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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Difference between 「~てからでないと」and 「~ないことには」

Both of these grammar can be translated to English as A~てからでないと/~ないことにはB = Unless A is done, cannot do B From what I can find, ~てからでないと stresses the order or sequence of actions, that until A is ...
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184 views

Specific use of してまで

Recently I've been reading Michael Emmerich's "New Penguin Parallel Text" for Japanese short stories. In Yoshimoto Banana's "A Little Darkness," there's a passage that describes how the narrator's ...
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163 views

When is である/な Needed for Certain Words?

While studying grammar I noticed that some words require using である/な when used with a noun/な-adjective respectively. I wanted to see if there was a pattern between which words required them and which ...
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229 views

Are both of these correct sentences: 「ここに住所を書いてくださいますか?」「ここに住所を書いてくださいませんか?」?

I believe 「ここに住所を書いてくださいますか?」 means “Could you please write the address here?” And 「ここに住所を書いてくださいませんか?」 means “Would you please write the address here?” An exercise I’m doing shows the second ...
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196 views

What does 笑みがこぼれてくる mean and how is it different to 笑みがこぼれる

愛鳥の寝顔、見てるだけで思わず笑みがこぼれてくる 愛鳥の寝顔、見てるだけで思わず笑みがこぼれる My question is how is the 1st sentence different from the 2nd, and what nuance does the くる add.
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687 views

Casual Speech Particles in Classical Japanese

I'm writing a simple Japanese skit for my class and there is a place where an ancient samurai needs to speak a few sentences of Classical Japanese. I can mostly make the sentences, but it seems weird ...
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288 views

いかんでは why is this answer incorrect?

最近とても疲れやすいので、その日の体調いかんでは________ I answered it with : 会社を休むこともある But got it wrong(got 0 points), with a note telling me to use かもしれない instead. I understand that you can answer with the かもしれない ...
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135 views

Help understanding だからこそ、という場合もある

I'm struggling to understand the sentence in the exchange below. To explain the context, these characters have been shipwrecked and landed on an unknown island. They find that several of their ...
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356 views

Is it grammatically correct to use もし and/or 〜ば form along with the 〜たい form to convey desire in a conditional clause?

My impression when using conditionals, most of the time, you lose the ability to express desire. For example, when conjugating to -たら、you have to use the past tense of the verb. Is it grammatically ...
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178 views

Is it ungrammatical to say Nがなく instead of Nなく when it means “without N”?

The phrase Nなく means "without N" and is used to modify verbs, as in: 彼は私を躊躇なく殴った。 He hit me without hesitation. In sentences like this, is it ungrammatical or unnatural to say Nがなく instead of ...
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209 views

The uses of である

I understand that である is most commonly used to replace だ/です at the end of a sentence in written expressions. But outside this usage, I can't find much explanation on how to use this structure. In ...
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333 views

“~Ni” or “~De”?

Should I use (に or で) for the following lines? Since they are time periods, I thought に would be correct, according to Times The particle ni is usually used with times: Go-ji ni ...
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163 views

"A: いつごろ切符を予約しましたか。 B: 3か月前です” why should it be です but not でした?

"A: いつごろ切符を予約しましたか。  B: 3か月前です” why should it be です but not でした?
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248 views

What is the difference between といったところです and というところです?

銀行に変化を促しているのがタイの中央銀行です。 日本で言えば、日銀が腰を上げて、変革の旗振り役をしているといったところです。(source) Could we replace といったところです by というところです here? If yes, what would be the difference? If not, why?
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What's the difference in comparative use between ~ + の様に / みたい / が如く, etc.?

This question has been on my mind since I've watched SEGA's announcement the other day about Yakuza's second installment getting a remake. The original title of the game is [龍]{りゅう}が[如]{ごと}く, meaning "...
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92 views

Embedded questions without particle か

(医師が患者に)薬を飲むか飲まないかを決めるのは、あなた自身ですよ。(pattern one) お酒を飲む飲まないに関わりなく参加者には一人3000円払っていただきます。(pattern two) I'd like to ask three questions. The first one is: is "verb+か+verb+ないか" (pattern one) totally ...
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92 views

Using 「に」, 「にとって」 and 「に対して」 with adjectives

I read these two questions but I still don't understand the relation between the use of the 「に」 particle with adjectives and other structures such as 「にとって」 and 「に対して」. On the first link, Axioplaseさん ...
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206 views

来た2日後に vs 来て2日後に vs 来てから2日後に

日本に来た2日後にこの本を買った。 日本に来て2日後にこの本を買った。 日本に来てから2日後にこの本を買った。 I created these sentences from similar-looking examples I found on Google. Are they all grammatical? These all mean "I bought this book two ...
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448 views

Meaning/use of ように in this sentence

鳥の絵が得意になり、クリスマスにハトの絵を贈ってくれるようにもなった。 I cannot understand the meaning of ようにもなった in this sentence. I know that 鳥の絵が得意になり、 means "I became good/strong at drawing birds and..." ...
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734 views

What does ~ながらにして mean?

Can someone please explain the bold grammar? せんてんてき 【先天的】 《ダナ》生まれながらにして持っていること
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Connecting の adjectives

So when connecting い adjectives you go from い to くて Like: おもしろい 楽しい -> おもしろくて楽しいです。= interesting and fun And with な adjectives you add で Like: きれいな やさしい -> きれいでやさしいです = pretty and kind So what ...
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169 views

What is the nuance between 内に and 間に in these sentences?

This will be a long question. I referred to the other questions that were already answered, Difference between 前に and うちに When describing time span, are 間 {あいだ} and 内 {うち} interchangeable? What'...
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161 views

ものだ expressing ambiguous emotions/concern?

This article lists many examples of using ものだ to articulate "deep concern." The author of this article explains that when you connect words which indicate desire like …たい and 欲しい with ものだ, your speech ...
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202 views

Verb after な-adjective, is it necessary to complete the sentence?

I read somewhere that 形容動詞 are a special subclass of nouns. Contrarily 形容詞, the い adjectives, are actually a lot more similar to verbs. During the time that I have been learning Japanese language (...
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189 views

Regarding がある/のある

I'm writing somthing for my Japanese class currently, and I wrote 「おいしい食べ物のあるレストラン」and I thought that when ある was modifying a noun you could change it to の but my teacher corrected it to が. Are there ...
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167 views

Couldn't “ni” particle be used in this example?

I'm a total newbie learning japanese as you will see, so please be patient with me. I have this sentence from my textbook: Shiken no toki jisho o minai de kudasai! Because it was a new lesson, I ...
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200 views

ではない in Relative Clauses

I have read in several sources that it is grammatically incorrect to use は (topic particle) in relative clauses. However, I am almost certain that I have seen constructions like the following: ...
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2k views

How to say “Should I [do something]?”

There was a similar question here, but it was more along the lines of "Should we do something together?", and I'm not sure it fits my case. For example, how do you say "Should I bring something to the ...
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1k views

~てない - ambiguity between ている and てある

手を上げてない人は私だけです。 上げてない is the negative form of てある right? Most people would omit the い in ている. So for me it is hard to differentiate if てある or ている is used since both sounds the same (negative only). ...
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What's the difference between ないわけにはいかない and ずにすまない??

I think they both mean that you have to do something because there is a social pression like なければならい、but I'm not certain that I can use them interchangeably. Could somebody confirm it?
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What's the difference between 調整する and 整える?

Both meanings are about adjust or fix, but I can't manage to understand why 温度を調整した ( right ) 温度を整えた ( wrong ) If 整える usually means fix something to the right condition/state the second sentence ...
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transitive vs intransitive verbs in relative clauses

Is there a difference in interpretation or how one would understand sentences that use a transitive vs intransitive verb? e.g. in the below 味噌汁を入れたマグカップ vs 味噌汁が入ったマグカップ 「でもお前、俺のこと好きだったじゃん」 「……...
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168 views

Understanding of をだけを

In a comment on this question it was pointed out that the combination "をだけ" appears a lot in a Google search, despite my thought that it was ungrammatical. On closer inspection it seems that many of ...
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Expressing “huh” tag?

How would you express this type of tag? For example: Lovers, huh? That’s what you think they are? Would って work? 恋人って?そうと思う?
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Using 場合 with adjectives

I was learning the uses of 場合は from japanesetest4you.com (in the sense "in the event of"), and couldn't help but notice that, although it behaves like a noun, its uses with adjectives were not listed. ...
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ところ、よう and other words of many uses

This may be a bad question, since it's not very specific and I am very long winded. I've studied Japanese on and off 7 years, though my level is very low and I never had much immersion besides a year ...
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1answer
139 views

Difference between ようか・まいか and ようが・まいが

So I'm cramming for the N1 test next week and doing grammar exercises in the 日本語パワードリル book. I come across the following question and felt fairly confident in my answer: 友人に真実を_________ 悩んでいる。 ...
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140 views

When is it okay to not use desu?

I've been looking around for this, but all I can find is pretty basic stuff about desu. I've studied Japanese, but writing texts in Japanese still stumps me sometimes. Right now I'm wondering about ...
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94 views

Differences between “even if”/“no matter (how much)” structures: としても, ところで, ~ようが/と

I've encountered several forms that mean both "even if" (might be used for example with たとえ), and "no matter (how much)" (used with どんなに, いくら, etc). ~ても ~としても ~ところで ~ようが/と The only difference ...
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Usage of ところ to represent time with に and で

I am trying to understand the grammar of using ところ with に and で when using ところ to represent the time that actions have happened. These are (ungrammatical) sentences I made up: 1) ...
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Comparing nouns

Good day, I would like some clarification with regards to comparing nouns. In some references like Minna no Nihongo, the sentence formula would be something like A と B と + どちら のほうが/が + ...
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83 views

Why is a verb before a 格助詞 called 連体形?

As I have known, 格助詞 is not 体言.That is what I cannot understand.
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140 views

~ば vs ~ていれば in counterfactual conditionals

In l'électeur's answer here, he claims (with such confidence that he bolds the belief) that the correct way to say the English sentence "If I had turned right back then, I wonder what would have ...
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123 views

What does には mean in this case?

The sentence in question: 休日の繁華街は平和な賑わいに満ちていた。道行く人々の笑顔は眩しく、街灯はどこまでも明るく、一足早いクリスマス模様のショウウィンドウには、まるで世界中の幸せを寄せ集めて詰め込んだように華やかだった。 I would normally think of には following after something like ショウウィンドウ to ...
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124 views

Trouble ないで vs なくて

In this answer it is said that the usage of なくて is narrower than ないで(ないで can always replace なくて according to the logic explained and is ambiguous because of that) But in this question, the answer ...
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503 views

Different ways to express 'if A happens'

What is the difference between soshite, suruto and sorede? I am unable to distinguish the used-cases - they all seem to indicate 'If A happens then ....' jibun no koto o otona da to omoimasu ka? ........
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306 views

The て form, the と and もの constructions: gerund, participle, transgressive, or verbal noun?

As far as I understand, among the constructions (て-form verb), (て-form verb)いる, (finite verb)こと, (finite verb)の, (verb phrase)と, (finite verb)もの the form (2) unambiguously functions as a finite verb ...
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237 views

Further clarification on ~てある

This is a follow up to this question regarding the difference between てある and ている. So far I have come across two possible reasons to use てある: てある and ている can both be used to show states, however ...
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127 views

Difference between いたします and させていただきます

When writing in humble 謙譲語{けんじょうご} language, I see いたします and させていただきます. What is the difference between these two forms? For example both mean "I will contact you" in humble language, what is the ...
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233 views

Ways other than て-form and たり~たり~ to connect several sentences and ideas together

I was wondering if someone can give me some examples because I don't remember quite well from my Japanese classes (because we rarely used this following way), how to connect more sentences? Until now ...