1
vote
1answer
49 views

atteita vs atteimashita

I am learning Japanese and I'm always mixing these two. Can someone explain what's the difference between them and how are they used? My only understanding is the first is verb+tte+ita which is kinda ...
3
votes
1answer
107 views

What distinguishes 恩, 義務, 義理 and 人情 from each other?

I have an idea about the basics, but I'm fuzzy on the details, and it's been awhile since I've studied the subject in depth. Anyone have some answers?
5
votes
2answers
237 views

What's the reading of 二人 in this sentence?

The sentence is 二人間がしっくり行かない i'm confused when to use ににん and when to use ふたり
20
votes
3answers
4k views

Usage of commas in Japanese sentences

This might sound like a strange question, but how does the usage of commas differ when used in Japanese compared to English? I believe りんご、オレンジとバナナ wouldn't work, but that it's OK to list like ...
2
votes
1answer
58 views

Why is it the postposition を used here instead of の?

悲鳴と銃声と爆音の狂想曲は絶え間なく、かつ容赦なく鳴り響き、街を人を根こそぎ壊し、鏖殺{おうさつ}していく。「ディエス・イレ」 Basic structure to me seems to be X狂想曲はA鳴り響き、B根こそぎ壊し、鏖殺していく, a subject 狂想曲 with three verbals (X and A, B being their respective ...
2
votes
3answers
167 views

Masculine and Feminine Speech - 行こうか and やめてよ

First, regarding 行こうか - is it masculine speech, like か in informal speech usually is? Also, does it sound agressive, again like normal with か in informal speech? Second, is やめてよ feminine speech (as a ...
5
votes
1answer
144 views

Volitional + というのだった?

In the short story 「悪魔」by 星新一 , a man walks onto a frozen lake to go ice fishing, carves out a small hole in the ice, and throws in the line. But after throwing in the line, there's a 文型 I've never ...
1
vote
1answer
161 views

Why is イチゴ written in katakana?

From which language did it come to Japanese? And why does it have its own kanji?
4
votes
2answers
161 views

noun + ばかり [exclusivity sense] ambiguity

My understanding of ばかり so far (please correct if any of this is wrong): After TE form, the meaning is unambiguous as it applies to the verb, e.g.: 本を読んでばかりいる。Do nothing but read books. ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

How would you structure a sentence to say “someday I will go to Japan”?

I am trying to figure out the particle and order of words in a sentence to that says "Someday I will go to Japan". Would you say: 私は日本がいつかに行きます。 or would I say: 日本は私がいつかに行きます。 I really ...
3
votes
1answer
290 views

Does all kana in the う line rhyme?

I've heard many people pronounce す, つ, く, and る as if く and る rhyme, す and つ rhyme, but not any other pair. It seems as if す is sometimes pronounced [sɨ] and く is pronounced [ku]. This doesn't seem to ...
6
votes
2answers
201 views

Can 「奴」 be used to refer to a female?

Is the word 「奴」/「やつ」 (yatsu) ever used to refer to another female, or to refer to oneself if one is female? Or is it only used to refer to a male? Answers to this question touched on the word 「奴」, ...
2
votes
2answers
121 views

Difference between 確{たし}かに and 誠{まこと}に

What is the difference between 確かに and 誠に? I found that: 確かに means: certainly, indeed, surely, sure, definitely;誠に means: indeed, truly, really, surely.Looks like the meanings are almost the same. ...
1
vote
1answer
129 views

What does the word 「すまさんぞ」mean?

Here is the full sentence. An old man talking himself with this one about a boy who should have been staying at home but he should not. かえってきやがったら ただではすまさんぞ。 I'm not sure if it is conjugated from ...
4
votes
2answers
125 views

How do I know what the questioner wants me to answer?

I am learning Japanese from a book. The excerpt of a dialogue is given as follows. Q: 夏休みに国へ帰りますか。 A: いいえ、夏休みには帰りません。冬休みに帰ります。 My question is how do we know what the questioner wants us to ...
5
votes
1answer
131 views

In 十日と待たずに what does the と mean?

Probably a silly question, but in this sentence: 仕事ができなかったら十日と待たずに解雇されるだろうと思う。 What does the と in 十日と待たずに mean? Is it the "if" と, e.g. "when/if 10 days pass, I'd get fired without hesitation?". ...
4
votes
1answer
196 views

Does 青少年を外出させないように refer to to letting a youth out alone, or in any circumstances?

Over at Travel.SE, there's a bit of a debate on how to parse this piece of Tokyo legislation: (深夜外出の制限) 第十五条の四 ...
1
vote
1answer
72 views

Can I say “砂糖ダイエット” ?

By "砂糖ダイエット" I mean diet based on heavy consumption of sweets.
3
votes
4answers
209 views

Use of は particle when talking about doing things on a certain day

One thing that I still don't exactly understand is when to use は when talking about doing things on a certain day. For example, 明日は学校に行く。 or 明後日は映画館に行く。 Should the は be included or ...
1
vote
1answer
194 views

What does 「どっか」 mean?

In this clip at 19:50, it sounds like he is saying, "Nante na! Kore dokka no kiza na yatsu ga itteta serifu" ("This is just something a ____ pretentious guy said"). Is it indeed 「どっか」 ? What does that ...
2
votes
2answers
225 views

The scope of そういうこと

「凄いな 僕にはそこまで先のことを考える余裕はないよ」 「お前さんだって十分に凄い奴だよ。何の後ろ盾もなくここにいるってのは、そういうことだと思うがね」 「そうか。君にそう言ってもらえると僕ももっと頑張る気になるよ」 「ま、そういうことだから、お互いに頑張ろうぜ。今はともかく、いつかは決着を付けなくちゃならねぇんだからよ」 To what exactly does the そういうこと ...
3
votes
1answer
129 views

Can the onyomi be longer than 2 morae?

I started learning japanese recently, and I looked back at the kanji I've learned, and I simply can't think of any kanji with an onyomi longer than 2 morae. Is there really no kanji with an onyomi ...
1
vote
1answer
299 views

Question about the usage of “watashi”

I am currently slightly confused about the exact usage of the word "watashi". I know that the word means I, but it's usage seems unclear to me. Some sources say that it is simply for polite use, while ...
5
votes
2answers
195 views

Why does this haiku have a 5-6-5 pattern?

I was amazed to read the following haiku in "小林 一茶" (a book written by 宗左近/Sō Sakon about the famous poet) : 我と来てあそぶ親のない雀 At first sight, the text given by 宗左近 doesn't seem regular : 5+6+5 ...
3
votes
2answers
222 views

Understanding the subtleties behind [noun]する vs [noun]だ

I still notice this when I see [verbal noun]する instead of [verbal noun]だ. While I understand the meaning of both, I'm missing the qualities that often make する or がある seem to be a more natural choice ...
31
votes
2answers
4k views

Why does Japanese have two kinds of adjectives? (-i adjectives and -na adjectives)

Japanese has two kinds of adjectives known by several terms but the ones I know are i-adjectives and na-adjectives - why? I recall that Japanese adjectives are much more like verbs than in English ...
1
vote
2answers
54 views

Japanese Verbs: Causative form

Can someone tell me why there is て in between 休ませ and ください? The sentence is: 今日は仕事を休ませてください。 I know I have conjugated the verb 休む in the causative form but didn't get why the て is used after it. Is ...
0
votes
1answer
99 views

Is the 数 necessary?

I came across this sentence in jisho.org's example sentences: 彼等{かれら}の数{かず}は多い。 And I'm wondering if the 数 is really necessary. I thought 多い already implied a large 数, so saying that the 数が多い ...
0
votes
1answer
165 views

Origin of -tai desiderative suffix

Japanese verbs can take the suffix -tai, which attaches to the ren'youkei form and turns the verb into an -i adjective, expressing desire to do what the verb says. I have recently wondered where this ...
2
votes
2answers
94 views

What are the basic physical differences between japanese poetry and prose?

I am not asking about genre, meaning or anything other subjective issues. I am talking about the following type of things in english: English prose: No rhyme, no rhythm. May also have literal ...
1
vote
1answer
87 views

What does 今日の所は良いでしょう mean here?

これも全て先生のおかげですね。感謝するんですよ? は、はい 本当に、感謝しています 突っ込むべき時に突っ込むべき場所にきちんと突っ込めない男はもてませんよ? まあ、今日の所は良いでしょう。皆にも伝えないといけませんからね。仲間たちにも順番に顔を出すように伝えて下さいませ In this I'm not sure what she would be referring to. Would ...
1
vote
2answers
230 views

What is the difference between ~ru and ~masu?

What is the difference between ~ru and ~masu? For example: taberu and tabemasu. Don't they mean the same thing? Are there certain instances when one is acceptable and the other isn't?
1
vote
1answer
117 views

combining several participle of verb + miru

I am practicing expressing "to try to do something", using the participle of verbs plus 見る. If I understand correctly, a sentence like このビールを飲んでみました。 means something like "I tried to drink this ...
5
votes
1answer
255 views

Frequency adverb locations

When using frequency adverbs like ぜんぜん,あまり,よく and so forth. Where is the correct location in the sentence to structure it? In my Genki I textbook it says the sentence structure is Topic Frequency ...
2
votes
1answer
400 views

Sentence patterns for starting a picture description

I'm trying to do some picture descriptions to practice my Japanese (which is quite at a beginner level), just to avoid to focus only on grammar and 漢字 memorization, which can become really boring ...
2
votes
1answer
77 views

“Even a crab” - Japanese proverbs (?)

Coming across these kind of constructs: カニでもわかる+名詞句 カニでもできる... カニでも使える... etc. What does it mean? How is it used? In general, what main associations would a "crab" create from a Japanese ...
2
votes
2answers
204 views

収入 or 給料? What should be used when talking about salary or income?

I would like to know about these two 収入, 給料 (there may be even others I am not aware of). Can they be interchanged as one pleases, or does it very much depend on the context? Which is more ...
4
votes
2answers
491 views

“Something came up” in Japanese

I always use this in English to excuse myself from a planned meeting/meet up (professional or personal). Basically, I don't want to bother the interlocutor with the details and notify them I am busy. ...
3
votes
2answers
120 views

What methods/systems for finding kanji or entering them on a PC tend to be faster than others?

When I see a kanji or a word consisting of multiple kanji somewhere, I want to enter them into a computer so that I can search for it and translate it. Are there any methods or "systems" that allow ...
1
vote
1answer
195 views

Meaning of お支払いを希望される方

I am having trouble understanding the following sentence: クレジットカードによるお支払【しはら】いを希望【きぼう】される方【かた】は、次【つぎ】の注意【ちゅうい】をお読【よ】みください。 In particular, I am having trouble comprehending the first clause: ...
5
votes
1answer
197 views

Difference between 発展、発達、and 開発

What is the difference between 発展、発達、and 開発? According to my textbook, they all mean development. I know that they cannot be used interchangeably, but I don't know when to use each of them. I know ...
8
votes
4answers
4k views

Why is “kisama” more refined than “temee”?

From Wikipedia:  –§–  貴様 — formerly an extremely honorific form of address; in modern speech is as insulting as, but more refined than, "temee" 貴様 is often ...
7
votes
2answers
243 views

Are the words in Japanese quotes 「」 always literally what is being said?

When 「」 is used to quote, are the words contained always literally what they say, or are they paraphrasing? For example, in a sentence such as 「助けて」と叫びながら走っていた人が多かった, does it exclude people from ...
2
votes
1answer
214 views

When would と appear at the start of a sentence?

In the light novel that I'm reading, the narrator sometimes starts his narration with "と、" like the following example: 「ふん」 と、彼女は鼻を鳴らし、中学の制服であるワンピース型のセーラー服をひるがえす。 I've been curious about ...
11
votes
2answers
515 views

Non-distinguished animal pairs in Japanese

This is something I first noticed when I was at an aquarium in Japan (as evidenced in my examples) and continued to see ever since. There are certain pairs of animals, that while extremely similar, ...
2
votes
1answer
92 views

Difference between 食事をする/◯◯を食べる

I came across the following sentence: 駅の近くで食事をした。 Does it sound unnatural if I were to use the following (or rather, is it incorrect)? 駅の近くで食事を食べました。
2
votes
3answers
269 views

How does 〜しなくても済んだだろう work?

せめて親でも生きていてくれたら、こんなに苦労しなくても済んだだろう I wouldn't have so many difficulties, if only my parents were still alive. [Example sentence from Japanese Postpositions: Theory and Practice ISBN-13: ...
2
votes
1answer
97 views

What is 〜んだ and how is it used?

I was listening to a playlist of songs today and I heard the line 「…目を開け弱さをかき消すんだ」 What exactly is 〜んだ and when/how is it used?
4
votes
2answers
307 views

Is [舐]{な}める a stative verb?

I was looking up the definition for [舐]{な}める and "underestimate" was one of them. However, "underestimate" can be both stative or dynamic, so I looked up the Japanese definition and got this: ...
1
vote
1answer
155 views

What do the words 「出ないのって」 and 「だる」mean?

They are bold in the following sentence: まあまあ 出【で】るの出【で】ないのってビヤだる 一ぱいほどの玉【たま】を出【だ】しちまってな。

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