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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572 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
177 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
votes
3answers
247 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
votes
1answer
416 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
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1answer
220 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
2answers
465 views

When an -i form (連用形{れんようけい}) of a verb seems to be a suffix rather than a prefix?

In a previous question about コーヒー割り I learned that 割り is a form of the verb 割{わ}る "to dilute". Now I'm trying to understand the grammatical process by which this 割り form of 割る can be added to nouns ...
4
votes
1answer
427 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
349 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
votes
1answer
211 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 ...
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
544 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
232 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
674 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
1k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
311 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
223 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
112 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
votes
1answer
319 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
128 views

X times bigger than

How can I say: X is 5 times bigger than Y (?)
3
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1answer
236 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
289 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
998 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
314 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
116 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
1answer
118 views

Stem of ます-form as conjuction

おはよう! I came up with the stem of the ます-form while trying to read a book. I already checked the questions connecting phrases with the stem of masu-form and なく vs. なくて and stem form vs. てform as ...
2
votes
1answer
168 views

What are the と, という, and の doing in this sentence?

「帰ってきました!ただいまー!」声を張り上げて足を踏み入れると、広がるのは地下室という響きとはかけ離れた生活臭のする小部屋だった。 I'm confused as to what と does in this sentence. Is it a quoting particle or conditional? 地下室という響きとは I'm completely lost as ...
2
votes
3answers
513 views

Meaning of 「という訳でもないのだが」

I have a question about the meaning of という訳でもないのだが in the following passage. If I'm understanding correctly 「いたからと言ってなんだ」 - 「居たからと言って何だ」 would translates something like - "even if he/she was, than ...
2
votes
2answers
625 views

What's the difference between the に祈る【いのる】 and を祈る【いのる】 forms?

What's the difference between the に祈る and を祈る forms? Like what's the difference between (1.) and (2.): うまく行くのに祈ってくださいね。 うまく行くのを祈ってくださいね。 EDIT: What's the difference between the ように祈る and のを祈る ...
1
vote
1answer
103 views

くれる, あげる, and もらう

Which pair is correct? A 父がお正月に一万円あげました。私は今までに、こんなにたくさんもらったことがなかったので、とてもうれしかったです。 B 父がお正月に一万円くれました。私は今までに、こんなにたくさんくれたことがなかったので、とてもうれしかったです。
1
vote
2answers
142 views

Using と to link clauses instead of て

I've seen several posts saying that と cannot be used to mean 'and' when linking clauses. They say it should be treated as 'when'. I have come across several sentences in my studies that do not support ...
1
vote
1answer
175 views

Are な and だ both copula verbs?

What is the grammatical relationship between these two words? Are they just different words expressing the same concept, is one the derivation of the other or is a third option true?
1
vote
1answer
486 views

Can に mean the same thing as から?

あの野郎、どんだけジークさんに恩を受けたと思っていやがるんだ! In this sentence, does に mean the same thing as から ? Thank you very much for help!
0
votes
1answer
335 views

ですら・でも・さえ・だろう(と/が)。 Are there any differences?

I am just wondering if anyone can explain the differences between these in terms of nuances. When I say nuances, can you give examples of whether one is for more polite situations, or whether one is ...
13
votes
4answers
3k views

What is the significance of の in 「鳥の詩」?

I've seen it used in many places, and sometimes it feels like a connection between words. For example in 「鳥の詩」 (tori no uta), it looks as if the の is connecting 鳥 (tori) and 詩 (uta), and I would like ...
12
votes
1answer
807 views

verb た-form + そう, hearsay or observation?

Verb る-form + そう indicates hearsay. 帰るそうだ 'I hear he will go home.' 帰らないそうだ [Negative] Verb masu stem (i.e. conjunctive form 連用形) + そう shows information obtained through the senses, ...
11
votes
2answers
363 views

What's the difference between 悪 and 惡 ?

I'd like to know what the difference between 悪 and 惡 is. And also what usage you should do between both. I heard that they both mean "bad"
10
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1answer
510 views

Different ways to report one's impression/guess (~そう/~みたい)

雨が降りそうです 雨が降るみたいです Is there any difference between the two? Which one would be the most common way to say this? このセーターは家で洗えそうです このセーターは家で洗えるみたいです Both these also seem valid, but ...
9
votes
1answer
570 views

How the ~にあって form works - situations, places, times, what?

I finally started going through some JLPT N1 grammar the other day, and one of the ones I'm looking at has me a bit confused: the ~にあって・~にあっても form. The book describes its usage as such: ...
9
votes
2answers
191 views

Combining に/で particles with 等【など】(or other “etc.” stand-ins)

I was recently trying to make an open-ended enumeration of places in a construction that would require the use of a に particle. E.g.: AやBに行こう or even: A[and the like]に行こう Preferably using ...
8
votes
3answers
256 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
3k views

の cannot be used as a pronoun meaning “one” for “highly abstract objects” but what is a “highly abstract object”?(amended)

(Italics are used to indicate revisions to the orginal question made in response to feedback so far) According to "A students' guide to Japanese grammar", by Naomi McGloin, の is used as a pronoun ...
8
votes
1answer
242 views

Can けれども be analysed further?

Consider the conjunction ども, e.g.: 行けども 言えども Formation rule: Verb Hypothetical form (仮定形) + ども This leads me to hypothesise that the conjunction けれども (meaning "but; however; although") is ...
8
votes
3answers
998 views

What exactly does とばかりに mean?

My JLPT textbook has a section on the use of ~とばかりに. It explains that the term means to do something with such a strong implication that the meaning is obvious, even though one isn't directly stating ...
8
votes
2answers
472 views

“Grammatically-correct” particle-less phrases/sayings

I know that within an informal/familiar setting, people often leave out particles. Whether or not this is grammatically correct I'm not positive, but for the sake of this question, I'll say that it's ...
8
votes
2answers
320 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
689 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 ...
8
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。
7
votes
3answers
439 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
3answers
468 views

たり sentence without the final たり

I just read a sentence in an answer key as follows: 雨が降ったら、買い物をしたり、おいしい物を食べるつもりです。 I would have thought that the sentence should be: 雨が降ったら、買い物をしたり、おいしい物を食べたりするつもりです。 Is there any ...