All Questions

4
votes
1answer
176 views

What is the etymology of the て-form?

What are the origins of the て-form? Was its meaning when it initially appeared different from what it is now?
3
votes
1answer
90 views

いる connected to a proposition?

I'm stuck with the construction of 居る/いる in the following sentence (Botchan, I) 小学校【しょうがっこう】に居【い】る時分【じぶん】学校【がっこう】の二階【にかい】から飛【と】び降【お】りて一週間【いっしゅうかん】ほど腰【こし】を抜【ぬ】かした事【こと】がある。 My translation (excuse ...
3
votes
1answer
89 views

Meaning of 楽に済ませようとする

How should I translate this phrase? 楽に済ませようとする。 My literal translation is, "Decide to cause to finish/complete having fun," but that doesn't seem to make much sense. Does 楽に済む mean to enjoy ...
20
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the difference between -さ and -み suffixes to make a noun out of an adjective?

For example, both 悲しさ and 悲しみ are glossed as “sadness” in JMdict. What's the difference? According to A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar, 〜み “is more emotive and concrete characterization of some ...
0
votes
0answers
48 views

〜み and 〜さ suffix with adjectives [duplicate]

I have seen adjectives in both the following forms: あつみ vs あつさ しんせんみ vs しんせんさ What do these forms indicate and how do they differ? I know that the 〜さ suffix is to convert the
10
votes
1answer
867 views

ないで vs なくて: combining phrases with negative verbs

Can you use 〜なくて instead of 〜ないで in the following sentence without changing the meaning? 病気になると、一切化学薬品や抗生物質を使わないで、鍼や指圧や漢方薬で直します。風邪の時は何もしないで暖かくして、寝ているだけです。 In general, what's the difference ...
8
votes
3answers
598 views

Are there more irregular verbs like 行く?

I thought when you have a consonant-stem verb ending with -ku you replace it with -ita. For example kaku ("to write") becomes kaita. But this doesn't happen with iku, which becomes itta, so I guess ...
7
votes
1answer
290 views

Is ないで a te-form?

In this answer, Darius Jahandarie says that ないで is a te-form. I asked about this on chat, and Flaw answered with a question: If auxiliary ください follows after てform and ないでください exists, can we ...
7
votes
2answers
426 views

Fun with synonyms - “to grab/catch/capture”

Here's a question for you experts. I've actually asked this to my Japanese friends, but I want to see how you guys answer too. Explain the differences in the following verbs and which one(s) appear ...
2
votes
0answers
172 views

What is the meaning of this joke?

In the video game Tingle's Love Balloon Trip, whose plot is a parody of The Wizard of Oz, there is a scene in which Kakashi, the scarecrow boy, says goodbye to a friend. The following dialog takes ...
1
vote
1answer
100 views

was the plain negative of aru once or in a certain dialect aranai?

the plain negative of aru is irregular: NOT: aru --> ara (mizenkei) --> ara+nai BUT: aru --> nai
0
votes
1answer
83 views

What is the difference between asu and ashita? [duplicate]

I've seen asu and ashita both used as furigana for the same kanji (明日). Is there a big, subtle or no difference in meaning and usage?
2
votes
2answers
106 views

Usage of wake desu

いま しごとを かたづけて しまえば あすは らくが できる **というわけ** です わけです is used to state the reason of an incident. However,in this case it seems to be different. Can someone help clarifying the above use of というわけ? ...
7
votes
3answers
154 views

What is the difference between “verb+て+みる” and “verb+(よ)う+とする”?

In Japanese there are words which mean "to try something or attempt at doing something", e.g. 試す, 試みる and つとめる. However, at the same time we also have two grammatical constructions "verb+て+みる" and ...
5
votes
1answer
104 views

What does 滅多に modify in these sentences?

I have a question about the usage of 滅多に. As far as I know, when it's followed by negation it means 'rarely'. For example - めったにたばこを吸わない。 I rarely smoke. However I'm not sure if I'm ...
1
vote
1answer
98 views

Difference between おく and 中

Since both (oku and naka) mean 'inside', I am confused as to in which contexts they will be used.
1
vote
2answers
175 views

What's the meaning and the reading of 通行人?

I have the following translation I need to do for my introductory Japanese class. 最近、交通事故が多いので、左に曲がる時は、自転車や、通行人に気をつけなければなりませんよ。 So far I have the following. Recently there have been a lot of ...
1
vote
1answer
108 views

Something that can be written with kanji but not with kana?

I was reading through some text today and found this (emphasis mine): While it is possible to use the phonetic Hiragana and Katakana scripts to represent almost any Japanese word, it is usually ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

What does イケメン mean?

I am in a Japanese 101 class. We are supposed to translate the following sentence: 日本ぶんかの先生は、イケメンですが、ぜんぜんやさしくないですから、あまり好きじゃありません。 I am having trouble with that word イケメン. So far, I have: The ...
6
votes
1answer
218 views

What does 着 mean in 「六時着」 and in 「六着」?

One of the kanji we recently learned in class was 着. We learned it could be used for to wear [着]{き}る, to arrive [着]{つ}く, and as either a "classifier for arrival" or a "counter for jacket". In our ...
5
votes
2answers
299 views

What's the standard way of explaining reason in response to the question “why?”? Do you use からです at the end?

I'm having trouble understanding the best way to respond to someone asking "why". My study guide advised, To answer the question with "why", make a statement sentence that indicates the reason ...
1
vote
1answer
166 views

What is the も in 今年も used for ? What does 雨が少なく mean here, and why isn't it followed by a て?

I have the following translation for class. 今年も、 トゥーソンは、 雨が少なく、 水が不足して、 困るかもしれません。 So far, I have the following. This year also Tucson rain is little water has become ...
3
votes
3answers
137 views

Meaning of 〜関係の〜 in the phrase 鉄道関係の言葉

This question appears on my homework above an empty box instead of lines as with previous questions: 鉄道{てつどう}関係{かんけい}の言葉{ことば}を書{か}きなさい Am I being asked to write "words about railroads?" I came ...
16
votes
2answers
5k views

My teacher wrote a triangle on my Japanese homework. What does it mean?

One of my Japanese senseis corrected my homework, and several times she drew a triangle next to the item she was correcting. Does this have a special meaning in Japan?
14
votes
1answer
391 views

What does 窓という窓 mean?

What does 窓という窓 mean? I found it in this sentence in Harry Potter: 木の扉に寄りかかってホグワーツを見上げると、窓という窓が夕日に照らされて赤くキラキラ輝いている。
2
votes
2answers
104 views

meaning of “目{め}に見えるほど、〜”

I wanted to say: "As best can be predicted, economic conditions will continue to worsen" I tried: 見{み}える ほど、景気{けいき}が悪くなっているようです。 分析{ぶんせき} できるほど、景気が悪くなっているようです。 推測{すいそく} できるほど、景気が悪くなっているようです。 ...
0
votes
3answers
146 views

What is the purpose of 「し」 in phrase 「私は緊{きん}張{ちょう}しすぎて」?

There is a phrase 「私は緊{きん}張{ちょう}しすぎて」. Translates as: 私は - I緊張 - nervousすぎて - too; exceedingly But what is the purpose of 「し」 after 「緊張」?
0
votes
1answer
75 views

Japanese writings in Brazil [closed]

I've seen these writings in the ground of Brazil. I've already tried to translate it with my friend but there are some complex kanji that we don't know. I'm very curious to know what they say, can ...
3
votes
1answer
182 views

文章の話題語の変化はどう解釈されていますか?

日本語では、話題語がとても重要だと考えられていると思います。文章で話題語がなければ、ほとんどの人には不自然、もしくは不快に聞こえると思います。 しかし、文章が一文より長い場合、話題語の選択は私にはかなり難しくなります。話題語をいつ変えればいいかがいつもよく分かりません。普段、直感的に選びますが、母語話者じゃありませんので、かなり危険なやり方だと思います。したがって、ある種の指針を求めています。 ...
18
votes
3answers
4k views

The many ways to say “and” in Japanese

In English, we just have one word for the conjunction and which works just fine for many categories, but in Japanese, there are separate words: と joins nouns together in a closed list や joins nouns ...
-1
votes
0answers
38 views

conditional forms [duplicate]

Which of the following forms in correct and why? うんどうしったらげんきになります うんどうすればげんきになります うんどうするとげんきになります What would be an appropriate example for the others?
2
votes
0answers
48 views

Why is ガラスというガラスused in this sentence instead of just ガラス? [duplicate]

Context: I'm reading the first volume of "The Twelve Kingdoms" (月の影・影の海). The protagonist, Yoko, is in the school's staff room when a strange man appears and tells here she is in danger. Indeed, a ...
5
votes
2answers
461 views

Polite or casual?

Is this sentence polite or casual? Or even better. Is it correct to use this casual type of sentences inside another more polite? This is the sentence: 時間がなかったからパーティーに行きませんでした。 Wouldn't it be ...
4
votes
2answers
173 views

ダブルクォートと[鉤括弧]{かぎ・かっ・こ}の使い分けは?

日本語の文章では、引用符として、ダブルクォート(””)も鉤括弧(「」)も両方使用されているのを見たことがあります。もちろん、他の引用符も見たことがありますが、それはさておきます。 ダブルクォートは英文に引用符をつける時に使われているような気がしますが、この使い分けは正式に認められていますか?公文書などではダブルクォートも鉤括弧も使えますか?
1
vote
2answers
125 views

Compound words with 漢字 and カタカナ? (例えば:新メニュー)

Today, a magazine about restaurants in my area arrived in my mailbox. It proudly proclaimed : 10月の新メニュー! I am quite curious as to the following points: How is this pronounced ? I would have ...
2
votes
1answer
139 views

How to write the passive form of the potential form?

I am curious about the passive form(受動態) of the potential form(可能形). I thought about using (先生に)褒められられる but it seems awkward, and there are no search results in Google for it. So is (先生に) ...
2
votes
1answer
85 views

What does ”それが” mean in this context?

So I came across the following phrase: それが、どうしてこんなことに…… and I feel like the second part of it means something along the lines of "How did it get like this?" (I could be totally off of the mark, I'm ...
2
votes
3answers
208 views

It seems “hard deadline” can be translated to 厳しい締切. Would “soft deadline” then be translated as 厳しくない締切?

I have searched long and hard for a dictionary translation of "soft deadline" to no avail. Google Ngram shows that it has peaked in popularity in the last three decades, so it's relatively new. I ...
6
votes
5answers
471 views

What is the meaning of のか and how does it differ from か?

What is the meaning of のか in the following sentences? Does it have the same meaning as のですか? 漢字はどう正しく書くのか、どう正しく読むのか、彼らは時々迷います。 参加するのか、参加しないのか、ここではっきり返事しなさい。 Also, I have found sentences of ...
3
votes
2answers
318 views

What does バタバタ mean?

コラム書かなきゃ。映像チェックしなきゃ。アレも書かなきゃ。アレも考えなきゃ。バタバタバタ子さん(´・_・`) Everything make sense to me except for the last part.
12
votes
1answer
2k views

So-called の-adjectives - how does の *really* work?

Ok, so there seems to be some controversy over whether we can really say that there are 'の-adjectives', or whether we simply use a noun in an "attributive" way (a term which I don't actually really ...
2
votes
4answers
259 views

How to write “yi” in katakana

I'm trying to write the name of a Chinese friend, Ying. I know that the sounds "yi" and "ye" don't exist any more except for the deprecated hiragana characters, and katakana doesn't have either of ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Polite Way to Ask “How old are you?” : 何歳 , いくつ ,年齢 , ご年

I think the sentences: 何歳ですか? いくつですか? 年齢は? お年は? are all sentences that ask "How old are you?" How are they different? What form is most polite?
0
votes
1answer
58 views

Is 何歳ですか polite? [duplicate]

何歳ですか (なんさいですか) - How old are you? Is it usual for Japanese to ask each other how old they are, and if it is, how do they go about and ask it? Is there a polite way to ask, or do you not ask this at ...
2
votes
2answers
281 views

What are words which stand at the very end of a sentence (like “yo” and “tomo”) called?

As far as I know, "yo" at the end of a sentence indicates that quite new information is contained in the sentence, "tomo" ascertains that the content expressed in the sentence is definitely true. Both ...
2
votes
2answers
66 views

What is meant/implied by “じゃないんだからね”

I noticed today, while playing Grisaia no Kajitsu (English version, since my Japanese is really bad), and when I click on a menu option while using Michiru's voice to voice the menus, she ends her ...
0
votes
1answer
86 views

Using double negative

Would appreciate if someone helped me understand the following word patterns with examples: なかなか〜ない ほとんど〜ない ぜんぜん〜ない Can any of them be used in a positive context too?
-4
votes
1answer
36 views

Could someone tell me what if anything is wrong with these translations?

I'm just constructing a few sentences to test my comprehension of grammar. I'll make notes in my notebook about things so I don't forget them and hopefully end up with a properly constructed sentence. ...
3
votes
1answer
77 views

In “[Vます stem] + し+ [noun]” what does し mean? [duplicate]

I've seen this in multiple combinations, but the one I was specifically looking at was: 「背負いし者」 ...from 「宿命を背負いし者」. Similarly, 「かつて来たりし者」 Scouring through all my grammar books, I can't ...
1
vote
1answer
130 views

Question about Japanese proverb

I came across to this sentence: The Japanese say you have three faces. The first face, you show to the world. The second face, you show to your close friends, and your family. The third face, ...

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