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Questions tagged [syntax]

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

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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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65 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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155 views

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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130 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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318 views

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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118 views

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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67 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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98 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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117 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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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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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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118 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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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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67 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
118 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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66 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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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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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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137 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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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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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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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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136 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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(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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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 ...
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I need help analyzing the phrase 発音上の

I’ve been reading about sound change in Japanese and I keep coming across the phrase ‘発音上の’ as in 発音上の相違に支えられて開合の仮名遣いに区別がありました. In the above example, what purpose does ‘上’ serve? Should I read ‘...
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Article about Amazon Speaker being used for donations

I'm reading this article on how Amazon allowed their speaker to be used to donate to Japan's Red Cross. In the final sentence they get a quote from a Red Cross member, but I cannot make sense of the ...
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160 views

Are these two noun phrases attached to one noun? Also what is とは doing here?

あの手は現代とはルールのちがうコミのない時代だから好手とされたのだ (Panel this phrase comes from) (Komi is a rule in go that exists in the modern era, but did not exist in the Edo period. This kid appears to be using a style of ...
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Can somebody give me a grammatical insight into the following very short sentence? [duplicate]

何してんの? The translated meaning is "what are you doing?", but I am having difficulty understanding how the て form of する is referring to the present tense (I would have expected している here). Also, I am ...
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〜により used twice in the same sentence

Context: explanation of the Friction Stir Welding process. In the fourth sentence I don't understand why there are two 〜により. ツールの移動により接合界面同士が順次塑性流動により攪拌・一体化 What is that is causing the process? ...
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Trying to understand this use of 〜た方が

I am still stumped on understanding this one sentence: 今打った方が格段に実力はまさっています ですが、彼の打つ手に正しい手はひとつもありません (source context panels) In this case the speaker is talking about a go player who is ...
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Logical analysis of the sentence 「アメリカとの関係が悪くなったイランからの原油の輸入が減ると考える人などが多いためです」

アメリカとの関係が悪くなったイランからの原油の輸入が減ると考える人などが多いためです。 アメリカとの関係が悪くなったイラン: is a noun phrase. イラン is the head noun. イランからの原油の輸入が減る: is an independent clause. 考える人などが多いためです: refers to the previous independent ...
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The convention of including/omitting ‘no zu’ (之圖) in translations

It appears to be common, but by no means universal, for artists/publishers to include 之圖 in ukiyo-e title cartouches (sometimes ノ圖; written のづ in accompanying furigana; occasionally seen 圖 without the ...
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108 views

I do not understand why と is incorrect when trying to say “both” [duplicate]

Before I begin, this post is unrelated, despite the similar title. Here was the question: My father and mother both are English teachers. 父と母は英語の先生です。 父も母も英語の先生です。 父も母も英語先生です。 ...
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160 views

とか vs たりする what's the difference?

What's the difference between とか and たりする when listing verbs?
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155 views

What is the difference between ばんごはん and よるごはん?

I looked at two different sentences: 六時半に母とばんごはんをつくりました。(At 6:30, I made dinner with my mother.) よるごはんのあと家族とえいがをみました。(After dinner, I watched a movie with my family.) In both sentences, ...
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84 views

What particle to use in this sentence? [closed]

I want to say “I like spending lunchtimes with Sarah.” (Sarah is a fill-in name) I am absolutely clueless, because I’ve only done Japanese for a semester at school (but I plan on choosing it as a ...
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106 views

How to translate 'They made her make him give me the book'?

How to translate 'They made her make him give me the book'? Can I translate it to: Karera wa kanojo ga kare ni sono hon o watasi ni watasaseru you ni saseta. 彼らは彼女が彼にその本を私に渡させるようにさせた。
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75 views

Breaking down the clauses in “好きになってもらいたいならまず人を好きになる”

I want to confirm if I'm parsing this sentence correctly. It's probably the difficulty of not having commas to break it up. 好きになってもらいたいならまず人を好きになる Loosely, I'm translating this as "If you want ...
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116 views

what does としてもだ mean in this sentence?

千枝実に問いた限りでは、「宴」 は極めて危険で悪質な因習だ。 そういう昔話があったとして、過去には実際に私刑を行った歴史があったとしてもだ、普通はもっと無難な祭りとかに形を変えて現代に伝わっているものだろう。 What is the purpose of the だ after the the highlighted としても in the second sentence?