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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6
votes
1answer
450 views

“は + verb” instead of “を + verb”?

I have stumbled upon instances where "は + verb" is used in situations where I thought "を + verb" should be used. For example, recently I've seen その覚悟はしてました I was prepared for that 楽な道は選ぶな ...
6
votes
1answer
356 views

Embedded question followed by と

What is the grammar behind the use of the quote marker と in this sentence? 雨がいつ降るかと大変楽しみにしていましたが、なかなか雨が降りません。 He was looking forward to when the rain would come, but... Can I also write ...
6
votes
1answer
241 views

Use of quote marker と before unusual verbs

I'm happy with the purpose of と when it precedes verbs like 言う、聞く、思う etc. The following sentence puzzles me: おじいさんは「雀は大丈夫かな。」と、大変がっかりしました。 I understand that the man feels disappointed and wonders ...
2
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1answer
244 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 ...
30
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4answers
33k 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 ...
17
votes
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 ...
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 ...
13
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2answers
793 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, ...
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 ...
12
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6answers
836 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 ...
9
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3answers
477 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
480 views

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 ...
14
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4answers
28k 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: ...
11
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2answers
349 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?
7
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1answer
1k views

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 ...
7
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1answer
3k views

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 ...
5
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1answer
375 views

What does ては mean in this sentence?

寝太郎{ねたろう}はのんきに空{そら}をながめては暮{く}らしておりました。 My translation: Netarou was living by heedlessly looking the sky. What does ては mean in this sentence?
17
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2answers
5k views

Sentence (question) ending かい - how is it different from just か?

I sometimes find questions that are normally ended with the question particle か to end with かい. For example: いいかい? そうかい? あいつがどうかしたかい? And sometimes with just い without か (if I understand ...
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 ...
5
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2answers
1k views

Masu stem to connect sentences

When using masu-stem to connect sentences, is the short form for shimashita = shi? 昨日無事に大学を卒業しました。日曜日に国へ帰ります。 = 昨日無事に大学を卒業し、日曜日に国へ帰ります。 Is his correct?
2
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1answer
346 views

Do I have a good grasp on the basics of what the continuative form is?

I'm doing some research as to what continuative forms are, due to naruto's previous answer to a earlier question of mine. To make sure I understand correctly; roughly; the "continuative form" is what ...
10
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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 ...
8
votes
1answer
854 views

The use of でも and ででも in this sentence

A: あ……えっと……何か手伝うことは、ありますか? B: ん? あぁ、この辺はドシロウトにできるこっちゃないからな。 邪魔にならねぇように先にメシでも食って、後は舞台袖ででも大人しくしてな Pretty much in general でも and ても don't sit well in my mind. There have been a lot of times I see ...
7
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1answer
784 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
139 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 ...
42
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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」?
15
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4answers
3k views

When do you use するには as opposed to するため(には) to mean “in order to”?

I keep having するため(には) corrected to するには when writing sentences, but how interchangeable are they and when should each be used? Taking some Japanese sentences from Space ALC with my own English ...
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. ...
17
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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 ...
15
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2answers
7k views

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.
10
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2answers
13k views

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.
18
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2answers
606 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 ...
14
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1answer
3k views

「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, ...
5
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1answer
1k views

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 ...
19
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2answers
8k views

What is 〜からです and when is it used? How does it differ from 〜ですから and 〜んです?

I have seen this expression a few times, and have never quite understood it. In particular, it seems to be equatable both to ですから and to んです, but I can't figure out where it would be used over either ...
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】...
16
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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
1k views

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 ...
10
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2answers
5k views

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" ...
12
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2answers
7k views

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 ...
4
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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?
13
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4answers
1k views

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
votes
3answers
789 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"?
10
votes
3answers
3k views

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 ...
8
votes
2answers
530 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. ...
7
votes
1answer
510 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。
13
votes
1answer
4k 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
votes
4answers
948 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{...

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