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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2
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3answers
138 views

~ておく / とく for preparation (Conjugation and nuance)

A few quick questions regarding ~ておく and the casual form ~とく Firstly, when changing from ~ておく to the more casual ~とく I'm assuming the verb is first conjugated to the ~て form then the ~て is dropped ...
4
votes
3answers
819 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
89 views

Causative form + te form + another verb construction

In this specific case: 取らせて頂いた So, what's the meaning of such a construction? I understand what each thing does alone (the causative form, the te form and the verb in past indicative), But what ...
4
votes
2answers
167 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
151 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) ...
0
votes
1answer
77 views

Understanding かなでたり

I was reading a page (http://kids.goo.ne.jp/shirabemono/detail.html?id=153), but I couldn't understand this phrase: 音楽は、音をきいたりかなでたりして楽しむものだね。 I understand the "tari form" (or whatever it is ...
8
votes
1answer
121 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
votes
1answer
107 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
150 views

“は + verb” instead of “を + verb”?

I have stumbled upon instances where "は + verb" is used in situations where I thought "を + verb" should be used. For example recently I've seen "その覚悟はしてました" (I was prepared for that) and "楽な道は選ぶな" ...
4
votes
1answer
394 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
74 views

Two-verb compounds: 振る舞う: plain-form + plain-form verb instead of masu-form + plain form?

I finished Core 10000 (an Anki deck) and 振る舞う (to entertain) was one of the last ones to pop up. I find it interesting because to me it appears to be a combination of plain form 振る (to shake) + ...
0
votes
1answer
231 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
45 views

Question about a word form 仕留める -> 仕留めりゃ [duplicate]

I've been trying to improve my Japanese reading skills by reading untranslated manga. I encountered this unfamiliar word form though. (I only have N3 Level Japanese.) 仕留めりゃ。 I know the root word ...
4
votes
3answers
270 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。- ...
5
votes
0answers
178 views

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 ...
1
vote
3answers
185 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
740 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?
12
votes
4answers
691 views

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 ...
7
votes
4answers
760 views

Have you tried XYZ before?

I English I can ask somebody if they've experienced or sampled a food or drink, or even an activity with this verb: Here try this and tell me if you like it. I tried koregusu once but I didn't like ...
6
votes
1answer
85 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 ...
10
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2answers
356 views

自~/他~ペア:逆の形 — Transitive/Intransitive pairs: opposite forms

I've noticed (through much frustration) that many 自~/他~ pairs have "opposite" forms; particularly with the ~u and ~eru types. For example, 焼く・焼ける are opposite from 開く・開ける. 焼く (他) - パンを焼く ("Bake ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Is 「たくなった」 a typo or a grammatical structure that is different than I think it is?

I have this sentence in my JLPT exercise book: 彼{かれ}は有名人{ゆうめいじん}ゆえの不自由{ふじゆう}さから逃{に}げたくなった。 The translation offered is: He wanted to get away from the difficulties of being a celebrity. ...
8
votes
2answers
396 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
265 views

〜たい form vs. 〜てほしい

When first learning Japanese grammar, one is usually taught that to express a desire to do something one should use the 〜たい form of the verb: 東京へ行きたい On some occasions, however, I've also seen ...
5
votes
2answers
256 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
504 views

Positive Past Plain form of Iku is Itta not iita?

I thought when you get a type one verb ending with "ku" you replace it with ita. For example Kaku (to write) goes to Kaita. So I'm guessing Iku is an exception, does this happen with other verbs too ? ...
4
votes
1answer
258 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
132 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
97 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
144 views

Verb + うる form. What is this?

Can't really understand this form: I've seen already this form with 考える and translated it like this: 考えうることだ - conceivable (possible) However how do you translate with other verbs? is this ...
4
votes
2answers
96 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 ...
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 ...
5
votes
2answers
256 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
22
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
418 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
438 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
230 views

What forms of verbs (potential or passive) are more frequent in Japanese?

A simple question to those speaking and the native ones. What of the two forms (potential verbs or passive voice verbs) in Japanese verbs is more frequent? This question may seem strange, but I need ...
1
vote
1answer
80 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
votes
1answer
100 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
24
votes
5answers
2k views

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
votes
1answer
136 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?
41
votes
9answers
1k views

How should I choose between [知]{し}る and わかる?

Both 知る and わかる get used for "know", "understand", "learn", "find out", and various other concepts. How do you know which to use when? Are there any rules to help you decide? Additionally, both of ...
6
votes
2answers
617 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
votes
1answer
237 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
405 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
353 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
565 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
93 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 ...