Rules governing construction of phrases and sentences in a language.

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2answers
291 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
1k 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 ...
7
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1answer
399 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
492 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
49 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
108 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
148 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
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1answer
178 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
219 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
341 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
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2answers
270 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
232 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 ...
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vote
1answer
87 views

How should I intepret より in this sentence

きのうは きょうより ひとが すくないです。 Is it saying: X number of people yesterday < Y number of people today? or X number of people yesterday > Y number of people today? I'm getting the ...
4
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2answers
378 views

<動詞の辞書形> + がよい ― How is this allowed?

I've come across this form many times in my Japanese Bible. The meaning is quite obvious based on context, and seems to be one of the following: ~べきです, ~ほうがいい, ~なさい, or ~ように (let it be ~). Here are ...
9
votes
2answers
548 views

Difference between sentence final ものだ and ことだ

My understanding is that ものだ is used to assert things which are mostly known to everyone. 誰かの家に招待されたときは、何か手土産をもっていくものだ 'When invited to somebody's home it's customary to bring presents'. On ...
12
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3answers
324 views

Sentence structure/element order

In the textbook Japanese for Busy People I, the order of the elements in a sentence is always the same (subject - when - with whom - by what means - to where - verb) at least as far as I have made it. ...
9
votes
1answer
327 views

How did やわらかい gain its い?

As we know, there is a class of adjectives that end in 〜らか: 滑【なめ】らか, 明【あき】らか, 清【きよ】らか, 安【やす】らか, etc. やわらか (柔らか or 軟らか) is also in this class of adjectives. However, it can also be written as the ...
7
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2answers
481 views

Rules governing formation of adjectival and genitive modifications for Noun-Phrase

The following was observed in sawa's answer to "Can ごとに be replaced by それぞれ in this question?":  ◯ 正月はそれぞれの家が門松を立てる。  × 木村さんはそれぞれの会う人に挨拶している。  ◯ 木村さんは会う人それぞれに挨拶している。 それぞれの会う人 is said ...
4
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1answer
148 views

What is this や in 大きすぎや?

Is this a contraction along the same lines of なければ → なきゃ? 反乱を抑えるためだけが目的だとしたらリスクが大きすぎやしないか Also, can you contract 言えば or あれば?
5
votes
1answer
188 views

What does ending a statement with 「っ」signify when coupled with 「・・・」?

I have seen a few sentences or exclamations that end a sentence with 「っ」. Specifically, I read the example below: ちなみに純文学について語れなんて言われても私には、無理・・・っ! The following sentence is listed below (However ...
10
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1answer
290 views

Unifying concept for noun-adjectives of the pattern Xかな

Consider these: ~か: 静か 愚か 厳か ~やか: 穏やか 鮮やか 賑やか ~らか: 柔らか 滑らか 明らか There are many more that I've not listed. The か/やか/らか at the end of these words ...
7
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2answers
197 views

Varying word order for stylistic effect

Sometimes, for stylistic or rhetorical effect, one wants to delay mentioning a word/concept until the end of a sentence. For example, it's often best to save the punchline for the very end: I was ...
4
votes
1answer
183 views

Can もはや also mean “or rather” or “actually”?

I heard this sentence pattern watching an anime (where A and B have similar meanings, but B is much stronger): ....[description A] いや、もはや [description B]と言っていい。 I looked up もはや expecting a ...
2
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3answers
306 views

Does contraction and elision affect formation of relative clause?

For example, やらなければならない can modify 時 to form やらなければならない時 and I know that the adjective い ending can simply have a noun appended after it. However when it's contracted to やらなきゃ can I simply add a ...
4
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3answers
364 views

Interpreting a specific Japanese sentence

In one song (lyrics link) the line "Watashitachi no kore ga precious heartbeat" ("It's our precious heartbeat") appears, and I'm not sure how best to analyze it due to one particular grammatical ...
4
votes
1answer
140 views

Difference between 「来ませんでした」and「来なかったです」 [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is じゃないです equally correct as じゃありません? Both have the same meaning ("did not come") and according to my Japanese co-workers both are acceptable while they can't define the ...
4
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1answer
107 views

Is 一緒に needed in this case?

Is 一緒に needed in this case? A: 買い物へ行きたい。 B: そう。 A: 一緒に行きましょうか? Or is it just ->> 行こう?
6
votes
1answer
151 views

Ambiguity issues with と when performing multiple roles

My understanding of と: と performs listing と indicates reciprocal action The above two uses are indivisible from each other. That is to say that this particle is special in a sense that it always ...
4
votes
1answer
150 views

Can the volitional form be used to nominate yourself for something?

I did a quick search on this site to see if I could find any answer to this and found this question: Does the volitional form of a verb mean both "lets" and "I want to"? But ...
5
votes
2answers
228 views

Subject following verb?

I'm translating bits of Hyrule Historia to test myself a bit and I'm a little confused by this sentence structure. お面を使うリンク I'm inclined to say this translates to something along the lines of: ...
3
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2answers
520 views

Sentence ending に and のに compared to their non-sentence-ending form

Consider these: [A] 僕はいい仕事があったら美智子さんと結婚出来ただろうに [B] 僕はいい仕事があったら美智子さんと結婚出来たのに Is に in [A] related to the case particle に? Is のに in [B] related to the use of のに as a conjunction in ...
6
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3answers
2k views

What is the correct way to say: “where are you going?”

What is the correct way to say "where are you going?"? Is it: あなたはどこに行きますか or あなたはどこに行くの Also, can someone please explain that の in "あなたはどこに行くの"?
3
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1answer
167 views

Understanding a JLPT practise question with ものなら

This sentence comes from a question in my JLPT practise book that is part of an explanation of the use of ものなら: 一度{いちど}仕事{しごと}を手伝{てつだ}おうものなら、それをいいことにあの人{ひと}は何度{なんど}でも頼{たの}んでくるから、気{き}をつけたほうがいい。 ...
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4answers
1k views

Natural way to command “call <someone>”

In English and most languages I understand, the natural way to tell your phone to call someone (when using Bluetooth for example) is: Call . I was told that in Japanese, it is more natural to say the ...
2
votes
1answer
215 views

An i-adjective immediately before 「ください」?

Does it make sense to have an i-adjective (in て-form) immediately before 「ください」? For example, when asked to choose between hot and cold coffee, can I use 「温かくてください」, or must I turn it into nominal ...
3
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1answer
363 views

Is 「なので」actually a short-form for「それなので」?

In Tae Kim's Guide there is a conversation that goes like this: Tom: 時間がなかった。 Mary: だからパーティーに行かなかったの? I was wondering is 「だから」 actually a short-form of 「それだから」 ? Similarly, in the ...
3
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1answer
136 views

Is と necessary after a quoted phrase?

Hi all I was wondering if we want to treat a quoted phrase as a "noun", is it necessary to put a と particle behind the quoted phrase? For example: A) The "received" in "received from Tom" ...
5
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2answers
252 views

Is it true that all nouns must be able to accept a が particle and a を particle?

Is it true that all nouns must be able to accept a が particle and a を particle? I was curious about how we could form a sentence with: 特別が 特別を 出色が 出色を
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2answers
190 views

How to break down who did what in AにBをCさせる

I'm trying to understand the following: 後輩にサイフを開かせることはないよ I guess this could be generalized as AにBをCさせる. It's confusing. Maybe if someone can break down how to understand this and then I can ...
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2answers
2k views

How to end a sentence in わけ

The is a certain way of talking where you can end just about anything you say in わけ. What is the sentence structure for this way of talking?
5
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2answers
420 views

How to know if a sentence ending in the て form of a verb is imperative or not

I know that a sentence that ends in the て form of a verb can be imperative. How do you know for sure if it is? Why is「~しようとして」not imperative?
7
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2answers
2k views

Is there a study available on the similarities between Japanese and Turkish grammars?

No I'm not claiming the Altaic hypothesis so try not to bring that up in answers. Still there are grammatical similarities between Japanese and Turkish such as agglutination and use of postpositions ...
17
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4answers
1k views

Are there cases when two or more particles will occur next to each other without intervening lexical words?

Most particles seem to be postpositions but I'm sure I've seen say a noun followed by a location particle followed by "wa" or "ga" or possibly "wo" but when I've tried to use it I've only confused my ...
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2answers
649 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 ...
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2answers
187 views

The use of -さん when answering about oneself

If someone says, あなた は Chris-さん です か。 Are you Chris? Do you answer Chris です Or Chris-さん です Thanks
16
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2answers
2k views

When asking 'What is your name?' or 'What is your job?', why is it 'は' not 'か'?

As per the title, when asking 'What is your name?' or 'What is your job?', why is it 'は' not 'か'? For example, we are taught this: おしごとは。 'What is your job?' But I don't understand why it ...
10
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2answers
199 views

Is there a difference between この小さな街で and 小さなこの街で?

I noticed in songs, there are lyric lines that push the demonstrative adjective (*) この, その etc to the middle of sentences by switching it with an adjective/verb that describe the subsequent nouns. For ...