Rules governing construction of phrases and sentences in a language.

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206 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 ...
3
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1answer
98 views

Causative form + te form + another verb construction

In this specific case: 取らせて頂いた So, what's the meaning of such a construction? I understand what each thing does alone (the causative form, the te form and the verb in past indicative), But what ...
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1answer
112 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 ...
3
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2answers
461 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 ...
3
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1answer
210 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
333 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 ...
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166 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 ...
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3answers
360 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 ...
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1answer
66 views

Need Help Understanding ーているよう

I am trying to translate the following small text (taken from a VN): もうこんなことはやめようか―― 心配そうな眼差しは、まるでそう言っているようだった。 So far my attempts have led me to this: It was as though his worrying ...
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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 ...
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1answer
155 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。 ...
3
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1answer
106 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?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
215 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 ...
2
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1answer
104 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?
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3answers
285 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 ...
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2answers
147 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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2answers
590 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
96 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 ...
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2answers
133 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 ...
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1answer
218 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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2answers
223 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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1answer
82 views

Problems understanding なの in this sentence

I remember once I have seen 「なの」 was not placed at the end of a sentence (meaning it was not a question) ever since then I wondered what it meant but didn't have any clear examples. Today I saw this ...
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28 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 ...
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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
146 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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1answer
84 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 ...
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1answer
214 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 ...
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1answer
172 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 ...
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3answers
87 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 ...
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1answer
158 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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2answers
104 views

Looking for references on 複合格助詞

I am currently doing research on automatic case frame (格フレーム) acquisition and its applications. A case frame describes the syntactic structure of a predicate by providing a canonical representation of ...
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2answers
176 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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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 ...
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1answer
113 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 ...
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2answers
104 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
155 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 ...