統語論. Rules governing construction of phrases and sentences in a language.

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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 ...
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1answer
236 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 ...
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3answers
389 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
165 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 ...
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1answer
110 views

Confusion on usage of か marking alternatives with verbs

Most textbooks note that using か to mark two noun alternatives, the last one can be omitted. However, what about verbs? Would a textbook sentence such as 今晩の食事はステーキにするか、すしにするかまだ決めていません。 Stay ...
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210 views

Decrypting a japanese sentence

I self study Japanese and among the things I do is reading easy NHK news articles. Here is one article I read. In the article appears the word 首都 capital city. Hovering over it would give the ...
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3answers
215 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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1answer
300 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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148 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 ...
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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?
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323 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), ...
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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 ...
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76 views

Why is connective form missing from this sentence?

Example sentence from 研究社 新和英大辞典 第5版: その詩人の発想はまことに融通無碍{ゆうずうむげ}、 操る言葉は自由自在だ The poet has a truly unlimited command of ideas and manipulates words with complete freedom. At the moment I can only ...
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361 views

How would you structure a sentence to say “someday I will go to Japan”?

I am trying to figure out the particle and order of words in a sentence to that says "Someday I will go to Japan". Would you say: 私は日本がいつかに行きます。 or would I say: 日本は私がいつかに行きます。 I really ...
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92 views

する際 and 穴埋め meaning along with として

初めは番組を編成する際の穴埋めとして放映されていたのだが、番組の数が増え,年月を経るうちに、子どもたちにとって生まれたときから存在しているアニメは、今やなくてはならない娯楽となっている. My attempt to translate that would be something like In the beginning, when broadcasts were ...
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163 views

「日本では美味しい和食が食べられる」と「日本は美味しい和食が食べられる」は違う?

(1)“日本では美味しい和食が食べられる” (2)“日本は美味しい和食が食べられる” どっちも使えるんですね。意味もわかりますけど、もうちょっと詳しい文法を知りたいです。 私はこう思います(正しいかどうかわからない): “日本では美味しい和食が食べられる” ⇒ “私は日本で美味しい和食が食べられる” から ...
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232 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 ...
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141 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" ...
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98 views

Grammatical Pattern : VerbてのNoun

What does this grammatical structure/pattern mean? I am trying to understand the meaning of the following sentence where the VerbてのNoun pattern appears. "昭和64年に起きた誘拐事件を巡る物語だけに、“昭和な顔”を買われての起用だったという" ...
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Analyzing 「だけど勝つのはいつも金太郎で、大きな体のクマでも金太郎にはかてません」

From the tale 金太郎【きんたろう】: だけど勝つ【かつ】のはいつも金太郎で、大きな【おおきな】体のクマでも金太郎にはかてません。 I understand a few things: だけど is contrasting the previous sentence. の is nominalizing かつ. The second 金太郎 takes the ...
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103 views

いる connected to a proposition?

I'm stuck with the construction of 居る/いる in the following sentence (Botchan, I) 小学校【しょうがっこう】に居【い】る時分【じぶん】学校【がっこう】の二階【にかい】から飛【と】び降【お】りて一週間【いっしゅうかん】ほど腰【こし】を抜【ぬ】かした事【こと】がある。 My translation (excuse ...
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245 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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225 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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141 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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250 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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633 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 ...
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420 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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81 views

Confusing clause in middle of sentence

In the following sentence: 彦一{ひこいち}さんがのこった荷物を見たときは、皆の握り飯が入っているお弁当など重そうなものしか残っていませんでした。 I don't understand how the part in bold fits into the sentence. Without that part I have When 彦一 saw ...
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94 views

Question about に and には in terms of emphasis

I read the post on here from 2011 about the difference between に and には, but I came back still a little confused (especially with all the non-layman grammar words like transitive/nominative/etc). I ...
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158 views

接続助詞は名詞修飾節の中に使えますか?・接続助詞で作る文は他の接続助詞で作る文を修飾できますか?

偶然この質問を思い出しました。 Question 1 英語で Hey, look! The car over there is the car which I would buy if I were rich. という文があると思います。 その「if I were rich」は従属接続詞(if)で「I would buy」を修飾しているのです。それだけではなく、実は「I ...
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220 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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261 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
197 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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Sentence structure: “I can accomplish (a) by doing (b)”

I'm trying to say sentences like "I can accomplish (a) by doing (b)." in Japanese, and I can't seem to figure it out. An example sentence would be "I can earn good grades by studying hard." Maybe ...
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256 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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107 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
189 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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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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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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In front of “ほうがいい,” is it always past tense?

ほうがいい means: the particular way "ほう" is "が" good "いい" So, for example, if it looks like it's going to rain, I might say to a friend: "今日は雨らしい。傘を持った方がいい。" But what I'm curious is, why is "持った" ...
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3answers
213 views

How would I say “when [x] happened”?

First off, I understand the use of ~の時 (when). However, with my current knowledge, this doesn't make sense if I try to use it with verbs in phrases such as "when I woke up". It's probably quite ...
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1answer
81 views

Is this a 仮定形 (kateikei) form, and how to analyse it?

I'm stuck with the word かけ in the following text below (towards the beginning of Japanese tale, Kachikachi yama). Obviously, "(こしを)かけ" stands for "(腰を)掛ける" (to sit down). But what's the grammar ...
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230 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 ...
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1answer
128 views

What does this Verb+Noun structure mean and how to use it?

So my friend told me this: 温室で死ぬ時が来た I understand that the translation means "It's time to die in the greenhouse", but I don't understand the 「死ぬ時」 part of the sentence. What kind of structure ...
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2answers
91 views

Sentence Polarity when connecting sentences/clauses with て/で

I was reading the Tobira textbook recently and I became a little confused when reading the following passage. "日本語では、会話をスムーズに進めるために「あいづちをうつ」ということをします。「はい/ええ」「うん」「そうですか」など色々ありますが、これらは ″Yes, I'm ...
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1answer
179 views

When would と appear at the start of a sentence?

In the light novel that I'm reading, the narrator sometimes starts his narration with "と、" like the following example: 「ふん」 と、彼女は鼻を鳴らし、中学の制服であるワンピース型のセーラー服をひるがえす。 I've been curious about ...
2
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1answer
100 views

Sentence pattern for describing a list of objects

I was trying to describe a list of objects from a more generic point of view to a more specific one. While at the generic level I feel quite sure, using for example. みなりのポケットの中には、ボールペンを二本あります。 ...
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1answer
498 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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2answers
178 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
151 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 ...