12
votes
3answers
425 views

私は猫が好き and 猫は私が好き

I'm an absolute beginner. I've learned Japanese in my spare time for less than two months. This is my first question here. Even though I think this question is potentially trivial, it's perhaps the ...
5
votes
2answers
578 views

What is the difference between それでいい and それがいい here?

As I understand it, それでいい means 'it is fine like this' and それがいい means 'this is fine', but what is the protagonist trying to convey here by first using それでいい and then correcting himself to それがいい? ...
6
votes
1answer
136 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
210 views

What is “koto” used for?

I know "koto" means thing, but I've seen it used like this in my Self-Study Japanese book: Nihon no koto ga yoku wakarimasu ka. and Chiimu no koto o kangaete imasshita Does this mean Japan's thing ...
1
vote
1answer
93 views

となる - Grammatical explanation please [duplicate]

can someone please explain となる ? I read it everywhere but still don't know what it exactly means. Here's just an example sentence: この世界が心つなぐ鍵となる
6
votes
1answer
316 views

What difference is there between そろそろ and もうすぐ? (if any)

そろそろ and もうすぐ can both be translated as 'soon', but I feel they have different uses and connotations. My take on it is that そろそろ is slightly more formal and has more of a meaning of 'It's about ...
6
votes
2answers
224 views

電話する or 電話をする to form the verb

I'd like to know if there is any difference between 電話する and 電話をする, if they mean the same, or if 電話をする doesn't even exist. I ask this because in an exercise in my book it says to use をする with 電話 to ...
5
votes
3answers
260 views

How to say “rough year” or “rough time”?

I want to say "it was a rough year", but I'm not sure how to put it. I thought of "難しい年頃" which I understand means "difficult age", normally used to describe the rebel age of kids. How do people ...
7
votes
3answers
173 views

Is “先生 / せんせい / sensei” haughty or overly-formal

If I were to tell my Japanese friend that I plan to become a teacher, would I literally say that I will become a sensei? I have always thought of this as an honorific title, and it feels odd to call ...
2
votes
1answer
71 views

Does the use of 予 such as in 猶予 to mean “in advance” have any precedent in Chinese?

There are a lot of Japanese words that use the morpheme よ, written 予, to mean "in advance". This clearly looks like a loan from Chinese, but I do not know of any examples of Chinese words or texts ...
3
votes
1answer
217 views

What does adding お at the end of a word change?

An example would be: "watashi wa cake o(お) tabetai". What does the お do? I tried on google translate and it seems it gives pertenence to that thing..like it belongs either to you or me..but I still ...
2
votes
1answer
200 views

How do you use と言ってた?

I am reading Genki II. And I found a report sentence (a sentence that states what somebody else said) that ended with と言ってた: チョコレートを食べすぎたって言ってた。 He said he ate too much chocolate. I've got two ...
3
votes
1answer
187 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" ...
8
votes
1answer
214 views

How to list numbers of things

Where do you place the counter in Japanese when you want to specify how many of something there are, especially if you're listing multiple things? I believe the counter usually goes after the ...
2
votes
1answer
187 views

Meaning of 虚ろに in this particular case

I was doing my daily dose of reading and I came by this particular sentence, which I had a little bit of trouble finding the meaning for. 「このあたりからまた意識が虚ろになってしまいました」 The context is a patient who had ...
2
votes
1answer
342 views

Is the 'h' in Japanese pronounced the same as the 'f'?

I'm aware that the so-called 'f' in ふ isn't pronounced with the English labiodental fricative [f], but rather the bilabial fricative [ɸ]. I'd like to know if Japanese speakers also use the bilabial ...
1
vote
3answers
554 views

Can you say “よい夢へ” instead of “よい夢を”?

I saw this message created by a native speaker:「よい夢{ゆめ} を 」. That seemed strange to me. I would have expected: 「よい夢 へ 」. My thinking right now is that: 「よい夢を」 is a straight contraction of ...
3
votes
3answers
291 views

ニッポン? Why Kana?

Just saw this picture: Notice the ニッポン. Why is it written in Kana?! Isn't that like super bizarre?
4
votes
1answer
215 views

つもり - expectation. How to use?

In my notes I have the following example: 私は 仕事を 止めない つもり です。 - I expect my work will not stop. Does anybody know the rule for using つもり? Is it just verb plain form e.g. 今月 家を買う つもりです - ...
3
votes
3answers
183 views

Valid interpretations of the (first) て-form in 何かを犠牲にして、その上で、平和は成り立っている。

What are the valid interpretations of the (first) て-form in the following sentence? 何かを犠牲にして、その上で、平和は成り立っている。 I'm having difficulties assigning a definite meaning to this sentence. There seems ...
0
votes
1answer
159 views

Still trying to get my head around に and で

I've been trying to understand those two particles when applied to these phrases: 私は朝ご飯にお茶を飲みます 私は朝ご飯でお茶を飲みます 私は朝ご飯の時にお茶を飲みます What I more or less undersand is: the only/main ...
3
votes
2answers
754 views

What does よいではないか mean?

I saw the phrase よいではないか (yoi de wa nai ka) in a comic strip, and decided to look it up because its literal meaning of "isn't it good?" didn't seem to make any sense. My research indicated that it ...
2
votes
0answers
34 views

The のう ending in this sentence [duplicate]

当時を知る者があれを見て、本人とは思わないだろうからのう The sentence is taken from a visual novel. I am wondering what the ending "のう" means in this context. I've tried searching it but the only thing people were asking ...
1
vote
1answer
369 views

「〜そうにない」 unfamiliar usage of そう [duplicate]

I'm playing a video game in Japanese, and one of the characters said 僕にもわかりそうにない。 I understand that (verb stem)そう means "it seems" or "it appears", but I've never seen (verb stem)そう used with ...
4
votes
2answers
990 views

how to say “does not make sense”?

I recently wanted to say "The Japanese counting system does not make sense." However, I could not figure out how to communicate the full meaning of "does not make sense". I don't want to say that it ...
2
votes
1answer
280 views

に - same meaning as として?

Could somebody please give me a hint about the meaning of に in 「反抗的な態度に映ったのか、隊長は舌打ちして前を向く。」. If I'm understanding correctly, に here has the same meaning as として. 内容・状態などを示す。「ーとして」の意。「ほうびにもらう」 Some ...
3
votes
0answers
52 views

How do 何 and どう change the meaning of these sentences? [duplicate]

I know people say not to rely too much on music to learn Japanese, but I love Japanese music. Usually I try to translate the lyrics into English as I listen, but I keep hearing the phrase どうしようか and I ...
3
votes
1answer
216 views

Why don't 私 and 朝飯 go together?

Earlier, I asked a question with the following examples: 私は朝飯のみに茶を飲む 私は朝飯のみで茶を飲む I was told in a comment that 私 and 朝飯 sound funny together. Why is that so?
1
vote
2answers
361 views

How to express “Eternal/Endless Love” on an engraved bracelet [closed]

In a fanfiction i am writing, one of the characters who was born in Japan gives her girlfriend a bracelet she had made, as a sign of her nationality there is an engraving in japanese which, when her ...
3
votes
2answers
405 views

に/で as time particles. What's the difference?

I've read a post on this topic, but really not sure of the difference when applied to something like this: 私は朝飯のみに茶を飲む 私は朝飯のみで茶を飲む From what I read, I'm guessing one of them is incorrect, as に ...
2
votes
1answer
141 views

restrictions on what 大きな can modify

I was having a conversation with a friend of mine who is also learning Japanese, and she used 大きなめんどくさい as a phrase today, which seemed off to me to use 大きい as a modifier on an adjective. Can you use ...
9
votes
1answer
294 views

Can “furigana” be used to refer to ruby that isn't kana?

In English, the term ruby refers to small text set above the main text (in horizontal writing) or to the right of the main text (in vertical writing). From Wikipedia: Ruby characters (ルビ) are ...
3
votes
2answers
185 views

Difference between こんにち and きょう

My dictionary says 今日(きょう) is a special reading. My textbook presents it in the third lesson, so I'm guessing it's a normal pronunciation. So... what's the difference between 今日(こんにち) and 今日(きょう)?
4
votes
1answer
423 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
120 views

Why is Typhoon Neoguri sometimes referred to as “ノグリー”?

Why is Typhoon Neoguri sometimes referred to in Japanese as "ノグリー", and not as "ネオグリー"? The English language Wikipedia's disambiguation page for Typhoon Neoguri mentions that it used to be referred ...
1
vote
1answer
147 views

Are there words or phrases that are commonly mistyped by native speakers on the Internet?

Like how it is common to see their/there and "could/would/should of" instead of "could/would/should have" in English discussions.
2
votes
1answer
143 views

Use of first が in 町の後ろに山が、前に海があって、

This is from an exercise in Minna no Nihongo, ch16. Full sentence: 神戸は古い物があまりありませんが、町の後ろに山が、前に海があって、素敵な町です。 As above, I don't understand why there is nothing after the が. I can sort of see that ...
8
votes
2answers
367 views

In 君が代, what's the function of の?

I've got a question about the two instances of の in 君が代: さざれ石の巌となりて 苔の生すまで First, is さざれ石の巌 to be interpreted as a boulder made of pebbles (analogous to, say, 木製の槍)? Second, is the の in ...
4
votes
1answer
328 views

Grammar of との, what is the meaning

So here in this sentence below "との" was used 2 times. What does との standfor? Can someone please explain it to me? ...
2
votes
1answer
126 views

Can と AND や be used in a sentence for a list of things

I have been reading about using と and や. Now, I understand the basic idea that や is for a list where the list is not all-inclusive. と on the other hand essentially informs the listener that "only ...
6
votes
2answers
594 views

Is there a special way of asking hypothetical questions?

I'm not really sure there is an equivalent for hypothetical questions in Japanese, but here's hoping there is. In English, hypothetical questions are generally prefaced by "What would you do if..." ...
3
votes
3answers
400 views

How does one give directions in Japanese (e.g. to a cab driver)?

I already know some things, like 「最初{さいしょ}の道{みち}を右{みぎ}に曲{ま}がって」 and the like. However, unless one knows the exact moment to shout 「止{と}めて!」 then one would need to know how to say things like "it's the ...
5
votes
2answers
222 views

How are 買 and 売 related?

It has always struck me as strange that 買 "buy" and 売 "sell", which are antonyms, have the same on-reading バイ. A few questions: Is there some logic (possibly stemming from the Chinese use of these ...
3
votes
1answer
126 views

年休 vs. 有休/有給 as paid time off work

I have heard both terms, 年休{ねんきゅう} and 有休{ゆうきゅう} (or occasionally 有給), used to describe paid vacation time, or 年次有給休暇{ねんじゆうきゅうきゅうか}. In my situation it's always been 年休, but I know people just a town ...
3
votes
4answers
470 views

What is a word for “participation” that resembles “kameseru”?

According to the article "On Being Late to Work in Japan | 遅出" (linked from this post at The Workplace): The word for participation – kameseru – has a special significance which also explains why ...
0
votes
0answers
45 views

Difference between 朝御飯 and 朝飯 [duplicate]

Is there any difference between them? One more formal than the other maybe?
2
votes
1answer
142 views

Unnecessary に in “どんなに” in this sentence?

The following sentences are from a reading passage. I'm confused on the third sentence - the previous two are just given for context. 日本ではどこに行っても、「きまりですから」という言葉を耳にする。 これを言われてしまうと、こちらにはもう反論の余地はない。 ...
6
votes
1answer
793 views

Addressing strangers without knowing the name

How does one address a stranger in a casual conversation when name is unknown? For example, I had a conversation with an older Japanese lady and I wanted to compliment her on her English (but in ...
2
votes
0answers
45 views

~に~があります vs ~は~です in this sentence [duplicate]

The following sentence was found in a book: 日本社会の「きまり」にかかわる例の一つに、 会社への就職活動がある。 I'm wondering, assuming the translation is "An example of one of these "rules" related to Japanese society is ...
2
votes
2answers
312 views

Expressing control over circumstances—or a lack of it

If someone is discussing a situation, and how it is beyond their control, what would be the most natural way to express this? The two options that come to mind offhand are to use either 操る【あやつる】 ("to ...

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