Questions tagged [usage]

用法・使い方. How to use certain words, phrases, particles, endings, constructions, and their variants.

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52
votes
4answers
19k views

What is the meaning of ~んです/~のだ/etc?

This sentence ending has started to creep up more and more in my current Japanese classes, and I'm still a bit unsure what all it can mean, how to use it, or even when I should think to use it. My ...
25
votes
2answers
2k views

Making sense of transitive usage of 行く and 来る - 「を行く」 and 「を来る」

I think it's known that some intransitive verbs can take を particle and be used as transitive verbs such as for example 「私のことを分かってくれない」. While using 分かる transitively would require specific scenarios ...
121
votes
1answer
47k views

What is the difference between the nominalizers こと and の?

As Derek mentioned in his postscript, both こと and の are nominalizers that can turn a verb into a noun. ピアノを弾く【ひく】。 I play the piano. ピアノを弾く【ひく】のが好き【すき】です。 I like playing the piano. ピアノを弾く【ひく】ことが好き【すき】...
24
votes
1answer
5k views

What is the meaning of りゃ in this phrase?

I came across this phrase while reading an interview. そういう時はなんて答えりゃいいんだ。 I think it means "At a time like that, such a reply/response is good." But I don't understand the usage of りゃ. I couldn't ...
63
votes
8answers
24k views

Particles: に vs. で

I have progressed pretty far in Japanese, but when I construct Japanese sentences, I still get these two particles mixed up. For example, when talking about being inside something, I don't know when ...
33
votes
3answers
31k views

The many ways to say “and” in Japanese

In English, we just have one word for the conjunction and which works just fine for many categories, but in Japanese, there are separate words: と joins nouns together in a closed list や joins nouns ...
26
votes
2answers
1k views

Can we optionally include (or exclude) an を particle in between the noun of the する-verb and the する itself?

When we have a する verb (e.g. 支{し}度{たく}する、案{あん}内{ない}する、心{しん}配{ぱい}する), is it true that we could optionally insert an を particle in between the noun and the する? Because in the example sentences here and ...
102
votes
10answers
13k views

How should I choose between [知]{し}る and わかる?

Both 知る and わかる get used for "know", "understand", "learn", "find out", and various other concepts. How do you know which to use when? Are there any rules to help you decide? Additionally, both of ...
6
votes
2answers
407 views

Usage of も in a Specific Context

Heard this in an anime recently, and I was unsure why the particle was used. Context: a guy has invited his girlfriend over to study, and the girlfriend finds a dirty magazine. The following exchange ...
22
votes
3answers
32k views

Differences between くれます, もらいます and いただきます

I have been taught that they are used when receiving something (or a favor) from someone. But how exactly do they differ? I've searched the web for an answer and One site suggests that くれます is ...
21
votes
3answers
4k views

When describing time span, are 間 {あいだ} and 内 {うち} interchangeable?

Both 間 {あいだ} and 内 {うち} can be used to describe time span relative to specific situations, similar to "while" in English. But are they interchangeable all the time? Are there any scenarios ...
23
votes
3answers
3k views

Confusion about “Seemingly not ~”

So there are several ways to express something is "seemingly not ~": ~なさそう ~そうにない ~そうもない ~そうにもない (is this one even real?) I was always taught ~なさそう in my Japanese classes, and it was ...
32
votes
5answers
5k views

Pluralization in Japanese: usage of -たち and -ら

I know that -たち and -ら pluralize the nouns they come after (or indicate a group that the noun is part of), but most of the time the plural in Japanese is implicit. When is it appropriate or necessary ...
2
votes
2answers
659 views

How is と used in these sentences?

I have some sentences that involve the usage of と that I still don't understand: 1. This is from another user's post 私はあなたがいつも忙しいと分かっています。 2. My previous question いつもと変えてたまに外で食事しよう。 At the very ...
27
votes
3answers
24k views

Usage of ~じゃん (~じゃない)

I'd like to know if I can put ~じゃん at the end of every adjective, if there are any exceptions to that usage, and if it's different from ~じゃない. Adj (na) + じゃん 便利じゃん 便利だったじゃん 便利じゃないじゃん ...
20
votes
1answer
3k views

“slightly/somewhat” の 「~[目]{め}」: Usage and limitations

I'm somewhat confused about the usage and limitations of the ~め suffix that means "somewhat/slightly". I've only ever heard it on a handful of words: 大きめ 小さ目 多め 少な目 早め and maybe a ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

<動詞の辞書形> + がよい ― How is this allowed?

I've come across this form many times in my Japanese Bible. The meaning is quite obvious based on context, and seems to be one of the following: ~べきです, ~ほうがいい, ~なさい, or ~ように (let it be ~). Here are ...
25
votes
2answers
11k views

Does the particle “を” (wo) have a special use when at the end of a sentence?

I thought the character "を" (wo) was only used for the particle whose only job was to indicate the direct object of a verb. But today I saw it at the end of an exclamation on a sign I think on a shop:...
16
votes
2answers
643 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?
10
votes
1answer
612 views

In Japanese, can we say an object asks a question?

I was just wondering, because in English we can say "This story begs the question" etc. The wording for English is very versatile, and I was wondering if Japanese has this as well, for example in this ...
7
votes
1answer
300 views

Function of と when used with 続く

I don't understand the function of と when used with と続きます From this sentence in my textbook: 世界で一番インスタントラーメンをたくさん食べる国は中国で451.7億食、その次はインドネシアの137.0億食、日本の51.0億食、アメリカの43.2億食、ベトナムの39.1億食、韓国の33....
27
votes
1answer
5k views

What does っつの mean?

I recently saw 冗談だっつの. What does it っつの mean, or how does it modify the meaning of a sentence?
10
votes
1answer
582 views

How interchangeable are の/である/なる/たる when qualifying nouns?

So we know that we can qualify/equate two things with a の. 友達のジョン → My friend John 先生の山田さん → A/My teacher Ms. Yamada 勝利者の亀さん → The winner: the turtle (as opposed to the hare) It seems ...
4
votes
1answer
4k views

上手ではありません or 上手じゃありません

I've read somewhere that to say you are not good at something say for example Japanese language, you use: 日本語は上手ではありません but can I also use: 日本語は上手じゃありません Is there anything wrong with this? ...
17
votes
1answer
2k views

ねば in 食べねば; relation between ねば and なければ

I would like to know a bit more about the "ねば" grammatical construction. Every now and then, I hear people say sentences like 東京に行かねばならぬ 粘々丼を食べねば倒れる なんとかせねばいい It's quite clear that ねば ...
12
votes
1answer
3k views

と、て、って Quoting Particle Usage

と、て、って What's the difference between these three quoting particles? Is there any grammatical difference, or are they just casual/formal variations of one another? 田中さんは行きましょうと言った 田中さんは行きましょうて言った ...
18
votes
1answer
2k views

When the agent takes を in the causative form

I've seen a few sets of terminology when referring to the causative form, so for the basic case, I will use the following: instigator が agent に 〇〇 を v-させる。 In its most basic, text-book form, we have ...
14
votes
1answer
797 views

How do 自他 triplets of related verbs work?

I thought this had been asked before (possibly by me), but I couldn't find it. I'm wondering why for certain verbs/words, instead of just a 自他 pair, there is a triplet (or possibly more) where two of ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there a difference between 赤{あか} and 赤色{あかいろ}?

While studying Japanese I've met some problems with distinguishing some vocabulary. For example we have: 赤{あか} = Red (color) 赤{あか}い = Red (adjective) But what about 赤色{あかいろ}? Is there a ...
10
votes
2answers
4k views

Can you use the polite form ます with ので?

I was recently told by someone that you cannot use the polite form ~ます and ので; that is, ので must be used with the plain form. (Specifically, he was saying that 「勉強していますので」 was wrong, and had to be ...
4
votes
1answer
225 views

Explanation/Usage of 瞬きしては

Could it become 瞬【まばた】いている? Why is there 瞬きする instead of 瞬く? And why is there a は at the end? Sentence from the song キラキラ星【ぼし】: きらきらひかる おそらのほしよ まばたきしては みんなをみてる きらきらひかる おそらのほしよ
72
votes
4answers
227k views

でも (demo) versus けど (kedo) to mean “but”

I learned that you can use でも (demo) at the beginning of a sentence to mean "but," and that you can use けど (kedo) at the end of a sentence to mean "though." However, I don't see a difference between ...
42
votes
4answers
44k views

What do the shapes △ ◯ ╳ ◻ mean in Japanese? And are there variations in meaning, depending on whether or not the shape is filled?

I am interested in Japanese culture and the symbolism used in Japan, specifically I'd like to know what the △ triangle, ◯ circle, ╳ cross and ◻ square mean to a Japanese person. How are those shapes ...
43
votes
3answers
4k views

How indistinguishable is blue from green really?

青 ao seems to be used very much interchangeably for both blue and green. Why is that so, and how does 緑 midori play into this?
22
votes
5answers
29k views

What is the meaning of のか and how does it differ from か?

What is the meaning of のか in the following sentences? Does it have the same meaning as のですか? 漢字はどう正しく書くのか、どう正しく読むのか、彼らは時々迷います。 参加するのか、参加しないのか、ここではっきり返事しなさい。 Also, I have found sentences of the same ...
24
votes
5answers
13k views

What is the difference between 見える【みえる】/聞こえる【きこえる】 and 見られる【みられる】/聞ける【きける】?

In Japanese, there is a potential form to express that it's possible for something to be done. My own examples of potential form: 辛【から】い食【た】べ物【もの】が食【た】べられる。 (I can eat spicy foods.) ギターが弾【ひ】ける。 (I ...
18
votes
2answers
8k views

What is the difference between なぜなら、だから、and なので?

I'm trying to get clarification on how to use these three pieces of grammar and whether or not they all hold some kind of "Because" meaning.
18
votes
3answers
9k views

Ending a sentence with さ

When is it appropriate to put さ at the end of a sentence? Do women say this also? I think I remember seeing a female character say it in an anime.
7
votes
1answer
5k views

Difference between と・や and も for lists?

I know that you use と for complete lists, and や for incomplete ones, but when would you use xもyも instead of xとy or xやy? Doesn't も usually replace は or が? Why is も used for lists at all?
23
votes
3answers
5k views

Why censor this one kanji?

I was watching an old Saturday Night Live sketch from the 1970s, called Night of the Moonies, making fun of the Unification Church by putting them in the context of the movie Night of the Living Dead. ...
18
votes
3answers
15k views

In what situation can I use ~かい (for interrogative question)?

One day, I asked my japanese friend how I could invite some friends to eat. He said "一緒に食べに行くかい?" I know that we could also say: 行きましょうか(行こうか)? 行きませんか(行かない)? 行きますか(行くの)? but I got interested ...
14
votes
4answers
3k views

Verbs + ところ / Verbs + とこ / Verbs + ばかり

I learnt: 食べるところ:about to eat. 食べているところ:in the middle of eating. 食べたところ:just ate. 食べたばかり:just ate. I would like to know if I can change ところ for とこ in spoken language. and if there is any difference ...
12
votes
2answers
458 views

How does one use the “[V ます stem] に [Vタ]” pattern (as in 待ちに待った)?

Every now and then I hear 待ちに待った, as in: 待ちに待ったライブ a long-awaited concert I started wondering if this pattern can apply to other verbs, and it certainly seems to, if Google is any indication. I ...
12
votes
1answer
6k views

Meaning and usage of やっぱり (矢っ張り)

I got "As expected" is the meaning of this word from Google Translate (is it correct?) and I guess this word is used in casual conversation (what is the polite version?). I would like to know it's ...
9
votes
3answers
4k views

Why should I use つかれました and not つかれたです

I said to a Japanese person last night, meaning to say "I'm tired": つかれたです。 She corrected me to: つかれました。 I'm curious as to why this is. I thought つかれたです was grammatically correct. Does it ...
5
votes
1answer
426 views

What is the meaning of よ in the phrase 雨よ雪に変わってくれ

Read this phrase in a blog. I think the basic meaning of the phrase 雨よ雪に変わってくれ is "The rain is changing into snow." But I don't understand the usage of よ in this case. Is it a particle? Or is it a ...
4
votes
1answer
241 views

Function of に and meaning of ものだ in this sentence

The context is : some people are acting stupidly, and someone else watching them says this : 困ったものです。こういう連中には... My first thought was to translate the sentence in the following way : That ...
4
votes
1answer
156 views

How is “と” being used in these two sentences?

I think "と" is being used differently in both of these sentences. However, I'm not entirely sure if it is being used as a particle in either one. Can you please explain to me the purpose of "と" in ...
24
votes
1answer
4k views

what is the difference between ごとに and おきに?

Both ごとに and おきに appear to mean "repeatedly at intervals". What is the difference between these two expressions?
18
votes
4answers
5k views

What is the *proper* differentiation between 来る and 行く?

In many beginning Japanese classes, 来る【くる】 and 行く【いく】 are presented as "to come" and "to go," respectively. Dictionaries generally also define them this way. However, every once in a while in more ...

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