7
votes
2answers
1k views

what is the past tense of お腹が空いた?

if お腹が空いた means "I'm hungry", then what would be the past tense of お腹が空いた since (i think) it's already in the past tense?
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Does the (USA) English metaphor “Unable to see the forest for the trees” keep its meaning if translated verbatim into Japanese?

The phrase "Unable to see the forest for the trees" implies one is too entangled in a situation to understand what is transpiring from a larger context, and thus, unable to determine the correct ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

How many dialects are commonly used today?

Which dialects would one normally encounter when visiting/living in Japan (in popular places like Tokyo, Kyoto and and so on) or reading something produced in Japan?
6
votes
1answer
194 views

Dictionary form of verb followed by に

I've recently begun noticing that occasionally I'll see a dictionary form of the verb followed by the particle に, for example: 1.)まだ学校へ行くには早い時間です。 It's still too early to go to school. I've been ...
6
votes
2answers
310 views

Using both と and を with the verb 言う?

I've recently been reading Tobira and there was a sentence that I was really having trouble finding exactly what was going on in it. ...
6
votes
2answers
251 views

Difference between 回復【かいふく】, 修復【しゅうふく】, 復旧【ふっきゅう】 and 復興【ふっこう】

Here is the sentence: 約{やく}300年{ねん}前{まえ}の絵{かい}画{が}の __ が終{お}わり、~。 This sentence fragment is taken from JLPT1 test book. And there you have to pick one correct answer from 4 words to fill in the ...
6
votes
1answer
304 views

Kanji for におい - when do you use 匂い and when do you use 臭い?

Could someone help me understand when which kanji is used? For example I have seen 臭い on a packet of cat sand. I can't remember where I've seen the other but I found the following example sentence on ...
6
votes
1answer
482 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
195 views

Difference between 研究所 and 研究室

What is the difference between 研究所 and 研究室? Do both mean a research institute?
6
votes
1answer
858 views

Is there a Japanese equivalent of knock-knock jokes?

For those (non-natives, etc.) who maybe aren't familiar, knock-knock jokes are one of the lowest, most basic forms of American "comedy". They follow this format: A: Knock, knock B: Who's ...
6
votes
1answer
260 views

Why sometimes people change the way they say 明日 from あした to みょうにち or あす when confirming a reservation day over the phone?

I noticed that each time I get my haircut reservation to the day after the day conversation takes place, I hear the person on the other end changing the way he or she says 明日 from あした to あす or みょうにち, ...
6
votes
1answer
284 views

When is と added to onomatopoeia?

While at first I believed it was simply bound to each individual word, I've noticed that the same onomatopoeic word sometimes has と after it and sometimes it doesn't. Here's a case I stumbled upon: ...
6
votes
3answers
719 views

Japanese language “compression ratio”

Somewhat cryptic title, but a simple question. I start with the (logical?) assumption that kanji makes writing Japanese shorter than using romaji. How shorter is it compared to English written in ...
6
votes
1answer
539 views

What is the relation between the two verbs 思われる and 思う?

If 思われる is "its own verb," meaning "to seem;  to appear," and is independent of the separate verb 思う, meaning "to think," is there a conceptual relation between the two? I ask because I initially ...
6
votes
1answer
364 views

Pronunciation of ううん

The pitch contour of the interjection ううん has been described as high, low, middle. Alternatively, it has been described as a falling-rising tone. In either case, this appears to be unique in ...
6
votes
2answers
642 views

How do you say “Please tell your wife to get well soon”?

How do you convey that you wish someone's wife (or husband, mother, brother, etc.) to get well soon? I understand that you say お大事に if the person you speaking to directly is the one who is not well. ...
6
votes
1answer
214 views

How do we roll a ball along a street from A to B?

This question is a follow up to この道をまっすぐ行ってください。Why “を” and not “で”? posted earlier. If: 道で転ぶ = fallover on the road ボールが道を転がる = a ball rolled along the street 〜を転がす = roll something ...
6
votes
3answers
837 views

Which ところ is this?

I had my sentence of 今日は友達の車で警告を読んで、和英翻訳してみることにします ("Today I will read the warning in my friend's car and try to do a Japanese to English translation of it") corrected to become: ...
6
votes
2answers
735 views

Expressing neighborhood in Japanese

Something I have often stumbled on is the expression of "neighborhood" in Japanese. For most uses I find that 近所 works well. However, this usually seems to refer to a closer proximity than one would ...
6
votes
1answer
229 views

How can I express “you make a…/you'd make for a…”?

Do you know the English expression, "you make a"? It's pretty simple: You make a fine wife. It might be more correct as You'd make for a... but they're tenses are different then. I could ...
6
votes
2answers
328 views

ひき or 頭 for horses?

Initially I'd thought ひき is for small animals and 頭 is for animals that are not small ("big" animals) however EDICT (http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/cgi-bin/wwwjdic.cgi?1MUE%E3%81%B2%E3%81%8D) ...
6
votes
1answer
317 views

is 随分 of a higher degree than なかなか (with positive verb) ?

my dictionary shows both 随分 and なかなか (with positive verb) as "very/considerably" I was wondering is it true that 随分 is of a higher degree than なかなか? Like あんたなかなか勇敢だな。= 75% and あんた随分勇敢だな。 = 85%?
6
votes
1answer
215 views

How to choose a reading for 降る? ふる & くだる

I always read 降る as ふる but for a particular sentence I noticed that the reading was written as くだる. Are there any tips to help figure out which reading to use? Examples: たとえ雨が降ろうとサイクリングにいくぞ。 I ...
5
votes
1answer
130 views

Maths sentences: 足す and 掛ける

I noticed a lack of case marking particles in mathematical sentences: 1足す2は3である。 3掛ける4は12である。 足す and 掛ける are verbs, does subject and object analysis apply to this? Do they take on the ...
5
votes
3answers
732 views

As a foreigner with a Japanese name, what are the implications of writing my name in katakana or kanji?

I'm a foreigner, and my name is Shiori. I've heard of a several Japanese people with this name, and they write it with kanji (of course). I know that when you are a foreigner, you are supposed to ...
5
votes
1answer
127 views

What does the は in this sentence do?

力任せに壁面に罅{ひび}を刻んでは一つ、また一つと体のパーツを外気に晒{さら}していく。 What does は do here? Is it contrasting? Thanks!
5
votes
3answers
585 views

Saying “you're welcome” at the workplace

There are a few ways to say "You're welcome". Which is the best for somebody in the workplace (inside and outside the team and of about the same level as myself) どういたしまして いいえ いえいえ others?
5
votes
2answers
198 views

What's the difference between 信じる, 信用する and 信頼する?

What's the difference between 信じる, 信用する and 信頼する ? How can I know which one to use? According to my dictionary they all mean "to trust". Are they interchangeable? For example, I trust you.
5
votes
1answer
256 views

Ambiguity in meaning of sentences with a noun qualifed by an adjective with が particle

I was wondering if there is any ambiguity with sentences that have adjectives qualifying a noun, especially regarding the が particle. For example: 1.) 僕が好きな人 Can this sentences have an ambiguous ...
5
votes
4answers
199 views

Pronunciation of 九

The dictionary I'm using lists two common pronunciations of 「九」: 「きゅう」 and 「く」. I've usually heard it as 「きゅう」 before, but when saying 「9時」, it always seems to be 「くじ」. Is there a rule to this?
5
votes
1answer
224 views

How is “gomen” used?

I don't even know if this is the correct place to post this. The only source that I'm in touch with the Japanese language is through anime. So my question, which I understand that could be kinda ...
5
votes
1answer
215 views

can 美化語{びかご} create implied subjects?

As mentioned in the Addressing strangers without knowing the name thread, 敬語{けいご} often communicates the implied actors in a sentence. The thread titled using 美化語 in 謙譲語 verb forms does not make ...
5
votes
2answers
551 views

想い vs. 思い - Do Both Mean Feeling?

Do both 思い and 想い mean "feeling", and if they do are they used interchangeably? If not, what is their difference in meaning?
5
votes
1answer
317 views

What is the difference between 美しき and 麗しき?

What is the difference between 美しき and 麗しき and what is the difference between 美しい and 美しき? I know that both 美しい女性 and 美しき女性 are correct. But what is the difference between these two?
5
votes
1answer
512 views

Does Japanese have free indirect speech?

In English (and, I assume, its relatives), there is a style of narration called free indirect speech, some examples of which are given in the linked article. I'm having trouble figuring out whether ...
5
votes
1answer
311 views

Should I use スタート for “start a new game” or something else?

I want to say, "Are you sure you want to start a new game?" (I'm developing a game for Japanese users, and this question is asked when it finishes.) I'm not sure whether スタート is the correct word to ...
5
votes
1answer
339 views

Is there a relationship between ~たところで and するところだった?

I am studying an JLPT book on listening, and in two questions very close to each other, the grammatical forms ~たところで and するところだった came up. My book defines ~たところで as giving an impression of giving up ...
5
votes
1answer
170 views

Meaning of ~つもりではいる in that sentence

I don't understand the meaning of ~つもりではいる in this sentence : そしていちおう手加減してやるつもりではいるが殺されてしまっても負けとなる。 And, although I'm planning on going easy on you, you will also lose if you happen to get ...
5
votes
1answer
201 views

Nuance between でいい and でもいい

Follow up question to this one : Sentence structure and meaning About this sentence : 「ただしお前達の相手は私一人でいい。」 It seemed to me that in Tokyo Nagoya's answer, でいい sounded a lot like でもいい : " ...
5
votes
1answer
225 views

“決{き}まっている” and “決められている” have the same meaning, right?

I came across this sentence written by a native speaker: (1) "学年{がくねん}ごとに学習{がくしゅう}する漢字{かんじ}が決められています。" To communicate the same meaning, I would have said: (2) "学年ごとに学習する漢字が決まっています。" #1 is passive ...
5
votes
1answer
277 views

“Line of code” in Japanese

I've been doing a bit of work with rendering 縦書き【たてがき】 in HTML, and was having a running internal monologue in Japanese about how things were progressing when I hit on a missing word: "line" as in ...
5
votes
1answer
278 views

Meaning of として in this sentence

I don't get why として is used instead of を in this sentence, as it doesn't seem to fit with the "as" sense that I know. 品詞と無関係にコソアドとして一括して扱うのが一般的です。 What I understand is this: Treating コソアド as ...
5
votes
1answer
350 views

The use of でも and ででも in this sentence

A: あ……えっと……何か手伝うことは、ありますか? B: ん? あぁ、この辺はドシロウトにできるこっちゃないからな。 邪魔にならねぇように先にメシでも食って、後は舞台袖ででも大人しくしてな Pretty much in general でも and ても don't sit well in my mind. There have been a lot of times I ...
5
votes
1answer
712 views

What is the し particle and how do you use it?

I understand that obviously every Japanese textbook will go into this topic briefly... but I can never really come to grips with what it means in Japanese. If anyone could link me to a good Japanese ...
5
votes
1answer
528 views

how could a sentence end with (noun + “よ”?)

I'd thought you cannot end a sentence with a noun. Rather: noun + だ。 noun + です。 noun + である。 noun + であります。 noun + でございます。 But in a movie dialogue, I heard: "大切なのは、心よ。" Ending a sentence with a noun ...
5
votes
2answers
855 views

What's the meaning of 〜ておきます?

What exactly does 〜ておきます mean in this context? 旅行{りょこう}する前{まえ}にホテルを予約{よやく}しておきます。 Is this trying to say something like "Before traveling, reserve a room". Is this a suggestion? An order? (If so, why ...
5
votes
2answers
501 views

Origin of -aru verbs: いらっしゃる、おっしゃる、くださる、なさる

I think all of the mentioned verbs are in the same class, because they all inflect irregularly in the same way: -aimasu for the polite form rather than -arimasu. My question is how these verbs were ...
5
votes
1answer
322 views

When you combine adjectives with the て-form does it imply a relationship between them?

For example, if I said... きれいで静かな町 Does that mean there's a relationship between きれい and 静か (like the relationship that happens when you combine two verbs with the て-form)? Or do the two ...
5
votes
1answer
290 views

When should the polite form of 〜たり be used?

I've noticed that I don't see 〜ましたり used very often, but it does seem to be an accepted form. I believe this form can be broken down like this: 動詞{どうし}の連用形{れんようけい}+「ます」の連用形{れんようけい}+「たり」 My ...
5
votes
1answer
260 views

Function of に in 怒るに怒れない [duplicate]

In the book I'm reading, I came across the following sentence: あたしは[怒]{おこ}るに[怒]{おこ}れなくなった。 (furigana added by me) My translation is something like "I couldn't stay angry [at him]". ("My anger ...

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