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A: Ambiguous relative clauses

I found this sentence on the internet.

“させるという文法を使った例文を教えてください”

“Please, give (tell) me an example sentence in which (you) used saseru grammar.” (I feel like this was the intended meaning)

“a sentence that used saseru grammar” with 例文 as a subject. (sounds kinda odd to me)

Were it written as “させるという文法を使う例文” I would translate it either as: “an example sentence in which (you) will use saseru grammar” (sounds fine). “an example sentence that (will) use saseru grammar” (sounds kinda odd).

電気料金をカットする方法

When the natives see a sentence like this, do they read it neutrally without a subject as “a method to cut electricity charges” or is it rather “a method by which (we/you) (will) cut electricity charges” for example. Basically, when there is a transitive verb in a relative clause, but without a subject, is that subject always implied?

B: する verbs

For example, if I wanted to explain to a person something like: “This video game automatically connects you to a lobby.”

IT (the game) automatically connects YOU to a lobby. Now the Japanese translation: それが(the game)あなたを自動的に接続する I know it is unnatural, but I am at loss. What’s more the verb 接続する can either be 他 or 自動詞 and there is no way to tell without the particles. Basically, all the suru verbs are extremely confusing due to transitivity not being marked.

誰にももう言うことがなくなって、会合は終了した。

Is 終了した 他 or 自 in this sentence?

C: い adjectives

When I say:

悲しい日, it can mean both: days when I am sad or just sad days. How do I resolve the ambiguity?

I was thinking maybe: 私が悲しい日 or 私が悲しいときの日 “days when I am sad” or 私の悲しい日 “my sad days”

悲しいときの時 “times when I am sad”.

Am I on the right track?

D: verbs and adjectives from “onomatopoeic” words

I once heard someone say イライラ, but is it a verb or an adjective?

1 Answer 1

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I guess you better separate the questions.

Here are brief answers.

A. Some ambiguities are inevitable. For を使った例文, it reads more like examples using. In most cases, implied subjects do not matter or are obvious from the context. And there are cases there is no implied subject, that is, the modified noun is the subject of the preceding clause where the verb is intransitive: 転んだ子供 = a child who fell.

B. For the 接続する example, it is a bit unnatural because inanimate subjects are much rarer in Japanese than in Western languages (though it is contrary to the above 例文 uses saseru). Using passive will sound more natural: 自動的に接続されます

For 終了する, it can be both transitive/intransitive but the particular case is intransitive due to the lack of object (marked with を).

C. 悲しいときの時/日 does not work. 悲しい時 is fine and for whom is understood by contexts or by adding Xにとって which sounds a little wordy. 私が悲しい日 is grammatically fine, but not idiomatic by itself.

D. It is a noun. There are a variety of them that can be used as verbs by appending する. See this for example.


All your questions are about subtle points. If the above does not resolve your questions, I'd suggest to repost them separately, possibly with some more examples.

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  • Thank you, the PDF file is great, but as you suggested, I will try to rewrite the questions and post them separately with more examples. So, may I delete this post? I will be posting again soon.
    – amfunny
    May 26, 2022 at 0:59
  • @amfunny Deleting will be fine, but you won't be able to see this answer either.
    – sundowner
    May 26, 2022 at 1:12
  • That’s ok, I copied it. But I wonder if you do not loose any points after I delete it. I am not yet entirely sure how this site works.
    – amfunny
    May 26, 2022 at 1:16
  • I guess the points will be gone. But never mind.
    – sundowner
    May 26, 2022 at 1:20
  • Thank you, I will try to post more clearly from now on.
    – amfunny
    May 26, 2022 at 1:22

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