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93

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 going to attempt to synthesize some of that here, but Kuno's explanation is much ...


67

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 ...


53

(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. ...


51

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.' ...


45

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 ...


43

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 ...


36

に emphasizes the location へ emphasizes the direction まで emphasizes the process or journey


35

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 ...


33

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 ...


29

「読むには読んだ」 means 'skimmed' a book. You quickly run through the book, but not intensively. "VるにはVだ" means "I did it (but not intensively / seriously), if I were forced to answer if I did it, or not." For example: 英語を習うには習った、でも上手く喋れない - I learned English, but I cannot speak English well. 聞くには聞いた、でも覚えていない - I heard it, but I cannot recall. 言うには言った、...


28

~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. ...


26

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. ...


25

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 ...


24

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 ...


24

You usually can't have two をs in one clause, so when you see one, most commonly one of the following is true: It's part of a 〜を〜に(して) construction in which して is left out. AをBに → AをBに(して) You can recognize this one by the distinctive 〜を〜に pattern, often with a comma. A repeated verb has been left out ("backward gapping"): XがAを、そしてYがBを買った → XがAを(...


23

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 ...


21

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 can't ...


21

Just want to add to @永劫回帰's answer, which is a good one explaining the origin of the verb form 「あり」. Prose/Composition Grammar vs. Other Sets of Grammar: While a sentence like 「[保育園]{ほいくえん}がある。」 or 「保育園があります。」 is just perfect if used in prose or compositions. Those contain not a single sign of wordiness or unnaturalness in them. After all, each sentence ...


20

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 ...


20

Very simply : 食べることができる I am technically able to eat. I have a mouth, a stomach, and so on. When you ask "can you do this for me" and your witty friend replies "yes, I can" but doesn't do it, that's this meaning of potentiality that he chose to understand. You'd use this form to say "I cannot time travel" or "I cannot fly". You cannot do anything about ...


19

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 go" ...


19

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 ...


19

Repeating the same noun twice as inNounというNoun here has the meaning of "all" (definition #5 at Daijisen): …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 (definition #4 at Daijisen), e.g.: ...


19

It's short for の家{うち}. You will normally see the abbreviation んち: (1a) 俺の家に来い。 (1b) 俺んちに来い。 (2a) お前の家に行きたいなぁ。 (2b) お前んちに行きたいなぁ。 But in cases where there is already an ん before the abbreviation (like おばあちゃん ends in ん in this case) we just see ち: (3a) タモリさんの家に行きたい。 (3b) タモリさんちに行きたい。 (4a) 明日麻美ちゃんの家に行く。 (4b) 明日麻美ちゃんちに行く。 So your ...


18

To answer that, I think we first have to look at one of the more important roles of topic markers (in any language that has them): marking contrast. The topic marker as a marker of contrast Look at this conversation for instance: A: 一番好きな中華料理か? たぶん麻婆豆腐だと思う。 My favorite Chinese dish? Probably Mapo Doufu, I guess. B: そうか。俺はちょっと辛いのが苦手なんだ。 I ...


18

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, ...


18

There is a class of Japanese verbs (and more generally, predicates) whose subjects and objects take が.[1] For example: あの学生がその本が要る。(Ano gakusei ga sono hon ga iru. "That student needs your book.") 猫が魚が好きだ。(Neko ga sakana ga suki da. "Cats like fish.") 私が日本語が分かる。 (Watashi ga nihongo ga wakaru. "I understand Japanese.") (Of couse, these がs can be replaced ...



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