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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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Is there an ambiguity with 初めて in this sentence?

その映画は日本で初めて公開された。 I think this means: This movie was first released in Japan. However, I was wondering if it could be both understood as "The first release of this movie happened in Japan" (it ...
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What does “僕の分も君が振ってくれ。” mean?

The title is self explanatory. I don't seem to understand this sentence as a whole. Can somebody please explain this word by word for me? Also what form is "振ってくれ" in? "振る" in this context means "to ...
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Understanding the translation of ~てほしいと頼まれました

In my Japanese textbook, it has the following phrase: 早稲田大学{わせだだいがく}の新聞部員{しんぶんぶいん}である日本人{にほんじん}の友達{ともだち}に、今、「世界{せかい}の大学{だいがく}」というテーマのシリーズを組{く}んでいるので、あなたにはアメリカの大学{だいがく}について投稿{とうこう}してほしいと頼{たの}まれました。 I ...
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The meaning of となった in this context

the meaning of となった in this context is not entirely clear for me. Help, onegai. 世界同時株安の発端となったニューヨーク株式市場は、11日も売り注文が続き、ダウ平均株価は一時、前日に比べて700ドル近く値下がりしました。
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55 views

かもしれない usage question

I'm having trouble parsing the second sentence said by B below: A:「先生の仕事を始めましたね。どうですか?」 B:「先生は辞めました。ゴールデン街でお店を持てるかもしれないからです!」 The first sentence seems pretty clear to me (I quit my job as a teacher)...
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242 views

Confusing sentence using ~わけではなく and other forms

Note: I already reviewed many topics here regarding the use of わけ, but I still struggle to properly translate the sentence below. It's from the introduction to the book 日本語文法ハンドブック (a book for ...
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80 views

Different ways to read out the year

In English, there are a few ways we could read out a year like 2012 - e.g. "two thousand and twelve", "twenty twelve". Does the same thing exist in Japanese, or is there only one way ever actually ...
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134 views

といったら vs. とは - subtle differences?

Question from my JLPT N1 text book: 佐藤さんのセンスの良さ______...。本当に感心します。(fill in the blank) I have a choice of というと、とは、and といったら。 といったら is correct but I can't fathom how とは is not an option as the text says ...
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Japanese reports

I have a question about Japanese reports. I am studying at a university in Japan. And when I came here, I found out that Japanese people use ~だ instead ~です, ~たinstead ~ます and so on. And it seems rude ...
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What is the meaning of それにつけても?

Hello to all the community, As a part of my autodidact learning, I am currently studying different kind of Japanese sentences in different situations. For now, I am trying to understand the lyrics of ...
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114 views

What would させずにすんだはず mean in the following context

Person A is reminiscing and beating herself over her supposed failures at not saving some people including B who had to go away. Bさんの時もそうだった… もっと強くもっと早くこの手を伸ばせていれば ...
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1answer
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Different nuances of interrogative phrases

何{なに}がXですか。 Xは何{なん}ですか。 What are the different nuances associated with these two phrases?
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Confusing use of ずつ

このバスの会社によると、東京では1週間に3日、昼と夜の2回ずつ走る予定で、予約が必要です。 According to the company that runs these buses, they plan to run the Tokyo bus three times a week, twice each in the afternoon and evening. A ...
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「〜てすむ」の意味は何ですか。

「ほってすんでいました」の文法を詳しく説明していただけませんか。「すむ」の漢字は「済む」でしょうか。 例)「陸に上がったクモはしばらくのあいだ、地面にあなをほってすんでいました。」 よろしくお願いします。
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What is the meaning of 起こし in this sentence?

I"m trying to translate the following sentence into English for a assignment in my translation workshop class. 僕は身体を起こし, あらためて彼女に視線を持っていった. The bolded part has me confused due to the strange shi ...
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adjective pronominalization with の

大きいのはいくらですか。  きれいなのを買いました。 I found those phrases here. From my understanding these mean: 大きいの = the ones that are big きれいなの = the one that is pretty | the ones that are pretty Am I right? I ...
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How to interprete this も?

For full context: https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20181007/k10011662381000.html?utm_int=news_contents_news-main_003 The sentence in question: 長野県内でキノコ採りに出かけた人が死亡する事故が相次ぐ中、...
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Trouble with this sentence: 未曽有の被害をもたらした7月の西日本豪雨災害

未曽有の被害をもたらした7月の西日本豪雨災害。その災害から私たちを守ってくれるはずの避難所で、命の危険を感じて被災した自宅に引き返した人たちがいます。「食物アレルギー」がある人や、アレルギーのある家族がいる人たちです。避難所にアレルギーに対応した食品がなかったため、避難所にとどまることができなかったのです。災害大国とも呼ばれる日本で、なぜ教訓が生かされないのか?被災地の1つ、...
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Difference between である and だ in the written form

My grammar book states that である is used as copula in the written form to express ideas in a neutral fashion and that だ is also used in the written form to, quote, "sound more objective". But doesn't "...
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Why て-form is being used before ん ?

In the following sentence: 誰{だれ}探{さが}してんの What is the grammatical reason for 探{さが}す to be used in て-form before ん?
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133 views

need help to understand がる/ がっている

I learned about がる from two different native teachers and both explained it differently. The first one said that がる is seemed/looks like someone wants something 猫が欲しがってる The cat seems to want it ...
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What is the difference between “Doko de benkyou shiteiru no desu ka?” and “Doko de benkyou benkyo shiteimasu ka?”

In Japanese, what is the difference between "Doko de benkyou shiteiru no desu ka?" (どこ で べんきょう している の です か?) and "Doko de benkyou benkyo shiteimasu ka?" (どこ で べんきょう べんきょ していますか?) How does the ...
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161 views

What is the meaning of 近いほうが here?

I came across this phrase in a passage and I am not quite sure what it means. It seems unlikely that it is used for comparison, but I could be wrong. The Chinese translation following it seems to ...
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140 views

What does どうなちきつたんだよオ mean?

I am trying to learn a lot by reading, but I am having a lot of trouble with this phrase/sentence: どうなちきつたんだよオ Now, this is from a manga (Akira, specifically) so I'm guessing it's some kind of ...
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Question about the phrase 心配いりません

I came across the phrase 心配いりません and from what I understand it means "Dont worry". It is formed by using the する-verb 心配 (worry) and いる (to be needed). What I don't understand is why there is no ...
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380 views

Why Japanese verb has so many forms?

I'm learning Japanese, N5 level. I wonder why Japanese verbs have so many forms. For example, to say that we are doing something, we use "te" form (which I am learning right now). To say we are able ...
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123 views

Particles and noun-modifiers

This morning I read a sentence translated as follows: 私は 部屋{へや} に かざる物{もの} を あげました。 I offered her things to decorate her room. It made me think about the following different English sentence, ...
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Use of 予定 at the end of sentence [duplicate]

I'm currently reading this article Which has the following sentence: インドで人気がある小さい炊飯器を輸出する予定です。 My translation: There is a plan to export small rice cookers, which have become popular in India....
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108 views

The role of か when 行こうか is not a question

In the sentence: よし じゃあ 行こうか When the intonation of 行こうか implies an invitation and not a question, what is the grammatical role of particle 「か」?
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How to make requests not to do something in reported speech? [duplicate]

Specifically in the sentence: “A guide asked us not to touch the exhibits during the excursion”. Do we use 〜て/でください as if we are saying “don’t touch this” or do we simply put a negative form and then ...
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Meaning of もらってもらう?

I found the combination "もらってもらう" in a text in 新完全文法N1, page 142: 「これ、もらってくれるとありがたいんですけど……。」と言って、わたしによく服を譲ってくれる友人がいる。彼女がもう着ない服だ。自分が要らない服を人にもらってもらうのは、意外に難しい。二人がとても親しくて、服の好みが合っている場合に限る。 My questions ...
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Trouble with “不安と、病名がちゃんとあったことに少し安心して涙が止まらない”

不安と、病名がちゃんとあったことに少し安心して涙が止まらないーーー女性のこの日のツイートにはそう書かれていました。(source) I don't know how to link "不安と" to "病名がちゃんとあったことに少し安心して涙が止まらない"(which function of と is it?) And I don't understand why 少し is used if ...
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くれる: A verb of volition?

In this answer, user4092 raised the aspect of volition when using giving-and-receiving verbs. Curious to learn more, I did some research and found the following article: https://www.imabi.net/...
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Can you use そうだ (appear, seem) with kango adjectival nouns?

Of course it is common to attach そうだ to na-adjectives or i-adjectives (高そうな車, 元気そうな人 etc), but it doesn't seem to be the case for kango words which can operate as either nouns or adjectives. For ...
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Understanding Susumu Kuno's example of misuse of 自分

On Wikipedia's page for Logophoricity, there is an example of that concept in Japanese. On this Wikipedia page, sentences from Susumu Kuno's 1972 journal article Pronominalization, Reflexivization, ...
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Distinction of using を/に instead of が

さあ次もビーチバレーという名のウォッチング[に]勤しむぜ!- Ok, next, lets endeavor to watch beach volleyball ! それにしても、人間世界はじつに物[に]あふれておるな。- That being said, the world of humans is actually overflowing with things (this ...
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Meaning of “ためし” in this sentence [duplicate]

驚くことはないよ、私なんか彼女が理解できたためしはない。 What i understand is : "It is not surprising! I, somehow, am unable to understand her" ? The only 2 "ためし" i found are : 試し. trial; test​ and 例. precedent; example​ But i ...
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112 views

Changing verb subject after a favor - Is this a reliable pattern?

Consider the following example sentences from 新完全文法マスター N1 and N2 respectively: Sentence A その仕事は川田さんならやれる。川田さんに頼めばきっとやってくれるだろう。 Sentence B 道に迷ってしまった。通りかかったおばあさんに道を聞いたら、親切に教えてくれた。 In ...
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What does としたほか mean in this context?

What does としたほか mean in this context? また、農産品については、TPP=環太平洋パートナーシップ協定など、過去の協定の水準を上回る関税の引き下げは行わないという日本の立場をアメリカが尊重するとしたほか、交渉中はアメリカによる自動車への追加関税の発動を回避することを確認したと述べました。
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Combining もし・ば and -たい form together

My impression when using conditionals, most of the time, you lose the ability to express desire. For example, when conjugating to -たら、you have to use the past tense of the verb. Is it grammatically ...
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What is the difference between に and と with 間違われる?

このうち、イギリスの新聞「デイリー・ミラー」は「マフィアに間違われるとして、スター選手たちのタトゥーに警告」という見出しで伝えています。(source) 彼は背が高いのでしばしば大人と間違われる(EJJE weblio)。
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Noun+に and intransitive verbs clarification

「私に甘えっぱなしだなんて、そんなこと気にしないで良いんだからね……?」- act spoiled "to"/depend on me だからあんたも、何かの間違いで私に惚れたりしないでよ? どうせ面倒なことにしかならなそうだし - fall in love "towards" me? はい、魔力とは人の持つ欲望に根ざすもの - probably location に, ...
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2answers
140 views

What is the correct way to attach 〜そう to the start of a noun? [duplicate]

Take for example the following, よさそう which means (it) looks good. Is it possible for one to attach a 〜そう phrase to the start of a noun? Taking a good apple as an example sentence, are any of the ...
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2answers
193 views

What's the difference between 意外にも and 意外に?

I was practicing writing for Japanese and I wanted to say, "We don't say it often, but surprisingly, it has the same meaning as "good luck"" My original sentence was "あまり言わないけど、意外に、「がんばって!」と同じ意味だよ。" ...
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1answer
105 views

How to know how to translate -たり form

I read that -たり form can either be translated as "and" or "or", and that it indicates no particular chronological order. My question is, how do you know when which is which? For example, I came ...
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1answer
91 views

Nuance of Noun-verb (を)入る/入れる

ええ~、なかなかいらっしゃらないからと、近隣の署に片っ端から連絡を入れたそうですよ eh, you didn't show up, so it seemed like (she) contacted every police station in the area おたくらちょっとそれ軽くいじめ入ってるよ!? 自覚あります!? you Otakus, you're sorta (...
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3answers
191 views

How to pronounce ❛ た❜?

I am learning Japanese at a beginner's level. I am wondering how to pronounce the letter ❛ た❜ because according to the chart it should be pronounce as ta , but in listening materials and everyday ...
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3answers
128 views

How to parse 政治家にあるまじき発言?

Consider the following sentence: その大臣は政治家にあるまじき発言で、辞任に追い込まれた。 I would like to know in particular how the section in bold should be parsed. For example: Since まじき is the attributive form of まじ, ...
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1answer
68 views

some questions on られる form

im self learning japanese and having problems understanding られる or 受け身 form of verbs. I am wondering why the following sentences are not ok: 私は石に頭に落ちられた トムは交差点の真ん中で車に止められた However it says ...
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4answers
87 views

Using だ as a Verb

I was reading through the following blog and came across a particularly interesting example on the use of は and が. The author explains that in the context of a young man pointing at a number of ...