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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1answer
669 views

“It was not my intention.”

How do I say the above sentence in Japanese? I would suppose it's それは私の意向はなくなかったら。 (sore wa watashi no ikou wa nakunakatta.) But I'm not sure about the 'nakunakatta'. It might be a double-negation? ...
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1answer
782 views

Ambiguity in meaning of sentences with a noun qualifed by an adjective with が particle

I was wondering if there is any ambiguity with sentences that have adjectives qualifying a noun, especially regarding the が particle. For example: 1.) 僕が好きな人 Can this sentences have an ambiguous ...
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2answers
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The expression “but” used twice in row in a sentence

Why does it look like this sentence is using "but" twice in a row? でも、 そうかと言って、 もう一つ下のレべルのクラスだと、 やさしすぎてつまらないと思いますよ。 To my knowledge, でも means "but". On the other hand, my textbook says the phrase ...
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501 views

X times bigger than

How can I say: X is 5 times bigger than Y (?)
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1answer
348 views

Is there a difference between 終わりたい and 終わってほしい

Actually, I'm not even sure, if the ~たい-form of a intransitive verb is possible, or grammatically correct, but I sometimes read 終わりたい or 終わりたくない like for example まだ終わりたくない But from everything I ...
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2answers
415 views

接続助詞は名詞修飾節の中に使えますか?・接続助詞で作る文は他の接続助詞で作る文を修飾できますか?

偶然この質問を思い出しました。 Question 1 英語で Hey, look! The car over there is the car which I would buy if I were rich. という文があると思います。 その「if I were rich」は従属接続詞(if)で「I would buy」を修飾しているのです。それだけではなく、実は「I would ...
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574 views

Could someone please help me understand はまっちゃいそう in this context?

This is from a textbook I'm currently studying, and the paragraph in question is about someone's perspective on life etc. あまり幸福じゃなくてもいいから、ごく普通に平凡な家庭を築きたい。人生にチャレンジですか?ちょっとそうしたい気持ちもあるんですけど、そうすると、...
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Meaning and usage of ~としたことが

I came across the expression ~としたことが, for example: 私としたことが I'm trying to figure out the meaning and usage of this phrase, but I can't find any English resources that explain it. What does this ...
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2answers
414 views

と particle usage - am I understanding it correctly?

These two sentences don't seem to fit to the grammar rules on と that I've been able to dig up so far: ぼんやりとした意識{いしき}のまま窓{まど}に視線{しせん}をやると、とっくに日が昇{のぼ}っていた。 This form seems to fit と as an 'if/when' ...
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468 views

How to denote length or any other measurement

How exactly would I say that a certain object is a certain length. Would it just be (noun)の 長さは (number) (units)。 This question got me wondering how I would say any other sort of measurement. Can ...
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1answer
209 views

How do は and もの work in this sentence?

Consider the following bolded sentence from Fate/stay night (previous and next 2 sentences provided for some context). 古来より、魂というものは扱いが難しい。 在るとされ、魔術において必要な要素と言われているが、魂《それ》を確立させた魔術師は一人しかいない程だ。 ...
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523 views

Noun + さえ + Verb (infinitive)

Struggling to grasp this sentence: 残像{ざんぞう}さえ霞む{かすむ}高速{こうそく}の打突{だとつ}。 Rapid strikes that [verb clause starts] ... Applying structures from here and here hasn't made sense to me so far. Thinking ...
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Te form + はいる question [duplicate]

Watching street commotion from a long distance at night, the vision is blurry: それは見えてはいるけれど、見えていないという状態だ。 My guess is that it translates into "you can call it a situation where (things) can both ...
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4answers
798 views

Which particle to use to say, “for (occasion)”?

I want to translate: "I gave my little sister a doll for her birthday". I do not want to use 私 but imply that I did it, so the right particles are crucial. I've come this far, but I'm not sure ...
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2answers
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How do とは and に/された work in 「N700系とはどこが違う?N700Aに搭載された性能」

I saw this on the cover of a book about trains that was at least similar to a magazine: N700系とはどこが違う? N700Aに搭載された性能 This is a little confusing: とは is used to define things. It is often used ...
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1answer
89 views

後だったので v 後で interpretation

たくさんの階段を昇った後だったので彼女は完全に息を切らしていた。1 (original example sent.) たくさんの階段を昇った後で彼女は完全に息を切らしていた。2 My guess: there is a strong causal link between this and that in 1. 2 just means "A happened, then B ...
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How is からだ used here?

How should I parse the part that comes after 許さない: その形容から打突こそ主体と思われるが、槍{やり}の基本戦術は払いにある (1)。長さに物を言わせた広範囲の薙{な}ぎ払いは、もとより身を引いて躱{かわ}す、などという防御を許さないからだ (2)。 Feels like it makes the sentence flow a bit ...
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237 views

How to describe a recurring/retrieved condition?

I don't understand how to describe a recurring or retrieved condition. Is there a special way to express sentences like: a) I was sick, but now (just now), I am finally better again. I want to ...
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1answer
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Trying to understand 私のこと in this sentence [duplicate]

According to a tweet from @real_eikaiwa, the following sentence: こんなに私のこと笑わせてくれる人なかなかいないって思ってる! Translates to: "I don't think I've ever met anyone that made me laugh so much!" But this doesn't ...
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5k views

when should I use を instead of が?

it happens a lot that I'm not sure which of the two is the more correct one. を marks the object and が the subject, I know that. still I get them wrong because it's not that simple, maybe there some ...
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521 views

Why can は and を sometimes be used interchangeably?

For example: 肉は食べますが、すしを食べません。
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388 views

The meaning of の in この役立たず and お兄ちゃんのばか

It seems の doesn't always express possession as in 私の本. What does it mean in such phrases as この役立たず and お兄ちゃんのばか? And, what does の do in "埃だらけのテレビをちゃんと拭いてくれない?"?
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What's the difference between 最近、このごろ and 近頃?

I always thought that they had similar meanings, however I got an exercise where I got all 3 of them and one only is the right choice.
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What's the difference between だから, そこで and それで?

I've read that だから is more like a personal opinion which puts emphasis on the reason whereas それで is a more "natural" reason. no idea about そこで though.
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1answer
149 views

What does と mean all by itself here?

So, I have this sentence: "つまりパスポートもビザもない、と" The first part is pointing out that someone doesn't have a passport or visa (since they threw their bag at someone earlier). But what is that 「と」 doing ...
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814 views

Activity verbs vs Change verbs

My textbook makes a difference between verbs that describe activities and verbs that describe changes. Two examples given are: 話す - activity 結婚する - change It then goes on to say that 話している ...
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Multiple “wo”s in a sentence?

I had always been told this never happened. I was a little skeptical, but since I never saw a sentence with two of the particle, I gradually came to accept that it was probably true. Well ironically, ...
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1answer
194 views

what's the grammar of ださん?

I read in a Japanese tale (kachikachi yama) : An old man (a peasant) is happy since he just catched a tanuki and says to his wife : 「それじゃ ちょっくら まちへ かいものに いってくるから たぬきが にげださんように きをつけておくれ。」 ...
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666 views

~の帰り - what does this mean?

会社の帰りに本屋に寄るのが楽しみです Does this means on the way back to company or start from company, and back to some where else ? And also why use に after 帰り, what does that mean?
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997 views

Use of 何か in this sentence

Please explain the grammar behind how 何か is used in this sentence そこにはきっと何かお話があるに違いない。 I'm translating it as There must surely be a story there But I don't understand what 何か is doing. Can I ...
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1answer
303 views

Sentence structure between two clauses question

I don't have a Japanese sentence example of something long, but let's say I have to sentence that has two clauses that are separated with a が followed by a comma. You feel that this second clause that ...
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1answer
739 views

Is this a 仮定形 (kateikei) form, and how to analyse it?

I'm stuck with the word かけ in the following text below (towards the beginning of Japanese tale, Kachikachi yama). Obviously, "(こしを)かけ" stands for "(腰を)掛ける" (to sit down). But what's the grammar ...
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1answer
4k views

What does のに at the end of a sentence mean?

does it have a similar meaning to "が、ので etc." which basically make the sentence "softer" and imply something that isn't stated but that should be obvious to the listener? something like "though" in ...
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802 views

How do I say “it was the first time X (of this extent) happened?”

おはよう! I've across come this sentence and I've been wondering how to deconstruct its grammar for my own understanding/use (if I understood it correctly in the first place, that is). ここまで乱暴{らんぼう}な召喚{...
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Order of verbs in this sentence

I'm trying to translate the English sentence below into Japanese: Each theory has a different understanding of how countries like China, Japan and South Korea behave towards each other. My best ...
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773 views

Connecting adjectives, “does not have to A and B”

The simplest things seem to be the hardest. I am exercising the "does not have to be" structure. If I want to say "the book does not have to be expensive", it is (may be?): 本は高くなくてもいいです。 But ...
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1answer
441 views

Significance of と in ~からといって

From what I've read, からいって means "considering this..." 人気や知名度からいって、彼が選挙で当選するのは確実だろう。 But when you add "と" to form "からといって" it becomes "even though..." すぐにメールの返事が来ないからといって、心配することはないと思う。 How ...
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1answer
1k views

What's the meaning of 届けて

Can I ask a favour? I am trying to catch on the meaning of the song 涙をとどけて. I have caught everything except for the following 4 lines, which remain vague for me. 涙をとどけて 本当のこと 想いをとどけて 言えないこと ...
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1answer
297 views

Grammar in a modern translation of the 古事記 : ~ようもない

I recently started studying the 古事記. In the beginning of the modern translation, there is a piece of grammar which, while not terribly confusing in itself, still fascinates me. The whole sentence is ...
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238 views

Is there a difference between 爆発しないといい and 爆発しないとよくなる?

I'm having a hard time understanding how と works with negative verbs. With positive verbs, it is easy to see the timeframe of いい because it occurs after the verb happens, but if the verb ends in ない, ...
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1answer
2k views

Proper usage of 語 and 言語 and 言葉 when speaking about someone's language

Japanese language is 日本語. But if I want to say The language of Japanese people - should I write 日本人の言{げん}語{ご}? And if I want to say the same about animals, for example cat - like cat's language - is ...
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2answers
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How to express an exception, being able to do sth. normally, but not today?

I want to express an exception and don't know which sentence would be appropriate. I want to say that I just wasn't able to do it today, but I am able to do it normally. Which of the following ...
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1answer
505 views

S1 たら S2, with S2 being past tense AND volitional

So I was reading through A Dictionary of Basic Japanese grammar and I noticed a strange contradiction in the たら and あとで entries. In the あとで entry we see the following note: Vinf·past ato de can be ...
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2answers
3k views

Difference of まさか and まさに

Please help understand the difference between まさか and まさに. A look-up for meanings seems to indicate them to exactly opposite to each other. まさか - not at all まさに - surely However,i have not been ...
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2answers
3k views

ゆく used in auxiliary sense - instead of いく?

I'm reading a novel 「キッチン」by 吉本ばなな at the moment and I noticed that she uses ゆく in some places as an auxiliary verb to signify the action progression from here or from now (if my understanding is ...
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1answer
91 views

Intrepretation of よく

A sentence from Japanesepod101, with the official translation. 赤のブドウも緑のブドウもよく搾{しぼ}るとワインやジュースになります。 Both red and green grapes are good squeezed and turned into wine or juice. Their translation of ...
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1answer
787 views

What's the difference between ね and でしょう for tag questions?

Both ね and でしょう can be used to form tag questions to confirm an opinion like so: 1) 疲れたでしょう。 (more of a guess based on evidence / polite) 2) 疲れたね。 (more forceful / the speaker is more certain) ...
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1answer
116 views

Can 話して歩いた be the same as 話しながら歩いた?

I have read in many grammar books that the te-form of a Japanese verb is the equivalent of "and" in English. However, the problem is that "and" has many meanings such as how it can mean consecutive ...
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1answer
629 views

More questions about 'to be' in japanese

I had some questions about the verb 'to be'. I know you have the copula 「だ」 and 「いる」and「ある」. However, the copula does not have all the conjugations, so how would you express something like 'can be' or ...
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1answer
1k views

Meaning of て もかまいません

Does て もかまいません refer to may as in the possibility of (I might do ...) or I may (I've been allowed to )

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