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Questions tagged [auxiliaries]

助動詞. Inflecting function words or endings such as 〜ます and 〜ない. Many inflect like verbs (such as 〜(ら)れる), but many others do not (such as 〜たい), so here we will call these simply "auxiliaries" and not "auxiliary verbs". These should be distinguished from 補助動詞(ほじょどうし), which are tagged "subsidiary verbs" on this site to avoid confusion.

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How did でしょうand だろう come to mean “probably”?

This is something I have been struggling with for long time. I don't see why, I don't understand how でしょう and だろう convey the meaning of "probably" as in sentences such as 雨が降るでしょう。It simply doesn't ...
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When using a -te form in keigo, does one change both the verb and the auxiliary?

For instance, does one use 召し上がって いらっしゃる and いただいて おる? With iku and kuru, does it matter whether they retain their movement meaning (written in kanji) or not (written in hiragana)?
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Auxiliary verbs in Japanese

What are auxiliary verbs in Japanese language? Which verbs are auxiliary and how to tell which are auxiliaries, and which are normal? It looks like the word です is an auxiliary verb. But why? What ...
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clause ending ようで clarification

でも生徒同士で序列をつけるようで、こうした風習もどうもね…… 手はまったく届かなかったが願いは届いたようで、謎の生命体は翼をはためかせてメアの頭に着地した あいつの意見が正しかったことだけは認めざるを得ないようで、亮二もそれ以上食って掛かりはしなかった。 俺もノートに向かい続ける授業は苦手なようで、自然に体を動かす実技授業が多くなった I can't really ...
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What is the correct way to attach 〜そう to the start of a noun? [duplicate]

Take for example the following, よさそう which means (it) looks good. Is it possible for one to attach a 〜そう phrase to the start of a noun? Taking a good apple as an example sentence, are any of the ...
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What is the conjugation form, grammar of もうすぐ込んできそう ?

アナウンス:皆様、本日はご来場ありがとうございます。午前十時現在の各館の 混雑状況と催しものの お知らせをいたします。まず、ロボット館はただいま、 一時間待ちとなっております。ロボット館のレ ストランではロボットがランチ をお席までお運びをするサービスをしております。お昼近くになります と、さ らに混雑が見込まれます。次に、未来館は現在すぐにお入りいただけます。なお、 ...
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Is ょう still one single word/助動詞 in the expression しましょう?

Kuromoji is a Japanese tokenizer. When using it on the expression しましょう, it gave the following analysis: Surface form Part-of-Speech Base form Reading Pronunciation し 動詞,自立,*,* ...
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受け身形, 使役形, and 使役受け身形: A side by side comparison practice

受け身形, 使役形, and 使役受け身形. These forms confuse me to no end. Therefore, I have done a sort of comparison practice using these forms side by side. Each sentence is followed by my translation, and then a ...
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「〜すぎる」と「〜まくる」はどう違いますか。

question: Is there a difference in feeling for the words? Like すぎる feels more negative with an emphasis on disagreement with the action taken, while まくる is more about the amount? Examples I came ...
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How to translate 'She was made to make him give me the book'?

How to translate 'She was made to make him give me the book'? (as in: 'someone made her make him give me the book.') Can I translate it to: Kanojo wa watasi-ni kare-ni hon-o kure-sase-sase-rare-ta. ...
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人間は普通ここに来れんのになあ I Know it means Humans Cannot Come here usually

人間は普通ここに来れんのになあ I Know it means Humans Cannot Come here usually. but doesn't 来られます Means can come Potential Form But 来れ Then ん Confuses me.
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verb-casual ような (possible translation)

東都大学の国際交流クラブでは、外国人と日本人が一緒に楽しめるような行事を企画したり紹介したりしている。 How should I translate this ような? The only possible translation to me is "in order that".. am I wrong?
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Why 寝たよう instead of 寝そう in this example

I was going through a JLPT grammar practice book and am confused on a question: 「一郎、まだ起きているかな。」 「部屋の電気が消えているから、もう_____よ。」 I choose 寝そう since ~そう is often used to make conjectures based on visual ...
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Grammar justification for 連用形 + 係助詞「は」+(ない・ある)

So recently I came across these two answers to two very interesting questions, and related: one and two. Both mention the following form: (連用形{れんようけい} of something) + (optional 係助詞{かかりじょし}) + (...
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What does 開けたかった mean?

From the novel The Old Man and the Sea. Japanese translation on Aozora: http://www.aozora.gr.jp/cards/001847/files/57347_57224.html 「食ったほうがいいか?」 「そう言ってるじゃないか」少年は優しく答えた。「サンチャゴの用意ができてから蓋を開けたかったんだ」 ...
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meaning of みんべえ

The full sentence comes from the story of 力太郎. Here it is: 「ばあさん や。この あか で にんぎょう を つくって みんべえ。」 I understand all the words except みんべえ, which I couldn't find in my dictionary. Is this an old ...
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Meaning of verbal suffix ~てくたっとしてしまう

I've come across several cases of verbs with the suffix ~てくたっとしてしまう, but am unsure how to break this suffix down, or what it means exactly. It seems that this is the て-form of the base verb, followed ...
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how to use ~そう past tense

If I want to say, "you look tired", 疲れそう doesn't work, as that is "looks like I/you will get tired", but is 疲れたそう a thing? feels wrong... Is it possible to use ~そう past tense? past negative? Is there ...
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未然形 of である and 連用形 of だ

When I checked the entry of 助動詞 「だ」 in the dictionary, I found the following example sentence: 「学生は怠けるべきではない」 Does the fact that で is in bold mean that で in ではない is actually the 連用形 of 「だ」? But ...
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What's a good grammatical antonym for the auxiliary verb 始める?

What's a good grammatical opposite for the auxiliary usage of the verb 始める, meaning that you're describing the beginning of a verb?
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Problems with そうです in this sentence

留守番電話に伝言入れたのに、それを 聞かなかったそうです 。 So, the problem I have is the following: In my textbook, I learned that ます-stem + そうです means "to seem", like "雨が降りそうです。" Then, dictionary form + そうです means hearsay, ...
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Curious about the phrase “しまいと” in a book I'm reading

I'm re-reading/translating a section of 金原ひとみ's 星へ落ちる for a translation course I'm taking and ran into the following sentence: 彼がこの家にいない時、私は彼があの人と食事しているところとあの人とセックスしているところを想像しまいと、...
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I have a question about this form そうな/そうに

ねむくなってしまいそうに癒される。 I can't figure out what this sentence is saying. I've asked my girlfriend and my coworkers (both Japanese) about そうに and they can't explain it. (One of my coworkers said it means 'a/...
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What's the rule for expressing “I don't want to”

As far as I know, for expressing you want to do something, you have to just attach たい to the verb stem like in カニを食べたい。 Then, what's the rule for saying "I don't want to". I've seen in this phrase ...
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Difference between 「彷徨う」 and 「彷徨える」、「狂う」 and 「狂える」 etc

In 大辞林, the definition of さまよえる as in さまよえるオランダ人 is あてもなくさまよっている。 while the (primary) definition of さまよう is 当てもなく、あるいは目指す所が見つからずにあちこち歩き回る。 What's the difference between the two words, and ...
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ほしがっている versus ほしそうだ

I don't really understand the differences between the following sentences. 彼は新しい車をほしがっている。 彼は新しい車をほしそうだ。 In both sentences, the speakers made conjectures based on the sign that the third person (彼) ...
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Why is there a な in this sentence?

I am translating the following sentence I found in my workbook. 美味しそうな写真を見て、思わず[涎]{よだれ}が出た。 美味しい is an i-adjective, so why is there a な?
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What is しか here?

[至誠]{しせい}に[悖]{もと}る[勿]{な}かりしか [言行]{げんこう}に[恥]{は}づる[勿]{な}かりしか... What part of speech is it? Wiki translates it as 真心に反する点はなかったか, which going by meaning only fits with 2(連語) here, but I couldn't find ...
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What is the meaning of Noun + なら

So in my N4 textbook, I have the following explanation for a grammatical construct: Noun + なら: Use "〜なら" when you say that options are no good, but "〜" is possible, okay or not a problem. The ...
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What is ~やまさりけん and what part of sentence is it used as?

In the scenes of fight in old stories, I sometimes encountered a phrase ~やまさりけん usually in the compound form: 力やまさりけん 腕やまさりけん What is the exact meaning of the phrase and what part of the ...
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連用形 of 「だ」 - difference between 「だっ」「で」「に」

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 ...
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What is it about ~まして?

Is it just the て-form of ます? So, could I just use 食べまして instead of 食べて? Leading to my next question (everything from here on is assumed): Since 食べまして is the polite form of 食べて, why wouldn't you use ...
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たる? What form is this?

So I've been reading Tsukihime the past few weeks and I found this sentence. 君の理論はわからんな。それでは命題たる永遠には程遠いぞ、蛇よ。 The fan translations says: I do not understand your reasoning. That is far from the ...
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みぜんけい or れんようけい form for ない conjugation of i-adjectives

It appears that nai conjugates onto the renyoukei (.ku) form of i-adjectives instead of the mizenkei (.karo) form, as it does with verbs. Is this correct? Every source I've found shows the .kunai ...
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Why can 言ってんじゃねーぞ be an order?

I've been learning japanese for quite a while and always wondered why : 言ってんじゃねえぞ could be an order. Whereas something like : 言わない can't be an order. Because basically, 【言ってんじゃねぞ】 is just : ...
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Psychological state verb + みる auxiliary?

Two "textbook" sentences + attached translations: 悔やんでみたところで始まらない。No matter how much you regret it, it won't change a thing. 「私は」彼が言ったことを何度も反芻してみた。 I thought over his remark again and again. ...
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Auxiliary verb ん

I came across this sentence in a grammar book (Japanese Postpositions: Theory and Practice by Noriko Katsuki-Pestemer): 生きんが為に働く。 In order to live, I work. It is then briefly explained that "...
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Can たい and たがる be used for a 1st/2nd/3rd person's desire?

もし生まれ変わっても見たい映画は あなたにありますか? When I saw the the above sentence, I started to wonder. Is it an over simplification to say that たい can only be used for your own desires? However the sentence above might ...
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Could a verb or adjective in the past tense 〜た refer to something no longer true?

I found the following sentences on a website teaching people the order of using the 助動詞. 彼は人に笑われる。 彼を人に笑われさせる。 彼を人に笑われさせたい。 彼を人に笑われさせたくない。 彼を人に笑われさせたくなかった。 彼を人に笑われさせたくなかっただろう。 I am ...
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How to parse ~なくたって?

I've been running into verbs such as 言わなくたって recently. I found these sentences using a sample sentence search and it seems to be a stronger form of ~なくても 見てなくたっていいよ。 You don't have to stand over ...
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〜たい form vs. 〜てほしい

When first learning Japanese grammar, one is usually taught that to express a desire to do something one should use the 〜たい form of the verb: 東京へ行きたい On some occasions, however, I've also seen ...
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が vs を in sentences of desire (-たい)

According to Genki, expressions of desire ( -たい sentences such as in the examples below) which use the particle を can also use the particle が interchangeably, and besides stating that, they give no ...
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When can “~たがる” not be used in a continuous tense?

I always place verbs with the "~たがる" ending (called a helping verb?) in the present continuous, or past continuous state: 行きたがっている。 食べたがっていた。 I am having trouble with using the non-continuous ...
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What is the connection between volitional よう form and であろう

I was wondering, what does the よう form of ある even mean? Does あろう act as volition of the object being spoken about? For example... if someone says 雨が降るでしょう(であろう)... is it the same as "It WILL rain" in ...
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Conjugation of negative auxiliary 〜ぬ

〜ない functions the same way as an adjective, and so it can be conjugated to 〜なかった, 〜なくて, and so on. As far as I can tell, this is not case for 〜ぬ. Does it function as a standalone suffix, or is it able ...
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What is the etymology of 〜ません(でした)?

I have always been interested in the negative polite (〜ません) and negative past-polite (〜ませんでした) inflections of verbs. My understanding is that ます is an inflectable function word (助動詞), so I'm ...
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Is ない an “auxiliary verb”?

My dictionary says 助動詞{じょどうし} means "auxiliary verb". This sounds intuitively correct; 動詞 means verb, so 助動詞 sounds like a type of verb. But the 助動詞「ない」 looks like an auxiliary adjective, not an ...
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Can desire be expressed for entities that do not hold volition?

We can personify things. By using "want" with an inanimate object, it is personified: An object with inertia wants to maintain its state of motion. (Question) First, is it possible in Japanese for ...