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54

(This answer was originally at this question, but it seemed more appropriate here) は and が are a bit complex because they have several meanings, and some of the shades of meaning of wa and ga are a bit hard to distinguish casually. The best coverage of this that I have read is "The Structure of the Japanese Language" by Susumu Kuno(written in English). I'm ...


41

The reason for the western language learners' confusion when facing the so-called "two types of Japanese adjectives" is that they try to find similar constructs to their own native language in Japanese. And when they fail (since Japanese has no real adjectives at all), the naive learner or teacher (which unfortunately includes most textbook writers, who are ...


32

(This question had to show up eventually… :) For my answer, I'll be borrowing most example sentences and categorizations from pages 176-179 of 初級【しょきゅう】を教【おし】える人【ひと】のための日本語【にほんご】文法【ぶんぽう】ハンドブック and from this PDF. Cases where only の is allowed When the following verb deals with one of the senses: 聞く【きく】, 聞こえる【きこえる】, 見る【みる】, 見える【みえる】, 感じる【かんじる】, and so on. ...


27

This is really no different than the normal use of the scope/topic particle は, except that with には (and では, とは, and any other combination), the scope of the sentence expands to include the particle itself. (I will use "scope" to mean "topic" here; personally I prefer the former, but most people are used to the latter.) The example sentences you chose might ...


23

I've asked this very question in the past and my research led me to the following definition which (surprisingly) differs from every other answer here so far: ~となる expresses a discrete change, while ~になる can express either a discrete or a continuous change. You can feasibly use ~になる for everything, since it covers all cases, but in cases where you want to ...


23

と, ば: The main clause must be a constant non-volitional reaction to the conditional clause unless the conditional clause shows state or if the subjects of the two clauses differ. お金を入れてボタンを押すと、切符が出ます。 'When you put in money and press the button, a ticket will come out.' 春になると、観光客が増えます。 'When spring arrives, tourists increase.' ...


20

I've let my subconscious sleep on this for a while, which has a native Japanese language processor built in, and come to the conclusion that のこと does two seemingly opposite things. I'll illustrate them with my inner images for [noun] and [noun]のこと, and later quote a dictionary to further support my views. Let's take 事件のこと as an example. A plain "事件" is a ...


19

Japanese has a curious unwritten rule which states, in essence, that you cannot presume to know the intimate details of a third person's mental state. This is quite an unfamiliar concept in English-land: ○ 私【わたし】はDSが欲【ほ】しいです。 I want a DS. × 息子【むすこ】はDSが欲【ほ】しいです。 My son wants a DS. (OK in English, NG in Japanese) Even if your son has been begging ...


19

しとく comes from しておく, which in turn comes from して置く. The literal translation of して置く would be, "do it, and then put [the results]". Basically it describes the act of doing something and storing the result of that so that when that result becomes useful, you can use it. EDIT: This literal meaning changed overtime (I presume) and しておく became to mean "do ...


18

Chris です。 さん is never used (except jokingly perhaps) to refer to oneself. The same goes for other common endings such as くん, ちゃん, さま, 先輩 and 先生. That's because these endings usually convey a kind of relation: for instance, さま conveys respect, くん and ちゃん convey some endearment and while さん conveys very little meaning, it does convey separation. You ...


18

The key to understanding this difference in aspect (not tense) lies in knowing what kind of verb we're dealing with. For verbs that describe actions (食【た】べる, 走【はし】る, etc) and events (降【ふ】る, 吹【ふ】く, etc), ~ている shows the continuation of an action. For verbs that describe changes in state (死【し】ぬ, 割【わ】れる, 溶【と】ける, etc), ~ている shows the continuation of a state. ...


17

~ていく and ~てくる (usually written in kana, since they are such common suffixes) can express both physical movement (such as in 行【い】 ってくる "go and come back") or a continued change in state. Since your question regards the latter usage, I'll restrict my answer to that. To use your examples: 雨【あめ】がやんできた。 The rain [over a period of time up until now] stopped. ...


17

Agglutinative languages are somewhat harder to understand than other categories. it's easy to see what the difference between synthetic fusional languages (like Latin or Russian) to isolating ones (such as Chinese or English): in isolating languages you only have words mixed with each other in various ways, but no morphology (or at least not very much of it, ...


16

行ったら - "if you (happen to) go" (simple possibility) 行くなら - "if you're going (anyway)" (often in the sense of while you're at it) 行けば - "if you('d) go" (emphasis on the condition that must be fulfilled before something happens) 行くと - "when you go" ("…you'll find that…", focuses on what happens when the condition is fulfilled) 行くんだったら - "if you're about to ...


16

So I talked to my co-workers here, and 4 of us (Japanese native) discussed this for a good 30 minutes! lol Our conclusion is that the difference is very subtle and each of us had a slightly different explanation. The most common ground was that こと somewhat "directs" more attention (or maybe "creates more focus") on the subject. We also found some ...


16

でも and けど are both "but". However, けど links a second clause - which may or may not be actually said out loud. So, when you are saying "あした は やすみ です けど." you are actually saying something more like: "Tomorrow is a holiday (but), so we can't go to the store" but dropping the "obvious" bit of the sentence. -- Another very important usage of this - at ...


15

According to page 91 of the 類義語使い分け辞典 [1], quoted here, 一緒に requires that the action take place in the same time and location. 共に does not have this restriction, so the subjects may perform the action (let's say 日本へ行く) at the same time but via a different route, or via the same route but at slightly different times. 「彼女と一緒に日本へ来た」 means that you and she came ...


15

I find the best way to discriminate between these two is the following: ~ので marks an objective cause: 電車が遅れたので、間に合わなかった。 The fact that the train ran late is an objective, verifiable fact. The emphasis of the sentence is not so much on the cause as it is on the effect (or the sentence as a whole). ~から marks a subjective cause: 彼女はこれが好きそうだから、買ってあげよう。 The ...


15

で(は)あります is the expanded form of です. So when you say 「XはYです」, it is really 「XはYで(は)あります」. From this, you can easily see the negative form (ではありません). And also でもあります as in your example. でもあります means "is also". あの人はサラリーマンです。あと、サッカー選手でもあります。 → That guy is a business worker (salary man). He is also a soccer player. That's the reasoning as to why it's ...


15

I think you can use: ~どころか~も/すら/すらも・・・ない ~はおろか、~も/すら/すらも/さえ/さえも・・・ない ~はおろか、~など・・・はずがない/はずもない ~はもちろん(or もちろんのこと)、~も/すら/すらも/さえ/すらも・・・ない ~ない。まして(or ましてや)~など・・・はずがない/はずもない/わけがない/[言]{い}うに[及]{およ}ばない "I don't know hiragana, let alone kanji": [漢字]{かんじ}どころか、[平仮名]{ひらがな}も(or すら/すらも etc.)[知]{し}りません。 漢字はもちろん、平仮名も(or すら/すらも etc.)知りません。 ...


14

Short answer: no. From your link: "It is also written as 「何で」 but it is read as 「なんで」. This is a completely separate word and has nothing to do with the 「で」 particle." Long answer: "何で" can be translated as "how," but a more accurate translation would be "by means of what object"? So from the link you posted, "何できた?" is correct, because it is asking "By ...


14

Japanese has many particles (助詞), and they behave in many varying and different ways, so it's helpful to categorize them before we can see how they can be combined. The semi-traditional classification you'd find in Japanese dictionary usually goes along these lines (note that many particles can fall into more than one of these categories as they have ...


14

'です' does follow i-adjectives. It's purpose is to add politeness. I see no problem with it, but maybe I am missing something. Was there a particular example that was discussed when the person said it is dangerous? The only thing I can think of is that the expression can be made milder by adding the sentence final particle ね, which indicates addresser's ...


14

I believe the issue can be explained more simply than you might think. ~そうだ has two different meanings. One is, indeed, to report hearsay. The other is to make a judgement or conjecture based on a visual cue or observation. They have an extremely similar, but slightly different formation. For i-adjectives, if you drop the い at the end, you are using the ...


14

Repeating the same noun twice as inNounというNoun here has the meaning of "all": …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。 "...all of the windows are being shined on by the evening sun and are sparkling red." Separately, Time NounというTime Noun can also emphasize time words, but that's a different usage, e.g.: 今日という今日 "today of all days" (Reference: definition ...


14

1日おきに = 2日ごとに (every other day, every second day) ●○●○●○●... 2日おきに = 3日ごとに (every three days, every third day) ●○○●○○●○○●... ごとに(毎に) http://ejje.weblio.jp/content/%E3%81%94%E3%81%A8%E3%81%AB おきに(置きに) http://ejje.weblio.jp/content/2%E6%97%A5%E7%BD%AE%E3%81%8D%E3%81%AB おき(置き) came from the verb 置く(leave). I think it's like "an interval (between the ...


13

Prepositions, and their equivalents postpositions and case inflections (declensions), are some of the most idiosyncratic aspects of languages and do not map well from language to language. Learners tend to have difficulties in these areas because a lot of rote memory or experience is required to become good at them. The Japanese language concept of ...


13

Yes, as a sentence opener, they are mostly identical and definitely interchangeable. As for details and nuances, cursory Googling yielded this: 「ちなみに」は今まで話していた内容に何か付け加えるときや、 その内容と関係があるけど、少し別の方向へ話を発展させるときに使います。 A: この大学には、学部生が500名、大学院生が50名います。 B: ちなみに、そのうち女性は何割ぐらいですか。 ...


13

Here are the only two exceptions I can think of where you absolutely can't insert "を": If the construction wasn't based on をする but とする like さっぱりする→◯さっぱりとする ☓さっぱりをする If the construction is "merged" single character する verbs like 動じる/動ずる、案じる/案ずる、命じる/命ずる、失する、課する、罰する etc. However, it's uncommon to just add を in in many cases - so the result may be awkward if ...


13

As I understand it, the term “no-adjective” simply means “nouns which are typically translated to adjectives in English and other languages.” If we treat Japanese as a language in its own right, distinguishing them from nouns as different parts-of-speech is completely artificial. The particle の makes a modifier of a noun. The exact relationship between ...



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