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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2answers
217 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
336 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
405 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
171 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 ...
3
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1answer
136 views

the meaning of the expression あたいがとる

I was reading a short text on Aozora: お星さま 小川未明 澄(すみ)ちゃん、澄(すみ)ちゃん、なにあげよう。 あのお星(ほし)さま、とっておくれ。 あんまり高(たか)くて、とれません。 そんなら、あたいがとってみよう。 お星(ほし)さま、お星(ほし)さま、なにあげよう。 のどがかわいた、水(みず)おくれ。 ...
3
votes
1answer
126 views

隠れていなくて??! Is this correct?

I found this in a phrase: 隠れていなくて. I can translate it simply as "aren't hiding" or "were hiding"? By the way, is it correct or is better "隠れていません" By the way, the whole phrase is: ...
3
votes
1answer
97 views

Doubling “Moving” Verbs (行く and 来る)

I sometimes see moving or directional verbs doubled up, with the first verb in て form. I think my professor mentioned that this just sometimes happens but means the same as if you didn't have the ...
5
votes
1answer
118 views

What is the difference between 包む(つつむ)and 包む(くるむ)?

The verbs つつむ and くるむ and both written 包む, and according to my English-to-Japanese dictionary both have the meaning "to wrap". くるむ is glossed "おおう", while つつむ is glossed "すっぽりと覆う", but I am having ...
3
votes
3answers
334 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
332 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
195 views

What does おくれ mean in this context?

それでは、このお金をあげるから、おじさんにカメを売っておくれ What does おくれ mean in this context? What is this verb form?
3
votes
1answer
319 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
284 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
136 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
683 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
209 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
147 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
494 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
239 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
218 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
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2answers
1k 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?
6
votes
1answer
671 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 ...
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1answer
110 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
181 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
403 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
167 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
185 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
293 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
323 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
351 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
381 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
413 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
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1answer
227 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
274 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
539 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
268 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
427 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
610 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
168 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
182 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
985 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
906 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
217 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
215 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
547 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
196 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
547 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
523 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?