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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54 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
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1answer
212 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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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
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3answers
223 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。- ...
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143 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 ...
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vote
3answers
165 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
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2answers
679 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
659 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
725 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
83 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
325 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 ...
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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. ...
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2answers
387 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
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1answer
255 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 ...
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2answers
244 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 ...
7
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3answers
482 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
257 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
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0answers
125 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
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1answer
85 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
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2answers
138 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
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2answers
91 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
1k 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 ...
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2answers
216 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
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 ...
21
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3answers
991 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
407 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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2answers
411 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
223 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
83 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? ...
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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
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1answer
97 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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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 ...
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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
133 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?
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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 ...
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votes
2answers
595 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
231 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
383 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
336 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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votes
2answers
550 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 ...
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vote
2answers
92 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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votes
3answers
443 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
195 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
111 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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1answer
86 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
70 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
389 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
169 views

Usage (correctness) of だと after verbs

I've noticed だと showing up after verbs for a while now in various forms of media, such as blogs, anime, regular TV shows & also when speaking to Japanese people. However, I was originally told ...
9
votes
1answer
255 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
132 views

Questions about my translation of this conversation

I'm not sure my translation for this brief conversation is correct, particularly the last sentence, so would like it double checked please. カレン: ニールさんは音楽の学生ですね。 ニール: そうですが、どうして? カレン: ...