Rules governing construction of phrases and sentences in a language.

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48 views

Telling the speaker apart from the person being spoken about

A recent question about the usage of quoted speech contained this interesting sample sentence: ハイリアの民は、ふしぎな力を あやつることが、できたと言います。 Often when I read this kind of sentence, I wonder if ハイリアの民 is part ...
0
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1answer
101 views

Is this sentence correct?

I'm trying to say this in Japanese: "Woe be to those who near the swamp." I wasn't really sure how to go about this, but I came up with this: それらのための災いは誰が沼に行きます Woe for those who go to the ...
6
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1answer
99 views

「〜がする」 the extended use of する (to do)

I'm going through some basic grammar and this one website teaches the "extended" use of the word する. There is a confusing example which looks like: 波の音 がする The translation is: "(I) hear the ...
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0answers
27 views

The のう ending in this sentence [duplicate]

当時を知る者があれを見て、本人とは思わないだろうからのう The sentence is taken from a visual novel. I am wondering what the ending "のう" means in this context. I've tried searching it but the only thing people were asking ...
3
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0answers
50 views

How do 何 and どう change the meaning of these sentences? [duplicate]

I know people say not to rely too much on music to learn Japanese, but I love Japanese music. Usually I try to translate the lyrics into English as I listen, but I keep hearing the phrase どうしようか and I ...
2
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1answer
93 views

Can と AND や be used in a sentence for a list of things

I have been reading about using と and や. Now, I understand the basic idea that や is for a list where the list is not all-inclusive. と on the other hand essentially informs the listener that "only ...
3
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2answers
201 views

Is setting a topic obligatory?

For instance, if I say the following as the first phrase in a conversation: おはよう!ピクニックでリナさんを探していましたが、どこもみえませんでしたね。 Hi! I was looking for you at the picnic, but couldn't find anywhere. Is it ...
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1answer
181 views

What does “mon” and “kamo” mean in Japanese?

Sorry, I am new at learning Japanese and I am trying my best to figure things out from word-by-word translations... but sometimes it's hard to piece together with just the internet. I was reading a ...
2
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1answer
89 views

“naku” suffix and “o” prefix?

For this sentence, "保存をお忘れなくですぞ!” I am guessing the word "naku" is a suffix meaning not? So then it'd be saying, "do not forget to save!"? And is the "o" before "wasure" there to make it more polite?
6
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1answer
266 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 ...
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1answer
103 views

Development of なんか?

Is there anymore to the usage of なんか that isn't saying "something", but rather something like, or along the lines of? I know the two are very similar, but using なんか at the end of a sentence seems to ...
5
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1answer
104 views

Volitional + が ; ~おう + が

The sentence is :  まあ 何人来ようが || どうってこともないがな... (|| = Column break.) It doesn't matter how many people want to come... I'm not sure whether the first が is the subject particle (and ...
6
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2answers
167 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 ...
1
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1answer
110 views

Why is there an unmatched parenthesis in this title?

This Asahi Shinbun article has an unmatched right parenthesis in its title: 岩手)震災の教訓を考える 「人間復興大学」10日開学 Surely, Japanese syntactic rules disallow unmatched parenthesis, right? Asahi Shinbun just made ...
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2answers
141 views

Help me string this sentence together please

I'm trying to say "Taking Japanese class has been [or was] fun" using ものだ. But I don't think this is right: 日本語の授業を受けている楽していたものだ。
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2answers
155 views

Are ~つ and ~り the only two counters that can occur with the native Japanese numbers (ひと~, ふた~, etc)?

Please go easy on me if this seems too basic and obvious, I'm a beginner. I always had the impression that there were counters that went with the native Japanese numbers and counters that went with ...
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2answers
165 views

What does だ mean at the end of a sentence or following a noun

The sentence in question is それはとってもいい話【はなし】だ。 Which is translated as "That's a really nice story". I don't understand what だ is doing at the end though. 話 seems to mean story with or without it and ...
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2answers
124 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 ...
3
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1answer
106 views

Sentence structure and meaning

here is an extract from a manga that gives me troubles : (|| = column breaks in the manga) ただし||お前達の相手は||私一人でいい||一対一で闘い||私が勝ったら||次の者が||また 私と闘うのだ... First : can you confirm that there are 2 ...
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3answers
86 views

Syntactic rule for the “⇔” character?

The character "⇔" is used in the definitions in 国語{こくご}辞典{じてん} to specify antonyms. I have questions: (1) Is "⇔" a formal character in Japanese syntax? Or, is it sort of an ad-hoc way to specify ...
5
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1answer
306 views

あなたがこの文のおかしいと思うところは?

The structure strikes me because the underlying transformation seems to be like this: [ あなたが ] [ この文の  ~ところを ] [ おかしいと ] 思う [ あなたが ] [ この文の  _____ ] [ おかしいと ] 思う ところは~ Another similar example is: ...
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286 views

Sentence structure for complex sentences

I've been reading up on the uses of the particle から, particularly when it is appended to the -te form of a verb where it takes on the meaning similar to "after [verb], [sentence 2]" However, when ...
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3answers
181 views

Does this Japanese sentence sound right?

I'm trying to translate a line from an English song (Journey) and it goes like this: "She took a midnight train going anywhere" So far, I've ended up with this: 彼女は真夜中列車が乗りましたどこ でも行きます (Kanojo wa ...
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2answers
279 views

夏目漱石‘s use of question marker かい for an open instead of closed (ie yes/no) question

Can anybody explain why かい is used in the following sentence from 第三夜 (Dream #3 - from Natsume Sōseki's Ten Nights of Dreams, 夢十夜): 自分が御前の眼はいつ潰れたのかいと聞くと、何昔からさと答えた。 "I asked [him] when [he] ...
3
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1answer
1k views

Saying something is like/not like something else

How does one say "this is like/similar to that" or "this is not like that" in Japanese in essence? An example sentence is "In this way, the English are like the Japanese" ; I have not been able to ...
6
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1answer
230 views

Can two consecutive の particles be used in the following way?

We can use の as a substitute in successive sentences for something we've already mentioned so that we don't need to keep saying what it is: どのTシャツが好き? → 赤いのが好き。 Then there is the ...
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1answer
175 views

Simultaneous actions with the -te form

In English you can use conjunction to express two simultaneous actions: I was standing in front of an audience and presenting a new technology. Or simply juxtapose two participles where one ...
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2answers
146 views

noun + の + adjective

I've seen a couple times examples of using this format of [noun] の [adjective] and I mostly see it in the form ~の高い Some specifics I'm referring to are: 人気の高い 柔軟性の高い I can't think of any more off ...
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1answer
152 views

Vague method of description in Japanese

I just want to ask how people get over the vagueness of description in this language. Let me explain. Today I saw my friend say "これを見た電車の中で..." and I was just wondering... how do you deal with the ...
3
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1answer
144 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 ...
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1answer
210 views

Usage of か after a clause?

Here's a sentence I found: デパートはどこにあるか、知っていますか? meaning "Do you know where the department store is?" What's the purpose of the か particle in どこにあるか? Under what circumstances do I use it? I'm fairly ...
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1answer
152 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 ...
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4answers
321 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 ...
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2answers
219 views

Does 本 work as a general purpose prefix?

The motivation for this question is the phrase 本法廷 which I recently read. Does ほん(本) work as a general purpose prefix? By this I mean can I look in the dictionary and pick any noun and put 本 in ...
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2answers
102 views

the use and the meaning of the verb 実感する in the given example

I would like to ask for help with translating the following sentence: 今日は、「練習していないことは嘘をつかない」という悲しいセリフを実感しました。練習も嘘をつかないんだけど、その逆も然り。 I understand parts of it for example 練習していないことは嘘をつかない 悲しい セリフ ...
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1answer
169 views

Can someone explain the form: xに関するどんな

I apologize in advance for the poor title. I'm really not sure how to phrase my question. I often see in Japanese sentences structures like the following: エホバに関するどんな事実を強調しましたか。 In the above, エホバに関する ...
3
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2answers
351 views

Proper use of ため to thank someone for doing x?

I know ため can be translated into English as "for" such-and-such. But is it appropriate to use it to thank some one for doing something? For example, "Thank you for your email address." Would it be ...
2
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2answers
558 views

Why are Japanese song lyrics often so seemingly ungrammatical?

For example, Natsukawa Rimi's 島唄 has this has most of the verbs in plain 連用形 with no apparent reason: でいごの花が咲き 風を呼び 嵐が来た でいごが咲き乱れ 風を呼び 嵐が来た くり返す悲しみは 島渡る波のよう ウージの森であなたと出会い ...
3
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2answers
256 views

What are the ways to conjugate “I” and “to be” (in romaji)

I think being able to to specify who you are talking about and yourself is very crucial in a language so, how do they do it? To clarify I know in French there is 6 ways to specify a person: Je (I), ...
4
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3answers
972 views

How to separate words in a Japanese sentence?

Unlike some languages (English, French ...) , written Japanese sentences don't have spaces between words. I know that it is the same in Chinese for example, but the fact that the Chinese language ...
6
votes
1answer
317 views

“unfinished” sentences ending in particles like を, に and が

This is something I've always wondered about, but can't find any info about. When native speakers come across a sentence that ends ...を。, ...と。 or ...が!*, how do their brains parse it? Is it just a ...
3
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2answers
323 views

Nominalization with のが、のを

I've just learned to nominalize verbs with のを but as I was looking for more info on the web I saw that this is also done with のが and こと. The question "What is the difference between the nominalizers ...
3
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0answers
48 views

About the relationship between 「ので」 and 「~てください」: [duplicate]

According to "A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar", ので cannot be used in sentences that contains a request in the main clause. However, in many phrases at sites or another grammar books I have ...
5
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1answer
104 views

Truncated adjective まっすぐ

I have a sentence in a book that goes like 甘い匂いのするまっきいろな花です。It is a kids book, so everything is in kana. I'm having trouble figuring out the bolded part. It talks about a dandelion in the context, so ...
2
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2answers
144 views

そのようにする + Recognizing a compound

そのようにしてこの巨城は、二年の長きにわたってゆっくりと攻略されてきた。 The first thing I had kind of a problem with, is そのようにして... I just have no idea how to translate it. Also, as for 巨城, 巨 doesn't have a prefix form, nor there is ...
3
votes
1answer
165 views

How does のは work in this sentence?

彼が持っているのは二百円です。 Supposedly this means "It is 200 yen that he has.". But I am really not familiar with this sentence construction. Therefore, I'm not sure how everything before の works with the rest of ...
2
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1answer
214 views

Is みんな being used as a “counter”?

This is from Minna no Nihongo Chapter 15. It's a description of Santa Claus. でも世界の子供はみんな私を知っています。 みんな seems like a counter of sorts (I don't know how else to describe it) for 世界の子供. I always thought ...
5
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1answer
326 views

I have no idea what this is saying. Can you have two topics in a sentence?

白い箱はカウチの上に緑のランプは机の上にあります。 This sentence looks like it has two topics in it. But when I try to translate it, it doesn't make sense (to me obviously). My direct translation is: A white box on top of ...
7
votes
2answers
261 views

Do we use odd day pronunciations outside of calendar ranges?

After reading @jkerian's comment in this post, I started thinking about this. Here's the comment in full: On a side note, all days ending in '4' are also irregular, and use ~よっか. So the 14th is ...
4
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1answer
200 views

How do I say “course duration” in Japanese?

I want to say something along the lines of "all engineering courses are four years long". Should I say something like this?: 各技術コースの専攻期間は4年くらいです。 Is there a more natural way to phrase what I'm ...