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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1answer
2k 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 ...
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700 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?
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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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4answers
620 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{...
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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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3answers
800 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。
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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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397 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 (...
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295 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?
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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?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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?...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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.
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If the particle wo is used to indicate direct object why isn't it used in some sentences where there are direct objects?

I'm confused about the use of the wo/o particle. I've read many times that is used to indicate direct objects, but in phrases like this there is a direct object and there isn't a particle wo to ...
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Difference between ます and です

As a total beginner I noticed that sometimes simple sentences end with ます and sometimes with です. What is the difference? Thanks
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Do I need to add “da” before “to iimashita”?

Not sure how to say "my mum said it was fun." Is this correct: watashi no okaasan wa, sore ga tanoshi to iimashita Or do I need to add "da"? As this is for speaking.
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Would you consider the で in 日本食で一番好きなのは・・・ to be the particle で or the -te form of だ?

I've always taken this to be the -te form of だ. My reasoning is similar to the discussion given here: What's the use of で in 「日本の食べ物で大好きなものは何?」 However, I ran this by a native speaker, and she ...
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What does どくしんでハンサムだからね mean?

I can't understand what どくしんで means (I know there is the のです here but I can't understand the verb before it). Also, in the second part ハンサムだから, I studied that から is Place at the end of the first ...
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261 views

たとえ-Continuative-たとしても

「そう、この世界には死者は存在しない。 夢というものは生者が見る共通無意識だ。 故に、すでに死亡したものはこの場に参加する事ができない。 たとえおまえ自身が強く記録し、その復活を望んだ人間がいたとしてもだ。 些細な役回り……そうだな、通行人Aという役割を用意したとしても、死者はこの劇場に入れない。 役割があっても役者がいないという事だ」 In this world ...
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Meaning of じゃろ and じゃろう

カトちゃんだって、実際は別に毎日長さんに怒られてるわけじゃないじゃろから、本当は ”人気者で怒られない人” じゃろうね。 In reality it's not really the case that even Katochan gets told off by Chou everyday so, in truth, people who don't get told off by ...
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Attributive だろう

I came across this sentence (下町ロケット, p.239): 「どうだ、そろそろウチに戻ってこないか」 そんなことをいいはじめたのは、六十五歳を過ぎ、体力的な衰えを感じはじめただろう頃だ。 Meaning-wise, it seems hard to imagine it means anything other than 感じはじめた頃だろう. ...
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2answers
241 views

Can で mean 'and'?

I'm completing my Japanese homework, and we were given a letter that we need to write a response to. There is a line that goes: 私の名前はみのりで、十五さいです。 I assume that here で means 'and' but I'm not ...
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Listing modifiers with 〜であり

Taken from an educational book with parallel English literal translation. The original work is Mishima's "Patriotism". 麗子は良人の親友であり、たびたびこの家へも遊びに来た元気な青年将校の顔を思い浮べた。 Reiko recalled the faces of ...
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Is だ (plain form of です) omittable?

After studying copula verbs だ and です in japanese grammar books by myself a couple of months ago, I was under the impresion that だ is omittable as it is implied by the context. Moving on, I recently ...
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-的 adjectives modifying nouns without な

Am I correct in thinking that these are ok without a na: 1) 印象的な事実 2) 印象的事実 3) 客観的な事実 4) 客観的事実 But these need a na?: 5) 明らかな事実 6) *?明らか事実 7) 簡単な事実 8) *?簡単事実 (From a quick look, ...
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Adnominalisation (Relative clause - noun - copula structure): What does it mean? How can we translate it?

I have two examples of this structure which does not obviously correspond to a pattern in English although it is quite common. I'd like to know what it means, why it is used and how it should be ...
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476 views

Can the である copula be explained as で (particle) + ある (to exist), i.e. “to exist in the form of ~”?

Recently, I read this article which interprets である as described by this post's title, so 学生である would be analyzed as "(I) exist in the form of a student". On one hand, である originated from にて + あり, ...
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The の in のに and なのに

I've heard that the の in のに and なのに is the general-noun の (I don't remember the word for it.). So why, in that light, does the meaning of the two make sense?
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When is it possible to split である in で+ある

It is very difficult to find literature on this topic and the only related question is Splicing である with a topic whose answer is (to my view) a bit elusive and the reference provided by snailboat is ...
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「どちら様でしたか?」 - why past form?

In a novel I'm reading (「キッチン」 by 吉本{よしもと}ばなな), there's this situation where the door opens and a woman enters the room asking for the main character by name. The main character, being surprised and ...
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230 views

わけ accompanied by な particle

What exactly does な particle mean when used with わけ? Example (pulled from Google): あいつが犯人なわけがないじゃないか. I know exactly what this sentence means, but I'm just a little unsure on what the な is doing ...
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What does だ mean at the end of a sentence or following a noun

The sentence in question is それはとってもいい話【はなし】だ。 Which is translated as "That's a really nice story". I don't understand what だ is doing at the end though. 話 seems to mean story with or without it and ...
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1answer
554 views

過去形+のだ versus 現在形+のだった

I'm puzzled by the bold part of the following paragraph which occurs in my Japanese learner's version of 雪女: 二人は毎日、川まで来ると、渡し守に船で川の向こう側へ運んでもらった。 山から帰るときは、また、渡し守に船で川のこちら側まで運んでもらうのだった。 My current ...
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Why does 好き use な?

If 好き is a noun, then why does it take the な copula in things like 好きなこと? I thought that copula was reserved for adjectives, and I thought nouns took on the の copula.
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Do adjectives/adjective-like verb forms in informal speech need a copula?

The class I go to uses the «Minna no Nihongo» textbook, and according to it you can say the following in informal language: そのカレーライスおいしい? わたしは富士山にのぼりたい。 (See book 1, lesson 20) So I gathered,...
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Grammatical justification for でしかない

The song eX Dream by Myuji (which appears in an anime OP) contains the sentence: [夢]{ゆめ}は夢でしかない The general point of the sentence is fairly clear, meaning "a dream is just a dream". But what is ...
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1answer
349 views

Why is there a だ in もっとだ?

I am watching a certain show at the moment where someone is talking about wanting to kill evil creatures. Please don't judge this question as childish just because the extract is from an anime. He ...
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1answer
168 views

Why does そっくり(な?) take the な particle?

I was reading this page: http://helps.ameba.jp/faq/pigg/5301/post_362.html and I found そっくりな, however my dictionary says it's an adverbial noun... and I though those took の as their particle-Then ...
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640 views

Etymology of the copula だ

I think of だ as being the only copula, which can be inflected to で and な. In my mind all other copula-like words are derived from these forms, i.e. です ⇔ であります じゃない ⇔ ではない だろう ⇔ であろう etc. But ...
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Meaning of でもない in this context?

While listening to the song "Yasashisa no Riyuu", I noticed the following sentence: 今は誰の名前でもない 輝きの彼方へ Which by the fansub is translated like this: Now it doesn't matter whose name it may be. ...
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2answers
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Usage of noun-modifying である

I'm pretty sure I understand the usage of「である」 here: ピアニストである私{わたし}の姉{あね}は、いつも手{て}に怪我{けが}をしないように気{き}をつけています My sister, a pianist, is always careful not to injure her hands. (My translation) But I'...
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「こわいだから。」 versus 「こわい、だから[…]」

In an answer on another question, @TsuyoshiIto wrote: [U]nlike commas in English, 読点 in Japanese is rarely (if ever) grammatically required. Authors are free to use 読点 wherever they feel that it ...