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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1answer
162 views

に particle and its conflicting functions

Ok, so I'm still trying to get used to the に particle and how it has many functions that make it easy for it to appear many times in a sentence and thus get confusing... But I am specifically looking ...
4
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1answer
116 views

に and として, what are the differences?

Hey what i the difference between に and として in the following example. お土産にチョコレートをもらった。 お土産としてチョコレートをもらった。 When is one more appropriate than the other?
3
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1answer
246 views

に Particle ambiguity

あまりにも子供じみた言動に呆れる。 だが、こういった[A]の対応には少なからず救われている部分があった. 深く踏みこまずに居場所を与えてくれるこの距離感に、周囲の人間も惹かれて集まってくるのだろう。 I'm tripped up on the second sentence. Is the 部分 part of the childish behavior, or the person on ...
3
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1answer
112 views

Adding でしょうか to ます to further emphasize doubt and politeness?

Let's use できる as an example. できる (I) can do (it)/possible (action/event). できるか? Can do?/Possible? できますか? Can do?/Possible? (polite) Believe it or not, できますか? still sounds too direct to me. Now ...
7
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1answer
199 views

Splicing である with a topic

I came across this sentence: [意気地]{いくじ}なし!そして全くその通りで私はあったのだ。 "Coward! And that was, in fact, exactly what I was." (From 苦の世界, my translation.) I found in pretty weird that 私は dropped in the ...
4
votes
1answer
152 views

Why was は removed from this sentence?

So here is the sentence: このスプーンすてきですね Why didn't we say: このスプーンはすてきですね Isn't スプーン the topic of the sentence? Why did we remove it? Why did we leave it in a sentence like: とうきょうはきれいです
5
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122 views

“It's sweet, for sake”

so, consider the following conversation: 「その日本酒、どう?」 「うん、わるくない。ちょっと甘い」 「本当?飲んでみる... げっ!全然甘くないよ! 「まあ、it's sweet, for sake Essentially I'm trying to say that something is not sweet in absolute terms, ...
3
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1answer
278 views

Meaning of noun + だったりする

すごく背が低いけれど、いつも堂々とした態度で、颯爽とした雰囲気がある。 そして――‥‥彼女は僕の彼女だったりする。 What exactly is the meaning of "だったりする" here? I've read in A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar by Seiichi Makino that when たり is ...
8
votes
2answers
164 views

Using に with adjectives

I want to know if there is a rule or way of thinking that makes it easier to understand which adjectives can be used in the following pattern. 体にいいです。 健康にわるいです。 酒によわいです。 電車に詳しいです。 その場にふさわしかった。 I ...
3
votes
1answer
272 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
88 views

Help for translation: Object or agent? “お前に” or “お前を And person for ”思ってる"

お前に私が殺せると思ってるのか? I'm not sure about this phrase. Is correct "お前に" or it's better "お前を". Is object or agent? And which person is correct for 思ってる? "お前" or "私" It's a line from a comic I'm trying to ...
4
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2answers
207 views

Can you help me to translate this speech? 自分を理解してくれる者がいるというのは 心地よいものだよ

I'm trying to translate this text from a comic. I understood words, but the whole speech is difficult. 自分を理解してくれる者がいるというのは 心地よいものだよ。。。 一人というのは寂しかっただろう? 私もかつては自分を理解する者がいない 孤独に苛まれたよ。 I translated ...
5
votes
1answer
303 views

The meaning of “ぶん” in “見ているぶんには…”

The line I first saw it in is: 大げさなジェスチャーは小さいころからのクセだ。見てるぶんには面白いので俺はあえて注意しない。 A few other examples I've found: "遠目で見ている分にはいいけれど" "見てるぶんには可愛いけど…こびとづかんになりたくはない。" "Paris Photo ...
2
votes
2answers
228 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
1answer
169 views

Why is [しゃべる」an intransitive verb?

Just a straightforward question but why is しゃべる considered intransitive when I've seen it used on direct objects. Example from jisho.org: 私は英語を喋ることができる。 Is there something I'm missing?
3
votes
1answer
296 views

Casual speech particles in Classical Japanese

I'm writing a simple Japanese skit for our JAPAN 112R class and there is a place where an ancient samurai needs to speak a few sentences of Classical Japanese. I can mostly make the sentences, but it ...
6
votes
3answers
199 views

でも followed by が?

One of my friends sent me this picture of a Pokemon game: It says: いつでも どこでも だれとでも が ポケモン勝負の いいところ! Although the meaning seems fairly obvious, I can't figure out how the grammar works. I'm ...
5
votes
3answers
327 views

What does the pattern “Past Verb + まま + N” mean?

The following sentence was in an N4 review test: 私の本棚には 買ったまま 読んでいない まんが が たくさん あります。 The meaning, as I grasp it, is "There are a lot of books that I bought in my bookshelf that are left ...
2
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1answer
314 views

How do you say “like when you” or “the way you ”in Japanese?

SO basically, how do you say something like "talk to the boss the way you talk to your father!" You know with a threatening tone. Thanks in advance
4
votes
1answer
177 views

ではなかったら and でなかったら

One of my textbooks says: When たら used with N/なadjective+ではない, は should be omitted. So it should be でなかったら NOT ではなかったら. This seems strange because it never explains why. However, I do see sentences ...
4
votes
4answers
284 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
357 views

Help with question word だれ

Every example I see with だれ and a copula has だれ placed at the end (あの方はだれですか。) Will changing the order to だれがあの方ですか。be acceptable or mean something else? Also, how do I write "Who has A car?" I ...
3
votes
1answer
151 views

Do adverbs necessarily modify the first verb after it?

Specifically in a case like this: 私が迷っているうちに、次第に登校する生徒の数は少なくなり、予鈴が鳴った。 Does 次第に modify 登校する or 少なくなり? I thought that maybe 登校する生徒の数 is considered as one unit and thus 次第に modifies 少なくなり. Is that ...
3
votes
1answer
206 views

What is this な between a noun and the particle の?

What is the role of the な in bold in this sentence? Is it a nominalized だ? 考えれば考える程彼女がどういう女なのか分からなくなってきます。
3
votes
1answer
182 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
320 views

「ね」 vs 「な」 in 「そうだね」 /「そうね」/ 「そうですね」

Another thread stated that when expressing agreement, we can choose between 「ね」 and 「な」. 「ね」 is more feminine and 「な」 is more masculine. By that, would 「そうな」 be the masculine form of 「そうね」 ? Also, ...
8
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2answers
572 views

Can placements of adverbs be altered freely?

I'm curious if there is any difference in nuance between these two sentences: 彼は少なくとも週に一度車を洗う。 彼は週に少なくとも一度車を洗う。 I'm aware that grammatically speaking both are 100% right, but this question is not ...
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. ...
2
votes
1answer
243 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
154 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
266 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
204 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?
4
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1answer
182 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
175 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?
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 ...
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
182 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
404 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 ...
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vote
1answer
306 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
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 ...
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
391 views

What is the meaning of りゃ in this phrase?

I came across this phrase while reading an interview. そういう時はなんて答えりゃいいんだ。 I think it means "At a time like that, such a reply/response is good." But I don't understand the usage of りゃ . I couldn't ...
4
votes
1answer
261 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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votes
1answer
212 views

What does おせわになってます mean?

あなたにいつもおせわになってますからね. What does the above sentence mean? I'm confused about the おせわになってます part.
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 ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

What´s the difference between による, により and によって?

I don't understand when you use it and what the difference is between each other. For example, when you say: 火事によって多くの森林が焼けてしまった。 今回の地震による津波の心配はない。
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
189 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 ...
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, ...