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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5
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1answer
164 views

How do the two occurrences of the word など function in this sentence?

One of my life's strangest experiences was unexpectedly ending up in Cairo, where there was a sort of extremely cheap hotel full of Japanese backpackers, part of which is described below. ...
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The grammar of ~かれ~かれ

Consider these: 遅かれ早かれ 良【よ】かれ悪【あ】しかれ What is the underlying grammatical make up of this ~かれ~かれ pattern (if any)? Is this pattern productive(i.e. can be extended to arbitrary words)?
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Is this a proper use of tara and toki for “when”?

Consider: 気がついたら皆さんは寝ていた。 気がついたとき皆さんは寝ていた。 My English interpretation: When I woke up (came to), everyone was sleeping. Is "when" enough to capture the nuances of the Japanese sentences? ...
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1answer
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The meaning of ~のみ

What is the meaning/significance of ~のみ? Does it have anything to do with 身 or 見? Some example sentences: しかし、予算の制限のため、差し当たり実験機のみを製造することになった。 But budget restrictions have allowed them to make ...
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1answer
779 views

Understanding the grammar of 当て

I'm trying to understand the grammar behind 当て, and after a bit of investigation I still don't quite understand a could of points. The definition that I found for it is (n) depend on, expectations, ...
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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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What's the grammar of 持ちつ持たれつ?

持ちつ持たれつ (meaning approximately "supporting eachother") is commonly heard, but seems to be formed from some archaic grammar. I'm assuming it's an archaic form of 持って持たれて or something like that, but ...
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How can I improve my Japanese vocabulary, grammar, and listening skills? [closed]

I consider myself at a lower intermediate level. I want to improve my Japanese vocabulary and grammar in order to expand my reading and speaking skills. I know enough Japanese to get around and have a ...
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2answers
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Is 眠たい an adjective?

I was told 眠たい was an adjective, and that it is an exceptional case. How does it work as an adjective and what is its relation to the verb 眠る?
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2 versions of tara ii no ni

What is the difference in usage and meaning of: 行ったらいいのに =V/conditional and 行けたらいいのに = V/potential/conditional Can both be translated as "If only I could go..."? Thanks!
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1answer
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How is this verb being conjugated and contracted?

" こんな馬鹿みたいな帽子かぶせやがって!!” " こんなくそみたいな帽子かぶせやがって!!” " こんなくそみたいな帽子かぶせんじゃねーよ!!” I believe I'm looking at a conjugation and contraction of the verb かぶる. What is the original conjugation and what ...
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What is the meaning of 「…みけんならみけん…」?

I'm reading a book on how to draw manga style characters, and I came across this sentence. It is part of a larger block explaining how to make a character look the same from all different angles. 同{...
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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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1answer
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Help with newspaper shorthand

I was reading a short news article on students taking entrance exams in Japan, and it listed the number of students from the prefecture who took what test. Here is the excerpt I had a question about: ...
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Changing a question into a request for advice

How can I change a statement like どこへいきますか to mean "Where should I go"? Basically, what is the rule for changing a question into a request for advice?
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1answer
947 views

How is ほか used as a conjunction?

What does ほか mean when it is used in a sentence like this: [situationA] ほか, [situationB]" Specifically I would like a little help clarifying the following sentence: 事件事故が減ったほか、...
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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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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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Can でありますように be followed by a verb?

来年は是非明るい年でありますように願うばかりです I hope that the next year will be great for you Is this sentence grammatically incorrect? In what way(s)? If incorrect, why can でありますように not be followed by an explicit verb? ...
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1answer
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How are で and ばかりused in this expression?

来年は是非明るい年でありますように願うばかりです I hope that the next year will be great for you Why is で used in 年であります? Is であります an older form of です? Also, what would the ばかり translate to here? I thought maybe it could be ...
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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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Help with には and にとって

I need help understanding why にとって cannot be used in this circumstance: その仕事は私{には/*にとって}出来ない。 ( * denotes unacceptable) This is what I read: にとって cannot be used when it marks an experiencer or ...
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1answer
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How is 信じる being conjugated here?

信じようと信じまいと Believe it or not How is 信じる being conjugated here? I am unfamilar with the stem + まい pattern, if anyone could explain the ins and outs of that, or provide a more literal translation if ...
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1answer
396 views

What is the underlying grammar in the difference between `足らない` and `足りない`?

Based on the comments from Tsuoyshi Ito's answer to Translation of 竜すらも恐るるに足らない, 恐るるに足らない/恐るるに足りない is a set phrase meaning "not worth fearing". Based on my understanding of 一段 verbs like 足りる, ...
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3answers
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How do I add an object to noun を します verbs?

When you want to associate a noun を します action (what English-speakers would call "verbing a noun") with a specific noun, what particles are used and where? For example, if I was saying "I study", you ...
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1answer
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How does this で work?

日本女性で電車の中で化粧をする人を見ると恥ずかしいくて嫌な気持ちになる。 In my understanding, the で following 日本女性 could correspond here to the english "of," or "speaking of." Thus one interpretation of this sentence (though in ...
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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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What is the って in 連れてってくれる?

ALC can give several examples of this, not only in 連れてって: いつ私たちを湖に連れてってくれるの? When are you going to take us to the lake? これ、帰りに叔母さんとこ、持ってってちょうだい。Will you take this to your aunt on your way home ...
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1answer
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Difference Between べんきょう する and べんきょうを する

What is the difference between べんきょう する and べんきょうを する?
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Sentence ending に and のに compared to their non-sentence-ending form

Consider these: [A] 僕はいい仕事があったら美智子さんと結婚出来ただろうに [B] 僕はいい仕事があったら美智子さんと結婚出来たのに Is に in [A] related to the case particle に? Is のに in [B] related to the use of のに as a conjunction in mid-sentence?...
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What is the correct way to say: “where are you going?”

What is the correct way to say "where are you going?"? Is it: あなたはどこに行きますか or あなたはどこに行くの Also, can someone please explain that の in "あなたはどこに行くの"?
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1answer
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Usage and reading of the Ampersand

In English, & is rather frequently used to mean "and". How should & be read in Japanese? I think these are some likely readings: や と アンド Case 1: Assume sentence structure is of the form "A &...
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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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usage of「ご迷惑をおかけ・・・」variants for a business apology

I have to apologize for a procedural error at work, and am unsure about selecting the right form of apology from the variants of 「ご迷惑をおかけ・・・」: 1.「ご迷惑【めいわく】をおかけして申【もう】し訳【わけ】ございません。」 2.「ご迷惑【めいわく】...
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Comparing three or more things

To compare two things, I would use: りんごのほうがみかんより美味しいです。 i.e. noun のほうがnoun よりadjective But how can I say, "Out of these five fruits, apples are the most delicious"? Or "Out of Seoul, Tokyo, and ...
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How to use から and だから as conjunctions?

Recently I was studying the use of から and だから as conjunctions. Could anyone explain why one is used in these examples while the other is not? Are there rules as to whether から and だから can follow a ...
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What exactly does とはいえ mean?

I came across the structure [V simple-past]とはいえ、、、、 and I can't figure out exactly what it means. I found this いえ is 言え, and it means the same as とは言うものの... which I don't really understand perfectly ...
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もらえる, 見える rules

From what I learned, もらえる = もらうことが出来る 'can be got' 見える = 見ることが出来る 'can be seen' This looks like there is some kind of a more general rule for this transformation. If there is a pair ...
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Is there a form for “I have never heard of”?

Some examples of what I'm trying to convey: I have never heard that song before. I have never heard of Miyazawa Kenji I have never heard of that before? I've never heard of that store? ...
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How does “ ~ずにはいられない ” work?

時代の流れを感じずにはいられない。 I can't help but feel time passing by. 彼のことを同情せずにはいられない。 I can't help but to feel sorry for him. 私は、彼の才能を賞賛せずにはいられない。 I can't help but admire his talent. Would ...
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How do I say “I am the best” ? の,は or が and 私 or 俺?

I'm making a shirt for a (rather egotistical) friend of mine and so am trying to do something with the slogan "I am the best" for fun. I need something with four characters only, and would like to ask ...
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When to use 他【ほか】の or 他【ほか】に

I always thought only 他の existed, but my teacher uses 他に a lot. Are there differences between when each can be used? Here are two examples of each from my online dictionary: だれかほかの人に聞いてごらん (Ask ...
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1answer
231 views

The different ways of producing nouns

What are the different ways to produce nouns from other parts of speech and how are they different? For example, 高い has these nouns produced from it: 高さ 高み For 近い : 近く Also nouns can be formed by ...
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Who is performing the actions in this sentence?

I have a question about the last sentence here taken from this essay: やっぱり旅っていいな…としみじみ感じます。 'Then you will know the true joy of travelling.' 食事の後はちょっと外へ出てみましょう。 'After your meal, go ...
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Does this use of だろうか indicate assertion of an opinion?

I always get a bit confused with だろう, which I've asked about before. In my other question, I got the impression that たろう meant a certain amount of assertion, and だろうか left some room for uncertainty. ...
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How to use 〜かのよう{に・な・だ}

I understand fine how to use 〜(の)よう{に・な・だ}, but I'm not sure when or how you can add in the か. Here's an example from my book: 4月になって雪が降るなんて、まるで冬が戻って来たかのようです。 How is this different than if it had ...
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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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Difference between Noun+な and Noun+だという

I came across this sentence: 四月だというのに、結構寒いね。 "It is April, but it is rather cold isn't it?" Recalling what I learned about the のに conjunction, I can also make the sentence: 四月なのに、結構寒いね。 (...
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1answer
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What is the difference in these two keigo terms?

My JLPT practise book has these two sentences to help explain the difference between お目{め}にかける and お目{め}にかかる in a context of keigo. それでは新製品{しんせいひん}お目{め}にかけましょう。 鈴木{すずき}さんという人{ひと}に初{はじ}めてお目{め}...
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“Instead” using 代わりに

Excerpt from A Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar: Consider the difference in the sentences below: [a] 昼間遊ぶ代わりに夜遊ぶつもりだ。 I intend to play at night instead of having fun in the daytime. ...