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Questions tagged [syntax]

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

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Help to understand a sentence: どのように and か

I am having trouble to understand this sentence. Why is どのように here? I looked it up on some dictionaries, but I couldn't get it. I have the same problem with か. Why are those words in the sentence ...
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~たらいい、~といい, hope, temporal syntax and over-literal readings

So I have two problems that are difficult to explain about the ~たらいい and ~といい pattern, the first problem is as follows: I have been reading Susumu Kuno's “The Structure of the Japanese Language”, a ...
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Why is に used here and are there any possible replacements for it here?

彼は生徒に人気がある I have done a quick search and I have found in cases where 人気のある and 人気がある are used that に marks who something is popular with most of the time. Why is に used here and could we use some ...
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Needing quick help with grammar! Is this the correct way to phrase it? Does this sentence make sense?

Would 佑里子は私にを教えてくれました mean "Yuriko taught me"? Am I saying it correctly and using correct grammar? Otherwise, how would it be best to say "Yuriko taught me. She's a good teacher" Would it make sense ...
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181 views

What is the purpose of も here?

Here is a line from a story: でもまぁ結局この着物も、隣を歩く美咲が恥ずかしくねぇように、ってことだろ? I'm quite familiar with the use of the も particle, but I am puzzled by what it's doing in this line. If I break it down: でもまぁ - ...
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Strangely-Ordered Sentences vs. Attributive Phrases

So actually rather often in Japanese music, I see phrases like this: 汚れきった言葉を with some sort of verb modifying the noun, and with the noun having the direct object particle, but no verb. I always ...
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73 views

What does this correction mean?

So I wrote this sentence: エルヤはほんと上手戦士です、彼女は矢印を半分に切れます! But it got corrected to this sentence: エルヤはほんとうに凄腕の戦士で、彼女は矢を真っ二つに切れます! I'm pretty sure that the first half of my original sentence is ...
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157 views

Usage of ようとしない

Why <開こうとしない> can't be used in the second option? Is it so because the cap is inanimate object?
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How to say “There is (A) in (B)(Location).”

How do you say that there is a thing (e.g.: Restaurant ) in a certain place (e.g.: My town)? Is there a formula for this? If someone were to ask me if there was a restaurant in my city they would say ...
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110 views

Can 方 be taken out of some sentences without changing the meaning?

I've often found 方 to be quite abstract sometimes, and I've been thinking about it more when I saw this: ……杉山さんって、こういう感じの方なんですね…… To me it looks like the sentence would mean exactly the same thing ...
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377 views

は、が、を、に and information structure of Japanese Question

I read 日本語の助詞(情報構造) and from what I understand it says: What comes before は is old information and after it it's new information. (This makes sense to me). What comes before が is new information (...
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Word order and emphasis with たくさん

Genki (second edition) gives the following example sentences using たくさん, but doesn't explain any distinction regarding word order: 私は京都で {写真をたくさん / たくさん写真を} 撮りました。 I took many pictures in Kyoto. and ...
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119 views

Asking a group of people about something

I want to know if this is even near to being correct. Basically I'm making a question to people who like pizza despite not knowing much about it. (You can replace pizza with anything) あまり知らない人、 ...
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Meaning of いい具合に in this sentence

はーあほらし  なんかイイ具合に緊張したのにさ  まったく俺らなんで付き合い続いてんだろうな  正反対なのに (since it's from a manga, I put spaces to indicate separated balloons) Context: two friends have just had a discussion (as they often do) ...
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Function of であって

Is であって a -て form of the copula である and used for chaining, or it has a special meaning in the following examples? どこの出身{しゅっしん}であっても問題{もんだい}ではない。It doesn't matter where he is from. 私{わたし}は彼女{...
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What does と after volitional form mean?

What does と right after 乗り込もう mean in the following sentence? 一人で原始林へ乗り込もうとは君はなんて勇ましいんだ。
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Breaking down だと感じる

In the sentence: 日本人がアメリカを旅行して面倒だと感じることの一つは、チップの習慣である。 I understand that it means something along the lines of "One of the troubling experiences of Japanese people who travel to america is the ...
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The sentence structure of 内容を必ず確認のうえ

内容を必ず確認のうえ、平成29年度の申告書を作成してくだ さい。 I noticed that 内容を必ず確認のうえ is used quite frequently in banks' websites and financial documents, like in the above example. It must be something simple and well ...
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A how + adjective question

Does anyone know how to setup a question that uses "how + adjective." Like in this context: Do you know how loud you were?
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Can a contrast be implied without using けど for example?

Recently I've come across this sentence in a book: 貴様……面倒すぎて若干自棄になっておらぬか……? If I've translated this correctly, then I believe it means something like: You……are too troubled (but) have not become ...
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“As in” in japanese

Just a quick question here, but somehow hard to find: How could I say "as in" in japanese ? For example : I learned the kanji 「評」as in 「評論」today. Here is my attempt, sorry for the lousy japanase ...
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Parsing 彼には映画監督になるという夢があります

My best guess is "His dream is to become a movie director," but I'm not sure what "になるという" means when put together like that. I know that "になる" means something like "becomes," and "という" means ...
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Usage of 「V+見込みです」

I want to understand the usage for ’V+見込みです’。I want to say something is expected to get delayed, so which is better 「~が遅れる見込みです」or 「~が遅れてしまう見込みです」.I have added しまうfor an expression of disappointment, ...
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282 views

Some congratulations phrases for birthday?

Hi I want to write a congrats message to my Japanese friend and I want to tell him this: Happy birthday I wish you so many more wonderful experiences and have a lot of fun this day ...
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92 views

I could not understand this sentence entirely

I know the translation of the sentence, but I don't understand some structures. Is もし from a verb? And what does いくら mean here? 車を運転する時はいくら注意してもしすぎることはない。
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What is な role here?

I cannot get what な means in the following sentence. 彼女はそれがいくらなのかわかります。 Couldn't it be written 彼女はそれがいくらのか分かります?
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What does ていた mean?

I could not understand ていた right after 晴れ in the sentence below. 海岸に行った時、とてもよく晴れていたんです。
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で role in 他言無用でお願いします

で is a hard particle for me because I see a strange use of it that I don't understand. For example, I bump up in this sentence 他言無用{たごんむよう}でお願いします I know that で is used to indicate an action ...
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Rules for 「みたいな感じ」(なっていってるみたいな感じ?)

Was about to tweet something like this: ジェイクさんは野村君にとってどんどん指導者みたいになっていってるみたいな感じだね。 "It feels like Jake is gradually becoming more and more like a mentor to Nomura, doesn't it?" ...but a cursory ...
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Studying Japanese is difficult, but fun

I want to say: Studying Japanese is difficult, but fun. I've come up with: 勉強は日本語むずかし、でも楽しい。 Google Translate seems to like it ok, but is this the correct structure? Seems like it could be a ...
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378 views

How to describe a way of something?

I know that when you attach ~方 (kata) to something (like a verb or noun), it means the way of... But how would you describe the way of something? For example, if I wanted to say that "there are many ...
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235 views

Meaning of 乗ったほうがいい

I couldn't understand 乗ったほう, I would like an explanation about this construction. このバスに乗ったほうがいいですよ。
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Writing a story in Japanese: how to handle dialogue

I'm an elementary Japanese student. I am trying to write a simple story in Japanese, and I want to make it as interesting as possible with my current knowledge of the language. I am concerned about ...
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Can someone help me with this sentence?

I have this sentence from tangorin. It an example sentence from sabishii: 彼女は彼が寂しく思い忘れられてしまうのではないかと思ったのです The translation is: She thought he might be feeling lonely and forgotten. I don't ...
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143 views

Restructuring a long sentence when translating

So I am currently trying to translate a sentence from japanese to english, but it's quite long and I'm having issues on how to optimally put it, without it being too messy or without losing too much ...
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About the Meaning of 〜ことに〜

I recently studied the grammar point of 〜ことに〜, as in 「あきれたことに、彼の禁煙は1日だけだった。」, however I'm not quite confident with it's meaning. I'm having no trouble with the meaning of the sentence it self but ...
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「~もの、それは…」 Atypical sentence structure?

In this paragraph: 今から約20年前、携帯電話は日本ではほとんど普及していなかった。当時小学生だった私が、憧れていたもの、それは携帯電話ではなく、ポケットベルだった。 Does this paragraph look natural for a native to write? What does もの mean in 憧れていたもの? Is it talking ...
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How do I express “I slept in a tent” in Japanese?

How do you say: I slept in a tent on/at the campsite. I've been trying to make sense with it for a while now and I just can't make it work. I think I know the vocabulary needed: 寝ました, テント, ...
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183 views

what does きにするようにして mean?

A friend wrote me: 余計 ありがと、 きにするようにして I know first part is "Thank you so so much" second part I understand the parts, but I can't put it together into a decent meaning. きにする is to worry or care about ...
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What is ある role here?

I don't understand why ある is in this sentence: 彼らは無事に、昨日ある島に上陸した。
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Why is もの in this sentence?

What's its role in the sentence below? クラスのもの皆が彼の冗談に笑った。
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126 views

sentence-final -て

I'm currently using Genki (Intermediate), and I've seen a couple of times now sentences ending with -て, while I've learned to view this sort of as a conjunction, like "and". Here are two examples: ...
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What's the difference between 日本人の学生 and 日本の学生 ?

I am beginner to Japanese language. I am using Genki as textbook. I came across this sentence in one of the exercises: あなたの学校に日本人の学生がいますか。 Why is it 日本人の学生 here and not 日本の学生 ? Wouldn't 日本の学生 (...
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141 views

入り and 付き in these sentences

I saw some sentences like this, but I couldn't understand them. What do they mean? 砂糖入りのお茶。 胡椒付きのサラダ。
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What does してばかりいる mean?

I cannot get 干渉してばかりいる in the sentence below: 私の父はいつも私の私的な生活に干渉してばかりいる。
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breaking down [そのほかどういう時に何と言ったらよいかが決まっていて]

This last sentence from my textbook puzzles me. No matter how I break it down i can't understand it. そのほかどういう時に何と言ったらよいかが決まっていて、[???] それを覚えるのが、大事な社会教育だと言ってもよいだろう。[You could say that memorizing that ...
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565 views

Regarding 何と言うか、というのがある

regarding this bit, 日本人がアメリカ人によく聞かれて困る質問の一つに、”How are you?" は日本語で何と言うか、というのがある I'm guessing the meaning is something along the lines of "One of the troubling questions that Japanese are asked often ...
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131 views

In the interrogative お元気ですか, how does the meaning change if the か is removed?

I've just started learning Japanese, and I've been told that the か at the end of a sentence is playing the role of a question mark (at least in formal Japanese). How does the sentence change if the か ...
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1answer
196 views

Connecting Sino-Japanese verbs

As a rule the Japanese verbs are connected by ~たり pattern. For example: 出社【しゅっしゃ】したり退社【たいしゃ】したりする。 But is it grammatically correct, when I connect these two verbs by 及び【および】? For example: ...
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47 views

Doubt about syntax [duplicate]

コートを着なければいけません。 I'm not sure about the meaning of this sentence. Would it be something like "If you don't wear a coat, you're not going"?