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Questions tagged [grammar]

文法. A collective term for syntax (the way sentences are put together) and morphology (forms of words, including the way new words are put together). Often used to describe function words such as particles, to describe word endings, and to talk about general sentence structure.

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Subject and extra information

I'm learning Japanese on Duolingo. I was wondering: 学校は日本にあります means 'The school is in Japan' What is the difference between 学校は日本にあります and the Japanese translation of 'There is a school in Japan'? ...
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何を食べても美味しくない vs 魚を食べてもいい

歯が痛くて何を食べても美味しくない vs 魚を食べてもいい The first example seems to me as though 何ても - anything and in the middle is 食べ So basically reading as Anything Eaten is not delicious but the second example ...
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Is the で in という理由だけで a form of だ or the instrumental particle?

I'm trying to figure out how to say "Maybe it's just because ____, but..." in Japanese, but I'm not sure how to place 'just because' in its own clause that way. If I'm not mistaken, the expression '...
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Etymology of ~かもしれません

So, today one of the topics boarded in the lessons I'm taking was the form ~かもしりません Now, I'm thinking the しれません part comes from the potential form of 知る. That way, in the sentence, it would mean ...
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I need help with those sentences: 「~と思われる」「~ように思われる」

日本語を習う時はローマ字を使わない方が良いと思われる。 日本の将来の見込みは暗いように思われる。 彼は金持ちであるように思われる。 Why does the first one use と and the second and third one use ように?
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meaning of なく followed by なし

In the context of a very well fortified place, what does 入る者なく出る者なし mean? It seems like it would mean: none may enter, none may leave, but I'd like to make sure, and understand the naku form better. ...
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plain form + bakari vs. te form + bakari

How to translate plain form + ばかり? And what's the difference between plain form + ばかり vs. te form + ばかり? For example: 赤ちゃんが泣いてばかりいます。In my understanding this means "The baby is always crying/does ...
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Difference between の間で and 間で?

These two sentences seem to use the same pattern, yet differently: 親族間で複雑な対立関係がある。 使用人たちの間でも、そう囁かれています。 I found that 間 could mean ''among'' in this case, but what is the difference between ...
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~ことがある for more than one thing

In the Genki II textbook, there is a phrase that goes like this: うめぼし,のりなどを見たことも聞いたこともありませんでした。 Now, I understand that this roughly means that "I've never seen or heard of pickled plums or nori ...
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What does ことがないように express?

I've come across this sentence quite a few months ago, but I never understood the meaning of "ことがないように", I've searched and found about ことのないように, but I think it has not the same meaning. This is the ...
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Verb + そうです to express the past

When we want to use the そうです construction with verbs, we have to use the verb stem: 雨が降りそうです。 Is it possible to express the past with そうです? (it looks like it has rained/rained) Or is it only ...
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Grammar: te + verb + shimashita

1) ごはんを食べて、ねました。 2) あさおきて、新聞を読みました。 I was wondering, if the part [食べて] and [おきて] are also past tense, because of [~ました]. So the correct translation would be [I went to bed, after I ate.] or is it [...
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Clarification on comparative constructions is needed

Here's a sentence: シベリアより東の地域はシベリアの中部ほど寒くないです。 I understand what it says but I don't understand why 「より」 is used right after 「シベリア」, and why the word order is not like this: ...
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What does こと mean in this context? 2

余はライダー。こと脚に関しては他のサーヴァントより優位におるぞ。 https://soundcloud.com/felipem-ller/wed-feb-13-2019-1 So, sorry for repeating the title, but the question is simple, what does こと mean in this context?
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Why たく isn't used in negative form in this sentence?

言いたくなりますが、見ていませんよ! I have become a little confused about this sentence since it is not negative and still, in order to say want to instead of たい、たく is used. Or maybe there was a misspelling when the ...
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どれ as an attribute

I found this sentence and I wonder whether I understand it correctly: どれ腹の傷をおみせ、薬草をぬってあげよう。 The どれ there looks to me like “whichever” or “all”, so I’d get the sentence as “Let me look at all the ...
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Contraction of ~ている

I've seen some examples of ~ている contractions, like この世は腐{くさ}ってる。 1) Is this a common occurrence? 2) How does this affect the formality of the sentence? 3) Is there a "rule" for the いる verb? ...
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Verb form before そうです

今、新しい仕事を探しているみたいですよ。奥さんとも離婚するそうですよ。 I'd say 離婚しているそうですよ. Why is the form する used here? If he has already got divorced, perhaps, it's better to say 離婚したそうですよ. Does this make sense?
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と particle in the subject of a sentence

To translate : My friend and I are going to the park. , the following sentence can be used : 私{わたし}は友達{ともだち}と公園{こうえん}に行{い}きます。 Literally : I am going to the park with my friend. と is used ...
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What is the difference between なさいます and いたします?

お飲み物はどうなさいますか。 お飲み物はどういたしますか。 I can't understand how one might be used instead of the other.
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Can ~たり~たり end with verbs other than する?

In the past, I have come across several examples of ~たり~たり seemingly being used with other final verbs than する, which is generally taught to be mandatory at the end of ~たり~たり phrases. Is this ...
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Nuance between AやB and AやBなど?

AとB is an exhaustive list, whereas AやB and AやBなど mean A and B and more. (And AとBなど feels inconsistent.) But is there a difference between AやB and AやBなど? Aなど means 'something like A' or 'A and the ...
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どんな危険 vs どんな危険も Confusion

Why does どんな危険 - what danger どんな危険も - any danger Is this a grammar point, this is the sentence that confused me: ここはどんな危険もないよ = There is no danger here も is after the noun of 危険 , is the も still ...
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Are 修飾語 in Japanese different from 'modifier' in English?

I'm a native English speaker and taking Kumon's Japanese for 小学校1年生 class (which is an adventure lol), and it's trying to teach me about 修飾語 right now. I looked up 修飾語 and everything I can find is ...
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Different ways to say several

何本か重要な電話をかけ、... He made several important phone calls and ... As I puzzled about why phone calls might use the counter 本 (see this question) I wondered more generally about how to say several. Is ...
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Does 特別に戦 mean 'special battle' or 'specially battle'?

特別に戦が神 (とくべつに いくさが かみ) I think placing に after とくべつ makes it into an adverb, right? However, I'm having a lot of trouble working out whether it means 'especially' or 'specially' or just 'special'. (...
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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 ...
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Which sentence is grammatically correct?

I'm unsure how to write the sentence "That (near you) is a pencil." in Japanese. Is it "Sono pen wa desu." or "Sore wa pen desu." ? Or are both of them right/wrong? I'm a beginner so I can only read ...
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How can I express sentences like “How long is …” or “How old is … ” or “How convenient is …” etc.?

I want to know if there's a grammar structure that can be used when you want to know the extent of an adjective. E.g. 会長は若いね >> How young is he? この映画はとっても長いよ! >> How long is it? ...
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Variations in polite negations: ありません, ないです, -ません

Negations that consistently take -ない in the plain form show differences in the polite version: 食べない -> 食べません で(は)ない -> で(は)ありません but 大きくない -> 大きくないです Why the inconsistency? Is it due to history?
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Is this phrase gramatically correct? [closed]

英語学を続けることのため、アメリカを洋行したは俺が17歳のときに。 I'm more or less a grammar mess, I started to learn japanese short ago and I ended up getting really confused about the whole sentence. I wanted to say something ...
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無謀とも言えるその計画に (Reckless can be said that plan to)

I have seen the above construction only twice online, but it sounds like one of those sentences where the word order has been moved around in order to give it maybe a Shakespearean effect, or samurai ...
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Can ずつ be used along with 間?

Original sentence is this: Everyone at a meeting talked for 5 minutes at a time And I got confused because I want to put 「分間」 there but I'm not sure if it works well with 「ずつ」 and vice versa. Also,...
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Can みたい refer to a clause in the past?

I was thinking the other day that one of the differences between みたい and そう (meaning "it seems") is that the first can be bound to a sentence in the past while the second forces the verb of the ...
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忙しいところ vs 忙しいなか

I've been preparing for an interview, and I've seen both of these phrases used when introducing yourself and thanking someone for their time or when support is being given. For example: ...
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ではない in Relative Clauses

I have read in several sources that it is grammatically incorrect to use は (topic particle) in relative clauses. However, I am almost certain that I have seen constructions like the following: ...
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ものだ expressing ambiguous emotions/concern?

This article lists many examples of using ものだ to articulate "deep concern." The author of this article explains that when you connect words which indicate desire like …たい and 欲しい with ものだ, your speech ...
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彼は瞳をキラキラさせながら言った。

I think that it is "He said with shining eyes", but what a word "させ"? Why "させ+ながら"? Why not "しながら"?
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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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The meanings of ものだ

Could someone please explain to me the different meanings that ものだ can have at the end of a sentence ? Here are some examples I understand the general meaning of, but I don't understand the logic/...
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楽にしす - what does this mean? [closed]

I found this in a description on a youtube video. Can someone explain this to me? source https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QcdKmdRNKk&t=3s&list=PLqQakFWqpnl5fbmRq8tWzrWYfn_uq8ADk&index=23
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What word class is 恥ずべき?

恥ずべき is listed as an adjective in EDICT, as a 'compound word' (連語) in kotobank (here), and as a "noun or verb acting pre-nominally" on the Midori app. My question relates to a sample sentence I saw on ...
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When to use te form and past tense

Was going through my Genki book and saw an example sentence of te form verb but it ended in past tense. (言う いってた) Why use the te form at all and not just past tense 「あきらさんは何て言ってた?」 「...
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Grammar vs. politeness: a tale of two evils

In "The structure of the Japanese language", Susumo Kuno uses the example (p. 130) John wa sensei ni kono hon o {moratta / itadaita}. Both have a problem: itadaku should be used only in the first ...
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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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The meaning of けど [duplicate]

お金があったら、車を買うんですけど。 If I had money, I would buy a car. I know that けど means "but," "however" or "although". Why is it used in the sentence above? How is the sentence different from the one ...
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Difference between passive form and てある

I'm confused about the difference between the passive form and the てある form. 飲み物はもう買ってあります。 The drinks have already been bought. 飲み物はもう買われました。 The drinks were already bought. Are my ...
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Japanese grammar "てある” [duplicate]

So I just encountered the grammar "te aru" and according to Japanesetest4you it means that something has been done. They provide the following sentence as an example: 君の靴下も全部洗濯してある。 Kimi no ...
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Nominalized verb and connection to noun after が particle

I'm attempting to read a book and I don't understand the grammar 100% here. ジャックはもうすぐ九歳。本を読んだり、自然を観察したりするのが大好きな男の子だ。 Overall, I believe it means: Jack will soon be 9 years old. A lovable boy ...
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How ~てある and ~ておいた differs?

晩ご飯が作ってある Dinner has been made. (intentional) 晩ご飯を作っておいた. (I) made dinner (so I can eat it). They seem quite the same. Btw what are some cases in which -てあった are used? I can't recreate one.