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Questions tagged [syntax]

統語論. Rules governing construction of phrases and sentences in a language.

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role of -られ, -し, and construction of the phrase

Trying to translate a song lyric and was caught off guard by this sentence: 雨に降られ行き場なくしなんの罰さ?と空を睨む I feel like I get the gist of it, but uncertain that my parsing is accurate so far. Here's what ...
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このれいさい this cottage industry [on hold]

Mega Man Legends 2 バンコスカス: オマエら、静かにしろ、仕事の邪魔だ Klaymoor: Shut your traps! I'm trying to listen to what he's saying! な、なんだと、このれいさい空賊がぁ! Teisel: What did you say, you big tin can!? What do you think ...
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ちいとばかし苦しいから extra cash to make ends meet

ティーゼル: うぐっ!まだ潰れちゃいねえよ 今月の運転資金が、ちいとばかし苦しいから 軽くバイトするだけのこったよ Teisel: Gaahh! No, it hasn't gone under! We're just, a little in the red this month, that's all! Just need a little extra cash to ...
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1answer
100 views

What is the difference in meaning between「この自然が多い町」and 「自然が多いこの町」?

Please, see this related question for more context. Thank you very much.
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Are です and あります/います ever interchangeable?

I feel like  (私は)彼の前です。 means the same thing as  (私は)彼の前にいます。 (I am in front of him.) Also  本はどこですか。 and 本はどこにありますか。 (Where is the book?) Correct me if I'm wrong, but is there a rule for determining ...
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Is it possible to join directly い-adj + この + noun?

I came across this multiple choice sentence within my homework exercises: I assume that the correct answer is 気に入った. However, the この demonstrative seems out of place to me. I would rather use just ...
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185 views

Saying “and” with two different clauses?

I’ve seen a few threads about saying “and” but I’m not sure what to do if there’s a time element in the second clause. For example, I want to say “I just woke up and I work later.” Would that be 「...
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1answer
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Saying 'In my opinion, the internet has more good points than bad points'. [Comparative]

To say 'In my opinion, the internet has more good points than bad points', would the following phrase be correct; 「僕のいけんでインタネットは悪い点よりもっといい点があります。」 Would this phrase be correct? Or would it make more ...
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1answer
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Is the following のが a nominalizing のが?

I have the following Japanese sentence: 身につけているのが、病院で着せられる検査服のようなものだから仕方ないのかもしれないが、どう見てもここは病院なんかじゃない。 and I was wondering if the bolded のが nominalizes the 身につけている before it, as Darius says that ...
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208 views

Sentence order: Where to put もう

This is the sentential question I found in Sou Matome : 母親「さあ、もうねなさい。」 こども「この_ _ * _ ちょっとまって。」 A. おわる、B. もう、C. ゲームが、D.まで I answered: ゲームがもう終わるまでちょっとまって。 but the answer is : ...
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1answer
375 views

Importance of からだ in this sentence

I found this sentence in Nihongo Sō-Matome: A: また太っちゃった。。 B: あまいものばかり食べているからだよ。 Based on my understanding: A: (you're) fat again... B: I only eat nothing but sweets. I do not know why ...
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Correct translation of sentence with できていません [duplicate]

I am confused with the use of できていません in sentence : 明日の宿題のレポートがまだ1枚もできていません When I checked the dictionary it shows that できる means CAN(DO)/ BE ABLE TO while ている is for present progressive so I ...
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1answer
90 views

Interpreting Japanese sentences from right to left or left to right

Are Japanese sentences (horizontal) to be read/interpreted from left to right or right to left? For e.g: the word "Inshoku" when read from left to right, means Drink and food, but the translation ...
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1answer
142 views

Order of complements in phrase

To say for instance 'a 30-year-old female Japanese doctor', is there a rule as to the order of complements? 日本(人?)の30歳の女の医者 医者の30歳の女の日本人 Are all orders created equal? Are some allowed and ...
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99 views

What is the reason leading to the difference in tense used for affirmative and negative statements in the construction V~ほうがいい

In the construction of a suggestion statement with V~ほうがいい, the past (perfect) tense is used for the affirmative (according to this and this, the present tense can also be used for general advice), ...
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1answer
80 views

Understanding grammar and translation of 入出国 in followng sentence

すでに入出国の記録も抹消するよう、 手配してあります。 I know that verbs, nouns, and adjectives can qualify nouns in Japanese via qualifying phrases, and I'm assuming that's what's going on with '入出国'. Broken down, the ...
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1answer
70 views

Can you separate clauses using ついて/ use a clause ending with ついて as an entire subject/topic?

Here's the sentence I've composed. すしを買うことについて、母を尋ねる。 The meaning I intend is something like, "I'll ask my mom about buying sushi," like I'm telling my friend I'll be asking her for permission to do ...
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1answer
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Do I have a good grasp on the basics of what the continuative form is?

I'm doing some research as to what continuative forms are, due to naruto's previous answer to a earlier question of mine. To make sure I understand correctly; roughly; the "continuative form" is what ...
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1answer
142 views

What is the meaning of 七五三 in the sentence, 七五三のしゃしんです。

I was looking at the following sentence under a picture that I unfortunately cannot provide: 七五三のしゃしんです。 I believe the sentence reads "It's a picture of 753"... which doesn't make sense. I know ...
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2answers
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How can 若い時 and ずっと work in this sentence?

I'm trying to write "I have wanted to study Japanese from a young age" And I have "若い時に私は日本語をずっと勉強したいです." Does this work? How can I make it more correct?
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Grammar and use of すればしただけ

I am having difficulty understanding this sentence. A comparison is being made to the effect that as the cruel feeling flowed out I washed the sea water out of the pants. But I am not sure about this. ...
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~ことがある for more than one thing

In the Genki II textbook, there is a phrase that goes like this: うめぼし,のりなどを見たことも聞いたこともありませんでした。 Now, I understand that this roughly means that "I've never seen or heard of pickled plums or nori ...
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1answer
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About the affix ごっこ

I've been wondering about the affix ごっこ when it's a prefix and when it is a suffix. There's the word ごっこ遊び, for example, that means "children's game" or "game of make-believe"; but there's also a song ...
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1answer
71 views

か after short forms

In the Genki textbook, it is said that "In the casual conversational use of short forms, question sentences do not end with the question particle か, but with rising intonation alone." Nonetheless, in ...
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1answer
102 views

I have porridge for breakfast

みなさん! I'm supposed to prepare a small speech for an oral exam I have on Monday based on the meals of the day. I'm just a bit confused as to what the correct structure would be; 私は朝ごはんにオートミールを食べます。 ...
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1answer
151 views

What is the difference between ではありません and 〜くない

I am not sure when ではありません and 〜くない are used. I was given the sentence この赤いかばんは大きいではありません (as in "this red bag is not big") and I am not sure why この赤いかばんは大きくないです was not used. Could anyone explain? ...
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1answer
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Aoi aoi morideshita - sentence structure explanation

first post here. I'm currently reading a children's books titled 'きつね森の山男'. I think it's a good starters book however, some of the structures are confusing or contrary to what I have learnt. I ...
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1answer
69 views

What's the difference between「どこかで犯人を見ましたか」and「犯人をどこかで見ましたか」?

I saw in a book the following sentence used in an example: 犯人をどこかで見ましたか Shouldn't it be「どこかで犯人を見ましたか」?
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1answer
126 views

Plain Verb followed by がよい

Recently I am reading 走れメロス, and there is a sentence pattern that I am not familiar with (Group 2). Compare the following sentence groups: Group 1 訪ねて行くのが楽しみである。 疑うのが、正当の心構えなのだと、...
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Can you slightly switch up the word order of this sentence? [duplicate]

This is what I've been taught: これ は わたし の 本 です。 = This is my book. And I was just wondering whether you can change the word order to say: この 本 は わたし の です。 ...
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2answers
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Use of 間 to talk about a span of time (and connection to the verb)

My question is rather specific, but I have wondered about it since it would actually drastically change the meaning of what I'm trying to say. Is 間 directly connected to the verb? As this question ...
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1answer
69 views

Usage of になる and こう in this sentence, sentence structure

I came across the sentence 「新聞なんか見るわけないんじゃん」それが自慢になるかのように、こう言って智子は笑った。 I would translate the sentence as: >There is no way I would read a newspaper or something< said Tomoko as if it would be ...
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2answers
146 views

What does the 'ga' at the front of 'ga hanasemasu' do?

I have just learnt that 'hanasemasu' means 'to speak' and that 'ga hanasemasu' means roughly the same. On Google Translate, 'hanasemasu' comes up as 'able to speak' and 'ga hanasemasu' comes up as 'I ...
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2answers
103 views

Nominalized verb without の or こと

I saw this: アンさんはべんきょうをおしえるひとです。 Is this a correct sentence? I got confused with おしえる人. I thought we cannot follow a verb with another noun without nominalizing it with either の or こと. Should ...
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2answers
137 views

Sentence with でできる

According to Tobira textbook (Lesson 1, grammar point 1), {で / から} できる is used to express "to be made from" when generic statements, while {で / から} できている is used to express "to be made from" when ...
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2answers
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何だこの中二心に響くサウンドは Does この refer to サウンド? How does に and an intransitive verb work?

Is この refering to サウンド or 中二心? How does に and an intransitive verb work together? My translation attempt is: What is this sound that resonates with my chuuni heart?
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1answer
191 views

JLPT sentence order section [duplicate]

I keep on trying this type of jlpt questions and I keep on failing. Do you have any recommendation on what to read or what to review? An example question that I answered wrong is : れいぞうこにくだもの__ * ...
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I do not understand らさん in this sentence

Here is the sentence:  夫は涎らさんばかりの喜びようだ。 Her husband seems so happy he is almost drooling? That is, he is ecstatically happy? What is this? らさん
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1answer
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Difference between には…がある and は…がある

I would like to know which is the difference between には...がある and は...がある to express possession. For example, which would be the difference between 彼には友人をつくる才能がある。 and 彼は友人をつくる才能がある。 Or between ...
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3answers
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Expected sentence in article to use を but が is used instead

I'm reading this article and I have come across this sentence and I'm wondering why が is used instead of を. What's the reason am I missing here? 11日、豊洲市場がオープンして競りが始まりました。 My translation: ...
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1answer
72 views

When to use ところ / て+いるところ / た+ところ

In this sentence: 「もしもし、今、駅に向かって(_______)ところです。 あと5、6分でつきます。」 What should be the correct tense of the verb 歩く? Should I base my answer on the word 今 or the てform of 向かう? If there is 今 does that ...
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1answer
105 views

ながら sentence sample clarification

Sample sentences from A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar page 270: A: ちょっと話がしたいんですが。 B: じゃ、コーヒーを飲みながら話しましょう。 C: じゃ、話しながらコーヒーを飲みましょう。 It states that B is an acceptable response to A ...
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235 views

といったら vs. とは - subtle differences?

Question from my JLPT N1 text book: 佐藤さんのセンスの良さ______...。本当に感心します。(fill in the blank) I have a choice of というと、とは、and といったら。 といったら is correct but I can't fathom how とは is not an option as the text says ...
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1answer
141 views

Word Order: 国で日本語を2カ月勉強しました vs 国で2カ月日本語を勉強しました [duplicate]

Question. What is the diff between A. 国で日本語を2カ月勉強しました。 B. 国で2カ月日本語を勉強しました。 On minna no nihongo B. is used but why not A? Why is the 2カ月 not before verb? What are the rules?
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163 views

Sentence Structure JLPT question 「日本語がかんたんな本」

Please help. I found this question on the N5 practice exam: ヤン 「私はこの本を買います。アンナさんはどんな本がいいですか。」 アンナ 「 私はもうすこし ( _ _ ☆ _) がいいです。」 A. 本 B. かんたんな C. が D. 日本語 Please explain why ...
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1answer
78 views

Assistance with translation in some lyrics

寄せかえる波を見ていた 母の遠いまなざし I'm used to sentences ending in a verb so I assume it could be translated as "Was watching the waves surge back". My mother's distant gaze." as separate phrases. Am I right to ...
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1answer
99 views

Question about the phrase 心配いりません

I came across the phrase 心配いりません and from what I understand it means "Dont worry". It is formed by using the する-verb 心配 (worry) and いる (to be needed). What I don't understand is why there is no ...
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1answer
153 views

Use of 予定 at the end of sentence [duplicate]

I'm currently reading this article Which has the following sentence: インドで人気がある小さい炊飯器を輸出する予定です。 My translation: There is a plan to export small rice cookers, which have become popular in India....
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1answer
310 views

(伊曾保物語) 鼠と猫の事 comprehension problem “只、人は、愚にして、他人にぬかれたるにしくはなし”

I am having trouble parsing/understanding/translating a sentence in the last section of the fable "the mice and the cat" (鼠と猫の事) from the 仮名草子 伊曾保物語 (Aesop's fables). Here is the paragraph in question;...
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2answers
315 views

What does 弟は友だちの大きいくるまで学校に行きます properly translate to?

I was asked to translate the following sentence: 弟は友だちの大きいくるまで学校に行きます。 I first split it up (in my head) so it looks easier to read, whilst recognising the particles. 弟は 友だちの 大きい くるまで ...