Questions tagged [compounds]

複合語. Words formed by putting two or more words or other elements together.

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Does 〜ようにする mean both 'make sure' and 'try'? (Grammar reference clarification)

On pg554 of Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar, it says that [sic] 〜ようにする (to try to ~) is an idiomatic use of 〜ように (so that ~). However, pg562 gives the meaning 〜ようにする (to make sure that ~). It ...
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How to unambiguously express, as noun constructs, "dependent" and "dependee"?

"dependent": the thing that depends on another "dependee": the thing that is depended upon I was thinking 「依存しているもの」 and 「依存されているもの」. While 「依存されているもの」 probably works to ...
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Why is the い in 多い left out in 「本が多すぎる」?

The translation I was going for was "(there's) too many books." I wrote 「本が多いすぎる」but autocorrect changed it to 「本が多すぎる」. I then tried to use a na-adjective instead of an i-adjective, writing ...
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How to approach compound verbs?

I'm at a point where I keep encountering new compound verbs and I'm not sure how I should approach them to study. Is there a list or category of "main" compound suffixes (like 続ける, 始める, etc.)...
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What is the correct reading of 火防女?

I was playing around in the Japanese version of Dark Souls, and i came across the word 火防女 , which in english they translated as "Firekeeper". I have not been studying japanese for long, but ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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Can '渡 + country' be generalized to say 'going to country' for any country?

Some of the examples that appear in jisho.org are: 渡米: Going to the United States 渡印: Going to India 渡英: Going to the UK However, if I want to say 'Going to Afghanistan', can I say "渡亜"?
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Adjectives ending in らしい

I found some adjectives ending in らしい seem to be the combination of "stem of an adjective" and "らしい," e.g., かわいらしい, きたならしい, にくらしい, and いやらしい (there are certainly more). What ...
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Clarification on Compound Japanese nouns

I've sort of thought of making sentences for words in my custom Anki deck to sort of improve my sentence writing skills. Now, the word is 矛盾{むじゅん}, which means "contradiction" The sentence I'...
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Kanji compounds with the same meaning

I've come across a lot compunds of kanji where the kanjis mean the same thing. For example, 状態=state, 態=state, 状=state 表面=surface, 表=surface, 面=surface,mask Can someone explain how these two kanji ...
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Why a compound noun instead of XのY?

視界左上に固定表示されている細い横線が、わずかにその長さを縮める from ソードアート・オンライン1アインクラッド I'm curious to know why the author chose to use this construction instead of 視界の左上. Edit: And unrelated to that, I just noticed that the ...
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What does まんが in this passage mean?

まんが日本昔話みたいな婆ちゃんの声に、説得力があった。 Is it manga as in 漫画? If so why is it not 日本昔話まんが but まんが日本昔話?
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2 votes
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What's the difference between 取り消す vs 取り下げる?

I was adding sample sentences to my flash cards when I noticed that 取り消す means withdraw. 前言を取り消す withdraw [retract] one's statement This reminded of a sample sentence for 取り下げる 告訴を取り下げる ...
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What's the difference between compound words 複合語 and kanji compound 熟語?

Can someone tell me what's the difference between compound words (fukugougo) and kanji compound (jukugo)? From what I've read, only a combination of two letters from kanji is called compound word. ...
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What does the word 「ちゃらくさい」mean?

It comes from the following sentence which is spoken by a boy who normally uses Tokyo dialect. おれもだあ! おれもヘッドギャなんてちゃらくさいもんはいらんっ グローブも体重に関係なくいちばんでっかい十二オンスだ
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what does 素 mean in 素数?

Composite number is translated as 合成数 (by google translation to Japanese), which makes sense. Prime number is called 素数, but what does 素 means here? I am trying to trace the source of it. We ...
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6 votes
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What is 上がり refering to in this sentence?

I came across the following paragraph in a book. 一日の始まりは、まず基礎{きそ}体力の鍛錬{たんれん}。腹筋、屈伸{くっしん}、腕立{うでた}て伏{ふ}せ。お定まりの筋力トレーニングを、呼吸が上がり床{ゆか}に這{は}いつくばるまで 繰{く}り返す。 Is 上がり being used as a noun plus noun ...
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Compound word ending with an adjective stem (形容詞語幹) and used as a noun or a na-adjective

The word 大忙{おおいそが}し is classified as a noun or a na-adjective. If I analyze it correctly, the word 大忙し consists of the prefix (接頭語) "大" and the i-adjective stem of "忙しい." In addition, there is no ...
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Order of compound particles

I came across the following sentence: 彼氏と大喧嘩して、お前とはもう別れたいとまで言われた。 Why are と and まで in that order? Would "別れたいまでと言われた" be incorrect? Is there a rule concerning the order in which particles must be ...
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Why is Katakana not pronounced Katagana?

I am a beginner in Japanese and I've noticed that when two words are compounded into one word the first letter of the second word changes. hira + kana = hiragana ko + hayashi = kobayashi ori + kami ...
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7 votes
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A name for common words that use uncommon kanji?

I didn't see a duplicate for this in the similar questions, so here goes. Is there either a list of words like this, or a name for this type of word (made of two very rare/complex kanji, but the word ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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Pronunciation of 年

The general rule to choose between kun (とし) and on (ネン) readings does not seem to work here. Are 今年, 去年, 来年, 毎年, 半年, etc. different kinds of compounds justifying using different readings? Is this the ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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grammar - 接続 of compound words ending with verb-ず

In my understanding, the part of speech of a compound word is determined by its ultimate morpheme. (複合語の品詞は、後にくる語(形態素)の品詞によって定まります) 蒸す(V)+暑い(Adj) → 蒸し暑い(Adj) 持つ(V)+物(N)  → 持ち物(N) and a verb in its -...
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Is the adjective インディペンデント actually used as an adjective?

I saw a movie labeled インディペンデント作品 The adjective インディペンデント does not end in i and is followed by neither na nor no here. Is this meant as a strange compound noun (katakana + kanji)? Or is this a ...
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Why is the State of the Union Address Called 一般教書演説?

The President of the United States gives a speech referred to in English as the "State of the Union". Why is this speech called 一般教書演説{いっぱんきょうしょえんぜつ} in Japanese?
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What does 通常進行 mean in the context of a two week serialized mangaka job?

I can understand both words separately, and even together in some specific contexts. I can't understand the meaning of these two together in the following phrase and context: 「締切りを3日早めてほしいの。...
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5 votes
2 answers
203 views

How to pronounce noun compounds

How do I determine the pronounication of compound nouns such as 来年夏. Obviously 来年の夏 is pronounced らいねんのなつ but what happens when I remove the の? Does it just become らいねんなつ? My guess from everything I'...
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The verb after conjugation in たり compound sentence, is still a verb? And if so, why is it despite する being the verb?

雨の日は滑ったり、転んだりする。 If する is the verb, then what is the role of the 転んだり in the grammatical sense? I understand that it is a verb which is transformed into 転んだり in a compound sentence but is it still ...
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Negation in a verbてverbてはならない/いけない compound

I saw this sample sentence while looking up 乗せる on a dictionary: バスが乗客を乗せたり降ろしたりしているときは注意して通らなくてはならない。 While a bus is loading and unloading, you must be very careful passing it. What I do not ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Adding honorific prefix in a compound construction? (E.g. 買ってくれになる)

I'm currently learning how to use くれる/あげる correctly, and I want to practice using 敬語 in my sentence. However, I am not sure where I should put the pre-verb honorific prefix お used in おVERB+になります as I ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Compound words and の-particle

I'm not really a smart fellow so, please, be gentle. I have a slight unclearness in the difference between noun+の+noun construction and compound words. Could you help me to understand which of those ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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Is [馬面]{うまづら} a facial expression or a type of face shape?

馬面 I found it translated as: a horseface, a very long face; horse-faced, very long-faced. Now here we call "long face" to be really sad. So in the translation, I don't know if 馬面 is referring to a ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Do 山人 and 仙人 have the same meaning of they mean different things?

I find that the compounds mean "mountain people" or "hermit". Do these words have some difference in meaning or do they actually mean exactly the same?
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1 vote
1 answer
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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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3 votes
1 answer
506 views

Why is vegetable 野菜 and not just 菜?

Whenever I see vegetable translated, it seems to always be as 野菜{やさい}. But doesn't 菜 by itself mean vegetable? If so, why add the extra character? I've noticed this in a couple of other cases as ...
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Why does gemination happen in many 真 compounds?

Inspired by https://japanese.stackexchange.com/a/38733/3295 Some examples from Wiktionary: 真っ暗 (makkura, "total darkness") 真っ向 (makkō, "directly opposite", "right in front") 真っ黒 (makkuro, "...
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2 answers
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How should てあがる be used?

Ive seen 立ち上がる&乗ってあがる before,yet I can't tell the difference between them and 立つ|乗る。 For example 早速立ち上がれ!(Hurry and stand up!) エレベーターに乗ってあがる (=I take the elevator and go up.). I haven`t seen any ...
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5 votes
2 answers
621 views

人 - on'yomi ニン or ジン rule of thumb

I sometimes have trouble figuring out what on'yomi 人 has in unfamiliar jukugo, and was wondering whether there was any kind of rule-of-thumb for figuring it out, assuming it is the only character ...
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3 votes
2 answers
467 views

Analyzing breakdown of jukugo

I may just be misunderstanding the etymology of certain words, but I think of certain jukugo e.g. 「大学生」as being derived from patterns like 「大学の学生」, where there is a kanji-level shiritori, leading to a ...
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1 vote
2 answers
589 views

「~ない」 vs 「無/不/非/未~」, 「的(な)<漢字>」, and general 熟語/漢語 affixes versus grammatical forms)

When trying to write in Japanese, I often come across words that have multiple possible translations into Japanese, and am unsure which one to use. Though it is difficult to make any general rule over ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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Meaning of 二次遭難{にじそうなん}

Context: the speaker was in a bad situation but got out of it, and has the expectation that the other party is going to scold him for his carelessness. あれだけ注意したのに、まんまと二次遭難してバカだと思ってるんだろ? ほんと、その通りだよ ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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can the same compound have different readings when having the same meaning?

I know that kanjis can have many readings. But I thought compounds (combinations) had only one meaning. For what I've read in the board, a compound can have different readings for different meanings. ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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General guidelines for choosing 訓読み vs. 音読み in kanji reading

I am trying to come up with general rules for kanji reading. So far I have the following down: Compound kanji words are read as on'yomi Single kanji words are read as kun'yomi Verbs composed ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Is 大判小判 a word on its own?

While reading a short story I came across the following: 大判小判. I understand that [大判]{おおばん} can refer to a large traditional Japanese coin and [小判]{こばん} can refer to a smaller traditional Japanese ...
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4 votes
3 answers
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有り難う vs 有難う — Is this the same word?

Do both these words mean "thank you"? If both mean thank you why are they spelled differently? Is one more formal than the other?
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5 votes
3 answers
849 views

A question about the usage of なるべく

I'm currently studying on my Intermediate Japanese book and I stumbled upon the usage of なるべく, with the meaning of as ~ as possible. The book gives me two examples and with the first one there's no ...
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3 votes
2 answers
136 views

Abbreviating sets of compounds with leading characters in common

I recently asked a question about on- and kun-yomi and in building the title guessed at how the two compounds involved could be contracted; landing on 「音・訓読み」. Is this indeed the correct way of ...
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2 votes
1 answer
601 views

What does かけ mean in こわれかけのオルゴール?

If こわれかけのオルゴール was 壊れかけのオルゴール, 壊れ would be the stem of 壊れる, and かけ would probably be a noun. Since I'm just learning Japanese, I don't understand where かけ comes from. What meaning does かけ have in ...
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7 votes
2 answers
340 views

Is 翻す a former compound verb that merged into its current form?

The verb ひるがえす feels like it is made of two part ひる and かえす but I could not find any references backing this interpretation. And I can't figure out what would be ひる. @snailboat also mentioned くつがえす ...
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4 votes
2 answers
128 views

Is it correct to say 複雑な波長?

My friend heard this in an anime. I can understand 複雑な波長パターン or something along these lines, but just 複雑な波長? Like, you wouldn't say "complex mass" or "complex speed", right? (unless maybe complex ...
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8 votes
2 answers
218 views

How do I read 数 in ページ数?

ページ数 means number of pages. Is it すう or かず?
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