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「人は話せるようになるとすぐ いろいろなことを尋ねます」I would like this sentence to be broken into Subject, Object, Verb... I can only distinguish a few of the particles, and I understand (because of dictionary) that「話せる」means to talk,「尋ね」is 'to ask' and「人は」is people, but I am confused a bit about what is fully making the sentence. Please help..

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  • 人は: "as for humans" (noun + topic marker)
  • 話せる: "to be able to talk; can talk" (potential form of 話す "to talk")
  • ~ようになる: "to come to ~; to reach the point where ~" (see this)
  • : "if; when(ever); once" (conjunctive particle, see this)
  • すぐ: "soon" (adverb)
  • いろいろなことを: "various things" (noun phrase + object marker)
  • 尋ねます: "to ask" (ichidan verb in polite form)

All in all, the sentence literally means "As for humans, once [they] reach the point where [they] can talk, [they] soon ask various things". You can translate it more naturally like "As soon as a person learns to talk, they start to ask various questions."

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  • This sounds strange to use 人. Like, why wasn't it 赤ちゃん or something?
    – istrasci
    Aug 5 at 16:54
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    By not using 赤ちゃん, this sentence can also apply to non-native speakers learning a new language. As for why 人は is required here, note.com/asaokitan/n/n4e1b9dc24a26 gives a nice explanation. Aug 5 at 21:30
  • @istrasci I don't think 人 is unnatural because it's the shared topic of the entire sentence. Someone who can ask a lot of question is no longer an 赤ちゃん. Besides, this sentence is using only the simplest grammar points (it doesn't even say 尋ね始めます), so someone who wrote this might have thought 赤ちゃん was too difficult.
    – naruto
    Aug 6 at 0:11
  • @naruto: 話せるようになったら、どう呼ばれる?「幼児」?「小児」?
    – istrasci
    Aug 6 at 17:42
  • @istrasci 「子ども」じゃないですかね…
    – naruto
    Aug 6 at 23:38

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