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24

While sawa's answer does cover the basic construction rules, it's definitely worth it to go over the different use cases of わけ. Grab a comfy chair and your favorite beverage, because this is a long one. The best and most complete analysis I've found of this use of わけ is in this 2001 paper by Atsuko Yokota: 文末【ぶんまつ】表現【ひょうげん】「わけだ」の用法【ようほう】 : ...


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 ...


16

お仕事は? Oshigoto wa? is basically short for お仕事は何ですか? Oshigoto wa nan desu ka? あなたは仕事ですか? Anata wa shigoto desu ka? means "Are you work?" and is nonsensical†. は wa (not わ BTW) is the topic marker.* Just asking 〜は basically means "About ~..." and only hints at the actual question. Leaving things unspoken is a very typical thing in Japanese. "About (your) ...


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 ...


11

Usually, you have a sentence like: 後輩がサイフを開く koohai ga saihu wo hirak-u 'the junior opens the wallet' where the subject takes が and the object takes を. There is a morpheme -(s)ase- 'let', 'make' that expresses causative. The way you use it is that you embed the sentence, and change the embedded subject が into に, take another subject that will be ...


10

As ssb and fefe wrote, the sentence consists of two clauses which share the main verb あります. In this particular case, it would be easier to read if the author put a 読点 (“、”) in the sentence: 白い箱はカウチの上に、緑のランプは机の上にあります。 However, unlike commas in English, 読点 in Japanese is rarely (if ever) grammatically required. Authors are free to use 読点 wherever they ...


9

わけ is a noun meaning 'reason', but it might be better translated as 'circumstances' as Matt comments. When you put it at the end of a sentence, you are turning that sentence into an appositive clause modifying that noun. When the predicate is an adjectival noun (also called na-adjective), you need to change the ending into the adnominal ending (-な). The ...


9

Although it's sometimes hard to tell whether these are single particles put together or a different syntactic element made of two kana, I think it can happen: は will very easily follow a に or a で. For example: 日本には美しい都市が多い。 僕には彼女の言うことが分かった。 英日の翻訳と日英の翻訳では、英日の翻訳を希望する人のほうが多いようです。 (and many cases where it might be hard to decide whether では is really two ...


9

You are asking what や in 大きすぎやしないか is. I think that it is a colloquial deformation of は, as is explained in this entry in Daijirin. According to this explanation, it was originally 大きすぎはしないか, in which particle は was used to emphasize the part 大きすぎ. When attached to certain verbs, it is often further contracted as in わかりやしない → わかりゃしない, 聞きやしない → 聞きゃしない. ...


9

There are a few simple ways to express this. 「~~と(or に)+ [似]{に}ている」 = "similar to ~~" 「~~の + よう + です/だ/である」 = "like ~~" 「~~みたい + です/だ/である」 = "just like ~~" To use a slightly bigger word, one could say: 「~~と + [同様]{どうよう} + です/だ/である」 = "(very) similar to ~~" For the negative forms of the phrases above, make the following changes: 似ている ⇒ ...


8

There are many instances where one particle immediately follows another. Examples: アメリカでは何語が話されていますか。 車には一人分の空きがあった。 ごめん、僕にも責任があるんだ。 どんな子供でもそのくらい答えられる。* 雹が降るのを見たことがありますか。 彼は走るのが速くないわけではない。 Although it is very difficult to exhaustively explain all of the possibilities, one thing in particular stands out to me as a rule: Because the ...


7

I'd like to supplement Boaz's excellent answer with some concrete examples, for those members who learn better by example. Using this categorization system, you can say that linking particles may generally follow grammatical role particle when they indicate a role in a sentence... 僕に難しすぎるよ。It is too difficult for me. 僕には難しすぎるよ。[Others may find ...


7

At the risk of going slightly off-topic, I'm going to agree 100% with Kentaro and say that putting the demonstrative determiner (learned a new term today!) in the middle sounds more literary. But there are cases where you can (and indeed must) use this "literary" form in everyday Japanese to avoid ambiguity. Take the following examples: 絵を描いたあの子供 ...


7

Just like adjectives, verbs in Japanese can be used to describe nouns. In this situation, the 連体形 of the verb is used, which happen to be the same as 終止形 (the form used to end sentence) in modern Japanese. In this formation, a sentence is not formed. It only gets a descriptive phrase, which can be used as part of the sentence (as a noun phrase). So the ...


7

I think 皆{みんな} can mean "all" when used adverbially, as well as "everyone" or "everything": でも世界の子供はみんな私を知っています。 "But the children of the world all know me." You can also use みんな to refer to more than people: チーズは皆食べられてしまった "All of the cheese has been eaten." There's some more examples at the Yahoo dictionary definition for 皆{みな} (for ...


7

Certainly vocabulary helps, but you can get quite far by considering the structure of a sentence. Nouns are usually written in kanji (or katakana) and are practically always followed by a particle (を, が, は, から, etc.) (unless they are followed by a copula で, だ, です, etc.) The stem of verbs (including adjectival verbs, or "i-adjectives") is usually written in ...


7

These Romance language concepts simply do not apply to Japanese. In addition to the points made in a comment by Zhen Lin, Japanese does not have genders, and its nouns are indeclinable. Its verbs do not conjugate for grammatical person either. Japanese also does not have a grammatical requirement to supply subjects or pronouns with verbs. The way to ...


7

Yes, but there are multiple ways to say it. Just off the top of my head, I can think of at least these: 聴衆の前に立ち、新製品の発表を行った 聴衆の前に立って、新製品の発表を行った 聴衆の前に立ちつつ、新製品の発表を行った 聴衆の前に立ちながら、新製品の発表を行った Some of them has subtle nuances that others don't have, but I think all of them are more or less interchangeable.


6

Nouns can always take the particles を and が. 形容動詞 cannot take these particles unless they are also classified as 名詞. As far as I know, neither 出色 or 特別 are independently-functioning nouns in standard grammar. One way you can check is by googling the exact phrase "特別を", for example. If hits are low, or if you get hits with 特別 set off from the を by quote ...


6

て is a form that is quite basic (called gerund, infinitive, or participle in modern linguistics depending on the researcher) and has different usages. Among the various usages, it can be used as an omitted form of ...てください 'please do ...' or ...てほしい 'I want you to do ...', expressing request with various strength depending on the context, but it cannot be ...


6

Your sentence 1 is ambiguous with respect to the scope of 少なくとも: 彼は[少なくとも週に一度]車を洗う 'He washes his car at least once a week.' 彼は少なくとも[週に一度車を洗う] 'He at least washes his car one a week. (He also changes the motor oil once a month.)' The first meaning is the same one as your setence 2, but the second meaning cannot be expressed by sentence 2. In ...


6

Anastrophe exists in Japanese: Usual order: 前の彼女が放火、殺人、信号無視の罪で終身刑になったと知って安心した。 Anastrophe: 前の彼女が終身刑になったと知って安心した。放火、殺人、信号無視の罪で。 (Note about the word 終身刑: Strictly speaking, 終身刑 means life imprisonment without parole, and the usual life imprisonment with a possibility of parole is technically called 無期刑. However, in nontechnical context, 終身刑 often ...


6

ご飯を食べてから一緒に公園で/をさんぽしましょ。 ご飯を食べてから公園で/を一緒にさんぽしましょ。 ... both sound natural to me and I don't see much difference between them. You can also say ご飯の後で~~ ご飯を食べたら~~ ~~~一緒に公園にさんぽに行きましょ。 etc.


5

It is more polite if you omit or not using straight form when asking personal things. お しごと は  means お しごと は なんですか? And following is not correct あなた は しごと です か which means "Are you a work?"


5

As ジョン says, the similarities are very strong between もはや and もう. The meaning is that something has now reached a certain state, leaving its past state behind. This can imply that the change is irreversible. 彼はもはや犯罪者だ。 He's a criminal now. (he's now reached that point, and there is no turning back from it.) 彼はもう社長です。 He's a company president now. (cast ...


5

In short, -raka and -yaka are compound of -ra + -ka and -ya + -ka, respectively. -ra, -ya, and -ka are all derivational suffixes that add a stative sense. -ya is rather rare. In the Old Japanese corpus, I can only find three words: nikoya, nagoya, and fuwaya. This suggests that suffix was of only limited productivity then and explains why it was soon ...


5

If you compare the corresponding verbs in different languages, they all have the same hierarchical structure. What make difference at the surface include the following factors: 1) The hierarchical structure-to-word order mapping is different among languages. The most basic word order in Japanese and English that corresponds to the first example are ...


5

まっ◯◯ is indeed 真っ, but it does not exactly mean straight. It can mean straight when you use it as 真っ直ぐ, but that's because of the meaning of すぐ. 真っ emphasizes the word that it's connected to. If you look at the meaning of 真 by itself, like "true," then it's a little clearer. So 真っすぐ means that it's "really" straight. まっきいろ would be "really" yellow, or like a ...


5

Flaw's answer is of course correct, but here's another way to look at it. Start with a simple sentence like this: 犬{いぬ}が好{す}きだ。 "I like dogs." Since the predicate is a na-adjective, 好きだ, the object (犬) needs to be marked by が. (Your second sentence is ungrammatical for this reason, btw.) Then, if you want to say something like "I like running.", ...



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