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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

3
votes
1answer
315 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
276 views

Why do road signs have 止まれ, not 止まる, 止める or 止めて?

From what I know ending verb in え makes it sound rough and very casual. I checked in tangorin.com online dictionary - it's said there it is actually a noun. To me, though, it looks like a rough ...
1
vote
1answer
135 views

What conjugation is 助けて, when used as an interjection?

According to Wiktionary, the only conjugation I can match this to is the conjunctive form, but that doesn't make any sense, given the context (as in "Help me!"). What would the equivalent conjugation ...
3
votes
1answer
612 views

始まる->始まり Is there a rule of making nouns from verbs (besides nominalization)?

Lately my ears started catching words ending in り that seem like nouns created from verbs. I'm sorry I don't have any other examples besides the one from the title 始まる (to start) -> 始まり (the start). ...
4
votes
2answers
207 views

does the structure「(verb stem)がする」 exist?

「臭う」 and 「臭いがする」 have the same meaning, but can this be generalize? according to google: 臭いがする (49-m hits); 話しがする (17-m hits); 笑いがする (31-m hits); 踊りがする (5-m hits); ... But, a Japanese scholar told ...
3
votes
1answer
145 views

which are the technical names for these verb transforms?

what are the Japanese, and English, technical terms for these verb transforms: 読める、買える、書ける、... and this: 読まれる、買われる、書かれる、... and this: 読ませる、買わせる、書かせる、... Is there a standard term that textbooks use ...
10
votes
1answer
492 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
227 views

The origin of しなさい

勉強しなさいよ! i know what this means.. but what is the origin of しなさい ? Does it come from する (to do verb) ?? Is it short form of something? or what?
2
votes
2answers
217 views

Is there an idiomatic Japanese equivalent of the construction “Let [infinitive verb]”?

In English, we have constructions like "Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York" (MLK's I Have A Dream speech) and "Let there be light" (Genesis 1:3, KJV and other versions). Is there ...
14
votes
2answers
880 views

Why isn't ある's negative form あらない?

ある is listed in dictionaries as having ラ行五段活用, which would suggest a negative form of あらない. However, that form does not exist. Why not?
5
votes
1answer
664 views

Etymology of transitive/intransitive verb pairs

Many verbs come in pairs, frequently but not always transitive/intransitive pairs. These verbs generally have multiple okurigana characters, but according to my dictionary one of the pair was formerly ...
1
vote
1answer
108 views

Difference between 検索する and 探す

I have always stuck with [探]{さが}す for "search", but in an anime I heard one of the characters say インターネットを[検索]{けんさく}おねがいしてもいいですか。 I suspect that one of the differences is that 検索 is more likely ...
0
votes
1answer
180 views

How to express a verb acting upon another verb?

How would I express a verb acting upon another verb? For example, 'I love to dance', or 'I hate to fight!' Would you say: 喧嘩するを憎むよ 喧嘩してを憎むよ 喧嘩するのを憎むよ 喧嘩しを憎むよ Are any of these correct? If not, how ...
5
votes
3answers
379 views

What kind of verbs can the suffix たて (立て) attach to?

Why can -たて attach to some verbs and not others? What is a more precise definition of how to use it? I had been aware of the suffix -たて as meaning 'an action just/newly completed/occurred' for a ...
3
votes
1answer
163 views

How to distinguish between words with identical okurigana?

There are a ton of verbs with multiple readings and the exact same okurigana. Sometimes they mean totally different things and sometimes they have very similar meanings, so in the cases when they have ...
1
vote
2answers
183 views

隣村まで足にのばす。Best way to interpret this sentence?

隣村まで足にのばす。 隣村:the neighboring village 足:foot/leg のばす:aside from growing a beard... stretch, extend... The best I could think is that it's like a literary way of saying you're heading out (extending ...
3
votes
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
votes
2answers
314 views

Origin of 楽しみ and 楽しみにする

楽しみ is derived from 楽しむ isn't it? Despite this, it's used as if it were an adjective, and I don't completely understand why it can be used in 楽しみにする. What is the name of the form that 楽しみ is relative ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

What are the general principles of using verbs to modify nouns (e.g. 焦げるトースト/焦げたトースト)?

In all the time I've studied the language, I've never heard or seen anybody even hint at whether the principles from a given language (like using “burnt toast” vs. “burning toast”) carry over, or if ...
4
votes
1answer
339 views

Habitual aspect

My (poor) understanding of things is that there are two ways to get habitual semantics in Japanese: use the dictionary form of the verb: 毎日、映画{えいが}を見に行く "I go to the movies every day." use the ...
5
votes
1answer
372 views

Why is 〜に受かる used to mean “to pass”?

I'm having trouble understanding why 〜に受かる means "to pass". What would the equivalent logic in English be for this phrase? (Something like the intransitive form of receive?) Also, why is the particle ...
3
votes
3answers
404 views

How do I interpret the Japanese construction of verb+noun?

A) Let's take just transitive verbs first: 食べる人 食べられる人 B) Now let's take intransitive verbs: 起きる人 起きられる人 起こす人 起こされる人 OK, this thing has confused me for a very long time now, like really long. ...
6
votes
1answer
222 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
3
votes
2answers
268 views

What is なく・ない and why is it used?

This question showed the following: 言わない (negative) 言わなく・ない (negative+negative) 言わなく・なかった (negative+negative+past) I've never seen this conjugation before. Why would you have a negative + ...
4
votes
3answers
538 views

What's the difference between “plain form + とき” and “ta-form + とき“?

According to the book I'm reading, both of these sentences translate to: “I bought a bag when I went back to my country”. 国へ帰るとき、かばんを買いました。 国へ帰ったとき、かばんを買いました。 Now the nuance, if I understand ...
6
votes
1answer
266 views

Difference between progressive verb forms and i-adjectives

I'm wondering, for adjectives such as 太い and 悲しい that also have a progressive "to be" verb counterpart (i.e., 太っている and 悲しんでいる), what is the difference between using the i-adjective form and the verb ...
6
votes
1answer
415 views

What is the relation between the two verbs 思われる and 思う?

If 思われる is "its own verb," meaning "to seem;  to appear," and is independent of the separate verb 思う, meaning "to think," is there a conceptual relation between the two? I ask because I initially ...
7
votes
2answers
577 views

When to use 聴く vs 聞く vs 訊く?

When should one use 聴く instead of 聞く? Is there a precise rule for which one to use in which situation? I have a feeling that 聞 is used more when the source of the sound is a person or other living ...
5
votes
1answer
167 views

What's the difference between お待ちになる and 待たれる?

I know they're both polite ways to use a verb, but my materials never taught me what unique traits each one has. Is it just the tone, or is there more to it?
3
votes
2answers
180 views

What's the difference between 真似る and 真似する?

I'm just wondering if they are the same word or if there is an actual difference (in meaning or nuance). It seems weird to me that there would be two different verbs with the same kanji stem that mean ...
4
votes
3answers
956 views

How to say “you may not [verb] here”?

たとえば、おすしを食べてもいいですか? is for "May I eat sushi?". However I know that ちょっと、食べなくてもいいです。Is not the right phrase because that means: "Well, you don't have to eat (that)." So what is the response for ...
3
votes
1answer
871 views

How to say “to ride a bicycle”?

Is it 自転車に乗る or 自転車を走る? I know I've read the latter somewhere before. But I just came across the former today and didn't know if there was a difference.
2
votes
1answer
169 views

Verbs in application drop down lists

I am working on translating pick list items that appear in a piece of software from English to Japanese. There is a mix of verbs and nouns on the lists, ex: workplace, attack, wolf, assault, etc... ...
2
votes
2answers
214 views

Is it always ができる?

So I'm studying and I ran into an example that stated to go from a (noun)suru to (noun)dekiru is this: 私は車を運転する -> 私は車の運転ができる。 Why isn't 私は車を運転できる。
4
votes
1answer
209 views

What is 死す doing in this question?

My friend recently played through a game called Persona 4, and he took plenty of screen shots. He showed me this one containing 死す: It says: 巽 完二 「言っとくがなぁ…  可愛すぎてキュン死すっぞ!」 I understood ...
5
votes
2answers
518 views

What's the difference between 触る and 触れる?

These two seem to overlap almost completely. The only thing I can really tell is that 触れる seems that it can also be used in a metaphorical sense ("touch on" something; feel; perceive). I'm ...
10
votes
1answer
194 views

Meaning of せい conjugation of する?

I came upon this line of dialogue in a book I'm reading, from a character who has old-fashioned speech patterns: できる限りの鶏肉を用意せい… I assume this せい is some form of the verb する, though I'm not even sure ...
4
votes
3answers
538 views

Usage of ~まんねん (関西弁)

Steven Seagal stars in two TV advertisements for the energy drink アリナミン, as seen here and here. In the first commercial he is shown using martial arts two dispatch his opponents, while in the second ...
9
votes
1answer
492 views

What's the difference between 思う and 考える?

These two words both seem to mean "to think", but is there any difference between them? Is it related to the difference between 言う and 話す by any chance?
7
votes
1answer
247 views

When to use 洗濯する and 洗う?

今日ふくを洗う。 今日ふくを洗濯する。 昨日食器を洗った。 昨日食器を洗濯した。 I know that 洗濯する means: washing or laundering (clothes). And 洗う just means washing. When I'm talking about washing in general can I use the two words ...
8
votes
1answer
240 views

Relation between -ますよ and -ましょう

They sound alike. Are they cognate historically? Morphologically, is よ in both cases a particle or part of the morpheme in -ましょう?
5
votes
2answers
480 views

Plural in ancient Japanese?

It is known to Japanese learners that the Japanese verb isn't affected by the subject (number or gender). Today, a linguistics professor of my university told me he heard from his teacher that ancient ...
2
votes
2answers
262 views

I am confused about the meaning of the conjugations of [買]{か}う

I am on Livemocha and it says that 買います。 means "I am going to buy it." But I figure that should be 買いに行きます。 . Also I know that ぎゅうにゅうを買っています。 is "I am buying milk." But for some reason, I thought that ...
9
votes
1answer
857 views

Expressing hope: to nozomu and koto wo negau

I have a question about these two verbs for 'hope': と望む (to nozomu) ことを願う (koto wo negau) I also write down two examples, since I have a particular question about their use: ...
9
votes
1answer
530 views

Volitional + と + Verb

(In this question, I will use "Volitional" to mean "V-(よ)う".) As I understand it, Volitional + と + する is a phrase meaning "to try to do something". I've also seen similar phrases, but with different ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

What's the difference between Ichidan/Godan and Ru/U verbs classification?

I've come across two different ways (at least, apparently for me) to classify verbs. Please note that this question is fundamentally different from Verb classifications by japanese learners. The ...
3
votes
2answers
202 views

Can もらう mean to keep?

While studying I came across this short 会話{かいわ}: A: この本をもらってもいいですか? B: ええ、いいですよ。どうぞ。 A was translated as: "Can I keep this book?" Now, I've learned that もらう means to receive (something). I would have ...
8
votes
3answers
658 views

Are there more irregular verbs like 行く?

I thought when you have a consonant-stem verb ending with -ku you replace it with -ita. For example kaku ("to write") becomes kaita. But this doesn't happen with iku, which becomes itta, so I guess ...
4
votes
1answer
254 views

What is the difference between 越える and 越す and are they truly transitive verbs?

My question arose when I was trying to rationalise the first two sentences below. I wondered if these two verbs (越すand 越える) formed a pair with one transitive, one intransitive (like 消える & 消す)with ...
6
votes
2answers
251 views

What's the difference between 捕らえる and 捕まえる? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Fun with synonyms - “to grab/catch/capture” From my current understanding, 捕らえる means 'to capture', while 捕まえる is used to mean 'to arrest'. Is this correct? And is 捕まる ...