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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566 views

What function did あり perform in classical Japanese 形容詞?

In classical Japanese, many uses of 形容詞{けいようし} had あり "embedded" in them, e.g.: 熱からず = 「熱し」の連用形+「あり」の未然形{みぜんけい}+「ず」 熱かりたり = 「熱し」の連用形+「あり」の連用形{れんようけい}+「たり」 熱かれ = 「熱し」の連用形+「あり」の命令形{めいれいけい} 熱かる人 = 「熱し」...
6
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3answers
203 views

The meaning of に in [切り出すに切り出せず]

I don't understand the meaning of に in this sentence: 切り出すに切り出せず、今日まできてしまいました Is 切り出すに切り出せず fashioned after some particular grammar? I can't really think of an interpretation that sounds natural....
6
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1answer
211 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
votes
3answers
414 views

より not used for comparing?

The title of a piano arrangement of a Touhou song (Hakurei Reimu's Theme) is: 「東方永夜抄 - Imperishable Night.」 より 博麗霊夢のテーム (Question) What does より do in the title? If it were to mean "from the ...
6
votes
1answer
559 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
2answers
158 views

Adverb followed by って

おいらなんて、怒られっぱなしの人生だもんねーー。アハハ。でもおもしろくって仕方ないもんねー。 For me, it's the life of being got angry at. Ha Ha. But, interesting(ly)...it can't be helped ?? I'm guessing this is おもしろく (interestingly) with ...
5
votes
1answer
692 views

Does ところを always mean the same thing as のに? What is the difference between ところへ and ところに?

One of my JLPT books, 総まとめ文法N2, uses the following examples to "explain" the grammar pattern ところだ: お忙{いそが}しいところをすみません。(=忙{いそが}しいのに) → I am sorry to bother you at this busy time. 会{あ}いたいと思{おも}...
5
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1answer
529 views

Attributive form in Japanese narration

I have recently started reading novels as a means to improve my Japanese after reaching a comfortable enough level to do so. I am familiar with the use of the non-past form (dictionary form) in ...
5
votes
4answers
5k views

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?
5
votes
1answer
582 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
359 views

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。 ...
5
votes
1answer
96 views

Does ようとした always mean failure to try doing something?

Consider the following sentences. A: 昨日たこ焼きを作ってみた。 B: 昨日たこ焼きを作ろうとした。 A means that "I tried to make takoyaki and I really made it." Questions Does B always mean that "I tried to make ...
4
votes
2answers
692 views

~ないでいる verb ending

This is dialogue from a book I have, where a doctor is talking about a patient: 気分が極端に変りやすくなっていて、自分で自分をコントロールできない。神を呪うかと思うと、神に祈る。呪う自分と祈る自分と、絶えず入れ替っていて、どっちが本当の自分か判断できないでいる。 My question is about ...
4
votes
3answers
202 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
620 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
292 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 ...
3
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1answer
183 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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2answers
1k views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
192 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 ...
12
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2answers
502 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

What does のですが mean in the following sentence?

焼き鳥屋さんで集まったのですが、とても楽しい、かつ有意義な時間を過ごしました。
10
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2answers
314 views

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 change ...
10
votes
1answer
582 views

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 contents ...
9
votes
1answer
577 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 ...
9
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 ...
9
votes
3answers
499 views

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 ...
9
votes
1answer
283 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。
8
votes
1answer
300 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 ...
8
votes
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?
8
votes
2answers
190 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
522 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
1answer
1k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
218 views

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? ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

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 ...
7
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3answers
489 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 "...
7
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2answers
351 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) ...
7
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1answer
260 views

Adding つき to the end of nouns

湯ぶねに体を沈めると、どばーっと色つきのお湯があふれた。 When he sank his body into the bath, the coloured hot water gushed over. I took me a while to figure out that 色つき meant 'coloured'. It isn't in the bi-lingual ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

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 ...
7
votes
2answers
479 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
575 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 ...
7
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5answers
576 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: ...
6
votes
1answer
216 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 (...
6
votes
1answer
331 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%?
6
votes
1answer
274 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
862 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
votes
4answers
380 views

Shouldn't there be a のは in this sentence?

This is a an example sentence from a JLPT textbook to explain the use of たらしめる: 想像力{そうぞうりょく}こそ作品{さくひん}を芸術{げいじゅつ}たらしめる要素{ようそ}である。 I understand the meaning, which is something like, "The key ...
6
votes
3answers
245 views

Difference between にとって and として

What differences are there between にとって and として ? To the best of my understanding, both have meanings of stating something from a certain point of view or perspective. However, I think that there's ...
5
votes
2answers
950 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
130 views

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 ...