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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539 views

Differences between Wa Nai and Ga Nai?

I first learnt Ga as always attached to Arimasen so still trying to grasp the nuances when changed to a Wa. From my understanding of Wa vs Ga differences, it's just simply a matter of topic vs ...
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What is the meaning of おちょくっとる? [duplicate]

This sentence here: "なっ… お前おちょくっとるのか!? I didn't understand おちょくっとる, is it a form of the verb おちょくる? What is the meaning in this sentence? Thanks.
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comparison between のですから and んだから

Recently I read though the article addressing the question (んだから vs んだ) where it explains the usage of のだから as: 1)話し手も聞き手も知っている事柄に用いられ、「聞き手(あなた)も知ってはいるが、その認識が十分でない」ことを知らせようとする話し手の強い気持ちが入る。 2)...
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Sentence ending でな

レモン・キャンディーじゃよ。マグルの食べる甘いものじゃが、わしゃ、これが好きでな。 A lemon sweet. It's a sweet thing that muggles eat. I like this ??? I understand the concept of role language for portraying different kinds of character. ...
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A little help with the usage of 「……わけだよ」

I came across the following sentence in my dictionary : 下手なわけだよ,習い始めたばかりなんだから Because of the absence of context, I imagined one by myself. Suppose I ‘m cooking unskillfully and a friend who sees ...
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124 views

How to describe a strong smell of smoke

I'm writing a letter to my friend, and want to same something like: "While writing this letter, the air is grey and smells strongly of smoke" (discussing forest fires near my town). I'm stuck on ...
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68 views

Construction behind 「やり」in this sentence

「それはわしがやりおまえが追いつめられたのでわしの攻撃と同じ事!」 I am having trouble with the「やり」in this sentence. I believe that it is a verb and possibly takes the same tense as 「追いつめられた」(similar to verbs linked via the "て-form"...
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276 views

Could anyone explain this 置く置かない to me please

I found the sentence けんかして嫁が出ていきました。 けんかの原因は、家に下宿人を置く置かないの件です And I have a doubt about using of 置く置かない How should it be translated ? and How to use it I have never seen this grammar using ...
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What does …て…て mean?

I have the following sentence. その白い比いない裸体は、薄暮の背景の前に置かれて輝やいていた 。 I understand the use of ~て in ~ている, but I'm confused by two consecutive verbs using ~て as in 置かれて輝やいていた. Should I understand them ...
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Meaning of だとでもいうかの

I found this sentence, in which I'm not quite sure about the だとでもいうかの part: ところがどういうわけか神町駅前には客待ちのタクシーが一台も停まっていなかった。その代わりだとでもいうかのごとく、駅前広場には何台もの自転車が置かれてあって(そこは駐輪場なのだから当たり前のことなのだが!)、...
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What is the point of 一名 in this sentence?

(Taken from ジョジョ6部) 「女性受刑者が一名頭部を砕かれ変死をとげたというのに…」 I don't really get the point behind 「一名」in this sentence. My guess is that the sentence (badly) translates to something like: "And although one/a ...
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What is the difference between ばよかったです and べき?

What is the difference between ばよかったです and べき? あのバスに乗ればよかったです。 I should have taken that bus. あのバスに乗るべきだった。 I should have taken that bus. このバスに乗れるはずじゃなかった。 I wasn’t supposed to get ...
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Question concerning 〜やがる / Imperative in “Slang” [duplicate]

I've come across these expressions in all sorts of anime, manga and light novels and now I am wondering behind the "mechanics" of it... 「勝手に言ってろ」「ほざいてろ」「食らいやがれ」 In these cases the imperative is ...
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How to list numbers of things

Where do you place the counter in Japanese when you want to specify how many of something there are, especially if you're listing multiple things? I believe the counter usually goes after the ...
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How can this sentence be understood?

I'm reading 仮面の告白 by Mishima Yukio, and I came across this sentence: そのほか に縄目は見えず、青年の裸体を覆うものとては、腰のまわりにゆるやか に巻きつけられた 白い粗布があるばかりだった。 I would like to understand how is this sentence made by the ...
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137 views

Joint etymology of -san/-chan? [duplicate]

Just a "shower thought" I've had: is there any credence to the theory (mine) that ちゃん is a diminutive/"baby talk" form of さん (like when "ureshii desu" becomes "urechii dechu")?
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Meaning of じゃないんじゃない?

I recently came across the phrase じゃないんじゃない in this sentence: Clerk: 「でも うちで売{う}ってるアイスじゃないんじゃないかしら。」 For context, some kids are claiming they have a winning popsicle stick but the clerk can't seem ...
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発する, 罰する, 反する, etc. taking strange conjugation せられる for the passive form

I am sure this has been asked before, but due to this form's similarity to the causative-passive (e.g. 行かせられる), I simply cannot find anything except for some thick Japanese explanations complete with ...
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What does 普段からmean in this sentence?

中山さんは普段からよく運動するようにしています。 I think it means Mr. Nakayama tries to do exercise regularly But I'm confused about what 普段からactually means and how it differs from 普段and 普通
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Function of から in this conversation

A girl forgot to do her homework and mum catches her out of bed: 「まる子っ、もう寝なさい」 Maruko, go to bed now! 「うん、もうすぐ寝るから」 Yes, I'll go to bed very soon (because) I don't understand the function of ...
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In Okinawan, what is the ン in ウチナーンチュ?

The Okinawan word for "Okinawa" is ウチナー, for "person" is チュ, and for "Okinawan" (person) is ウチナーンチュ. I'd like to know where this ン comes from between the part for "Okinawa" and the part for "person". ...
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Meaning of 誰もいはしない in this sentence

「どうせ誰もいはしないと高をくくっていたところもある。」 This one's throwing me for a bit of a loop. The translation says "He also didn't really take the possibility of anyone being there seriously." It makes sense to me ...
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Omitting the particle? 「時の経つのも忘れさせる」

明快な口調とテンポの良い楽しい授業が時の経つのも忘れさせる。 When I searched the Internet I found the phrase 時の経つのを忘れさせる. So, what is the reason for replacing the particle を with も?
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Meaning of いやしません [duplicate]

あんなにコチコチな座り方をする猫なんていやしませんぞ。 A cat that sits so rigidly ??? I can't figure out what this いやしません is. Since the negative form of いやす seems like a ridiculous proposition in the context I can only ...
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とまで parsing and usage

In no game no life, this is one of the first things that is said about "blank", and it is supposed to translate to: "Among gamers, they're said to be unbeatable. 勝{か}つことは不可能{ふかのう}とまで言われるゲーマーの話を‌ (...
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A question about ~はしない

I do understand what it means, but I want to know if it's mostly used from 1st person perspective because in many examples that's how it translated. "I will never/There is no way I..."<-That is how ...
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What does 'し' mean in these scenarios

The sentence in question is: 何しに原宿に来ましたか I understand what the sentence generally means, but I am unclear what し means in the sentence above. Is the し just a conjugation of する, and if so, when ...
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Can you tell me the difference between に似る and と似る?

So basically I read something saying the difference between に似る and と似る is that と marks one side of a mutual relationship and に only shows the standard of comparison, but I have no idea what that ...
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一度やると言った◯◯、何があってもやりますよ。What should be included in 〇〇?

This is one of the JLPT questions that I am not sure about (again...). 一度{いちど}やると言った◯◯、何があってもやりますよ。 A. からといって  B. からで  C. からでないと  D. からには For A. からといって, I understand that it can mean "just ...
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Diminutives in Japanese

I was trying to explain the concept of diminutives to my Japanese friend and can't quite find a good analogy in Japanese. I think the ''ko'' prefix acts a bit like a diminutive but I can't think of ...
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The grammar/syntax of 前進あるのみ

今はもう過去を振り返るな。ただ前進あるのみだ。 入学試験に合格するにはただ練習あるのみだ。 I would like to ask if I can replace the bold part with "練習のみ" or "練習するのみ" / "前進のみ" or "前進するのみ" (and if the substitution changes the meaning), and a ...
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71 views

How is this sentence/saying structured?

I have problems understanding the correct grammatical structure of this saying: 金は取れる時に取れるところから取れるだけ取っておくものだ I kind of understand what it is saying. I think its something like "At a time where ...
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いけません in the short form

I understand that the dictionary definition of the expression いけません is "must not do", and that it can be used in conjunction with say なきゃ in a sentence such as the following: 試験があるから、勉強しなきゃいけません。 I ...
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207 views

What does なくた mean in 理解されなくたっていい?

I am reading 宇宙よりも遠い場所. Right off the beginning comes a sentence: "誰にも理解されなくたっていい". I am sure it means "It is OK that it is not understood by anybody". However, the されなくた puzzles me: Shouldn't ない ...
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昨夜は風が強かった〇〇、庭の木の葉が全部落ちている。What should be included in 〇〇?

While practicing for the upcoming JLPT exam, I came across this question 昨夜は風が強かった〇〇、庭の木の葉が全部落ちている。 A. はずで  B. たびに  C. によって  D. とみえて For B. たびに, I understand that it should be used for ...
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What is the purpose of adding と?

For example: 柔和{にゅうわ}な線{せん}で縁取{ふちど}られた宝石{ほうせき}のような瞳{ひとみ}に、ほっそりとした顎{あご}、綺麗{きれい}な鼻筋{はなすじ}。美人{びじん}っていう人{ひと}の条件{じょうけん}しっかりと備{ととの}えちゃってる。 What is the purpose of the と in ほっそりとした instead of just saying ...
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Usage of なんて and なんか as emphasis

When are なんて and なんか used as emphasis in casual speech? Are they used when you're surprised, angry or can it be both? What sort of feeling does it convey to the listener compared to a normal sentence ...
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What is the difference between よくない yokunai and だめ (dame)

よくない (yokunai) is defined as not good だめ (dame) is also defined as not good Please could you explain the difference by explicitly making reference to the following examples: Example 1a dokomo ...
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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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Nuances and context of linking without 〜て / dropped 「て」in linked constructions

(Taken from ジョジョの奇妙な冒険6部: When Jotaro talks to Jolyne about who got her into prison.../ for those who do not know the series: The persons speaking to each other are father and daughter but have a ...
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1answer
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Does ません sometimes not negate?

I have a text in my learning materials as follows: 彼ら は 自分 の 事 しか 考えて いません。 Its translation is apparently "they only think of themselves". Now it all makes sense to me until the ません at the end. ...
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614 views

How to say “Why I started studying Japanese”

I have a Japanese assignment that requires me to write about anything I want. I decided that I wanted to write about why I want to learn Japanese. I think the title should be "Why I want to study ...
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3answers
430 views

“But”, “but also”, “yet”, and “and yet” when listing things?

How do I express these ideas in Japanese while listing things? For example, how should these sentences be translated into Japanese while carrying the same tone? He has a scary face but a heart of ...
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1answer
93 views

Who is performing these actions

In the extract below I am a bit unsure as to who is performing the parts in bold. Story is told from 相葉's point of view. 名残惜しむように doesn't look like something I imagine someone would use to describe ...
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214 views

Can you say“ 何が貴方のお名前はですか”?Or does 何 have to come before です?

I’ve read that what’s your name is “貴方のお名前は何ですか“ but can you also put 何 to the beginning or is that incorrect? So can it be: 何が貴方のおなまえはですか。
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興奮する to be excited or to get excited?

When I was looking at a dictionary the definition (in the English part) was given as be [get] excited; 《口》be [get] worked up What exactly these [] are referring to is unclear to me. From my ...
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思うようにならず - what does it mean?

A definition of 辛気臭い【しんきくさい】 (三省堂): 思うようにならず、いらいらするさま。また、気がめいるさま Nara often implies something happening naturally, zu stands for 'without', so does the whole compound adverb stand for '...
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Japanese Name of the て-form without the て

While reading this old question, I began wondering what the て-form without the て (i.e. 書いて→書い、読んで→読ん、行って→行っ) is called in Japanese. Wikipedia calls it 2つ目の連用形. Some other places call it 連用形の促音便形 or ...
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114 views

What are the differences between うちに、間に、同時に, ながら & ついでに

These all generally mean whilst & during but I still (after ages of trying) make mistakes on where to use which one. For anyone who knows the ins-and-outs of these grammar points, please explain ...
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2answers
520 views

What does 「学校が学校」, 「年が年」and such mean exactly?

So I came across this sentence when reading "Kokoro" by Natsume Souseki: ...友達は中国のある資産家の息子で金に不自由のない男であったけれども、学校が学校なのと年が年なので、生活の程度は私とそう変りもしなかった。 And a translation says: ...My friend was from a ...