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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What does the verb 好く do?

Observation: The verb 好く exists. 好く is transitive. By extension, "to like ~" is predicted to be: a. ~を好く。 However, empirical data shows that this pattern is the accepted form: b. ~が好きだ。 ...
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How to say, “things like”

If you want to say "things like" you can use とか、など、and し。 What if you don't want to list out several things. You want to say, "things like A." Then what do you do?
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553 views

What are the “slots” in the Japanese agglutinative verb system?

In another question we established that Japanese is an agglutinating language (more here), if only in its verb system. Since it is not traditional in Japanese grammar or teaching to go into this ...
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185 views

Difference between onyomi words and kunyomi words

I think the more I read up on complicated topics the more I encounter onyomi words that have kunyomi synonyms. For example: 新しいvs新規 最新 終わりvs終了 危ないvs危険 Is the rule generally that onyomi words are ...
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231 views

Past Unreal Conditional

After my first question was answered so beautifully, I would like to ask some more. :D I wanted to know how to use conditionals for events in the past, like: "If I had saved my money, I would be rich ...
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591 views

How can I understand など followed by a noun phrase?

The following two sentences are from 日本語文法ハンドブック, page 116: 移動を表す表現にはいくつかありますが、「行く」と「来る」は補助動詞としての用法を持つ点で文法的に重要です。補助動詞としての「〜ていく」と「〜てくる」(この場合は普通ひらがなで書きます)には、話し手など文中の特定の人物の視点を基準にした空間的な移動の方向性を示す用法と、特定 ...
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Does anyone know which おり this is?

彼女は表情が生き生きとしておりとてもかわいい。 was translated awkwardly on ALC as She is very pretty for the liveliness of her expression. Which おり is this? I think I know it from the polite しております but is it here ...
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185 views

Translation of することになっている

I have the following sentence to translate for class. 森田さんは、 ヴァージニア州立大学を卒業してから 日本の映画の会社に就職することになっている So far I have the following. Morita-san after graduating from Virginia State University became ...
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500 views

What's the difference between くる and やってくる?

Can someone explain the nuance between them? They both mean "come", but I'm unsure of when they are interchangeable. My perception is that やってくる seems to put more emphasis on the actual action of ...
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485 views

Double subject construction?

I've recently been having trouble with constructions that seem to mark two subjects in the same clause. I've only encountered them in ~の方が... constructions, but I can't seem to make sense of them ...
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Is 「3人いるだと」 grammatical?

3人いるだと!? Can you say 3人いるだ as a statement? If だと is simply だ + と, I would expect 3人いるんだと. Is だと considered a particle in its own right, with different rules than だ? Transcription of the ...
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How close are なりつつある and なっている?

語学学習は私の新しい習慣の一部になりつつあるのでしょうか? "Is learning languages becoming a part of my new daily routine?" なりつつある here seems similar to なっている... are they often interchangeable? Would I be able to ...
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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。
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What's the function of the particle も in 「かわいい写真たてもうれしかったけど、…」?

If you look at my translation of the sentence below from a text book (総まとめ N3 読解), I think you will agree that I have guessed the meaning correctly but can anyone explain the grammar to the first ...
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176 views

Different ways to “try”

I'm aware of two ways to say "try" 1) verb-てみる Try (for the first time) to see how it is 2) verb-vol とする Now, I've seen it said that 2) is used when failure is involved e.g. I tried to ...
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534 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 ...
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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 ...
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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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sometimes だけ gets mildly confusing..

If someone says それだけ、食べないでください, does it mean: Please don't eat only that [eat other things too!] or [You can eat anything you like but] only that, please don't eat it. What about それだけ、たべてください? ...
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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 ...
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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: ...
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479 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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Addressing strangers without knowing the name

How does one address a stranger in a casual conversation when name is unknown? For example, I had a conversation with an older Japanese lady and I wanted to compliment her on her English (but in ...
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427 views

ゆく used in auxiliary sense - instead of いく?

I'm reading a novel 「キッチン」by 吉本ばなな at the moment and I noticed that she uses ゆく in some places as an auxiliary verb to signify the action progression from here or from now (if my understanding is ...
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554 views

What is “masu-stem + ざま”?

Here is a part of a sentence from my book: ・・・・手裏剣をよけざま・・・・ I can't find any help in any of my references on the pattern of "masu-stem + ざま", which makes me hesitant to say that's exactly what ...
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The meaning of and difference between ~を中心に and ~をめぐって

What is the meaning of and difference between ~を中心に and ~をめぐって? Space ALC defines ~を中心に as "with a focus on" and ~をめぐって as "centering on", but I'm having trouble figuring out the meaning and ...
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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) ...
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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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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 ...
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484 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 ...
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284 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: ...
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214 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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838 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: ...
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328 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) ...
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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%?
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Maths sentences: 足す and 掛ける

I noticed a lack of case marking particles in mathematical sentences: 1足す2は3である。 3掛ける4は12である。 足す and 掛ける are verbs, does subject and object analysis apply to this? Do they take on the ...
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とまらない in One Punch Man OP meaning とまれない (negative potential)

The negative form of 止{と}まる (to stop) is 止まらない, and the negative potential form is 止まれない. However, I've noticed that 止まらない can be used in the sense of 止まれない. For example, the OP for One Punch Man ...
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127 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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256 views

Ambiguity in meaning of sentences with a noun qualifed by an adjective with が particle

I was wondering if there is any ambiguity with sentences that have adjectives qualifying a noun, especially regarding the が particle. For example: 1.) 僕が好きな人 Can this sentences have an ambiguous ...
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339 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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225 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 ...
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Meaning of として in this sentence

I don't get why として is used instead of を in this sentence, as it doesn't seem to fit with the "as" sense that I know. 品詞と無関係にコソアドとして一括して扱うのが一般的です。 What I understand is this: Treating コソアド as ...
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350 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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713 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 ...
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529 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 ...
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2answers
856 views

What's the meaning of 〜ておきます?

What exactly does 〜ておきます mean in this context? 旅行{りょこう}する前{まえ}にホテルを予約{よやく}しておきます。 Is this trying to say something like "Before traveling, reserve a room". Is this a suggestion? An order? (If so, why ...
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290 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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260 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
528 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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906 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 ...