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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ですら・でも・さえ・だろう(と/が)。 Are there any differences?

I am just wondering if anyone can explain the differences between these in terms of nuances. When I say nuances, can you give examples of whether one is for more polite situations, or whether one is ...
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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 except ...
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Masu te-form with Kudasai?

Can you use the -masu te form to form requests? Like, can you say "machimashite kudasai"? (O.o sounds weird huh.)
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「」 don't seem to be 'quotation marks' in news article titles, what do they mean?

A recent headline: 「レッドブル」飲んだ米国人「死亡報道」で大騒ぎ 日本のまとめサイト「デマ情報」に引っかかり、相次ぎ「謝罪」 Can someone help me understand how this works? 「」=Is this a quotation mark? I can't understand what modifies what.
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Commas and relative clauses

Can't find rules on how commas work with relative clauses. Paragraph [click for full text] すると石の下から斜{はす}に自分の方へ向いて青い茎{くき}が伸びて来た。見る間に長くなってちょうど自分の胸のあたりまで来て留まった。と思うと、すらりと揺{ゆら}ぐ茎{くき}の頂{いただき}に、心持首を傾{かたぶ}...
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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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Function of と when used with 続く

I don't understand the function of と when used with と続きます From this sentence in my textbook: 世界で一番インスタントラーメンをたくさん食べる国は中国で451.7億食、その次はインドネシアの137.0億食、日本の51.0億食、アメリカの43.2億食、ベトナムの39.1億食、韓国の33....
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Difference between と and や~など

I know both of these particles are used to list items. So, I was trying to write the sentence "I like Japanese culture, history and stuff." 私は日本文化と日本史といろいろが好きです。 But someone told me it is ...
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Purpose of ~とは in 「あなたにとって仕事とはなんでしょうか」

あなたにとって仕事【しごと】とはなんでしょうか What is the purpose of とは above? Would using は alone have been any different? If とは is a grammatical construct, I would appreciate additional examples clarifying its ...
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Meaning of と in 友蔵が出おくれまいと言いそえた

「わしもじゃ」 友蔵が出おくれまいと言いそえた。 "Me too" added Tomozou, not wanting to get a late start. So I eventually figured out that まい was negative volitional (I hope I'm right) then got stuck thinking that と was ...
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でありません(でない) vs ではありません(ではない) vs でもありません(でもない)

でありません (でない) ではありません (ではない) でもありません (でもない) Can anyone tell me the differences between these three? And in what kinds of context would people use these three?
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What is と in this sentence?

部品が取り寄せになりますので、 少々お時間をいただきませんと。(We will have to order the parts, so it will take a little time.) Is と at the end here some abbreviation of かと思います? といけません? just a question marker like か?
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What does 「VほうもVほうだ」 mean?

I've noticed a grammar pattern recently: 「V方{ほう}もV方{ほう}だ」. From what I can tell, it always repeats the same verb twice, and it seems like ほう is often written in kana: 行くほうも行くほうだ And if it's a する ...
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What is being abbreviated as っちゃあ in 「忙しいっちゃあ忙しいけど…」?

I see the pattern [Adj1]っちゃあ[Adj1](けど) relatively often, and I know that I've learned it before... I even know what it means. ...but what is it an abbreviation of? It is an abbreviation of something, ...
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Why でも is used rather than も in this sentence?

もし時間がないなら、明日でもいいよ。Why is the particle で used? With time expressions the で particle expresses time limit. So it's weird to see the で with 明日. 明日もいいよ seems better(?). でも here can be the "even though/...
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Using も in place of を

I'm currently trying to get back into studying Japanese. I want to take the JLPT N3 this summer. To get myself in the mode for this I am first looking at the N4 tests on the JLPT website. The ...
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Overall syntax of this sentence

この部屋はシャワーだけでお風呂がないんですが。 => "This apartment only has a shower but no bathtub" This would be what I think this sentence says contentwise. I also think it could be a viable translation, but the way ...
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what is the difference between である & という

I'm using a new textbook, 中級を学ぼう- the blue cover, not the orange. And the grammar point is using という at the end of the sentence. It means the same as そうだ・らしい。The explanation says that it is frequently ...
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What does ため do in this sentence?

ダンジョンへもぐる時点でサポーターも等しく危険に晒されているため、一概にはそう言えない筈なのだが、リリは訂正することなく持論を続ける。 I'm not sure how to interpret ため in that part of the sentence. Does it still mean for the sake of? Thanks!
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Meaning of 「X 一緒なら Y 一緒」

その高校とは昔から仲が悪くて学力のレベルも一緒なら評判や人気までも一緒 More context: http://i.imgur.com/EZPfSZn.jpg Is 「X 一緒なら Y 一緒」 a common structure? What is its meaning? My attempt: "Relations with that high school have always ...
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What about these particles

For full context, see the following document: https://www.docdroid.net/6ruXJ6r/img-20170802-0002-new.pdf This excerpt was taken from line 1-2: 15歳の子供たちを対象に32か国で行われた国際調査では、国によってかなりちがいがあることがわかった。 ...
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What about this combination of と and や

For Full context, see here: https://www.docdroid.net/5vuuiCe/img-20170821-0002-new.pdf The problem is in this sentence (line 1): 「"KARAOKE"は、今では "JUDO" や "TSUNAMI" と並ぶ世界共通語になっている。」 Here's my ...
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Meaning of 「半日相撲をとりつづけに取ったら…」

夏目漱石の「坊っちゃん」から 大工の兼公【かねこう】と肴屋【さかなや】の角【かく】をつれて、茂作【もさく】の人参畠【にんじんばたけ】をあらした事がある。人参の芽が出揃【でそろ】わぬ処【ところ】へ藁【わら】が一面に敷【し】いてあったから、その上で三人が半日[相撲]【すもう】をとりつづけに取ったら、人参がみんな踏【ふ】みつぶされてしまった。 Regarding the phrase in ...
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Cases where “に” cannot mean “at”

彼には 子供が 六人 います - He has six children. I'm used to thinking of に as "at", or at least in a sense of goal or direction (ex.: 買い物に行く), but here it doesn't seem to work in that sense and I don't ...
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The difference between くらい and ほど in hyperbole

The following two sentences, I believe, are grammatically okay, however I'm not sure on how they differ in nuance. もう歩けないほど疲れた! (もうあるけないほどつかれた) もう歩けないくらい疲れた! (もうあるけないくらいつかれた) Additionally, why is it ...
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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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The differences between ~がたい、〜にくい、〜づらい

I was wondering what the differences are between these three: ~がたい、〜にくい、〜づらい They all seem to be some sort of variant of "Hard to do ~". But it seems they are used with different verbs and/or imply ...
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What are the differences between 〜ので and 〜から?

When I was studying this, my 先生 kind of brushed over the point, and then years later, I realize that they are different, but I don't know exactly how. The only thing I understand is that ので is more ...
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だって (datte) meaning

What are the possible uses for だって?
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Why does そう in 「美味しいそう」 not mean “seem” the way I think it should?

Here's another habitual mistake I make. I'm looking at a sign for a restaurant with pictures of great food. So I remark to my friend: 美味{おい}しいそう、ね? ... intending to mean, "that looks good, don't ...
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What is the difference between “〜がる” and “〜がっている”

I want to know the difference between 〜がる and 〜がっている, and in what situations I can use them. My friend said 〜がる is used for a regular activity that someone does every day or every week, and the ...
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What's the difference between でしょうか and ですか at the end of a question?

I am having a little trouble understanding the nuance of でしょうか in comparison to ですか. People say it makes it more hesitant and polite, but that doesn't explain the nuance enough for me. Why would you ...
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Different ways to show intention to do something

How can one say "I am going to", express intention to do something in the future. I know some expressions such as: たいと思う -  I'm going to/ I want to ましょう - I will/ Why don't I しようと思う ...
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Why can't だ be used after an I-adjective?

I have been constantly told that だ can not be placed after an I-adjective. Why is that?
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correctness of い adjective + です

Generally, in all Japanese language classes, the rule you're taught is that です does not follow い adjectives. Instead, い adjectives can act like stative verbs, and as such terminate a sentence by ...
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Is there a difference between からすると and からして?

These two phrases seem to have very similar usage and I'm unable to determine the difference between them. The examples I have are: 彼は服装からしてだらしない。きっと他の面も同じだろう。 kare ha fukusou karashite ...
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Why is this sentence ungrammatical? 「お寺が公園のとなりです。」

I wrote this sentence (meaning "The temple is next to the park") in my Japanese course and my teacher said it's wrong, because I was supposed to use a は instead of a が. My understanding is that there ...
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Can placements of adverbs be altered freely?

I'm curious if there is any difference in nuance between these two sentences: 彼は少なくとも週に一度車を洗う。 彼は週に少なくとも一度車を洗う。 I'm aware that grammatically speaking both are 100% right, but this question is not ...
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Contrasting 〜てならない、〜てしょうがない and 〜てたまらない

These three phrases can be used to express emotions and feelings that cannot be controlled. For example in the following sentences: a) 1点差で負けたので、悔しくてならない。 b) 1点差で負けたので、悔しくてしょうがない。 c) 1点差で負けたので、...
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How does -ki form of i-adjectives work? (e.g. 愛しき)

In one of the Bleach anime ending songs, "Hanabi" has the following line: 繋ぎゆく この想い 愛しき 君 "itoshiki" seems to come from "itoshii", but how does this -ki form of i-adjective work? I found a few ...
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How to know if ~たら is hypothetical or temporal

I encountered the following sentence in the chapter introducing conditionals from the online grammar guide Imabi. 休んだら、元気になったWhen I rested, I got better. Earlier, the article explained that たら can ...
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Are 終{お}わる and 済{す}ませる synonyms?

I know that they both mean "finish". But I wonder if there are situations or contexts where you can use one but not the other.
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に vs で: 映画に見る vs 映画で見る

Branching off from the comments to this question: Do I say えいがにみました or えいがをみました ?: Preamble: The comment says 映画に見た is valid for "I saw it in a movie". I went to search for example sentences and ...
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are there any concrete rules for using いっぱい たくさん and よく?

Of course I can use these but sometimes I am corrected by Japanese people when I use them in the wrong circumstance. For example, 「よくしってるやん」 = "You know it quite well don't you!" 「よくいきます」= "I go (...
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Meaning of 「という訳でもないのだが」

I have a question about the meaning of という訳でもないのだが in the following passage. If I'm understanding correctly 「いたからと言ってなんだ」 - 「居たからと言って何だ」 would translates something like - "even if he/she was, than ...
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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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What form is あり?

On the road outside my daughter's nursery is painted 保育園アリ. I guess this is a form of ある, but what's it called, and why is あり used not ある?
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Why is 一緒に correct and 一緒で incorrect?

This is a mistake I habitually make, even though I know what the right form is. Earlier tonight, I wanted to tell my friend "Let's go together!", so I sent a mail saying: 一緒{いっしょ}で行{い}こう! My ...
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して行{い}かない versus しないで行{い}く

Do they have the same meaning? A: 宿{しゅく}題{だい}をして行{い}かない生{せい}徒{と}が多{おお}いです。 B: 宿{しゅく}題{だい}をしないで行{い}く生{せい}徒{と}が多{おお}いです。
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Producing なる adjectives

I found this adjective from 7!!'s song 「ラヴァーズ」(Lovers): 無邪気なる Dictionary entries categorises 無邪気 as a noun and な-adjective. For reference, I shall extract parts from two different stanzas in the ...