しくてならない。 b) 1点差で負けたので、悔しくてしょうがない。 c) ...
7
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2answers
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?
7
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2answers
745 views

What is the difference between 特殊 and 特別?

I've got two questions. Firstly, what is the difference between 特殊 tokushu and 特別 tokubetsu? Secondly, is it true that all these grammar forms are correct: 特別な tokubetsu na + [noun] 特殊な tokushu na ...
6
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1answer
177 views

Dictionary form of verb followed by に

I've recently begun noticing that occasionally I'll see a dictionary form of the verb followed by the particle に, for example: 1.)まだ学校へ行くには早い時間です。 It's still too early to go to school. I've been ...
6
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1answer
405 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
278 views

When is と added to onomatopoeia?

While at first I believed it was simply bound to each individual word, I've noticed that the same onomatopoeic word sometimes has と after it and sometimes it doesn't. Here's a case I stumbled upon: ...
6
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1answer
209 views

How do we roll a ball along a street from A to B?

This question is a follow up to この道をまっすぐ行ってください。Why “を” and not “で”? posted earlier. If: 道で転ぶ = fallover on the road ボールが道を転がる = a ball rolled along the street 〜を転がす = roll something ...
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827 views

Which ところ is this?

I had my sentence of 今日は友達の車で警告を読んで、和英翻訳してみることにします ("Today I will read the warning in my friend's car and try to do a Japanese to English translation of it") corrected to become: ...
6
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2answers
314 views

ひき or 頭 for horses?

Initially I'd thought ひき is for small animals and 頭 is for animals that are not small ("big" animals) however EDICT (http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/cgi-bin/wwwjdic.cgi?1MUE%E3%81%B2%E3%81%8D) ...
6
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1answer
302 views

is 随分 of a higher degree than なかなか (with positive verb) ?

my dictionary shows both 随分 and なかなか (with positive verb) as "very/considerably" I was wondering is it true that 随分 is of a higher degree than なかなか? Like あんたなかなか勇敢だな。= 75% and あんた随分勇敢だな。 = 85%?
5
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119 views

What does the は in this sentence do?

力任せに壁面に罅{ひび}を刻んでは一つ、また一つと体のパーツを外気に晒{さら}していく。 What does は do here? Is it contrasting? Thanks!
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2answers
545 views

Difference between と and や~など

I know both of these particles are used to list items. So, I was trying to write the sentence "I like Japanese culture, history and stuff." 私は日本文化と日本史といろいろが好きです。 But someone told me it is ...
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1answer
482 views

Does Japanese have free indirect speech?

In English (and, I assume, its relatives), there is a style of narration called free indirect speech, some examples of which are given in the linked article. I'm having trouble figuring out whether ...
5
votes
2answers
383 views

Verb + うる form. What is this?

Can't really understand this form: I've seen already this form with 考える and translated it like this: 考えうることだ - conceivable (possible) However how do you translate with other verbs? is this ...
5
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1answer
334 views

Is there a relationship between ~たところで and するところだった?

I am studying an JLPT book on listening, and in two questions very close to each other, the grammatical forms ~たところで and するところだった came up. My book defines ~たところで as giving an impression of giving up ...
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1answer
202 views

“決{き}まっている” and “決められている” have the same meaning, right?

I came across this sentence written by a native speaker: (1) "学年{がくねん}ごとに学習{がくしゅう}する漢字{かんじ}が決められています。" To communicate the same meaning, I would have said: (2) "学年ごとに学習する漢字が決まっています。" #1 is passive ...
5
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1answer
345 views

The use of でも and ででも in this sentence

A: あ……えっと……何か手伝うことは、ありますか? B: ん? あぁ、この辺はドシロウトにできるこっちゃないからな。 邪魔にならねぇように先にメシでも食って、後は舞台袖ででも大人しくしてな Pretty much in general でも and ても don't sit well in my mind. There have been a lot of times I ...
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1answer
289 views

When should the polite form of 〜たり be used?

I've noticed that I don't see 〜ましたり used very often, but it does seem to be an accepted form. I believe this form can be broken down like this: 動詞{どうし}の連用形{れんようけい}+「ます」の連用形{れんようけい}+「たり」 My ...
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1answer
257 views

Function of に in 怒るに怒れない [duplicate]

In the book I'm reading, I came across the following sentence: あたしは[怒]{おこ}るに[怒]{おこ}れなくなった。 (furigana added by me) My translation is something like "I couldn't stay angry [at him]". ("My anger ...
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3answers
485 views

Trouble understanding this use of あっての

I've previously asked two separate questions regarding あっての, (and there's a third on here from Pacerier) and I thought I had it figured out, but then I found this sentence (from a JLPT practice ...
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3answers
848 views

How does だからって usually work?

馬鹿だからって知らないわけじゃない I translated this sentence as "It's not like I don't know that I'm stupid," while my friend who wrote it translated it as "I'm stupid, but I know that." So I feel I understand ...
5
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2answers
702 views

Does [V-stem]に行く works for verbs whose stems are not stand-alone words by themselves?

I was taught that there is a grammatical form which goes like this: [V-stem]に行く For example: 遊びに行く, which means "Go. Reason: to 遊ぶ" I was wondering does this grammatical form work for verbs whose ...
5
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2answers
266 views

Is it true that all nouns must be able to accept a が particle and a を particle?

Is it true that all nouns must be able to accept a が particle and a を particle? I was curious about how we could form a sentence with: 特別が 特別を 出色が 出色を
4
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2answers
213 views

Function of 「masu-stem」+よる in Kansai-ben

Several years ago an acquaintance introduced me to the Hiroshima dialect and mentioned clear distinction between perfect and continuous aspects: Example 1: The bus is coming. Standard: バスが来ている。 ...
4
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2answers
168 views

A bunch of questions about ところ

I think the word ところ in my questions have nothing to do with 所{ところ}. Please correct me if I am wrong. Let us consider the following sentences. Case 1 これから食{た}べるところなんですが。。。 今食{た}べているところなんですが。。。 ...
4
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2answers
443 views

In front of “ほうがいい,” is it always past tense?

ほうがいい means: the particular way "ほう" is "が" good "いい" So, for example, if it looks like it's going to rain, I might say to a friend: "今日は雨らしい。傘を持った方がいい。" But what I'm curious is, why is "持った" ...
4
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2answers
227 views

て versus combining-form for joining clauses

Is there a difference between these two sentences 昨日はビールを飲んでパイを食べました。 昨日はビールを飲みパイを食べました。 More generally, when should I choose one form over the other? Thanks.
4
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2answers
168 views

Activity verbs vs Change verbs

My textbook makes a difference between verbs that describe activities and verbs that describe changes. Two examples given are: 話す - activity 結婚する - change It then goes on to say that 話している ...
4
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3answers
227 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 ...
4
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1answer
379 views

I can't quite understand the meaning of 自分でも

I can't quite derive the meaning of 自分でも from the parts that make it up. Here are the example sentences I don't get with the offered translations. 自分でもそれをやってみます。 Do it by yourself. ...
4
votes
1answer
194 views

When is “事” used instead of こと for past experiences?

In the "ことがあります" construction about past experiences, when is "事" used, and when is "こと" used? The textbook used in class uses "こと": 六本木の おんせんに 行った ことがあります。 If it wanted to use "事" instead of ...
4
votes
1answer
392 views

Use of が vs を with transitive verb, 受け入れる(+もらえる)

This is probably fairly basic but, not being a native speaker, I'd like to confirm if my understanding of grammar of the following sentence (from 中上級日本語, Feb'14) is correct and what is natural. In ...
4
votes
1answer
326 views

What is meaning of 「〜ないように思えてなりません」?

Can somebody explain the grammar and meaning of this expression in the sentence below? It may be just my poor understanding of how なりません functions in the language but I'd appreciate an explanation. ...
4
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2answers
3k views

童貞が許されるのは小学生までだよね - translation of まで

I'm interested in an exact translation of the particle まで used in this Internet meme: In case you can't read the image, here's a transcription: 「えーマジ 童貞!?」 「キモーイ」 「童貞が許されるのは小学生までだよねー」 ...
4
votes
1answer
518 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.
4
votes
1answer
222 views

I don't understand this phrase もっとだ

I am watching a certain show at the moment where someone is talking about wanting to kill evil creatures. Please don't judge this question as childish just because the extract is from an anime. He ...
4
votes
2answers
639 views

The topic is the restaurant, or the conversation is at the restaurant?

I have this sentence in my JLPT textbook: 話{はなし}の種{たね}に、新{あたら}しくできたレストランに食{た}べに行{い}ってみた。 I think I understand the part after the comma, which I believe is saying, "... tried to go eat at the new ...
4
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1answer
903 views

What is the equivalent use of need and need + Verb?

If I see someone struggling to pick up a box, I'd say: "Do you need help with that?" Or I have to run an errand very soon, I could say: "I need to buy this gift by 4 pm." Or if someone's car has ...
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3answers
300 views

Is this grammatical: 彼は映画スターであり、政治家もだ。

I was about to ask a question but I can't without first confirming, Is this sentence: 彼は映画スターであり、政治家もだ。 grammatically correct, and mean: He is a movie star and also a politician. ==Follow-up ...
3
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1answer
192 views

is there any difference between せめて and 少なくとも?

I know they both mean "at least", unless I'm wrong.
3
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1answer
96 views

Why can we use の after へ and から?

In my understanding, the particle の can be used to concatenate two nouns, such as 私の本 アメリカの選手 Today, I found 先生へのプレゼント 私達からのプレゼント Question Why can の be preceded by へ and から (or maybe other ...
3
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1answer
282 views

Do 〜によれば and 〜によると differ regarding the speaker's opinion of the following statement being true?

From a newspaper: 16日の発表によると、ドイツ経済の今年の成長率は2.1%、来年が1.8%の見込み。 I think that means: According to the report of April 16th, it is expected that the growth of the German economy will be 2.1% ...
3
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1answer
113 views

X times bigger than

How can I say: X is 5 times bigger than Y (?)
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1answer
231 views

Is saying 「XはYは…」 acceptable?

In いっすんぼうし, a very popular fairy tale, this line appears: だいじんは からだは ちいさいけれど げんきな いっすんぼうしを たいそう きにいり じぶんの いえで はたらかせることにしました。 Is 「だいじんは からだは」 grammatically correct? What would be done to make ...
3
votes
1answer
269 views

What is the difference between ふくむ and ふくめる

The Progressive-Japanese English Dictionary suggests 含める is the same as one meaning of 含む but it is not explained. Is this correct? I have two theories: 1. 含める= 含む when the latter means ...
3
votes
3answers
879 views

What's the difference between でしょうか and ですか at the end of a question?

I am having a little trouble understanding the nuance of でしょうか in comparison to ですか. People say it makes it more hesitant and polite, but that doesn't explain the nuance enough for me. Why would you ...
3
votes
1answer
1k 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
votes
1answer
297 views

What is the difference between 「Adj-さと言ったらなかった」&「Adj-いと言ったらなかった」?

Could someone explain the difference between the following two expressions: 恐ろしさといったらなかった 恐ろしいといったらなかった I am struggling with the first which my text book tells me means とても恐ろしかった. Why is ...
2
votes
1answer
114 views

Topic particle after “expression of time”

I am reading chapter 4 from the JLPT N5 book, where I found the following sentence: 昨日勉強しましたか。 After 昨日, why wasn't there a topic particle? Is "昨日は勉強しましたか。" an incorrect sentence?
2
votes
2answers
165 views

What is と in this sentence?

部品が取り寄せになりますので、 少々お時間をいただきませんと。(We will have to order the parts, so it will take a little time.) Is と at the end here some abbreviation of かと思います? といけません? just a question marker like か?