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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8
votes
3answers
236 views

Is this は replacing が or を? (& is this 悪 read as あく or わる?)

This is the "sentence": 暴力は悪*だと非難する| condemn violence as evil Sounds simple? The English translation does not give a subject so I wonder are either が or をcorrect if I modify the sentence as ...
3
votes
2answers
566 views

How to tell the difference between と as “and”/a conditional?

The particle と can mean either a fairly simple "And" or it can mean if X then Y. 1: 私は犬と猫が好きです - I like dogs and cats 2: びんを落すと壊れる - if drop the bottle, it breaks Taken independently either of ...
7
votes
1answer
182 views

How do jokes with “だけに” work?

There's a particular style of joke/pun in Japanese that I'm not sure how to describe, so let me provide some examples: カミングスーン、神だけに。 (said by someone who has recently become a 神) ...
2
votes
1answer
117 views

difference using と and や ~ など

I know both of this particles are use 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 accurate to ...
5
votes
2answers
207 views

When is よう written in kanji as 様?

We have been taught a lot of uses of よう pattern like ように, Vます ように, sentence ending with ように, ようだ for comparison, etc. But everywhere in textbooks, the よう is written in hiragana. I recently found out ...
5
votes
3answers
292 views

Do you need です before から at the end of sentence?

バスに乗りましょう。タクシーは高いですから。 or can you simply say タクシーは高いから without the です?
9
votes
1answer
235 views

Difference between 書かないようになった and 書かなくなった?

Example sentences: ぜんぜん長い手紙を書かないようになった。 ぜんぜん長い手紙を書かなくなった。 My Translation: I never write long letters anymore. I believe they both mean the same thing but there's obviously some difference I ...
4
votes
3answers
478 views

When using もう and まだ does a negative verb always have to be in the (ている) present continuous form?

When using もう and まだ in a negative sense, does the negative verb always have to be in the present continuous form i.e. 来ていません、食べていません etc? If so why is that? Example sentences: いいえ、まだ買っていません。- ...
5
votes
1answer
135 views

Difference between してください and なってください in this sentence

Is there a difference in translation and meaning between these two sentences or are they practically interchangeable? ギターのボリュームを小さくしてください。 ギターのボリュームを小さくなってください。 My translation: Please can ...
4
votes
2answers
610 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
138 views

Use of Causative-Passive Form and ために in this example

I’m struggling to translate and understand this example dialogue from my textbook. 学生:先生、どうして私たちはこんなにたくさん漢字を勉強させられるんですか。 先生:だれも勉強させていませんよ。だれのために勉強しているんですか。 学生: 自分です。 My attempt at translation: ...
3
votes
3answers
517 views

Why does 「でならない」 not mean “does not become”?

Apparently the phrase でならない means something like "unable to suppress". For example, in this sentence, 残念{ざんねん}でならない means, "can't help but be disappointed": ...
11
votes
1answer
301 views

Two を in a single sentence - how to understand it?

In the book I'm reading (「キッチン」 by 吉本{よしもと}ばなな) I have found the following sentence: うしろで雄一がぞうきんを手に床をふいてくれていた。 I guess it can be translated to something like (sorry for a quite literal ...
0
votes
1answer
121 views

Who is the subject of 止まらない胸の歪を消しておくれよ

As part of my studies, I started to translate lyrics of songs I enjoy. It was going well until I bumped with this phrase. 止まらない胸の歪を消しておくれよ I'm think it translates somewhat to: "Late to erase ...
6
votes
1answer
418 views

When to use で vs に vs nothing at all

There are a lot of post that describe the ambiguous scenarios when to use で vs に, but there are still many scenarios that are confusing, and sometimes I'm not sure if I should be using a particle at ...
4
votes
1answer
123 views

Difference between 特別 and 特

Everywhere I look, they both just seem to be defined as "special" or "particularly/especially" (in the adverbial case). I'm trying to form a distinction in my head. Here's an example from my ...
2
votes
1answer
157 views

Are anaphoric personal pronouns limited to the third person (彼, 彼ら etc)?

(I hope this question is just a sanity check but these things are sometimes worth asking.) On p31 of the Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar, Makino tells us that anaphoric personal pronouns ...
2
votes
1answer
128 views

How to parse 汚れた物ででもあるかのように、捨てるように

I wonder if someone could confirm my understanding of the grammar in the following sentence on p32 of the Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar: ...
5
votes
1answer
207 views

Usage of ていられない

I have a question about the usage of ていられる. Can we use it when we speak about somebody else, not about yourself. The examples I've seen are only about the speaker. For example in the sentence below ...
8
votes
3answers
293 views

What does it mean when この is in front of a personal pronoun?

As in このオレさま and この僕も. I know the literal translation, but I never understand what the intent of it is.
3
votes
1answer
161 views

-sou + negative past - what is the meaning? e.g. 行けそうで行けなかった場所, 解けそうで解けなかった謎

Still with the Zelda guidebook translation :) I cannot understand the meaning of the third line. It uses ・・・そう・・・なかった. I understand -そう as "seems like" and なかった as past negative, but how do these go ...
3
votes
4answers
349 views

How do I make sense of this use of だったのである?

In my JLPT practise book, there is this section of text. Sorry, it's a little long, but I hope the question isn't overly complex. ...
6
votes
3answers
183 views

Having trouble parsing this triple negative sentence

In my JLPT practise book, there is this sentence, which is designed to test if one can track all the negations: その仕事{しごと}ほどおもしろくない仕事{しごと}はないのではないかと、私{わたし}は思{おも}った。 Up to の, I think it's saying, ...
3
votes
0answers
39 views

Is 「出なくては。」 the same as 「出なくてはいけない。」? [duplicate]

I guess the novel I'm reading (「キッチン」 by 吉本ばなな) will be a source of many questions. The part I want to ask about now is the passage where the main character is thinking about moving house. The ...
3
votes
3answers
307 views

Asking “have you tried X” or “have you ever Y”?

This has always been a problem for me, so I'm hoping you guys can answer it once and for all. Often, I want to ask somebody if they've ever done something before. For example, in an email yesterday I ...
4
votes
1answer
174 views

Is 拒絶反応対受け入れ a grammatically correct way to say “acceptance versus rejection”?

I am looking to translate "acceptance versus rejection" in the same sense as "acceptance versus alienation". Is the following statement grammatically correct? Does it make sense to word the following ...
2
votes
2answers
249 views

How do you express “In exchange/In return”?

I am trying to figure this out, but online searches don't seem to be helping. In particular what I'm looking for is something like "In exchange for helping you, please help me" or put more simply "In ...
3
votes
0answers
125 views

Are there any restrictions on the usage of the て-form as a continuation? [closed]

How freely can sentences be combined with the て-form? Are there any cases where it cannot be done?
3
votes
1answer
157 views

Are all 3 sentences the same?

1。本を六ページ読んだ。 2。本の六ページ読んだ。 Is sentence 2 the same as sentence 3? 3。本の六ページを読んだ。
4
votes
1answer
166 views

Why does the grammar structure for “I think [statement]” work the way it does?

In my Japanese class, I've been taught that the structure for "to think" is "~と思う", but no explanation was given for why this is the way it is. For instance: 日本の中で食べ物は高いと思う。 Obviously the first ...
1
vote
1answer
191 views

A little question about polite Japanese

I can't understand why is it used polite form in -「いらっしゃい。逃げ切れるとは思わないで」, I would translate it like this - "Come! Don't think you can run away!". And as far as I can guess シオン is telling it to an ...
5
votes
1answer
230 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
185 views

Why are 来る and する irregular?

I know that there are more irregular verbs than just this, but their changes are mostly euphonic and not really of any interest to me. What I would like to know is why 来る and する have developed the way ...
3
votes
1answer
228 views

Using “page” in these sentences? (using counters and の to modify a noun)

I always get confused with these kinds of Japanese sentences. Which is correct? ​ 1. 六ページの本を読んで。 ​ 2. 六ページ目の本を読んで。 Are sentence 3 & 4 ungrammatical?  ​3. 本の六ページ目を読んで。 ​ 4. 本の六ページを読んで。
2
votes
1answer
103 views

What word is a good replacement for から used as “because” in informal speech?

What word should I use in informal speech for connecting cause and effect just like から does in polite form?
4
votes
0answers
131 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
279 views

I am struggling with the sometimes conflicting uses of 先

Rikaisama's definition of 先 includes meanings like previous; prior; former; some time ago. However it also includes meanings such as front; ahead; the future; destination. I am struggling to make ...
4
votes
1answer
120 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
125 views

What are some different ways to use これから?

I know the basic usage of it, e.g. これから (thing the speaker wants to do), but there are some contexts where the usage doesn't seem to make any sense, like when someone just says it by itself. Anyone ...
1
vote
3answers
246 views

Difference between 建てられた and 建てました?

新しい大学のビルが建てられた。 新しい大学のビルを建てました。 Both translate to: A new university building was built. Even though the translation is the same (by my understanding) something to do with the meaning has to be ...
3
votes
2answers
188 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
votes
2answers
119 views

センスで嗅覚も研ぎ澄ます - “sense of sense of smell?” Why use センス?

In the Zelda video game guidebook I am translating there is a part of the game where you transform into a wolf and have to rely on your senses. The title of this section of the guidebook is ...
6
votes
1answer
273 views

よると or よれば? Which one is “according to”?

I read some of your post (very very helpful!) and I was wondering if you could write a post about the difference between よると and よれば. Which one is used to mean "according to"?
2
votes
1answer
89 views

How to interpret indirect passives?

While looking up some grammar points I stumbled across this paper which describes something that it calls "indirect passives". I can't think of anything similar in English, and I'm having trouble ...
5
votes
1answer
235 views

What does 「VほうもVほうだ」 mean?

I've noticed a grammar pattern recently: 「V方{ほう}もV方{ほう}だ」. From what I can tell, it always repeats the same verb twice, and it seems like ほう is often written in kana: 行くほうも行くほうだ And if it's a ...
4
votes
2answers
109 views

What are ある and わけ in 「どこにでもあるわけではありません」?

Here is the sentence for context. 独立系の映画館はシネコンと違っていて、チケットが安いのですが、どこにでもあるわけではありません。 My translation - Independent cinemas are different from multiplex ones as they have cheaper tickets but not ...
6
votes
2answers
194 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
214 views

Difference between ~そう and ~見える when saying “how something looks” / “what something looks like”

Difference between 大きそう and 大きく見える when saying "how something looks" / "what something looks like" When talking about how something looks we can use ~そう. However, I have realized that the verb 見える ...
3
votes
1answer
199 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
864 views

How to say “To start liking something”

As far as I know, one can say "I started doing X" by adding X-はじめました。 However, I don't think this applies to "to like", which is an adjective. So how to say for example "I started liking science"