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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1answer
442 views

aru vs iru : Why is aru in “Watakushi-wa untenshu-ga aru” (私は運転手がある) unacceptable?

There is a generally expressed rule in Japanese that, when declaring existence, いる is used for animate subjects, and ある is used for inanimate subjects. There are some interesting variations in what is ...
16
votes
1answer
1k views

ひらく / とじる vs. あける / しめる

The verbs ひらく and あける both mean to open, and とじる and しめる both mean to close. I understand that ひらく and とじる are antonym pairs, as are あける and しめる, but have never been clear on the difference between ...
5
votes
1answer
857 views

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 ...
8
votes
3answers
379 views

What conjugation/form is the ませ (for example: いらっしゃいませ)?

I know it's used for greetings in a restaurant or store. But what type of verb conjugation (ex: polite, plain, honorific, imperative, or something else) is it? Is it used with other verbs? Is it ...
5
votes
1answer
389 views

なり as an archaic 'to be'?

In the following saying: 時は金なり。 What exactly is なり? My dictionaries seem to give a number of different options that could all explain its use here. Is it 成る? Is it 也, an archaic version of です ...
5
votes
1answer
322 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
447 views

Switch between transitives and intransitives

There are situations where transitives and intransitives are switched without any clear reason. For example, a transitive verb is usually used to describe a situation like this: タクシーが街を流す ...
5
votes
2answers
545 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
80 views

why is “know” expressed as 知っています, and what does 知ります really mean? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why is 知りません the negative form of 知っています? I'm posting the question as suggested by Zhen Lin and troyen. What that said, why is that? And a secondary question, when would ...
2
votes
2answers
198 views

What is って doing in this sentence?

From Noir, Episode 2 (anime). I don't get what the って is doing in this sentence. For context, the father came home early from work. He quickly answers his wife in the first sentence then in the ...
15
votes
2answers
3k views

Why is 知りません the negative form of 知っています?

I'm reading Minna no Nihongo (Chapter 15) and it says what I wrote in the question. I would think the negative would be 知っていません。
2
votes
1answer
445 views

What is the difference between 借りる and 貸す

I've seen them before used as borrow and lend. So I've been a bit confused on when to use which verb? What's the difference? Is there a difference?
12
votes
2answers
371 views

What is the te-form of 問う?

What is the correct te-form of 問う? Is it 問って or 問うて or both?
1
vote
1answer
202 views

Is 死ぬ the only verb ending in -ぬ? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Plain verbs that end with ぬ other than 死ぬ 死ぬ{しぬ} is the only verb that I know that is ending in -ぬ. So, are there any other verbs ending in -ぬ?
1
vote
1answer
168 views

Differences between 出るand 去る when expressing someone leaving

When expressing "to leave," as in "I left the store," or "I can leave the country," is there a difference in nuance or meaning between the verbs 出る and 去る? まあ、少なくとも、この国を出ることはできるな。 Well, at ...
4
votes
1answer
278 views

What are the exceptions 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
354 views

Rare/Obsolete verb forms

I have noticed that some verbs have this "rare" or old form that is no longer used much (if at all). Here are some examples. おそる: おそるべき者 → One who is feared ほむ: ほむべきお方【かた】 → Seen often in my ...
4
votes
1answer
434 views

Difference between に and が for intransitive verbs

What is the difference between 試験に受かる and 試験が受かる? It seems that the first one means "to pass an exam" while the second one is more like "passing exams" (really not sure about it). In which cases ...
7
votes
1answer
770 views

How did the verb 掛ける come to have many meanings?

I think that this verb is the only one I've seen in Japanese that has so many definitions. とる and つく have multiple definitions as well (quite a bit IIRC). But not as much as 掛ける. In any case, I am ...
4
votes
2answers
320 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.
9
votes
1answer
212 views

Usage of doubled non-past tense “た”

I've recently been noticing some patterns which look like two repeated past-tense verbs, but I think which indicate a command rather than the past tense. For example: さあ、行った行った。 "Get along with ...
9
votes
3answers
392 views

What is the difference between ~すぎ and ~すぎる?

When I was playing a video game a few months ago, I noticed that some of the characters (mostly young teen females, in case it matters) kept saying ~すぎ instead of ~すぎる. For example, when one of the ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

What is the difference between 見える【みえる】/聞こえる【きこえる】 and 見られる【みられる】/聞ける【きける】?

In Japanese, there is a potential form to express that it's possible for something to be done. My own examples of potential form: 辛【から】い食【た】べ物【もの】が食【た】べられる。 (I can eat spicy foods.) ...
7
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1answer
283 views

<verb stem>+たかない

Is [verb stem] + たかない different than [verb stem] + たくない? What does it mean?
7
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1answer
321 views

What's the difference between these two transitive verb forms?

I've always been little fuzzy on transitive verbs, something which I was reminded of when looking at this answer. The answer says that 終{お}わらせる, 終{お}える, 済{す}ませる, and 済{す}ます are all transitive. They ...
12
votes
3answers
391 views

Do viruses あります or います?

Do viruses あります or います? Currently, I'm under the impression that animals and humans use います (though see this question), while plants and inanimate objects use あります. Do viruses fall under the latter ...
12
votes
2answers
784 views

What are the valid potential forms of special “suru” verbs?

Good afternoon all, From what I understand, special "suru" verbs only have one potential form which is formed using the syntax: [verb-stem] + [せる] For example, 愛す・愛する → 愛せる and 訳す・訳する → 訳せる. ...
5
votes
2answers
473 views

When is 終わる used as a transitive verb?

On Are 終わる and 済ませる synonyms?, there were some questions whether 終わる is used as a transitive verb. Space ALC seems to have a few results for を終わる, but far more for を終わらせる and を終える. Looking at sense ...
7
votes
4answers
799 views

Are 終{お}わる and 済{す}ませる synonyms?

I know that they both mean "finish". But I wonder if there are situations or contexts where you can use one but not the other.
7
votes
1answer
259 views

Does the verb 死ぬ has a 死ぬる form?

I have come across a conjugation of 死ぬ verb which I've never heard before. It is 死ぬる, I have heard it in a TV show, you can see the relevant part in this video. Is this a depreciated form? If so, ...
8
votes
1answer
188 views

Dative subjects

I just finished reading this paper, which describes the situations in which Japanese allows a dative subject and a nominative object. For example, the verb 分かる can be used like this: 彼に英語が分かる "彼" is ...
5
votes
4answers
528 views

Is there a general/default word for “to wear”?

I've been introduced to 着る (for things you put on like a shirt) and 履く (for things you put on like pants) in class, but is there a general way to just say something like wear clothes? Or must the ...
5
votes
2answers
608 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
515 views

How many verb endings to express “do this (please)”?

I'm familiar with the て and てください forms of a verb to give a command/request and request, respectively. However, I've run across these other forms and really don't know which to use in what situation. ...
7
votes
2answers
237 views

What is the difference between あるまい and ありません?

From what I understand, they both mean "is not". But from what I've been able to gather from the few times I've heard it, it seems that あるまい may not be as strong or definitive as ありません. Am I on the ...
5
votes
3answers
662 views

How do you express “did” + verb in Japanese?

For instance, you can ask someone: Did you go to the store today? or You went to the store today? Would those both be translated as: 今日、乾物屋{かんぶつや}に行ったか? Or is there another way to ...
4
votes
2answers
367 views

〜(ら)れる - Ambiguity between passive and Keigo

In my Japanese Bible, it often uses the 〜(ら)れる Keigo form when talking about God's actions. However, there are certain cases when talking about both people and God in the same sentence where the use ...
4
votes
3answers
498 views

meaning of ~てやる

does ~てやる work the same way as ~てあげる does? does ~てやる have any other meanings?
0
votes
1answer
285 views

How is this verb being conjugated and contracted?

" こんな馬鹿みたいな帽子かぶせやがって!!” " こんなくそみたいな帽子かぶせやがって!!” " こんなくそみたいな帽子かぶせんじゃねーよ!!” I believe I'm looking at a conjugation and contraction of the verb かぶる. What is the original conjugation and ...
4
votes
2answers
361 views

Stem classification 終止形 vs 連体形(しゅうしけい vs れんたいけい)

What is the difference between 終止形 and 連体形 and which one is the correct term for the dictionary form? The Japanese Grammar Wiki entry says... Terminal form (終止形 shūshikei) -u is used at the ...
1
vote
2answers
337 views

Action verbs and conditional ~ば

I understand もし寝過ごせば、起こしてください is wrong. I believe instead it should be 寝過ごしたら、起こしてください。 In "A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar" it says the second part of the sentence "...can be a command, a ...
4
votes
2answers
504 views

How to Convert Na-adjectives and Nouns to the ば-form?

I am practicing the ば-conditional and my main reference right now is the oxford grammar book. It only mentions how to convert keiyoushi or i-adjectives and not keiyoudoushi or na-adjectives. Can ...
5
votes
2answers
378 views

How is 「なう」most commonly appended to verbs?

I read the other two questions on なう on this site, and I want to know what the most common way to add なう after a verb is. I've seen なう most frequently with nouns. This is supported by ...
3
votes
1answer
438 views

How to understand the contractionしていて、/-てて

I am trying to better understand this sentence: 金さんは、微妙なニュアンスまで気にされてて、すごいですね。 It's amazing how interested you are in these subtle nuances. Is the following an accurate understanding of this ...
2
votes
2answers
361 views

もらえる, 見える rules

From what I learned, もらえる = もらうことが出来る 'can be got' 見える = 見ることが出来る 'can be seen' This looks like there is some kind of a more general rule for this transformation. If there is a ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

How is なっている different from なっていた?

I apologize if I am beating a dead horse with this question but is this correct? なっている: have (already) become as opposed to なっていた: had become so often the meaning of なっている can be thought ...
5
votes
1answer
178 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
233 views

Is the pitch data correct in this pdf file intended for learners? [closed]

(If the question is inappropriate here, please direct me to an appropriate site or forum) In an effort to simplify the acquisition of pitch in L2 learners (ie. myself), I created a pdf document that ...
5
votes
2answers
327 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
670 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 ...