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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9
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2answers
2k views

<動詞の辞書形> + がよい ― How is this allowed?

I've come across this form many times in my Japanese Bible. The meaning is quite obvious based on context, and seems to be one of the following: ~べきです, ~ほうがいい, ~なさい, or ~ように (let it be ~). Here are ...
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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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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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What are the grammar rules behind this clause, 「才能があろうがなかろうが」?

才能があろうがなかろうが、そんなもん他人が決める事じゃない。どこの部に所属するかなんぞ俺が決める事だ I'm asking about the bolded clause. This is casual dialogue, in case there's any confusion about that. I don't normally put Japanese through Google ...
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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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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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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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1answer
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What does the に do in 表情から察するに?

その表情から察するに魔剣を所持している人は少ないみたいだ。 I'm having trouble figuring out what に does here. Does it have the same meaning as と?
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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 ...
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「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. ...
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1answer
763 views

Is it true that only movement verbs can take [V-stem]に to express a purpose?

I decided to split this into a thread by itself because I was afraid of cramming too much into the first thread. Is it true that only movement verbs can take [V-stem]に to express a purpose? Will it ...
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3answers
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How is the subject of this subclause made clear?

For full context: http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/easy/k10011229751000/k10011229751000.html The sentence in question: このほか、体につけると普通の30%ぐらいの力で重い物を持つことができる機械もあります。 => "In addition, there were also machines ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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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 ...
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3answers
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How do ことになる and ようになる differ? (When ことになる cannot = “It has been decided that”)

I understand that ことになる has the meaning "It has been decided that" and can be used to point to a ritual or habit of a society like taking off your shoes. However, I don't get what it means when it is ...
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5answers
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のだから vs のだ (んだから vs んだ)

When I learnt this grammar point a while ago, my teachers told me not to use it with "から". There reasoning for this was that のだ already implies a reason or supporting information for a conclusion. ...
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「どこでもある」と「どこにもある」の使い分け

I have come across this sentence: 一九七0年頃までは、どこでも銭湯がありましたが、今は、少なくなりました。 Why does it say どこでも X がある instead of どこにも X がある I understand that で and に are very similar as they have ties in the past, ...
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What's the difference between「~と言いました」and「~と言っていました」?

「~と言{い}いました」and「~と言{い}っていました」 basically the difference between します and しています.
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Can 「XければXほどY」 clause pattern be shortened to 「XほどY」?

There is a clause pattern 「XければXほどY」. For example, 「近【ちか】ければ近【ちか】いほど便【べん】利【り】」 which means something like "the nearer it is, the more convenient it will be". Can I shorten the clause to 「近【ちか】いほど便【べん】...
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Can't に always replace へ?

Me and the particle へ don't get along. It's not that we don't like each other, it's that we don't get each other. I'm in a pretty committed relationship with に. I mean, I think I understand what へ ...
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2answers
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“Te-form” versus “masu-stem + して” (消しているうちに versus 消ししているうちに)

Is there any difference between 消して and 消しして in the following sentences? For example, A: 手紙を書いては消し、書いては消ししているうちに、朝になってしまった。 B: 手紙を書いては消し、書いては消しているうちに、朝になってしまった。
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What is the difference between なぜなら、だから、and なので?

I'm trying to get clarification on how to use these three pieces of grammar and whether or not they all hold some kind of "Because" meaning.
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How does this ように work?

今年も良い年でありますように! I hope you have another good year! What is going on exactly where the ように means hope? Does the よう derive from a verb? I would also like to know how to describe this word in the ...
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In front of “ほうがいい,” is it always past tense?

ほうがいい means: the particular way "ほう" is "が" good "いい" So, for example, if it looks like it's going to rain, I might say to a friend: "今日は雨らしい。傘を持った方がいい。" But what I'm curious is, why is "持った" ...
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Past Unreal Conditional

After my first question was answered so beautifully, I would like to ask some more. :D I wanted to know how to use conditionals for events in the past, like: "If I had saved my money, I would be rich ...
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1answer
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Understand the difference between [dictionary/ない + ようとする] and [volitional + にする]

I have come across a couple of concepts that seem relatively similar, but I would like an understanding on their differences, if any. The first is the dictionary/ない form + ようとする. And the other is the ...
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Particles following ところ (に, を, and で)

料理をしているところに電話がかかってきて困った。 デートをしているところを友だちに見られてしまった。 電車に乗ったところで今日は祝日だと気づいた。 In the above sentences, what decide the particle following ところ? They all seem to indicate a happening during/while ...
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1answer
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Connecting phrases with the stem of masu-form

When is it possible to connect sentences using the stem of masu-form? Are there restrictions on the use of this form?
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3answers
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Meaning of pattern 「XがXなら、YもYだ」

While reading, I came across this sentence: 「上官が上官なら部下も部下だな」 What does this 「XがXなら、YもYだ」 pattern mean? "Like X, like Y"? "X will be X, and Y will be Y"?
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How does the use of いかんによっては in this question determine one answer over another?

In my JLPT practise book, in a section explaining the use of いかんによっては, which roughly means "depending on", they have the following question: 学生{がくせい}:先生{せんせい}、台風{たいふう}が近{ちか}づいていますね。明日{あした}のゼミは休講{...
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Proper form of なさる - なさります or なさいます

In Genki II (second ed.), page 168 we are given polite forms of some verbs, among them する with なさる. They have also written that some of them have irregular conjugations in long forms, among them なさる, ...
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How to use the inflection “やがる”?

こんなくそみたいな帽子{ぼうし}かぶせやがって! "こんな仕事{しごと}させやがって!" "こんなまずいものを食{く}わせやがって!" "あいつは本当{ほんとう}に良{い}いものを作{つく}りやがる" I was recently acquainted with the inflection "やがる," as illustrated in the ...
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Looking for an explanation of the usage "あったものじゃない”

I'm looking for an explanation of the usage "あったものじゃない”. 例文 1)ムードも何もあったものじゃありませんね (context:Girlfriend and boyfriend were out on a date and the boyfriend's stomach made a large noise because he ...
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Is 寝る a stative or active verb?

Looking at past questions I am still confused with the answers given: The answer to this post suggests that 寝る is a continuation of some state. 昨日も全然寝てない。 Yesterday I didn't sleep at all. ...
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2answers
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When does a suru-noun require し in front of a purposive-に?

According to Chocolate's comment to a question, some suru-nouns can be followed by the purposive に directly, but others require (the stem of) する in between.  面会しに行く  面会に行く  料理しに行く × 料理に行く ...
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1answer
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What does のですが mean in the following sentence?

焼き鳥屋さんで集まったのですが、とても楽しい、かつ有意義な時間を過ごしました。
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How does one use the “[V ます stem] に [Vタ]” pattern (as in 待ちに待った)?

Every now and then I hear 待ちに待った, as in: 待ちに待ったライブ a long-awaited concert I started wondering if this pattern can apply to other verbs, and it certainly seems to, if Google is any indication. I ...
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4answers
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なんか after て- form of a verb

I am confused by the use of なんか, especially after the て-form of a verb. What do: あきらめてなんかない, 消えてなんかない mean? How do they differ from simply saying あきらめていない, 消えていない? What is the purpose of なんか?
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1answer
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Use of とは when there doesn't seem to be comparison

I've seen とは used for the first time and understand from the explanation given on this question, What are the uses of に and とは in this sentence? that とは is (or at least in one specific type of context)...
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1answer
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Dictionary form of verb followed by に

I've recently begun noticing that occasionally I'll see a dictionary form of the verb followed by the particle に, for example: 1.)まだ学校へ行くには早い時間です。 It's still too early to go to school. I've been ...
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1answer
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How to use なきゃ correctly

よっぽど悪いことさえしなきゃ... Unless you do a really bad thing... Is なきゃ a contraction of ないことには? I can find the latter in my text books but not the former. Weblio suggests that it can mean both "Unless one .....
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1answer
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思っている/言っている with third person subject?

So i was reading A dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar, and in the part where it explains the uses of いる as an auxiliary verb after て、 it says something like that: "(...) Also, verbs like 言う and 思う ...
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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.
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食べたそうだ vs. 食べそうだ, 静かだそうだ vs. 静かそうだ

I saw this as a comment on this question, Why does そう in 「美味しいそう」 not mean "seem" the way I think it should?「美味しいそう」-not-mean-seem-the-way-i-think-it-should, and would love to understand ...
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1answer
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Using i-adjective color words

Why is the sentence 「車はあかです。」 not 「車はあかいです。」? Since 「あかい」 is an i-adjective.
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2answers
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Grammatical name of the form used before -て, -たり, -た, -たら?

I'm looking for the Japanese name of the specific verbal form used before -て, -たり, -た, -たら: verb → 連用形 ren.yōkei → XXXX → + -て, -たり, -た, -たら 書く → 書き → 書い → 書いて, 書いたり, ...
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2answers
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Masu stem to connect sentences

When using masu-stem to connect sentences, is the short form for shimashita = shi? 昨日無事に大学を卒業しました。日曜日に国へ帰ります。 = 昨日無事に大学を卒業し、日曜日に国へ帰ります。 Is his correct?
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1answer
571 views

Volitional + と in ひとまず心を落ち着けようと、[…]

ひとまず心を落ち着けようと、飲みかけのオレンジジュースに手を伸ばす。 Please help. I came across this line and I don't really understand use of と here. How exactly does と work here?
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1answer
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Ending sentence with ~だもの or ~ですもの

I've been listening songs and anime dialogues that end sentences with ~もの or even cuter version ~もん for so long that I am able to see how the word denotes reasons or excuses like: おなか空いたもん (when ...
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4answers
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Is there a difference between 最高の and 最高な?

A dictionary lists 最高 as being both a no-adjective and na-adjective. I've also seen other examples of this. However, is there a difference between using it either form since they're both attached to ...