Questions tagged [irregularities-exceptions]

Questions about any aspect of Japanese where there is a common rule which has a few exceptions, such as the irregular verbs.

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16
votes
2answers
606 views

What are some well known exceptions for 居る (いる) and 有る (ある)?

Today I heard 人形がいる, so I googled around because I thought 居る was only for living things, but I found many examples of this usage. Many for 人形がある as well. Are there other exceptions for いる/ある?
61
votes
1answer
30k views

Why are the particles “は” (ha⇒wa), “へ” (he⇒e), and “を” (wo⇒o) not spelled phonetically?

As far as I know only three words (or particles) have irregular, non-phonetic spelling in Japanese: "は" - The topic particle is pronounced "wa" but the kana is otherwise pronounced "ha" "へ" - The ...
16
votes
2answers
579 views

Exceptional compounding forms

There are a number of Japanese words which have distinct compounding forms: -a/-e alternation: 天・雨、酒、上、風、目 — many examples. -u/-i alternation: 神([神]{かむ}[集]{つど}ふ)、月([月]{つく}[読]{よみ}) -o/-i alternation: ...
16
votes
2answers
3k views

Why isn't ある's negative form あらない?

ある is listed in dictionaries as having ラ行五段活用, which would suggest a negative form of あらない. However, that form does not exist. Why not?
10
votes
3answers
5k views

Are there more irregular verbs like 行く?

I thought when you have a consonant-stem verb ending with -ku you replace it with -ita. For example kaku ("to write") becomes kaita. But this doesn't happen with iku, which becomes itta, so I guess ...
26
votes
2answers
3k views

Why is it なさそう and not なそう

"It seems there is none" is なさそう, which escapes the usual rule for 形容詞 (イ-adjectives), which says "drop the い and add そう". Is there a historical explanation for this exception? And does it have ...
16
votes
2answers
605 views

Irregularity of あ-series in demonstratives

Why is the あ-series in demonstratives irregular like the following: ここ  そこ  あ そこ      どこ        (expected あこ) こう  そう  あ あ       どう        (expected あう) Is it related to the fact that こ, そ, ど ...
6
votes
1answer
303 views

Exceptions to kanji readings

あなた can be written in kanji as 貴方. However, I noticed that no combination of the readings of those two characters is at all similar to the pronunciation they produce together - this is the first time ...
14
votes
2answers
981 views

Why is the stroke order of も peculiar?

In most hiragana the horizonal stokes are drawn first, but も is an exception. Is there any reason for this?
7
votes
3answers
517 views

Why is 来る spelled with kanji and する is not?

来る and する are two irregular and most commonly used verbs. From my observations, 来る is spelled with kanji. Even though there is a kanji version of する 為る it is usually not used and I wonder why. Are ...
7
votes
2answers
973 views

For verbs with irregular humble/honorific forms, are the regular forms still used?

There are verbs with irregular humble forms, e.g. the humble form of 借りる is 拝借する. For these verbs, are the "normal humble conjugations" still used, or considered grammatical? Would お借りする be ...