Out of the conjugations of だ, the 連用形 is what is confusing me.

I understand だ、だろ、な、なら fine, but I'm confused about だっ、で、に.

I think my question might be a bit too broad and that's because I really have no clue what I'm supposed to figure out. I might have some understanding of those uses when I see them in a sentence, but grouped in isolation like that, I'm perplexed.

Could someone explain how they're used or what they mean?

  • 断定の助動詞「だ」の活用に、「に」ってあったっけ・・・? – Chocolate Oct 15 '15 at 15:44
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    『日本文法大辞典』によると、「形容動詞を認めない立場に立てば、連用形に「に」の形が加えられる。」(p.412) – snailplane Oct 15 '15 at 15:58

Well, だった is simply the past tense form of だ.

きれいだった。 It was pretty.

で can get a little bit more complicated when you start to describe all the cases it can be used, but it's basically just the TE-form of だ. So, if you wanted to combine two sentences, for example "I went to the store" and "I bought some food", it would become "スーパーへ行って、食べ物を買いました。" You put the verb 行く into TE-form, and add on the next sentence. So, if your first sentence ended with だ, you would do the same thing.

僕は学生、数学を勉強しています。 I am a student, and I am studying math.

Also, the negative form of だ technically uses the TE-form as well.

で+は+ない => ではない => じゃない

Or is also used in the word である. Which is basically another way of saying だ, but that's another topic for another time.

As for に I think you're referring to something like きれいに or 静かに where these words would normally be followed by な, correct? You can think of this as simply turning the adjective into an adverb.

これは静かな部屋ですね。 This is a quiet room.

この部屋では静かにして下さい。 Please be quiet in this room.

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  • "it's basically just the TE-form of だ." "turning the adjective into an adverb" Thanks. These helped me understand the connection between 連用形 and adverbial forms better. In my answer to a question about the adverbial forms of verbs and nouns the て-form of verbs and -に added to adjectival nouns came up. – siikamiika Apr 7 '17 at 20:06
  • Also, in the question: "Could someone explain how they're used or what they mean?" could be answered with the actual meaning of the Japanese word. It's used for linking/connecting (but what to where generally speaking?) and all the different forms are just how the grammar works for different parts of speech it occurs after if I understand it correctly. This answer works without such generalization as well, though, and the question did say "or". – siikamiika Apr 7 '17 at 20:29
  • Specifically defining だ and it's forms can be a little hard as it's kind of vague. It's usually described as the copula meaning "to be", but the definition in the Japanese dictionary is <<助動>>[体言(相当の表現)に付く]話し手・書き手がその事柄を(肯定的に)認めて述べるという態度を表明する。 – rgolden Apr 8 '17 at 5:34
  • I mean 連用形's meaning since all the uses connect either だ or the word it's used with to the following word. But I agree that it's vague. In snailplane's comment on the question there is a quote from a book saying that に as the 連用形 of だ exists only if you don't acknowledge adjectival nouns – siikamiika Apr 8 '17 at 11:11
  • I've just come across this site which has some pretty good information on the topic I think. nanapi.com/ja/84610 – rgolden Apr 8 '17 at 14:24

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