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
6k views

What is the meaning of ようで?

I think ようで means "to look/look like", but I'm having trouble understanding it in the context of this sentence: 感動に水を差すようで悪いのだが、さっさと爾子に乗ってくれ。でなくば、城とともに潰れるぞ。 Also, is でなくば another form of でなければ?
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Joining adjectives with し before a noun

A recent question asked about joining two adjectives together. It used the following example: (example 1) きれいで静かな町 As I understand it, this is the combination of the 連用形 of きれいだ with the 連体形 of ...
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Expressing a sequence of actions using 〜たとき?

I am aware that one can explain that to things happen at the same time using plain non past form + とき: 電車に乗るとき転びました。"I fell when I got on the train (I was going through the door when it happened)" ...
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Can んだった and んじゃなかった be used like the past version of んだ and んじゃない?

I know that んだった and んじゃなかった can be used to say "Should have done" and "Shouldn't have done". I am wondering, however, if they can be used as a past version of んだ Take for example ...
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1answer
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Question on expressing a half-completed action — 動作が中途である状態

手紙を書きかけたんですが、まだ書いていません。 I got started on the letter, but I haven't finished writing it yet. The ending かける indicates that an action has been started but has not been brought to a finish or an end. ...
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Why is this sentence grammatically incorrect?

On a separate question about Japanese pitch, one of the examples I left was: '甘美(うまみ)の花は赤を見える' (Your flower looks red [talking to Umami]). One of the commenters claimed that it was grammatically ...
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When should the polite form of 〜たり be used?

I've noticed that I don't see 〜ましたり used very often, but it does seem to be an accepted form. I believe this form can be broken down like this: 動詞{どうし}の連用形{れんようけい}+「ます」の連用形{れんようけい}+「たり」 My ...
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Plural in ancient Japanese?

It is known to Japanese learners that the Japanese verb isn't affected by the subject (number or gender). Today, a linguistics professor of my university told me he heard from his teacher that ancient ...
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Limitations of に for emphasis?

I remember having learning that に can be used for a simple emphasis of the word before it, like so: 私はケーキを食べた - I ate cake 私にはケーキを食べた - I ate cake (the others may or may not have, but I did) But ...
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Does the 助動詞「ます」 still have a 連体形 in modern Japanese?

Does the 助動詞「ます」 have a 連体形? According to 大辞林, it's ます, and I see the old forms ます/まする on 学研全訳古語辞典. However, in the comments on this question, Darius Jahandarie wrote the following: @snailplane ...
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Expressing hope: to nozomu and koto wo negau

I have a question about these two verbs for 'hope': と望む (to nozomu) ことを願う (koto wo negau) I also write down two examples, since I have a particular question about their use: ...
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Can't parse なるうるわけ [closed]

The full sentence is 数学的性質をもつ現象はすべてこの科学の対象となるうるわけであるから、それは数限りなくあり、また日々増えていて、これらをもらさず解説することは不可能に近い。 But I can't parse "なるうるわけ". Ignoring that part, I interpret the sentence as "All phenomena with ...
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How wrong is my constructed poem?

I tried writing a classical Japanese poem: 赤き空 青かりたり根 夢がごとし 元を返るべし 汚さざらまし And here is a rough literal translation: The red sky, The origin that was once blue, Like seeing a dream, It would be best ...
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5answers
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A は/が difference [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What’s the difference between wa (は) and ga (が)? I've been trying to wrap my head around the は/が differences, and I'm trying to figure out the differences between the thematic ...
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What's wrong with using 内に in this sentence?

My textbook claims that this is an incorrect usage of uchi ni: 彼が会社に行っている内に、贈り物が届きました While he is commuting to the office, a present arrived. Why is this wrong? It looks fine to me.
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Where is the personal comparison in this phrase?

I was browsing a language exchange site and came across: 私のように明るく、前向きな方がいいです。 And the text under it (translation from the user who posted the entry) was: I'm hoping that you are cheerful and ...
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1answer
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The difference between (な形容詞)さ and (な形容詞)性?

I'm in the middle of writing a paper in Japanese, and I can't quite figure out which is right. If I want to nominalize a な形容詞, should I affix さ or 性 at the end? I've been checking on search engines, ...
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What are the fundamental differences between the ~と一緒に and the ~とともに fragments?

I'm accustomed to saying together with using the ~ to issho ni fragment, but I've been noticing that some people I talk to phrase this using ~ totomo ni instead. i.e. 彼女と一緒に日本へ来た。 Kanojo to issho ni ...
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What function does 「しいて」 serve in this sentence?

I have this sentence in a JLPT study textbook, as an example of the use of しいて: 食{た}べたくなければしいて食べることないから、食べられるものだけ食べてね。 The translation is, "If you don't want to eat it, you don't have to, so only ...
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Double subject construction?

I've recently been having trouble with constructions that seem to mark two subjects in the same clause. I've only encountered them in ~の方が... constructions, but I can't seem to make sense of them ...
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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 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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「こわいだから。」 versus 「こわい、だから[…]」

In an answer on another question, @TsuyoshiIto wrote: [U]nlike commas in English, 読点 in Japanese is rarely (if ever) grammatically required. Authors are free to use 読点 wherever they feel that it ...
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Function of に in 怒るに怒れない [duplicate]

In the book I'm reading, I came across the following sentence: あたしは[怒]{おこ}るに[怒]{おこ}れなくなった。 (furigana added by me) My translation is something like "I couldn't stay angry [at him]". ("My anger ...
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Explanation / Meaning of らしく in 例文

Hi in this sentence 'らしく' is used, but I am not really sure about the meaning of らしく. I found this explanation for it, but it doesn't helps me to understand its meaning in the sentence: way to use 「...
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1answer
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足って used in Ponyo Song [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What are these forms: かけちゃお, つないじゃお? Is this って equivalent to 「と」? From the Ponyo theme song: ペータペタ ピョーンピョン 足っていいな かけちゃお! Why is 足 given the て conjugation, as if it's a ...
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General confusion ("Volitional+ともせず”, redundancy, uses of と, )

I'm having trouble understanding the grammar in some sentences even if I understand the basic idea of the sentence. I may post with more questions later. 幸夫の横で、あんぐりと口もひらき、逃げようともせず、ただぼんやりしている叔父にしても、今、...
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How can I express that X is as big/small/fast/… as Y?

I would like to know how to express that something is equal in some aspect to another thing (or person, if that makes a difference), as you would express in English by saying: X is as (adjective) as ...
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1answer
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形容詞 ending in /ei/ and /ii/

This page discusses the "adjective" べき and mentions that if it had evolved like other adjectives, it would have been べい. That made me think: Why are there no 形容詞 ending in /ei/ or /ii/ (except for /...
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What is the difference between ずに and ない-form?

My wife is studying for the JLPT exam, and came across the following question: 2時間、_____立って話しました。 She narrowed the choices down to: すわらずに すわらないと Or another similar question: ...
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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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Typo or am I missing something? 「ドイツ語も勉強しないとですね。」

Context: I have been chatting with a Japanese girl who is going to move to Germany, and I asked if she had any experience with the German language and told her I had been considering learning German ...
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Etymology of それはそうと

Can anyone explain the etymology of それはそうと【其れはそうと】and possibly the grammar of how it fits into a sentence, which does not seem to follow the normal rules (It should have a copula だ、そうだと?)? I think of ...
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Noun followed by 「っぱだ」

I'm currently reading a Japanese children's book, and a character says 「金色の葉っぱだ」 I'm assuming the 「っぱだ」 is like saying 「たくさん」 or 「いっぱい」, but I don't actually know. Any help is appreciated!
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How to translate: “Keep/leave something”. So, how to express intention to leave something unchanged

Consider questions like: Please leave the door open, thanks! Could you please keep the lift's doors open? Thankyou Please, leave it as it is. They all imply something common: not changing the ...
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What is the difference between using なる with the particles に and と [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the difference between 〜となる and 〜になる? What is the difference between using なる with the particles に and と? When should which be used?
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3answers
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Omitting ようだ at the end of a sentence

父はデジタルカメラの講習を受けに行ったが、あまりの難しさにびっくりしたようだ。 So this sentence is saying, "my dad went to take a short course on digital cameras, but it was difficult to the point of surprising him." Could you say ...
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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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Trouble understanding this use of あっての

I've previously asked two separate questions regarding あっての, (and there's a third on here from Pacerier) and I thought I had it figured out, but then I found this sentence (from a JLPT practice book--...
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Grammar dictionary [closed]

The dictionary that I use primarily is http://dictionary.goo.ne.jp/ . I wanted to know of good sources online for looking up how different aspects of Japanese grammar work. I would prefer it if the ...
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Using により to specify method

Here are two examples: [電話]{でんわ}による[通報]{つうほう} // Fine 電話により通報する // Okay? I feel like using により is strange in my second example, but I'm not sure. Is the second example perfectly fine grammatically? ...
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Help with a usage of 自慢

私は彼が自慢だ。 I'm Proud of Him 彼は私が自慢だ。 He is proud of me. I am confused by this pattern with 自慢. It kind of looks like 自慢 is being used as an adjective (?), but the definition in Tangorin lists it as: ...
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How do I say “the reason why” or “the purpose of” in Japanese?

While studying this morning, I became interested in how to say "When you were a child, did you read books for fun?" in Japanese. In this case, would I use ため? Or would it be something like this: ...
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Problems with particles

I'm trying to understand when to use appropriate particles in a sentence, and keep up with vocab too! Please someone help. customer: "そのぼうし[の, を, か, ね] ください" "たけしさん [か, の, よ, or no particle] ...
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Positioning of quantities (using counters)

Example 1 ビール一杯を飲む 一杯のビールを飲む ビールを一杯飲む Example 2 ネジ2本を取り付ける 2本のネジを取り付ける ネジを2本取り付ける Is there any difference between the above examples with the positioning of the quantity?
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Function of the first の in とかの他の

Are ...とか他の... and ...とかの他の... equivalent? What is the function of the first の in the latter example? And why can't a の follow とか in ...とかその他...? Or can it?
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Range of numbers

How would one express a range of numbers regarding an action? Example: I usually study anywhere between 2 to 4 hours a day. Would the からーまで grammar structure be appropriate here? 一日に普段2から4時間までを勉強する。...
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2answers
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How does は apply itself to によっては?

From the question: "How does the use of いかんによっては in this question determine one answer over another?", it is observed that: The use of によって means to change state or behaviour depending on, or ...
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Why does 考えて need も in the “て + ごらん” pattern?

Consider these three lists: てごらん 考えてもごらん てもごらん In the verb-te form + ごらん structure, it seems that only the verb 考える needs to have も. (It seems that 考える can be used without も, but a cursory look ...
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1answer
152 views

Grammar problem [closed]

I'd like to ask how can I say in Japanese 'a friend of mine reminded me this great band'? I thought I should use the ~思い出させてくれる form, but I guess it still too difficult for me.

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