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Questions tagged [copula]

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'.

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Can だ be left off in informal sentences?

In declarative statements I’ve gathered that saying just 「これ新聞だ」for example would be too forward or a bit aggressive. So could you just say 「これ新聞」or even just 「新聞」for informal sentences? I understand ...
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で in the copula である

I have always wondered where the で in ~である (and ~でございます) comes from. In the answer to the question 「です」, what is it really? Is my analysis correct?, Eiríkr Útlendi states that the で in ~である is the ...
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Origin of the usage of な in ~なんだ

In their answer to the question Usage of nan desu?, Earthliŋ♦ described the な in the ~なんだ-construction to be "the inflection of the copula だ, if you like". I guess this is the same inflection that is ...
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Two も clauses and then です

When saying that someone or something is both this and that, is XもYもです appropriate? 彼は画家も教師もです。 I ask both for written and spoken. I feel like the copula is already a である so it should be something ...
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272 views

Can です be used attributively (as a modifier of a noun)?

Goo dictionary lists the 連体形 (attributive) form of copula as です but does not provide an example of an attributive usage. Can です be really used attributively? I have problems finding any example of it.
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Confusion on use of だった with sentence that uses nominalized verb

I'm reading a book and have come across this sentence アニーが指さしているのは、一本のなわばしごだった。 I know this sentence translates to something like Annie was pointing to a long rope ladder. But what I truly don'...
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Explanation for 'noun + な + ので', is 'ので' still a 接続助詞 here?

I saw the following statement in a grammar book: 接続助詞 'ので' can only be placed after 用言 and 助動詞 in form of 連体形. But in another text book it says that ので can also be placed after a noun, and then ...
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Past tense …でする vs. past tense copula です confusion

Maybe this is a stupid question, because very likely it is possible for advanced learners to distuiguish this. However, in the present tense ...でする (particle で) and ...です (copula) are distinct, while ...
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「だが」は単なる「が」に言い換えることができますか

このリンクにある「ちょっと〇〇するだけのつもりが、つい〇〇してしまった」の「つもりが」は実際は「つもりだが」の意味になっていると思えるんですけど、これは例外なのですか。それともどんな名詞の後ろにでも「だが」ではなく単に「が」が来られるということですか。 よろしくお願いします。
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understanding であると同時に construction

やけに高く響くその靴音は、スバルにとって焦燥感の原因であると同時に、心の拠り所でもあった。 So I basically translate it as "For Subaru, those footsteps that echoed absurdly loud were, at the same time, the source of his impatience and also the ...
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non sentence ending な in this comedic conversation

MC spots girls A and B who he recently got to know. C = childhood friend of MC. A「あ、先輩。こんにちは」 MC「おう、A。Bも一緒か」 B「何よ、アンタだってC先輩たちといつも一緒じゃない」 MC「何だよ、仲良いなって意味で言っただけだぞ」 B「...
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Why is 高いです acceptable but 高いではあります not acceptable?

This interesting thread got me thinking about the various forms of the copula and how です is a contraction of で(は)あります. I am wondering why the standard X は Y で(は)あります does not seem to work for certain ...
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「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 ...
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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 "...
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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!
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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.
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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 ...
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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.
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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 ...
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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 ...
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“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 ...
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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?
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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、...
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303 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?
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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?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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、...
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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.
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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
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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 ...
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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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217 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?
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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 ...
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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?
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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 " ...
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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?
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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{...
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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 ...
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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。
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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?
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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 (...