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
85 views

興奮する to be excited or to get excited?

When I was looking at a dictionary the definition (in the English part) was given as be [get] excited; ((口)) be [get] worked up What exactly these [] are referring to is unclear to me. From my ...
3
votes
1answer
50 views

“The earlier we leave, the earlier we'll arive”-type construction

Was not sure how to title my question because I don't know who to explain such grammar pattern. I came across something like that in Tae Kim's guide: 勉強をすればするほど、頭がよくなるよ。 (The more you study, the ...
9
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2answers
293 views

Proportion and Rate

How do I form a sentence pattern for: The more/less X happens, the more/less Y happens E.g. The more you stir, the faster the salt dissolves. The colder the weather, the more ...
2
votes
1answer
125 views

Use of 一体 in this sentence

These two sentences have been giving me trouble in terms of understanding their meaning. 友達が恋人にふられて、とても落ち込んでいる。でも、一体何を言ってあげたらいいか、全然分からない。 My translation: My friend was able to trip up my ...
3
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1answer
91 views

What's the difference between こそ and さえ in 「忙しくて昼ごはんを食べる時間___ない」

I don't know which to choose: 忙しくて昼ごはんを食べる時間さえない or 忙しくて昼ごはんを食べる時間こそない The explanation in my textbook is given in such a way that I can't understand the difference: It says こそ "expresses ...
5
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2answers
149 views

Usage of plain i-adjectives or た form (悪かったv悪い、良かったvいい etc)

Example 美人じゃなくて悪かったですね!(sarcastic) compared to someone who is using a room and is told あんまり広い部屋じゃなくて悪いな Or for example the difference between 無事でよかった and I can't think of the corresponding for ...
2
votes
2answers
287 views

Do ちょうだい、ごらん、ください、おいで constitute an own class of part of speech?

They are all used after the Te-Form of Japanese verbs similar to subsidiary verbs, but they seem to differ from subsidiary verbs. What is their true nature?
8
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1answer
567 views

Usage of て-form in 知っての通り

I have just come across the phrase 知っての通り〜 (as you know...) I have never noticed this usage of て-form before and can't find an explanation. What is the difference (if any) between this and 知っている通り? ...
5
votes
1answer
254 views

When does こいつ refer to a situation?

I've always heard こいつ refer to a person. (That guy!) However, in my JLPT Reading workbook there is a line where it refers to a situation. The explanation says: 「こいつ」が状況を表し....ことに気づくこと。 It goes ...
8
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4answers
2k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
69 views

Explain ますよう + [noun]

Can someone please help me parse the following sentence: ...新商品をお試しくださいますようご案内申し上げます。 I guess the meaning is something like "We invite you to try our new product," but I don't understand how ...
5
votes
2answers
141 views

What is being abbreviated as っちゃあ in 「忙しいっちゃあ忙しいけど…」?

I see the pattern [Adj1]っちゃあ[Adj1](けど) relatively often, and I know that I've learned it before... I even know what it means. ...but what is it an abbreviation of? It is an abbreviation of something, ...
0
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1answer
122 views

Words ending in consonants [duplicate]

Using Hiragana, how would you write a word/transcribe a sound which ends in a consonant? Such as 'kon'. Relevant to this, I don't understand why 'hajimemashite' doesn't pronounce the 'shi' in the ...
2
votes
1answer
78 views

How does 別に function as an adverb?

I know that 別に means "not particularly" sometimes, but what is its role in this sentence? 別に山田の私服を見るのは、はじめてってわけじゃないんだけどな。 I assume it means something like "it's not exactly the first time I've seen ...
2
votes
1answer
85 views

Is ために here a wrong one? [duplicate]

Could someone please help with the correct answer to this N3 challenge? I thought the correct one is ために but apparently I'm wrong. 今度の試合に勝てる (ために)一生けんめいがんばります。 Variants given: ために ことに ように みたいに
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2answers
82 views

Don't understand meaning and translation of these sentences

I’m having major trouble understanding and translating these example sentences. 試験や勉強で忙しくなると、どうして勉強しているのか忘れがちになる。でも勉強は自分のためにしているということを忘れないでほしい。 My translation: When you become busy with exams and ...
3
votes
1answer
115 views

「もんか」の使い方を教えてくれませんか?

How do you use もんか? Once, I saw this sentence: お前に俺の気持がわかるもんか. I understand the meaning but I don't know how you can use it
3
votes
2answers
272 views

Meaning and translation of 働かせっぱなし

Help me please with translation 働かせっぱなし in the following sentence それって、朝からずっと働かせっぱなしの人間に対して、掛ける言葉じゃ、ないと思うんだけど The main problem is that I cannot understand how to correctly translate ...
1
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2answers
113 views

Adjective conjugation of 小さい and 少ない in these sentences

I’ve come across some adjective conjugation that I don’t fully understand in two separate but related example sentences, and so my translations are definitely wonky. ...
28
votes
5answers
2k views

i-adjectives used as na-adjectives: is there a difference? (e.g. 大きい versus 大きな)

There are at the very least several i-adjectives can be used as na-adjectives by dropping the final い and adding な in its place. The most common examples of this, as far as I am aware, are 大きい and ...
2
votes
1answer
54 views

というものでもない vs. というわけではない

I recently saw the sentence on a grammar example site: 多ければよいというものでもない。 From this example, it seems that this sentence means the same thing: 多ければよいというわけじゃない。 Do these sentence in fact mean the ...
2
votes
2answers
122 views

How to ask the 'looks like' or appearance of something?

Good day to everyone. I've been wondering on how you say 'looks like' or 'appears like' but not on terms of similarity. It is asking for a description or appearance on an object. For example: ...
1
vote
1answer
300 views

Topic marker in これは大きい本を食べる犬です

In the sentence これは大きい本を食べる犬です, I understand that 大きい本を食べる is a clause that describes 犬 as "a dog that eats large books"; and を only makes sense within that clause. However, I'm confused about ...
8
votes
2answers
352 views

In 君が代, what's the function of の?

I've got a question about the two instances of の in 君が代: さざれ石の巌となりて 苔の生すまで First, is さざれ石の巌 to be interpreted as a boulder made of pebbles (analogous to, say, 木製の槍)? Second, is the の in ...
2
votes
2answers
105 views

なんと versus どう usage

Consider the two questions: 1) せんせいの しつもんに なんと こたえました 2) せんせいの しつもんに どう こたえました I hope they both mean "How did you answer the teacher's question?" A previous question on this site suggested that なんと ...
3
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1answer
216 views

The use of も; spotting if it is comparison/contrast, or for emphasis

Could somebody tell me the meaning/use of both もs in bold in the following sentence? It is the background explanation for the essay titled 「さよなら、ゴジラ先生」 in the magazine, 中上級のにほんご. Also, I am not sure ...
3
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2answers
1k views

What are the general principles of using verbs to modify nouns (e.g. 焦げるトースト/焦げたトースト)?

In all the time I've studied the language, I've never heard or seen anybody even hint at whether the principles from a given language (like using “burnt toast” vs. “burning toast”) carry over, or if ...
3
votes
3answers
357 views

知らない方がいいって事もあるんです

Original video I am trying to decipher: 知らない方がいいって事もあるんです The translation that is provided with this phrase is "Some things are better off left unknown." I'm trying to break this down but I'm ...
4
votes
2answers
102 views

Use of まで in this sentence

The sentence is 出口が無けりゃ作るまでよ. I'm pretty sure it means something along the lines of "If there is not a door, just make one" It confuses me because 出口が無けりゃ should mean "If there is not a door" and ...
8
votes
2answers
497 views

Come to ~: ~てくる vs. ~ようになる

Can someone please explain the fine nuances of these two? Things such as: Are there conditions/restrictions of when you can use one or the other? What are the "approximate" time periods that each ...
1
vote
1answer
93 views

Question about the それに

I have a question about the meaning of それに in the following passage(second one). Does it means something like "To that, after supressing this intense sleepiness, Taito said." So, this それに refers to ...
2
votes
1answer
104 views

Is it correct to use で in this sentence if I want to convey “and”?

My penpal and I were talking about a particular video game and I wanted to tell him: "The PC version (of the game) has its release date someday next month and I just can't wait any longer!" ...
1
vote
1answer
103 views

What is the difference between こだわり and 良{よ}い?

Consider for example this article with the following headline. 〈JAL〉機内食、こだわりの冬メニュー登場 日本航空(JAL)は「空の上のレストラン」をコンセプトに展開している機内食「スカイオーベルジュ BEDD(ベッド) by JAL」で12月1日から提供される冬のこだわりメニューを発表した。 [...] ...
6
votes
3answers
583 views

Strange usage of に particle

I saw an advertisement on the train that said 世界に友達を作りたい... My Japanese friend said that the difference with "世界で友達を作りたい” is that で means like "In the world" whilst に means "all over the world". I ...
0
votes
2answers
217 views

Using double negative

Would appreciate if someone helped me understand the following word patterns with examples: なかなか〜ない ほとんど〜ない ぜんぜん〜ない Can any of them be used in a positive context too?
5
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1answer
112 views

What's the difference between ね and でしょう for tag questions?

Both ね and でしょう can be used to form tag questions to confirm an opinion like so: 1) 疲れたでしょう。 (more of a guess based on evidence / polite) 2) 疲れたね。 (more forceful / the speaker is more ...
4
votes
1answer
313 views

Use of ことです in this sentence

This is the example sentence: 私の趣味はギターを弾くことです。 My translation - Playing the guitar is my hobby. However, why is it not: '私の趣味はギターを弾きます。’ Basically I don't understand this use of 'ことです'.
3
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1answer
233 views

Does this “は” indicate a sequence of events?

I've noticed in the book 秘密 by 谷崎{たにざき}潤一郎{じゅんいちろう} that the particle は sometimes seems to be used to indicate that with "AはB", "B" comes after "A", for example: ...
2
votes
2answers
221 views

How does someone know when one word ends and the next one starts?

I may not know very much Japanese, but I still want to practice reading the language, to help lean hiragana, katakana, and kanji. However, since the Japanese do not use spaces to seperate words, I am ...
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votes
1answer
104 views

Specifying Objects in Japanese

How do you say and write 'this is' and 'that is' in Japanese? Expanding on this, how would you say and write 'these are' and 'those are'? Around this topic, are there any male and female words in ...
3
votes
1answer
75 views

Function of “でも” in “とでも言うべきであろうか”?

I've come across the phrase "〜とでも言うべきであろうか" in my reading. I understand most of it, but am a little confused as to what the "でも" is doing. I'm familiar with "でも" as a particle, but it appears to be ...
5
votes
1answer
119 views

When each of joining particles ~や~ and ~とか~ should be used? [duplicate]

What is the difference between ~や~ and ~とか~ joining particles? For example: 1) 飲み物やカップや~ 2) 飲み物とかカップとか~ It looks like the meaning is about the same of both sentences.. When each of particles ...
6
votes
1answer
546 views

what's the difference between とか and や?

what's the difference between とか and や?
3
votes
1answer
149 views

私は日本語と英語で思っています。

Is this the proper way to say "I think in Japanese and English", or should I be using a particle other than で?
2
votes
2answers
322 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
336 views

Difference between 生まれてくる and 生まれる

What is the difference between 生まれてくる and 生まれる? I looked up くる in 大辞林 and found the following: ある事態が出現し,またある現象が現れる意を表す。 「生まれてくる子供のために」 「なくした本が出てきた」 But this still doesn't help me understand ...
2
votes
2answers
83 views

Future II Simple in Japanese

How can you express something like "Tomorrow I will have finished my work" or "Because I have to do hard word tomorrow, I will be very tired in the evening"? 明日、仕事を絶対終えたようとする。 ? ...
3
votes
1answer
83 views

What is the difference between 忘れないで and 忘れるなよ?

These two forms, ~ないで and the ~な particle seem to have similar meanings. Can someone please explain the difference between the two?
1
vote
1answer
75 views

What's the function of “と” in “海に行きたいといつしか話した”?

It's not hard to understand the meaning of this sentence but I just want to know which function the "と" serves in this case.
-1
votes
0answers
31 views

What are the irregular verbs in japanese? [duplicate]

I am searching for a list of all japanese verbs that do not follow the universal conjugation pattern. On different pages i found different verbs, mostly overlapping but never complete: da - ...