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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

4
votes
4answers
283 views

だ and か, Can they be used together?

One of my textbook says: だ and  か can not be used together, like: Example: これは本か。(Is this a book?) You can NOT say: これは本だか。 The textbook also says: 疑問詞(ぎもんし)(どれ、どちら、どなた、どこ、だれ、いつ etc) When used in ...
3
votes
1answer
153 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
317 views

Need help with the superlative form of my sentence

I need a bit of help with my Japanese. If I want to say: Castle X is beautiful. Among all the castles in the world, castle X is the coolest. Is this sentence written correctly? しろ Xの ほうが ...
2
votes
1answer
241 views

Why are most Japanese songs and poems in normal form?

You would think that sentence structure would matter in songs and poems, especially when they have directed or dedicated lyrics, e.g. to a stranger, the president, someone of higher status. ...
3
votes
1answer
271 views

Keigo: そんけいご & けんじょうご

I've started learning keigo and already having difficulty with it, with the same problem in both そんけいご and けんじょうご. In particular, I'm having trouble understanding the combination of the use of ...
4
votes
2answers
265 views

What is the connection between volitional よう form and であろう

I was wondering, what does the よう form of ある even mean? Does あろう act as volition of the object being spoken about? For example... if someone says 雨が降るでしょう(であろう)... is it the same as "It WILL rain" in ...
2
votes
1answer
202 views

なくてもいいです and なければなりません

My grammar book says: Verb/Adjective/Na-Adjective+なくてもいいです Is it OK to use Noun+なくてもいいです, like: 明日でなくてもいいです My grammar book also says: Verb/Noun+なければなりません Is it OK to use ...
2
votes
1answer
263 views

Volitional + と in ひとまず心を落ち着けようと、[…]

ひとまず心を落ち着けようと、飲みかけのオレンジジュースに手を伸ばす。 Please help. I came across this line and I don't really understand use of と here. How exactly does と work here?
2
votes
2answers
232 views

words that have kanji and begin with kana

"この先生き残るには" is a riddle that highlights the problem of not having spaces between words. But, I was able to read it pretty quickly. After blowing past "先生", I read "き", and that stopped me in my ...
4
votes
1answer
181 views

How does ダンスとかあったら全然だったと思う work/mean?

A:藤原さんは、もちろん歌だよね? B:うん。わたしにはそれしかないから……ダンスとかあったら全然だったと思う I don't get what the part ダンスとかあったら全然だったと思う is saying. 全然 is an adverb but there's no verb after it but 思う, but that's separated by a ...
3
votes
1answer
103 views

Dropping から when modifying a noun

I'm having trouble with Xからきた as a modifier... I have heard people say 住んでいるのはどこ? or something like that in order to say like, "where are you living?"... but what if someone wanted to say どこから来た? in ...
3
votes
1answer
181 views

How do you ask for ordinality (order in a sequence)?

What phrase do you use to ask for the n-th position of an object? Is there a straightforward and general way to do so? e.g. order of childbirth, place did the runner finish Since you can use 3人目 ...
2
votes
1answer
174 views

To use “ものです” to end a sentence

The original sentence is: 人間は一人では生きていけません。 and the requirement is to change the sentence with a "ものです" ending. I did this: 人間は一人では生きていけないものです. Am I right?
4
votes
1answer
397 views

ても “even if/though” doesn't seem right

I've been thinking of the ても pattern as "even though" or "even if". But this sentence from steins;gate uses it in a way that surprised me... ちょっと待ってくれ。そんなに急かされて【せかされて】も、転んでしまうよ Is this being ...
5
votes
1answer
248 views

をも… what on earth this particle combination?

In my book I found this sentence... Aさんの健康に関して、特にその食事に関しての心配が、Aさんの心も家族の心をも蝕んでいるのだ。 I understand the sentence, but I had no idea such a particle combination was possible... could someone please ...
4
votes
1answer
257 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
432 views

Trying to translate a 許せるはずもなく

I'm trying to translate a phrase、許せるはずもなく. Generally, I think the meaning should be along the lines of "We were not forgiven," but with the grammatical structure of verb + hazu + naku, would it be ...
6
votes
3answers
398 views

のに and のが. How do they differ in the context below?

この本は読むのに簡単だ。This book is easy to read. この本は読むのが簡単だ。This book is easy to read. I was wondering if anyone could explain to me how these two readings differ in nuance? When there is a sentence ...
6
votes
1answer
226 views

The の noun… does it have any intrinsic meaning?

I am having a bit of trouble separating の and もの when they serve the purpose of turning a verb phrase into a noun. The の noun seems to satisfy a few purposes... It seems to be like "one"... like when ...
4
votes
1answer
158 views

How come the よう in ~ようものなら can modify a noun?

I have the sentence in my book: 昔は、若い女性が男性と二人で出かけようものなら、町中のうわさになったものだ。 I was wondering if this means that it is possible to modify nouns with the volitional form. I have so far heard that it isn't, ...
4
votes
2answers
188 views

Understanding the の in ~ものの

I thought that の always had to modify a noun... so how come a sentence like the following is possible despite there being no nominalization of what follows の ? たたみに布団を敷いて寝てみたものの、背中が痛くて寝られなかった。 Is ...
0
votes
2answers
195 views

The に particle and potential form

これはアメリカ人にも読める日本語の本です。 I received this sentence as an example of に being used with potential form in a passive sense, but even though the person said they were Japanese (online) I have never seen ...
3
votes
2answers
398 views

What is the etymology of べき? How should I visualize it?

I like to visualise things to try and understand them as an idea not a rehearsed rule. I like to think of hazu in terms of it being a notch in a bow for the arrow as I hear the meaning stemmed from ...
1
vote
1answer
305 views

わけ、の、理由 in explanations… when do you use which one?

These all seem to be used for explanation... when do you use one over the other? Could you offer some examples? To clarify about の, I am talking about its use in providing information, like, ...
5
votes
3answers
396 views

Use of ~ていた vs ~ている to refer to a resultant state

This sentence is from Japanese the Manga Way panel 371, translation as given in the textbook. 和尚にたのまれていた肉体労働も今のうちに片づけてしまう。 I'll also go ahead and finish off that physical labour that the priest ...
2
votes
2answers
219 views

Can 「食べも飲みもしない」 be rewritten as 「食べなくも飲まなくもある」?

I'd like to see if I understand a couple grammar points correctly. I'd like to rewrite this sentence:  1. 食べも飲みもしない As either one of these:  2a. 食べなくも  飲まなくもある  2b. ...
4
votes
1answer
209 views

Meaning of さて after て

Hello everyone I cannot grasp the meaning of さて in the following sentence, as far as I can understand it's same as this, however I'm not confident about it. "...for young man it was like throwing the ...
7
votes
2answers
197 views

Interpretation of 注意する: to warn or to be warned?

I'm uncertain about the usage of 注意する in this sentence from Japanese the Manga Way, Chapter 25 page 198. The context is that a woman has noticed the following message written on the back of her ...
5
votes
1answer
228 views

The nuance of する

I know what する means in terms of basic usage and obvious usage... I've been studying for a while so like, this isn't going to be a "What's 1 + 1" question hopefully. The question is to do with how する ...
3
votes
1answer
159 views

What's the grammar behind お忘れなきよう?

There's a series that started airing where I live, 謎解きはディナーのあとで, and along with greatly enjoying the style, I've been very fascinated by the butler's very formal manner of speaking. What I never got, ...
2
votes
2answers
212 views

Confusion on use of する with adverbs

I'm a little confused as to the role that する is playing in phrases like はっきりとした and はっきりしている I know this is classed as a する verb, but it still doesn't make sense in the same way that nouns used with ...
4
votes
3answers
506 views

What does "Xの一つにYがある” mean?

I have a sentence in my book like this: 日本が アメリカによく聞かれて困る質問の一つに、”How are you?" は 日本語で何と言うか、というのがある。 and found a similar example here: アメリカでは大学への申込の手続きの一つに「なぜX大学に行きたいのか」ということに関してエッセイを書くというのがあります。 The ...
0
votes
1answer
266 views

Using the causative form (使役形) to create humble language (謙譲語)?

"この町に住ませて頂きたいんです。" is a line from a movie. That grammar makes sense to me. In this context, 使役形 is used to create a humble mood. (頂く) makes it even more humble. Based on that, today I said: ...
3
votes
2answers
188 views

Trouble parsing sentence with 合わず

I am a beginner Japanese student. I was reading this short text and have problem with this particular sentence (end of second paragraph). 盲導犬を飼いはじめて最初は、二人の息が合わず街に出かけても失敗ばかりでした。 Let's try to go ...
4
votes
2answers
1k 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」 ...
3
votes
1answer
276 views

Why do things which attach to the 連用形 of 動詞 attach to the stem of 形容詞?

When you want to connect a 活用語 (inflectable word) to something else, generally you inflect it to the 連用形 (continuative form). However, with 形容詞 (i-adjectives), there are certain times where you affix ...
4
votes
2answers
306 views

Distinction between “not everyone” and “no-one”

I recently learnt that だれも means "everyone" with an affirmative verb and "no-one" with a negative verb. So, the literal translation of the Japanese "No-one is here" would be "Everyone is not here". ...
2
votes
2answers
196 views

How do you say “The 10 most spoken languages in the world” in Japanese?

Would it be: 世界中10の最も話し言語 or 世界で10最も話されて言語
6
votes
2answers
364 views

What's the difference between 「〜を通{とお}して」 and 「〜を通{つう}じて」?

I understand both can mean "by means of, through, throughout", but I'm sure there's a difference in nuance here. Can someone help and explain? Thanks!
1
vote
1answer
145 views

rules for “personification” with 「じん」、「しゃ」、「か」?

In English, "personification" is a literary device. But, I am talking about when you take a common noun, and then add 「人」、「者」、 or「家」: 「労働」--->「労働者」 「案内」--->「案内者」 「日本」---> 「日本人」 「社会」 --->「社会人」 「農業」---> ...
0
votes
0answers
52 views

What is the difference between ように and 風に【ふうに】? [duplicate]

What is the difference in use and nuance between ように and 風に【ふうに】? どうしてそんなように考えるのですか どうしてそんな風に考えるのですか Are these sentences okay? Can anyone give me some examples of how they are supposed ...
6
votes
2answers
246 views

Can one say “A decides that B will do X” with ことにする?

Can one use ことにする to express the idea "A decides that B will do X"? Take the sentence 私は外へ出ることにした. The way I see it, 私 is the subject of both 出る and した, with one usage omitted due to being ...
5
votes
2answers
258 views

A closer look at そう思う

I just realized today that for some reason I'm pretty uncomfortable with things like そう思う because the Japanese そう has a meaning akin to saying isn't that so in English. But when you say そう思う, そう is ...
2
votes
2answers
168 views

Question about ように

I'm confused in ように in the following sentence. Maybe it connects to 聞こえる or maybe means "in order to" ? I'm not sure about it here. Some sort of translation: "Conversations in this period of time ...
0
votes
0answers
59 views

How to express the separate nuances for “should” [duplicate]

I THINK I understand the nuances of hazu and wake... not so much beki... yet none of them seem to fit the sort of sentences below, could you help me understand how to say "should" and "supposed to" in ...
5
votes
1answer
158 views

Replacing になっている with だ

A sentence from JapanesePod 101: 米は、多くの食事で、重要な糖質源になっている。 Rice is an important source of carbohydrates in many diets. The になっている seems unnecessary here. Could one simply end the sentence with ...
3
votes
1answer
111 views

ぬかるむ Meaning and Use

ぬかるむ has the definition of "to be muddy" in my dictionary, but it is a verb. Furthermore, all the examples use it before a noun, as opposed to saying 丘はぬかるむ. Is it correct to say this? Why is ぬかるむ a ...
1
vote
2answers
322 views

Difference between こと、もの and やつ

I am trying to understand the following clearly: 私のこと 私のもの 私のやつ When someone is talking about us, we can use こと。 ”いいえ、それは私のことではないです” - No, that is not something related to me. やつis used when we ...
1
vote
1answer
157 views

Do adjectives/adjective-like verb forms in informal speech need a copula?

The class I go to uses the «Minna no Nihongo» textbook, and according to it you can say the following in informal language: そのカレーライスおいしい? わたしは富士山にのぼりたい。 (See book 1, lesson 20) So I ...
4
votes
4answers
327 views

Examples of ambigious sentences

I'm looking to test some Morphological Analysis tools, which split sentences into tokens and provide part of speech and pronunciation information (specifically, providing kana when given kanji). I'm ...