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Questions tagged [syntax]

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

6
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3answers
287 views

A question about the usage of なるべく

I'm currently studying on my Intermediate Japanese book and I stumbled upon the usage of なるべく, with the meaning of as ~ as possible. The book gives me two examples and with the first one there's no ...
4
votes
2answers
167 views

Meaning of 「X 一緒なら Y 一緒」

その高校とは昔から仲が悪くて学力のレベルも一緒なら評判や人気までも一緒 More context: http://i.imgur.com/EZPfSZn.jpg Is 「X 一緒なら Y 一緒」 a common structure? What is its meaning? My attempt: "Relations with that high school have always ...
3
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1answer
165 views

Trouble with a sentence

I'm having trouble with the following line from Death note (anime): Light: これはお互いが、「深まった」と了承しあう為の儀式だ! (context is that 2 characters are playing tennis to try to psychologically out do the other) ...
2
votes
2answers
686 views

Is There a Good Guide to Thinking in Japanese? [closed]

One of the struggles of learning a new language is learning to think in that language. For example, when someone asks me "where did I you go?" I translate the answer in my head to: Speaking of me, ...
2
votes
0answers
29 views

Can the topic は be ordered after other words or phrases? [duplicate]

Consider the English sentence "I ate an apple in the train.". This can be translated to わたしは でんしゃで りんごを たべました。 It is possible to re-order the location and objects in this sentence. For instance, ...
1
vote
2answers
222 views

I can't look anywhere (どこでも見ちゃだめです)?

What's the most natural way of saying "I can't look anywhere (without getting embarrassed)" Both polite and casual? どこでも見ちゃだめだ (casual?) どこでも見ちゃだめです どこでも見てはだめ どこでも見てはいけない (polite?)
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3answers
455 views

What does ずっと前から mean?

I couldn't understand this structure, so I would like an explanation for this and a translation 日本語をずっと前から勉強してきて、結局はやめた。
3
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1answer
131 views

How is ~ように used/linked in this sentence?

In このボクのように完ペキな仙人仕様にはまだ成れなかったんだよ彼も! I thought that it meant "Just like me, not even he could attain the perfect sage method!" However the official translation is "He couldn't become the perfect sage ...
3
votes
3answers
497 views

What does 何か食べ物 mean?

彼女は何か食べ物が欲しいです。 この犬は何か飲み物が欲しいです。 彼は何か読み物が欲しいです。 I didn't understand this structure, could you write some translations and explain me them?
3
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2answers
2k views

How to say that you saw something with a verb?

I know how to say "I saw a cat" 「猫を見た」. However once a verb get's involved I'm not so sure anymore. I have two ideas on how to say it. The sentences is suppose to read "I saw someone being in that ...
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2answers
374 views

How to say “go wrong?”

If one wanted to say "go wrong" like in the sentence "anything that could go wrong will go wrong", how do they say it.
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2answers
194 views

I couldn't understand this structure 住んでいた時

私はローマに住んでいた時に子供でした。 I didn't understand "住んでいた時". I would like a explanation about this structure and a translation.
1
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1answer
96 views

Who is receiving what in this sentence with に対し?

Context: property division between a couple that is divorcing. (Whole document is here: https://goo.gl/yVYQe7) 甲は乙に対し,本日,離婚による財産分与として,下記物件目録記載の不動産の甲の持分全部を分与することとし,本日付財産分与を原因とする甲持分全部移転登記手続をする。 In ...
3
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1answer
99 views

てもいい + a counter?

I still can't get my head around how I am supposed to place the counters. According to my textbook (which of course may have oversimplified some things), there are two possibilities: counter + の + ...
4
votes
3answers
348 views

Emphasizing parts of sentence with 大抵 (たいてい, usually)

Consider this sentence: 私は大抵朝にコーヒーを飲みます。 Usually, I drink coffee in the morning. I am trying to understand how to use emphasis with this construct. In English, this statement seems open-ended, if ...
0
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1answer
105 views

泳いでから and 食べてから

I couldn't understand the following sentences: 泳いでから昼ご飯を食べます。 食べてからサッカーをします。 Could you explain me them?
3
votes
2answers
402 views

「X 程度なら、いっそ Y」 sentence meaning

Could you help me get the meaning of this sentence? In particular I don't get the meaning of the second part. Context: a swordsman is forced to fight to a common person by his enemies, but he doesn't ...
7
votes
2answers
275 views

「が」vs「の」 with possessives

I know that the normal possessive form is usually formed subject+「の」+object. Though, in one instance, I found が being used in 天は我が物. I know that 「が」 can be used to express possession, though is there ...
1
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2answers
532 views

Does ので have the same meaning as のに in this sentence?

Judging from the context, it seems to me that ので in the following sentence means "in order to", similar to のに, and not "because of". Can this be possible? 過激派トップとされているが、実は本人はそのつもりはなく、...
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1answer
170 views

What does 「かかと」 mean?

Here's my sentence. It's describing an attack. 強力なかかと落してで周囲を攻撃する I know what everything else means but does anyone know what 「かかと」 means? I've never seen it before.
5
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1answer
230 views

“Now that [a certain criterion] is in place” in Japanese

In English you can say things like Now that an X is here we can discuss Y with the implication being that X is a criterion that must be in place to continue. A similar structure can be used to ...
2
votes
2answers
111 views

How do you (not using keigo) thank someone for giving you permission to do something?

For example, if someone allows me to use their computer, I may say: パソコンを使わせていただいてありがとうございます。 (if that is incorrect, let me know!). But in normal speech, how would you say it? I.e in every day ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

What is 'called' in Japanese?

Is it 言う{いう}? Example sentence: My city is called [__]. How should I construct this sentence? Can I simply say:  私の町は[__]です。
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votes
2answers
469 views

Particles after time expressions like “三週間”

I am a beginner in Japanese so I was trying to write some simple sentences to practice my vocabulary and grammar. I wanted to write the sentence: My friend is in Japan for three weeks. as: ...
2
votes
2answers
195 views

Double negative in sentence “一人くらいは来てくれるんじゃないかな…”

I was wondering about the translation of this sentence: (一人くらいは来てくれるんじゃないかな...) What I see is a double negative and a question. Does someone know if the double negative and question are used to save ...
3
votes
2answers
349 views

で言うsyntax in context

最近は「アイデンティティ」とか「コンプライアンス」などのことばも使われている。日本語でうまく言えないから、使われるのかもしれない。しかし、日本語で言えるのに、外来語を使うのは問題だ。例えば、よく「ポリシー」と言う人がいるが、「考え方」とか「やり方」と言ったほうがずっと正確でわかりやすい場合が多い。 I know that 日本語で言える means something along "...you ...
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1answer
1k views

How to say “better+verb”

If one wanted to say >subject+better+verb, how would you say that. Would ほうがいい work?
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3answers
530 views

Questions about counters

My first question is, are counters always required when counting things? Can't I just slap a number in front of the noun? For example,「いちりんご」for 1 apple? Secondly, in Lesson 5 of the Japanese For ...
2
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1answer
78 views

Usage of word white in context and alone

Could anyone explain the difference in the meaning of word white written using following kanji or Kana? 白い, しろ, しろい. Thanks!
2
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1answer
112 views

Difference between かわいいのは私です and かわいいの私です?

Can someone check and explain the difference, along with literal translations, between these two sentences for me? かわいいのは私です and かわいいの私です. I got the former as an answer to one of my questions and ...
2
votes
1answer
296 views

Modifying nouns (how to know if a modified noun is the object or the subject?)

晩ご飯を食べなかったボブは、映画で見た銀行に行った。 Bangohan o tabenakatta bobu wa, eiga de mita ginkou ni itta. This means "Bob, who didn't eat dinner, went to the bank HE saw at the movie." What if I want to say "Bob, ...
2
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1answer
56 views

How to modify nouns which are present affirmative?

If I want to say "Tanaka, who is a doctor, drinks cola". Is "Isha da Tanaka wa koora o nomu" the correct saying or not?
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2answers
107 views

How can 関係 be used when there is only one subject?

In my textbook there is a clause that I don't really understand: なぜ占い好きと関係があるというと、、、 So my understanding takes me this far: It's a question asking why 占い好き something It's asking why something about ...
3
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1answer
161 views

Can I replace X with an adjective in 「XはYです」?

I have been learning Japanese for a month now, using various online sources and the Genki I textbook. In the textbook, lesson 1 introduces the 「XはYです」sentence structure and although I'm way past this ...
2
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2answers
116 views

Despite reading articles online I'm still confused on sentence format using は or の

So I am currently learning through the Genki textbooks and I'm starting to use は and の. I understand their general ideas は is used to clarify the subject and の is used to signify possession but I ran ...
3
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1answer
144 views

Is this sentence correct? courtesy/honorific use of the passive

総理大臣【そうりだいじん】はヨーロッパを訪問【ほうもん】されたくさんの国々の大統領【だいとうりょう】に会われた。 "The prime minister visited Europe and met the presidents of various countries". され is as this to link the phrase right? Why use "を" as if ...
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1answer
53 views

Questions about double particles 「は」in a same sentence and using comma

Here is the full sentence. 負けず嫌いで、しかも勇敢な矢吹丈は、ナイフで刺すとか拳銃で撃つといった、卑怯なリヴェンジは何も考えませんでした。 I guess that the first one would be the actual subject marker and the whole sentence would roughly be translated ...
0
votes
1answer
294 views

How can I express a “person has a desire to do something”?

Sometimes I want to tell expressions like: Mrs. Honda wants to swim in the sea. All I have in my Japanese notes is: 私はケータイがほしいです。(Syntax used for expressing my personal desires for an object) ...
4
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2answers
546 views

Understanding this sentence: 心配で心配で

I was playing Fire Emblem yesterday and this came up: Some context: Odin is Leon's retainer, but they have been sent on separate missions, hence the worry of the retainer towards its lord. I simply ...
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3answers
864 views

Don't understand the structure of 「夕方アパートの山田さん宅の玄関で」

I've just stumbled upon a phrase: 「夕方【ゆうがた】 アパートの山田【やまだ】さん宅【たく】の玄関【げんかん】で」 If I understand it correctly, the meaning is: In the evening, at the front door of Yamada's apartment. What I don't ...
0
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1answer
106 views

Two ways to say the same sentence: which is correct?

I chanced upon a Facebook advertisement of an airline with the following sentence. 香港国際空港にあるキャセイパシフィック航空の「ザ・ピア」ビジネスクラスラウンジ。 I understand what it is trying to say. However, I was wondering what if I ...
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2answers
120 views

やましたせんせいはこどもでしたか

hm.. does this mean "did he have children?" or "was he a child?" both seem irrelevant to the context of the book I'm learning from :/
3
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1answer
99 views

What does this と do here?

I suspect this question to be very simple but nevertheless, I don't understand why と is used here (in particular why not が or の (with the meaning of が)?) 交通事情により、表示の時刻と前後することがあります。
4
votes
1answer
142 views

multiple たとえ even if (in a compound sentense)

たとえ夏にあなたにあえなくても、たとえいっしょに旅しなくても、まだもっと待ってるよ。 The question is how to link two "even if's" in a compound sentence, as in the example above. Perhaps, You don't need two たとえ and if you only conjugate the て,...
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1answer
127 views

Phrasing with two clauses & how to say 'is'?

I am attempting to phrase 'I apologise/I'm sorry if my Japanese is impolite.' I have never phrased a sentence with two clauses before. Looking at the sentence as a whole, and using SOV, the subject ...
1
vote
1answer
146 views

Explaining the phrase なかなか片{かた}付{づ}かない

なかなか片{かた}付{づ}かない means "hard to clean up". My question is ~か~ part in this sentence. The verb is 片付ける, but what 片付か is doing here?
2
votes
1answer
99 views

Would both of these sentences be correct?

Would both of these sentences be correct? Do they both have the same meaning? たくやの後ろに彰が座っています。Akira is sitting behind Takuya. 彰はたくやの後ろに座っています。Akira is sitting behind Takuya.
2
votes
2answers
216 views

relative clause with Causative-Passive Verb

In this grammatical construction: X (doer)-は/が + Y (place)-で\に + Z (causer)-に + W (direct object)-を + Causative-Passive Verb (transitive verb) What particles are used if the following relative ...
4
votes
4answers
301 views

Is this sentence structured correctly?

こんにちは! I'm new to this site and Japanese language. I haven't learnt the entire Hiragana alphabet yet and don't know any Katakana. I'm trying my best to stay away from Romaji, so please be aware that I ...
6
votes
2answers
714 views

Understanding why に particle means “because” in this sentence

I am struggling to understand the syntax of this sentence that I found in a grammar book. あまりの言葉にあきれてものが言えませんでした。 I could not say anything because of the outrageously unkind words. I read it as ...