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14
votes
2answers
845 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
940 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
151 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
224 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。 ...
7
votes
1answer
250 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
681 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
412 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
232 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
131 views

Using 「に」, 「にとって」 and 「に対して」 with adjectives

I read these two questions but I still don't understand the relation between the use of the 「に」 particle with adjectives and other structures such as 「にとって」 and 「に対して」. On the first link, Axioplaseさん ...
6
votes
1answer
221 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
211 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
1answer
198 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
260 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
139 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? I ...
6
votes
1answer
204 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
695 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
2answers
174 views

verb てーform + もいいです VS. verb + こと + ができます: whether equivalent or not

(1) カードで払うことができますか。 (2) カードで払ってもいいですか。 In google these two sentences were both translated into: Can I pay by card? Whether there exists any subtle differences? Or are they completely equivalent?
5
votes
1answer
187 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
130 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
122 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
402 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
173 views

未然形 of である and 連用形 of だ

When I checked the entry of 助動詞 「だ」 in the dictionary, I found the following example sentence: 「学生は怠けるべきではない」 Does the fact that で is in bold mean that で in ではない is actually the 連用形 of 「だ」? But ...
5
votes
1answer
181 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
169 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
276 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
231 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
335 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
163 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
273 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
318 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
56 views

Why can't passive be used to express dissatisfaction from somebody failing to do something?

From Genki II: You cannot express your suffering from somebody failing to do something either, because you cannot add the passive suffix to an already negated verb. Therefore you cannot use the ...
4
votes
1answer
79 views

What's the difference between 意向 vs 意思?

I encountered this sample sentence: 佐藤さんは市長選挙に立候補する意向を固めたようだ。 The app I was using simply translated 意向 as "intention" which led me to ask: how does it differ from 意思? And how do the component ...
4
votes
1answer
122 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
187 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
76 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
79 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
81 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
92 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
4answers
349 views

What is the difference between ~たい and ~ことを望む?

I have been trying to translate some English sentences into Japanese. I have been asking people on OKWAVE to translate these sentences. I am happy to say that the results have been mostly satisfactory....
4
votes
2answers
450 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
805 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
154 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
190 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
158 views

Appropriate polite language when referencing yourself in a letter written on behalf of others?

Maybe this is a bit too hypothetical, but I thought it was an interesting question nonetheless. I was writing a business email in Japanese, using pretty formal language, on behalf of someone who ...
4
votes
1answer
136 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
1answer
246 views

What is the nuance between 内に and 間に in these sentences?

This will be a long question. I referred to the other questions that were already answered, Difference between 前に and うちに When describing time span, are 間 {あいだ} and 内 {うち} interchangeable? What'...

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