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Could the particle に (point in time) be in a sentence that doesn't end on a verb? For example: 火曜日に日本語の勉強です。

If incorrect, could anyone explain why? Could it be that time-indicator に always needs a verb?

I checked 'A dictionary of basic Japanese grammar'. All the example sentences ended on a verb, except this one: 来年の夏(に)外国旅行をするつもりです。

(source: Makino, S. and Tsutsui, M. (2006). A dictionary of basic Japanese grammar. 55th ed. Tokyo: Japan Times, p. 289, 290).

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  • +1 for carefully citing a source, but "55th edition"? Really?
    – Eddie Kal
    Feb 22 at 17:35
  • @EddieKal I don't understand what the problem is....
    – JulioJ
    Feb 22 at 17:50
  • I am saying: are you sure that book has been revised at least 55 times?
    – Eddie Kal
    Feb 22 at 17:51
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    @EddieKal oh I might have written a typo. Will check later. Thank you for politely and kindly informing me.
    – JulioJ
    Feb 22 at 17:52
  • @JulioJ です is the polite form of だ, which is a verb and it's called the 'copula'.
    – Nameless
    Feb 22 at 20:17

1 Answer 1

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A sentence like 火曜日に日本語の勉強です does occur in everyday conversation.

A: 来週何か予定がありますか。
B: はい、月曜日にバイトがあります。それから、火曜日に日本語の勉強です。

However, it doesn’t sound quite grammatical. It sounds like something is omitted and です is added in its place to make it sound like a proper, polite sentence.

The casual version sounds more natural.

A: 来週何か予定ある?
B: うん、月曜日にバイト。それから、火曜日に日本語の勉強。

This sounds natural because a lot of things are omitted anyways.

When に points to a specific time, it points to a specific time at which some event or action happens. The event or action itself may be expressed with a noun, but you need a verb to say it happens at the referenced time.

火曜日に日本語の勉強があります

火曜日に日本語の勉強をします

For this reason, a clause that ends with the time-marking に needs to modify a verbal clause.

The sentence from your book is no exception. It should be read this way.

[[来年の夏()外国旅行をする]つもり]です。

The に-clause modifies, or is part of, the verbal clause that ends with する, and this whole thing modifies the noun つもり as a "relative" clause.

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  • So that's idiomatic ungrammaticality?
    – Eddie Kal
    Feb 23 at 17:24
  • I don't see how it's ungrammatical.
    – Nameless
    Feb 24 at 3:05
  • @Nameless - It’s difficult to draw a line, and the line may move over time. As an example, [い-Adj]-です was considered ungrammatical earlier. As for this one, I see it on the side beginner to intermediate learners should avoid. By comparison, 火曜日から日本語の勉強です sounds fine. In fact, 日本語の勉強は火曜日からです is also a valid sentence, whereas (x)日本語の勉強は火曜日にです is clearly ungrammatical. The time-から requires a period and a noun alone is enough to represent that period. The time-に, on the other hand, requires a punctual action or event, and this can be expressed only with a verb. The place-で is similar.
    – aguijonazo
    Feb 24 at 9:36
  • @EddieKal - I see it as 体言止め followed by です as the politeness marker. To me it sounds natural only in a context where someone is reading out items on a schedule, like 7時に朝食です, 8時にロビーに集合です, etc.
    – aguijonazo
    Feb 24 at 9:37
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    @Nameless - "Punctual" may not have been a very good word choice. 毎週火曜日に日本語の勉強をしています is of course grammatical, where the verb describes a habitual state. What I meant to say was that whereas から marks one end of something that can be seen as a line, に marks something that can be seen as one point and a verb is required to bind that thing to a specific point on the timeline because a noun itself is "unbound". In the above example, する does that and いる takes care of the subsequent point-to-line, or action-to-state, conversion. This is not possible with 勉強 alone.
    – aguijonazo
    Mar 22 at 21:48

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