11
votes
4answers
1k views

In what way is the negative form of a verb an adjective?

I was reading the wikipedia page on "predicate," where it mentioned that in Japanese, the negative form of a verb is an adjective. I thought that this was too expansive a statement to be true, but ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

食べたそうだ vs. 食べそうだ, 静かだそうだ vs. 静かそうだ

I saw this as a comment on this question, Why does そう in 「美味しいそう」 not mean "seem" the way I think it should?-そう-in-「美味しいそう」-not-mean-seem-the-way-i-think-it-should, and would love to ...
4
votes
1answer
527 views

ですよ in Kansai-ben

What does the sentencing ending particle ですよ become in Kansai-ben?
7
votes
1answer
232 views

Can a cathedral be referred to as a 寺?

I was listening to a song Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame in Japanese (the intro, The Bells of Notre Dame or ノートルダムの鐘), and I noticed that they referred to the cathedral as a 「てら」. I thought that was ...
6
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

understanding 対する

これが私の手紙に対する彼の返事だ。 This is his answer to my letter. 自分の中の彼に対する気持ちをどう表現していいのか分からないの。I don’t know how to express how I really feel to him. 彼に対して、彼を好きという私の気持ちを、どう表せばいいか、わからない。 I don't know how ...
2
votes
1answer
244 views

Explain what はめになる is and give some examples

I heard that it means something like "to get stuck with something." Can you explain what this means and give some examples?
5
votes
1answer
202 views

How can I express “and/or”?

When stating two things e.g. A and B , and not counting the possibility of "neither", there exists A, B and A and B. To express all of them at once, "and/or" is commonly used. What are the ways to ...
4
votes
1answer
340 views

How is 3.11 pronounced?

When referring to the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear incident, is "3.11" pronounced "San gatsu ju ichi nichi", or is there a shortened version, like "nine one one" or "September eleven" for the ...
2
votes
1answer
159 views

Listing using ひとつ?

I learned from Nihongoresources that: An interesting note is on the "number of problems" I mentioned; while in English you would list problems (or rules, or whatever) as "First, ....., second, .......
4
votes
1answer
319 views

What does the idiom 体が余る mean?

I found a list of Japanese idioms (without translations) that I wanted to study, so I sat down and looked up the meanings. Most of them I found in my trusty denshi jishyo, and a couple of them I had ...
3
votes
1answer
175 views

What's the difference between 両方 and 双方?

What's the difference between 両方 and 双方? I am definitely more acquainted with 両方, so I guess it is used for a wider variety of things, but could anyone tell me the specifics of what they can or cannot ...
3
votes
1answer
711 views

things that look like long vowels but aren't

Are there words written with "ei" or "ou" that are pronounced with both vowels instead of as a long vowel? I think this is true in cases like 拾う and している, but are there cases of it happening where you'...
12
votes
2answers
5k views

When to use ~ので vs ~から

I was looking in A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar when I saw something on page 329 which truly shocked me: "node cannot be used and kara must be used [... when ...] the main clause is a ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

How to ask for a refund?

I want to ask for a refund? For example, if I want to refund a train ticket. How do I ask the train master? I think it is not a 返品。 Do you need certain politeness?
3
votes
1answer
144 views

What is the most common way to pronounce 運?

So 運 is spelled うん, but I seem to hear most of my friends pronounce it as あん. My friends and family are 20-60 years of age and come from mostly Tokyo and Ibaraki area. I am living in the US now and so ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

Why does the g tends to sound more like a m or n?

I have heard words such as shigoto, sugata, sugu (ni) and they end up sounding like shimoto, sunata, and sunu ni. Even in sentence such as Haru ga kimasu. I've heard sound like: Haru na kimasu. So ...
3
votes
1answer
157 views

Reading of 起き上がり小法師

In particular, of the 小法師 part. I this article, we have 小法師 as こぼうし in the title, which makes sense to me given the kanji. However, upon looking up 起き上がり小法師, I find the reading おきあがりこぼし(without the ...
12
votes
2answers
509 views

“y”-sound insertion after intervocalic ん

The pronunciation of intervocalic ん is a topic by itself, with the surrounding vowels tending to become nasalized, and ん itself maybe being pronounced as a nasal vowel. But that's not what I'm asking ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Why biiru hitotsu rather than ippai?

While having Ghengis Khan with some dou-min, one of them asked for "biiru hitotsu". While I could understand the biiru, I was surprised that ippai wasn't used. I understand that (number)-tsu is valid ...
17
votes
2answers
532 views

Why does 語 contain 五?

I'm aware the two kanji are often pronounced the same, but why does one contain the other in it?
5
votes
3answers
294 views

What role does よかった play in this exchange?

It's from twitter. hetusa: 福岡県筑後、羽犬塚から行方不明になっていた叔母(73才)が発見された、と知らせがありました。 itoi_shigesato: よかった。 hetusa: ありがとうございました My feeling is that it says something like 'just so'. Also, it common to respond ...
7
votes
2answers
703 views

What would be the difference in meaning between 違っていた and 違った?

昔は違っていた。 昔は違った。 It was different a long time ago. Do these two Japanese sentences mean the same thing? Here is the sentence in the original context. The translations are not mine, but are ...
6
votes
2answers
430 views

Is キモい a feminine expression?

I understand that キモい comes from 気持ち悪い and I have only heard it used by women. I am wondering if it is exclusively used by women like how ending sentences with わ or かしら is only used by women.
10
votes
2answers
363 views

Are we done here?

Today I was getting help from someone behind a counter and when I had handed in my form and shown my ID, I wasn't sure if I needed to do anything else, or if I was free to go. Usually in that ...
3
votes
2answers
147 views

Is 東西二つ idiomatic?

I came across this sentence about a traditional festival in Japan: 阿月の神明祭は、阿月地区を東西二つに分けて行われる災厄除けや病気除け、豊作を祈願して行われる。 (link) The general meaning is clear, but what I don't fully understand is this ...
7
votes
1answer
442 views

苦手 in describing dislike of people

率直に言って彼女が苦手なのは、彼女はまず最初に他人の助けを求めるからです。 Frankly speaking, I dislike her, because the first thing she does is to ask other people for help. I would like to better understand the quality of ...
5
votes
3answers
951 views

How does だからって usually work?

馬鹿だからって知らないわけじゃない I translated this sentence as "It's not like I don't know that I'm stupid," while my friend who wrote it translated it as "I'm stupid, but I know that." So I feel I understand the ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the equivalent use of need and need + Verb?

If I see someone struggling to pick up a box, I'd say: "Do you need help with that?" Or I have to run an errand very soon, I could say: "I need to buy this gift by 4 pm." Or if someone's car has ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Apparent inconsistency in turning い-adjectives into nouns: 赤い→赤 vs 近い→近く

Consider these adjectives: 赤い 近い The い-declension works for sentence ending as well as directly modifying a noun: Now if I want to express the adjective as a noun, for example I'm talking about "...
5
votes
1answer
682 views

Confusion between causatives and intransitive-transitive

I read the answer to this question How different is 冷やかす from 冷やす? And 散らかす from 散らす? but somehow wasn't satisfied. What's the difference between the 2 causative forms ~す and ~せる, e.g. 待たす and ...
6
votes
2answers
189 views

How is 候 used in this line of Nōgaku dialogue?

I am studying some nōgaku. In particular, the play 卒都婆小町, which I find has some interesting, beautiful lines. At the start of the play, a priest says: これは[高野山]{こうやさん}より[出]{い}でたる[僧]{そう}にて[候]{そうろう}。[我]...
5
votes
2answers
182 views

How do you talk about things in parts?

I would like to say "It is written half in English and half in Japanese." When writing this myself I came up with: これは半分英語で半分日本語で書いていました。 but I think that 半分英語で半分日本語で does not sound ...
4
votes
1answer
255 views

The gender of 子

Is 子 ever used to refer to a boy, or is it always used for girls? Is 悪い子 used only for girls?
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Slang definitions of ハゲ

私に命令するな。何様だこのハゲ。 Don't tell me what to do! Who the fuck does this idiot think he is? Besides meaning bald, or a bald/balding person, when cursing, does ハゲ also just become a generic curse word ...
4
votes
1answer
282 views

Appropriateness of the word 膣外射精 in average adult conversations?

In discussing the marriage of Jin Akanishi and Meisa Kuroki, and why many young celebrities in Japan seem to fall into shotgun marriages, I wanted to use an equivalent for the term "withdrawal method",...
4
votes
1answer
792 views

How to hope something is going well?

I would like to hope that someone's small business is going well. I know if someone's business is going well they can say: 「店は繁盛している」 but, how can I say "I hope your store is prosperous/I hope ...
2
votes
1answer
394 views

Understanding ありやな

貯金も確かにありやな!! お金があったら何でも出来るし. I'm definitely into saving money too! If you have money you can do anything. My young friend wrote this to me. Would someone be kind enough to explain the やな for me?
4
votes
1answer
617 views

Particles in the Passive form causing me confusion (を、に、が)

Sometimes, I dont know what particles to use in the passive form に、を、が。 ワインを飲まれた ワインに飲まれた ワインが飲まれた I REALLY dont understand the difference between those three. Is the first one that uses を ...
1
vote
1answer
422 views

How to use こと when expressing the experience of something?

v.。。。ことが。。。。。 How can i talk about the experience of something using こと? 買うことがdきます。 would this be the experience of being able to buy? If you understand my problem please show me more examples!
3
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the Japanese for “I'll check it out, I will try and see”?

I found a form using 見て, and it seemed very useful, but I could never remember it. It means something like "I will try it out" or "I will try and see", and the Japanese form is something like 自転車見て... ...
10
votes
4answers
491 views

word search: voluntary pause between desire and action

Some years ago, I read that Japanese has a word (or idiomatic expression) that means roughly: The action of voluntary interposing a pause between the moment you desire something and the moment you ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Which kanji for はじめます? There seem to be two

I thought the kanji for はじめます was: 始めます However, one of my friends tweeted using 初: トマト鍋初めて食べたけどおいしかった Which is correct? Is there a difference in nuance between the two? jisho.org brings ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Sentence ending のを(だ)

I do not understand the meaning of のを: a. 彼は家を買った。 しかも大きい庭付きのを(だ)。 (だ is indicated as optional) Is it different from: b. 彼は家を買った。 しかも大きい庭付きだ。 (I'm not sure if this is grammatical) c. ...
8
votes
2answers
164 views

Dismissing an expectation

What can be said when I need to dismiss an expectation? Here are some examples of what I mean by "expectation": I ask someone what time it is, then I remembered that I'm actually wearing a watch. ...
5
votes
2answers
420 views

Does がち mean “in excess”?

I have been reading a daily article during 朝礼. One of the sentence used the word がち. The sample sentence is: 長所{ちょうしょ}は見逃{みのが}してしまいがちです。 Abundant of misses. I tried to ask my colleague ...
7
votes
3answers
369 views

How to sound more manly when sneaking popcorn into the cinema

OK, really esoteric question time: So I went to the cinema with a female friend on the weekend. I was going to buy some of the horrendously overpriced popcorn there, but then she said: 持ってきちゃった! ...
4
votes
1answer
351 views

Proper Terms For Representing GPS Coordinates

In another question, I mentioned using Kana to represent the GPS coordinates for: N 43° 09.725' W 077° 26.688' I used: キタ シジュウ サン ジスウ ク チョボ ナナヒャク ニジュウ ゴ フン kita shijuu san jisuu ku chobo ...
5
votes
1answer
350 views

What does the verb 好く do?

Observation: The verb 好く exists. 好く is transitive. By extension, "to like ~" is predicted to be: a. ~を好く。 However, empirical data shows that this pattern is the accepted form: b. ~が好きだ。 ...
7
votes
2answers
4k views

Is it natural to call elderly men ojiisan?

Is ojiisan an idiomatic word choice for a chronologically gifted man, akin to obaasan for elderly women? For example, when giving your seat to them on the train.

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