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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2
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1answer
233 views

What role does と play in this sentence?

What role does と play in the following sentence? みなさんは、アフリカの平原で、ライオンがのんびりと寝そべっている姿をテレビや映画などで、見たことがあるでしょう。 In my understanding, のんびり is a noun and 寝そべっている is a verb. So interconnecting a noun with ...
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4answers
31k views

Difference between ために and ように

I've got a question regarding difference in usage of 辞書形+ように and 辞書形+ために with verbs' dictionary forms, i.e. 飛行機に乗り遅れないように、前日早寝したのです。 彼は質問をするために手を上げました。 The notion I get is that the first is used ...
11
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2answers
6k views

What is the difference between でなくand ではなく?

This is the sentence I have just read: 外国へ行くとしたら、ただの旅行ではなく、勉強を 目的として 行きたい。 If I ever have a chance to go abroad then I would like to go to study rather than just travel. The は feels intuitively ...
16
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1answer
2k views

ねば in 食べねば; relation between ねば and なければ

I would like to know a bit more about the "ねば" grammatical construction. Every now and then, I hear people say sentences like 東京に行かねばならぬ 粘々丼を食べねば倒れる なんとかせねばいい It's quite clear that ねば ...
18
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1answer
2k views

When the agent takes を in the causative form

I've seen a few sets of terminology when referring to the causative form, so for the basic case, I will use the following: instigator が agent に 〇〇 を v-させる。 In its most basic, text-book form, we have ...
12
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2answers
1k views

Zero-nominalisation - Why and When?

Building on from Zhen Lin's answer to "The grammar of ~かれ~かれ", Brief explanation of Zero-nominalisation: Nominalisation refers to the process of turning a word, or more generally a phrase, into a ...
9
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3answers
440 views

What are the grammar rules behind this clause, 「才能があろうがなかろうが」?

才能があろうがなかろうが、そんなもん他人が決める事じゃない。どこの部に所属するかなんぞ俺が決める事だ I'm asking about the bolded clause. This is casual dialogue, in case there's any confusion about that. I don't normally put Japanese through Google ...
13
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4answers
26k views

What is the difference between は and のは?

The following sentence means "seeing all the different foreign people was interesting." This, according to my Japanese friends is incorrect: 色々な外国人を見ているは面白かった。 ... and this is correct: ...
12
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6answers
827 views

Shouldn't this phrase using だけのこと mean “just for that”?

In a grammar textbook I have, there is this phrase: 幸{さいわ}い日本{にほん}で日本語{にほんご}を勉強{べんきょう}して、かなり話{はな}せるようになりました。日本{にほん}に行{い}っただけのことはありました。 The translation given is: Fortunately, I studied Japanese ...
11
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2answers
344 views

Is た形 required when using 自動詞 as an adjective?

From the grammar book I learned that when 自動詞 is being used as an adjective, it should change its form to the た形, for example: 優れ{すぐれ}た学生 拗れ{こじれ}た話し But can I say 優れる学生 or 拗れる話し? Why?
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1answer
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how could a sentence end with (noun + “よ”?)

I'd thought you cannot end a sentence with a noun. Rather: noun + だ。 noun + です。 noun + である。 noun + であります。 noun + でございます。 But in a movie dialogue, I heard: "大切なのは、心よ。" Ending a sentence with a noun ...
6
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1answer
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verb+ようにと、 or verb+かと、

Ch.16 of the textbook 中級から学ぶ日本語 introduces the ~と、 structure, with this example: 早{はや}く花{はな}がさくようにと、毎日水{まいにちみず}をやっている。 Without the と particle I would read this as 'I water the flowers everyday so ...
11
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1answer
2k views

Ending sentence with ~だもの or ~ですもの

I've been listening songs and anime dialogues that end sentences with ~もの or even cuter version ~もん for so long that I am able to see how the word denotes reasons or excuses like: おなか空{す}いたもん (when ...
9
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1answer
214 views

What does the に do in 表情から察するに?

その表情から察するに魔剣を所持している人は少ないみたいだ。 I'm having trouble figuring out what に does here. Does it have the same meaning as と?
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4answers
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Is there a difference between 最高の and 最高な?

A dictionary lists 最高 as being both a no-adjective and na-adjective. I've also seen other examples of this. However, is there a difference between using it either form since they're both attached to ...
9
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2answers
4k views

Can you use the polite form ます with ので?

I was recently told by someone that you cannot use the polite form ~ます and ので; that is, ので must be used with the plain form. (Specifically, he was saying that 「勉強していますので」 was wrong, and had to be ...
7
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1answer
772 views

Is it true that only movement verbs can take [V-stem]に to express a purpose?

I decided to split this into a thread by itself because I was afraid of cramming too much into the first thread. Is it true that only movement verbs can take [V-stem]に to express a purpose? Will it ...
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1answer
136 views

Why is this sentence not separated? 圧着部分を図1,2のように交互に折り込みドリッパーの内側にピッタリと装着します。

It is a step how to use coffee filter. 圧着部分を図1,2のように交互に折り込みドリッパーの内側にピッタリと装着します。 In my opinion, it should be 圧着部分を図1,2のように交互に折り込み - Fold the filter alternately following to the diagram 1 and 2 to ...
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4answers
4k views

What is the meaning of 「読むには読んだ」?

I have the following sentence and I can't find any material pointing out the usage of this grammar. 薦められた本を読むには読んだが、よく理解できなかった。 In general, what is the usage of 「VるにはVた」?
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1answer
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Habitual aspect

My (poor) understanding of things is that there are two ways to get habitual semantics in Japanese: use the dictionary form of the verb: 毎日、映画{えいが}を見に行く "I go to the movies every day." use the -...
18
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5answers
7k views

のだから vs のだ (んだから vs んだ)

When I learnt this grammar point a while ago, my teachers told me not to use it with "から". There reasoning for this was that のだ already implies a reason or supporting information for a conclusion. ...
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3answers
5k views

How do ことになる and ようになる differ? (When ことになる cannot = “It has been decided that”)

I understand that ことになる has the meaning "It has been decided that" and can be used to point to a ritual or habit of a society like taking off your shoes. However, I don't get what it means when it is ...
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2answers
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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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2answers
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What's the difference between「~と言いました」and「~と言っていました」?

「~と言{い}いました」and「~と言{い}っていました」 basically the difference between します and しています.
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2answers
590 views

Can't に always replace へ?

Me and the particle へ don't get along. It's not that we don't like each other, it's that we don't get each other. I'm in a pretty committed relationship with に. I mean, I think I understand what へ ...
16
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2answers
528 views

“Te-form” versus “masu-stem + して” (消しているうちに versus 消ししているうちに)

Is there any difference between 消して and 消しして in the following sentences? For example, A: 手紙を書いては消し、書いては消ししているうちに、朝になってしまった。 B: 手紙を書いては消し、書いては消しているうちに、朝になってしまった。
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1answer
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「どこでもある」と「どこにもある」の使い分け

I have come across this sentence: 一九七0年頃までは、どこでも銭湯がありましたが、今は、少なくなりました。 Why does it say どこでも X がある instead of どこにも X がある I understand that で and に are very similar as they have ties in the past, ...
18
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3answers
2k views

Can 「XければXほどY」 clause pattern be shortened to 「XほどY」?

There is a clause pattern 「XければXほどY」. For example, 「近【ちか】ければ近【ちか】いほど便【べん】利【り】」 which means something like "the nearer it is, the more convenient it will be". Can I shorten the clause to 「近【ちか】いほど便【べん】...
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2answers
2k views

Is there a difference between んがため and ために?

My JLPT textbook has a section about the use of んがため, which they define as "making an effort in order to realize the intended purpose." Which to me sounds like plain ol' ために. For example, they have ...
13
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1answer
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Understand the difference between [dictionary/ない + ようとする] and [volitional + にする]

I have come across a couple of concepts that seem relatively similar, but I would like an understanding on their differences, if any. The first is the dictionary/ない form + ようとする. And the other is the ...
11
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2answers
5k views

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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2answers
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In front of “ほうがいい,” is it always past tense?

ほうがいい means: the particular way "ほう" is "が" good "いい" So, for example, if it looks like it's going to rain, I might say to a friend: "今日は雨らしい。傘を持った方がいい。" But what I'm curious is, why is "持った" ...
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1answer
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Past Unreal Conditional

After my first question was answered so beautifully, I would like to ask some more. :D I wanted to know how to use conditionals for events in the past, like: "If I had saved my money, I would be rich ...
12
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2answers
740 views

Proper form of なさる - なさります or なさいます

In Genki II (second ed.), page 168 we are given polite forms of some verbs, among them する with なさる. They have also written that some of them have irregular conjugations in long forms, among them なさる, ...
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2answers
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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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3answers
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Particles following ところ (に, を, and で)

料理をしているところに電話がかかってきて困った。 デートをしているところを友だちに見られてしまった。 電車に乗ったところで今日は祝日だと気づいた。 In the above sentences, what decide the particle following ところ? They all seem to indicate a happening during/while ...
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1answer
2k views

Connecting phrases with the stem of masu-form

When is it possible to connect sentences using the stem of masu-form? Are there restrictions on the use of this form?
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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?
12
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4answers
937 views

How does the use of いかんによっては in this question determine one answer over another?

In my JLPT practise book, in a section explaining the use of いかんによっては, which roughly means "depending on", they have the following question: 学生{がくせい}:先生{せんせい}、台風{たいふう}が近{ちか}づいていますね。明日{あした}のゼミは休講{...
12
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3answers
757 views

Meaning of pattern 「XがXなら、YもYだ」

While reading, I came across this sentence: 「上官が上官なら部下も部下だな」 What does this 「XがXなら、YもYだ」 pattern mean? "Like X, like Y"? "X will be X, and Y will be Y"?
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2answers
509 views

Is 寝る a stative or active verb?

Looking at past questions I am still confused with the answers given: The answer to this post suggests that 寝る is a continuation of some state. 昨日も全然寝てない。 Yesterday I didn't sleep at all. ...
13
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1answer
3k views

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。
12
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2answers
397 views

How does one use the “[V ます stem] に [Vタ]” pattern (as in 待ちに待った)?

Every now and then I hear 待ちに待った, as in: 待ちに待ったライブ a long-awaited concert I started wondering if this pattern can apply to other verbs, and it certainly seems to, if Google is any indication. I ...
11
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2answers
638 views

Looking for an explanation of the usage "あったものじゃない”

I'm looking for an explanation of the usage "あったものじゃない”. 例文 1)ムードも何もあったものじゃありませんね (context:Girlfriend and boyfriend were out on a date and the boyfriend's stomach made a large noise because he ...
11
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2answers
1k views

Can a noun + suru have an adjective modify the noun as well?

”I did some difficult studying last night." Could I say, "昨夜、難しい勉強しました。”? Basically, my question is: can an adjective, relative clause, or adjectival phrase modify a noun that has する attached, for ...
10
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1answer
1k views

思っている/言っている with third person subject?

So i was reading A dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar, and in the part where it explains the uses of いる as an auxiliary verb after て、 it says something like that: "(...) Also, verbs like 言う and 思う ...
9
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1answer
337 views

Use of とは when there doesn't seem to be comparison

I've seen とは used for the first time and understand from the explanation given on this question, What are the uses of に and とは in this sentence? that とは is (or at least in one specific type of context)...
9
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1answer
1k views

Dictionary form of verb followed by に

I've recently begun noticing that occasionally I'll see a dictionary form of the verb followed by the particle に, for example: 1.)まだ学校へ行くには早い時間です。 It's still too early to go to school. I've been ...
7
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1answer
458 views

How to use ~のか accurately? 「体調が悪いのか、顔色があまり良くない。」

Can anyone explain to me the function of のか in this sentence? Is it "I suppose that..." or similar? 彼は、体調が悪いのか、顔色があまり良くない。
6
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1answer
532 views

て form and adverbial meaning

While reading I sometimes come across some sentences like 包丁を使ってたまねぎを切った。  Where 使って is word just like an adverb which modifies 切る. So I looked up a little more about the Te form and I ...