Questions tagged [word-order]

語順. Japanese word order can be very flexible. According to some theories, there is usually an "unmarked" word order, and other orders are achieved by "scrambling" the constituents into different positions.

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でも and other particles: conjunction, exclusion, and word order

I am not sure this has been asked here before. What I'm curious about is what particles get replaced by でも in its hedging usage ("or something") and what can occur alongside it and in what ...
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Can 幸い take a quotative phrase marked with と? [duplicate]

ここにいたとはあなたは幸いでした。 It was fortunate that you were here. (given translation) This sentence looks like gibberish to me. If it is indeed good Japanese could you please explain what とは is doing, and the ...
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Word order for "Why do all German words sound the same?"

"Why do all German words sound the same?" What is the correct word order to say that? なぜドイツ語の単語はすべて同じに聞こえるのか? [Naze doitsugo no tango wa subete onaji ni kikoeru nodesu ka?] ...
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柴門を雇うなんてチーム, 柴門なんてを雇うチーム, 柴門を雇うチームなんて

津田監督に逆らって柴門を雇うなんてチームはどこにもいませんよ。 The placement of なんて feels most unlikely to me. I would expect 津田監督に逆らって柴門なんてを雇うチームはどこにもいませんよ。 or 津田監督に逆らって柴門を雇うチームなんてはどこにもいませんよ。 I have always been hesitant about ...
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What is the Order of Operations for translating sentences which have both passive form and relative clauses?

The bolded sentence in the following excerpt contains the passive form of a verb which is also being used in a relative clause. Should I translate the verb as a relative clause first, then transcribe ...
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Can I say パソコンを買いに秋葉原へ行った?

秋葉原へパソコンを買いに行った。 パソコンを買いに秋葉原へ行った。 I think both are OK. Recently I saw someone write "You can't insert anything between 買いに and 行く". Is that true?
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Word Order: topic plug

恋愛と結婚は別のものと彼女は考えていた。 “she believed that love and marriage were different things” (Read Real Japanese) It took me a minute to understand what's going on (I'm a beginner). It's a delight to see ...
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Can the indirect object + に be put after を? [duplicate]

Can the following sentence お客さんにサンプルを送っても良いですか。 be re-written as このサンプルをお客さんに送っても良いですか。 that is, putting the indirect object + に after を, so in the end you have <direct object> を <...
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Can the place that the direct object occupies change the meaning of the sentence?

I have these two sentences: 私は映画を仕事のあと見た。 仕事のあと映画を見た。 To me, they seem equivalent in meaning. However, for the Google Translator the first one means 'I watched the movie after work.' while the ...
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Do particles go after or between question words?

Recently, I have realized something interesting: The following sentences are from Japanese lyrics of different songs, so they must be grammatically correct: 誰よりも輝く君を見て 誰にも話せない 誰の心にも、大切な場所がある ...
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Why これは in the end of the 唆{そそ}るぜこれは! statement?

唆{そそ}るぜこれは - is translated as "This is exhilarating" in anime. Though, various translations give "It's tempting" and google gives "I'll instigate this". Why is "これは&...
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What is the right order of this sentence? (JLPT N2 practice question)

From Shin Kanzen Master JLPT N2: 新しい店をオープンする _ _ _* _ かたまってきた。 1 の 2 ようやく 3 にあたって 4 方針が The right answer at the starred position is 4. One arrangement I thought might make this answer work is: ...
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Placement of 〜て of manner in longer sentence (citing NHK Easy)

Reading an NHK Easy news article today, I came across the following sentence (emphasis mine): 新しいコロナウイルスがうつらないように、映像を使って人が集まらないようにする新しい技術を、いろいろな会社が考えています。 Which I have interpreted to mean Various ...
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Word Order で And に before topic

I am Slightly confused about the word order for に And で Are both of these examples correct and the only difference the emphasis? 私は夏に公園で先生に会います: I am meeting my teacher at the park in the summer ...
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Would a square logo/sign be read like a name seal or like a western sign, if the characters lined up?

Say I had a sign that read 中華料理, but I wanted to fit it into a square for a shop sign, or maybe a t-shirt. Would it be better to use left-to-right, top-to-bottom: 中華 料理 or top-to-bottom, right-to-...
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The order of verbs and their complement/adjunct

次の日そのスカートを学校にはいていったら、友達によく似合うと言われた。(〇) 次の日そのスカートをはいて学校にいったら、友達によく似合うと言われた。(〇) 何枚ものお札を窓口につかんでいく(✕) 何枚ものお札をつかんで窓口にいく(〇) I saw the first sentence in a book (留学生のためのここが大切文章表現のルール) and asked a Japanese ...
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Why does 結構 precede the noun instead of the verb in this sentence?

"Glasses suit her well." What I'm reading is 彼女は結構めがねが似合うね. This looks to me like 結構 is modifying めがね. Wouldn't it make more sense this way? 彼女はめがねが結構似合うね. Thanks.
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きのう、私は VS. 私はきのう

I was wondering if both ways are grammatically correct, when starting a sentence. I think starting like : "きのう、私は..." would put more emphasise on the fact that what ever follows happened yesterday, ...
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Can the modifier form ( な/い) of an adjective follow the subject marker when there is no noun to modify?

In this phrase '天気が好きなんです' 好きな follows the subject marker. Is this because the phrase ends with んです?
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When and how to use 家は, 家から, ここは, and ここから

What is the difference of the following: a) 家はここから近いです b) ここは家から近いです c) ここから家は近いです d) 家からここは近いです Edit: This is what I think of the Japanese above: a) my house is near here, b) this place is near my ...
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Beginner Grammar Question [duplicate]

First time poster on here, currently learning from the Japanese from Zero books. In Chapter 13 of the book there is the sentence ‘what time are you going to the airport?’, now it’s written two ...
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2 votes
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Relative Clauses and Adjective Placement

How would you add adjectives inside a relative clause to the thing being modified? Is the placement set? For example, in this sentence, can "new" come directly before computer (1) or should it be ...
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Can you say“ 何が貴方のお名前はですか”?Or does 何 have to come before です?

I’ve read that what’s your name is “貴方のお名前は何ですか“ but can you also put 何 to the beginning or is that incorrect? So can it be: 何が貴方のおなまえはですか。
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What is the difference between 「女性一人」 and 「一人の女性」?

So far, I've learnt that a quantity (number + counter) can be attached to a noun to quantify it by using の: 一人の女性。One woman. However, I came across a sentence in my textbook where the noun an the ...
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文の組み立て JLPT N1 Question about word order

I am currently practicing for the N1 JLPT, where the questions require us to assemble the sentences in the correct order. Although the book provides the correct answer, it doesn't provide the correct ...
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2 votes
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Is it possible to preserve the literary style of this English passage in Japanese by rearranging the prepositional phrases?

Given the following English: "A woman's torso, its skin a deathly purple, sat atop an immense arachnid thorax." It's possible to rearrange the prepositional phrases and still have a grammatically ...
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placement of さえ

I came across this statement involving さえ. 私はAKB48が全然分からない。一番有名な人さえ名前がわからない。 My question is: Is there a general rule as to where you can place さえ? What about: 一番有名な人の名前さえ分からない。What is the meaning ...
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Is the following Japanese sentence negative or positive in English?

Context: Character A has just told the character who is the narrator that he has the talent to be an assassin. Being a normal person, and thus taken off guard, the narrator responds with the following:...
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Clarification on comparative constructions is needed

Here's a sentence: シベリアより東の地域はシベリアの中部ほど寒くないです。 I understand what it says but I don't understand why 「より」 is used right after 「シベリア」, and why the word order is not like this: ...
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Does 特別に戦 mean 'special battle' or 'specially battle'?

特別に戦が神 (とくべつに いくさが かみ) I think placing に after とくべつ makes it into an adverb, right? However, I'm having a lot of trouble working out whether it means 'especially' or 'specially' or just 'special'. (...
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3 votes
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Word order in a comparative sentence

The original sentence was interrogative and used「AはBよりC」construction in it 九州では東京よりさくらが早くさきますか。 I could have written something, using simpler constructions but I decided to use the construction ...
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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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1 vote
1 answer
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Can an adjective come after a verb?

I was trying to say "I write slow". I figured it would be: おそい(が)かく。 But a native speaker didn't understand me and said it was: かくのがおそい。 Now I understand how の after a verb makes it a noun, ...
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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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desu vs. arimasu (or imasu) when declaring existence

The difference between arimasu and imasu is clear, but how do I decide when to use desu and when to use arimasu (or imasu) when stating that something exists? Consider this example sentence: There ...
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Different nuances of interrogative phrases

何{なに}がXですか。 Xは何{なん}ですか。 What are the different nuances associated with these two phrases?
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15 votes
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日本へ手紙を送る vs 手紙を日本へ送る

I'm trying to learn the ropes of Japanese language with some online guides, and sometimes I try to anticipate the sentences using what I learn, just to find out that the guide uses a different form. ...
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"I wish I could say…"

Just wondering how you would say "I wish I could say "I miss you""? I was thinking it would be something along the lines of 「恋しい」語るできたらいいのに although I'm not sure. Thanks!
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The place of noun and information using の?

I have seen articles like 秘密のとんかつレシピ. This would mean that the prior word is defining the latter, it's the secret Tonkatsu Recipe. Is this true? Thanks in advance!
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Can Japanese Sentence Structure be OVS?

So I was reading from this particular site on Japanese sentence structure and what dawn to me was, this particular structure seems to be OVS. (object/noun, verb, subject) There's not a whole lot of ...
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What is the order of the full list of kana?

My question would be, if I were to pick up a Japanese dictionary, or had a project in which I needed to put several Japanese words (including hiragana, katakana, and kanji, with gojūon, dakuon, yōon, ...
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7 votes
2 answers
840 views

Can "ので" be used to give the reason after the consequence is mentioned?

I've been told that it's correct with this example: 遅れちゃった、寝過ごしたので。 But I don't understand why it's used like this because ので is the conjunctive form of のです so it's used to connect the sentence with ...
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Is 今日本に何時ですか correct?

What I'm trying to say is "what time is it in Japan right now?". My main problem is if I placed 今 correctly and if I should use に or は?
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~を僕はします Question about word order

In school I was taught to write sentences, with 'I/me' or any other pronoun first-person or not, always being at the beginning of a sentence like so: 僕はリンゴがダサいと思います。 Yet I frequently see sentences ...
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Topic at the end of an utterance

So, I'm well aware that Japanese follows an SOV sentence structure. However, I see -very often- the topic appearing at the end of an utterance, rather than at the beginning. For example: きれいですね、...
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私は or この手紙は that means I wrote this letter

‎What is the difference between 私はあなたの鉛筆でこの手紙を書きました。 and この手紙はあなたの鉛筆で書きました。 Do the two sentences have the same meaning? I'm trying to say: I wrote this letter with your pen.
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1 vote
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"I ate a lemon" and "a lemon I ate"

Consider this: watashi wa remon wo tabeta This is translated as I ate a lemon. How about this? remon wo watashi wa tabeta This can be translated 2 ways: 1) A lemon I ate However, it also ...
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2 answers
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Which phrase structure is okay to use?

I wonder if is it okay to use all the below structures in a conversation? Is there any structure I should avoid using? The phrase in this case is I ate fried chicken. わたしは フライドチキンをたべた。 “I fried ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Is this translation of "When are you going to that person's house?" correct?

あなたはあの人の家に行くことはいつですか Is that correct or natural? Some people translate it as あなたはいつあの人の家にいくんですか or: いつあなたはあの人の家に行くんですか I have trouble using いつ, is there any rule to it? you can put it in any ...
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5 votes
2 answers
770 views

Why does だけ come before は?

In a song I was listening to, there was the sentence: 僕はE缶だけは最後までとっておく With the given translation: I will only take the E-Tank at the very last moment. I don't understand why だけ comes before は,...
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