動詞. A class of words which describe events or states and can be inflected to indicate tense, aspect, voice, and so forth. In citation form, all Modern Japanese verbs end in -(r)u.

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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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2answers
214 views

「思っているようです。」or 「思っている。」 for describing another person's opinion

As explained in the thread Difference between そうです、 ようです and らしいです., when describing what you think are the thoughts of another person, might 「思っているようです。」 be more appropriate than 「思っている。」? (1) 今{いま}...
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1answer
167 views

Can the volitional form be used when the speaker is not intending to do the action themselves?

From what I understand the volitional form is often used to mean "let's do" something, e.g. 行こう can mean "let's go". Can this form be use when the speaker themself is not going to perform the action? ...
6
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1answer
149 views

「〜がする」 the extended use of する (to do)

I'm going through some basic grammar and this one website teaches the "extended" use of the word する. There is a confusing example which looks like: 波の音 がする The translation is: "(I) hear the ...
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1answer
453 views

What's this -れり ending?

I'm really a 初心者 when it comes to Classical Japanese, and I guess that is what I have here... 一日の苦労は一日にて足れり. 【聖】 Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Please, can someone tell me what ...
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1answer
416 views

Why do Japanese people 'teach' others their phone numbers?

One of the common mistakes that Japanese people make when speaking in English is to translate the expression "電話番号を教えて" directly into English - "to teach a phone number", which can confuse native ...
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3answers
1k views

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。- ...
2
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3answers
536 views

Difference between 建てられた and 建てました?

新しい大学のビルが建てられた。 新しい大学のビルを建てました。 Both translate to: A new university building was built. Even though the translation is the same (by my understanding) something to do with the meaning has to be ...
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2answers
2k 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?
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4answers
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Am I coming or going? 戻ってくる vs 戻っていく

A little while ago I was in a shop, and about 5 minutes after I left, they phoned me to tell me I had left my USB stick there. I said I would head back and pick it up. I used 戻{もど}って行{い}く to mean "I'...
6
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1answer
132 views

How do the verbs 得る and もらう differ?

I know two verbs which are translated as "to get/receive," namely, 得る and もらう. From the usages in which I've seen them used, they seem to be interchangeable; are my suspicions correct or is there a ...
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2answers
520 views

What is the nuance when は directly follows a verb in plain form?

It seems like this is a remnant of (or reference to) older forms of Japanese. Is that all there is to it, or does it have special meaning? Examples from songs: 歌声 笑い声 満ちる大空 目指すは憧れ (DuDiDuWa*...
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2answers
610 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 ...
6
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0answers
262 views

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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1answer
545 views

When to use 出て来る over 出る

Here is a sentence from the children's story ももたろう, describing when the child appears from within the giant peach. 桃の中から赤ちゃんが出てきました。 My dictionary lists 出て来る as meaning "to come out" with a note ...
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209 views

What are ある and わけ in 「どこにでもあるわけではありません」?

Here is the sentence for context. 独立系の映画館はシネコンと違っていて、チケットが安いのですが、どこにでもあるわけではありません。 My translation - Independent cinemas are different from multiplex ones as they have cheaper tickets but not ...
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2answers
2k views

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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2answers
3k views

How to distinguish between passive and potential forms of the verb?

I've read that potential form of the ru-verb is formed by replacing る with られる, which is exactly the same for the passive form of ru-verbs. How can we tell the passive form and potential apart in this ...
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3answers
3k views

ことができる versus V~える form

Way back in the day when I was first learning Japanese, I learned that you could add ことができる to a verb to indicate potential. Like so: 食{た}べることができる (I) can eat (something) It became my ...
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2answers
892 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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1answer
86 views

遣{つか}う vs. 費{つい}やす

Recently I wanted to learn the equivalents to the common money-related verbs of English such as buy, pay, sell, and spend. I found two words for "spend" and would like to know what the difference is ...
3
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1answer
163 views

How can transitive and passive be combined in 茎を編んで作られる?

In the following sentence, taken from an article about tatami the transitive and passive verbs (編む&作る)seem to be combined into one phrase to express what I have said translation but it does not seem ...
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2answers
4k views

Does the volitional form of a verb mean both “lets” and “I want to”?

I was taught ages ago that the volitional form of a verb means "let's" do something. For example, if you take 行{い}く and change it to 行{い}こう, you get "let's go". However, I feel like I can use the ...
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5answers
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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
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1answer
188 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?
6
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2answers
2k 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
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1answer
307 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 ...
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2answers
658 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 ...
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2answers
753 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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2answers
112 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 ...
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3answers
3k 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 ...
4
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1answer
401 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 I'...
5
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1answer
139 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. ...
3
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1answer
172 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 ...
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1answer
231 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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2answers
1k 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 ...
9
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1answer
875 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 ...
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3answers
544 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 ...
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1answer
153 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 ...
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2answers
344 views

Difference between 学習する and 習う?

Is there any difference between 学習する and 習う?
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1answer
314 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
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3answers
229 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 ...
4
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2answers
529 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 ...
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1answer
693 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
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1answer
389 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 ...
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2answers
306 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 exist....
2
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3answers
996 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 .....
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
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2answers
329 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
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2answers
183 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 ...