動詞. 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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What is 方 used for (when attached to a た-verb)?

I have the following sentence: 早く行った方が良かったでしょう。 Here, if we take it apart we shall have: 早く(Adverb) 行った(Verb, Past tense) 方(?) が(GA, Subject particle) 良かったでしょう(Verb, Past tense) 。 What is ...
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Correct usage of [verb stem] + に + [another verb]

I'm a little unclear on the use a verb stem, followed by に and another verb. Take these two examples: 特別なビザをもらって行った 特別なビザをもらいに行った I think the first means "I went with a special visa", but ...
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431 views

Asking a question with “da” and “datta”

We use "desu" and "deshita" to make the polite form and "ka" to make it a question, for example: Tokyo ga suki desu ka? (Do you like Tokyo?) Tokyo ga suki deshita ka? (Did you like Tokyo?) How can ...
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752 views

What's the difference between 話せる and 話す?

I came across [話]{はな}せます in the Japanese WOTD chat room. あなたは英語が話せますか? Can you speak English? What's the difference between it and [話]{はな}します? (Googling got some hits, but they were from user ...
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338 views

Can there be such a thing as のんでましょう?

I know のみましょう but I was wondering if the above was legal japanese as well.
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672 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 ...
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708 views

Passive verb forms for intransitive verbs

Okay, so I'm confused about passive verbs. From how I understand it, the verb is performed on the subject. but how come you can say something like 明日の会議に行かれるんですか? Are you going to tomorrow's ...
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562 views

For verbs with irregular humble/honorific forms, are the regular forms still used?

There are verbs with irregular humble forms, e.g. the humble form of 借りる is 拝借する. For these verbs, are the "normal humble conjugations" still used, or considered grammatical? Would お借りする be ...
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190 views

What's the difference between 信じる, 信用する and 信頼する?

What's the difference between 信じる, 信用する and 信頼する ? How can I know which one to use? According to my dictionary they all mean "to trust". Are they interchangeable? For example, I trust you.
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When using もう and まだ does a negative verb always have to be in the (ている) present continuous form?

When using もう and まだ in a negative sense, does the negative verb always have to be in the present continuous form i.e. 来ていません、食べていません etc? If so why is that? Example sentences: いいえ、まだ買っていません。- ...
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193 views

What does され do in this sentence?

震災で家族を亡くしたOtoyaは、売られた奉公先で暴行されそうになったところを、家の跡取りである一威(Kazui)に助けられる. I was thinking that since 暴行 can be a する verb, that maybe され had something to do with that, but I'm really not sure. Can someone ...
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120 views

連用形+は+せん (殺しはせん。) meaning? [duplicate]

The line 「殺しはせん。」 is said by a character in anime. What is せん here (I assume it's somehow related to negative form of する)? Plain negative (I'm not killing you)? Volitional neg. (I'm not intending to ...
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419 views

Use of ことです in this sentence

This is the example sentence: 私の趣味はギターを弾くことです。 My translation - Playing the guitar is my hobby. However, why is it not: '私の趣味はギターを弾きます。’ Basically I don't understand this use of 'ことです'.
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140 views

How to choose between 「いれる」 and 「はいれる」?

The questions is how to choose between 「いれる」 and 「はいれる」. As far as I know, the same kanji is used for both (入れる). How can one make the distinction when reading a text?
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330 views

Does “私は山田さんが描きました。” make sense in Japanese?

Is this sentence put together correctly? I'm trying to say "I drew (name on person)" formally. Drew as in "drew a picture of". In this case I will be using Yamada-san as an example. 私は山田さんが描きました。 ...
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146 views

Keigo form of ~てみる

What is sonkeigo form of verb-て/で+みる? I've heard somewhere 思い出してごらんになる as a keigo form of 思い出してみる, but I doubt if it's correct.
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176 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 ...
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846 views

What would be the literal meaning of the causative form here? 暴風警報発令中のため本日の営業はお休みとさせていただきます。

暴風警報発令中のため本日 bōfū keihō hatsurei chū notame honjitsu の営業はお休みとさせて no eigyō wa oyasumi to sasete いただきます。 itadakimasu. 暴風 bōfū = storm winds 警報 keihō = warning 発令 hatsurei = official ...
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78 views

How to turn an independent clause into a subject?

こんにちはみなさん! I was talking to my niece and she told me she was learning to play the piano, so I wanted to say "I want to hear Asuka-chan play the piano!" but then I realized I wasn't entirely certain ...
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131 views

Meaning/Breakdown of 答えの出しようのない疑問

I saw this sentence in a book: そんな答えの出しようのない疑問を、おそらくこの場に集められたプレーヤー全員が考えたのだろう。 The fan translation I had reads: Most players who had been forced here would have been asking this answer-less ...
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283 views

What's the grammatical breakdown of “知りもしないわ”?

Can you do this with any verb? e.g."食べもしないわ" Also what's the meaning of "わ" at the of verbs like "壊すわ"?
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How many forms can a Japanese verb take?

Japanese verbs are quite complex compared to English verbs (Most English verbs have five or six forms and to be has eight not including archaic forms). Their agglutinative nature means they have ...
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416 views

Meaning and usage of suffix -まい

According to the WWWJDIC, the verbal suffix まい can mean: (1) probably isn't (doesn't, won't, etc.) (2) don't (doesn't) intend to; intend not to (3) must not; (when used in an imperative ...
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324 views

What are the rules of using に and で with regard to 住む and 勤める?

I am going over the cases when に and で are used with location. According to the "Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar", に is used when something exists in a specific location (page 299) and で is used ...
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285 views

と言います vs.と言われています

I'm playing The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past(ゼルダの伝説:神々のトライフォース)and this sentence came up (spoken by one of the 7 maidens): ハイリアの民は、ふしぎな力を あやつることが、できたと言います。 I think this means "It is ...
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Causative-Passive Verbs: Vせられる and Vされる

Looking at the answer to this question, it seems that both 行かせられる and 行かされる are valid forms of the causative-passive of 行く. I've only been taught the first usage, so I have a number of related ...
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196 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 ...
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87 views

How is 置く used here?

A dialogue between a monk and a shogun (fiction), fragment for context: Shogun: 「生きておれば死を望み、死に果てれば生を望む……全く、御坊に言われるまでもない。 人の心の働きというのは本当に勝手なものよ。どこまでも満足せぬように出来ておる」 Monk: ...
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160 views

「聞こえなくなった」 or 「聞けなくなった」?

I wanted to say: "I became unable to hear." I said: "聞こえなくなった" but I was corrected and told to say: "聞けなくなった" That sounds strange to me. I've never even heard the verb form "聞ける" what does ...
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137 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. ...
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254 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?
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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 ...
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553 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 ...
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426 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 ...
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531 views

What are the “slots” in the Japanese agglutinative verb system?

In another question we established that Japanese is an agglutinating language (more here), if only in its verb system. Since it is not traditional in Japanese grammar or teaching to go into this ...
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474 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 ...
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125 views

Can なっている represent an ongoing change as well as a resultant (completed) change?

From reading a bunch, I've been under the vague impression that [adverb]+なる can be interpreted both progressively and resultatively; according to this chat log, since it can take time, it is a ...
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569 views

Difference between お腹がすいた and お腹がすいている ― 「お腹がすいた」と「お腹がすいている」の違いは?

A few weeks ago a Japanese friend told me the way to say I'm hungry is お腹がすいた, and today, doing an exercise in my textbook, I found the following sentence: はい、食べたいです。お腹が空いていますから。 Is there any ...
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Verb classification of honorific/humble verbs

These verbs: いらっしゃる おっしゃる くださる なさる More? Are all listed as 五段 verbs, but they don't follow the usual conjugation rules for them. For example: 命令形: いらっしゃる -> いらっしゃい, not いらっしゃれ 連用形: Same as ...
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Iterative / repetitive る evolving from classical 連体形【れんたいけい】

This is somewhat related to the discussion of classical auxiliary verb ふ, mentioned in the answer to snailboat's question, What is the わ in 忌まわしい and 嘆かわしい?. Another apparent iterative / repetitive ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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How to parse ~なくたって?

I've been running into verbs such as 言わなくたって recently. I found these sentences using a sample sentence search and it seems to be a stronger form of ~なくても 見てなくたっていいよ。 You don't have to stand ...
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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 ...
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255 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 ...
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210 views

Passive vs Active form of verbs when used as adjectives

The passive/active verb preference question has been discussed before ( Passive vs. active form of verb (past) What is the difference? ), but I had a specific question. When a verb is used in the ...
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670 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 ...
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215 views

What's the difference between ~れれば and ~れば?

別に僕は周りを無視して本に没頭したいわけでもないので、見ろと言われれば見る Would it mean the same thing if 言われれば was replaced with 言われば? What's the difference if any between ~れれば and ~れば? I'm also not certain of the meaning of the ...
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368 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 ...
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302 views

How do 行く and 来る *really* work?

We have a question on this site, What is the proper differentiation between 来る and 行く?, which does seem to correctly explain the basic general differentiation between 行く and 来る, which is that it is ...