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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だって (datte) meaning

What are the possible uses for だって?
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Why does そう in 「美味しいそう」 not mean “seem” the way I think it should?

Here's another habitual mistake I make. I'm looking at a sign for a restaurant with pictures of great food. So I remark to my friend: 美味{おい}しいそう、ね? ... intending to mean, "that looks good, don't ...
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what is the difference between ごとに and おきに?

Both ごとに and おきに appear to mean "repeatedly at intervals". What is the difference between these two expressions?
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What is the difference between “〜がる” and “〜がっている”

I want to know the difference between 〜がる and 〜がっている, and in what situations I can use them. My friend said 〜がる is used for a regular activity that someone does every day or every week, and the ...
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Different ways to show intention to do something

How can one say "I am going to", express intention to do something in the future. I know some expressions such as: たいと思う -  I'm going to/ I want to ましょう - I will/ Why don't I しようと思う ...
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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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Difference between 書かないようになった and 書かなくなった?

Example sentences: ぜんぜん長い手紙を書かないようになった。 ぜんぜん長い手紙を書かなくなった。 My Translation: I never write long letters anymore. I believe they both mean the same thing but there's obviously some difference I don'...
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Contrasting 〜てならない、〜てしょうがない and 〜てたまらない

These three phrases can be used to express emotions and feelings that cannot be controlled. For example in the following sentences: a) 1点差で負けたので、悔しくてならない。 b) 1点差で負けたので、悔しくてしょうがない。 c) 1点差で負けたので、...
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How to know if ~たら is hypothetical or temporal

I encountered the following sentence in the chapter introducing conditionals from the online grammar guide Imabi. 休んだら、元気になったWhen I rested, I got better. Earlier, the article explained that たら can ...
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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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Can placements of adverbs be altered freely?

I'm curious if there is any difference in nuance between these two sentences: 彼は少なくとも週に一度車を洗う。 彼は週に少なくとも一度車を洗う。 I'm aware that grammatically speaking both are 100% right, but this question is not ...
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Do all verbs have an honorific and humble form?

I was reading about this phenomenon in a few places and saw, for instance, this table of transformations and substitutions for various verbs. Is it only these common verbs which change, or do all ...
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Are 終{お}わる and 済{す}ませる synonyms?

I know that they both mean "finish". But I wonder if there are situations or contexts where you can use one but not the other.
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are there any concrete rules for using いっぱい たくさん and よく?

Of course I can use these but sometimes I am corrected by Japanese people when I use them in the wrong circumstance. For example, 「よくしってるやん」 = "You know it quite well don't you!" 「よくいきます」= "I go (...
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Does ところを always mean the same thing as のに? What is the difference between ところへ and ところに?

One of my JLPT books, 総まとめ文法N2, uses the following examples to "explain" the grammar pattern ところだ: お忙{いそが}しいところをすみません。(=忙{いそが}しいのに) → I am sorry to bother you at this busy time. 会{あ}いたいと思{おも}...
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Meaning of 「という訳でもないのだが」

I have a question about the meaning of という訳でもないのだが in the following passage. If I'm understanding correctly 「いたからと言ってなんだ」 - 「居たからと言って何だ」 would translates something like - "even if he/she was, than ...
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What makes に基づいて instead of に応じて the correct choice for this question?

I'm working on some example questions from my grammar textbook. One of them I listed below:  税金はこの表(  )計算されています。  ア)につれて イ)に応じて ウ)に比べて エ)に基づいて I'm unsure why 「に基づいて」is the only correct answer....
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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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In what situations can you use ぞ as a sentence ender

When can one use the sentence ender ぞ? I've only ever heard it anime, so I'm unsure of it's actual usage in the real world. Is it not used that often or limited to specific age/gender groups?
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して行{い}かない versus しないで行{い}く

Do they have the same meaning? A: 宿{しゅく}題{だい}をして行{い}かない生{せい}徒{と}が多{おお}いです。 B: 宿{しゅく}題{だい}をしないで行{い}く生{せい}徒{と}が多{おお}いです。
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に vs で: 映画に見る vs 映画で見る

Branching off from the comments to this question: Do I say えいがにみました or えいがをみました ?: Preamble: The comment says 映画に見た is valid for "I saw it in a movie". I went to search for example sentences and ...
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Can と and を be interchanged with 思う the way I think they can?

Compare the following two sentences: あそこに[行]{い}こうと[思]{おも}っている あそこに[行]{い}こうを[思]{おも}っている If I'm right about this, they both mean that the speaker is thinking of going somewhere. However, the ...
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What is the meaning and application of ren'youkei?

My knowledge about ren'youkei is limited to "tabe is the ren'youkei of taberu". I would like to know what the meaning of ren'youkei is, what linguistic idea lies behind this term and for what it is ...
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Why is 一緒に correct and 一緒で incorrect?

This is a mistake I habitually make, even though I know what the right form is. Earlier tonight, I wanted to tell my friend "Let's go together!", so I sent a mail saying: 一緒{いっしょ}で行{い}こう! My ...
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ない in つまらない and similar adjectives and their conjugation with すぎる

The usual path for conjugation would be: 高い → 高すぎる  (drop い, append すぎる) ない → なさすぎる (drop い, append さ, append すぎる) Is ない in つまらない treated as the negative ない which conjugates as 2.? Or is つまらない a ...
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History of だ、です、 and である

Historically where did all of these different forms arise, and when are they used? I noticed that だ and である both have their place in different 文法形, what is the difference in their meaning? I know that ...
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Problems with は and が

Consider: [A] 猫が好きだ To me this means [A']"I like cats." Contrast this to: [B] 猫は好きだ To me this means [B']"I like cats (among other animals)" I based my understanding of [B] from Derek ...
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How to parse 親も辞書を買ってやったかいがあるってもんだ

親も辞書を買ってやったかいがあるってもんだよ The context is that speaker (a child) is trying to find the meaning of a word and asks her friend if she can borrow a dictionary. The friend ridicules her. She brushes aside ...
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What does “nanode” mean? What are its grammatical rules?

What's the meaning of this sentence and what does なので mean here? If possible, I would like to know the grammatical rules of なので as well. 英語と日本語なので私にとっても良い勉強になります。
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How to use ところだった to express time related events

Can someone explain how だった changes the meaning when put after ところ? From what I understand, ところ can be used to express when an action takes place: するところ - about to do [verb] 今から家にかえるところだ。I am ...
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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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Why is というのは used (both times) in this sentence?

I'm trying to understand the use of というのは in the second sentence below. Is it a way to refer to the 職業 in the first sentence? I find in some places that というのは can mean "the reason I'm saying this is......
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Sentence (question) ending かい - how is it different from just か?

I sometimes find questions that are normally ended with the question particle か to end with かい. For example: いいかい? そうかい? あいつがどうかしたかい? And sometimes with just い without か (if I understand ...
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Is 「でいい」 the same as 「でもいい」?

For example in the sentence: 書くだけでいいですか.
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Unifying concept for noun-adjectives of the pattern Xかな

Consider these: ~か: 静か 愚か 厳か ~やか: 穏やか 鮮やか 賑やか ~らか: 柔らか 滑らか 明らか There are many more that I've not listed. The か/やか/らか at the end of these words seem to ...
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Difference Between 僕たち and 僕ら?

Both 僕たち and 僕ら mean we. But is there any difference between them? I.e. one of them is more formal than the other, or any grammatical nuances? Edit: How is this a duplicate? The question linked by ...
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Why are we allowed to use を particle with na-adjectives?

Can someone explain the usage of a na-adjective with the を particle? I cannot understand why we can say ほうれん草を嫌いな人もいる。 because I'd thought that it had to be a が or の particle instead of an を. ...
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Understanding どうしたら

On the 100th anniversary of the first anime 東京国立近代美術館フィルムセンター said: どうしたらこのアニメがこれから100年残っていくか考えてほしいと思います ??? We want you think about how these anime will be here 100 years from now. My ...
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『僕だけがいない街』Is it grammatically correct?

I would like to know if the anime's title " boku dake ga inai machi " grammatically correct? It's quite confusing because the verb ”いる” in negative form, should be the last word as long as I know. 街 ...
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〜んだった to express regret?

I was surprised to see this Tumblr post describe ~んだった used to mark regret. I can only assume it's true, but I'm not sure (1) how much of a colloquial expression/slang is it? (2) what does it come ...
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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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Vて+しまう? 他の使い方がある?

「Vて+しまう」 to express an action that has taken place unintentionally often with unsatisfactory results (guidetojapanese.org). I have a sentence below and I don't know what the 「しまう」 for. 試験が終わった!...
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What exactly is this でね construction?

The following dialogue is from the video game Final Fantasy VI: 宿屋{やどや}の[親父]{おやじ}は、[余所者]{よそもの}が[嫌]{きら}いでね。 I think I understand this sentence. It means something like "the old man at the inn ...
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The meaning of しないでもなかった

彼の性格が読めてきたような気がしないでもなかった しない is a negative conjugation of する And from what I understand でもなかった is the equivalent of "was not" So it's a double denial? How does this work?
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Direct and indirect quotes

This question is inspired by this question. In English I can quote something in two ways: She said "Seeing you smile is better". She said that seeing me smile is better. One uses quotes, and the ...
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「もんか」の使い方を教えてくれませんか?

How do you use もんか? Once, I saw this sentence: お前に俺の気持がわかるもんか. I understand the meaning but I don't know how you can use it
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Examples of when passive form in English takes active/non passive form in Japanese

Can anyone give a few more common examples (or even more insight) of when we should be "switching" from English passive into Japanese active/non-passive? (A joint effort might help a lot of us to ...
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1answer
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What does ば do in this sentence?

What does ば do in this sentence? I am familiar with it as a conditional but it doesn't seem right here. 早朝と言っても人影がまばらにあって、露店の準備をしているホビットもいれば、僕と同じ冒険者のドワーフ達が徒党を組んで何か話し合っている。これからダンジョンへ向かうんだろう。 I ...
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3answers
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Syntax and peculiarities of this sentence/text

2) For full context, see the following document: https://www.docdroid.net/6ruXJ6r/img-20170802-0002-new.pdf This excerpt was taken from line 8-10: イギリスの少女はキノコ雲をかき、「科学者は時にダメージを与える」、...
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What does として mean here?

警視庁は12日、父親を鈍器のようなもので殴ったとして東京都中野区に住む少年を、傷害の疑いで逮捕した。 Tell me please, what does として mean in this sentence?