I was doing some reading practice in a Japanese intro book of mine and I can't translate the second part of this sentence-


I'm a bit confused b/c of a few reasons. I've never seen an adjective used prenominally to describe frequency/time expressions like 毎日. I don't regard them as normal nouns cuz they don't really require a following particle so I thought they were more like adverbs really. What does 忙しい毎日 mean here? Everyday, which is busy? Can you use adj. for other time words like 寒い明日? Does that even make any sense?

Also I don't really get how the に particles in「勉強にレジャーに」are being used here. Are they making the preceding nouns into adverbs, a reason for doing something, etc.

EDIT: I added more of the passage to put the sentence in better context.

  • can we see more context, i.e., preceding or following sentences if any?
    – yadokari
    Commented Nov 28, 2013 at 5:41
  • I think there's a distinction between relative time expressions and and general ones, as to whether you can modify them when used as an adverb - but I'm not really confident of the details to make it an answer. anyone want to weigh in?
    – momerathe
    Commented Nov 28, 2013 at 10:28
  • 1
    What if the 毎日 was replaced with [日々]{ひび}? Like, "busy days". Would it be easier to understand?
    – user1016
    Commented Nov 28, 2013 at 11:59

4 Answers 4



could be rephrased to


My English is not very good but let me try.

I'm living a busy life working and playing.

"playing" here may not be a right word. Anyway the speaker is saying s/he is spending life full of activities.

  • Thank you! I asked a Japanese person and he also said the「に」here also is being used like「~たり」grammar wise. I was a bit confused because the textbook never introduced this usage of に. Still I thought [で」would be better. 勉強やレジャーで忙しい毎日をおくっています。Is that not correct? I spend my busy life with studies and leisure n stuff.
    – user4239
    Commented Nov 28, 2013 at 11:11
  • Yes! 「勉強やレジャーで忙しい毎日をおくっています」 is perfect! This usage of に is more used in written Japanese, sounds more formal. The passage you cited from your textbook is a letter, right? (It sounds, at least to me, a letter, or a very objective observation.) Replace with your sentence and make it 「二人は去年の九月に日本語文化を勉強しに来日しました。最初は日本語の勉強で大変でしたが、今は日本語もだんだんわかってきて、勉強やレジャーで忙しい毎日をおくっています。」This is completely natural!
    – Ken
    Commented Nov 28, 2013 at 11:57
  • Thanks. Yes, the passage is from a made-up section of a fashion magazine! Now I'm just curious about the rules for adj.+temporal nouns.
    – user4239
    Commented Nov 28, 2013 at 13:17
  • 「レジャーで遊ぶ」って言うかなあ?まあ「レジャー」って言葉自体、時代遅れだと思うけど。
    – user4032
    Commented Nov 29, 2013 at 12:13
  • @TokyoNagoya OPの文献がちょっと古いとゆうことで・・・まぁ、古い文献を読む人もいますので、ね・・・
    – user1016
    Commented Nov 29, 2013 at 15:55

〜に忙しい is a set phrase meaning "busy with X".

  • ですよね・・これ/ これですよね・・
    – user1016
    Commented Nov 28, 2013 at 11:49

I think the 2nd half means literally

[how] I am spending everyday

[how] = busy studying , busy at leisure、


I'll try to answer this so as to approach a common understanding, though I myself have a hard time adequately understanding the sentence as well.

忙しい毎日 seems to be a common enough expression.

Perhaps one could equate it with the English, "Busy everyday."

Here is my probably flawed attempt at a translation:


I'm gradually starting to get a hold on Japanese now, busying myself everyday by studying at my leisure.

Adjective plus time noun is a common pattern:

"暑い毎日" or even "忙しい時間,” something perhaps more common.

I don't grasp what the も signifies or how the にs in the second half are used, so perhaps someone else can explain that.

Perhaps the meaning would become clearer if more context was provided as well.

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