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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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て versus combining-form for joining clauses

Is there a difference between these two sentences 昨日はビールを飲んでパイを食べました。 昨日はビールを飲みパイを食べました。 More generally, when should I choose one form over the other? Thanks.
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1answer
457 views

What is the purpose of adding と?

For example: 柔和{にゅうわ}な線{せん}で縁取{ふちど}られた宝石{ほうせき}のような瞳{ひとみ}に、ほっそりとした顎{あご}、綺麗{きれい}な鼻筋{はなすじ}。美人{びじん}っていう人{ひと}の条件{じょうけん}しっかりと備{ととの}えちゃってる。 What is the purpose of the と in ほっそりとした instead of just saying ...
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2answers
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How many verb endings to express “do this (please)”?

I'm familiar with the て and てください forms of a verb to give a command/request and request, respectively. However, I've run across these other forms and really don't know which to use in what situation. ...
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2answers
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<adv> versus <adv>+と versus <adv>+に

I often see adverbs used in one of three ways: 1) Adverb appears in isolation in a sentence: あまり 好きじゃないんですが。 2) Adverb is followed by に 別々に お願いします。 1970年代後半、多くの罪もない日本の一般市民が 次々に 失踪した。 3) ...
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2answers
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How to say regrets [I should not have X]

How in the world does this: 晩ご飯を食べるんじゃなかった。 translate as "I should not have eaten breakfast"? This roughly translates as "It was not that I eat breakfast."
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1answer
952 views

Particle に to enumerate things?

I encountered several sentences where に was used—from my deduction of the context—to enumerate things. For example a character about to go somewhere, checks his bag if he has everything he needs : 2:「...
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2answers
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Why is を used in this situation? 私は先生がネコを好きだと思います

私は先生がネコを好きだと思います Why を and not が twice?
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2answers
965 views

A bunch of questions about ところ

I think the word ところ in my questions have nothing to do with 所{ところ}. Please correct me if I am wrong. Let us consider the following sentences. Case 1 これから食{た}べるところなんですが。。。 今食{た}べているところなんですが。。。 今食{た}...
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3answers
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Does “te-form” of a verb always include て/で? Why?

In so-called 学校文法 (the Japanese grammar which all native Japanese speakers learn at around middle school), one form of a verb is called 連用形 (aka continuative form), which looks like this (screenshot ...
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2answers
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Why is the passive form used in this sentence?

The following sentence uses 感じられ which I understand to be the continuative passive form of the verb 感じる - "to feel". Why is this form used here? たった1分がものすごく長く感じられ 時間は はっきりとした悪意をもって ...
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1answer
201 views

What role does と play in this sentence?

What role does と play in the following sentence? みなさんは、アフリカの平原で、ライオンがのんびりと寝そべっている姿をテレビや映画などで、見たことがあるでしょう。 In my understanding, のんびり is a noun and 寝そべっている is a verb. So interconnecting a noun with ...
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3answers
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Usage of ~じゃん (~じゃない)

I'd like to know if I can put ~じゃん at the end of every adjective, if there are any exceptions to that usage, and if it's different from ~じゃない. Adj (na) + じゃん 便利じゃん 便利だったじゃん 便利じゃないじゃん ...
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3answers
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What are the general principles of using verbs to modify nouns (e.g. 焦げるトースト/焦げたトースト)?

In all the time I've studied the language, I've never heard or seen anybody even hint at whether the principles from a given language (like using “burnt toast” vs. “burning toast”) carry over, or if ...
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2answers
551 views

Why does 「電話は切れた」 sound more adversarial than 「電話が切れた」?

I noticed that while 「…、電話が切れた」 sounds just like a neutral phrase ("... and the call got cut off."), 「…、電話は切れた」 sounds more like you were negatively affected / that the person on the other side ...
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3answers
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「~たじゃない」 expression in spoken Japanese

I noticed in an anime I watched, one of the characters said something like below: さっき食べたじゃない。 And what I think the meaning is: Didn't you just eat a few while ago? From what I have learned in ...
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1answer
573 views

Relative clauses types and confusion

I was reading Japanese:Revised edition by Shoichi Iwasaki And he talks about 4 types of relative clauses. A)“Cased Head” Type (Relative Clause): the head noun bears some case relation to the ...
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1answer
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Aren't がる and たがる the same thing?

In my JLPT practise book, it has two different entries, one to explain がる and one to explaining たがる. It offeres these example sentences to differentiate them: うちの子{こ}は新{あたら}しいものを見{み}ると、すぐほしがる。 ...
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1answer
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Origin of ~なければ ならない

The expression ~なければ ならない if I learned correctly means "must not not do ..." as in: 日本語を勉強しなければなりません。 You must not not learn Japanese. (i.e. you need to learn Japanese) However, taken on face value ...
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1answer
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Why can we use の after へ and から?

In my understanding, the particle の can be used to concatenate two nouns, such as 私の本 アメリカの選手 Today, I found 先生へのプレゼント 私達からのプレゼント Question Why can の be preceded by へ and から (or maybe other ...
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2answers
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The different usages of ことがある

If I understand correctly, the main usages of ことがある seem to be the following: Verb(plain)+ことがある: There are times when (I) Verb(past)+ことがある: (I) have experienced (something) before But after this ...
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3answers
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Use of に in 「私には本物の若殿様がわかります」

What function is に serving in this sentence (the speaker has been asked to pick out the real lord from a group of people): 私には本物の若殿様がわかります I know who the real young lord is It seems to me ...
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3answers
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What is the role of あるいて?

駅からは歩いて十分ぐらいです。 It takes 10 minutes on foot from the station. The confusing part is the 歩いて. Is あるいて a noun? What is its role?
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1answer
712 views

How to interpret indirect passives?

While looking up some grammar points I stumbled across this paper which describes something that it calls "indirect passives". I can't think of anything similar in English, and I'm having trouble ...
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2answers
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Meaning of volitional passive form

お姉ちゃんに何を言われようが、まる子はウキウキ気分なのであった。 What was said by her sister ???? but, Maruko felt cheerful. I can't think of any way in which something which is passive can also be volitional. How do I understand ...
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2answers
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What does たら do at the end of a sentence?

時間があるなら、彼の画廊に寄ってみたら。 What meaning does たら have at the end of a sentence?
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2answers
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What's the meaning of 〜ておきます?

What exactly does 〜ておきます mean in this context? 旅行{りょこう}する前{まえ}にホテルを予約{よやく}しておきます。 Is this trying to say something like "Before traveling, reserve a room". Is this a suggestion? An order? (If so, why ...
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1answer
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What is the subject of this sentence? Is it the book (mentioned) or the author (who is not mentioned)?

The following sentence/phrase comes from the Progressive (プログレッシブ)dictionary: この本は自然主義について論じている|This book deals with naturalism In English people often say something like "This books addresses the ...
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2answers
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What is the difference between “verb+て+みる” and “verb+(よ)う+とする”?

In Japanese there are words which mean "to try something or attempt at doing something", e.g. 試す, 試みる and つとめる. However, at the same time we also have two grammatical constructions "verb+て+みる" and "...
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3answers
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Confusion about “Seemingly not ~”

So there are several ways to express something is "seemingly not ~": ~なさそう ~そうにない ~そうもない ~そうにもない (is this one even real?) I was always taught ~なさそう in my Japanese classes, and it was ...
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2answers
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What is the difference between でなくand ではなく?

This is the sentence I have just read: 外国へ行くとしたら、ただの旅行ではなく、勉強を 目的として 行きたい。 If I ever have a chance to go abroad then I would like to go to study rather than just travel. The は feels intuitively ...
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1answer
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why is it that some 形容動詞 accepts の after it while some only accepts な after it?

why is it that some 形容動詞 accepts の after it while some only accepts な after it? Examples: の only: 普通、大勢 な or の: 初心、特別、特殊 Is there a way for us to tell if a 形容動詞 needs a の or な particle after it....
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に and で revisited

Consider the statement A: ホテル(に/で)泊まる. For both cases would translate to "I stay at a hotel" in English. However they are answers to different questions. Consider the questions 1.どこに泊まる and 2.(ホテルで)...
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1answer
596 views

How to appropriately pair tenses in subordinate and main clauses?

Consider the following combination. Which is the correct one? テレビが私の国で 《できた》 のは1960 《です》。 テレビが私の国で 《できる》 のは1960 《です》。 テレビが私の国で 《できた》 のは1960 《でした》。 テレビが私の国で 《できる》 のは1960 《でした》。 Note: The important ...
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2answers
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〜しては is this a grammar pattern?

I was trying to translate this sentence: 僕はアルバイトしてはレコードばかり買っていたから、一日半働けばLP一枚買えるな、と思って働いていた。 I think I get the overall meaning as: Because I spent all my wages on records I went to work thinking "...
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1answer
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When the agent takes を in the causative form

I've seen a few sets of terminology when referring to the causative form, so for the basic case, I will use the following: instigator が agent に 〇〇 を v-させる。 In its most basic, text-book form, we have ...
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1answer
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Grammar of との, what is the meaning

So here in this sentence below "との" was used 2 times. What does との standfor? Can someone please explain it to me? これまで数多くのアニメ作品とのコラボを実現してきた痛印堂には、「好きなアニメとのコラボは嬉しいけど、自分の好きなキャラクターがいない!」「...
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4answers
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What is the difference between は and のは?

The following sentence means "seeing all the different foreign people was interesting." This, according to my Japanese friends is incorrect: 色々な外国人を見ているは面白かった。 ... and this is correct: ...
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2answers
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Is た形 required when using 自動詞 as an adjective?

From the grammar book I learned that when 自動詞 is being used as an adjective, it should change its form to the た形, for example: 優れ{すぐれ}た学生 拗れ{こじれ}た話し But can I say 優れる学生 or 拗れる話し? Why?
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4answers
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相手の日本人 or 日本人の相手?

If I wanted to describe the person I was speaking about as being Japanese, to me it seems natural to say: 日本人{にほんじん}の相手{あいて} ... however, one time a Japanese teacher told me it's more correct to ...
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1answer
977 views

how could a sentence end with (noun + “よ”?)

I'd thought you cannot end a sentence with a noun. Rather: noun + だ。 noun + です。 noun + である。 noun + であります。 noun + でございます。 But in a movie dialogue, I heard: "大切なのは、心よ。" Ending a sentence with a noun ...
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1answer
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verb+ようにと、 or verb+かと、

Ch.16 of the textbook 中級から学ぶ日本語 introduces the ~と、 structure, with this example: 早{はや}く花{はな}がさくようにと、毎日水{まいにちみず}をやっている。 Without the と particle I would read this as 'I water the flowers everyday so ...
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6answers
799 views

Shouldn't this phrase using だけのこと mean “just for that”?

In a grammar textbook I have, there is this phrase: 幸{さいわ}い日本{にほん}で日本語{にほんご}を勉強{べんきょう}して、かなり話{はな}せるようになりました。日本{にほん}に行{い}っただけのことはありました。 The translation given is: Fortunately, I studied Japanese ...
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3answers
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What does する mean when it does not mean “do”? (血のにおいがする)

What does する mean when it does not mean "do"? Like: あなたも血のにおいがするな
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2answers
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Can you use the polite form ます with ので?

I was recently told by someone that you cannot use the polite form ~ます and ので; that is, ので must be used with the plain form. (Specifically, he was saying that 「勉強していますので」 was wrong, and had to be ...
4
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2answers
428 views

What is the difference between 「とは限らない」and 「とも限らない」

When looking it up on the internet I find that とは限らない means 「イメージと違って、100%~と言えないという意味」. But the problem is I also get similar meanings for とも限らない. I've asked a Japanese speaker about it and they ...
9
votes
2answers
520 views

「しまう」 as an auxiliary verb

I feel like I always see 「しまう」 at the end of sentences (not the verb "to put away"). I saw some examples here on Weblio. どうしても写真は実物より劣ってしまう。 Pictures really don't do it justice. ...
7
votes
2answers
261 views

Why isn't 日本料理 written as 日本の料理?

Both 日本 and 料理 are nouns but why aren't they concatenated with の? I think it should be written as 日本の料理 rather than 日本料理.
6
votes
1answer
386 views

“は + verb” instead of “を + verb”?

I have stumbled upon instances where "は + verb" is used in situations where I thought "を + verb" should be used. For example, recently I've seen その覚悟はしてました I was prepared for that 楽な道は選ぶな ...
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votes
1answer
129 views

Why is this sentence not separated? 圧着部分を図1,2のように交互に折り込みドリッパーの内側にピッタリと装着します。

It is a step how to use coffee filter. 圧着部分を図1,2のように交互に折り込みドリッパーの内側にピッタリと装着します。 In my opinion, it should be 圧着部分を図1,2のように交互に折り込み - Fold the filter alternately following to the diagram 1 and 2 to ...
26
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3answers
28k views

Difference between ために and ように

I've got a question regarding difference in usage of 辞書形+ように and 辞書形+ために with verbs' dictionary forms, i.e. 飛行機に乗り遅れないように、前日早寝したのです。 彼は質問をするために手を上げました。 The notion I get is that the first is used ...