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14
votes
2answers
914 views

How has Japanese kanji and kana usage changed since 1945?

How has the percentage of writing using each script changed since 1945? With script reform, increasing influx of loanwords, and stylistic choices, several factors affect how much certain parts of the ...
12
votes
0answers
957 views

Iterative / repetitive る evolving from classical 連体形【れんたいけい】

This is somewhat related to the discussion of classical auxiliary verb ふ, mentioned in the answer to snailboat's question, What is the わ in 忌まわしい and 嘆かわしい?. Another apparent iterative / repetitive ...
8
votes
4answers
719 views

Which radical name should I study for the kanken?

I love learning kanji, so I thought about taking the kanken (probably level 6). So I started to look for information here and there, and it seems I'll have to learn radical names. I'm totally fine ...
7
votes
1answer
159 views

五段動詞特異的なイ音便について

Are there any explanations for the 五段動詞-specific イ音便 of 連用形+た/て that aren't based/dependent on the 子音語幹/母音語幹 explanation for the differences in 五段動詞/上一段動詞 conjugations? For example, take 開く and 飽きる, ...
7
votes
2answers
306 views

When is である/な Needed for Certain Words?

While studying grammar I noticed that some words require using である/な when used with a noun/な-adjective respectively. I wanted to see if there was a pattern between which words required them and which ...
7
votes
1answer
254 views

How to handle が and によって in this sort of sentence?

I'll be taking a written test in a few weeks to become a part-time translator for an automotive client; they sent me some practice documents in the meantime. I am having issues at the moment, since ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Meaning of, Transitive verb in “te form” + iru vs Intransitive verb in “te form” + iru

When I learnt Japanese I was taught that a transitive verb in its "te form" followed by the verb "iru" represents a continuous action. However, this is not the case with intransitive verbs which ...
6
votes
1answer
429 views

いかんでは why is this answer incorrect?

最近とても疲れやすいので、その日の体調いかんでは________ I answered it with : 会社を休むこともある But got it wrong(got 0 points), with a note telling me to use かもしれない instead. I understand that you can answer with the かもしれない ...
6
votes
1answer
260 views

Difference between 「~てからでないと」and 「~ないことには」

Both of these grammar can be translated to English as A~てからでないと/~ないことにはB = Unless A is done, cannot do B From what I can find, ~てからでないと stresses the order or sequence of actions, that until A is ...
6
votes
1answer
238 views

Specific use of してまで

Recently I've been reading Michael Emmerich's "New Penguin Parallel Text" for Japanese short stories. In Yoshimoto Banana's "A Little Darkness," there's a passage that describes how the narrator's ...
6
votes
1answer
181 views

What is the common reading of the word 外海?

外海 has two readings がいかい and そとうみ. What is the difference of the two? Personally, I am under the impression that がいかい is the common reading because of its similarity to the word 外国【がいこく】. However, I ...
6
votes
1answer
257 views

Why 気にされる instead of 気にする?

These two characters are discussing ヒューバート in the below, and about how he lacks self awareness. However I am not sure why 気にされる was used instead of 気にする here. I know that される can be used as an ...
6
votes
2answers
257 views

Why does いい加減 have diametrically opposite meanings?

When scolding a misbehaving child, we tell them to be iikagen: いい加減にしなさい。 But we can also tell a misbehaving child to stop being iikagen, or describe something bad as iikagen: もういい加減でやめなさい。 ...
6
votes
1answer
265 views

Are both of these correct sentences: 「ここに住所を書いてくださいますか?」「ここに住所を書いてくださいませんか?」?

I believe 「ここに住所を書いてくださいますか?」 means “Could you please write the address here?” And 「ここに住所を書いてくださいませんか?」 means “Would you please write the address here?” An exercise I’m doing shows the second sentence ...
6
votes
1answer
146 views

What is the origin of っこない?

There's a construction V+っこない which means something like "have no way of doing V". お前には分かりっこないでしょう。 There's no way you would understand. Is it known what this construction originates from? ...
6
votes
1answer
208 views

What does 笑みがこぼれてくる mean and how is it different to 笑みがこぼれる

愛鳥の寝顔、見てるだけで思わず笑みがこぼれてくる 愛鳥の寝顔、見てるだけで思わず笑みがこぼれる My question is how is the 1st sentence different from the 2nd, and what nuance does the くる add.
6
votes
1answer
702 views

Casual Speech Particles in Classical Japanese

I'm writing a simple Japanese skit for my class and there is a place where an ancient samurai needs to speak a few sentences of Classical Japanese. I can mostly make the sentences, but it seems weird ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Pronunciation of the Japanese ん and nasalized vowels

I've been trying to grasp how ん sounds when placed after a vowel. Apparently the vowel becomes nasalized (and extended?) but does it get rid of the n sound completely then? If so wouldn't ほん have its ...
5
votes
0answers
152 views

Do loanwords have quasi-phonemic vowel reduction?

I've started to notice this, and I'm not sure whether my eyes are deceiving me or not, but it seems as if several, but not all loans have a high statistical probability of vowels being reduced/...
5
votes
1answer
224 views

Help understanding だからこそ、という場合もある

I'm struggling to understand the sentence in the exchange below. To explain the context, these characters have been shipwrecked and landed on an unknown island. They find that several of their ...
5
votes
1answer
150 views

Which categories of verbs (transitive, atelic, etc) can you use with ~そう (seems to; appears)?

I've just studied そう (as in: seems like; about to) in class and I wanted to know why you can use some verbs and not others. For instance, 雨が{あめが}降りそう{ふりそう} works out semantically and grammatically, ...
5
votes
0answers
128 views

How did the on-readings with -チ appear?

This is what I know. 1) Unlike, say, -p, the final -t of Chinese readings was maintained in careful speech at least as long as the Christian resources of the XVIth century (Frellesvig 2010: 316-7). ...
5
votes
1answer
461 views

Is it grammatically correct to use もし and/or 〜ば form along with the 〜たい form to convey desire in a conditional clause?

My impression when using conditionals, most of the time, you lose the ability to express desire. For example, when conjugating to -たら、you have to use the past tense of the verb. Is it grammatically ...
5
votes
1answer
182 views

Is it ungrammatical to say Nがなく instead of Nなく when it means “without N”?

The phrase Nなく means "without N" and is used to modify verbs, as in: 彼は私を躊躇なく殴った。 He hit me without hesitation. In sentences like this, is it ungrammatical or unnatural to say Nがなく instead of ...
5
votes
1answer
174 views

How can I differentiate if a word is (either fully or preferentially) used for spoken or written language?

Sorry if this has been answered before, but I couldn't find it. I understand that when the on'yomi reading is used, this is associated with words with a more "literary" feeling or with written usage. ...
5
votes
2answers
301 views

What is the difference between 限る and 限定する?

I'm pretty sure that there's a lot more you can do with 限る than there is with 限定する, (When I looked up 限る, I saw a lot of different usages, such as it meaning "is the best," or "nothing is better than,"...
5
votes
1answer
250 views

The uses of である

I understand that である is most commonly used to replace だ/です at the end of a sentence in written expressions. But outside this usage, I can't find much explanation on how to use this structure. In ...
5
votes
1answer
214 views

Confusion about 大したこと(で)(は)ない

There are three variations on this phrase that I can find in Google, and I'm not sure whether all three are really used, or how frequently. But I am confused about the differences between them. 大{...
5
votes
1answer
339 views

“~Ni” or “~De”?

Should I use (に or で) for the following lines? Since they are time periods, I thought に would be correct, according to Times The particle ni is usually used with times: Go-ji ni ...
5
votes
1answer
164 views

"A: いつごろ切符を予約しましたか。 B: 3か月前です” why should it be です but not でした?

"A: いつごろ切符を予約しましたか。  B: 3か月前です” why should it be です but not でした?
5
votes
1answer
286 views

What is the difference between といったところです and というところです?

銀行に変化を促しているのがタイの中央銀行です。 日本で言えば、日銀が腰を上げて、変革の旗振り役をしているといったところです。(source) Could we replace といったところです by というところです here? If yes, what would be the difference? If not, why?
5
votes
1answer
928 views

What is the difference between に伴って and と共に?

Can somebody explain to me the difference between と共{とも}に and に伴{ともな}って? I believe that sometimes they can be used interchangeably, but not always. Moreover, their basic meanings also seem to differ. ...
5
votes
1answer
319 views

Is writing the “wa particle” as は a modern convention?

Recently, I was given a copy of Complete Course of Japanese Conversation-Grammar by Oreste and Enko Elisa Vaccari. As it dates back to 1967, I was expecting at least a few things to be a bit old-...
5
votes
1answer
93 views

What's the difference in comparative use between ~ + の様に / みたい / が如く, etc.?

This question has been on my mind since I've watched SEGA's announcement the other day about Yakuza's second installment getting a remake. The original title of the game is [龍]{りゅう}が[如]{ごと}く, meaning "...
4
votes
0answers
61 views

The difference between ending a sentence with さ or ね

According to this question. Ending a sentence with さ is a colloquial way of to make a sentence more playfully assertive. But I noticed that ね is also used to end a sentence and the meaning to me seems ...
4
votes
0answers
65 views

Optional omission of the particle に

My textbook has the sentence: " 私は日曜日[に]国へ帰ります。" This means that に is optional, however, why is it optional, and how would you decide when to write/not write に. Thanks!
4
votes
1answer
99 views

Confused over which is more grammatically correct here: ~たことをごめんなさい or ~たことはごめんなさい

この世に生まれたことを本当にごめんなさい! この世に生まれたことは本当にごめんなさい!
4
votes
1answer
157 views

Doubt about the meaning/usage of「分」

I am reading よつばと. In chapter 1, Yotsuba's father is carrying some boxes when he meets the neighbor Fuuka. She sees the cardboards (ダンボール) in his hands, and says: そのダンボール ゴミに出す分ですか。 And he responds: ...
4
votes
0answers
146 views

Why is the Japanese term for grammatical case 「格」? How did this translation come to be?

From Google's definition of 格: きまり。法則。標準。  「格式・格言・合格・別格・破格・規格・本格・古格・適格・律令格式(りつりょうきゃくしき)」 《名・造》地位。身分。程度。  「格が違う」 方形に組みあわせた材。  「骨格・格子(こうし)・格天井(ごうてんじょう)」 くる。いたる。とおる。きわめる。  「格物致知」 ...
4
votes
0answers
115 views

Is using the particle は twice here natural?

I've come across the sentence 父は休みの日はずっとテレビを見ている。(My father spends his days off watching television all the time.) where it doubles in using the は particle. From another post, it seems that this ...
4
votes
2answers
223 views

What is the difference between 振る and 揺る?

Both of these words seem to mean "to shake". From what I got: 振る is "higher frequency" shaking. 揺る is more like a swaying or rocking motion, "lower frequency". Is this correct? An explanation would ...
4
votes
0answers
92 views

What's the meaning of とはいかないまでも?

I know the grammatical form ない+までも that means "not until that degree, but", however I'm not sure how to translate とはいかないまでも in English. I found this expression in the following sentence:"明日ハイキングだ。...
4
votes
0answers
138 views

How to express action (in plays, and online)

So in most languages we can either put text in italics or between asterisks to indicate what the speaker is doing. For instance: Looking up It will be raining soon Or on the Internet: *chewing your ...
4
votes
0answers
91 views

What is the etymology of タマ in タマを取る?

It seems that when spoken by/in regards to Yakuza, the phrase タマを取る means to take someone's life. However, I've seen some explanations saying タマ comes from 頭{あたま} and others say that it comes from 魂{...
4
votes
1answer
134 views

What's the difference between にはおかない and にはすまない?

I've searched them online, but still couldn't distinguish these two. I know: ①The former is to remark or to express a strong feeling. ②The later is more about personal emotion, obligation and social ...
4
votes
0answers
96 views

Understanding this usage of 「〜に変わって」

I am reading a selection from A Japanese Reader and am trying to figure out the meaning of this passage, especially the usage of 「これに変わって」: 古い行事のすべてをそのままに行うことは生活様式が異なってきた今日{こんにち}、無理であろうし、...
4
votes
2answers
478 views

Meaning/use of ように in this sentence

鳥の絵が得意になり、クリスマスにハトの絵を贈ってくれるようにもなった。 I cannot understand the meaning of ようにもなった in this sentence. I know that 鳥の絵が得意になり、 means "I became good/strong at drawing birds and..." ...
4
votes
1answer
854 views

What does ~ながらにして mean?

Can someone please explain the bold grammar? せんてんてき 【先天的】 《ダナ》生まれながらにして持っていること
4
votes
0answers
155 views

Phonetic Mapping of the Hiragana System Used in the Okinawan Omoro Sōshi

The classical Okinawan poetry collection the Omoro Sōshi is written (mostly) in Hiragana, but the phonetic mapping of the characters to sounds seems to be different to their standard mapping. For ...
4
votes
0answers
192 views

Connecting の adjectives

So when connecting い adjectives you go from い to くて Like: おもしろい 楽しい -> おもしろくて楽しいです。= interesting and fun And with な adjectives you add で Like: きれいな やさしい -> きれいでやさしいです = pretty and kind So what ...

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