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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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The reason for using 何も+negative, but 何でも+positive

In one of the Japanese classes I attended, I've been taught that while we use 「何も出来ない」to say "He cannot do anything", to say "He can do anything" we use 「何でも出来る」 instead of 「何も出来る」. Why is there a ...
Lukman's user avatar
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16 votes
2 answers
1k views

Difference and nuance between することはない and する必要はない/する可能性はない

I understand the grammar point "Verb (Dictionary Form) + ことはない" can mean either "There is no need" or "There is no possibility" depending on context. However, what are the differences? Are there any ...
phirru's user avatar
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9 votes
2 answers
3k views

Is there a study available on the similarities between Japanese and Turkish grammars?

No I'm not claiming the Altaic hypothesis so try not to bring that up in answers. Still there are grammatical similarities between Japanese and Turkish such as agglutination and use of postpositions ...
hippietrail's user avatar
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20 votes
4 answers
8k views

Are there cases when two or more particles will occur next to each other without intervening lexical words?

Most particles seem to be postpositions but I'm sure I've seen say a noun followed by a location particle followed by "wa" or "ga" or possibly "wo" but when I've tried to use it I've only confused my ...
hippietrail's user avatar
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27 votes
2 answers
2k views

Can we optionally include (or exclude) an を particle in between the noun of the する-verb and the する itself?

When we have a する verb (e.g. 支{し}度{たく}する、案{あん}内{ない}する、心{しん}配{ぱい}する), is it true that we could optionally insert an を particle in between the noun and the する? Because in the example sentences here and ...
Pacerier's user avatar
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24 votes
2 answers
15k views

How does ほど work in the 〜すれば〜するほど construction?

I understand that 〜すれば〜するほど is used to mean "the more you do ~ the more ~". However, I don't see how this meaning is derived from this sentence pattern. I assume the ば is from the ...
phirru's user avatar
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8 votes
3 answers
964 views

Are there inflections/endings that can be applied to verbs but not i-adjectives? (or vice versa)

After reading in an answer to another question that Japanese adjectives are less inflected than Japanese verbs I'm wondering if there are inflections that can be applied to verbs but not i-adjectives? ...
hippietrail's user avatar
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24 votes
4 answers
17k views

Is Japanese really an agglutinative language?

In the linguistics topic of language typology, Japanese is often included in lists of agglutinative (or agglutinating) languages, but when learning or reading about Japanese grammar exclusively this ...
hippietrail's user avatar
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25 votes
3 answers
33k views

Usage of ~じゃん (~じゃない)

I'd like to know if I can put ~じゃん at the end of every adjective, if there are any exceptions to that usage, and if it's different from ~じゃない. Adj (na) + じゃん 便利じゃん 便利だったじゃん 便利じゃないじゃん ...
daniel tomio's user avatar
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7 votes
3 answers
753 views

低い鼻 vs 短い鼻 and 高い鼻 vs 長い鼻 ?

After reading this thread: When would you use 低い【ひくい】 vs 短い【みじかい】, I'd just thought of something. I once heard that a long nose (witch / Pinocchio) is called 高い鼻 and not 長い鼻 whereas the opposite (...
Pacerier's user avatar
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21 votes
1 answer
10k views

what's the difference between ところで and ちなみに ?

what's the difference between ところで and ちなみに ? Are they always/often/seldom interchangeable?
Pacerier's user avatar
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11 votes
3 answers
7k views

Can とても be used with [大好]{だいす}き or [大嫌]{だいきら}い?

とても means "very" [好]{す}き means "like" [大好]{だいす}き means "like very much" If I really like something can I use とてもとても大好きです ?
Sarawut Positwinyu's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
4k views

What's the difference between ~てください and ~ていてください?

This question has come up on the side of at least a couple of other questions, but I don't think it's been definitively answered, so let's see if we can come up with something solid. After going ...
Derek Schaab's user avatar
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10 votes
2 answers
401 views

sometimes だけ gets mildly confusing..

If someone says それだけ、食べないでください, does it mean: Please don't eat only that [eat other things too!] or [You can eat anything you like but] only that, please don't eat it. What about それだけ、たべてください? ...
Pacerier's user avatar
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131 votes
1 answer
73k views

What is the difference between the nominalizers こと and の?

As Derek mentioned in his postscript, both こと and の are nominalizers that can turn a verb into a noun. ピアノを弾く【ひく】。 I play the piano. ピアノを弾く【ひく】のが好き【すき】です。 I like playing the piano. ピアノを弾く【ひく】ことが好き【すき】...
Troyen's user avatar
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27 votes
2 answers
6k views

What is the usage of 〜げ and how does it differ from 〜そう or 〜っぽい?

How do these two differ, for example: 寂しそう vs 寂しげ 楽しそう vs 楽しげ 言いたそう vs 言いたげ 大人げ vs 大人っぽい(...? Not sure if this one works.)
phirru's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
444 views

can we use ねー as a question?

I've read that people usually change ない to ねー to make it more manly, like: したくないよ becomes したくねーんだ So basically i often heard questions ending with ない but have not heard anyone end a question with ねー ...
Pacerier's user avatar
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6 votes
3 answers
235 views

"Statistically speaking ... "

I am looking for a way to express the equivalent of "statistically speaking, ..." (followed by a quote from a paper, or something like that), or pretty much any other grammatical construction that ...
Kdansky's user avatar
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14 votes
3 answers
3k views

What exactly is the difference between <verb>-てしまう and <verb>- [切]{き}る?

I've read that both the ~てしまう and ~きる (18th meaning of 切る at http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/cgi-bin/wwwjdic.cgi?1MUE%E5%88%87%E3%82%8B) forms are used to signify something has been finished/done/...
Pacerier's user avatar
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15 votes
4 answers
55k 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: ...
Questioner's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
625 views

What does the もて before a verb means?

What does the もて before a verb means? I found this word in the dictionary http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/cgi-bin/wwwjdic.cgi?1MDEemphatic%20prefix (which only says it is an "emphatic verb prefix" ...
Pacerier's user avatar
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8 votes
2 answers
4k views

what is the past tense of お腹が空いた?

if お腹が空いた means "I'm hungry", then what would be the past tense of お腹が空いた since (i think) it's already in the past tense?
Pacerier's user avatar
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15 votes
2 answers
4k views

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 darashinai. ...
phirru's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
321 views

How would you translate: 毎日は楽しくなりました。

毎日は楽しくなりました。 Would you translate this: Every day was fun. or Every day became fun. I know that なる can be used to say that A becomes B. But in this example what is the nuance of the meaning of なる?
elasticrat's user avatar
96 votes
4 answers
99k views

What is the difference between "に" and "には"?

The title should be pretty self-explanatory. What meanings does each convey? And in what kinds of circumstances would one be used instead of the other? For example, what are the differences between ...
voithos's user avatar
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10 votes
2 answers
764 views

ご~いただけます vs. ご~になれます

I know that you can use ご~いただく toward "clients" (which is something I've never really understood; maybe better as a question of its own) such as ご来店いただき、まことにありがとうございます ("Thank you (customer) for ...
istrasci's user avatar
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36 votes
1 answer
4k views

Why is the topic marker often used in negative statements (ではない, ~とは思わない)?

What function does は provide in statements such as 本ではない or 本だとは思わない? I notice the は after と is often left out, at least if a Google search for 思わない is any indication, but there still seems to be a ...
Kef Schecter's user avatar
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11 votes
2 answers
3k views

へ or に particle for 曲がる?

i was wondering what may be the difference in nuance between 右へ曲がる and 右に曲がる ? Example: Take a right turn and you'll see the library. 1) 右へ曲がると、図書館がある。 2) 右に曲がると、図書館がある。 As for [noun-location] ...
Pacerier's user avatar
  • 12k
3 votes
1 answer
382 views

Can 差す be an intransitive verb?

WWWJDIC lists 差す as an intransitive verb, but in all of the example sentences I've seen it looks more like a transitive verb. So my question is, is 差す a transitive or intransitive verb?
Pacerier's user avatar
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22 votes
4 answers
7k views

When did you last...?

I am searching for a way to ask a question like "When did you last see her?" or "When did you last do the laundry?, or also "When did we last meet?" Basically, how do you construct a question with ...
Kdansky's user avatar
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31 votes
1 answer
19k views

What exactly is a "taru adjective"

On the talk page of the Wikipedia article on "Japanese adjectives", user Dougalg suggested nearly two years ago: I know these are falling out of use, but still exist. If anyone can give an ...
hippietrail's user avatar
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69 votes
2 answers
16k views

Why does Japanese have two kinds of adjectives? (-i adjectives and -na adjectives)

Japanese has two kinds of adjectives known by several terms but the ones I know are i-adjectives and na-adjectives - why? I recall that Japanese adjectives are much more like verbs than in English ...
hippietrail's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
3k views

Is "ガール" (gāru) now considered a Japanese word? What about "ガールズ" (gāruzu)?

In my wanderings around Japan giving my kana knowledge some practice I've noticed both the words "ガール" (gāru) and "ガールズ" (gāruzu) in use at least in signage. Obviously they are borrowed from English "...
hippietrail's user avatar
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11 votes
5 answers
4k views

What’s the difference between [v] たとしても and just the plain ても

What’s the difference between [v] たとしても and just the plain ても? Example: (1) 説明書を読んでも分かりにくい (2) 説明書を読んだとしても分かりにくい
Pacerier's user avatar
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15 votes
1 answer
8k views

ならば vs なら. both are totally interchangeable without affecting the nuance of the sentence?

is it true that なら is merely a short form of ならば and as such, both are totally interchangeable without affecting the nuance of the sentence? Also, a second question is is ならば more "formal" than "なら" ?...
Pacerier's user avatar
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33 votes
4 answers
19k views

Difference between にかんして and について?

What is the difference between にかんして and について? Example usage would be much appreciated!
hachikuro's user avatar
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19 votes
2 answers
2k views

why is it that some 形容動詞 accepts の after it while some only accepts な after it?

why is it that some 形容動詞 accepts の after it while some only accepts な after it? Examples: の only: 普通、大勢 な or の: 初心、特別、特殊 Is there a way for us to tell if a 形容動詞 needs a の or な particle after it....
Pacerier's user avatar
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10 votes
2 answers
4k views

What is the difference between 特殊 and 特別?

I've got two questions. Firstly, what is the difference between 特殊{とくしゅ} and 特別{とくべつ}? Secondly, is it true that all these grammar forms are correct: 特殊{とくしゅ}な + [noun] 特別{とくべつ}な + [noun] 特殊{とくしゅ}の +...
Pacerier's user avatar
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12 votes
3 answers
1k 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"?
Amanda S's user avatar
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9 votes
2 answers
496 views

Use of the particle を to mean where something is going?

A little while back I was working my way through the Book "Japanese Sentence Patterns for Effective Communication" When I got to page 156 it explains the topic of the section which is "The te form of ...
Colin Wheeler's user avatar
13 votes
2 answers
2k views

Can placements of adverbs be altered freely? 少なくとも週に一度車を洗う vs 週に少なくとも一度車を洗う

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 ...
Pacerier's user avatar
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25 votes
3 answers
16k views

What is the difference between その and あの?

Superficially, I get the sense that あの is for something far away from both speaker and listener, and その is for something closer to the listener than speaker. However, I seem to get in trouble when ...
zakvdm's user avatar
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14 votes
2 answers
346 views

The use of -さん when answering about oneself

If someone says, あなた は Chris-さん です か。 Are you Chris? Do you answer Chris です Or Chris-さん です
Chris's user avatar
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80 votes
3 answers
39k views

Difference between -ていく and -てくる

Can someone explain the differences between v-ていく and v-てくる for me. I know that they both express some kind of ongoing action (like a place getting crowded). For example, what's the difference between ...
nevan king's user avatar
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24 votes
4 answers
22k views

In what situations can you use ぞ as a sentence ender

When can one use the sentence ender ぞ? I've only ever heard it anime, so I'm unsure of it's actual usage in the real world. Is it not used that often or limited to specific age/gender groups?
Mark Hosang's user avatar
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64 votes
3 answers
25k views

The difference between が and を with the potential form of a verb

When using the potential form of a verb, I was taught that the particle を becomes が. However, in real life this seems to not always be the case. I've even heard Japanese people use を instead of が ...
phirru's user avatar
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19 votes
3 answers
4k views

「~たじゃない」 expression in spoken Japanese

I noticed in an anime I watched, one of the characters said something like below: さっき食べたじゃない。 And what I think the meaning is: Didn't you just eat a few while ago? From what I have learned in ...
Lukman's user avatar
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42 votes
3 answers
15k views

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 ...
phirru's user avatar
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28 votes
1 answer
8k views

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 ...
makdad's user avatar
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10 votes
2 answers
5k views

Is it ok to use ~て下さりました instead of ~ていただきました?

Just to avoid repeatedly saying いただきました too much, can I occasionally switch it with 下さりました or 下さいました?
wallyqs's user avatar
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