Japanese Language Stack Exchange Community Digest

Top new questions this week:

Can verbs/i-adjectives be indefinitely conjugated, or is there a limit?

寒い can become 寒くない, which is apparently also an i-adjective. Can it be further conjugated to 寒くなくない? What about 寒くなくなくない, and so on? Do Japanese speakers regard such expressions as outright ...

grammar conjugations  
asked by gil 9 votes
answered by naruto 15 votes

Why can't you say " 私は学生をしています?

Was practicing and came across some examples of saying what you are. 看護師をしています 学生です However, they explained that you cannot say the following: 学生をしています It would have to be gakusei desu. Why is ...

grammar nuances  
asked by sups12 7 votes
answered by naruto 10 votes

Unknown string of kana "-始めようとしていたなかで-"?

The above image is screengrabbed from the intro to ロンドン精霊探偵団, a story set in 19th century London. This is a line from the prologue. It reads: その予感が 人々の中に芽生え始めようとしていたなかで きままに暮らす ひとりの少年がいた…… I have ...

grammar particles kana  
asked by Bo Thompson 4 votes
answered by JansthcirlU 5 votes

Strange usage of を-Particle inside a 俳句 (haiku)

There is a company which sells tea in teabags that have a haiku printed on one of the sides (of the teabag). Recently I came upon the following haiku: 昼寝{ひるね}して 鳥獣{ちょうじゅう}戯画{ぎが}の 中{なか}にをり ...

orthography particle-を haiku  
asked by Quit007 4 votes
answered by Eiríkr Útlendi 10 votes

Trouble understanding small bits of poetry in a japanese novel

Recently, I bought my first all-in-japanese novel to improve my reading skills. The novel itself uses a modern, very simple grammar (it's Ningen no kouta by Kō Machida) so it's not hard to understand. ...

grammar words classical-japanese literature poetry  
asked by goradora 4 votes
answered by broccoli facemask - cloth 3 votes

Unknown contractions and grammar in harsh language using 置いてくもん

I'm playing a game and I came across a dialog where a person says: 置いてくもん置いてきゃ 許してやらなくもないぜオラァ! And I'm having a difficult time understanding how this grammar was formed. I am mainly lost on the ...

grammar contractions  
asked by Tylersansan 4 votes
answered by Chocolate 4 votes

What is the best interpretation of "釣込" ("tsurikomi")?

To be more specific, my question relates to the judo throw named "釣込腰" ("tsurikomi goshi"). The most common translation I've seen is "lifting and pulling hip/waist throw" ...

kanji metaphor  
asked by rccapps 3 votes
answered by naruto 3 votes

Greatest hits from previous weeks:

What is 「々」 and how does it affect meaning and pronunciation?

I've seen this symbol in various places, such as 「日々」, 「色々」, and 「人々」. What is it, and how does it affect the meaning and pronunciation of the word?

kanji pronunciation  
asked by Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams 33 votes
answered by nevan king 36 votes

Differences among -たら、なら、-んだったら、-えば, etc

The Japanese language has a lot of patterns for "if" clauses. What are the differences among the following patterns and how do we choose to use one over the others?: 行くと 行ったら 行くなら 行けば 行くんだったら 行くのなら ...

grammar conjugations suffixes conditionals  
asked by Lukman 128 votes
answered by Derek Schaab 121 votes

What does the little っ (tsu) signify when at the end of a word?

The small っ (tsu) is usually used before a consonant to indicate gemination, less technically known as doubled consonants, which is how they are transliterated in romaji. I have seen it at the end of ...

pronunciation orthography kana-usage gemination  
asked by hippietrail 39 votes
answered by Amanda S 27 votes

What is the accurate meaning of そうですね/そうですか?

I was told that 'そうですか’ has two basic meanings according to the speaker's accent. One is 'Really? I understand', the other meaning is 'Yes, it is, I know that'. But what about 'そうですね'? Does '...

grammar phrases  
asked by Null 5 votes
answered by Yuuichi Tam 6 votes

What is the difference between the nominalizers こと and の?

As Derek mentioned in his postscript, both こと and の are nominalizers that can turn a verb into a noun. ピアノを弾く【ひく】。 I play the piano. ピアノを弾く【ひく】のが好き【すき】です。 I like playing the piano. ピアノを弾く【ひく】ことが好き【すき】...

grammar usage verbs nominalization  
asked by Troyen 117 votes
answered by Derek Schaab 121 votes

Do we really need to remember the kunyomi and onyomi reading of each kanji?

I am learning how to write kanji using the obenkyo app. I am trying to remember the strokes of each kanji and how to read them (onyomi & kunyomi). But do I really need to remember the onyomi &...

kanji readings multiple-readings onyomi  
asked by Kakashi 8 votes
answered by ajsmart 8 votes

こちら (kochira) or これ (kore)?

What's the difference between 'Kore wa watashi no ... desu' (これ は わたし の 。。。 です) and 'Kochira wa watashi no.. desu' (こちら は わたし の。。 です) when introducing a person? Is kore used for inanimate ...

word-choice pronouns  
asked by Kitty 6 votes
answered by Mark 2 votes

Can you answer these questions?

Parsing a sentence with two な-adjectives in quick succession

I'm reading a manga called Buchou wa Onee, and in the first pages, we are introduced to the main character and a few peculiar things about him as told by workmates. https://ssl.standardbook.net/wp-...

na-adjectives particle-な  
asked by Emesira 2 votes
answered by kei 0 votes

届けるなってな meaning

I cannot understand the sentence from the grammar point. Could you please explain "届けるなってな" to me? Why do the Japanese attach なって after the "る" form. What does the particle "な&...

asked by 12789543 16644568 2 votes
answered by kei 0 votes

Can someone help explain this meaning of this Japanese sentence in English

聖なるものの持つ一同性が、そこでは否定され、しかも日常的な俗に転落しきることなく、いつも対岸のそこに存在するがゆえに、聖は悪の影を宿す I understand the first part is talking about how same sex marriage is denied by 'holiness/religion' but I have no idea what the ...

asked by Faye Larkins 1 vote
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