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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7
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1answer
466 views

The difference among ずに、ず、ないで、なくて

I know they are all the negative form of a verb, but I just don't know the difference. I still remember when I was learning Japanese, my teacher told me that ずに equals ないで in a more ancient way, but ...
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てくれる vs てもらう when the topic or subject is implied

From my understanding てくれる and てもらう "mean the same" from the "receiver" point of view, but the way the topic and subject are placed is a bit different, for instance: 僕は友達にゲームのやり方を教えてもらった and ...
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Questions about counters

My first question is, are counters always required when counting things? Can't I just slap a number in front of the noun? For example,「いちりんご」for 1 apple? Secondly, in Lesson 5 of the Japanese For ...
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1answer
536 views

The meaning of しないでもなかった

彼の性格が読めてきたような気がしないでもなかった しない is a negative conjugation of する And from what I understand でもなかった is the equivalent of "was not" So it's a double denial? How does this work?
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Examples of when passive form in English takes active/non passive form in Japanese

Can anyone give a few more common examples (or even more insight) of when we should be "switching" from English passive into Japanese active/non-passive? (A joint effort might help a lot of us to ...
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1answer
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Direct and indirect quotes

This question is inspired by this question. In English I can quote something in two ways: She said "Seeing you smile is better". She said that seeing me smile is better. One uses quotes, and the ...
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1answer
229 views

Why is 「の」 used in 何十もの?

I was studying the words 何十/何百/何千, and I often see the particles「も」and「の」after. For example, 彼は何十冊もの日本に関する本を持っている。 Or, 高速道路は何千もの車で渋滞した。 The「も」I think is used to emphasize that there's a ...
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いろいろな便利な - In some case, two na-adjectives linked not using で?

With my japanese teacher, we study some text about doraemon. One of sentences was: 「未来{みらい}のいろいろな便利{べんり}な「ひみつ道具{どうぐ}」をポケットの中に持っている」 I was thinking いろいろな便利{べんり}な had to be いろいろで便利{べんり}な. My teacher ...
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Different versions of より?

Here is one definition for より: より (adv,prt) (1) from; out of; since; at; (2) than; (3) other than; except; but; (4) more; I see that one of the definitions of this word is "more". Is より一層 a ...
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1answer
392 views

What does ば do in this sentence?

What does ば do in this sentence? I am familiar with it as a conditional but it doesn't seem right here. 早朝と言っても人影がまばらにあって、露店の準備をしているホビットもいれば、僕と同じ冒険者のドワーフ達が徒党を組んで何か話し合っている。これからダンジョンへ向かうんだろう。 I ...
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1answer
689 views

Use of も with counter

The writer is complaining that men are useless at cooking. They burn pans, they make more mess than is necessary and: ...、何枚も皿をつかう、... I can't fully understand this construction. I know the ...
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1answer
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Meaning of verb followed by ちゃ

A mother is scolding her daughter. The uncle (Tomozou) speaks first: 「おかあさん、お歳暮の広告見ちゃダメ?」 友蔵が頼んでもおかあさんは首を縦に振らなかった。 「ダメですっ。」 "Mother, is looking at year-end adverts not allowed?" Even though ...
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1answer
691 views

Rules for には usage

So I came across this sentence その元気な男の子にはたくさんの友達がいます。I was wondering what には was doing in this sentence. Additionally, I was wondering what the different uses and the rules for the uses of には were? So ...
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1answer
756 views

Why using です in katakana?

This question might sound stupid but it got me thinking for some hours. A friend bought me this gel pen from a Japanese store in my country, and it is written in the pen: かわいいデス instead of かわいいです ...
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い-Adjective Conjugation: かったです vs でした

When we first studied adjective conjugation in my Japanese class, I kept making the same mistake habitually; I would conjugate the past tense of い-adjectives with でした at the end instead of dropping ...
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1answer
576 views

Is it true that all verbs have a corresponding noun form?

Is it true that all verbs have a corresponding noun form (which is formed by making the -masu form and removing the -masu)? Like 遊び and 遊びます 飲み and 飲みます 生き and 生きます 死に and 死にます
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Is this は or はいる: ~わかってはいるものの

たばこは体に悪いとわかってはいるものの、なかなかやめられない。 If it's は, does omitting は change the meaning in verb-te~はいる? And also, could you talk about what いる is doing? If it's はいる, in what sense would you describe はいる's ...
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Understanding the の in ~ものの

I thought that の always had to modify a noun... so how come a sentence like the following is possible despite there being no nominalization of what follows の ? たたみに布団を敷いて寝てみたものの、背中が痛くて寝られなかった。 Is ...
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1answer
366 views

What is the meaning of ことに当たるように?

What is the meaning of ことに当たるように in this example (there is already a post of にあたって/にあたり, but I can't understand)? 以後{いご}はトムと協力{きょうりょく}してことに当{あ}たるように。
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1answer
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What does the は in this sentence do?

力任せに壁面に罅{ひび}を刻んでは一つ、また一つと体のパーツを外気に晒{さら}していく。 What does は do here? Is it contrasting? Thanks!
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「を大好き」と「が大好き」の違いは何ですか?

What's the difference in usage and meaning when using を with 大好き or 好き versus using が? I would think that using が is stating that the subject that you are talking about is loved, while using を is ...
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1answer
750 views

っては replaced with っちゃ?

My friend said: うたっちゃだめだから。 Is the っちゃ a colloquial replacement for っては in this case?
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1answer
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Ambiguity in meaning of sentences with a noun qualifed by an adjective with が particle

I was wondering if there is any ambiguity with sentences that have adjectives qualifying a noun, especially regarding the が particle. For example: 1.) 僕が好きな人 Can this sentences have an ambiguous ...
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2answers
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What happens if なの is used, but not at the end of a sentence?

大学から歩いてニ十分ぐらいの所に適当なのを見つけた。 What does it mean when なの is used in a sentence like the one above? The を that comes after it is really throwing me off. I came across a similar question on here but all ...
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Is this grammatical: 彼は映画スターであり、政治家もだ。

I was about to ask a question but I can't without first confirming, Is this sentence: 彼は映画スターであり、政治家もだ。 grammatically correct, and mean: He is a movie star and also a politician. ==Follow-up ...
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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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1answer
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using 〜ば〜ほど with adverbs

You can use this construct with verbs: 食べれば食べるほど太る and with adjectives: ジェットコースターは高ければ高いほど楽しい but what about adverbs? if, for example, I wanted to say of a windmill "the faster it turns, the more ...
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1answer
327 views

How to read 連体形 + 上

Taking an example from a page naruto linked in another thread: 外国人が日本語を習得する上で難しい点がたくさんあります。 My inclination is to read this as うえ since it's followed by で, however I've got a nagging feeling it ...
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1answer
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What is the meaning of もらう here?

I know that もらう has the meaning of 'get' or 'receive', but I am confused with it when it is used in the sentence below: 面白いのでたくさんの人に読んでもらいたい How do I understand the auxiliary verb 'もらう' in this ...
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1answer
476 views

て used as “because”?

My (Japanese) friend gave me a suggested translation of this sentence: 普段ワインはなかなか飲まないのだけど、いろんな味、風味、渋味甘味が感じられて良き体験でした。 By no means do I usually drink wine but, it was a good experience because I drank ...
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1answer
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Meaning of 「にならない」

What does ni naranai mean below? [提出]{ていしゅつ}に[遅]{おく}れた[場合]{ばあい}は[減点]{げんてん}にならない teishutsu ni okureta baai ha genten ni naranai "Points will not be deducted if there is delay in submission" - is ...
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2answers
301 views

Using と to link clauses instead of て

I've seen several posts saying that と cannot be used to mean 'and' when linking clauses. They say it should be treated as 'when'. I have come across several sentences in my studies that do not support ...
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Encountered な with ten-ten

I am currently reading a manga for studying Japanese and encountered something strange. A girl exclaims「な゛?!」 The situation is that she has just had water squirted up her nose, so I am guessing it's ...
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Usage of いる/います and ある/あります in combined words and sentences

Actually, this has been lingering for sometime in my mind about how Japanese convey a sentence which has both the living and non-living things. Will Japanese use いる or ある? or whichever comes first? or ...
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742 views

たり sentence without the final たり

I just read a sentence in an answer key as follows: 雨が降ったら、買い物をしたり、おいしい物を食べるつもりです。 I would have thought that the sentence should be: 雨が降ったら、買い物をしたり、おいしい物を食べたりするつもりです。 Is there any difference ...
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What is Vて+た construction?

I came across Vて+た construction in a song I've been listening to: あなたのその瞳をただ見つめてた Can someone explain what it means? I've tried looking for it in some grammar books but unfortunately I couldn't ...
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Shorter Causative Form Popularity

How common is the shortened causative form, eg. 食べさす instead of 食べさせる. Tae Kim says in his grammar guide (http://www.guidetojapanese.org/learn/grammar/causepass) that the shorter causative-passive ...
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でございまして in this sentence?

それが困ったことに、次はスープでございまして。 Now that I think of it, I had jotted down another sentence that looks like the same : 海外では魔女はとても人気のあるカテゴリーでしてね Why are ございます and です conjugated that way ?
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What is the difference between 〜ている and 〜中?

When we want to expresss that something is in progress, we can use the progressive form: 勉強している studying But another way of expressing a progressing action is by adding 中 to the noun: 仕事中 working ...
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1answer
352 views

How are these two sentences not negating their premise?

In my JLPT textbook, 日本語総まとめN1読解, on page17, there are these two sentences (which are both part of a larger paragraph, but I hope I have included enough): 自分{じぶん}なんかにできるわけがないとあきらめる態度{たいど}...
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What does のに mean at the end of this sentence?

忘れてて良いのに I understand this as: "You should forget about it" But what does のに do?
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1answer
198 views

I need help with this sentence! 居るなら居ると言ってくれればいいのにと誰にともなく唇をとがらせる。

A: おかああさん? B: はーい ホッとする。同時に拍子抜けする。なんだ居るのかと胸をなでおろしたあとで、居るなら居ると言ってくれればいいのにと誰にともなく唇をとがらせる。 My translation is "...if you're here, I wish you would say 'I'm here'..." I don't understand after のに…...
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What is the たて in 取れる+たて?

Here are some examples: 取れる+たて -> 取れたて ・取れたてのたけのこ; fresh bamboo shoots that have just been harvested. できる+たて -> できたて ・できたてのごはん; fresh rice that has just been cooked. 生まれる+たて ->...
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695 views

Another way to say “これはだれの___ですか?”

(the blank represents some noun/object) Is この__はだれのですか? grammatically correct and have the same meaning as the title?
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1answer
879 views

Function of “でも” in “とでも言うべきであろうか”?

I've come across the phrase "〜とでも言うべきであろうか" in my reading. I understand most of it, but am a little confused as to what the "でも" is doing. I'm familiar with "でも" as a particle, but it appears to be ...
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3answers
255 views

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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3answers
353 views

When referring to herself, is there any pronoun other than お母さん when speaking to her children?

Consider the following conversation quoted from a textbook used in my class. 鈴木 is the mother of 鈴木伸. 鈴木:伸ちゃん、お母さんが試着{しちゃく}している間、ここで待っていてね。 鈴木伸:うん。 In my understanding, お母さん is used to refer ...
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2answers
454 views

Undertstanding 88歳の草間彌生さんは水玉の絵などが有名な芸術家で

88歳の草間彌生さんは水玉の絵などが有名な芸術家で、世界でも人気があります。 88 year old 草間彌生さん ??? and is popular even in (the rest of) the world. I'm having problems parsing the first clause. 草間彌生さんは有名な芸術家で 草間彌生 is a famous ...
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3answers
382 views

Does 私は地震が怖い make sense?

私は地震が怖い。 For me that's like saying 私は彼がきれいです. It doesn't make sense putting 私 here.
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791 views

Why do they use the 連用形 instead of the て form here? [duplicate]

I know that the て form can be used to connect verbs together, like the English "and": 毎日私は食べて寝る。 I eat and sleep every day. And I know the 連用形 can be used to connect verbs as well, but it ...

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