That class of words which describe events and states and can be inflected or conjugated to indicate relative time, as well as many other nuances.

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23
votes
5answers
2k views

Does -ou / -you / -mashou conjugation have a negative form?

Does the -ou / -you / -mashou (the "let's X") form have a negative counterpart? For example, how do I say "let's not X" for the following?: 行こう 食べよう 寝ましょう As far as I can remember, the Japanese ...
3
votes
1answer
137 views

How does one express “late” or “lateness”?

So I know that おそい, ちこく, and おくれる all can mean late. But I don't know what context to use which in. Can I just swap おそくなります, ちこくする, and おくれる at will?
42
votes
9answers
2k views

How should I choose between [知]{し}る and わかる?

Both 知る and わかる get used for "know", "understand", "learn", "find out", and various other concepts. How do you know which to use when? Are there any rules to help you decide? Additionally, both of ...
6
votes
2answers
645 views

What is the verb for gardening?

I came up with a bunch of nouns, so I'm thinking this is a suru verb. Closest thing I came up with is 築庭する。 (chikutei suru), but it translates to landscape gardening. Is there a more common usage? ...
11
votes
1answer
242 views

When to use 〜す verbs or their する verb counterparts

Consider the verb pairs 表【ひょう】する and 表【ひょう】す、or 訳【やく】する and 訳【やく】す。 I realize the distinction may be academic(for example, either way the ます form is always spelled 訳します), but what is the functional ...
5
votes
2answers
426 views

Which verb for “get off” / “leave” the Shuto Expressway?

I'm not sure which way to say something like exit/leave/depart/get off/escape is most appropriate when the thing I want to get off is the system of expressways in Tokyo called the Shuto 首都高. I'm not ...
5
votes
2answers
372 views

Kana causing translation difficulty: 「きれている」

Ok, so I've been having trouble with a passage. It's mostly written in kana, and I can get most of it, but because of the kana, I have no idea what a certain word is. At the beginning of the music ...
8
votes
2answers
578 views

Verb volitional form (動詞の意志形) - usage

I have a couple of questions about the volitional form of verbs that I've become unclear on lately. Here is a Bible passage containing the grammar in question: (Note that I'm using a Bible passage ...
1
vote
2answers
93 views

穿る vs ほじる vs ほじくる

In wondering how to expressing the act of picking one's nose in Japanese I came across the following term or terms: 穿る / ほじる / ほじくる I got the feeling from WWWJDIC that the two hiragana are ...
7
votes
3answers
591 views

How do I express “this made me laugh”?

This is the kind of simple question I'm often too embarrassed to ask, because I should probably know this by now. But here goes... I was ordering something at a cafe, and I noticed some slightly ...
3
votes
1answer
201 views

How do I parse やめときます? [duplicate]

I came across the phrase やめときます in alc.co.jp, which is apparently translated to things like "I'll pass" or "I'd better not." It didn't appear as a stand-alone word in the dictionaries I checked, so ...
5
votes
1answer
124 views

Verbing to form 五段 verbs: does it only generate ラ行 verbs?

Background: if you have a noun, the easiest way to convert it into a verb is by gluing a する onto the end of it. Examples of this abound, ranging from old Sino compounds to recent English borrowings. ...
2
votes
1answer
97 views

does it make sense to talk about サ変名詞{さへんめいし} as 他動詞{たどうし} or 自動詞{じどうし}?

Does it make sense to talk about サ変名詞 as being 自動詞 or 他動詞? If so, surely some are 他動詞: 車{くるま}を運転{うんてん}する。 日本語{にほんご}を勉強{べんきょう}する。 庭{にわ}を散歩{さんぽ}する。 But, what about 自動詞? Perhaps this posting of mine ...
5
votes
1answer
70 views

さまよう vs ぶらつく vs うろつく for the sense of “to wander”?

I thought I might add a word to my Japanese vocabulary that means as close to "to wander" as possible in English. In the English Wiktionary three Japanese words are mentioned but only one has an ...
7
votes
2answers
478 views

Differences in usage between する and やる

On the surface, many Japanese-English dictionaries define both する and やる as "to do", with little extra context. Offhand, I know the following: やる and する are not interchangeable when it comes to する ...
5
votes
1answer
175 views

Usage (correctness) of だと after verbs

I've noticed だと showing up after verbs for a while now in various forms of media, such as blogs, anime, regular TV shows & also when speaking to Japanese people. However, I was originally told ...
9
votes
1answer
284 views

semantic difference between two keigo verbal forms : に なる(ni naru) and なさる(nasaru)?

Japanese grammar has a rich subset of grammatical forms named 敬語 ("keigo", formal language or respect's language). The rules allowing to transform a normal verb into a keigo verb are complex and I'm ...
6
votes
3answers
143 views

Questions about my translation of this conversation

I'm not sure my translation for this brief conversation is correct, particularly the last sentence, so would like it double checked please. カレン: ニールさんは音楽の学生ですね。 ニール: そうですが、どうして? カレン: ...
4
votes
3answers
160 views

Why should I use つかれました and not つかれたです

I said to a Japanese person last night, meaning to say "I'm tired": つかれたです。 She corrected me to: つかれました。 I'm curious as to why this is. I thought つかれたです was grammatically correct. Does it ...
4
votes
1answer
126 views

Questions about `〜はる` 敬語

One thing I've never fully gotten a grasp on is the 〜はる form of "敬語", and I have some questions about it. Is it official 敬語 recognized by the 文部省, or is it just more of a regionally accepted ...
4
votes
2answers
271 views

Difference between 学習する and 習う?

Is there any difference between 学習する and 習う?
6
votes
1answer
215 views

Difference between った and ってた

Can someone explain to me the difference between the following forms? 思った 思ってた 思っていた
5
votes
3answers
177 views

Explain how 向{む}く “to face” can take “上{うえ}” as a direct object using を?

There's a famous old song that's actually the only ever Japanese language song to reach #1 on the US pop charts: "上{うえ}を向{む}いて歩{ある}こう". This is both the title of the song and a frequently repeated ...
2
votes
2answers
148 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
451 views

Is 行かされた a typo?

I have the following to translate for class. 病気になって 頭と首が痛くて 熱もあったので 銀行の隣の病院に 行かされた This is what I have so far. I became sick and my head and neck hurt and I also had a fever so ...
3
votes
1answer
348 views

Potential and Causative form clarification - 倒せる / 倒せない

Hopefully this is a nice easy one, but it's something I need clarification on. So I have a sentence here, using (I think) -せる form. (倒せない) アイテムを使わないと倒せない敵もいるが、戦いの基本はやはり剣だ。 My question is a ...
1
vote
2answers
155 views

Forms and conjugation of Intransitive Verbs

Can Intransitive verbs be used in Meirei form, Volitional form, ください form and other forms? According to my knowledge, Intransitive verbs are just used to state facts. So these forms should not ...
2
votes
3answers
313 views

できる vs ~えます form for “can”, “able to” [duplicate]

A couple of days ago I tried to express "I can ..." where "..." was some some verb or verb phrase. I used the ~て form of the ... verb followed by 出来ます but was told instead to change the form of the ...
4
votes
1answer
86 views

逃げさせる vs 逃す or 逃がす

i know 逃す is like let someone escape (but you tried to prevent it), and 逃がす is let someone escape (but you didn't try to prevent it) How about the causative form of 逃げる, which is 逃げさせる?
8
votes
1answer
1k views

What does '~にゃい' mean?

What does the 'にゃい' mean in the phrase '働きたくにゃい' or 'はたらきたくにやい'? (not sure if it's a small ya or not). It's in a line sticker.
4
votes
2answers
132 views

meaning of て-form + られない

I assume that 死んでられない is 死んでる in the negative potential form, which means it would mean something like "I can't be dying" or "I can't be dead". Can anyone help me understand this better?
4
votes
2answers
138 views

Unusual usage of 勝 (勝たしてくれ?)

I was reading a comic and came across the following usage of 勝 which confused me. この試合でオレを三橋に勝たしてくれ! I know what it means (Help me beat Mihashi in this game), but I'm not sure about how to ...
2
votes
2answers
232 views

Struggling to translate parts of this particular sentence.

I'm having difficulty translating this particular sentence into English, and even thus understanding it fully. 私は成田空港で外国でも使えるけいたい電話を借りて来たから、問題がないよ。 My best attempt at a translation - I had a ...
7
votes
1answer
274 views

Is 来おった the 連用形{れんようけい} of くる plus おる → おった?

I came across the following dialogue, which occurs right as the hero arrives: 「やっと来おったか。」 I'm not sure how to parse 来おった. Is it 来{き} + 居{お}る? If so, what exactly does this form mean? Do other ...
3
votes
1answer
287 views

Why do things which attach to the 連用形 of 動詞 attach to the stem of 形容詞?

When you want to connect a 活用語 (inflectable word) to something else, generally you inflect it to the 連用形 (continuative form). However, with 形容詞 (i-adjectives), there are certain times where you affix ...
3
votes
4answers
387 views

the difference between てある and past forms?

As I understand it てある is rather different to ている in that it refers to a resultant state rather than an ongoing action. However I wonder...what then is the practical difference between a resultant ...
1
vote
2answers
169 views

Understanding Japanese verbs

I took up an interest in Japanese and I have to say I'm enjoying the language overall. I've been reading online resources and have no problem with normal Godan or Ichidan verbs since they have rules ...
3
votes
1answer
200 views

返{かえ}る / 戻{もど}る vs “come back” / “go back” / “return”

In English we have a generic and two directional ways of saying related things: return - doesn't imply a direction, has other uses including transitive ones (I returned the book I borrowed) come ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

How to say “no thank you, I don't want / need it”?

Sometimes I am offered something but because I'm just a beginner I don't know what verb they used. I know the proper way to say "no" is to answer with the negative form of the verb the other person ...
2
votes
1answer
149 views

Te form of もっていく

Quick question regarding the -te form of the verb もっていく (to take). From my understanding the verb is a combination between もって+ いく(to go) and as such conjugates its -te form as もっていって is this correct? ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

Passive-transitive-verb vs. Intransitive-verb (他動詞の受け身 vs. 自動詞)

I think I know the answer to this, but it still creeps up in my mind all the time; something I'd like to research more. I want to know technical differences as well as common usage. When do you use ...
3
votes
2answers
205 views

What are the rules for verb bases(?)

I am quite confused as to how "見る" has suddenly changed into another word, albeit similar meaning when you do this: "見な." My question is, how has the "na" appeared and the "ru" disappear?
2
votes
1answer
305 views

Can you use 持つ to mean 'to wait'?

パーティーに何か持って行きましょうか。 My translation – “Do you want to hold/wait on going to the party?” Is this translation correct basically? I wasn’t sure if ‘to hold’ could be used in the same sense as ‘to wait’ ...
4
votes
2answers
355 views

Checking the translation of あそぶ in this sentence

The sentence in question: 私は日本からあそびに来た友達にロンドンをあんないしてあげた。 My translation - I guided my friend who is coming from Japan around London. I know that あそぶ can be used to mean 'hang out with', and that’s ...
10
votes
1answer
473 views

How do 自他 triplets of related verbs work?

I thought this had been asked before (possibly by me), but I couldn't find it. I'm wondering why for certain verbs/words, instead of just a 自他 pair, there is a triplet (or possibly more) where two of ...
2
votes
1answer
319 views

Need help with the superlative form of my sentence

I need a bit of help with my Japanese. If I want to say: Castle X is beautiful. Among all the castles in the world, castle X is the coolest. Is this sentence written correctly? しろ Xの ほうが ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

How to differentiate ~られる conjugation between passive form and potential form?

For verbs of group 2, whose ~ます form is formed by dropping the ending ~る from the plain form, both the passive and potential forms have the same conjugation: ~られる. Example: 食べられる 1. to be eaten ...
3
votes
3answers
282 views

Can ~たり~たり end with verbs other than する?

In the past, I have come across several examples of ~たり~たり seemingly being used with other final verbs than する, which is generally taught to be mandatory at the end of ~たり~たり phrases. Is this ...
2
votes
1answer
144 views

When conjugating, is 'なる’ a potential verb, like '分かる'?

So, 分かる is never used as 分かれる, right? Because 分かる is already a potential-form verb, according to my Japanese grammar dictionary. About なる: can it be conjugated as なれる? Or how about ならせる? For ...
5
votes
2answers
291 views

How can a verb be in the beginning of a sentence when it is usually at the end? Ex. 折れた淡い翼。

When composing sentences in Japanese, the verb tends to be last right? For example, バナナを食べました。 --> I ate a banana But recently I came across a sentence where the verb was at the beginning of the the ...