Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 174 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

コピュラ. Words such as だ・です or constructions such as である which link a noun or adjective to a subject. Similar to English 'be'.

12
votes
1answer
2k views

「です」, what is it really? Is my analysis correct?

At an elementary level, often, Japanese learners are taught that です is equivalent to the verb "to be" in English. Typical example: 私は学生です, I am a student. That's fine, after all, it works. And to ...
3
votes
1answer
76 views

Difference between である and だ in the written form

My grammar book states that である is used as copula in the written form to express ideas in a neutral fashion and that だ is also used in the written form to, quote, "sound more objective". But doesn't "...
5
votes
2answers
101 views

na-adjectives in different tenses. これは真面目だった人です。

I need some help with basic grammar. What is the difference between these sentences: これは真面目だった人です。 これは真面目な人でした。 これは真面目だった人でした。 Thank you in advance!
0
votes
1answer
105 views

the meaning of で in 私は学生で友だちはいしゃです。 [duplicate]

Can anyone tell what で means in this sentence: 私は学生で友だちはいしゃです。Thank you. It looks like the で in this sentence means "and" but I'm not really sure.
4
votes
3answers
138 views

形容動詞 attributively before a noun: な or conjugated だ

So, I thought I understood the use of the 連体形 of だ, な, after a "な-adjective" when used before a noun, however I'm a bit confused. On IMABI and a number of other sites, I've found the suggestion to ...
1
vote
1answer
135 views

What dialect replaces です with a shorter version of it (ーす)?

The title pretty much explains itself, here is an example: Nio from Akuma no Riddle, the whole thing has been bugging me for awhile, thanks in advance.
0
votes
1answer
74 views

Question about で in this sentence

"「タクシーに乗る」は英語で、I ride a taxiで正解!?" I saw this question being posted on the web by someone and my issue is about the meaning of the sentence itself specifically the phrase "I ride a taxiで正解!?". Does ...
1
vote
1answer
102 views

Should emphasis follow the copula or move to the topic marker?

I recently tried machine translated the following: This is amazing. This is amazing. And was surprised when the result was: これは素晴らしいです。これは素晴らしいです。 I kind of expected the second example to come ...
4
votes
1answer
85 views

“あの星があなたで” and “あの星はあなただ”, between those two, what's the difference?

Both have the same meaning: "That star is you." But what makes them different? If it's the nuance, what exactly is it? Context: It's from a song's lyrics, the first one get sang first, whilst the ...
0
votes
1answer
81 views

Meaning of で Before a Conjunction [duplicate]

めったに~ない ~するのはほとんどない。 〔例〕店長【てんちょう】は優しい【やさしい】人【ひと】で、めったに怒らない【おこらない】。 'The store manager is a nice person and rarely gets angry.' What does で mean in this sentence?
2
votes
1answer
100 views

How to understand “で” and 献立 here?

原文は、 目黒にある「バランス食品」では、糖尿病患者やダイエット中の人向けのメニューが用意されている。 厳密なカロリー計算をした健康メニューで専門の栄養士が献立を考える。 厳密なカロリー計算をした健康メニューで専門の栄養士が献立を考える これを 厳密なカロリー計算をした健康メニューを通じて、専門の栄養士が献立を考える として理解してもいいですか。 そして、...
0
votes
1answer
124 views

ことである in Japanese grammar

Do ことである and ことがある mean the same thing?
0
votes
2answers
66 views

Why is で necessary in the following sentence? [duplicate]

I used Google Translate to say "I'm not Korean." I expected something like: 私は韓国人はない However, I got this: 私は韓国人ではない Why is the で used in this situation?
2
votes
1answer
269 views

んです Conjugation

We recently learned んです form in class and I think I understand when to use it. But I'm a little unclear about how conjugation of it works. んです itself doesn't get conjugated, right? You conjugate the ...
1
vote
0answers
96 views

Why is verb (plain, dictionary form) + だろう/でしょう/であろう grammatical?

To my (limited) knowledge, one has to put the nominalizer の/ん between a verb and a copula. However, when I was learning the usage of である, the written, literary copula, I read that であろう can follow a ...
2
votes
1answer
178 views

When do you use the “な” version of the copula?

As I understand it, the copula "だ" turns into "な" in some situations. The most obvious one is after な-adjectives, but it often appears after nouns too, like in this sentence: "スミスさんは、...
3
votes
1answer
73 views

Usage of じゃ in 西瓜を買うと、俺もあいつも好きじゃで両得じゃ

西瓜を買うと、俺もあいつも好きじゃで両得じゃ。 じゃ means then, well then. But what does じゃ in the above context? Seems the definition of then, well then can't fit in this sentence.
1
vote
2answers
191 views

What does なる mean in words like 完全なる&聖なる?

It doesn't seem to have any of the "to become" meaning that the normal meaning has. In most translations there is usually no mention of "becoming" at all. Then what purpose does naru serve then? Also ...
1
vote
2answers
97 views

Is there a contracted/casual form of でないと?

でないと as in the conditional phrase. 例:これをやれ。でないと殺す。 例えば、じゃないと? Never heard of it though. If there is no such thing then is でないと even considered formal in the first place or just neutral if it doesn't ...
0
votes
1answer
109 views

what is different between “で” and “です” in this sentence?

original sentence is ついに数日後、無事つながって私の頭の中が解明されました。『脳内イメージ』と題したそのページに映し出されたのは、脳の形。その中のほぼ9割が『遊』の字で、その周りを『悩』と『休』が取り囲んでいます。 what is different between 脳の形。その中のほぼ9割が『遊』の字です。その周りを『悩』と『休』が取り囲んでいます。 and ...
0
votes
2answers
614 views

Difference between ではありません and ありません

Difference between ではありません and ありません. When do I need to add the では in front of ありません?
1
vote
1answer
134 views

can you use ありき as a な-adjective

someone says this in a book: でもスキルが生きるかどうかは人格ありきなわけだから whether someone is skilled ... something to do with personality. what does ありき mean here? I found it as a noun meaning location of something ...
6
votes
2answers
292 views

Is 〜でなかった valid?

I have from the entry for 実際 of ウィズダム英和・和英辞書 the following sentence: 彼は医者だと言ったが実際はそうでなかった。 He said he was a doctor, but in fact he was not. From what I understand, the 「〜でなかった」 here is ...
3
votes
1answer
281 views

What function does this で have

For full context, see here. It is in paragraph 2, example: 同じ色で違うサイズのシャツを探す。 => "Someone looks for a shirt of different size and being the same color" I interpreted it as the continuative ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Is なんです the same as んです?

I know what んです and its inflections mean, however, I've seen some set expressions such as そうなんです use exclusive なんです, I've never seen そうんです. Do both なんです and んです mean the same? If so, is there some ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Wanai vs Arimasen

I want to say "I am not your dad" in Japanese. Google Translate say that it would be 私はあなたのお父さんではない (Watashi wa anata no otōsande wanai) But why is it Watashi wa anata no otōsande arimasen
5
votes
1answer
205 views

Overall syntax of this sentence

この部屋はシャワーだけでお風呂がないんですが。 => "This apartment only has a shower but no bathtub" This would be what I think this sentence says contentwise. I also think it could be a viable translation, but the way ...
4
votes
1answer
98 views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
178 views

How is ではなく formed?

この女の人はペンチではなく、ハンマーを使っています。 I believe the sentence means "The woman is using a hammer, not a pliers". But I couldn't understand ではなく, how is this structure formed?
4
votes
1answer
953 views

Difference between どこですか and どこにいますか/どこにありますか?

(1) 本はどこですか。 (2) 本はどこにありますか。 Unless I'm mistaken, both those sentences mean something like "where is the book", what's the difference between using です and あります to indicate position? I wouldn't ...
3
votes
1answer
358 views

hontou nano ka , is “na” here part of the question marker or is it something else?

I know that you can use ka, no, and noka as question markers. But what is "na" in "hontou na no ka" . is it another form of question marker altogether or what does it mean the "na" in that sentence?
2
votes
2answers
457 views

What does では mean in this sentence?

I've recently started learning Japanese through self teaching (a few different mobile apps and books, this question is spawned from using one called Memrise) But I'm learning to say "I don't like " ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

Why can't だ be used after an I-adjective?

I have been constantly told that だ can not be placed after an I-adjective. Why is that?
5
votes
4answers
434 views

Function of であって

Is であって a -て form of the copula である and used for chaining, or it has a special meaning in the following examples? どこの出身{しゅっしん}であっても問題{もんだい}ではない。It doesn't matter where he is from. 私{わたし}は彼女{...
8
votes
2answers
216 views

When can AはBです mean 'A has B'

国土交通省は、港がある県や市などと一緒にクルーズ船のための岸壁をつくる計画です The ministry, together with cities and prefectures that have ports, has a plan to build wharfs for cruise ships. If I strip the example sentence to the ...
6
votes
3answers
415 views

What is the meaning of で in this sentence

I got very confused with the meaning of this sentence because of で. What does it mean here? オーストラリアは大陸で、それから国です。
0
votes
1answer
56 views

What is な role here?

I cannot get what な means in the following sentence. 彼女はそれがいくらなのかわかります。 Couldn't it be written 彼女はそれがいくらのか分かります?
11
votes
1answer
344 views

Can one say なそうです instead of だそうです when expressing hearsay?

At first, I thought the answer was simply that you can only use だそうです (because that's all I have ever seen), but today I read the entry for そう in the Handbook of Japanese Grammar (1940s) by Henderson (...
4
votes
1answer
270 views

Difference between になる / である / の

アリバイがない限り、犯人 になる 可能性がある。 アリバイがない限り、犯人 である 可能性がある。 アリバイがない限り、犯人 の 可能性がある。 Which sentences are correct / awkward / wrong? Why is there a difference, if any?
1
vote
2answers
149 views

How do the は and が function here?

受験生は夏休みが勝負なのよ? So since there is no verb here, how do the は and が function here?
5
votes
2answers
182 views

Understanding じゃから

Can somebody please help me understand the following sentence: なにをするにも、「おそい」ということはないのじゃから。 I am having trouble with the part that I've bolded (じゃから). I think so far that it means "What ever you ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

When does omission of です constitute casual speech?

In many textbooks, polite style speech is taught, which means です and ます endings are introduced, and used in many sentences. However, I have encountered sentences with omissions, for example sentences ...
4
votes
1answer
212 views

Is putting だ before よor ね considered incorrect?

I was reading a lesson in my textbook about 〜なさそうだ when I noticed that the book never put だ before よ or ね. So it would be 美味{おい}しくなさそうよ or 美味{おい}しくなさそうね. So I want to confirm, is adding だ before よ ...
7
votes
2answers
672 views

What is the difference between formal and polite verb forms?

In the answer to this question I asked (When to use である vs であります?), sazarando responded by saying that "である" is formal but not polite, and "です" is polite but not formal. I sort of understand the ...
3
votes
1answer
689 views

When to use である vs であります?

I understand that である is the "written" form of だ/です. Because it's a "written" form, doesn't that already imply a certain level of formality? So when would one use であります as opposed to just である? If you ...
1
vote
2answers
220 views

How to translate the construction “noun + で”

When going over a summary of Japanese grammar I came across the following sentence: 私は学生で友だちはいしゃです。 How should this be translated? It supposedly covers the construct of noun+で. Is it the te-form?...
4
votes
3answers
220 views

Confusing use of plain copula (だ should be だった?)

I am reading Kanon, I will first give the context: 大体{だいたい}、いつからこの家{いえ}の朝食{ちょうしょく}は和風{わふう}になったんだ… [Generally,] Since when did we start eating Japanese food for breakfast... The main character ...
8
votes
1answer
383 views

Why is this で wrong, and を preferable? 「信号を左です」

日本語 知り合いに道案内していた時に、 次の信号で、左です と言ったら、 次の信号を、左です という言い方のほうがいいと言われました。 「です」は本物の動詞ではありませんし、「を」と繋がっているのは間違いではないのでしょうか。省略された動詞があるという分析のほうがいいのですか?そして、どうして「で」はだめなのですか? English While giving an ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Noun + da kara desu — why are da and desu mixed? why not both “da” or both “desu”?

In this sentence: Neko da kara desu. Because it's a cat. Why are the "da" and "desu" used at the same time? Logically, it should've been: Neko desu kara desu. Or in a casual conversation if ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

What does “da” mean in “tabeta bakari da”?

I understand (correct me if I'm wrong) that da is a short casual form of desu. But what does it mean in this phrase? or why it is used? Tabeta bakari da.